Tag Archives: Art Deco

Not All Flappers Wanted to Be Flat in the 1920s

I love Art Deco style, but I’m always glad that I didn’t have to be young in the 1920s, because I have exactly the wrong figure for 1920s dress styles. And then, one day, I looked at this photo of my mother in a 1920s bathing suit, and realized that she had exactly the wrong figure for the twenties, too.

On the right:  Stranded in the 1920s with a  Gibson Girl figure.

On the right: Stranded in the 1920s with a Gibson Girl figure.

 But that was her era.

She was a teenager when the 1920s began, a popular, fun-loving, slightly wild girl (She eloped while still in high school.) She was the first girl in town to get her hair bobbed; she loved fabric shopping and sewing her own dresses, going dancing, and earning her own living in “The City” as a secretary. So I think it’s fair to say she was a flapper. helen in washington 500 dpi 20s

 

“The boyish figure sans bust and curves and waistline is the ideal silhouette.” –Evelyn Dodge, Delineator magazine, July, 1925.1925 july  5204 swim july shortened

Underneath 1920s Fashions

Some women in search of the boyish figure bought “Boyshform binders,” or the “Flatter-U” brassiere or bandeaux, or wore flattening brassiere-and-girdle combinations called corselettes. [See Underpinning the Twenties: Brassieres, Bandeaux, and Bust Flatteners, and Underpinning the Twenties: Girdles and Corsets]

Corselette pattern, Butterick, 1925, and Bien Jolie Corsette Ad, 1925. Delineator.

Corselette pattern, Butterick, 1925, and Bien Jolie Corsette Ad, 1925. Delineator.

Others wore only one thin layer of light cotton or silk ‘combinations,’ or camisoles and bloomers, and rolled their stockings  over elastic garters to hold them up, eliminating the girdle completely.

Combinations or Teddies, and a Chemise set, all from April 1925, Delneator.

Combinations or Teddies, and a Chemise set, all from April 1925, Delneator.

Some women wore even less.

Some Flappers Did Not Try to Reshape Their Figures

Writer Elspeth Huxley spent 1927 as a student at Cornell University. An animal husbandry major, she was matter-of-fact about sex, but she was surprised enough to record this incident:

“A teddy was the silk slip worn by some co-eds; others wore no underclothes at all. One, demonstrating a device she had thought of, peeled off her dress to reveal herself naked but for a strip of adhesive bridging the buttocks. ‘It improves my silhouette,’ she said.” – from Love Among the Daughters: Memories of the Twenties in England and America, by Elspeth Huxley; p. 244.

I would love to know more about the placement of that adhesive strip!

Never Assume

A graceful 1920s figure; this one is surprisingly late, from 1929.

A graceful 1920s figure; this one is surprisingly late, from 1929.

“Never Assume” is a rule of the costume shop. But I realize now that I have been assuming that young women who chose to wear next-to-nothing under their clothes were the ones who had a slim build, close to the twenties’ fashion ideal.

July, 1928 (left); December 1925 (right); Butterick patterns from Delineator.

July, 1928 (left); December 1925 (right); Butterick patterns from Delineator.

I confess I’m a little surprised, looking this photo of people in similar fashions, that some young women apparently chose not to wear a brassiere or bandeau, even if they had very un-boyish, unfashionable curves.

Two office workers, late 1920s. They demonstrate two, different contemporary attitudes toward underwear.

Two office workers, late 1920s. They demonstrate two, very different, contemporary attitudes toward underwear.

The girl on the right has what is usually thought of as an “ideal” nineteen twenties figure; her bust is so flat that I suspect she is wearing a breast binder. The girl on the left is obviously wearing nothing more restrictive than a chemise or combinations as underclothes. Her body is far from the 20s ideal, but she looks confident and completely at ease.

Seeing Through Clothes

Anne Hollander has demonstrated, in Seeing Through Clothes, how strong the influence of fashion is on our idea of beauty – to the extent that artists sometimes paint nudes as if they were wearing an invisible corset. This raises the question: Can we ever see through the eyes of another era?

Which of those girls was considered more attractive by the men of the late 1920s? Were other women scandalized when the big-breasted girl danced the Charleston? Or did many young women dress just as revealingly?

I think I know which one a man would be more likely to bring home to meet his mother – but – I shouldn’t assume!

 

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Filed under 1920s, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Bras, Corselettes, Corsets & Corselettes, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, vintage photographs

Rapid Change in 1920s Fashion: Women, 1924 to 1925

Women's dresses: December 1924 and December 1925

Women’s dresses: December 1924 and December 1925

1925 was  a year of rapid change in women’s fashions. In addition to rising hemlines, this year marked the beginning of the end for tubular dresses worn over bust-flattening undergarments, and the introduction of a more feminine silhouette. To give an idea of how quickly styles changed, I’ll show some images from Delineator magazine that appeared just one year apart — some from the end of 1924, and some from the end of 1925.

Women’s Coats:  1924 and 1925

These two coats — pictured one month apart — were the latest styles for the end of 1924.

Left: Butterick coat pattern, Dec. 1924. Right: Lanvin coat, Jan. 1925.

Left: Butterick coat pattern, Dec. 1924. Right: Lanvin coat, Jan. 1925.

“Lanvin’s coat of beige raily kasha flares into godets at the lower part and is trimmed with a very small collar and very large cuffs of antelope and leopard skin. With it is a muff.”

Here are three coats from December 1925, Just Twelve Months Later:

Butterick coat patterns from December, 1925.

Butterick coat patterns from December, 1925.

These three coats look modern (or moderne) — the way we usually picture the 1920s. In one year, subtle changes in fit and proportion have severed the connection with the long, tubular fashions that began the decade.

December 1924 and December 1925 Fashions Illustrated in Color

Here is a closer look at some women’s dresses from December 1924:

Women's Dresses, December 1924, from Butterick's Delineator magazine.

Women’s Dresses, December 1924, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

These 1924 tunic dresses are ‘tubular’, falling straight from the shoulders over a low, flattened bust (especially noticeable at far left.) Tunic styles often show indecision about skirt length: there is a short hem and a long hem.

Women's Dresses, December 1925, from Butterick's Delineator magazine.

Women’s Dresses, December 1925, from Butterick’s Delineator magazine.

Twelve months later, the difference in hem length is not the only big change; while the tunic dresses of 1924 got narrower at the bottom, these dresses have some flare from the waist or hip to the hems. The real innovation can be seen in the red gown; it is a new “princess line” dress. The vertical seams allow it to be shaped to the body, curving out slightly over the bust and curving in slightly at the loosely fitted waist. There would be little point in flattening your chest to wear such a dress, although some older women clung to their familiar undergarments.

Evening Dresses and Wraps, 1924 and 1925

Evening Wrap Coat and Evening Dress, January 1924.

Evening Wrap Coat and Evening Dress, January 1924.

Later in the same year, 1924:

Evening Wrap Coat and Evening Dresses, December 1924.

Evening Wrap Coat and Evening Dresses, December 1924.

There is more hip interest, and a surplice (diagonally closing) gown. These are minor changes compared to the drastically different look of December, 1925:

Evening Wrap Coat and Evening Dresses, December, 1925.

Evening Wrap Coat and Evening Dresses, December, 1925.

The loosely belted columnar dress (January 1924) has been replaced with dresses that have distinct bodices and skirts, a strong accent at the hips, and geometric, Art Deco details. The effect is crisper and shorter. All the models now wear the mannish, ‘shingled’ hair style.

Surplice Closing Dress (right) from December 1925.

Surplice Closing Dress (right) from December 1925.

Surplice gown, Dec. 1924.

Surplice gown, Dec. 1924.

In one year, the surplice dress has gone from baggy to streamlined.

Coming soon:  Dresses for teens and young women, 1924 and 1925.

 

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Tubular Twenties: Some Early 1920s Fashions

It’s easy to forget that the decade known as The Twenties saw considerable changes in fashion. The period of ‘bound breasts’ and cylindrical figures was ending by 1925. I think of the early 1920s as the ‘tubular twenties.’ The long, tubular dress pattern on the left, illustrated in Delineator in December, 1924 is closely related to this actual beaded dress from a private collection.

A Butterick dress pattern from December 1924, and a vintage beaded dress from the same period.

A Butterick dress pattern from December 1924, and a vintage beaded dress from the same period.

Both dresses are very long, and hang straight from the shoulders; the concentration of beading near the hem weights the dress.

Details of the beading on the front of the dress.

Details of the beading on the front of the dress.

This beading was probably done in China, for export.

This beading was probably done in China, for export.

The back of the chiffon dress was also beaded, so it was relatively heavy and fell without curves.

Cylinder Dresses and Flattened Curves, Early 1920s

Other designs from 1924 show the same long, cylindrical shape, with style variations.

Butterick patterns for January, 1924 from Delineator magazine, p. 38.

Butterick patterns for January, 1924, from Delineator magazine, p. 38.

More Butterick patterns for women, January 1924; Delineator, p.38.

More Butterick patterns for women, January 1924; Delineator, p.38.

Many fashion trends associated with the later 1920s are visible:  embroidery, a cloche hat, some dropped waists, side panels, etc. But these dresses are actually longer than the dresses of the World War I era, and they share the peculiarly low bust of that period.

Dresses for Young Women, January 1924

The styles above are for adult women. Patterns for teens, then called  ‘misses’ and sold by age (“size 15 to 20 years, or small ladies”) show the same tubular shape and low bust, but are slightly shorter.

Butterick patterns for misses, Delineator, January 1924, p. 37.

Butterick patterns for misses, Delineator, January 1924, p. 37.

The blue checked dress shows some indecision about the dropped waistline, and opts for two, a belt at the high hip and a band much lower. The dress on the far right has front panels and ends in a sash, like blouses of the early 1920s. It’s hard to imagine how a slim teen-aged girl could have the bust shown in the tan pleated dress, unless she was wearing a bust-flattening brassiere or bandeau, or a tube-like corselette (more about these in a later post.)

Evening dresses for misses and small ladies, January 1924, Delineator.

Evening dresses for misses and small ladies, January 1924, Delineator, p. 37.

Styles from Delineator, February 1924, p. 30.

Styles from Delineator, February 1924, p. 30.

The surplice line dresses on the left remained popular throughout the twenties, as did cloches and tam-o’shanter hats. The blue dress on the right — shortened and with a slight change in proportions — became a classic style for the rest of the decade. Below:  This is how Chanel interpreted it in January, 1925. Note the change in length, the bust dart, and the natural bustline. The flattened chest was going out of fashion.

Chanel design, January 1925, as sketched by Soulie in Delineator.

Chanel design, January 1925, as sketched by Soulie in Delineator.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Bras, Hats, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Vintage patterns

Striped Coats for Women, 1924

Striped coats were apparently quite stylish in the spring of 1924. Butterick pattern #5181 suggested a boldly striped fabric for a woman’s coat, illustrated in misses’ sizes, and Ford Motors featured an equally bold striped coat in its March advertisement in The Delineator magazine.

Ad for Ford Tudor Sedan, Delineator, March 1924

Ad for Ford Tudor Sedan, Delineator, March 1924

A 1920s Striped Coat Pattern for Misses and Ladies

Butterick’s Delineator magazine, May 1924, pattern # 5181

Butterick’s Delineator magazine, May 1924, pattern # 5181

“5181 – At this season the débutante is in need of this type of coat with a straight lower part joined to a long body with a choice of inside pocket. It may be a longer length if one prefers a full-length coat. Use striped coatings, soft twills, rep cloth, heavy silk crêpe, satin. Lower edge in longer length 46 inches.

17 years or 34 bust requires 2 5/8 yards 54-inch striped wool. The coat is for misses 16 to 18 years or 33 to 35 bust, also Ladies.”

Striped Coat in a Ford Tudor Sedan Ad, 1924

Ad for Ford Tudor Sedan, Delineator, March 1924

Ad for Ford Tudor Sedan, Delineator, March 1924

Ford was late to enter the closed car market, but when it did, a whole series of advertisements aimed at women appeared in the women’s magazines. These ads always showed a woman driver, taking her children to school, shopping, or, here, giving her friend a ride on a rainy day.1924 march p 53 ford tudor 500 dpi striped coat woman driver striped coat

1924 march p 53 ford tudor text striped coat

“Not even a chilly all-day rain need upset the plans of the woman who has a Ford closed car at her disposal. Knowing it to be reliable and comfortable in all weathers, she goes out whenever inclination suggests or duty dictates

“The car is so easy to drive that it constantly suggests thoughtful services to her friends. She can call for them without effort and share pleasantly their companionship.

“All remark upon the graceful outward appearance of her car, its convenient and attractive interior, and its cosy comfort. And she prides herself upon having obtained so desirable a car for so low a price.”

The Tudor Sedan pictured cost $590; the Fordor Sedan cost $685, and a Coupe, $525.

I love the woman’s embroidered hatband. Incidentally, notice how long hems were at the beginning of 1924. The miss who opted for the  7/8 length shown  (#5181) would be wearing it as a full-length coat in 1925.

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A Mid-Twenties Cloche Hat Pattern: Butterick 5218

Butterick Hat and Scarf Pattern, # 5218, May 1924 Delineator

Butterick Hat and Scarf Pattern, # 5218, May 1924 Delineator

The vintage cloche hats I’ve seen have usually been either felt or straw, and store-bought. A milliner needs a hat block to pull a felt shape into a cloche, and stitching bands of straw braid into a hat requires great skill (and a specialized sewing machine, unless you do it by hand.) But that did not prevent women from making their own cloche hats from commercial patterns.

Make a Replica Gored Cloche Hat on a Sewing Machine

Two more views of Butterick Hat and Scarf # 5218, May 1924

Two more views of Butterick Hat and Scarf # 5218, May 1924

Butterick sold several kinds of gored cloche hat patterns in the 1920s. The pattern for this one, # 5218 Hat and Scarf, first appeared in May, 1924, and continued to be shown in illustrations in The Delineator magazine for a year, so it was in style through 1925. This hat is for “Ladies and Misses, ” i.e., adults and teens. (None of the magazine descriptions says whether this hat has four, five, or six gores. It looks like four or five with a center front seam to me.) In the winter, woolen fabrics were recommended for the hat and matching scarf; in summer, silk was suggested. winter and summer

This simple hat could be ornamented in many ways.

You could make it in plaid or solid-colored fabric:5218 side and front

1924 aug p 29 misses hat scarf 5218The hat and scarf could both be embroidered to match:1924 may p 39  just hat scarf 5218 embroidered 5214

You could embroider just the turned-back brim:1924 nov p 36 miss hat 5128 embroidered

You could embroider the crown: two embroidered 5218 hats

You could weave together an easy rectangle of grosgrain ribbons, with diagonally trimmed ends hanging free:5218 view d ribbon trim

The ribbon trim could match the hat color, or contrast with it:three woven ribbon trims

You could use contrasting ribbon trim on the hat and embroider your monogram on the scarf in the same color as the ribbon:1924 june p 28 hat 5218 trousseau dresses cape top rt

Or you could add purchased trim: a flower in summer, a pom-pom of silk-covered cording or feathers, a ribbon cockade, etc.

Sample purchased trims, not shown on #5218

Sample purchased trims, not shown on hat #5218

You should be able to adapt a modern four or six gore hat pattern for your cloche; of course, wool or silk will need interfacing to be stiff enough. Milliner Wayne Wichern uses tailor’s hair cloth as interfacing on his custom hats. If you match the grain of the fabric and interfacing carefully, you can use steam and a press cloth to shape the hat around a tailor’s ham.  Unlike synthetic interfacing materials, real haircloth, like silk and wool, is an animal fiber and responds to shaping with moist heat (Fusible interfacing is not recommended! A cloche needs to stretch.)  For inspiration, visit his website. Wayne Wichern Millinery. He is very creative about creating lovely trims from scraps of felt and straw! And he offers classes at his studio in the San Francisco Bay Area, in case you’d like to take a vacation and come home with a hat.

Hats and trims by Wayne WIchern, Milliner photogrraphed at his lecture at the De Young Museum

Hats and trims by Wayne Wichern, Milliner, photographed at his lecture at the De Young Museum

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Two Whiting and Davis Mesh Bags, 1924

Whiting and Davis Gift Bags (Purses) 

Whiting & Davis Christmas Ad, December 1924

Whiting & Davis Christmas Ad, December 1924

The number of surviving enameled mesh bags by Whiting and Davis amazes me, as does the variety of designs and vivid colors. No wonder they are collectors’ items! Two ads from The Delineator magazine, 1924, one a Christmas ad, and one from May, suggest giving Whiting and Davis bags as presents. Those were the only months when Whiting and Davis ran ads in the magazine.

That made me realize that most of these beautiful bags that have survived in perfect condition were probably gift items.  And, at original prices from five to five hundred dollars, they were very nice gifts, indeed. 1924 dec p 90 whiting davis mesh bag adAccording to Farrell-Beck and Gau’s Uplift,  p. 39, “Among women in clerical and business jobs, the annual median wage in the late 1920s was $1,548  [i.e., less than $30 per week.] Weekly paychecks ranged from $6 for an office girl to $40 for a skilled bookkeeper.”  Even a $5 evening bag was a luxury item for most women. And, like many gifts, I suspect that a lot of the most spectacular enameled purses were rarely, if ever, used. It’s hard to coordinate a dazzling bag in elaborate patterns and colors with anything but a solid-colored dress, lovely as the bag may look in its gift box.

Christmas Gift, 1924: A Whiting and Davis Vanity or Utility Mesh Bag

Whiting & Davis Christmas Ad, December 1924

Whiting & Davis Christmas Ad, December 1924

This advertisement, from The Delineator, December 1924, gives prices and describes two different bags: The tiny ‘Delysis’ Vanity Mesh Bag, hanging from the arm of the woman in the illustration, has “two mirrors and separate compartments for rouge, powder, and handkerchief.” 1924 dec whiting davis bag ad xmas delysis1924 dec p 90 big whiting davis mesh bag ad

The ‘Utility’ Mesh bag [left] is “silk lined, with Vanity Mirror.”  Available from “leading jewelers and jewelry departments; $5 to $500.”

Bridal Gift, 1924: A Whiting and Davis Bag in Gold or Silver Soldered Mesh

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In the May issue of the same magazine, the Whiting and Davis advertisement suggested that their Renaissance Design bag [right] “in shimmering silver or mellow gold” would be an ideal gift for the bride, or as a gift from the bride to her bridesmaids. “Doubly dear to feminine hearts for its smart correctness, as well as its daily usefulness.”

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The Renaissance bag, of “Soldered Mesh” is the ‘chain mail’ type, not the flat, very shiny linked bags which are still made today.

[Note the size in relation to a woman’s hand. Apparently, the woman of 1924 did not have to carry as many objects in her daytime handbag as we do now!]

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Koret Purses, Aris Gloves, 1934

The Clutch Bag, 1930s

A zippered clutch bag with a Schiaparelli-inspired coat, 1934

A zippered clutch bag with a Schiaparelli-inspired coat, 1934

In his book Zipper,  Robert Friedel explained that in 1923, handbag framers went on strike. With normal handbag production stopped, the manufacturers realized that a purse that closed with a zipper could be made by a seamstress, and would not need a frame.  Men’s tobacco pouches already used zippers; a flat or fold-over purse was a logical development.  Indirectly, the 1923 framers’ strike led to the fashion for clutch purses in the 1930s.

'Envelop' purses, Butterick transfer pattern # 16147, 1931

‘Envelop’ purses, Butterick transfer pattern # 16147, 1931

You could make your own quilted “Envelop” purses from a Butterick craft /embroidery transfer pattern, dated 1931. The fabrics recommended for these Art Deco bags are satin, flat crêpe, taffeta, or, for evening use, velvet. The pattern description doesn’t call for a zipper, but by 1931, according to Friedel, manufactured purses were using 35% of the nation’s zipper supply (p. 174).

Koret Bags for Spring, 1934

The Vintage Traveler has written on the Koret Company’s history  and one of its later designers, Magda Makkay[Koret of California, a sportswear manufacturer, was not connected to the Koret purse company.]  In a 1934 Delineator  article about accessories for Spring, several Koret purses were featured. 1934 march p 17 top rt koret bags - Copy

Above:  “Accessories to wear to a chic luncheon include a string-leather belt with a metal buckle, Stern; a monogrammed [zippered] bag, Koret; and beige suede stitched gloves, Aris.” 1934 march top left delman shoes koret bags p 17Above:  “Town accessories for a tailored suit: a sharply striped silk scarf, Stern Brothers  ; very flat envelop bag of fabric, Koret; perforated suede oxfords, Delman; clip watch.”1934 march p 17 btm rt koret bags btm rt - Copy

Above:  “Vary a tailored suit with this fabric bag, Koret; suede gloves, Aris; and a spotted linen handkerchief and a black enameled cigaret case, both from Stern.”1934 march p 17 btm leftdelman shoes koret bags btm left - Copy

Above:  “For a legal cocktail before dinner wear, with a black town suit, patent pumps with a strip trimming, Delman; and a bag to match, Koret; black suede gloves, Aris; and enameled cigaret case, Stern.” Prohibition had recently ended, in December, 1933, so it was possible to have a ‘legal cocktail’ for the first time in 13 years. The Delman shoe company and Aris gloves are still in business. 1934 april p 70 easterwomen with clutch pursesBoth women are carrying clutch, or ‘envelop’ purses with their Easter outfits, April 1934.  [Butterick pattern illustration from Delineator magazine.]

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Shoes from Paris, 1928, Part 2: Netch et Bernard (and Vionnet)

Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, Delineator, Oct. 1928

Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, Delineator, Oct. 1928

Netch and Bernard (and Madeleine Vionnet) Part 2:  

In a previous post about Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, from Delineator magazine,  October, 1928, I described the shoes by Ducerf Scavini pictured on the left hand page.  This post is about the right hand page, with shoes by Netch et Bernard.  [Vionnet married Netch (Captain Dimitri Netchvolodoff) in 1923.]  Netch et Frater shoes can be seen in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, but I haven’t found any references online to Netch et Bernard.  The Delineator article was written by Marie Beynon Ray.  Her chief point was that “Many American manufacturers still continue to copy the most bizarre and striking of the French designs, and to cheapen and debase the finer ones,” resulting in a “popular misconception of French chic.”

The French Revolution in Shoes

“Ten – a dozen years ago – a shoe was merely a utility, a high boot, buttoned and laced, in brown or black leather, sturdily made to do the heaviest service of any article in the entire wardrobe…. Then came the French revolution in shoes – daytime shoes cut like evening slippers, made of the lightest and most perishable of leathers, and frankly proclaiming themelves articles of luxury…. American manufacturers, missing the spirit of French innovation, seized upon its most superficial characteristics, and produced abortions and eccentricities. The most startling and bizarre styles of the third-rate Parisian bottiers who cater to American gullibility were generally selected as models by manufacturers instead of the restrained and elegant but far less noticeable designs of the master craftsmen; and America was swept by a tidal wave of bad taste in footwear. These snub-nosed, be-ribboned, and be-jazzed atrocities were made and sold by the millions in America….”

The Truly Smart Frenchwoman’s Shoes

The truly smart Frenchwoman’s shoes are designed “to finish the foot inconspicuously and in perfect harmony with the costume…. Her preferred footgear for evening is a plain beige satin slipper or one matching the color of her gown or her other accessories….1928 oct paris shoes article p 118 rt big Netch et Bernard Netch et Bernard’s model, labeled Q on these pages, may appear a bit unusual, … as far as any really smart Frenchwoman will ever go on the road to eccentricity; and when you consider that this evening slipper can be made inconspicuously in flesh colored crêpe de Chine, piped with flesh colored kid, to be worn with matching stockings… you will admit that there is nothing bizarre about it.”

Ten Netch et Bernard Shoes, Fall of 1928

There are several pairs of shoes in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection signed Netch and Frater, and dated to the 1930s,  but I haven’t found any references to Netch et Bernard. Perhaps the company reorganized between 1928 and 1930, or perhaps Delineator Magazine was in error.  Shoes Q and S, which the article decribes as “a bit unusual,” must have been influential, since they appear to be the ancestors of many shoes familiar to vintage dealers.  The Met’s collection reminds us of the glorious colors possible.Netch et Bernard K to N

K. Saddle strap shoe. This is dark brown with darker saddle of unborn calf.

L. One-strap shoe for daytime. Beige and brown kid with woven beading.

M. High-cut pump, brilliant and dull in black patent kid and antelope.

N. Evening pump. Rose-beige satin and gold kid – cut out in ladder design.Netch et Bernard O  to P

O. High-cut slipper of two smart leathers, black patent kid and black lizard.

P. Pump with triangles of gold and silver kid on black patent leather.Netch et Bernard Q to T

Q. Sandal of vermillion crêpe de Chine with bands of silver kid for trimming.

R. Mule of gilded wood. The straps are silver kid encrusted with gold triangles.

S. Evening sandal. A simplified model in flesh crêpe and colored kid.

T. Laughing mask mule. Soft bright blue kid with gold piping and lining. [Viewed from the front, this mule would bear the mask of comedy! In profile, it shows one eye and half of the smiling mouth.]

Netch et Bernard: The Vionnet Connection

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

“One model, lettered Q and S…may appear… not ornate, but a bit unusual…. Doubtless the design was inspired by the beautiful triangular and V shaped motifs which Madame Vionnet uses so ubiquitously, for the Netch of Netch et Bernard is Madame Vionnet’s husband, and his shoes, shown in conjunction with Vionnet’s dresses, are frequently inspired by her designs…. In many of the models, a touch that is purely classical or geometrical indicates the intention of this bottier to harmonize his shoes with the costumes designed by Vionnet, a feature of which the chic woman may well take advantage.” Although Netch is not often mentioned in connection with Vionnet, Betty Kirke’s Madeleine Vionnet, an extraordinary book, confirms that Netch and Vionnet were married in 1923, and that, “after they married, he supplied the shoes for her salon.” (p. 135)  They separated in the 1930s and were divorced in 1943.  Monsieur Bernard remains a mystery to me.  Here is the relevant text, from Delineator Magazine, October, 1928, page 129:1928 oct paris shoes contd small

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Shoes from Paris, 1928; Part 1: Ducerf Scavini Shoes

Twenty Shoe Styles from the Twenties, and a Vionnet Connection

Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, Delineator, Oct. 1928

Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks, Delineator, Oct. 1928

Shoes from Paris to Wear with the New Winter Frocks appeared in Delineator magazine in October, 1928.  The article was signed by Marie Beynon Ray.  It’s quite long, and features twenty different shoes, so I will break it up into two posts. I’ll show you an overview and close-ups of the shoes from the left hand page first, with their descriptions, and discuss the right hand page and text of the article in my next post, but the surprise appears at the very end of her story:  The shoes on the right hand side of the article, by Netch et Bernard, are attributed to the husband of Madeleine Vionnet, and said to be inspired by her designs and shown with her collection.  Netch shoes from the 1930s can be found in museum collections, labeled Netch and Frater, but I have not found a reference to Netch et Bernard. In fact, I couldn’t find an internet mention of Vionnet’s relationship with Captain Netch, although their marriage is discussed in Madeleine Vionnet, by Betty Kirke.

Ducerf Scavini Shoes, Fall of 1928 1928 oct paris shoes Ducerf Scavini

The shoes on the left side of the feature are all from the Paris establishment Ducerf-Scavini. [The name is hyphenated in the article.] You can see a slightly later pair of Ducerf Scavini shoes, very colorful, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum,  and other pairs, with label, at Shoe-Icons.  Ms. Ray points out that all ten Ducerf Scavini shoe designs are based on the same model, with additions and variations. “It is so easy to select one model and then say, ‘And I’ll take the same thing in beige antelope and brown patent leather for afternoon; in turquoise crêpe de Chine with gold pipings for evening; in white antelope and brown and white lizard for sports….’ “ducerf-scavini A to DA. Twisted strap slipper. It is dark blue satin with gold piping and embroidery.

B. Evening slipper. A line of silver kid and strass on iridescent pink kid.

C. Low-high heel mule. The gray antelope is bordered with kid, lined with satin.

D. Satin slipper of green and white with an emerald and diamond ornament.ducerf-scavini E FE. Buckle slipper. The leather is gold lizard and stones are square-cut topaz.

F. Polka-dot slipper for afternoon in two tones of beige with mauve dots.ducerf-scavini G to JG. Modernistic shoe encrusted with silver and patent kid on gun metal.

H. Crêpe de Chine slipper. An evening model in pale green with silver kid.

I. Straw shoe for the south. Natural panama trimmed with scarlet lizard.

J. Sports shoe. The brown and white classic of the sidelines, leather heeled.

To be continued….

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Five Blouses and a Hat from 1924

5 blouses, 1924

One Vintage Pattern Leads to Another

Photo used with permission of connieandcompany

Photo used with permission of connieandcompany

When I used this blouse pattern, # 5508,  as an example of how vintage Butterick patterns could be dated using witness2fashion.com, I discovered four other interesting blouses on the same page of the Delineator, September, 1924.

Three Twenties Blouses (click on image to enlarge)1924 sept blouses 5502 5508 5486 10225 p 31 top

Blouse #5502: “For Fall, choose a slip-over blouse of crêpe de Chine, silk broadcloth, satin, etc., to wear with a two-piece skirt of wool rep, soft twills, cheviot, etc.”

Blouse #5508: “The slip-over blouse is smart to wear with a wrap-around straight skirt with set-in pockets, etc. Initials trim this blouse of heavy crepe de Chine, etc.”

Blouse #5486: “A new costume is composed of a jacquette blouse of crêpe de Chine, silk crêpe, or satin crêpe and a one-piece wrap-around straight skirt of soft twills, etc. The embroidery is easily done.” [Hmmmm. Define “easily.” It seems to be done with a blanket-stitch. You could purchase Butterick embroidery transfer 10225.]

Two More Twenties Blouses 1924 septblouses p 31 btm

Blouse #5490:  “The scarf collar slips through a slash and gives a new effect to this slip-over blouse of plain or printed crêpe de Chine or silk crêpe, or of satin crêpe. 36 bust requires 1 3/4 yard 39-inch novelty crêpe.”

Blouse #5498 and Hat #5353:  “Both collar and cuffs of this slip-over blouse with a shoulder yoke may be sewed to the blouse or detachable. Use silk broadcloth, heavy crêpe de Chine, silk jersey, silk crêpe, etc. For the tricorne hat use velvet, duvetyn, etc. “

Both these blouses could be made with long or short sleeves. [Theatre curtains are often made of duvetyn, a brushed pile fabric which was light-absorbent – like velvet – but sturdy and able to be treated with fire retardant.]

And a 1920s Tricorne Hat Pattern1924 july p 36 hat 5353I associate clôche hats from the Twenties with felt or straw, but several four-gore or six-gore Butterick hat patterns were available for the home stitcher, and could be made of wool, silk, velvet, etc. 

hat 5353 top left#5353:  “One of the latest arrivals in this country from Paris is the smart little tricorne hat with its gored crown. It boasts a hand-made ornament on its brim. Make the hat of wool jersey, serge, soft twills, duvetyn, broadcloth, camel’s-hair, satin, or taffeta.” [The hat would need to be stiffened; Custom Milliner Wayne Wichern says he uses tailoring supply natural hair cloth in his taffeta and silk hats.]

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