Friday, September 19, 2014

Claire McCardell: 1942 Popover dress, the design diagram

When it comes to an American classic, this popover dress by Claire McCardell is one of the most popular. McCardell was able to capture a moment in the social scene where utility and fashion intersected, creating this original garment design that was patented October 31, 1942 at a time when yardage and trims were in short supply.

This dress wraps across the front and buttons down the left side. It pre-dates the later back wrapped house dresses made popular by such labels as Swirl. Sewn up in sturdy fabrics like cotton denim, it provided a women with a serviceable garment that had a bit of style as well.

A photo of the original appears in the MetMuseum web site HERE. With a closer look at the actual garment, it appears that the sleeves were probably cut very 'flat' in a kimono shape, rather than set to hang down at a angle from the shoulder line, as the draft suggests.

If you are wondering about patenting apparel, it is interesting to note that at one time the apparel industry tried this method to reduce copies from being made of original garments.  Class D2 patents (apparel) during the 1940's was about 16.6% of all patents (compare this with 3.6% today).  That was for 45,277 patents made during the 40's.

source: US Patents


Lynn said...

But where's the pot holder? McCardell is just a genius of style and functionality.

Jen O said...

that potholder doesn't show up here--perhaps it was a later addition to the outfit.

Lizzie said...

How interesting. I've often wondered why designers don't turn to the design patent. Nothing makes me happier than to find a garment label complete with patent number.