Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip
By Phyllis Magidson • Donald Albrecht
Mod New York traces the fashion arc of the 1960s and 1970s, a tumultuous and innovative era that continues to inspire how we dress today. During this period, demure silhouettes and pastels favored by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy exploded into bold prints and tie-dyed psychedelic chaos and ultimately resolved into a personal style dubbed by Vogue the “New Nonchalance.”
Accompanying a major exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, this book is beautifully illustrated by two hundred groundbreaking and historically significant designs by Halston, Geoffrey Beene, Rudi Gernreich, Yves Saint Laurent, André Courrèges, Norman Norell, and Bill Blass, among many others, all drawn from the renowned costume collection at MCNY.
By the mid-1960s, clothing assumed communicative powers, reflecting the momentous societal changes of the day: the emergence of a counterculture, the women’s liberation movement, the rise of African-American consciousness, and the radicalism arising from the protests of the Vietnam War. New York City, as the nation’s fashion and creative capital, became the critical flashpoint for these debates. Authoritative essays by well-known fashion historians Phyllis Magidson, Hazel Clark, Sarah Gordon, and Caroline Rennolds Milbank explore the ways in which these radical movements were expressed in fashion. Of special note is Kwame S. Brathwaite’s presentation of the Grandassa Models and “Black is Beautiful” movement, which is illustrated with photographs by his father, Kwame Brathwaite.
I started editing most of the reviews in 2016 because my PhD in English (a humblebrag if you’ve ever seen one) has to be put to use somehow. So I know “the about” all the books and how good they are, which is super cool in general but also terrible for my budget. And I’m the one insisting on the Oxford comma. It’s the hill I’ll die on. I would kidnap Lily the office dog if a) I didn’t have three cats, b) I don’t also love Heidi and Ross and would never hurt them, and c) I didn’t just make a public record of intent to commit a crime. I also help with posting articles to the websites and doing book round-up articles.