At first, the gowns were illustrated with drawings, but as photography became more sophisticated in the early twentieth century, the fashion press used more and more photographs of new designs. At the same time, fashion and art were merging in the eyes of the artists, who dabbled in many of the arts. These artists not only painted, but also created textile designs and fashion illustrations. Some journals of the day printed both fashion illustrations and photographs, along with short articles on fashion by modern writers. Until the Second World War, even mainstream fashion journals like Vogue and Vanity Fair continued to publish fashion illustration by modern artists, encouraging the connections between fashion designers and visual artists.
The Tirocchis subscribed to both Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. No doubt many of their clients also subscribed to these magazines at home, but they were able in the shop to consult the magazines and could order a dress made from one of the sketches they saw illustrated. Vogue illustrated as many as 33 models from Paris in each issue, and about twice as many American dresses. Advertisements provided many more images.
Custom dressmaking declined for many reasons in the early twentieth century, but the increasing popularity of the fashion press, which championed couture and a worldwide fashion industry, was a major factor hastening its demise. Women saw what they liked in the pages of fashion magazines and were no longer satisfied with dresses that were not identified with the style of a particular fashion designer.