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Showing posts with label Claire McCardell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Claire McCardell. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CLAIRE McCARDELL the Designer's Designer

Truly one of the most Inspirational and Talented Fashion Designer of ALL times. Claire McCardell is a name that's synonymous with 'Great American Sportswear'. She was a 'Master' at creating 'Looks' that are still with us Today. McCardell loved, the art of design, construction and the ease of wonderful Style. So important for in American clothes. Her tremendous manipulation of the use of fabric is synonymous with Classic Couture Fashion Designs that surpass that of the French and Italian designers. American Designer's just 'Love' Her! You see her work in many, many 7th Ave. Houses, Today. She was one of a kind and America was Blessed to have Her. Claire McCardell has been called the first truly American designer, originator of the "American Look". American women have always admired her for her freshness and energy.
Born in 1905, Claire McCardell was born in Frederick, Maryland, USA, to a bank-president father. She had 3 younger brothers and grew up with a love of sports. In 1925, after high school and two years college, Claire joined fashion illustration at Parsons School of Design (which was then called the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts). She spent her second year in Paris, at the Parsons branch on Place des Vosges. There she began to blossom, for fashion was all around her. She began to understand the relationship between style and comfort (or rather the lack of it). She returned to New York for her last year at Parsons.
After graduating, she embarked on a frustrating succession of jobs. In 1930 she became an assistant to Robert Turk, a young designer just starting out, His venture failed and so he and Claire afterwards moved to Townley Frocks, an established sportswear house. Turk died in a sailing accident, so Claire took his position and finished the collection. She stayed with Townley Frocks for 7 years until the company disintegrated. While at Townley, she scored her first commercial success, the so called "Monastic Dress", a flowing robe-like design that the wearer shaped to her own waistline with a sash or belt. Best and Co., bought 100 of these dresses and they were soon well-known. In 1939 when Townley folded, she spent a brief time working for Hattie Carnegie, whose house sold Parisian designs. However McCardell's designs were far too simple for Carnegie's tastes.

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