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Young Originals : Emily Wilkens and the teen sophisticate

Author: Rebecca Jumper Matheson
Publisher: Lubbock, Texas : Texas Tech University Press, [2015]
Series: Costume Society of America series.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In the early 1940s, American designer Emily Wilkens went beyond her previous experience in children's wear to create costumes for two teenage characters in a Broadway play. Recognizing the growing importance of the teenager in American culture, she soon launched Emily Wilkens Young Originals, the first designer label specializing in upscale, fashionable clothing for teenage girls. Within the space of a few years,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
History
Biography
Named Person: Emily Wilkens; Emily Wilkens
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Rebecca Jumper Matheson
ISBN: 9780896729247 0896729249
OCLC Number: 889997158
Description: xx, 179 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm.
Contents: Emily Wilkens : The Early Years --
Junior Miss and the Rise of the Teenager --
Miss Emily Wilkens, Entrepreneur --
Habits of Beauty --
Designing Emily Wilkens Young Originals --
Modern and Historicizing : Reassuring the Public --
Fashion Agency : Marketing to Teens --
Postwar --
A New You.
Series Title: Costume Society of America series.
Responsibility: Rebecca Jumper Matheson.

Abstract:

"In the early 1940s, American designer Emily Wilkens went beyond her previous experience in children's wear to create costumes for two teenage characters in a Broadway play. Recognizing the growing importance of the teenager in American culture, she soon launched Emily Wilkens Young Originals, the first designer label specializing in upscale, fashionable clothing for teenage girls. Within the space of a few years, Wilkens skyrocketed from obscurity to national recognition, yet even today many fashion insiders would not recognize her name. Fashion historian Rebecca Jumper Matheson explores intertwining stories of female agency through the history of Wilkens and her teenage clientele. Wilkens retained both artistic and business control over her label in an era when most American ready-to-wear designers were anonymous employees of manufacturers. Wilkens parleyed her relative youth into a big-sister image which, like her dresses themselves, allowed her to mediate between the concerns of her teenage clients and their parents. Contrary to popular wisdom, Wilkens's designs declared that even a teenager could be fashionable. In doing so, Wilkens laid the foundation for the seismic shift that would occur later in the twentieth century, when youth became the fashionable ideal. Young Originals traces Wilkens's career from fashion illustrator in the 1930s to spa and beauty expert in the 1980s, emphasizing her consistent ideal of healthy, youthful beauty"--

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"Young Originals" is a model of fashion history research, combining cultural, historical, psychological, and economic overviews in an engaging and readable way. Matheson connects Emily Wilkens to key Read more...

 
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