In Praise of ‘Of Another Fashion’

The internet is awash in scans of sepia-toned photographs and daguerreotypes showcasing regular folks in the clothing they wore from the Civil War era through the 1950s. For those who love vintage, we study and swoon over their clothes and maybe wonder who they are.  I’ve done so on my other blog, mostly with family (go here and here for those) but also with those 1920s Australian mug shots and those rare color photos from the Great Depression.Through all this reminiscing about fashion that I’m at least two generations too young to have appreciated first-hand, I felt like something was missing, and there was a slightly ahistoric air about things.  Having stumbled upon Of Another Fashion today, I feel like a gap has been filled. 
Of Another Fashion is a photo archive that showcases fashion from roughly the Edwardian era up to the early 1970s.  Their focus is the stories women of color and the clothes they lived their lives in. Of Another Fashion describes themselves as ‘a crowd-sourced project that depends on the public to help co-create the archive on women of color’s fashion history.’  I think that body diversity and the presentation of sexuality and femininity is well-rounded as well.For me, some of the most striking photos are those of Japanese American ladies.  Many of their photos were taken at internment camps.  Quite a difference from the photos of my family in the 1940s, or that sailor and nurse kissing on the cover of Life.  There is so much more out there to learn than what we think we already know.Head on over to Of Another Fashion. I’m so glad a place like it exists.


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