• Townley Frocks 1931
Townley Frocks 1931
Townley Frocks 1931
Townley Frocks 1931
Townley Frocks 1931
Object Title

Townley Frocks 1931

Part of

Collection: Claire McCardell fashion sketches

Material Category
Type of Work
After working for independent designer Robert Turk since 1929, McCardell followed Turk to his new position at Townley Frocks, Inc. in 1931 and continued working as his design assistant. (McCardell would continue her relationship with Townley until her death in 1958, with the exception of a period between 1938 and 1940, when the company was temporarily closed.) As the sketches in this series indicate, McCardell was diligently copying Parisian designers, which was common practice for American designers at the time. The designs in this series mainly include calf-length dresses in the ubiquitous early 1930s silhouette, complete with bias cuts and fishtail skirts. Numerous designs include ruffle trim, jabot collars, decorative tassels, and wide inverted pleats, which contrast the more simplistic designs that McCardell would eventually become known for. Many of the sketches in this series are inscribed with prominent Parisian designer names such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Marie-Louise Bruyère, and Coco Chanel, as well as New York department stores including Lord & Taylor and Best & Co. A number of sketches also include the names Paramount and Blumenthal, presumably referring to a belt manufacturer and B. Blumenthal & Co., a fashionable button company.
circa 1931
Related people
Claire McCardell (designer)
Townley Frocks (Firm) (commissioner)
8.5 in (width) x 11 in (height)
Related Repositorys
graphite, Kellen Design Archives
Use Restrictions


binders 1-4

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