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Let's Go Back: Lady Hawarden

One of the things that I obsessively do every week [besides blog for you lovely little bitties] is browse. Browse though forums, websites, magazines, newspapers, blogs....anything that I can get my hands on. Why do I do this? To keep myself up to date. To know about the latest magazine covers, the coolest upcoming trends. To see what genius designers are coming up with next. To see what inspires me.

It is insane to see how much new information pops up every day, and it's even a greater task to keep up and remember it all. Overwhelming is an understatement, and what's even worse is that it makes it difficult to remember things that have happened even just recently [do you remember what Zac Posen's models wore on their feet in his first RTW runway???? I could tell you but I'd have to google it first].

That said, I always love finding photos like these that remind me that fashion goes way further back than you and me:

These photos were taken in ~1860s by Lady Hawarden who is believed to be the first female photographer to be fascinated with the way clothes hang on the female form and hence, is determined to be the original fashion photographer. There is a point of contention in this statement, because these photos of her daughters Clementina, Isabella, and Florence were never published until recently, so how could she be a fashion photographer? To answer that, I implore to you read Dave Walker's article for the Library Time Machine that answers that question. He makes many valid points, but to me I see these photographs and all I can marvel at is the beautiful clothing and the look in the model's eyes.

The posing, the dresses, the settings, the lighting....I can see these fit into today's endless stream of new looks/ideas and STILL be relevant! Just imagine them in color...

And last but not least, my favorite. I mean MY GOD...THAT STARE:

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I did! It's always good to take a moment to remember what happened in the past to keep perspective of what's to happen in the future! In fashion and in life!


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