Claire McCardell, Redefining Modernism

Writing about Bonnie Cashin yesterday got me thinking about another great show I saw at FIT (back in 2000, I think) on fashion designer Claire McCardell. She was a sportswear designer in the 1930s - 50s, and is most famous for her simple tie-on and wrap-around dresses. Look at those amazing plaids! My personal favorite, the "Popover Dress," with its large pocket and attached oven mitt, was sold as a "utility garment" in the 1940s for $6.95, or around $90 in today's dollars. (Picture above taken from the Met's Costume Institute Archive.)

I guess I was half expecting to come across some great websites dedicated to her work, but I couldn't find much more than a short Wikipedia article and a few other short bios. There is a book out called Claire McCardell, Redefining Modernism that I have since reserved from the library, and she herself wrote a book in 1955 called What Shall I Wear? which I can't seem to find much information about either. Anyway, enjoy these photos, and keep your fingers crossed that someone out there is working on a more complete website documenting her life and her designs!