Tag Archives: Frances Clyne

Caught in the Twenties

Cover of Delineator magazine, September 1928. Illustration by Helen Dryden.

Cover of Delineator magazine, September 1928. Illustration by Helen Dryden.

Caught isn’t the right word; “enraptured” might be more accurate. I finally have a chance to visit bound volumes from the mid-nineteen twenties and photograph them, and I wish I could post everything I find. By 1928, Delineator magazine is filled with the styles we think of as “the twenties.”

Butterick patterns for January 1928. Delineator, p. 33.

Butterick patterns for January 1928. Delineator, p. 33. Composite from original illustration. I’ll return to these patterns in a later post. Love that coat!

There’s a strong Art Deco influence in the geometry of day dresses, and there’s drama, beading, and a flutter of chiffon in the evening.

A beaded gown from Paquin, Frbruary 1928, and a jewel studded gown from Lanvin, March 1928. Delineator magazine.

A gown from Paquin, February 1928, and a jewel-studded evening gown from Lanvin, March 1928. Delineator magazine.

For a knock-out evening coat by Lanvin, circa 1927, click here.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a sixties’ girl that the proportions of 1928 look “right” to me.  Not that I would ever want to wear a straight-torso-with-hip-belt dress, but the knee-length skirt balances them better than the skirt lengths of 1925 or 1926.

Print fabrics, Butterick patterns; Delineator, August 1928.

Print fabrics, Butterick patterns; Delineator, August 1928.

With my library time machine, I’m currently “visiting” 1926, 1927 and 1928.  I try to bounce around from decade to decade in this blog, but getting out of the late Twenties is going to be hard.

Joyful geometry: Butterick patterns in Delineator, February 1928.

Joyful geometry: Butterick patterns in Delineator, February 1928. I love the way the angle of the trim on the bodice is echoed by the angle of the pleated skirt panel. Interesting that the button is located at the natural waist….

I’ve already written about the fashion shift of the mid-twenties (click here.) Just to review, fashions for young women (15 to 20) were slightly shorter than those for mature women in 1925 and 1926.

Patterns for adult women, Delineator, December 1925.

Patterns for adult women, Delineator, December 1925.

Patterns for girls 15 to 20, and small women. Delineator, December 1925.

Patterns for girls 15 to 20, and small women. Delineator, December 1925.

Left, teens 15 to 20; right, adult women. composite based on Delineator, December 1925.

Left, teens 15 to 20; right, adult women. Composite based on Delineator ilustrations, December 1925.

Because teens and adults were drawn differently, it’s hard to get an exact comparison, but the hems on the adult women seem to be a couple of inches farther below the knee. When I compare the two dresses in the center, the orange one on the right looks dowdy to my modern eyes. All four figures are drawn with impossibly long torsos.

Here are some Butterick fashions from 1926:

Pictured are two little girls, and four girls aged "8 to 15 years." Their dresses are quite short, but look like young adult fashions of a couple years later. Delineator, February 1926.

Pictured are two little girls, and four girls aged “8 to 15 years.” Their dresses are quite short, but look like young adult fashions of a year later. Delineator, February 1926.

The proportions on these knee length skirts look “right” to me, but they are not dresses for young women; they are for girls under 15. I especially like that plum colored outfit on the far left.

Two adult women and two girls 8 to 16 years. Delineator, February 1926.

Two adult women flanked by two girls aged 8 to 16 years. Delineator, February 1926.

These are Butterick patterns from 1927:

Women's fashions with straight silhouettes. Butterick 1329 and 1317, Delineator, March 1927.

Women’s fashions with straight silhouettes. Butterick Nos. 1329 and 1317, Delineator, March 1927. I love the use of graded values of the same color, and those repeated geometric, Art Deco jogs on the dress at left — with matching cuffs. Skirts end just below the kneecap.

These couture designs for evening, 1927, use metallic fabrics and beading, and look quintessentially “Twenties.” It would be hard to mistake the dress on the left for any other era.

Left, a fringed and beaded evening gown by Paquin; right a straight metallic dress with ruffles, by Jeanne Carette. Delineator, January 1927, p. 16.

Left, a salmon pink-and-silver fringed and beaded evening gown by Paquin; right, a straight gold metallic cloth dress with finely pleated ruffles, by Yvonne Carette. Delineator, January 1927, p. 16.

Two evening dresses by Chanel. Left, a metallic brocade; right, a dress completely covered with black beads. Delineator, January 1927.

Two evening dresses by Chanel. Left, “deep orange” lace; right, a dress completely covered with black beads. Delineator, January 1927.

1927 jan p 16 designer Chane ltext black beaded J Desvignes illus

Detail of paillette beading on black Chanel dress; Delineator, January 1927.

Detail of paillette beading on black Chanel dress; Delineator, January 1927.  Apparently the beads change direction, giving a checkerboard effect.

If you love the Twenties, it’s hard not to think, “Now, we’re getting somewhere!”

The Metropolitan Museum has a beaded dress from 1926 attributed to Chanel; click here — and don’t forget to click on “Additional Images” for a a close-up of the beading and spangles.

A few images from 1928:

Two women's dresses from October 1928. Butterick 2243 and 2267.

Two women’s dresses from October 1928. Butterick patterns 2243 and 2267. Note the zigzag formed by the skirt panels at right. It’s hard to see, but the band on the left dress is two colors, or two shades of the same color.

This young lady appeared in an ad for Fleischmann’s yeast, which, she said, restored her health. The fabric of her glittering dress is quite striking:

Fleischmann's Yeast ad, Delineator, May 1928.

Fleischmann’s Yeast ad, Delineator, May 1928.

Butterick patterns for women from teens to bust 44". The coat came in sizes 46 and 48, too. Delineator, November 1928. Hems area already on their way down.

Butterick patterns for misses and women (from teens to bust 44″.) The coat came in sizes 46 and 48, too. Delineator, November 1928. Hems are already on their way down.

For more about 1928 “Hems Going Down,” click here. This cartoon dates from 1929.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Hosiery, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns, vintage photographs, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes

Hems Going Down Part 2: July 1928

Afternoon and daytime fashions for July 1928. Butterick patterns featured in Delineator magazine.

Afternoon and daytime fashions for July 1928. Butterick patterns featured in Delineator magazine.

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this “Hems Going Up/ Hems Going Down” series, even in the years when 1920’s hems were at their shortest, there were options for longer variations, especially in more formal afternoon and evening dresses.

Sleeve length was another indicator of formality:

Day dresses, July 1928. Buitterick patterns 2129, 2066, and 1961. Delineator.

Day dresses, July 1928. Butterick patterns 2129, 2066, and 1961. Delineator.

The dress on the right, #1961, is shown sleeveless, but:  “The sleeveless printed frock may be worn for afternoon out of town; … for town add long sleeves.” It was suggested that the center dress, # 2066, be made in red, white, and blue.

These three dresses have hems that are simultaneously long and short:

Afternoon dresses for July 1928. Butterick patterns 2086, 2133, and 2038. Delineator.

Afternoon dresses for July 1928. Butterick patterns 2086, 2133, and 2038. Delineator.

The tiered dress on the left, #2086, “slips on over the head.” It is shorter in front than in back — a style favored by Misses aged 15 to 20 in 1926. (click here.) or (here) In 1928, pattern #2086 was available in sizes 15 to 18 years and ladies’ bust sizes 36 to 42 inches.  The dress in the middle (# 2133) with its “smooth hipline, circular flare, uneven hem, and fagotting, is smart beyond measure.” The dress on the right (#2038) was versatile:  with its long-sleeved bridge coat [i.e., jacket] it was “suitable for formal afternoon. Without the coat it is a chic [sleeveless] evening frock, with an uneven hem, long at the sides. . . . Designed for sizes 32 to 40.”

Six hems, July 1928. Delineator.

Six hems, July 1928. Delineator.

It’s interesting that the dresses with uneven hems (on the left) are shorter at their shortest point than the dresses with straight hems — as if the high and low hems average out to the “standard” length.

Three dresses from Frances Clyne, illustrated iin Delneator, July 1928.

Three dresses from Frances Clyne, illustrated in Delineator, July 1928.

“At teatime in town the woman at left is serenely cool in her diaphanous black chiffon frock and shadowy hat. The frock has a tiered skirt that trails to the ankles in back and a long, vague scarf.” [It’s a hem born to be stepped on, I’m afraid.] “The definite contrast of surface and color is used with skill in [the middle] frock. The blouse is lustrous white satin, the skirt, dull back crepe. . . . Arrows are traced on the blouse with fine lines of cording.” Far right:  “The smooth, cool surface of black foulard is printed with small white figures, widely spaced, for this town dress of great chic. The bordered hemline is full and very long at the left side — a new note, for it is only this season that the uneven hem has been seen in the afternoon.” Frances Clyne operated an exclusive New York dress shop; in the 1930s, it was on Fifth Avenue.

More Summer Frocks from Butterick, July 1928

The Delineator illustrated many day and evening frocks in this issue — so many to each page that I have broken the diamond-shaped illustrations into manageable groups.

A straight hem (No. 2137) and a high in front, long in back hem (No. 2121) from Butterick, July 1928.

A short, straight hem (No. 2137) and a high-in-front, long-in-back hem (actually, a flounce) [ed. 7/5/15](No. 2121) from Butterick, July 1928.

Summer frocks:  No. 2137 (left) was for Misses 15 to 18 years (32 to 35 bust) and for ladies’ bust sizes 36 to 44. The high/low hemmed dress on the right (No. 2121) was designed for sizes 32 to 48 — the style is no longer reserved for younger women.

These dresses have long side drapes — much longer than their knee-length hems.

Butterick patterns 2117, 2127, and 2131; July 1928.

Butterick patterns 2117, 2127, and 2131; July 1928.

No. 2117 (left):  “The ripple of the jabot across the front and down the left side gives this simple frock the formality required of afternoon clothes. . . . This one-piece long-sleeved frock is designed for sizes 32 to 44.” No. 2131 (right) has a detachable vestee filling in the front and was sized for busts 32 to 52 inches. (Surplice-closing dresses were often recommended for large women in the 1920’s.) (Click here.)

Dancing Frocks, July 1928

Butterick patterns for evening frocks, # 2135 and 2125. July 1928.

Butterick patterns for evening frocks, # 2135 and 2125. July 1928.

No. 2135 is made of moire fabric, but is “also chic in Georgette or lace.” Designed for Misses 15 to 18 years and ladies with busts 36 to 44″.  No. 2125 (right): “This type of evening frock is smartest in satin crepe or lace.” Also for Misses 15 to 18 years and ladies with busts 36 to 44″.

Butterick evening dress patterns for July 1928. Left, No. 1962; right, No. 2109.

Butterick evening dress patterns for July 1928. Left, No. 1962; right, No. 2109.

No. 1962, above left, shows that the handkerchief hem is still chic, but shorter and more fluttery than it was a few years earlier; No. 2109, above right,  has a long hem on its right side and a trailing drapery on the left. Notice the large scale print on this sheer fabric.

Butterick patterns for evening dresses, July 1928. No. 2112 and No. 2123.

Butterick patterns for evening dresses, July 1928. No. 2112 and No. 2123.

Here, (No. 2112, on the left)  the scalloped, high-in front hem of 1926 seems to have shifted to the side of the body. It is balanced by a long sash on the opposite side.  No. 2112 also has “the shoe-string strap . . . featured by one of the most important French houses.” Above right,  “The classic evening gown of lace is included in every complete wardrobe — it is so chic and so practical.”  No. 2112 was for younger women — 15 to 20 years plus ladies’ sizes 38 and 40 —  but No. 2123, on the right, was available in pattern sizes up to 44 inches.

Evening gowns with short-in-front-long-in back hems. Butterick patterns 2087 and 2108, July 1928.

Evening gowns with short-in-front-long-in back hems. Butterick patterns 2087 and 2108, July 1928.

The dress on the left, No. 2087, is a grown-up version of the high/low scalloped frock worn by young women in 1926.

[EDIT ADDED 7/5/15:  I can’t resist linking to this dress featured in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section today:  Harputs Own black Pamper dress, which appears to be long in back, shorter in front. Click here.]

No. 2108 (above right): “the most successful evening frock of midsummer is the printed chiffon with the uneven hemline. . . . With long sleeves, it is chic for afternoon. . . . Designed for sizes 32 to 35 (ages 15 to 18 years) and sizes 32 to 42.” At the sides, the top layer is very short.

By March, 1929, apparently running out of new uneven hemline variations to describe, The Delineator proclaimed, “Among Uneven Hemlines the short position at the sides is new.”

"Among uneven hemlines the short position at the side is new." Delineator magazine, March 1929.

“Among uneven hemlines the short position at the sides is new.” Delineator magazine, March 1929.

Evening Coats

The 3/4 length coat, like the one above, or  a knee-length coat worn over long gowns  is typical. Since dresses’ hemlines were so varied, apparently fashion decreed that an evening hem draggling out below your coat was perfectly acceptable.

Evening coats and dresses, Delineator, 1929.

Evening coats and dresses, The Delineator, 1929.

Blogger Brooke (of Custom Style) commented that these short-in-front, long-in-back dresses remind her of mullet haircuts. More 1920’s mullets ahead . . . .

 

 

 

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Winter Fashions for Women, 1926

Paquin model imported by Hattie Carnegie; Delineator, Dec. 1926.

Paquin model imported by Hattie Carnegie; Delineator, Dec. 1926.

The lavish use of fur in the twenties and thirties may be repellent to us now, but these fashions for December, 1926, are undeniably glamorous. They are all from Delineator magazine. Two images illustrate clothes in the stores — very exclusive stores — and the rest illustrate Butterick patterns (Delineator was a Butterick publication.) The suit pictured above  is a Hattie Carnegie copy of a wine red velvet suit trimmed with beige fox, from the house of Paquin (French designer Jeanne Paquin had retired in 1920.)

Original model by Frances Clyne, in green and gray. Delineator, Dec. 1926.

Original model by Frances Clyne, in green and gray. Delineator, Dec. 1926.

Titled “Green and Gray,” the caption says “The New York version of the Paris ensemble is made by Frances Clyne in sea green bordered with dyed gray fox. The coat of green French wool swings slightly from the shoulder and is made with the new double animal collar. The frock is of green satin opening over lighter green crepe Elizabeth.” Frances Clyne operated an exclusive New York dress shop; in the 1930s, it was on Fifth Avenue.

This Butterick advertisement showed women how similar styles could be made at home, or by your own professional dressmaker.

Ad for Butterick patterns from Delineator, Dec. 1926.

Ad for Butterick patterns from Delineator, Dec. 1926.

“She has Paris taste and knowledge of clothes, and her Frock is Butterick Design 1155 and her Coat is Butterick Design 1105 made with the aid of the Deltor — a dressmaking chart in pictures for cutting, putting together, and finishing.” [punctuation added.]

Butterick was one of the first companies to offer a separate sheet of written instructions with its patterns. At the start of the twentieth century, patterns came with only the minimal instructions that would fit on the outside of the (usually quite small) pattern envelope.  “By 1920, Butterick referred to the [illustrated] instruction sheet as the ‘Deltor,’ short for Delineator.” [Joy Spanbel Emery in A History of the Paper Pattern Industry.]

I love the bold Art Deco fabric on this sporty coat:

Butterick patterns, Dec. 1926; A Chanel suit, January 1925. Both  illustrations are from Delineator.

Butterick coat and dress patterns, Dec. 1926; A Chanel suit, January 1925. Both illustrations are from Delineator.

The dress shown with the coat (left) shows the lasting influence of Gabrielle Chanel’s outfit from January 1925. The proportions of the tops are slightly different to balance the skirt length, which has risen drastically in just two years.

Here are four more styles from Butterick, featured in the same December 1926 issue.

Butterick coat and dress patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1926.

Butterick coat and dress patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1926.

Back views and description of Butterick 1174 and 1157, Dec. 1926.

Back views and description of Butterick 1174 and 1157, Dec. 1926.

The deep armholes of the dress at left required a similarly constructed coat:

Back views and description of Butterick patterns 1185 and 1158. Dec. 1926.

Back views and description of Butterick patterns 1185 and 1158. Dec. 1926.

[Fine ‘Plaits’ means fine pleats, not braids.] The backs of many 1920s dresses and coats were straight and plain, but this coat is snugged to the hip with tucks in front and back.

So far, I have not seen any mention in Delineator magazine of how women obtained the furs which were so often an important design element in Butterick coats. (Working with real furs is not the same as sewing with fabrics, and where would a small-town dressmaker find whole skins?)

Also, notice how similar many of these 1926 cloche hats are, with pinched or dented crowns.

Four cloche hats from Dec. 1926 Delineator.

Four cloche hats from Dec. 1926 Delineator.

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Hats, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Couture Designs, Vintage patterns

Underpinning Twenties Fashions: Girdles and Corsets

Frances Clyne dress, Gossard elastic Step-in girdle, original photo by Steichen

Frances Clyne dress, Gossard elastic Step-in girdle, original photo by Steichen

Flat in Front, Flat in Back

Bien Jolie Flexible Corsette ad, July 1924

Bien Jolie Flexible Corsette ad, July 1924

In our breast-obsessed culture — the culture of push-up bras, cleavage, silicone, and breast augmentation surgery – we are bewildered by the early 1920s fashion ideal, which emphasized a curve-free, flat-chested silhouette.

Most people have heard that women “bound their breasts” to achieve a boyish figure.  (I always pictured Ace bandages used like mummy wrappings, but I now know better. I’ll be showing some 1920s brassieres in a later post.)

This ad for a corsette or corselet, as they were sometimes called, shows a lightly boned combination brassiere and girdle creating the ideal silhouette of the early 20s.

What we forget is that the ideal twenties figure was as flat in back as it was in front.

Warner's Wrap-Around Corset Ad, 1925

Warner’s Wrap-Around Corset Ad, 1925

Even slender women required some help in achieving an unnaturally flattened bottom.

500 1925 april p 69 bon ton corset photo

Illustration of a woman having a dress fitted, from an ad for Bon Ton Corsets, April 1925.

500 bonton corset ad april 1925 wide

Two corsets from the same ad for Bon Ton Corsets, Delineator, April 1925.

Sports Girdle, 1924

Warren's Featherbone Girdle for Sports, 1924

Warren’s Featherbone Girdle for Sports, 1924

This Warren’s “Featherbone” sports girdle was for active women, but its “flat back is a noteworthy feature.”

Treo Girdle Ad, May 1925 (Click to Enlarge)

Treo Girdle Ad, May 1925 (Click to Enlarge)

You can compare it with this 1925 Treo girdle for average figures.

The Warren’s Featherbone allows the legs to move more easily, but does not allow for any development of the gluteal muscles.

Back Flattening Corsets for Larger Women

Larger women needed more help.1924 dec p 68 flattening corset top

1924 dec p 81 just bon ton corset flat“The full-figured woman may easily attain the stylish flat back and slender, youthful lines with …specially designed Bon Ton Round-U corsets…. Model 886 is a special design for excessive hips and lower back … [with] wide sections of substantial elastic beneath the corset which checks, controls, and reduces superfluous flesh and creates much desired lines of fashion.”1924 april short photo H W flattening corset p 111

An H & W girdle from 1924 “gives a perfect contour by holding down the hip and holding in the abdomen.” At $10.00, it is also expensive. The average working woman earned less than $30 a week in the 1920s. (Source: Uplift, by Beck and Gau,  p. 39)

Average Measurements, 1925

The 1925 Gossard girdle advertisement, with its embroidered dress from Frances Clyne, which appears at the top of this post contained this description of “average measurements” for an American Girl, 5′ 4″: chest 34″, waist 26″, hips 35″. Presumably, she was wearing a girdle. flat with measurement text

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Filed under 1920s, Corselettes, Corsets, Corsets & Corselettes, Girdles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Underthings, Hosiery, Corsets, etc, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes