Franco-American Colors

Paris Haut Couture Meets the New York Rag Trade
By Regina Lee Blaszczyk

This paper explores the relationship between the US mass market and Parisian haut couture in the interwar years. Specifically, it focuses on connections between the Textile Color Card Association of America (TCCA) and Paris, the world's fashion capital. Following professional networks and information flows, it examines exactly how French tastemakers influenced the American mass market. Previously entirely dependent on Parisian palettes, New York's fashion industrial complex became more self-sufficient during World War I, creating mechanisms to generate color forecasts for the American mass market. Issued by the TCCA, the Standard Color Card of America meshed the US imperatives for standardization, simplification, and the democratization of fashion with the cultural cachet long associated with Paris.

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