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Phyllis Dubsky Feldkamp papers


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 our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Bryn Mawr College
Feldkamp, Phyllis Dubsky , 1915-2011
Phyllis Dubsky Feldkamp papers
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
16 Linear feet
Phyllis Dubsky Feldcamp graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1937. Circulating primarily in the fashion world, she was an acclaimed writer and editor. The collection includes interviews and correspondence with figures in the fashion industry. Additionally, it contains over 300 photographs, ranging from high quality prints to candids and photographs of herself. Phyllis Dubsky Feldcamp is now retired and lives in Ardmore, PA.
Cite as:
Cite as Phyllis Dubsky Feldcamp papers, Bryn Mawr College Special Collections.
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A member of Bryn Mawr College’s 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 (Wanamakers and Altmans).

Scope and Contents

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), including 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.

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.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Bryn Mawr College,  2003

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Unknown Melissa Torquato

Revision Description

Reviewed for MARC record. 2014 July 21

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated to the college by Phoebe Ann Feldkamp, 1994.

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Publications.
Geographic Name(s)
  • Bryn Mawr (Pa.)
  • Journalism.
Personal Name(s)
  • Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973
  • Baldrige, Letitia , 1926-2012
  • Blass, Bill, 1922-2002
  • Connolly, Cyril, 1903-1974
  • Cuppy, Will, 1884-1949
  • Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965
  • Frowick, Roy Halston, 1932-1990
  • Klein, Calvin, 1942-
  • Lauder, Estee, 1906-2004
  • Lauren, Ralph, 1939-
  • McFadden, Mary, 1960
  • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
  • Perreti, Elsa, 1940-
  • Rubenstein, Helena, 1870-1965
  • Sims, Naomi, 1948-2009
  • Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973
  • Vreeland, Diana, 1903-1989
  • Authors
  • Fashion
  • Literature

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Photocopies of PDF articles "Carrie Nations of Fascism" (The Nation,) and article about Duncan Hines (Life)., 1941, 1946.

1 1

Reporting and research for Winesburg, Ohio/Sherwood Anderson story, 1946-1949.

1 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.

1 3

Correspondence between PDF and Cyril Connolly., 1947.

1 4

Copy of letter from Thomas Heggen to PDF, 1947.

1 5

Copies of letters written by T.S Eliot and WH Auden about a party given by Edith Sitwell, 1948.

1 6

Copies of reactions to High Brow, Middle Brow, Low Brow article appearing in Life Magazine., 1948.

1 7

Record Album - title reads "The Voice of Edith Sitwelll reading her own poems FAÇADE to the music of William Walton, Columbia Masterworks.", 1949.

1 8

Two issues of American Society of Magazine Photographers News, 1950-1951.

1 9

"How to read Fortune in bed" pamphlet, 1952.

1 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.

1 11-12

Correspondence between PDF and Christian Science Monitor for Devon Horse show article; typed copy of article; newspaper clipping of article, 1972.

1 13

Correspondence related to PDF's article in Horizon and copy of Horizon, 1972.

1 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.

1 15-17

Correspondence between PDF and Reader's Digest , different edited versions of biographical Maupassant sketch by PDF, 1988.

1 18

Copy of New Choices magazine with PDF's article on houseguesting and correspondence relating to that article, 1990.

1 19

Altman dept. store promotional materials, 1980's.

2 1

Beauty pamphlets and history, 1983.

2 2

Bellevue dept. store promotional materials, 1980's.

2 3

Biba dept. store promotional materials, 1970's.

2 4-5

Blue Jean history, 1973.

2 6

Brooklyn Museum Men's Show and history of male fashion exhihit, 1975.

2 7

Christie's Sales brochure and information, 1979.

2 8

Cincinatti Museum fashion print exhibit, 1977.

2 9

Cooper-Hewitt Faberge exhibit, 1984.

2 10

Cosmetic industry, 1960's.

2 11

Cost of fashion, 1974.

2 12

FIT exhibits, 1987.

2 13

Future of Fashion articles, 1973.

2 14

Invitations to New York, London, Paris fashion showings, late 1970s.

2 15-16

Japan Society, 1977.

2 17

Met exhibit -10's,20's,30's, 1973.

2 18

Met exhibit - American Ingenuity, 1990's.

2 19

Met exhibit - Belle Epoque, 1983.

2 20

Met exhibit - Fashion and the Horse, 1985.

2 21

Met exhibit - Hollywood Costumes, 1974-1975.

2 22

Met exhibit - India fashion, 1985.

2 23

Met exhibits - misc., mostly 1990's.

2 24-27

Met exhibit - New Costume Institute, 1992.

2 28

Met exhibit - Norell, 1972-1973.

2 29

Met exhibit - Russian Fashion, 1976.

2 30

Met exhibit - Vanity Fair, 1977.

2 31

Met exhibit - Vreeland, 1993 (exhibit), clippings and articles from 1970's.

2 32

Met exhibit - Women of Style, 1976.

2 33

Misc. museum/fashion info, 1970's.

2 34-36

Perfume bottles, 1982.

2 37

Philadelphia Fashion Group, 1976.

2 38

PMA Costume survey and correspondence, 1982.

2 39

PMA 250 years of style exhibit, 1997.

2 40

Rhode Island School of Design catalog, 1986.

2 41

Rizzoli exhibit, 1975.

2 42

Smithsonian exhibit - Suiting Everyone, 1975.

2 43


2 44

Walter's Gallery exhibits, 1975.

2 45

Wannamakers promotional material, 1984.

2 46

Worth Museum exhibits, 1982.

2 47

Zippers, 1976.

2 48

Letters from famous designers/fashion figures, 1960-1990.

3 1-4

Information on Balenciaga, 1970's.

3 5

Information on Bill Blass, 1970's.

3 6

Information on Brooks Brothers, 1970's.

3 7

Information on Chanel and "Coco" the musical, 1965-1985.

3 8-10

Information on Dior, 1970-1972.

3 11

Information on Fortuny, 1970-1980.

3 12

Information on Galanos, 1970-1975.

3 13

Information on Gernreich, 1977-1978.

3 14

Information on Gucci, 1970's.

3 15

Information on Halston, 1972-1973.

3 16

Information on Hawes, 1970's.

3 17

Information on James, 1970's.

3 18

Information on Betsey Johnson, 1970's.

3 19

Information on Calvin Klein, 1973.

3 20

Information on Ralph Lauren.

3 21

Information on Paul Poiret, 1970's.

2 21

Information on Willi Smith, 1970's.

2 23

American Business of Fashion research and correspondence, 1974.

4 1

Art Deco research and correspondence, 1966.

4 2

Big Business of Fashion research and correspondence, 1975.

4 3

Blass, Bill accepts an award from Drexel research and correspondence, 1988.

4 4

Book review (in manilla envelope), 1972.

4 5

Chinese Workman Suit research and correspondence, 1971.

4 6

Christian Science Monitor Correspondence, 1968-1973.

4 7-8

Designer Labels research and correspondence, 1970.

4 9

East Village research and correspondence, 1986.

4 10

Fashion Illustrators research and correspondence, 1975.

4 11

Fashion Knock-offs research and correspondence, 1975.

4 12

Fashion Photographers research and correspondence, 1977-1978.


FIT correspondence, 1985.

4 14

Freebie research and correspondence, 1970's.

4 15

Liberty + Co, 1966-1971.

4 16

McMillian-Colliers correspondence, 1987-1989.

4 17

Misc. Letters - includes copy of letter from Richard Nixon, 1970's.

4 18

A Model's Life - research and correspondence, 1970's.

4 19

New Fashion research and correspondence, 1970's.

4 20

Nipon, Albert research and correspondence, 1979.

4 21

Paris ready to wear research and correspondence, 1974-1975.

4 22

Paris round-up, 1970's.

4 23

Personal publicity, biographical information, speeches etc pertaining to Phyllis Dubsky Feldkamp, 1970's.

4 24-26

St. Laurent research and correspondence, 1970's.

4 27

Surrealism research and correspondence, 1987.

4 28

Versailles, American vs. European fashion show at, research and correspondence, 1973.

4 29

Virginia Commonwealth University agreement to speak, 1984.

4 30

Women's News Service correspondence, 1972.

4 31

Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1961-1967.


Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1968-1970.


Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1970-1975.


Tearsheets of Philadelphia Bulletin articles authored by PDF, 1976-1980.


Assorted tearsheets from Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, New York Times Magazine (whole magazine), Palm Beach Post., 1970-1987.


Photos of PDF, mostly 1960's-1970's.



1 (brown)


Old/Vintage fashion photographs(some in very poor condition), 1920-1940.

10 2-3

3 boxes of film negatives labelled "Paris Couture 1968/69", 1968-1969.

10 labelled box #1, #2, #2.

Oversize/large photos and fashion shots; also included is an oversize Christian Dior cookbok, mostly 1960's-1970's.

10 4

Candid photographs. Many of famous people in the fashion/entertainment industy; most photos also unlabeled., mostly 1960's-1970's.


Photographs of people in the entertainment/fashion industries. Some posed, some candids. Most photos unlabeled., mostly 1960's-1970's.


Still fashion photographs, most from designer collections. Most with typed labels on back., mostly 1970's-1980's.


Still fashion/accessory photographs. Some from designer collections, some from museum exhibits. Most with typed labels on back., mostly 1970's-1980's.


Photographs of people in the entertainment/fashion industry. Most photos with handwritten labels., mostly 1960's-1970's.