Friday, July 27, 2012

The Vogue Archive and the Fashion Design Library

Earlier this summer a great new fashion resource was made available here in Phoenix.  So far it's been a bit of a well-kept secret but it's time to change that!  Thanks to the generosity of the Arizona Costume Institute the Lemon Art Research Library at the Phoenix Art Museum was able to subscribe to the Vogue Archive and the archive is now available on the computers in the library.

This is a fabulous addition to the library and to the community.  Whether your interest is professional, personal, or academic there is something in the archive for you.  So, where do you find it?  What exactly IS it?  How do you use it?   Let me lay it out for you.

Where do you find the Library and the Vogue Archive?

The Lemon Art Research Library is located in the Administration Building on the Museum Campus.  Any staff member would be able to point you in the right direction, so don't be afraid to ask.  They're all really friendly.  (But to give you an idea, the Admin building is located across the garden courtyard from Phoenix Theatre.)  When you go through the front doors, you'll see a reception desk and if you look to the left you'll see a large set of double doors with a sign above, that's it.  I told you I'd lay it out for you.  But if you still get a little turned around, just ask the person sitting at the reception desk, they'll show you, and they're also really friendly.

Once in the library, you'll sign in, and make sure you indicate that you're there for the Vogue Archive, the more people that use it the more likely the subscription will be renewed.  You know what they say, use it or lose it.  From the front desk if you walk straight back you'll see a table with some computers.  The ones with the Vogue Archive have signs next to them.  Like this one:

Again, if you have any trouble, just ask the kind people at the front desk.  They're really friendly too...are you noticing a trend in how friendly and helpful everyone is?

Best part?  It's free and open to the public!

For more information on the Library, including hours see here.

What exactly IS the Vogue Archive?

I'm glad you asked.  The Vogue Archive is an incredible digital project that digitized and organized every issue of Vogue Magazine from it's first issue in 1892 to the current month's issue.  And that's not an exaggeration, it really is EVERY single issue.  Every page, every issue, every picture, article and advertisement, from 1892 to right now.  This is an incredible resource for designers, students, historians, and every lover of fashion.

For a small taste check out this video:

To learn more about the Vogue Archive, click here.

How to you use it?

A very important question indeed.  Once you get to the library, and are in front of the computer, what do you do?  Trust me, if you aren't going in with something specific you're looking up it can be very overwhelming.  I mean, more than 100 years of Vogue to browse through?  That's intense.  When I was playing around with it I definitely got intimidated until I thought to start looking up items that might help my thesis project that I'll be starting this semester.

First things first, when you sit down, go to the desk top screen, if it's not there already.  There will be an icon somewhere on the desktop labeled "Vogue archive".  Once you click that it will launch the archive.

So here's a couple ways you can search/use the archive.

1) Browse an individual issue.  You can look up any of the issues and then browse each page.  This is fun if you just want to see what Vogue was like in the past.  It's also fun to look up particular years and months and see how Vogue was reflecting events and societal issues.  This is also good if you're doing fashion research and simply want to see what the styles and trends were for a particular month or year.  I'll definitely be using it for costume research for the plays I design this season.

2) Search for a specific person or item.  You can search terms or people and the archive will pull up any instance in the archive where that term or person is mentioned.  You can do an advanced search to filter and refine your search further.  If you just want to look up every time your favorite designer or actor was featured, a general search is fine, but if you're doing more detailed research the advanced search is great.  Within the advanced search you can specify a date range, limit the search to advertisements, photo shoots, articles, etc, and search multiple terms/people to help find exactly what you want.  It's definitely worth it to play around with the search feature.

The most important thing is to have fun with it, it can get a bit addictive with so much material to look through and you'll probably find yourself wanting to come back again.  I certainly did.

Once you've overloaded your brain and can't stare at the screen any longer, step away from the computer and step into the Fashion Design Library.  It will be to the left hand side as you're facing back to the front doors of the main library.

Inside this room is every fashion design and history book you could ever want.  There are also some vintage Vogue magazines.  So if looking at the digitized scans made you want to hold the real thing, here's your chance!

Between the Vogue Archive and the Fashion Design Library, the Lemon Art Research Library has a multitude of research resources for every design student and professional.  And again, it's completely free and open to the public!  You can't beat that.  Please stop by for a visit and let us know what you think.


Film Screening at Film Bar and shopping at Mercantile

On July 18th ACI Nouveau gathered for a wonderful night of film, fashion, and fun.  The evening started at the Film Bar in downtown Phoenix to watch a screening of Blow-Up (1966), the story of a London photographer who knows too much.  After the film the party headed to Mercantile for some treats and great vintage shopping.

For everyone who came out, it was great to see you as always and thanks for coming.  For those who may have missed us this time, take a look below at pictures captured on the event.  And for more pics, check out Avant-Girl's coverage of the event here.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

A View To Die For!

As Promised if not a bit delayed, I wanted to share a little more on the fabulous fashion I encountered in Italy.

One of the amazing things about traveling in Italy if you ever get the chance to visit is the fashion! As the home to some of the world’s greatest designers, Italians take almost as much pride in their fashion as they do their food.

Simply getting myself to Italy nearly broke the bank enough at it is so shopping in all the fabulous designer stores was out of the question but that didn’t stop me from doing an amazing amount of window shopping and stopping in every H & M from Bologna to Rome!

Some fabulous gowns at the Florence H & M!

The most exciting fashion moment I had had to be in Venice. As a traveler on a budget hostels are the name of the game and often when hunting for one that doesn’t look too shady you’re at the mercy of internet reviews and ratings. I took a chance on one called Silk Road Hostel and I couldn’t have been luckier! The fact that it was clean and secure and I didn’t have to sleep on a bunk bed were more than enough for me, but the real kicker was the view from our window!
Located on the Giudecca Canal which is a bit of a hike from the train station and the popular sights of Venice like the Rialto and St. Marks, it was well worth the distance. Our window looked out on the beautiful water and across the way I spotted something only a true fashion nerd would find exciting…I could see the Fortuny Factory from my window!

A View to die for!

I got to sleep across from Fortuny and see their boutique amongst all the shops on the Rialto! I felt so lucky and of course took a ton of pictures to prove I was there!

The Fortuny boutique near The Rialto in Venice

Gucci, Chanel and Missoni, oh my!

Gucci Museum in Florence
Chanel boutique in Florence
Missoni boutique in Venice

I hope these pictures make you feel like you're in Italy doing some window shopping of your own!


Fantastic vintage jewelry in Rome

"European Man Satchels" at the world famous Florene Leather Market

Stunning coral jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio

Friday, July 6, 2012


Please join ACI Nouveau for a fabulous night of Fashion and Film!

We will be screening the movie Blow-Up, Wednesday July 18th at Filmbar.

Blow-Up is the fabulous story of a mod London photographer who knows too much!

Doors will open at 7:00 pm, film will start at 7:30 pm. General admission is only $7.00! Tell me where you're going to find a better deal than that!

Hope to see you all there!