By Kitty Weiss Krupat
A brief profile of the American fashion designer, Elizabeth Hawes, appeared in T: The New York Times Style Magazine on Sunday, June 15. The essay, by Alice Gregory, is titled The Most Brilliant Fashion Designer, and it starts this way:
Introducing Elizabeth Hawes: genius writer, wry cultural commentator, perverse humorist, gifted artist and truly modern thinker. You’ve never heard of her.
Well, I, for one, have heard of her. She is the subject of my unfinished dissertation, and I agree. She was all those things. More people should know about her, and not just because she was a pioneering fashion designer or a “premature” second-wave feminist. Elizabeth Hawes was a life-long socialist, an ardent anti-fascist, a labor advocate, and an intellectual who was always interested in issues of class. In her work, she combined aesthetic principles with political economy to produce a unique vision of fashion design.