Harper’s Bazaar – Premier magazine de mode – Musée des Arts Décoratifs


By creating Harper’s Bazar magazine in New York in November 1867, the Harper brothers wanted to bring a wide range of content, putting the models of fashion designers in perspective with other creative fields of their time: literature, painting and photography.

The illustration of fashion silhouettes on paper had been around for a long time: from the origins of printing, through the first gazettes and then the fashion prints that were widely represented in the 19th century in publications such as the Journal des Demoiselles.

With the beginnings of Harper’s Bazaar, the way was opened for a new form of publication. Subtitled “A Repository of Fashion, Pleasure and Instruction”, the magazine is intended for a modern and independent woman. Mary Louise Booth, the first editor-in-chief of the weekly, is an example of this: Francophile and Germanophile, this historian and journalist is a suffragist, abolitionist and committed to the Union during the Civil War. She thus determined the guideline with which the newspaper was created.

The two editors-in-chief who succeeded her kept this commitment to the union of the arts; literature and the graphic arts continue to have a prominent place in the magazine. The covers are the support of illustrators strongly inspired by the symbolism present in the arts of the time. Subsequently, the magazine evolves with the times: it adopts the surrealist aesthetics of the 1930s, reveals the New Look of the 1950s and participates in the development of photography. Richard Avedon, Man Ray or Peter Lindberg contributed to create an aesthetic of the editorial of the fashion magazine.

By linking the chronological evolution of the newspaper with clothing models, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs offers a parallel between image and clothing, or how the fashion magazine also creates a story that meets that of the creators of the collections.


Until January 3, 2021