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Evening coat: Baroque black velvet, deeply curved from shoulder to hem like a double bell, richly encrusted with embroidery, and bordered with Russian sable: the epitome of luxe. By Sarmi, in Forster-Willi velvet. The froth-of-veiling headdress by Emme.


With the current trend for fashion models keeping fit by boxing—the run up to the Victoria's Secret fashion show every year seems to launch of flurry of images on social media of Angels sparring—it is perhaps unsurprising that as early as 1959 a boxing gym was used as the background for an editorial shoot. This 1959 Harper's Bazaar editorial was photographed at the legendary Stillman's Gym in New York City, where some of the most famous boxers of all-time trained including Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey. Contrasting the elegantly clad swans with the sweaty, dirty fighters, these images almost appear like stills from a film I wish I could watch—who are these women and why are they there? Glamorous wives of elite promoters, or rags-to-riches mistresses of the boxing stars from the wrong side of the tracks? Fur coats, wasp-waisted jackets and satin dresses are the starting points of a wardrobe that leap off of the page and into the imagination.

Editorial by Derujinsky for Harper's Bazaar, October 1959.


Evening costume: Black broadtail and black ermine, an intense interplay of inky lusters. The pullover and skirt, exquisitely simple, exploit the splendor of the fur: black-dyed Russian broadtail. The glistening broadtail coat is lined in black-dyed ermine. From Maximilian. Lilly Dache hat. Nettie Rosenstein earrings.


Emerging with high excitement from the American collections, the gently lowered, gently fastened belt, emphasizing the new lean line. Here, criss-crossed on a tunic of brown tweed—nearly nothing but shape and nothing but marvelous. By Galanos, in Lesur wool.


Coat dress of black wool, bone-buttoned and offering some of the same, very current fashion caviar: a big, low-slung belt over basket-sized patch pockets. By Traina-Norrell.


Bas-relief white evening dress, sculptured of a gleaming, plushy fabric most pleasing to the eye and hand, and flounced with a great gathering of little bows. N.b., the new length—showing off the ankle and a pair of pretty slippers. By Tarquin, in nylon and rayon matelassé by Labbey.


White satin evening shape, buttoned twice with petaled brilliants. N. b., the arc of hem, soaring so high that it nearly exposes the knee. By Trigère, in Staron silk. Marvella earrings. Grandoe gloves. De Lisso Debs shoes.

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