Sunday, June 5, 2011

Focus on Fashion, Part I

Imagine Good Housekeeping magazine focusing on fashion. Imagine seeing the latest fashions from Paris (rather than from a chain department store) amongst the adventure stories and recipes. In April 1936, that's what homemakers got.

Imagine: a gorgeous cake recipe, and the newest Schiaparelli, Heim, Molyneux, and Chanel! That's my kind of magazine! Why'd we stop doing that?

Check out these pages...and this isn't even all there is in this issue!

From left: Vera Borea, Heim, Creed.


From left:Robert Piguet and Chanel
Both Molyneux
The rest of the article.
To note: "First, there is the Margot influence, inspired by Bourdet's play by this name now running in Paris, concerning the enchanting Marguerite de Valois, who married Henri IV of France in the 17th century. Our modern 1936 fashions reflect in a modified form the beautiful Medici costumes of this play, in high, wide shoulders, small waists, and high necklines encircled with ruffs. Lots of ruffled lingerie neckwearis an outcome of this influence. Capes also belong to this group, as well as peplums and the schoolgirl white collars, the fitted bodices, and wide circular skirts.

A second influence is from the Chinese exhibit held in London last fall--an influence shown in colors, embroidered details, the tunic, and the straight silhouette;...

A third is the mannish influence which is inevitable in the midst of a suit season, and it shows particularly in details of lapels, vests, and men's worsted suitings.

Fourth is the Directoire, shown in capes with lapels, the high waistline in evening frocks, and such detail as narrower border trimmings."

The article notes that one of the most important details of the new collection "is in the waistline. Belts, wide and draped, look like crushed girdles and often reach the hipline, making the waistline appear lower. The bolero jacket emphasizes, in some cases, these draped girdles. In color belts often contrast with the dress."

How gorgeous. Wouldn't it be amazing to have such ready access to Paris fashions? I wonder how many women copied these and made their own amazing fashions?


  1. How nice to break out of the button front shirtwaist rut!

  2. Yes, it must have been great to dream on these!