The National Library of Australia: An online treasure trove of fashion history? Yes!

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When Christian Dior had tea in Paris with Ann Lowe, he looked like this.

When my Ann Lowe research led me to a hunt for very detailed recaps of Paris fashion shows she attended, my usual sources covered the topics in a frustrating and broad way. American newspapers gave the shows drive-by coverage.

This is from the Reuters news service and used internationally...slightly detailed and a good start...but not enough to help me set a scene...
This is from the Reuters news service and used internationally…slightly detailed and a good start…but not enough to help me set a scene…

American Vogue was OKAY, but their focus was more on the styles that were being translated into Paris copies. British Vogue was MUCH better—although a bit hard to get your hands on—and French Vogue would have been an outstanding source, if I understood French.

French Vogue from the 1940s...going straight to the source is always the best...if the language doesn't get in the way!! (Most Art History people know French...I do not.)
French Vogue from the 1940s…gorgeous, right? And going straight to the source is always the best…if the language doesn’t get in the way!! (Most Art History people know French…unfortunately, I do not.)

 

 


I’m not quite sure why an  Australian Newspaper Archive is such a fabulous source for detailed recaps of couture fashion shows in London, Paris and New York. But a newspaper search on the TROVE website brings back amazing results–mostly from “Australian Women’s Weekly.”Blog_6Blog_5Play with the date ranges and the keywords, and you’ll have hours worth of browsing ahead of you! Along with the amazing search functions, it is very easy to download pdfs and jpgs. I’m sure this would be helpful for topics outside of fashion too, so TROVE might be worth checking out whenever you are on a source hunt!