Monthly Archives: October 2014

Nine Kinds of Ideal Figure, 1917

From an ad for Gossard Corsets, Ladies' Home Journal, September 1917.

From an ad for Gossard Corsets, Ladies’ Home Journal, September 1917.

Lynn at American Age Fashion recently wrote about the many categories of “stout” fashion sizes in 1922.  Clothing manufacturers acknowledged the existence of “regular stouts,” “stylish stouts,” “stubby stouts,” and other “stout” variations. Lynn began her post with a vintage ad assuring us that “A Contented Stout Woman — is one who has solved her corset problems. . . .” Read it here.

That reminded me of this 1917 ad from Gossard Corsets, which told readers that there were nine — nine! — ideal figure types.

lhj 1917 sept p 87 gossard corset ad nine ideal figures“One of the types illustrated is a counterpart of you properly corseted, and this desirable result is obtained only through the wearing of the Gossard model especially designed for your particular figure. Graduate Corsetieres trained in the Gossard school, assist in selecting the corset if desired, or in fitting it if you prefer.”

Gossard Corset ad from 1917 showing nine Ideal Figure Types.

Gossard Corset ad from 1917 showing nine “Ideal Figure Types.”

Even in the full page ad shown above, the photos illustrating the nine types were quite small, but, since they are posed against black, we can get an idea of their silhouettes.

From the left of the ad, Tall Slender, Short Slender, Tall Heavy, and Short Heavy Ideal Figures. 1917.

From the left of the ad, Tall Slender, Short Slender, Tall Heavy, and Short Heavy “Ideal Figures.” 1917.

Ideal:  Curved Back, Large Above Waist, Large Below Waist, and Short Waisted Figures. 1917.

Curved Back, Large Above Waist, Large Below Waist, and Short Waisted “Ideal Figures.” 1917.

And here we have the Ideal Average Figure for 1917:

Ideal Average Figure, 1917. The styles of the late 1910s -- such as the "barrel" skirt -- did not require slim hips.

Ideal Average Figure, 1917. Gossard Corset Ad.

She does look like a normal human being — or probably would without the corset! The fashions of Autumn 1917 — such as the “tonneau” or “barrel” skirt — did not require especially narrow hips, so the corset seems almost like a pointless discomfort.

Ladies Home Journal Patterns for November 1917.

Ladies’ Home Journal Patterns for November 1917.

Gossard Front Lacing Corsets

“Gossard corsets are the original front lacing corsets. You lace your shoes in front — you button your coat in front — isn’t it logical that your corset should lace in front? Soon all women will wonder that corsets ever laced other than the Gossard way — in front.”

A Graduate Corsetiere from the Gossard school demonstrating a Gossard Corset. There is a Front-laced Gossard corset on the mannequin at left.

A Graduate Corsetiere from the Gossard school demonstrating a Gossard Corset. There is a Front-laced Gossard corset on the mannequin at left.

Aside from the photos, the advertisement does not go into detail about the differences between the nine ideal figures. It must have been enough to know that — short and heavy, tall and slender, short waisted or average — your figure was “Ideal.”

Gossard Corset Prices, Sept. 1917.

Gossard Corset Prices, Sept. 1917.

Prices ranged from $2.00 to $12.50 and went all the way up to $50.00. “A Gossard booklet, profusely illustrating all types, with detailed description of models, sent on request.” For an idea of monetary values, 1917 ads for a correspondence course in nursing said its graduates could make $10 to $25 per week. . . .

Chautauqua School of Nursing Ad, Oct. 1917 Ladies' Home Journal.

Chautauqua School of Nursing Ad, Oct. 1917 Ladies’ Home Journal.

. . . And this Elgin military watch could cost between $10.00 and $17.75. It’s hard to imagine a $50.00 corset when most other corsets were under $5.00. I guess it’s not always easy to be “Ideal.”

Elgin military watch from Broadnax ad, Nov. 1917.

Elgin military watch from Broadnax ad, Nov. 1917. LHJ.

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Corsets, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Indestructible Breast Forms, 1939

Ad for Nu-Wa Style Assist Breast Forms, Simplicity Fashions Prevue, October 1939.

Ad for Nu-Wa Style Assist Breast Forms, Simplicity Fashions Prevue store flyer, October 1939.

Well, doesn’t she look perky! In spite of some problems in the printing process, this young lady is smiling ear to ear because of her Indestructible Nu-Wa Style Assist Breast Forms. I suppose that should be pronounced “New-Way,” but it says “Nu Wah” to me.

Cover, Simplicity Fashions Prevue from S.S. Kresge Co., Oct 1939.

Cover, Simplicity Fashions Prevue from S.S. Kresge Co., Oct 1939.

The flyer came from S. S. Kresge (a chain store similar to Woolworth’s), so in addition to the latest Simplicity patterns, it contains ads for other products you could buy at Kresge’s, which included: shoe dyes, curlers, chewing gum, deodorants, compacts, sanitary napkins, back to school supplies, buttons, and Nu-Wa falsies, or bust improvers.

Nu Wa Style Assist: A "Nature-Soft" and Shaped Breast Form Aid. Oct. 1939.

Nu Wa Style Assist: A “Nature-Soft” and Shaped Breast Form Aid. Oct. 1939.

“Indispensable in the fitting of This Season’s Stylish Gowns, which are designed for full, natural bust. NU-WA MAKES THE WAIST SEEM SMALLER. Wear NU-WA in the Specially Designed Pocket Bando, which holds each one securely, immovably in place — UNDETECTED.

Back in the 1920s, a “bandeau” was usually worn to suppress the breasts:

Bandeaux. Picture from Everyday Fashions of the Twenties.

Bandeaux. Picture from Everyday Fashions of the Twenties.

But this “Bando” is more like a modern brassiere, with “pockets” to hold the “indestructible forms” in place. (“Crushed?” Indestructible?” This girl led an exciting life.)

Ad for Nu-Wa Style Assist Breast Forms, Simplicity Fashions Prevue, October 1939.

The “pocket bando.”

“Nu-Wa is ventilated, comfortable, washable; adopted by you, it becomes YOUR FIGURE. When crushed down, always resumes right shape and size . . . .”

“NO. 31 STYLE ASSSIST FORMS 25 cents A PAIR;

“NO. 32 POCKET BANDO TO FIT SAME 25 cents EACH.

“SIZES TO FIT  32 – 34- 36  NORMAL FIGURES.

“You can buy without embarrassment at Bando and Brassiere Counter.”

Of course it’s not embarrasing to buy a “Style Assist” so your clothes will fit better. And waists were definitely supposed to be small in 1939; just look at that red suit on the cover of the Simplicity flyer. cover top 500Yep. Her bust does make her waist look smaller.

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Filed under 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Bras, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc

My Costumer’s Library: Books by Stella Blum

Paris Spring Toilette, 1896, from Blum's Vistorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar 1867 - 1898

Paris Spring Toilette, 1896, from Stella Blum’s Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar 1867 – 1898

Once, during a difficult day in the costume shop, I wondered aloud, “Who is the patron saint of costume technicians?”

Instantly the woman at the sewing machine behind me quipped, “Saint Bernina.”

Lately, I’ve been thinking about nominating Stella Blum — or Saint Stella, as I’m starting to think of her. Not only did she pioneer the “Everyday Fashions” series of books based on Sears and other catalogs, Stella Blum compiled one of the first paperback costume history books available from Dover:  Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898. (First published in 1974.) When I was teaching high school and beginning to get interested in costuming for the theatre, this massive book was an education in the progressive changes in Victorian clothing — all through primary sources. Her text was as helpful as her picture selection.

Ladies' House and Street Dresses, 1884. Blum included as much of the original information as possible with each fachion plate.

Ladies’ House and Street Dresses, 1884. Blum included as much of the original information as possible with each fashion plate. She also wrote marvellous introductory chapters in each of her books, summarizing each era in detail.

She followed it in 1978 with Ackermann’s Costume Plates: Women’s Fashions in England 1818-1828. Where would Regency Balls be today without a few hints from Ackermann via Stella Blum?

In 1981, Blum compiled and edited the first volume of a series that’s still being produced, Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs — a massive project,  and Dover Books deserves great credit for undertaking a book that was going to be expensive to produce — printed on glossy paper so the details remain clear.  Luckily, there was a market hungry for  books of this type.

From Everyday Fashions of the Twenties.... Blum showed clothing in its socio-economic context, giving prices and other catalog information.

From Everyday Fashions of the Twenties…. Blum showed clothing in its socio-economic context, giving prices and other catalog information.

In 1982, Blum — and Dover — gave us Eighteenth Century Fashion Plates in Full Color: 64 engravings from the “Galerie des Modes,” 1778-1787. This book showed clothing for women and men, and included a few servants, a corset maker, and a woman delivering panniers. Designing Liasons Dangereuses? The Marriage of Figaro? The Scarlet Pimpernel? A Tale of Two Cities? This is the first book you need.

In 1984, Paris Fashions of the 1890s: a picture source book with 350 designs, including 24 in full color was printed, to the delight of anyone who loves Gigi, The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband,  Charlie’s Aunt, or Remembrance of Things Past — the Nineties, gay or otherwise, are the setting for a lot of fiction and drama.

Another virtue of Stella Blum: She didn't neglect period underwear, hats, shoes & accessories, mourning wear, children's clothes....

Another virtue of Stella Blum: She didn’t neglect period underwear, hats, shoes & accessories, mourning wear, children’s clothes….

In 1985 Blum edited & selected the plates for the Dover book Fashions and Costumes from Godey’s Lady’s Book, filling in some of the Early Victorian styles that weren’t covered in her Harper’s Bazar collection. Useful for works by Dickens, the Brontes, La Traviata, Victoria and Albert, etc.

1986 brought Everyday Fashions of the Thirties, a quick guide to clothes for ordinary men, women and children from the Great Depression to the start of World War II. (Published posthumously.)

From Everyday Fashions of the Thirties.... Blum collected information generally ignored by fashion historians. Although surrounded by couture at the Met, in her books she shared information about the clothes that ordinary people wore.

From Everyday Fashions of the Thirties…. Blum collected information generally ignored by fashion historians. Instead of concentrating on the well-preserved clothing of the wealthy, she shows us what average Americans wore.

From Everyday Fashions of the Thirties.... Although surrounded by couture at the Met, in her books she shared research about work clothes, which rarely survive.

From Everyday Fashions of the Thirties…. Although surrounded by couture at the Met, in her books she shared research about work clothes, which rarely survive. She put the catalog year on the top of every page, for complete accuracy.

In addition to compiling and sharing all these invaluable primary source materials (and working with a publisher who made them affordable to costumers) Stella Blum was the first Director of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum, from 1970 until two years before her death in 1985. You can read her obituary in the New York Times here. She is honored with an annual Grant for Costume research by the Costume Society of America.

I’m happy to say that many of her books are still in print, and, because they were so popular, you can find them either new or secondhand (Most of the links above are to used book sellers, because I don’t know many costumers who can afford all the books they want. However, if you can buy them new, her heirs will get her well earned-royalties.)  In addition to this list, Stella Blum wrote introductions to, or otherwise contributed to, many other publications. In case you don’t have these books already, here is a wish list you can suggest for holidays and birthdays:

Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar, 1867-1898.

Ackermann’s Costume Plates: Women’s Fashions in England 1818-1828

Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs

Eighteenth Century Fashion Plates in Full Color: 64 engravings from the “Galerie des Modes,” 1778-1787

Paris Fashions of the 1890s: a picture source book with 350 designs

Fashions and Costumes from Godey’s Ladies Book

Everyday Fashions of the Thirties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs  

A gown by Worth, 1894, from Blum's Victorian Fashions & Costumes from Harper's Bazar.

A gown by Worth, 1894, from Blum’s Victorian Fashions & Costumes from Harper’s Bazar.

Incredibly, having seen this illustration so often in Stella Blum’s book, I once found an 1890s ball gown — black moire silk, trimmed with black and metallic gold lace on the lace-up bodice, with a floral design in metallic thread, beads, and artificial pearls running up the center front of the skirt — on the Halloween rack at a Goodwill store. It was not a Worth, just an authentic period gown possibly inspired in 1894 by this illustration. I rescued it for $55 and gave it to my friend, the vintage collector, who didn’t mind that it needed re-beading. She and I had spent many happy hours pouring over Stella Blum’s books together.

So, I raise a toast to the patron saint of Everyday (and not so everyday) Fashion:  Stella Blum.

For other suggestions for a Costumer’s Library, click on A Costumer’s Bookshelf in Categories.

 

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Filed under 1860s -1870s fashions, 1870s to 1900s fashions, 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1930s-1940s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Costumes for the 18th Century, Costumes for the 19th century, Resources for Costumers

It’s Fun to Sew for Halloween — 1950

McCall pattern 1557: witch's robe and hat, tail wagging stuffed cat, too! McCall needlework catalog, 1950.

McCall pattern 1557: witch’s robe and hat, tail wagging stuffed cat, too! McCall needlework catalog, 1950.

mc call nov 1950 catlg witch cost text 500“Broomstick-riding attire for a Hallowe’en masquerade party — a full flowing robe of black sateen or chintz, with a shoulder cape and high peaked hat. Applique a big orange-colored pumpkin on the front, and face the full sleeves with orange. Hide her own hair under the hat, which has a ‘wig’ of  black or orange-colored wool yarn attached. Of course, standard equipment for all witches is a black cat. Make this stuffed one with pearl buttons for eyes, yarn whiskers. Pattern is cleverly designed so the tail wags.”

Personally, I think the little witch with the purple lining and hair looks pretty delightful, too. McCall’s came right out and said this was a witches’ costume. A year earlier, Butterick described a  much less interesting child’s pattern as “An all-time favorite, the broomstick-rider:”

Hallowe'en costumes from Butterick Fashion News, Nov. 1949.

Hallowe’en costumes from Butterick Fashion News, Nov. 1949.

Well, it’s a little late to sew for Hallowe’en now, but it’s nice to see that a little girl could choose to be a ballerina or a pirate in 1949:

Butterick Fashion News, Nov. 1949.

Butterick Fashion News, Nov. 1949.

“An adventurous young lass in search of treasure is sure to find it in this pert pirate costume. Sizes 2 – 18, 22 – 36.”

 

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Filed under 1940s-1950s, Children's Vintage styles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns

Sheer Black Dresses, Fall 1939

Butterick No. 8556, Cover of Butterick Fashion News, September 1939.

Butterick No. 8556, Cover of Butterick Fashion News, September 1939.

I bought some counter catalogs at an estate sale, and found, tucked inside, two copies of Prevue, a newsprint pattern flyer, for August 1939. One featured Du Barry patterns, and the other showed Simplicity patterns for the same month.

Du Barry Prevue, August 1939 cover.

2 Du Barry Fashions Prevue, Cover, August 1939.

 

Simplicity Fashions Prevue, Cover, August 1939.

Simplicity Fashions Prevue, Cover, August 1939.

I already had the Butterick Fashion News for September 1939, so it was fun comparing the styles from three companies. (Incidentally, DuBarry patterns were made by Simplicity, specifically for sale at Woolworth stores. The designs were not the same. Woolworth wanted to offer a ten cent pattern, at a time when Simplicity patterns sold for fifteen to twenty-five cents. Patterns with the Simplicity name were sold at Woolworth’s competitors, like S.S. Kresge and Sears and Roebuck.  Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry, by Joy Spanabel Emery, pp 119 – 122.)

The Sheer Black Dress from Du Barry

In the Fall of 1939, patterns for the sheer black dress were being offered by all three companies, DuBarry, Simplicity, and Butterick. This dress, from the cover of the Du Barry Fashions Prevue, was also pictured in a violet print and as a sheer afternoon frock:

Du Barry Pattern 2319B made in lemon yellow print fabric.

Du Barry Pattern 2319B made in lemon yellow print fabric. Love that hat! The belt is clever, too.

Du Barry pattern #2319B as a sheer afternoon dress and in purple print fabric.

Du Barry pattern #2319B as a sheer afternoon dress, and in purple print fabric.

The length is just below the knee:

Du Barry #2319B, two versions. Aug. 1939.

Du Barry #2319B, two versions. Aug. 1939.

“Choose this sheer afternoon frock for sheer flattery. Sizes 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42. Slide Fastener for side placket 9″.”

Simplicity’s Sheer Black Dresses, August 1939

Simplicity showed two different patterns made up as day dresses or as sheer afternoon frocks:

Simplicity pattern No. 3139, August 1939.

Simplicity pattern No. 3139, August 1939. In sizes 32 to 44.

Simplicity pattern 3150, August 1939.

Simplicity pattern 3150, August 1939. In sizes 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 40.

Patterns 3139 and 3150 were shown under the caption “Slenderizing Dresses.” Style 3139 came in sizes for bust 32″ to 44.” Style 3150 came in young women’s sizes 12 to 20; the largest bust measurement available was only 40 inches. However, sizes 12 to 20 were generally for a shorter woman than the sizes sold by bust measurement. Both patterns came with either long or short sleeves. Pattern 3139 is shown in a sheer print fabric, which might be either black or navy — the flyer doesn’t mention color. It has a slenderizing line of buttons down the front from neckline to hem. The other (3150) has that clever, slenderizing bow — not too wide — at the center of the waist, plus a V-neck. It’s amazing how sophisticated it looks without the ruffled trim.

Companion-Butterick’s Sheer Black Dress for September, 1939

Butterick No. 8556, September 1939.

Companion-Butterick No. 8556, September 1939.

“Companion-Butterick 8556:  Sheer stark black — smart and as new as tomorrow’s newspapers. Soft surplice forms a belt in back. . . . Sizes 12 to 20, 30 to 44.”

That unusual bodice detail — the “surplice” — appears in Butterick pattern number 8557, too:

Butterick pattern 8557, Sept. 1939.

Butterick pattern 8557, Sept. 1939. Two views.

However, the surplice drape appears to be topstitched when the dress is not sheer, and the back treatment is different on this dress:

Companion -Butterick # 8556 and Butterick 8557. Back views. Sept. 1939.

Companion-Butterick # 8556 and Butterick 8557. Back views. Sept. 1939.

For more about Companion-Butterick patterns, click here.

 

 

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Filed under 1930s, 1930s-1940s, Companion-Butterick Patterns, Hats, Purses, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes, Zippers

A Sequinned Gown by Vionnet, 1924-1925

Mrs. Reginald Vanderbilt (nee Gloria Morgan) in a sequin trimmed black velvet gown by Vionnet. Photo by Steichen. Pond's cold cream ad, 1925.

Mrs. Reginald Vanderbilt (nee Gloria Morgan) in a sequin trimmed black velvet gown by Vionnet. Photo by Steichen. Pond’s cold cream ad, Delineator, June 1925.

In answer to Christina’s question about the Vionnet disc dress— what were the sequins really made of? — I have to acknowledge that I only saw that dress in one source, Butterick’s Delineator magazine from April 1929. As Molly Ivins said of a former president, “There is nothing so dangerous as a man who has only read one book” — a good reminder for anyone doing research.

When I find interesting things in old magazines, I try to put them in the blog so that other researchers can take the information and build on it — assuming that my source was reliable. I do try to leave a trail that can be followed — Month, Year, Name of Magazine. I have no reason to doubt the Delineator fashion sketches more than I doubt modern sketches;  Butterick maintained an establishment in Paris for the purpose of reporting on the latest styles (and occasionally, copying them . . . .)

Butterick Ad, August 1924, Delineator.

Butterick Ad, August 1924, Delineator.

“For Butterick keeps a staff of experts in Paris all the time. Wherever new models are launched, there is a Butterick expert noting each successful model. Quickly that expert cables the news. Sketches, details follow by the fast steamer. Immediately patterns are made for each of the successful new dresses.”

It’s true that Butterick ran one or two pages of sketches of Paris designs every month. In the 1920s, they were usually done by the illustrator and designer Soulie. Since there were usually five or more drawings per page, they’re not terribly large. Whether the sketches were perfectly accurate would be hard to establish without getting sketches or photos of the same garments from other sources.  ( I don’t have access to Vogue online, but that would be a good starting place.)

Mrs. Vanderbilt, photographed by Steichen in a gown by Vionnet. 1925.

Mrs. Vanderbilt, photographed by Steichen in a gown by Vionnet. Delineator, June 1925.

I found this photo of Mrs. Vanderbilt in a full page ad for Pond’s Face Cream — a celebrity endorsement. I could not find this exact dress in Betty Kirke’s Madeleine Vionnet, but Kirke did have numbered photos of similar sequin- trimmed dresses from the same collection. (It’s easy to forget that Vionnet was not averse to decoration; she just insisted that it be essential to the design, not added gratuitously.) Here is a detail of the skirt:

Vionnet using sequins on a black velvet gown, Delineator, June 1925.

Vionnet uses sequins on a black velvet gown, Delineator, June 1925.

Christina’s question was about the size and material of the paillettes on the disc dress. All the photo above shows is that Vionnet used sequins heavily in the 1920s, and could have custom work like this done to suit her needs. (Kirke does mention that.)

Vionnet dress trimmed with discs, 1929 .Sketches from Paris, The Delineator, April 1929, page 40.

Vionnet dress trimmed with discs, 1929 . Sketches from Paris, The Delineator, April 1929, page 40.

Whether the paillettes on the disc dress were celluloid or metal, I can’t say for sure, but “overlapping” metal that size would have been heavy for a “rose chiffon” support. (I suggested celluloid sequins; gelatin sequins have been used on clothing, but were unsatisfactory for several reasons — one being that they were water soluble….) So — if anybody finds out more about this disc dress, please let us know!

Whether this is relevant or not:  Many years ago, one of my friends was building costumes for a Russian circus that was going to perform in Japan. She visited their costume shop in Russia, and saw an unfamiliar machine next to a stack of clear plastic shirt collar supports — the kind used for packaging shirts so their collars don’t get squashed in shipping. When she asked, she was told that the machine was for making sequins — the costume shop had to make their own out of any scraps of shiny plastic they could salvage. When she got back to the U.S., she mailed them a big package of colored sequins.

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Filed under 1920s, Vintage Couture Designs

Vionnet Did It Before Paco Rabanne: The Disc Dress

Madeleine Vionnet is a designer who never fails to surprise me. Here, from the Spring of 1929, is one of her dresses for young women:

Vionnet dress trimmed with discs, 1929 .Sketches from Paris, The Delineator, April 1929, page 40.

Vionnet dress trimmed with discs, 1929 . Sketches from Paris, The Delineator, April 1929, page 40.

The title of the article is “Paris Keeps Evening Necks High and Hems Low for the Young Girl.”

The two dresses at top are by Vionnet; at bottoms, left to right, are gowns by Worth, Lucien Lelong, and Lanvin. April 1929. The Delineator.

The two dresses at top are by Vionnet; at bottom, left to right, are gowns by Worth, Lucien Lelong, and Lanvin. April 1929. The Delineator.

In the 1960s, Paco Rabanne became famous for his “Disc Dresses” — dresses made of plastic discs held together with metal rings. This one, dated 1965, is in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum:

Paco Rabanne Disac Dress, 1965; Photograph from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum.

Paco Rabanne Disc Dress, 1965; Photograph from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum.

Detail of disc dress construction, Paco Rabanne, 1965. Metropolitan Museum photo.

Detail of disc dress construction, Paco Rabanne, 1965. Metropolitan Museum photo.

For a better view of the Paco Rabanne photographs, visit the Metropolitan Museum’s online collection. Click here. The 1960s disc dress was usually worn over a bodystocking. It was made for dancing. It wasn’t made for comfort — nor quiet.

It looks like Vionnet attached her large, overlapping discs to a chiffon underlayer:

Skirt of Vionnet disc dress, 1929.

Skirt of Vionnet disc dress, 1929.

“Madeleine Vionnet uses rose chiffon over white satin for a winsome model with skirt of overlapping discs and scarf.”

I’m not saying Rabanne even knew about this Vionnet design. I’m just saying that, when it comes to using big discs on evening wear, Vionnet got there first.

The wittiest, and best known,  later variation on the disc dress has to be the one costume designer Lizzy Gardiner wore while accepting her Academy Award for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 1995. It was made of hundreds of gold American Express Credit cards linked together in the style of the 1960s disc dresses.

I wonder if anyone has made a “disk dress” by wiring together old floppy disks.  Probably.

There is another Paco Rabanne disc dress (1967) in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, but the site may take a while to load. Click here.

 

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Filed under 1920s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Couture Designs