B. February 2, 1919
D. January 15, 1980
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Awards: Coty American Fashion Critics' Award, 1951 Bonwit Teller, 1951 Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, 1952 International Silk Association Award, 1955 Cotton Fashion Council Award, 1957 American Express Fashion Award, 1962
Fogarty attended Allegheny College and studied drama at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. She moved to New York in 1947 to pursue acting and became a fit model and fashion stylist. In 1948 she began designing for Youth Guild, a fashion company specializing in clothes for teenagers and then worked for Margot Dresses, Inc., from 1950 to 1957.
Her first designs featured her most acclaimed style, the paper-doll silhouette, which was a junior's version of the New Look. This silhouette featured a tight-fitting bodice with a cinched waist and an expansive crinoline petticoat under a full skirt. Tailored to the junior's market, these styles were inexpensive and created from casual fabrics with few trims. Her styles were often imitated by other junior's clothing makers.
In 1962 she established her own business and expanded into misses sizes and separates. Her design work during the 1960s emphasized a new style which combined an empire waistline with a scooped neckline, small puffed sleeves, and a long, narrow skirt. Some of her lines included A.F. Boutique, Clothes Circuit, and Collector's Items. In the 1970s she stopped designing.
In her 1959 book Wife-Dressing, Fogarty expressed her design philosophy. In her view, women should look feminine and constrained, thus a girdle was necessary at all times. As an advocate of femininity, she explained that women should dress for their husbands. Her sentiments echo the ideals of the 1950s, an era which called for women to shun the workplace and embrace the roles of wife and mother.
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