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Claire McCardell originated The American Look (part 1)

Claire McCardell modeling her own design

Paris reigned the fashion world, also in New York untill Claire McCardell came along. Before Seventh Avenue was mass producing copies of French creations, Claire originated The American Look and paved the way for designers as Halston, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. 1,512 more words


BC Cook reblogged this and commented:

Claire McCardell (1905–1958) was an American fashion designer, who's ready-to-wear clothing was worshiped for its functional and affordable style found within the constraints of mass-production. Mrs. McCardell is largely regarded as the creator of the early-modern "American Look", which is distinguished by its casual approach to fashion- rejecting the formality of classical French couture, (current American and French fashions being now something entirely different from both, though connected.) Her pop-fashion works were an embodied interpretation of the kind of social equality which modernity would come to demand in the 20th century. Relaxed silhouettes for the active lifestyle, and unconventional uses of everyday textiles were signature qualities to the aesthetic world she envisaged and executed. Her work was an effort to create and capture that which was "elegantly relaxed", and "effortlessly stylish". Open-back sundresses, feminine denim, spaghetti straps, ballet flats as street fashion, the monastic dress, the pop-over dress, and mix-and-match separates in swimwear all came from McCardell's genius. Donna Karan and Calvin Klein are both excellent examples of companies who have drawn great inspiration from her work, and there are very few American designers today that cannot claim significant influence from the fashionista. A study of Claire McCardell's work profits much for those seeking to understand and respond to the modern American climate in which the seeds of her vision were able to find root and ultimately yield their harvest. Just what is it that marks Americans as a culture, which is embodied in McCardell's work? Just what kind of influence did America have on her? What does America say about her work today? What does her work say about America? "AG Nauta Couture's examination of Clair McCardell's life and works provides us with a most excellent entry into this investigation...

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This article was first published with Parisian Gentleman.

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