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Fashion - 1930s Fashion

               1930s Fashion Film Clips

Click here to see a beautifully photographed article about the fashionable hats of 1947•

Was Tobé the First Fashion Stylist? (Delineator Magazine, 1937)

A 1937 magazine article from the long forgotten pages of DELINEATOR MAGAZINE insisted that they found the very first fashion stylist -some lass named Tobé (born Taubé Coller, a.k.a. Mrs Herbert Davis, 1890 - 1962). They were very insistent on the matter, although they failed to explain the sources used to reach this conclusion:

"This woman is the first official stylist...Now she is head of Tobé Incorporated, through which she does for more than a hundred stores in America and some in Canada, England, Australia, Norway and Sweden."

"Tobé isn't an oracle, she isn't a designer; she simply knows from experience, better than anyone else, what styles you are going to like best and what will be most useful to you. From the great fashion salons of Paris, from tailored England, from America, she culls the newest and best of the season's creations."

Further Reading: "She Knows What Women will Wear"


The New Glamour of Velvet (Literary Digest, 1936)

A 1930s fashion article which perfectly encapsulated some of the heady excitement that filled the air when "a new crush-resistant, non-wrinkling, packable, ultra-fashionable velvet" hit the market. The material was immediately swooped-up by the glam squad in far-off Hollywood; RKO chief costume designer Walter Plunkett pontificated:

"Velvet is the epitome and symbol of elegance."

Not one to be upstaged, Travis Banton (1894 – 1958) Plunckett's counterpart at Paramount Studios, chimed in declaring:

"The flattery and refinement of velvet is supplied by no other material."

Anticipating the Springtime coronation of Edward VIII, thousands of yards of velvet had been manufactured for the occasion.


Linen and Cotton and the Summer of 1933 (Delineator Magazine, 1933)

Attached is printable fashion editorial by a "lifer" in the world of 20th Century American fashion, Marian Corey who stood firm on her belief that the Summer of '33 would stand out as the first season in which the swankiest threads in fashion's offering would be linen and cotton rather than silk:

"Cotton and linen have gone chic on us. Yes we know that you've heard this before. Every year for the last three, stylists have become very sentimental, along about March first, on this subject and each year practically everyone has gone right on wearing silk and more silk, just the same. This time, however, things will be different; this is the summer to believe the stylists."

The article is illustrated by six photographs picturing various assorted well-fed loafers of the Palm Beach set.

Learn about the color trends in men's 1930 suits...


Summer Fashions (Stage Magazine, 1934)

Illustrated with three nifty black and white fashion illustrations, this critic lays it all on the line as to what the most exciting part of ladies fashions will be for the summer of 1934 - there is much talk of the Paris offerings from Marcelle Dormoy, hats by Tappe and smocks by Muriel King. However, no other fashionable bauble attracts her attention more than the concept of the net dress:

"The thing that everyone is going for now is net and, when you see that new net dresses, it is pretty hard to understand why this frivolous fabric was forgotten so long. It is being made into dresses and jacket dresses which are called cafe clothes; street-length skirts and crisp, starchy necklines and usually, short sleeves, each with its individual brand of ingenuity."

Click here to read an article about the nature of adultery.


Fashion Journalism Goes Legit (Art Digest, 1936)

The practice of commenting on fashion predates ink and paper by many years, however it was not until 1936 (A.D.) that a class was offered in the discipline of fashion journalism:

"Keeping abreast with current need, the Traphagan School (New York) offers for the first time a course in fashion journalism, which prepares students for positions on magazines and newspapers in advertising departments and agencies where they will interpret in words what they themselves or some other designer relates. The course is conducted by Marie Stark, formerly associate editor of Vogue..."


The Invention of Rayon (Literary Digest, 1937)

This magazine article reported on the Miracle Fabric of the 1930s: rayon - and rayon cannot be deleted from any study dealing with Thirties fashion any more than the word "polyester" can be separated from a discussion of 1970s fashion. The article presents a history of the fabric but makes it quite clear that the fabric was immediately embraced by all the fashion houses at that time.

Read about the 1930s revival of velvet.

Click here to read about feminine conversations overheard in the best New York bathrooms of 1937.


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