20th Century, Historical Sew Fortnightly

Thinking green: a mid-1920s evening gown

For the HSF ‘Green’ challenge, I’m keeping it simple, and making a mid-1920s evening gown out of some fantastic dark jade & ecru silk that I bought over four years ago, and have been waiting for the opportunity to make up ever since.

Dufy inspired fabric thedreamstress.com

 

Dufy inspired fabric thedreamstress.com

The silk is a heavier habotai, and it instantly reminded of the fabulous textile that Raol Dufy designed for Paul Poiret’s 1911 ‘La Perse’ coat:

'La Perse' coat, Paul Poiret  (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Textile by Raoul Dufy (French, Le Havre 1877–1953 Forcalquier), 1911, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.199

‘La Perse’ coat, Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Textile by Raoul Dufy (French, Le Havre 1877–1953 Forcalquier), 1911, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.199

'La Perse' coat, Paul Poiret  (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Textile by Raoul Dufy (French, Le Havre 1877–1953 Forcalquier), 1911, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.199

‘La Perse’ coat, Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Textile by Raoul Dufy (French, Le Havre 1877–1953 Forcalquier), 1911, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.199

'La Perse', 1911, Paul Poiret, fabric design by Raoul Dufy

‘La Perse’, 1911, Paul Poiret, fabric design by Raoul Dufy

Dufy’s design was printed on cotton velvet, rather than silk habotai, and is over decade earlier than the date I’m aiming for with my dress.  However, there is evidence of similar prints in later ’20s fashion.

This Lanvin dress is made from warp-printed silk taffeta.  The fabric is a bit ‘sweeter’ than my print, and so is the cut of the dress.  I think my fabric needs a slightly more sophisticated, slinkier cut to show it off to its best advantage.

Evening dress, Jeanne Lanvin, mid 1920s, Drexel CC

Evening dress, Jeanne Lanvin, mid 1920s, Drexel Costume Collection

Not quite this sophisticated and slinky though:

Fashion place, 1923

Fashion plate, 1923

This has distinct possibilities:

Evening dress, House of Worth  (French, 1858–1956), Designer - Jean-Charles Worth (French, 1881–1962), ca. 1925, French, silk, metal, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.2116

Evening dress, House of Worth (French, 1858–1956), Designer – Jean-Charles Worth (French, 1881–1962), ca. 1925, French, silk, metal, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.2116

As does this:

Evening dress, 1926-1928, Drecoll, Maggy Rouff, Smithsonian

Evening dress, 1926-1928, Drecoll, Maggy Rouff, National Museum of American History

I’m can’t find an exact example of the idea in my head for my dress, but I know what I’m going to do.  I’ll be using my basic 1920s block and the Vionnet ‘Chiton’ dress variants I’ve played with to draft the design.  As long as I can keep from getting trapped in my own brain, it should be easy.  It’s that brain part that’s always the hardest though…

For now, I’m just working on deciding which bit of kimono silk to use for my under-slip!

Dufy inspired fabric thedreamstress.com

7 Comments

  1. Lynne says

    I’m in love with the Poiret coat! Not seen it before – wonderful fabric, and wonderful, simple, elegant shape for such a fabric.

    Yours is beautiful, too – a real find, and a pleasing green. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

  2. holly says

    hmmm… for now I’m giving everything I’ve seen here 10 / 10

  3. Annabel Mallia says

    Love the House of Worth dress! If you have any cloth you could make a matching shoulder cape and head band. Can’t wait to see what you choose

  4. Michael Atwood says

    I love these excellent dresses, the fabric is best!

Comments are closed.