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‘Fashions of the mind’: Modernism and British vogue under the editorship of Dorothy Todd

Lachmansingh, Sandhya Kimberley (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Vogue has no intention of confining its pages to hats and frocks. In literature, the drama, art and architecture, the same spirit of change is seen at work, and to the intelligent observer the interplay of suggestion and influence between all these things is one of the fascinations of the study of the contemporary world. This brief description on the contents page of the Early April 1925 ‘Early Paris Openings and Brides’ issue of British Vogue not only summarises the ideas that would be expressed within the current issue, but indeed within the entire publication under the editorship of Dorothy Todd. The ‘study of the contemporary world’ and the ‘interplay of suggestion and influence’ are accorded the highest emphasis, demonstrating Todd’s intentions for Vogue between 1922 and 1926. The concept of the contemporary was essential to this vision for Vogue and all the more crucial to the early 1920s. Despite the trivialisation of fashion (‘hats and frocks’), the study of the contemporary and fashion are inextricably linked. Though the opening sentence might be viewed as a disparaging account of fashion, the subsequent lines prove a defence of it, demonstrating the similarities between the subject of fashion and the other art forms of literature, drama, art and architecture. This simultaneously legitimises the entire idea of a fashion magazine and the overwhelming presence of what would have been considered ‘high brow’ art forms in a magazine supposedly solely concerned with fashion. However, what is crucial is the interplay between these art forms. This was what defined Dorothy Todd’s Vogue.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English
Subjects:HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
PN0441 Literary History
PN0080 Criticism
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1578
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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