In the course of her studies she spent one year in Paris. Proudly American and rebelliously innovative, McCardell (who, as a student in Paris, had admired the work of Vionnet, Chanel, and Madame Grès) turned her back on the expensive, handmade confections of the haute couture and instead promoted American mass production, readily available materials, and the form-follows-function approach to design. She is credited with the creation of American sportswear. The Pop-over dress was a refreshing new shape, but above all it was functional—created in response to a request from Harper’s Bazaar for an all-purpose housework outfit. Not athletic wear (the bane of my existence,) but sportstwear, which was the ultra-stylish, comfortable, practical leisure clothing pioneered by Claire McCardell … She made clothes wearable and affordable but her pieces were always seductive and desirable. Her father, Adrian Leroy McCardell… The arc of each designer’s career depicts how decades of marvelous innovation, agenda-setting design, and the invention of what some call “The American Look” still inspires countless references on catwalks everywhere. It is conjecture. Claire McCardell’s signature brass round hook-and-eye closures are evidence that utility and beauty do mix. In 1953, Cashin debuted her eponymous label in collaboration with women’s clothing manufacturer, Philip Sills, with whom she worked for 25 years. During the time that Townley's partners restructured their business, McCardell worked at Hattie Carnegie; however, Townley soon rehired her as their head designer. Fashion is popularity. Claire McCardell’s designs were radical in the context of the forties, since they did not feature shoulder pads, back zippers, boning, and the heavily constructed looks of the times (Yohannan). Credited with inventing American sportswear, McCardell created innovative fashions that have defined decades of American fashion. Women of Fashion: Twentieth Century Designers. The consumer was ultimately to be mentioned as well, especially by the likes of Dorothy Shaver, who could point to the sales figures at Lord & Taylor. Claire McCardell was born on May 24, 1905 in Frederick, Maryland. It is the future. Generally considered the founder of American sportswear, McCardell championed a confident optimism for womenswear in the decades when women were experiencing a tidal change in their roles in and outside the home. Instead McCardell garments embodied the fundamentals of sportswear as it is known today: offering "Claire McCardell." McCardell's pared-down, casual American style was the hallmark of what came to be hailed as the "American look," the name under which the work of McCardell and several of her like-minded contemporaries, such as Tina Leser and Tom Brigance, was marketed at Lord and Taylor during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Photos Model Natalie Paine wearing green Claire McCardell swimsuit, photographed by Louise Dhal-Wolfe for Harper's Bazaar If haute couture is resolutely French, then sportswear is unwaveringly American. Instead, it is American designers who came to exemplify the ease and simplicity of sportswear. Claire McCardell was an extraordinary example. Of course I had to get in a question for Searching for Style, and so we talked a little about the concept of American sportswear. True to her problem-solving approach to fashion design, McCardell used humble fabrics such as cotton calico, denim, jersey, and even synthetics, effectively ennobling everyday materials by way of thoughtful design and deftly executed construction. Within the category of “play clothes,” denim and chambray most often appeared as beachwear. LEFT: McCardell swimsuit; RIGHT: Pat Cleveland wearing a Bonnie Cashin coat, 1972. As the veteran fashion model Suzy Parker once described them, McCardell's designs were "refreshingly 'unFrench.'" As author Jan Reeder noted in her exhaustively researched tome High Style: Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cashin was greatly inspired by travel and garb worn by different peoples around the world, such as the poncho found throughout many South American countries. And in 1955 – we had such a long way to go. Claire Mccardell. Claire McCardell on the cover of TIME, May 2 1955. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956. Designer sportswear would have to be verified by a standard other than that of pure beauty; the emulation of a designer’s life in designer sportswear was a crude version of this relationship. Claire McCardell was one of the most influential women's sportswear designers of the twentieth century. Aug 26, 2020 - Explore Teresa Sturnfield's board "Clare McCardell" on Pinterest. LEFT: McCardell 'Pop-Over' Dress via The Met; RIGHT: Claire McCardell tennis outfit, Harper's Bazaar, 1947. For Cashin to achieve the desired fit when working with such dense, yet delicate materials is a stunning embodiment of her design expertise. Sportswear designer Claire McCardell revolutionised fashion for the women of America. Within a matter of months, she was lured away by the knitwear manufacturer Sol Pollack to design and oversee his Seventh Avenue cutting room, where she stayed for less than a year. Much of what we consider sportswear today was initially designed for a specific work environment (like the aforementioned blue jeans for mining and gold panning), but Claire McCardell and Bonnie Cashin were the first to codify these elements into a cohesive body of work. She had a more than respectable tenure at the company that spanned several years creating designs infused with what would become her signature sense of wit and fun, but it wasn’t until she formed her own company that her reputation was truly cemented. I was fortunate enough to see an exhibit of American sportswear years ago where several of her designs were on display, and have almost worn out my copy of Kohl Yohannan’s pictorial on her work. Like many of her clothes, they often relied on cleverly cut pieces of comfortable fabric that were wrapped, looped and tied to encompass the body without ever restricting it. Please help us improve. From functional outerwear to blue jeans to day dresses, sportswear is made to move, and at its best, exhibits a vigorous American attitude. Made from topstitched denim with a wrap front, large patch pocket and attached oven mit, it sold in the tens of thousands at an affordable $6.95. McCardell was diagnosed with cancer in 1958, at the height of her success. If haute couture is resolutely French, then sportswear is unwaveringly American. In the course of her studies she spent one year in Paris. Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series) Claire McCardell (1905-1958) MSA SC 3520-13581. Inspired by the turnlocks that kept the top of her vintage convertible down, Cashin introduced a petite brass version that acted as a practical closure on gloves, jackets, dresses, and the many leather accessories she designed in collaboration with Coach from 1962 to 1974. Eleanor Lambert, founder of the International Best Dressed List and New York Fashion Week, said “The look of today...was designed ten years ago by Bonnie Cashin”—and how remarkably right she was right. Biography: Claire McCardell was born on May 24, 1905, in historic Frederick, Maryland. McCardell was born in Frederick, Maryland, in 1905, where she attended Hood College for two years in the mid-1920s before earning a degree in fashion design at the Parsons School of Design in New York City in 1928. Why wasn't this page useful? Designer Claire McCardell also pioneered separates, sewed pockets in dresses, and popularized comfortable, durable fabrics like jersey and cotton. 1 Her mother, Eleanor, was a “Southern belle” who appreciated fashion and good taste and kept a picture of Robert E. Lee on a wall in her living room. See more ideas about Claire mccardell, Vintage outfits, Vintage fashion. Milbank, Caroline Rennolds. [2] Known for casual sportswear, shirtwaist dresses, and wool jersey sheaths, as well as practical leisure clothing and swimwear, which she liked to refer to as "playclothes," McCardell designed for working women who wanted stylish, well-made clothing in washable fabrics that were easily cared for.