Thursday, June 14, 2012

Inspiration Board: 1930s/40s glamour loungewear

1940s loungewear

1940s loungewear by sewindigo featuring pink slippers

A word about housecoats (also known as dust coats) - not too glamorous sounding are they? But don't confuse them with the everyday "dressing gown" we know now. In the past, dressing gowns were  associated with male clothing. Housecoats were a feminine item, popular in the 1940s. They were used to put over day clothes to protect them when doing chores in the home, hence the long sleeves and longer hemlines.

Housecoats were usually made of a lightweight fabric or sometimes quilted for warmth and would fasten down the front with either a zipper or buttons.  The red housecoat in this board is by Mainboucher from 1950s (in the Met Museum). Hardly a frumpy style "dressing gown"! The McCall housecoat pattern is from 1939.

Overtime the purpose of the housecoat changed and women starting wearing them in the evening when hosting guests. The term housecoat is rarely used now has merged with the dressing gown into a unisex item worn at home. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Duchess of Windsor as a designer

While the controversial  Duchess of Windsor had a reputation as a woman of style, I never knew she was a pattern designer. Did you?

From the late 1950s and well into the 60s, the Duchess of Windsor worked with the Spadea pattern company to design patterns. Spadea patterns have a reputation of being some of the best pattern produced in the 20th century and worked with a number of American designers and celebrities over the years. If you're interested, you can find an excellent overview of the history and design of Spadea patterns here.

Here's some examples of the Duchess of Windsor patterns and I think if you look back through some of her photographs they definitely reflect here sense of fashion.

one of mine from 1960


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