In November 1929, Butterick’s Delineator Magazine ran two full pages of sketches of Paris Fashions — Vionnet, Chanel, Patou, Schiaparelli, Molyneux, and many other top designers, some of whom are no longer very well known.
In order to make these sketches available for further research, I’ll try to show them one at a time, with their original descriptions from The Delineator. And, because there are thirty sketches in all, I’ll show 15 designs for daytime today, and designs 16 through 30 in Part 2.
After 1929, hems dropped precipately. Patou claimed the credit, but I won’t pursue that here. Schiaparelli, who wore culottes in the city in 1935, showed a pleated “knicker” skirt with a covering panel here, in 1929. The sketches are accompanied by the original descriptions. Perhaps you’ll find other surprises….
Paris Fashions for Daytime Sketched in the Delineator, November, 1929
The coat seems to be about the length of the dresses shown by other designers, but it’s hard to tell what is going on with Patou’s pleated skirt. Notice the suggestion of a natural waist, trimmed with buttons.
The illustrator, Leslie Saalburg, seems to have had a little trouble with this one. As we know from Elizabeth Hawes’ Fashion Is Spinach, illustrators had to make furtive notes and then sketch from memory later.
London Trades is one of those designer names, popular in the 1920’s, but rarely mentioned today.
Mme. Cheruit herself retired in 1914, but the House of Cheruit carried on until 1930. This Cheruit tea-gown from 1922 shows strong influence from The Ballets Russes: Big, bold patterns and brilliant, exotic colors.
“Captain Molyneux” — he was an Englishman — also produced some spectacular evening wear. Click here for a glimmering dress from 1926-27.
A caracal is a lynx-like cat with beautiful tufted ears. See more here.
Astrakhan is a tightly curled fur, a variation on “Persian” lamb. Click here if you need to know more….
Nutria (also called coypu) is a rodent. Raised for fur, some nutria escaped. In 2010, it was being treated as an invasive species in Louisiana. The New York Times explained here.
Cheviot is a kind of wool. This dress is slightly longer than other dresses of 1929 shown in the same article. Perhaps more interesting is the belt — worn approximately at the natural waist. Patou was famous for his sportswear in the 1920’s. You can read about his monogrammed sportswear in this article about the influence of tennis on fashion.
Duveteen was a napped fabric, often suggested for Butterick patterns in the Delineator . The flared skirt was fairly new, but this Cheruit outfit was soon to be out of style without ever being really in style.
Mary Nowitsky was often mentioned in Delineator’s Paris coverage; I find some of her twenties’ sportswear very attractive. It’s hard to find information about her.
Chanel’s striped dress anticipates the 1930’s — except in length. More Chanel in the next post, Part 2 of Paris Fashions from The Delineator, 1929.