It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a project – from the images that have been released, this work may well be the most definitive look at 1920s fashion that we’ve ever had or ever will have. The mannequin shots are exquisite and go beyond simply displaying the clothes (which they do to great advantage). They’re photographed with absolutely perfect attention to detail, from the gowns to the accessories and right down to the very body language of the era. Not only will the book include Neal’s collection, but also pieces from other private collections. Vibrant, colourful, dramatic, subtle – this is the 1920s in all its diversity.
Neal Barr, a highly respected fashion photographer and 1920s collector, has been working for years towards the publication of his 2 volume, 900 page photo study of the period in fashion, “Threads of Time”. And while he’s been doing that, a documentary team has been working on telling his story and that of his amazing masterpiece.
They’re currently seeking indigogo funding to complete the editing – I encourage all those who love this era to contribute if you can afford it, or offer them encouragement and a signal boost. The FB site for the documentary is here. This is a chance to be part of a landmark project, and an unrepeatable chance to document these amazing garments.
From the Indiegogo site:
“In the beginning during my career in New York City, my interest was piqued by a tiny basement vintage clothing shop called Harriet Love on West 13th Street, near where I lived in west Greenwich Village. As far as I know, it was the first shop of its kind that displayed clothing from the 1920s period. Inspired by the beauty and craftsmanship of this apparel, I became a collector during a time when the estates of those who lived in the 1920s were spilling out onto the flea markets around the country. My own collection, purchased over many years, enabled me to substantially broaden the scope I had originally envisioned for this project, which is not just about couture fashions, or ornately constructed fashion items, or even party dresses worn one time for special occasions. Although it is true that couture items are the most coveted, and the ones most likely to be preserved, and certainly deservedly included in these visual records of historical fashion, this project also displays and celebrates the everyday fashions of the era. Museums and larger collectors, such as FIT in New York, are reluctant to entrust their often fragile collections outside the confines of their caretakers and storage facilities. The subjects of these images would not have have been accessible without the generosity of the many private collectors and vintage fashion stores who recognized my vision early on and were impressed enough to loan me items from their own inventories. These photographs could only have been created in my own studio, which was designed expressly for this purpose.”
— Neal Barr