• Townley Frocks 1938
Townley Frocks 1938
Townley Frocks 1938
Townley Frocks 1938
Townley Frocks 1938
Townley Frocks 1938
Townley Frocks 1938
Townley Frocks 1938
Object Title

Townley Frocks 1938

Part of

Collection: Claire McCardell fashion sketches

Material Category
Type of Work
Designs include shirtdresses and other simple garments, many with stripes, hoods, full skirts, wide shoulders, puffed sleeves, and extra-wide waistbands. McCardell introduced her widely successful Monastic dress during this year, which was loosely based on a traditional Algerian garment. The loose, waistless dress was cut on the bias and could be belted in a number of ways, allowing the wearer to obtain a flattering shape based on their own preferences. Although there are many sketches in this series that appear to show qualities of the Monastic dress, it is difficult to determine if any depict the exact design that became a best-seller. This series includes inscriptions that refer to American manufacturers and retailers, including Lord & Taylor, Jack and Jill, and Blumenthal, a fashionable button company. The series also includes a sketch (labeled #549) that appears to be the same as a long-sleeved black wool dress with a wide embellished belt that is currently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume collection.
circa 1938
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 43-49

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