Claire McCardell and Bonnie Cashin, as different as they may have been, were the first individuals to jump headlong into the read-to-wear category, and together, built the foundation for American fashion. In 1943 she married the architect Irving Drought Harris. See also Casual Business Dress; Ready-To-Wear; Sportswear. By applying her sportswear ideal to every possible application—from day wear to evening wear, from swimwear to accessories—McCardell’s disregard for convention resulted in fresh, versatile designs with real staying power. Designers like Claire McCardell and Bonnie Cashin helped the … For Cashin to achieve the desired fit when working with such dense, yet delicate materials is a stunning embodiment of her design expertise. Soon after, McCardell created what is possibly her most heralded piece—the ‘Pop-over’ dress. From her debut collection in 1941, McCardell established her signature design elements: absolute functionality, soft construction, and easy-to-wear fabrics. Its inherent domesticity might not read as particularly progressive in the current climate, but at the time, it was the first garment that addressed the specific household needs of women during the war-era. Her take on the silhouette was liberating in a time where Dior’s constricting wasp waist and strong shoulders were prominent features in womenswear. However, creative use of materials is not Cashin’s sole contribution to the historical cannon. In the course of her studies she spent one year in Paris. 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. And while restrained and disciplined, McCardell's work was hardly devoid of details: Her signature, even idiosyncratic, "McCardellisms" included severe, asymmetrical, wrap necklines, yards-long sashes, spaghetti-string ties, double-needle top stitching, metal hook-and-eye closures, and even studded leather cuffs. Fashion is popularity. Biography: Claire McCardell was born on May 24, 1905, in historic Frederick, Maryland. 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. What revolutionary thoughts! Often referred to as "America's most American designer," McCardell's fresh, youthful designs were founded on logic, informed by comfort, and replete with a common sense, entirely undecorated look. Cashin once mused, "Fashion is now. This coordinated beach ensemble was created by sportswear designer Claire McCardell, who was known for looks that were sporty, yet chic — with an emphasis on functionality. McCardell's first commercial hit came in 1938 with the "Monastic" dress, an unfitted, waistless shift, cut on the bias, that hung straight from the waist and was belted in any way the wearer chose. Fashion designer Claire McCardell liberated the American woman. As the veteran fashion model Suzy Parker once described them, McCardell's designs were "refreshingly 'unFrench.'" 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. Famed art scholar and past curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, Richard Martin once said, “More than any other designer in the tradition of American sportswear, [Claire] McCardell reevaluated dress to the principles of functionality and truth to materials that are the characteristics of Modernism in the arts.” She worked anonymously for an established garment manufacturer, Townley Frocks, before being awarded her namesake label in 1940. Loose layers like the poncho, referred to by Cashin as ‘layering’ or ‘layered dressing,” were first seen in print in 1952 according to Rennolds Milbank. Credited with inventing American sportswear, McCardell created innovative fashions that have defined decades of American fashion. Merit Award, Mademoiselle Magazine, 1944 De d'Or Award (Golden Thimble), 1946 Neiman-Marcus, Distinguished Service in Fashion, 1946 Sports Illustrated, American Sportswear Designer, 1956 Coty Hall of Fame, 1958. Her simple, practical clothes suited the relaxed American dress code, neither formal nor informal, that became established during the 1930s and 1940s. 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. Claire McCardell was one of the most influential women's sportswear designers of the twentieth century. See more ideas about Claire mccardell, Vintage outfits, Vintage fashion. 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). An avid champion of pants and wool jersey for both day and evening wear, McCardell's forward-looking designs and fabric sensibility provided American women with multiseasonal clothing that was easily cared for, comfortable, and stylish, but never conspicuously chic. Claire McCardell was an American fashion designer of ready-to-wear clothing in the twentieth century. Instead, it is American designers who came to exemplify the ease and simplicity of sportswear. Coach hired Cashin as their first designer in hopes of transforming the brand from a manufacturer of briefcases and tame leather goods into the accessories behemouth it is recognized as today. There are few designers who changed the course of American fashion. Claire McCardell Statue (Coming Soon) The Frederick Art Club is currently driving a new public art endeavor to honor fashion designer and Frederick native - Claire McCardell (1905-1958). Frederick-born Claire McCardell, the "creator of women's sportswear", "the gal who defied Dior", is widely recognized as the woman who pioneered casual, comfortable American sportswear for women. Bonnie Cashin ensemble photographed by Richard Avedon for Harper's Bazaar, August 1965, Photos Model Natalie Paine wearing green Claire McCardell swimsuit, photographed by Louise Dhal-Wolfe for Harper's Bazaar, Coach hired Cashin as their first designer. While most of McCardell's contemporaries followed the long-standing tradition of copying Paris fashion, McCardell looked instead to the lives of American women for her inspiration. The Frederick Art Club is proud to drive a significant public art endeavor to honor fashion designer and Frederick, Maryland, native Claire McCardell (1905-1958). Please help us improve. In the spirit of American design, the pair’s greatest accomplishments included keeping the women they dressed (and the lives they led) at the forefront of their minds. – Claire McCardell (1905-1958), award-winning American fashion designer. 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. If haute couture is resolutely French, then sportswear is unwaveringly American. According to New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style, the California-born designer started out by making ballet costumes for local companies while in high school. in 1957. Edited by Sarah Tomerlin Lee for the Fashion Institute of Technology. McCardell and Cashin did start conjuring the future, one so radical in philosophy that the rest of fashion is still chasing it all these years later. New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style. It has not yet been accepted." 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