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'Modernist Madonnas': Dorothy Todd, Madge Garland and Virginia Woolf

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During the 1920s Vogue magazine in the UK was transformed from a society paper into a magazine of high modernism and the avant-garde. The editor was Dorothy Todd. Todd was assisted by her protégée and lover, the Australian-born Madge Garland. During this period Garland and Todd developed friendships with Virginia Woolf, other members of Bloomsbury, writers such as Rebecca West and artists such as Marie Laurencin. Madge Garland also developed friendships with artists, couturiers and intellectuals in both Paris and London. Dorothy Todd was sacked from Vogue in 1926 because of what was perceived by Conde Nast as its rather too bohemian direction. Todd's career never recovered from this blow. Garland, however, went on to become a leading fashion journalist, businesswoman and textile expert. In 1947 she was appointed to the Royal College of Art, London, as the first Professor of Fashion Design. In the last stage of her career Garland wrote a number of books about art, fashion history and gardening. This article considers the lives and achievements of Dorothy Todd and Marjorie Garland, and their involvement with Virginia Woolf as her fashion advisors, editors and acquaintances. The article also examines the way in which Vogue celebrated the work of non-Bloomsbury members and explores Marjorie Garland's major contribution to fashion journalism, history and teaching in the UK.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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