The Gone Library
Women's History

Models in History: The Model and the Origins of Couture

Models in History: The Model and the Origins of Couture

I. Model as Mannequin  Couture could not be what it is without its models. And the historical emergence of couture in the West is tightly linked to the invention of the ‘model,’ the subject who wears the clothing for sale. Originally, they were known as ‘house models,’ reflecting their close proximity to the couture ‘houses’ that had begun to emerge in Europe toward the second half of the 19th century.  Marie Vernet Worth, the wife of the early couture designer Charles Frederick Worth, is often said to be the first true model in history. Clients would visit Worth in his...

Rei Kawakubo in the History of Japanese Feminism

Rei Kawakubo in the History of Japanese Feminism

We explore the history of Rei Kawakubo's work for Commes des Garçons in the context of the Japanese feminist movement