Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dress

Designer:
Claire McCardell (American, 1905–1958)
Manufacturer:
Townley Frocks (American, founded 1929)
Date:
1944
Culture:
American
Medium:
cotton
Credit Line:
Gift of Claire McCardell, 1949
Accession Number:
C.I.49.37.47a, b
Not on view
Pockets are built into a McCardell dress in the overskirt or in the separate apron, as in this one. One can read the garment as an anticipation of Dior's concupiscent "New Look" with padded hips, which often, as in the 1947 "Bar Suit," arose out of the inflated peplum of the jacket. But high style and vernacular apparel are reconciled when the Dior effect is on a lowly apron, including pockets with side access. An apron and a tying neckline could suggest a Heidi-like innocence and thus a connection to folk tradition, but McCardell blended the common culture features of simple tying and waist and neckline with high fashion's impulse to articulate the waist and adjust décolletage.
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