Signature By Babs: Isabel “Babs” Willaumez Rawlings At American Vogue 1933-1955

Maurizio Francesco Marrero
Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice

About this Item

Title
Signature By Babs: Isabel “Babs” Willaumez Rawlings At American Vogue 1933-1955
Contributor Names
Marrero, Maurizio Francesco (Author)
Font, Lourdes (Thesis advisor)
Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice (Degree granting institution)
Date
2023
Degree Information
M.A. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2023
Department: Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
Advisors: Font, Lourdes
Committee members: Davidson, Hilary; Byrd, Sarah; Carlson, Brooke
Abstract
Despite the striking life and career of the English-born fashion editor, illustrator, and designer Isabel “Babs” Willaumez Rawlings (BWR) (1902 -1986), her contributions are still underrepresented in fashion history. Having started her career at French Vogue in 1933, she would change over to American Vogue in 1935 until her departure in 1946. BWR was at Vogue during the time when other prominent fashion editors were working, such as Edna Woolman Chase, Bettina Ballard at Vogue, and Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland at Harper’s Bazaar. As the wife of two men with successful fashion careers, the illustrator René Bouët-Willaumez and the photographer John Rawlings, her name often appears in connection with them. However, she was a talented woman in her own right; the primary sources that exist suggest she was an influential editor and deserves to be the focus of a fashion studies paper.

BWR’s ideas often appeared in American Vogue in stories which she illustrated herself. She contributed to many editorials where she communicated ideas put into practice in her own wardrobe. Her three “Signature–‘Babs’ ” articles from 1944 demonstrate her instinctive personal style. Through editorials such as “Suits” and “Painters’ Scarfs and How to Wear Them,” BWR’s process is revealed; she reworked the same concept over years until it was perfected. Her use of accessories is why the word consistent can be used to describe her personal style. Having all the qualifications of a tastemaker of the 1930s and 1940s, BWR also acted as a collaborator with the designers who custom-made some of her clothing. This is the first study of the life and career of an influential American fashion editor and thus contributes towards a more complete history of twentieth-century fashion.
Keywords: American Vogue; Fashion journalism; Fashion magazines; Isabel Willaumez Rawlings; Magazine editor; Twentieth century fashion
Subject
Fashion
United States--History
Journalism
Vogue
Fashion
Journalism
Periodicals
Willaumez Rawlings, Isabel
Periodical editors
20th century fashion
Rights
In Copyright
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Identifier
FIT Repository ID: etd_000939
ISBN: 9798379899462
pqdiss: 30494022
Related Materials
Also available from ProQuest
Type
Text
Thesis
Language
English
Publisher
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

Citation

Marrero, M. F. (2023). Signature By Babs: Isabel “Babs” Willaumez Rawlings At American Vogue 1933-1955 [Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York]. FIT Institutional Repository. https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/120802
Marrero, Maurizio Francesco. Signature By Babs: Isabel “Babs” Willaumez Rawlings At American Vogue 1933-1955. 2023. Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Master's thesis. FIT Digital Repository, https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/120802
Marrero, Maurizio Francesco. "Signature By Babs: Isabel “Babs” Willaumez Rawlings At American Vogue 1933-1955." Master's thesis, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2023. https://institutionalrepository.fitnyc.edu/item/120802