The Evolution of the Supermodel – The World Between Wars

In this series on the supermodel. I will sum up the texts I have to read for my Supermodel class at Parsons. I do this in order to keep a better memory of what I learned and share my new knowledge with you. I hope you enjoy!

  • In 1850 Charles Frederick Worth choses Marie Vernet to present his designs to the fashionable Parisians.She is considered the first professional fashion model by many.

  • In 1913 Baron Adolphe de Meyer becomes Vogue’s chief fashion Photographer
  • One of his male models, John Robert Powers, establishes the first modeling agency in 1923
  • The most important model in the 1920 is Marion Morehouse
  • Edward Steichen replaces de Mayer at Vogue in 1923  and creates a new visual style – his pictures are considered the first modern fashion photographs.
  • The 1930s are the decade of Hollywood glamour
  • Successful models turned actresses: Helen Bennett/ Muriel Maxwell / Norma Shearer/ Gene Tierney / Ava Gardner/ Lauren Bacall (see pictures below)
  • Most renowned actresses: Greta Garbo / Marlene Dietrich / Joan Crawford
  • Cosmetics and hair-care companies expand during that decade
  • Most prominent models in 1930s: Helen Bennet, Betty McLauchlen, Ludmila Fedoseyeva (see pictures below)
  • Famed fashion Photographers
    Horst P. Horst
    George Hoyningen-Huen (identifying feature: Temple-like atmospheres, classical architecture)
    – Irving Penn 
    John Rawlings
    George Hurrell (photography resembled movie stills)
    Erwin Blumenfeld 

  • most important fashion Designers: Poiret, Chanel and Schiaparelli
  • 1940s are more influenced by sports and leisure wear
  • Model types of the 1940s are more suntanned all-American types like: Jessica Patton / Tony Hollingsworth / Bijou Barrington
  • Photographers of the 40s: Louise Dahl-Wolfe / Herman Landshoff / Genevieve Naylor

Works Cited:

Koda, Harold and Kohle Yohannan.The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yale University Press, New Haven and London. 2009. Print.


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