Anne Hollander

Anne Hollander wrote the text for Woman in the Mirror, Richard Avedon’s last collection of photographs. She is now at work on a study of literary clothing.

Insouciance: Wild Lee Miller

Anne Hollander, 20 July 2006

Lee Miller invented her first name as if to veil her femaleness when she was a society beauty and fashion model in the 1920s. It went along with a new shift in the style of sexual excitement, a new pleasure in androgyny: what Carolyn Burke discreetly calls ‘a redistribution of sexual energies’.

Later, her neutral first name helped to advance her short New York career as a...

As Good as Nude: Women in White

Anne Hollander, 6 April 2006

In Henry James and the Art of Dress (2001), Clair Hughes gave us a beautifully judged view of James’s delicate way with garments. She showed that he was capable of conveying the effect of an entire ensemble in a few well-chosen words, and of accurately rendering the way dress affects feeling. James, we learn, is at his most quicksilvery when writing about clothes. In Dressed in Fiction...

Fashion was always famous for its power, but only quite recently have people believed it has meaning. From time to time during the last two hundred years, writers have uneasily asserted that everything important about individuals, even about whole civilisations, could be learned from what people wore; but by the end of the 20th century, the meaning of clothing had become a respectable subject...

His Own Private Armenia: Arshile Gorky

Anne Hollander, 1 April 2004

Arshile Gorky is better known for his role in 20th-century American art than he is for his actual work. The collective memory, besides noting that his art reputedly links 1930s Surrealism to 1950s Abstract Expressionism, is rather vague about his pictures: were they realistic? Abstract? Easier to remember that he committed suicide, that he was a romantic character, that he was a liar.

These...

Slicing and Mauling: The Art of War

Anne Hollander, 6 November 2003

David Kunzle’s monumental book, fusing deep historical scholarship with polemical zeal and pictorial acumen, has appeared at an apt historical moment. Several weeks ago I looked up from studying some of its illustrations, and my eye fell on the front-page photograph in that day’s International Herald Tribune. The picture seemed to have slid straight out of Kunzle’s book,...

Killing Stripes: Suits

Christopher Turner, 1 June 2017

I went​ to Henry Poole & Co, the oldest tailor on Savile Row, for a fitting. Suits start at £5500, and I couldn’t afford to have one made, but the firm had agreed to teach...

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Unembraceable

Peter Wollen, 19 October 1995

My first thoughts, in connection with suits, are of Lucky Lucan, Joseph Beuys and the Thin White Duke, at the head of an imaginary horde of accountants, dandies, clubland heroes, zoot-suiters and...

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Perfectly dressed

Peter Campbell, 7 November 1991

Words about pictures are often commentaries which justify categories. They give reasons for inclusions, exclusions and orderings. Connoisseurs distinguish genuine works from misattributions, and...

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