Evening gowns were the topic of two articles in Ladies’ Home Journal, July 1936. One featured four Vogue patterns which women could make at home; the other was more inspirational, showing evening dresses and jackets, photographed in color by Edward Steichen.
Evening Gowns from Vogue Patterns, 1936
“We thought of Saturday-night dances and twilight roof-garden dining when we chose these delicious, simple summer evening dresses. Haven’t they the Vogue look about them — in their clear-cut lines,and their new fashion points?” — text from Ladies’ Home Journal, July 1936.
“First we must tell you about that luscious blue shade. None other than “bluebonnet blue,” the official fashion color for the Texas Centennial this summer. We suggest one frock in this shade if you can wear it, preferable in marquisette or organdy. ”
The Dreamstress.com has a lovely, illustrated article about marquisette.
“The low-cut dress No. 7386 has long-sleeved bolero jacket, giving the costume real versatility.”
“No. 7403, with its new tunic and tiny cap sleeves cut in one with the blouse is shown in flowered marquisette. It is ‘Easy-to-Make.’ You might prefer lace.”
“No. 7369 is double-breasted all the way down, and trimmed with saw-tooth edging, of embroidered organdy here. Any sheer crisp cotton would be nice.” Rickrack used so that only half of it showed was a popular trim in the mid-thirties.
“At least one girl in every crowd feels foolish in floating chiffon, or even organdy. For her, a tailored frock like No. 7400, in bird’s-eye pique or printed linen. You can see it’s an ‘Easy-to-Make.’ “
I appreciate the idea that not every woman wants to look soft and delicate.
In the same issue, photographer Edward Steichen was assigned a group of apparently store bought dresses (not credited) on models grouped around a piano. The two-page layout shows the fashion for very large scale prints. In 1936, women’s magazines like Delineator and Ladies’ Home Journal were still experimenting with photographs instead of fashion drawings, so this full-color spread was an expensive experiment.On the facing page were two more large-scale print fabrics and what appears to be red marquisette or silk netting.
The combination of a bold, stylized floral design with a sheer white gown is interesting:
All the sleeves on these two pages are full and puffy at the shoulders — a hint that wide shoulders are a coming fashion.
Here is the text written by Julia Coburn to accompany these photographs.
The “white-coated gentlemen” would be wearing summer dinner-jackets:
For more about gentlemen’s summer evening dress, click here.