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Phyllis Dubsky Feldkamp papers


Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Phyllis Dubsky Feldkamp (1915-2011) was born in Chicago and attended Bryn Mawr College as part of the class of 1937. Mrs. Feldkamp studied fashion design for several years. She then spent a number of years working as a writer and journalist in other fields, eventually returning to writing about the world of fashion with great success.

Her career began with a job at the Philadelphia Record in 1942, starting first as a reporter and later moving on to an editorial assistant, writer, movie reviewer and interviewer for feature stories. After two years she went to LIFE magazine where she would continue to work until 1951, serving as a researcher/reporter, special projects reporter, and, eventually, editor of the "Letters to the Editor" section.

Between 1950 and 1951, she assisted her husband Fred Feldkamp in editing two posthumous books by the American humorist Will Cuppy. While living in Brittany, France in 1957, she became a stringer for the Paris office of LIFE magazine, served as picture editor of the UNESCO Courier, and in 1961 became the Paris correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, focusing primarily on fashion but also working on interviews and news stories.

She then became the Fashion and Style Editor of the Philadelphia Bulletin in 1968, a position she would hold until 1982. During this time , she also worked as a fashion correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor covering New York and European fashion openings. In addition, she also wrote freelance articles concerning fashion for a number of publications, notably Horizon and the New York Times Magazine. With her husband she published a book, The Good Life… or What's Left of It in 1972.

In the 1980's, she served as a special consultant to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, lectured to students of fashion and design, and contributed stories to several national newspapers and magazines. Between 1986 and 1992 she wrote promotional and publicity material for several department stores, including Wanamakers and Altmans). She died in 2011.

The collection also includes papers of her daughter, Phoebe Feldkamp, a member of the Bryn Mawr class of 1973.

Because of Mrs. Feldkamp's position as a close observer and chronicler of the world of fashion, her working papers serve as an important historical resource for the study of that world. The bulk of the collection reflects Mrs. Feldkamp's interest and involvement with the fashion industry between 1968 and 1982, the years she worked as the Fashion and Style Editor for the Philadelphia Bulletin. Included in these papers are records from her attendance at fashion shows, interviews and correspondence with many leaders in the fashion industry, and reports and articles published in journals and newspapers. Her correspondents include such fashion figures as Bill Blass, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Halston, Bonnie Cashin, Elsa Perretti, Naomi Sims, Mary McFadden, Adri, Estee Lauder, Helena Rubenstein, and Letitia Baldridge. Additionally, some of Feldkamp's writings and correspondence on topics other than fashion, most occuring during the very early years of her career, are also included in the first box of this collection.

The collection also includes a small amount of personal papers, including her diary from a trip to Japan in October 1949; correspondence with her husband and daughter, Phoebe Feldkamp; two family photographs from the 1950s and early 1960s; and Phoebe Feldkamp's eloquent stories and vignettes describing growing up in France, young adulthood in the United States, and the effect of a motorcycle accident on her life.

Of special note is the inclusion of more than 300 photographs, many of professional quality. The photographs, comprising six total boxes, range from still fashion prints to candids of figures in the fashion and entertainment worlds. Also included is a folder of photographs of Feldkamp herself.

The last five boxes in the collection are composed of a complete run of Feldkamp's writings on fashion.

Donated to the college by Phoebe Feldkamp, 1994. Additional material donated by Phoebe Feldkamp in 2016 and 2017.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Unknown Melissa Torquato
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Phyllis Feldkamp papers are the physical property of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors' legal heirs and assigns.

Collection Inventory

Photocopies of PDF articles "Carrie Nations of Fascism" (The Nation,) and article about Duncan Hines (Life). , 1941, 1946.
Box 1 Folder 1
Reporting and research for Winesburg, Ohio/Sherwood Anderson story, 1946-1949.
Box 1 Folder 2
Interview notes of Sheilah Graham, late mistress to F.Scott Fitzgerald, article proof about Fitzgerald's "Hollywood period" from the late 1930's until his death, other Fitzgerald research and correspondence, 1946-1949.
Box 1 Folder 3
Correspondence between PDF and Cyril Connolly., 1947.
Box 1 Folder 4
Copy of letter from Thomas Heggen to PDF , 1947.
Box 1 Folder 5
Copies of letters written by T.S Eliot and WH Auden about a party given by Edith Sitwell, 1948.
Box 1 Folder 6
Copies of reactions to High Brow, Middle Brow, Low Brow article appearing in Life Magazine. , 1948.
Box 1 Folder 7
Record Album - title reads "The Voice of Edith Sitwelll reading her own poems FAÇADE to the music of William Walton, Columbia Masterworks.", 1949.
Box 1 Folder 8
Two issues of American Society of Magazine Photographers News, 1950-1951.
Box 1 Folder 9
"How to read Fortune in bed" pamphlet , 1952.
Box 1 Folder 10
Copy of National Wildlife magazine with article by PDF on pollution and consumerism, correspondence between NW editors and PDF on this and other articles, follow up correspondence and reaction to articles., 1971-1972.
Box 1 Folder 11-12
Correspondence between PDF and Christian Science Monitor for Devon Horse show article; typed copy of article; newspaper clipping of article, 1972.
Box 1 Folder 13
Correspondence related to PDF's article in Horizon and copy of Horizon , 1972.
Box 1 Folder 14
Correspondence between PDF and Philadelphia Bulletin editors on coverage of wedding of Princess Caroline and Phillipe Junot, copies of hotel and trip information in Monaco, article clippings and other assorted information concerning wedding. , 1978.
Box 1 Folder 15-17
Correspondence between PDF and Reader's Digest , different edited versions of biographical Maupassant sketch by PDF , 1988.
Box 1 Folder 18
Copy of New Choices magazine with PDF's article on houseguesting and correspondence relating to that article, 1990.
Box 1 Folder 19
Altman dept. store promotional materials , 1980's.
Box 2 Folder 1
Beauty pamphlets and history, 1983.
Box 2 Folder 2
Bellevue dept. store promotional materials , 1980's.
Box 2 Folder 3
Biba dept. store promotional materials, 1970's.
Box 2 Folder 4-5
Blue Jean history, 1973.
Box 2 Folder 6
Brooklyn Museum Men's Show and history of male fashion exhihit , 1975.
Box 2 Folder 7
Christie's Sales brochure and information , 1979.
Box 2 Folder 8
Cincinatti Museum fashion print exhibit, 1977.
Box 2 Folder 9
Cooper-Hewitt Faberge exhibit, 1984.
Box 2 Folder 10
Cosmetic industry, 1960's.
Box 2 Folder 11
Cost of fashion, 1974.
Box 2 Folder 12
FIT exhibits, 1987.
Box 2 Folder 13
Future of Fashion articles, 1973.
Box 2 Folder 14
Invitations to New York, London, Paris fashion showings, late 1970s.
Box 2 Folder 15-16
Japan Society, 1977.
Box 2 Folder 17
Met exhibit -10's,20's,30's, 1973.
Box 2 Folder 18
Met exhibit - American Ingenuity, 1990's.
Box 2 Folder 19
Met exhibit - Belle Epoque, 1983.
Box 2 Folder 20
Met exhibit - Fashion and the Horse, 1985.
Box 2 Folder 21
Met exhibit - Hollywood Costumes, 1974-1975.
Box 2 Folder 22
Met exhibit - India fashion, 1985.
Box 2 Folder 23
Met exhibits - misc. , mostly 1990's.
Box 2 Folder 24-27
Met exhibit - New Costume Institute, 1992.
Box 2 Folder 28
Met exhibit - Norell, 1972-1973.
Box 2 Folder 29
Met exhibit - Russian Fashion, 1976.
Box 2 Folder 30
Met exhibit - Vanity Fair, 1977.
Box 2 Folder 31
Met exhibit - Vreeland, 1993 (exhibit), clippings and articles from 1970's.
Box 2 Folder 32
Met exhibit - Women of Style, 1976.
Box 2 Folder 33
Misc. museum/fashion info, 1970's.
Box 2 Folder 34-36
Perfume bottles, 1982.
Box 2 Folder 37
Philadelphia Fashion Group, 1976.
Box 2 Folder 38
PMA Costume survey and correspondence, 1982.
Box 2 Folder 39
PMA 250 years of style exhibit, 1997.
Box 2 Folder 40
Rhode Island School of Design catalog, 1986.
Box 2 Folder 41
Rizzoli exhibit, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 42
Smithsonian exhibit - Suiting Everyone, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 43
Box 2 Folder 44
Walter's Gallery exhibits, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 45
Wannamakers promotional material, 1984.
Box 2 Folder 46
Worth Museum exhibits, 1982.
Box 2 Folder 47
Zippers, 1976.
Box 2 Folder 48
Letters from famous designers/fashion figures, 1960-1990.
Box 3 Folder 1-4
Information on Balenciaga, 1970's.
Box 3 Folder 5
Information on Bill Blass, 1970's.
Box 3 Folder 6
Information on Brooks Brothers, 1970's.
Box 3 Folder 7
Information on Chanel and "Coco" the musical, 1965-1985.
Box 3 Folder 8-10
Information on Dior, 1970-1972.
Box 3 Folder 11
Information on Fortuny, 1970-1980.
Box 3 Folder 12
Information on Galanos, 1970-1975.
Box 3 Folder 13
Information on Gernreich, 1977-1978.
Box 3 Folder 14
Information on Gucci, 1970's.
Box 3 Folder 15
Information on Halston, 1972-1973.
Box 3 Folder 16
Information on Hawes, 1970's.
Box 3 Folder 17
Information on James , 1970's.
Box 3 Folder 18
Information on Betsey Johnson, 1970's.
Box 3 Folder 19
Information on Calvin Klein, 1973.
Box 3 Folder 20
Information on Ralph Lauren.
Box 3 Folder 21
Information on Paul Poiret , 1970's.
Box 2 Folder 21
Information on Willi Smith, 1970's.
Box 2 Folder 23
American Business of Fashion research and correspondence, 1974.
Box 4 Folder 1
Art Deco research and correspondence, 1966.
Box 4 Folder 2
Big Business of Fashion research and correspondence, 1975.
Box 4 Folder 3
Blass, Bill accepts an award from Drexel research and correspondence, 1988.
Box 4 Folder 4
Book review (in manilla envelope), 1972.
Box 4 Folder 5
Chinese Workman Suit research and correspondence, 1971.
Box 4 Folder 6
Christian Science Monitor Correspondence, 1968-1973.
Box 4 Folder 7-8
Designer Labels research and correspondence, 1970.
Box 4 Folder 9
East Village research and correspondence, 1986.
Box 4 Folder 10
Fashion Illustrators research and correspondence, 1975.
Box 4 Folder 11
Fashion Knock-offs research and correspondence, 1975.
Box 4 Folder 12
Fashion Photographers research and correspondence, 1977-1978.
Box 4 Folder 13
FIT correspondence, 1985.
Box 4 Folder 14
Freebie research and correspondence, 1970's.
Box 4 Folder 15
Liberty + Co, 1966-1971.
Box 4 Folder 16
McMillian-Colliers correspondence, 1987-1989.
Box 4 Folder 17
Misc. Letters - includes copy of letter from Richard Nixon, 1970's.
Box 4 Folder 18
A Model's Life - research and correspondence, 1970's.
Box 4 Folder 19
New Fashion research and correspondence, 1970's.
Box 4 Folder 20
Nipon, Albert research and correspondence, 1979.
Box 4 Folder 21
Paris ready to wear research and correspondence, 1974-1975.
Box 4 Folder 22
Paris round-up, 1970's.
Box 4 Folder 23
Personal publicity, biographical information, speeches etc pertaining to Phyllis Dubsky Feldkamp, 1970's.
Box 4 Folder 24-26
St. Laurent research and correspondence, 1970's.
Box 4 Folder 27
Surrealism research and correspondence, 1987.
Box 4 Folder 28
Versailles, American vs. European fashion show at, research and correspondence, 1973.
Box 4 Folder 29
Virginia Commonwealth University agreement to speak, 1984.
Box 4 Folder 30
Women's News Service correspondence, 1972.
Box 4 Folder 31
Phyllis Feldkamp Diary written in Tokyo, October 1949.
Box 4 Folder 32
Family correspondence with daughter Phoebe, 1970-71, and two photographs of the Feldkamp family in France in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Box 4 Folder 33
Stories and vignettes by Phoebe Feldkamp, 2012-2017. 33 pieces. .
Box 4 Folder 34
Manuscript calendar in French, with drawings, by Phoebe Feldkamp, 1988.
Box 4 Folder 35
Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1961-1967.
Box 5
Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1968-1970.
Box 6
Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1970-1975.
Box 7
Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1976-1980.
Box 8
Assorted tearsheets from Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, New York Times Magazine (whole magazine), Palm Beach Post., 1970-1987.
Box 9
Photos of PDF, mostly 1960's-1970's.
Box 10 Folder 1 (brown) Box 10 Folder 1(brown)
Old/Vintage fashion photographs(some in very poor condition) , 1920-1940.
Box 10 Folder 2-3
3 boxes of film negatives labelled "Paris Couture 1968/69", 1968-1969.
Box 10 Box labelled box #1, #2, #2.
Oversize/large photos and fashion shots; also included is an oversize Christian Dior cookbok, mostly 1960's-1970's.
Box 10 Folder 4
Candid photographs. Many of famous people in the fashion/entertainment industy; most photos also unlabeled., mostly 1960's-1970's.
Box 11
Photographs of people in the entertainment/fashion industries. Some posed, some candids. Most photos unlabeled., mostly 1960's-1970's.
Box 12
Still fashion photographs, most from designer collections. Most with typed labels on back., mostly 1970's-1980's.
Box 13
Still fashion/accessory photographs. Some from designer collections, some from museum exhibits. Most with typed labels on back., mostly 1970's-1980's.
Box 14
Photographs of people in the entertainment/fashion industry. Most photos with handwritten labels. , mostly 1960's-1970's.
Box 15

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