Designer Claire McCardell American
Manufacturer Townley Frocks American

Not on view

The versatility of the "Popover" originates from the idea that common materials associated with more tailored and fitted clothing seem entirely new when transferred to the format of the kimono wrap. In this instance, McCardell used shirting, which would more likely be associated with menswear. But while in a man's shirt the material would be constrained by cutting and sewing, here it becomes the fluid wrap of the dress, with the same material working effectively as the tie at the waist. Moreover, using cotton shirting with such fullness and conditional movement on the body effectively allows for enjoyment of the richness of textile, more often lost in the predictable, boxy, tailored forms of menswear. It was McCardell's genius, tempered by the realities of the War years, to recognize how luxurious men's shirting could be, that it could be suitable to use for most luxurious robing.

Dress, Claire McCardell (American, 1905–1958), cotton, American

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