Part Nouveau Blog Recreates Fashion’s Past

When history repeats itself, it’s not always a bad thing. Lilah Ramzi, a fashion history graduate student recently started a blog that pairs modern-day images of fashion and design next to their undoubted inspirations from the past.

Called Part Nouveau, Ramzi said that she created the blog after coming to the realization that “much of the creative material produced and designed today has its roots in a previous incarnation or is essentially part nouveau.”

The blog looks at everything from fashion photography to artistic trends that seem to be related to a past work.

Scroll below for some amazing examples of Ramzi’s artistic comparisons:


Left: Charles James Gowns by Cecil Beaton, Vogue June 1, 1948  Right: Asia Major by Steven Meisel, Vogue December 2010

According to the blog:

In 1948, Cecil Beaton’s well-known photograph of Charles James dresses was featured in Vogue’s June 1 issue to celebrate the designer’s artful use of color.  James was known for designing dresses with sculptural forms that referenced rigid 19th-century understructures.

To celebrate the rise of Asian models on the runway, Steven Meisel recreated Beaton’s 1948 image in Vogue’s December 2010 issue, photographing a crop of Asian models that included Du Juan, Tao Okamoto, Hyun Yi Lee, Hyoni Kang, Liu Wen, Bonnie Chen, So Young Kang, and Lily Zhi all dressed in Oscar de la Renta whilst sporting punk-style mohawks.


Left: La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1814  Right: Julianne Moore, after La Grande Odalisque by Michael Thompson, Vanity Fair, April 2000

Neoclassical painter Ingres favored painting the exotic nude in his 1813 painting, La Grande Odalisque, instead of the traditional mythological nude. Although anatomically disproportionate, Ingres’ figure disregarded reality in favor of a long, sinuous curve created by the female figure whose naked body is evenly bathed in light.

Reportedly inspired by the porcelain-like skin of Julianne Moore, photographer Michael Thompson recreated the nineteenth-century nude with Moore as the harem girl for Vanity Fair’s April 2000 issue.


Left: Lisa Fonssagrives by Irving Penn, Vogue November 1, 1949  Right: Hannelore Knuts by Tim Walker, Vogue Italia December 2005

For the November 1, 1949 issue of VogueIrving Penn photographed wife and model Lisa Fonssagrives, who represented the graceful, mature female fashionable archetype of the period.

For Vogue Italia’s December 2005 issue featuring model Hannelore Knuts, photographer Tim Walker recreated Penn’s well-known cover for the editorial “Timeless.” In his version, a miniature Knuts dressed in a McQueen dress and Moschino cape is seen stepping into the 1949 Vogue cover, quite literally representing a cover girl.

Check out more fashion inspirations across the decades at

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