FIT’s The Women of Harper’s Bazaar 1936-1958

   Last week I had the pleasure of visiting FIT’s latest exhibition. The Women of Harper’s Bazaar showcases the work of three pinnicale women. All three contributed to the success of Harper’s Bazaar through editing and photography. Pioneers of their time they pushed the boundaries on how a magazine was produced and how fashion was viewed.

Vintage Covers    

   Caramel Snow was editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar by 1933 and had previously worked for American Vogue. The switch was considered scandalous and a move of betrayal at the time. Her  progressive push in fashion helped the likes of Cristobal Balenciaga catapult their careers. Her respect of editors and artists at the magazine made her a revered editor. She was not interested in the commercialism of fashion but the art of it. 

Edited by Snow taken by Louise in Paris 
   Diana Veerland led a metropolitan life between New York and Paris where she was friends with fashion’s elite like Coco Chanel. Hired by Snow her first job at Harper’s Bazaar was writing a column called “Why Don’t You”. She became the magazines fashion editor in no time. Her hands on approach to editing led her around the globe discovering designers and stepping in for models like Bijou Barrington when she was ill. Her work was noticed by American Vogue where she later became editor in chief.

 Diane styling a 1946 shoot  

 1958 cover and head dress edited by Veerland  

Taken by Louise, Carolyn Schnurer top styled by  Veerland

Carolyn Schnurer top  
   Louise Dahl Wolfe was an interior designer before she became a photographer. She was employed by Harper’s Bazaar in 1936 when photography was first becoming the norm in place of fashion illustration for magazines. She was was one of the first photographers to use Kodachrome film (color film) invented by Kodak in 1935. She and Veerland were leaders in on location photography moving shoots out of the studio and into exotic locations. Wolfe’s tireless work for color accuracy is what made her a well known photographer at Harper’s Bazaar.

 Louise and her press pass 

 May 1946 shoot edited by Veerland taken by Louise in Rio de Janeiro.Claire McCardell swimsuit. 

 1949 shoot taken by Louise. Mainbocher ensemble. 

 Claire McCardell dress used in a 1952 shoot. Shot in studio, part of a story shot in South America. 

 Carolyn Schnurer Playsuit used in a 1957 shoot in Trinadad by Louise. 

 Christian Dior coat, shoot edited by Snow taken by Louise in France. 

 1947 shoot by Louise, Charles James evening gown. 

  All taken by Louise for Bazaar in the 1940’s and 1950’s 
  The individual and collaborative work of these three women made Harper’s Bazaar a well known and respected fashion magazine. Their respect for readers and imaginative editing and photography process made Harper’s Bazaar a leader in fashion publications.

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