Carmel Snow Dishes up Some Daring, 1940

Snow40My favorite blog, The Vintage Traveler, recently shared a link to a long appreciation of Carmel Snow, the revolutionary editor of Harper’s Bazaar from 1933 to 1957. Snow was famous for her phrase “Elegance is good taste, plus a dash of daring.” In The World of Carmel Snow, she mentions some of her bold fashion choices, like wearing a red suit to her daughter’s wedding, “a very elegant short red brocade suit with a white ermine hat, and I’ve been happy to see my break with tradition followed by other fashion-conscious mothers since then.”(175) Perhaps you had to be there. In most photos, I think she looks like a tastefully dressed wealthy woman of her time, favoring Balenciaga suits and small hats. I couldn’t find the daring.

That is, until I saw this photo of some kind of evening fashion event. That’s Diana Vreeland next to her with the notepad. (The blog where I found it offers no photo credit, and I couldn’t locate its source on my own.) Look at that boldly striped top, with sequins forming the stripes, and a sharply contrasting animal print bag. Her outfit looks daring for 1940 and quite contemporary for today.

If you are interested in learning more about this influential woman of fashion, take a look at the fascinating biography, A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and her Life in Fashion, Art and Letters by Penelope Rowlands.

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3 Responses to Carmel Snow Dishes up Some Daring, 1940

  1. fabrickated says:

    Thank you for bringing these ladies to my attention.

    I was immediately drawn to Diana Vreeland (I didn’t recognise her) who looks dramatic and stylish. I like her head wrap, the decorated blouse and her earrings. I had never heard of Snow, but I thought she was in Diana’s shade, style-wise.

  2. eimear says:

    thank you so much for the share, a great post as always, I went to the link, and found another ‘womens musuem of ireland’ – and was delighted to find this too! – I really enjoy your blog posts and always save yours till last in my blog read ….. as there is always a lot to link into or think about!

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