chapter  10
22 Pages

THE AVANT-GARDE IN FASHION

The March 1, 1951 issue of Vogue contained four pages reproducing photographs made by Cecil Beaton in the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, which have become well-known images among art historians and theorists dealing with Abstract Expressionism (Figure 10.1).1 They are part of a story called “American Fashion: The New Soft Look,” which follows a “Quick Tour of the Paris Collections.” The backdrops are paintings by Jackson Pollock, described in the accompanying copy as “spirited and brilliant,” “dazzling and curious” pictures that “almost always cause an intensity of feelings.” This aesthetic description is doubled by a social one: they are said to be admired by “some of the most astute private collectors and museum directors in the country.”