On May 4 in Fashion History…

(A random smattering of neat things that happened On This Day In Fashion…)

…in 1938, Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna weds Prince Louis Ferdinand in three ceremonies and three dresses. Elsa Schiaparelli created “the bulk” of the bride’s trousseau, including an evening wedding dress of heavy lamé in frosted silver, cut low in the back and high in the front with a richly encrusted and embroidered bodice, and a two-piece “getaway” ensemble (the princess drove the couple’s car) of heavy brown silk with flecked stripes in red, blue and yellow, and a primrose-yellow tweed topcoat. (The Schiaparelli dress was worn on May 2 for the civil ceremony and probably for the evening Orthodox ceremony on the same day.) Bridesmaids wore white tulle dresses embroidered with silver-and-diamond rose motifs over silver lamé sheaths with matching silver lamé boleroes with leg o’ mutton sleeves. It is unknown whether the bride changed into her custom-made Coco Chanel for the Orthodox ceremony that same day (all reports have her wearing Schiaparelli), but the famed French couturier had created a white satin floor-length tunic dress with long sleeves and a four-and-a-half yard long train, all bordered with silver, pearl and diamond embroidery. The Chanel pièce de résistance: A white enamel flower diadem holding an unusual double scarf of white tulle that fell on either side of the bride’s face. For the Lutheran ceremony on this day in 1938 that made the royal union official, the bride wore her grandmother the Duchess of Coburg’s nearly century-old wedding gown of heavy silver brocade, an antique lace veil held by a diadem and an “imposing” necklace presented to her by her father-in-law, and carried a bouquet of orchids. The pictures (above and below) are of Kira’s grandmother’s dress. Read More »

On April 22 in Fashion History

(A random smattering of neat things that happened On This Day In Fashion…)

… in 1942, fashion editor Virginia Pope chaired the “Expressing Your Personality in Dress” fashion clinic at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City for the Women in Style committee.

… in 1947, Summer Millinery Week—the hat equivalent of Fashion Week—kicked off in New York at the Cotillion Room of the Hotel Pierre, with designs shown by “eight leaders in the field:” including Vogue Hats, Bernice Charles, Jeanne Tete and Harryson Hats.

… in 1965, Rudi Gernreich followed up the previous year’s topless bathing suits with topless bathing suits for little girls. “Since the suits are for toddlers and preteens,” the New York Times mused, “there seems little likelihood of Gernreich’s creation being Read More »

On April 21 In Fashion History Roundup

(A random gathering of neat things that happened On This Day In Fashion…)

…in 1927, Mae West begins the first day of a 10-day prison sentence, and complains to warden that her coarse blue cotton workdress and heavy cotton stockings and underwear are “uncomfortable.” West was serving time for her Broadway show, “Sex,” which the courts deemed obscene. Although West’s work clothes “are coarse, faded and Read More »

Friday Fashion History Roundup

(A random gathering of neat things that happened On This Day In Fashion…)

…in 1966, Time magazine coined the term “Swinging London” to describe the groovy scene happening across the pond. The name was picked up by the pirate radio station Swinging Radio England, that launched shortly afterward. [Time]

…in 1971, Alexey Brodovitch, the Russian-born photographer, designer and instructor famous for his work as the art director of Harper’s Bazaar from 1938 to 1958, dies in Europe.

…in 1983, the futuristic, fabulously strange film, Liquid Sky, was released in the U.S. It’s a must-must-must watch! See for yourself in the video below. [Liquid Sky] Read More »

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