Popover dresses also permit the woman to be the axis. Perhaps most importantly, she helped create an “American Look” that was distinct from traditional Parisian fashion. Then I found this advertisement, from a 1942 newspaper: “Winter lovelies by Claire McCardell… Wonderful fashions, for all day, all winter! It’s weird. For the following collection she experimented with shapes and materials in a more avant-garde style, but these were too advanced for the mainstream market, which was not yet ready for her revolution of casual clothing and sportswear. I also own (my prized posession) an original Claire McCardell for Townley dress…red cotton plaid, long gathered skirt, fitted bodice with brass hooks. Arguably McCardell’s most iconic fashion was the monastic dress of 1938. Other than that, Claire McCardell was a pretty creative designer. Maybe a personal commission or even a personal dress? I was also a little confused by the drop waist. The wrinkle in that theory is the advertisement my friend found (the one I can’t post a picture of) that was for a Syracuse department store–an illustration of the label is very prominent across the top of the page. Time will later report, “Until then, American women had little choice of styles between a cotton house dress and an afternoon dress. That was my initial suspicion. Building a vintage closet, Step 1: Who are you? Sadly, McCardell succumbed to cancer on March 22, 1958, at age 52. The dress I was making had a very similar cut, so I had an “aha” moment about how the futuristic dress was constructed. Then, in 1938 McCardell launched her famous 'Monastic Dress', a shapeless bias-cut dress that was worn with a belt to cinch the waist. During this time, McCardell was working at Hattie Carnegie where she was not getting credit for her designs. I love a good mystery. The dress on the left is my dress design, though this one is a different fabric – mine is a wool rayon blend, that appears like a jersey from the outside but a rayon underneath. 1950s Claire McCardell Style Black Wrap Top Dress with Full Skirt and Side Button Detail monicajveronica1. Diana Vreeland reportedly became a fan of Claire’s after receiving a dress of hers from Hattie Carnegie. Building a vintage closet, step 4: Can we please go shopping now? It also explained why the skirt was gathered only in front, and not all the way around. Anyway, the hooks on my dress are large and inelegant, in black. I haven’t found any other information or advertising for that store yet. No Accounting For Taste is a personal blog of Jessica Parker. Where did this label come from? Though McCardell was riding high with her Monastic design, the relationship between herself and the executives at Townley did not get any easier. The Claire McCardell Project is the creation of a larger-than-life bronze sculpture that will pay homage to the designer in her hometown. Much of her clothing was truly ready to wear, contingent on the wearer and adaptable in size. Accession Number: C.I.65.10. Townley closed for reorganization, partly due to the overwhelming success of McCardell’s monastic dress and its flurry of copies, from 1938 to 1940. Did she do work on her own, dresses that Townley wouldn’t produce? McCardell left Townley Frocks for a brief time and went to Hattie Carnegie (1938-1940), where she worked alongside Norman Norell. This rare early 50s Claire McCardell pattern, released by Spadea, was drafted from a retail McCardell dress, like this: McCardell Popover in the Metropolitan Museum Collection. Credit Line: Gift of Miss Kay Hafner, 1965. First published in 1956, What Shall I Wear? First, there were no pockets in this dress. Its success led to its inclusion in the Townley line. The dress was very successful and was incorporated in different variations into every collection from then on.During her short career McCardell collaborated with many retailers and manufacturers and received several awards and accolades for her innovative fashion. Constance C R White column examines exhibition of designs by Claire McCardell at Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology; photo (M) ... Another style, the monastic or monk's dress… It was simple, comfortable and functional- a style that became McCardell's signature. The Future Dress made from triangular pieces of fabric. McCardell's contributions to the fashion industry include metal closures, blue-jean stitching, mix and match separates, and the influence of menswear in women's designs. This could be a bit of a long shot – but maybe it wasn’t a production dress at all? McCardell had a realistic, practical philosophy for clothing design; she felt that women should look good and at the same time feel comfortable. The hooks are the same size and style as the ones on my dress (albeit the wrong color, wh’ev). Ah, but the hooks. The same hook-and-eye closures can also be found on the ribbed-knit waistband on the skirt. She copied the latest styles from Paris and the collection sold well, although it was moderately received. Title: "Monastic Dress". So the lack of pockets initially confused me, but then I realized that General Limitation Order L-85 went into effect in the spring of 1942, which prohibited interior pockets in wool dresses to save fabric. The bodice is cut on the bias, a technique McCardell learned by deconstructing Vionnet dresses while she was a student in 1920’s Paris. Maybe she had some kind of deal just with them that predated her return to Townley? She later returned to Townley Frocks, where she spent the rest of her career.While other designers struggled during World War II without the guidance of French designers and with the unavailability of traditional fabrics and materials, McCardell took advantage of the circumstances. ©2020 Fashion Institute of Technology Flexibility of fit. Talk:Claire McCardell Jump to ... specifically a paragraph on McCardell's relationship to modernism and why her Monastic dress carried such meaning for American women and style. Claire McCardell created a revolutionary choice. She was the first one to use denim and zippers in her designs. So this dress was almost certainly manufactured during WWII, under the restrictions of L-85. I am also looking for another image of a Monastic dress that illustrate Annemarie Strassel's 2012 work. So I feel pretty confident that the hooks on my dress are original and it’s not a knockoff. Flexibility of fit. Her 1938 “Monastic” dress, a bias cut, tent-like garment with a rope tied waist that once on the body molded to it, could be worn day or evening. Shoulder Shrugs are easy to fold and easy to wear (1947) Georgia O’Keefe owned a number of McCardell dresses. In the course of her studies she spent one year in Paris. They’re ours — and yours — exclusively!” Ad for L.S. This leads me to think that it was something put on mass-produced dresses, but maybe only for that store? The biggest part of this mystery is the label in the dress. But as a collector and admirer of her work, a few things were a bit off about it.
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