Tuesday, 28 July 2009

18 inches or less!

Lucile Ltd London, Paris, New York and Chicago 1890s – 1930s
By Valerie D. Mendes and Amy De La Haye
V&A Publishing

This delightful book is my coffee table book choice of the month.
It centres upon an album of fashion designs by Lucile.
Lucile is Lady Duff Gordon, who was an early divorcee and a Titanic survivor.

The dress and coat designs are beautiful, the range and depth of colours is a visual treat. You want to touch the designs as they are rich and vibrant; the sheen of fabric and the drape of material makes you forget that these are pictures and not the real thing.
One thing that stands out is the very noticeable narrow waists 18 inches or less. Even though the women look stunning, what would it have been like to have been pulled and prodded into a corset to achieve the hourglass figure?
Lucile was probably the first designer to have fashion houses in London, Paris, New York and Chicago. She has been credited with starting the first fashion parade now known as the catwalk show.

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