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Elle 1945

February 2, 2017

The first photo (and issue) of fashion magazine Elle, published in November #1945 pictured a close-up view of a model, posed with one hand in the pocket of her jacket by couturier Lucien Lelong and the other on the iron railing of a balcony. Her elevated position in Paris provided an iconic view of the Seine. Her direct eye contact engaged the reader in a dialogue, conflating her with the magazine itself: 'elle', a universal 'she', all women, and more particularly, elegant #Parisian women. The accompanying text's summation of 'new elegance', based on 'choosing what works for you' instead of 'blindly following fashion', offered a novel tone and construction of fashionability, based on an individual yet still feminine woman. Fashion magazine language was commonly conceived around the notion of novelty, but here, set against the context of great national changes, notably the Liberation and women's suffrage, language assumed compelling meaning.





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