Monday, May 8, 2017

Glibert Adrain, American Fashion Designer: 1947 Suit, Part 1


Looking closely at a 1940s vintage jacket by Gilbert Adrian can help us understand its style and silhouette. Originally from a 40s suit, this press photo of designer Adrian’s black wool jacket from 1947 shows fashionable accessories on the model, such as her dark gloves. At that time, hair and hats were often small and fit close to the head for a more modern post-war look.

This jacket was selected by the regional fashion magazine "California Stylist" along with only three other styles to represent Adrian’s designs for 1947. The design must have been an influential and popular model from his collection that year (Calif. Stylist, 1950).


The ‘tubular suit’ as shown in "Vogue" magazine, April 1947, was usually seen with a straight and narrow skirt that is below the knee in length.


In a study of the garment structure, the shoulders are structured with ¾ inch thick shoulder pads. Although this seems extreme for 1947, the shoulder width does not extend dramatically from the natural shoulder width. It is evident from close examination from the outside, that the upper torso is heavily hand tailored. The lower front of the body, sleeve hems and peplum are left soft and un-reinforced with heavy interfacing.

Hand sewing is evident in the bound buttonholes, and patch pocket applications. The faille lining is hand sewn to the facings. Overall, the methods used are traditional for women’s tailoring. This suit would have been produced in a downtown Los Angeles factory, rather than custom made at his Beverly Hills salon.

This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on this Jacket.

(click on the photos to see them enlarged)
Please contact me if you would like to use these photos, thank you.

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