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SomethingElse's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Gender: femme
Posts: 5,517
Mary Brooks Picken - fashion expert and author
I am researching fashion books by women from 1890 to 1926 for a presentation on a pivotal period where women's bodies were freed of everyday fashionable restraints like bustles, hoops, petticoats, pantaloons, corsets, and length of dress, and I came across Mary Brooks Picken. Her academic and scholarly contributions in American fashion are exemplary, having published from 1915 or so until her death. Pretty amazing person, I think.

Mary Brooks Picken was an influential American author of numerous books on needlework, sewing, and textile arts. Born in Aug. 6 1886, she attended the Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. A fashion expert and author, Picken was an authority on dress, fabric, design, and sewing. She taught "Economics of Fashion" at Columbia University and was one of the five founding directors of the Costume Institute. She was the first woman to be named a trustee of the Fashion Institute of Technology.
She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Advisory Committee on Women's Clothing that selected Hattie Carnegie as the designer of the United States Army's women's uniform and provided advice and assistance on all elements of the women's uniform beginning in 1949.
Picken was a founder of the Fashion Group and served as its Chairman of the Board.
Among her ninety-six books on sewing and fashion, Picken is notable for being the first female author of a [fashion] dictonary in the English language (The Fashion Dictionary, 1957.)

One of her books:

She invented the "one hour dress"!

“Above all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it's an open mind” Gail Rubin Bereny
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