Thursday, August 12, 2010

1940's Hawaiian styles and Lauren Bacall

Audree Gay Creations, California, c. late 1930's through 1940's

I saw the Alfred Shaheen exhibit of Hawaiian fashions recently and it brought to mind this sultry gown in an aloha print fabric. The fashion styling blends a bit of Pacific sarong skirt with a mainland cowl neck top. A flash of midriff is seen between the skirt and cropped top that is held in place by the insertion of a center front tab, attaching the skirt to bodice. This cocktail or evening style would have been a sensation on the dance floor of the WWII era ball room or private patio party.

It is made from a fine navy blue rayon crepe with white floral design, to immitate the better Japanese kabe crepe that was first imported and later inspired the Hawaiian tropicals of the 1930's and 1940's pre-war years.

To Have and Have Not,1944, Lauren Bacall, designer Milo Anderson (1910-1984)

The aloha print rayon dress is similar to a sleek version of the same style by Milo Anderson for Lauren Bacall in 1944. Her sarong skirt and midriff top are linked (literally) by a metal ring: a style that would take fire in the 1970's. Her top is more artfully custom draped, but the overall sense of style is still the same: bared midriff with a tropical front draped skirt.

It is interesting that this flattering style is so seldom seen in fashion. The concept is a perfect example of 'less is more' when it comes to body exposure!


groovygirl1311 said...

Hi there,

I have just managed to pick up a dress by the same creator "Audree Gay Creations" and am wondering if you have any more info or would know where to look for more about the designer. The web is bringing up zip apart from you blog :) Having said that, I am glad that I have stumbled across you blog now, it's been bookmarked for sure!

Cheers, T

Jen O said...

I don't have much on this company, but I do have some documentation that shows they were part of a Los Angeles fashion industry Market Week, May 1948:
"46 manufacturers, all categories, (150 exhibitors)
Carl Naftal Originals, Tina of CA, Bill Kopp, Berens and Bloom, Collegiate Skirt Co., Philmore Sportswear, Little and Martin, Lanz of CA, Murray Goldstein, Woman-Wark of CA, Marilyn Classics, Catalina, Inc, Westward Ho Sportswear, Andree Gay Creations, Johny Lee of CA, Phil Sockette, Casual Time of CA, Ambassador Frocks, Dohn-Goldwater, Gaines and Co, Perky Teen , Tailored Slacks of Hollywood, Terri or CA, Roberts, Intl, Sportswear of CA, Sun Rose Sportswear, Madalyn Miller, Beverly Vogue, Edith Philips, Linda, Ro-Nel of CA, Betty Frock Cl, Jack Goldberg, Jean Durain, Doing of Ca, Maurice Holman, Ca. Sports Novelieies, Graff, Lipson Garment, Mildred’s Mary Cheely, Trude of CA, Arlene of Hollywood, Lee-Mar, Picture Modes, Gordon and Marx"
You will notice the 'Made in California' or 'of CA' labels. There was a big push to promote the state's fashion industry that had begun in 1944. This was along with the 'Hollywood' labels seen at that time.

Travels With Uncle Sam said...

You have a lovely blog.

closetcasecarmen said...

Is that Hawaiian dress available?