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Camara Dia Holloway

(b Philadelphia, PA, Feb 5, 1948).

American photographer, curator and scholar. Willis was born in North Philadelphia to a hairdresser mother and a policeman father who was an amateur photographer. Within a familial and communal context, Willis learned that photographs could function as powerful statements of African American identity. These ideas were reinforced by reading her family’s copy of the publication The Sweet Flypaper of Life (1955) that featured the photographs of Roy DeCarava, a major African American photographer. She also attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, Harlem on My Mind in 1969. Willis earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1975 and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1979. Inspired by the quilting and storytelling traditions in her family, Willis developed a practice that combined her photographs, family photographs and other elements into autobiographical quilts. Her later works focused more on the female body.

From 1980 to 1992...

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Richard Kerremans

(b Brussels, April 16, 1858; d Brussels, Dec 13, 1929).

Belgian jeweller, designer and sculptor . The son of the master goldsmith Louis Wolfers (1820–92), he graduated from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1875 and entered his father’s workshop as an apprentice, where he acquired a comprehensive technical training. Influenced by the Rococo Revival and Japanese art, in the 1880s he created sensitively curved pieces in gold and silver decorated with asymmetrically distributed floral motifs, which heralded the Art Nouveau style (e.g. ewer, Le Maraudeur, c. 1880; Brussels, Musées Royaux A. & Hist.). After 1890 he produced two kinds of work: goldsmithing and jewellery designs for production by Wolfers Frères and one-off pieces that were produced to his own designs in the workshop that he had established c. 1890–92. Typical of the latter are Art Nouveau goldsmiths’ work and jewellery (e.g. orchid hair ornament, 1902; London, V&A), crystal vases carved into cameos and ivory pieces. Ivory was then in plentiful supply from the Congo, and from ...

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Lourdes Font

(b Bourne, Lincs, Oct 13, 1825; d Paris, March 10, 1895)

English-born French dress designer ( see fig. ). Considered the founding father of haute couture, Worth is also remembered as couturier to the Empress Eugénie (1826–1920) during the Second Empire. A fabric salesman turned fashion designer, and a man in what had been a woman’s profession, Worth sought to elevate dressmaking to the status of art.

Worth was born into a middle-class family in northern England. His education was interrupted by the age of 13, when he began an apprenticeship at a dry-goods store in London. Dry-goods stores sold textiles, fashion accessories and some ready-to-wear and custom-made clothing. Worth worked as a salesman at two stores, Swan & Edgar and Lewis & Allenby, the latter suppliers to Queen Victoria. Around 1846 he left for Paris and found employment at A la Ville de Paris, one of the city’s magasins de nouveautés, equivalent to London’s dry-goods stores. Around 1848...

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Pamela Roskin

(b Yokohama, Oct 3, 1943).

Japanese fashion designer ( see fig. ). Yamamoto’s influential designs combined traditional Japanese silhouettes with notions of architectural forms and impeccable tailoring. The collections from the designer’s early years were often in dark, muted colours and featured unstructured oversized layers that evoked the uncut philosophy of the Japanese kimono. Later in his career, he incorporated splashes of bright colour into his pieces.

Yamamoto’s father, a soldier, died in World War II. His mother was a seamstress. Yamamoto received a degree in law in 1966 before graduating in 1969 from the Bunkafukuso Gakuin, a prestigious Tokyo fashion school. That same year he won two fashion design awards, the So-en and Endo. He then lived in Paris for two years where he became familiar with European ideals in fashion. The juxtaposition of high style amidst the French student riots, anti-war protests and the women’s rights movement had a profound effect on his work. In an interview with ...