Thursday, August 31, 2017

#anAWWyear - August 1947: Fabric designs

When I decided to write four blog posts a month for my #anAWWyear project, I was very clear that I wanted one to be focused on recipes, one on craft, and one on fashion. I was less certain what the fourth each month would be, wanting to have one free to focus on a particular topic or theme which emerged from reading that month.  For August, I've chosen to look at some fabric designs which caught my eye.

Some of them could have been included in the fashion post, as they are part of the Fashion Parades. But they were more interesting as fabric to me. This top and trousers set from the beach fashion feature uses a striking large print, made up of fish and sea plants.

Cheerful beach fashion fabric
Australian Women's Weekly, Aug 2 1947, p11
This dress by French designer Carven gains most of its impact from the design of the fabric in the skirt and how it is manipulated.
Evening gown by Carven
Australian Women's Weekly, Aug 9 1947, p5
The way the striped squares are brought together and anchored with a matching fabric tie makes what is actually a  straightforward skirt silhouette look far more dramatic.

The next fabric is from an advertisement. The most frequent style of fabric advertisements which actually feature fabric designs (as opposed to promoting the strengths of the fabric type or brand in general) tend to be one which shows small amounts of several designs. One which shows focuses on one design is more unusual, such as this Grafton Anti-Shrink advertisement.
This advertisement shows a large repeat of 'Green Belt'.
Australian Women's Weekly, Aug 30 1937, p6
The copy makes it clear what this fabric design is meant to evoke:
Let's forget convention, says Grafton, and cover some of our Anti-Shrink with designs
of things that people are talking about. For one thing, we're talking about our new
homes, and town planning schemes with green belts of trees around the houses. So
here's a Grafton Anti-Shrink with our dream houses and trees and flowers in lovely 
floating colors . . . And now you know why we call it "Green Belt". 

There is also a short but interesting look at some Australian designed fabrics being featured at an exhibition, featuring both dress and furnishing fabrics from some very well known Australian artists. As well as the discussion of the designs themselves, I found the talk of compensation very interesting. The managing director of the fabric company said that because it wasn't possible "to put a commercial price on the design of a man like Dobell or Drysdale... artists working with
us receive a royalty on every yard sold of a textile bearing their design.The Prices Commissioner has approved this arrangement. We make no down-payment for the design. The artist shares with us the gamble that his creation will sell."

I would wear something in Sheila Gray's 'Cross Section', the design being held at centre
Australian Women's Weekly, Aug 30 1947, p43
Australian Women's Weekly, Aug 30 1947, p44
This brings me to the end of the first month of my #anAWWyear. Are you enjoying it? I certainly am, and am looking forward to sharing September with you!

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