Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1961: Jerry Silverman Suit

1961 suit Jerry SilvermanThis wool suit for Fall 1961, was designed by Shannon Rodgers for Jerry Silverman. The top has a deep "V" sailor style collar with self bow typical of the early 1960's. A peek of the silk blouse worn under it is seen in the contrast neckline. A matching six gored skirt completes the suit. It probably had a bit of an "A" line silhouette. This light weight wool outfit was sold in "San Marco gold, Doge Red, and Lido Green" for $90 at such stores as Bergdorf Goodman (New York), Blum's-Vogue (Chicago), and Neiman-Marcus (Dallas).

This illustration style was drawn on a smooth paper, with an even stroke. The casual fill strokes may be oil pastel or chalk that was put on the paper first, before the ink lines were drawn.

Monday, January 30, 2012

1972: Prom and Party Styles

Simplicity 9725, 1972

Simplicity 9709, 1972

The two Simplicity patterns shown here date from Spring, 1972 and include textile swatches suggested for each pattern style.

Simplicity 9725 was part of a young looking group called "Young Contemporary Fashion". It included styles that seemed to be currently selling in the market for juniors. Fabric suggestions include 50% polyester/50% rayon blend wovens in a sheer leno stripe weave. The midriff waistline with flutter sleeves was influenced by the vintage 1930's styles popular at that time.

Simplicity 9709 is a bit more mature, from the "Designer Fashion" collection (no name mentioned in this promotional group). It was suggested for patio parties and proms. The black bodice shows up often during this era, worn over bright abstract or floral patterns. The fabrics shown here are 75% acetate/25% nylon in a textured 'terry cloth' texture on a velour knit. Bright solids are paired with very graphic prints inspired by Pucci and patchwork quilts.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fashion Illustration by Eric, C. 1940's

Another great fashion illustration by "Eric" (Carl Erickson) who was a strong graphic influence from the 1930's through 1950's for the American "Vogue" magazine. There is a mention of Carl Erickson this month in "Vogue" along with a small glimpse of him in a fashion photo of Gertrude Stein by Horst (see February, 2012, page 112).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Color: Turquoise collections

Turquoise collections seem to be popping up alot lately.

All three color groups here include my bright turquoise mid-1950's dress with other artifacts of the same hue.

There are several combinations of turquoise and red/pink, a color set that is both new and classic at the same time.

This is the fun dress that was included in all of the color treasuries above. It is a princess seam line style cut from a heavy, crisp taffeta faille. There is a fitted empire waistline, bound armholes and a little tab in front with a golden bow pin. It is currently available online HERE.

Top color treasury: "Vintage Turquoise", by Saturdays Market HERE

Middle color treasury: "Color Lab 1: Turquoise" by Make Haste Design HERE

Lower color treasury: "Tell Me the Truth" by Simply A Circle HERE

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Asian Inspired: Bonnie Cashin Coat, June 1950

This Asian inspired coat is a very early example of the direction that Bonnie Cashin would explore in the decades to come: simple "T" shaped coat with narrow mandarin collar. Here she uses linen and embellishes it with frog closures in a design for Adler and Adler. Later those frogs would become her signature brass twist locks.

description from "Vogue", June, 1950:
"Sawed-off Chinese coolie coat--new length: white Irish linen, frog closings: three-quarter length sleeves. A summer coat with more than one life to share. First and foremost, a life with a bathing suit; then, perhaps, over a slender skirt in town, slacks at home. Coat by Bonnie Cashin, $30, At Lord & Taylor; Garfinckel's; Neiman-Marcus."

This photo of Bonnie Cashin shows her wearing the same coat, worn casually with pushed up sleeves (a style she favored).

The second image shown here is from the UCLA Special Collections website on Bonnie Cashin

Monday, January 9, 2012

Late 1930's Fashion Illustration by Eric: Carl Erickson

Eric, Carl Erickson
Eric was an American fashion illustrator during the 1930's through mid-1950's. His full name was Carl Erickson (1891 - 1958). He is best known for his full color "Vogue" editorials, that he created during the more than 35 years that he contributed to the magazine.

Eric's style included a sensitive line often created with black brush strokes or charcoal made on rough paper. His portraits of famous clients included Gertrude Stein, Queen Elizabeth and President Roosevelt. He worked from live models, rather than photos. Most of this time he lived in Paris, the fashion center during those decades.

This illustration was cropped and removed from the original magazine issue, so the date is general: about 1938.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Victorian Styled Hats from the late 1930's

These adorable illustrations come from the late 1930's, artist unknown. There is such a sweet Victorian revival style to the look. Victorian influences were wildly popular during the late 1930's and into the 1940's. The classic 1939 movie "The Women" with designs by Gilbert Adrian is a great way to see these quirky little hats in action.

Friday, January 6, 2012

RBW: Count Rene Bouet-Willaumez, Fashion Illustrations: June 1950

1950s illustrations
50s fashion illustrations
The three fashion illustrations here are editorial drawings from the June 1950 issue of "Vogue" magazine painted by Count Rene Bouet-Willaumez (RBW). He was a top fashion illustrator from the pre-WWII era, along with Carl Erickson, better known as "Eric", Christian Berard and Rene Bouche. Having built a strong reputation during the 1930's, RBW would continue to provide drawings for Vogue and Bazaar into the early 1950's.

His loose, Asian inspired brush work illustation style was part of the "Expressionist" movement. He was proficient in creating a dynamic illustration using black india ink on rough cotton paper. The 1950's would mark the end of fashion illustration editorials in glossy fashion magazines. Photography moved quickly into the dominant editorial position.

Drawing from a live model wearing the dress, his technique can be seen in the use of a wet paper to flow on the gray shaded areas. When that had dried, he painted the illustration, probably using a tapered asian paint brush or similar shaped water color brush dipped in deep black india ink. The textured areas are 'dry brush' painted with a brush that has had the ink pressed out, so the brush is damp. This style had a sensitive line that was popular through out the magazine and newspaper industry during this era.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gres, Fall Collection, 1961

1961, Gres
Paris Collections, Fall 1961
Designer, Gres
"L'Officiel" Magaine
Dress: Orange silk with scarf tied in front

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Spring 1972: 40 Years Ago, Sportswear Patterns and Fabric

Simplicity 9650
1972 fabricForty years ago, Simplicity pattern company produced a guide to Spring 1972 teen fashions along with textiles suitable for each pattern. This first pattern (Simplicity 9650) features a safari outfit, with shorts or flare leg pants. Style suggestions include adding a 'rugged leather belt', neck scarf or hat.

Colorful denim is advised for sewing this outfit. These swatches are 50% Kodel polyester / 50% cotton in 44-45" widths. Popular colors are simple primaries: red, light blue and classic denim blue. Naturals in brown with a coordinate stripe offer an alternative to the brights.

These illustrations were produced for Spring 1972 in a large format portfolio of pattern pages opposite the swatch pages. The portfolio is titled "Teen Fashion Environment" and was produced by the W.T. Grant company, a discount chain store that carried fabric and sewing patterns in small towns across the U.S.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Vintage Inspired Calendars

This journal page was written on New Year's day, 1879 by my great-great grandmother from her farm near Melpine, Iowa. She recounts the day's events, including meeting with her sewing society.

What are you doing this year to record your own schedule of events? It's not too late to find a vintage fashion inspired calendar in your local bookstore. For me, the weekly layout works best, but I do love a colorful wall calendar too. It's nice to have something to glance at during the month to remind me what is on my agenda each week.

Here are a few of the fun vintage fashion calendars available this year to get you started on your hunt for the perfect calendar (before they all sell out!).

Desk top weekly: "Fashion of the 20th Century", this one is by Taschen and sports an ad from magazines each week. It does feature the entire century, which is fun. This weekly will keep my appointments on time (at least I'm hoping!).

Wall calendar, monthly: "Handbags", by Image Connection, This calendar features 12 fun handbags for 2012.

Wall calendar, monthly: "365 Days of Shoes" by Workman Publishing. Styled with a shoe for every day, this is a fun concept full of amazing images. We hang up a version of this calendar every year in the design studio so we know what's scheduled for the future.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

50's PinUp Vintage for New Years!

This group of 1950's looks inspire a Pin-up look. The styles come from Etsy sellers, and are featured on the website HERE. Our very own blue plaid drop waist dress with a cute back bow is part of this group, HERE.

This treasury is by lolipopsdesigns on etsy.


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