Paris: Manzi, Joyant & Cie, 1901—1919, 345 x 278mm, coloured covers and plates, 178 issues bound in sixteen volumes, uniform calf-backed boards, all have been slightly cropped when bound, bindings worn.
Details of individual volumes: Les Modes 1901:12 issues bound in one volume, 26 plates, Avril issue cover detached, various pages missing, various small tears on pages, black stain on plate. Les Modes 1902: 12 issues bound in one volume, 26 plates, one large tear on an issue cover .Les Modes 1903: 12 issues bound in one volume, 38 plates, various pages detached from spine, Janvier page one has large tear. Les Modes 1904:12 issues bound in one volume, 28 plates, a big tear in the middle of the book affecting other pages. Les Modes 1905:12 issues bound in one volume, 28 plates. Les Modes 1906: 12 issues bound in one volume, 29 plates. Les Modes 1907:12 issues bound in one volume, 30 plates. Les Modes 1908:12 issues bound in one volume, 26 plates, Avril page 23 cut out, small tear on bottom of page, chunk of Juin page 33 torn out, top right of Octobre cover torn. Les Modes 1909:12 issues bound in one volume, 26 plates, various pages stuck together resulting in tears. Les Modes 1910: 12 issues bound in one volume, 24 plates, markings on Mai page 21 with pieces of it lost as well. Les Modes 1911: 12 issues bound in one volume, 26 plates, 4 pages detached, small tears in corners of the first page, very worn spine. Les Modes 1912: 12 issues bound in one volume, 26 plates, Août page 33-34 torn out, Août page 29 torn in corner, Septembre page 13 torn at its bottom, Novembre page 25 torn at bottom right, Decembre pages 2 and 4 has blue marking across their mid-section, Decembre page 7 cut out. Les Modes 1913: 12 issues bound in one volume, 27 plates, a yellow stain around all the pages. Les Modes 1914-1916:11 issues in one volume, 20 plates, Avril page 29 has a black mark from the top right to the middle, Juillet cover is torn out, Mars page 39 on the bottom has a message written signed by Louise Grandjean, page 20-21 of 1916 has a camera script of a television interview with Cecil Beaton and on the back is a hand draw sketch of a dress. Les Modes 1917-1918: 12 issues bound in one volume, 10 plates. Les Modes 1919: 11 issues bound in one volume, 21 plates, many pages have yellow stains around their perimeter.
In the first decades of the twentieth century, French fashion magazines celebrated fashion designers as artists who created beautiful, elegant clothing that deserved the same kind of recognition and fame as other forms of art. At a time where fashionable clothes were impacted in many ways by social, cultural and technological developments that made it less rare. Fashion designers enjoyed the respect of artistic status and magazines enjoyed the prestige of featuring and promoting the work of these “artists”. Les Modes was one of the leading fashion magazines, between 1901 (the year it was founded) and 1920. Under the direction of Michel Manzi (1849-1915), an amateur artist and well known art collector, Les Modes praised fashion as an art in its long articles and full-page black-and-white and colour plates and photographic illustrations.
Provenance: Cecil Beaton, photographer and designer. Lady Abdy moved into 8 Pelham Place after it was sold and although she did not inherit the volumes with the house (they were part lot 15 in the sale of Beaton’s Library, Hodgson’s 9 October, 1980) it was fitting they should return and be a valuable reference tool for her as they had been for him. Beaton had extended the Drawing Room at the house with an elegantly curved bay overlooking the garden, and these volumes held pride of place on the shelves in this bay.
Included with the volumes is a page of camera script for a documentary in which Beaton refers to the volumes as inspiration for his designs for My Fair Lady and an original pencil sketch by Beaton (see front of catalogue).