Designer Mrs. Helen Cookman American
(c) John-Frederics American
(c) John P. John American

Not on view

American designer Helen Cookman is remembered for integrating traditional masculine styles into womenswear. A testimony to this fact, she has been credited for the revival of the Chesterfield coat for women. After designing the American Red Cross Nurse's Aides uniforms during World War II, Cookman began industrial uniform design. A relationship grew between her and the textile company Reeves Brothers, Inc. and she later designed a series of eleven uniforms with their industrial fabrics.

This suit is an early example of incorporating menswear tailoring into women's garments. In addition to the menswear fabric that is used for the coat and skirt, the jacket resembles the style of a military cadet. The princess-lines of the coat and the velvet trim feminize the overall masculine appearance of the ensemble.

Ensemble, Mrs. Helen Cookman (American, 1894–1973), wool, silk, straw, American

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