Friday, June 10, 2011



I found some old fashion illustrations I thought could interest some of my readers
They seem to be from the same illustrator, but are designs from different eras, perhaps the drawings were all done around the same time or maybe they are done over a period of over 40 decide.
All I know is I think them brilliant......
I can see and smell the fabrics used
My commentary is my guess, as to what date the clothing is from... and what fabrics the clothing was most likely made out of.

I have studied fashion design through the ages.... so my guesses are educated ones.
I hope !!
Gene Tierney in the film "Laura" costumes by Bonnie Cashin...funny Gene was married to another famous designer in real life Oleg beautiful she was

I just found out since I did this post that the sketches are by USA designer Bonnie Cashin.1907 to 2000...well how interesting...I wrote the below before I found out she was a costume designer when young, hence the designs below that I felt were costumes plus she designed in the 1940's for films...her most famous being "Laura" staring Gene Tierney... funnily enough a favorite film of Film Noir and the clothing in it...but never knew.
She later went on to start her own label...then was head designer for "Coach Bags" for over 10 years...Thank you so much to Scoop who told me the name of the designer find his blog Here

This dress I would say just post war 1948 or 49
The top part or bodice would be made of silk jersey or crepe, with the skirt in silk chiffon.
Undoubtedly a night club dress, or a dinner dress, folks dressed for dinner and drinks in those days.

The image at right would be mid 1930's in era.
The Chinese opium den looks was popular in the late Deco time.
This would be resort wear, over the top resort wear!! bathers or shorts with a Chinese top.
Fabric would be heavy cotton embroidered with thick twine, hat of course straw and ballet type swimming shoes worn in this style often on the Rivera at that time.

Now this one below is interesting

We could wear this now !!
I dated this at around 1910 same illustrator ...but when I look closely I think I can see a date of 1913 written in pencil down the bottom of drawing...pretty good guess.
Another evening dress or after 5 dress...I love the slit in the bell like sleeves, and the draping on the hips.
Fabric would have been a heavy silk jersey or crepe de chine, a  non shiny silk or perhaps velvet and silk.
Note the brooch detail to the side.
Very Boho indeed....
This one would be my 2nd favorite.
As I love Art Nouveau

Nothing much to say about the pic a right
I love it...the pose shape colors and design.
Most likely 1930's again.
Perhaps a costume for a play or show
a nymph or a pixie ?

At left..... again exotic beach wear
Bathers, and a Japanese style kimono wrap
Love the hat just a swimming cap with a frame
Again 1930's era
Swimmers would be halter neck, cotton knit as they were in those days...not a good look when wet.
And the kimono would be lined silk.

This one at right is called Elf
Probably 1920's and a costume again
Perhaps for the ballet
The Ballet Russe was very popular in those days.
Run by Serge Diaghilev a Russian emigre from the revolution.
Painters like Picasso, Chagall and Dali painted backdrops for his ballet's.
Some of his principal dancers included Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova.

This time left we have early 1950's era
Rather Audrey Hepburn I think, or Katherine Hepburn.
A pants and jacket like this would be worn during the day time.
It was still considered avant guard to wear pants in the early 1950's
I love the teal color combined with the lilac pants.
Fabrics used would likely be cotton padded or quilted for the top, which is a Chinese style again...could be silk... but I doubt it for daytime.
I adore this look and often wear it myself.

At right pic called Rodeo, maybe another costume for a musical, "Annie Get Your Gun" ?
Era guessing late 1940's

Above risque palazzo pant suit or PJ suit from the 1920's era done in a Poirot style popular then
Something like this would be worn lounging or for an informal dinner or get together
Very geometric Art Deco in all ways.... and would be made in silk

At right another pants outfit 1930's by the look
I love the ermine trim, on what would be velvet pants, and silk velvet and ermine top.
Worn once again at night for informal wear, or a gallery opening...something very Boho

At left
I have no idea about this one perhaps late 1940's
maybe a costume again.
No way would a chiffon dress be worn without a slip.
The illustrator or designer might have drawn this way to see dress details better.
Note the corsage worn at the waist very popular at this time.

Above my favorite...typical 1945 or 46...What a sexy dress...I can see a star of now wearing this.
Note the padded shoulders very 40's Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce, she could have worn this.
Of course this is a back view and there would be fabric in the front covering the stomach.
This backless look was very popular in the 40's
A full on evening gown for dinner, dancing and nightclubbing, it would be made of hand painted silk and chiffon.
This has to be one of the most elegant gowns I have ever seen.

So there are by hidden treasures I hope you enjoyed seeing them, as much as I enjoyed showing you...there are no photo credits as these are mine, if you would like to use them please give me credit.
I leave you with an old 1930,s Vogue cover by the same illustrator...who she or he is ? I have no idea so if someone knows...please alert me.
As stated above the designs are by Bonnie now I know
Bonnie Cashin in the 1950's wearing her own elegant !!


  1. Oooh lala .. fabulous, fabulous decades of haute couture.
    I swear those fifties look I saw in my Mom's worthy treasure chest. She had gorgeous haltered spring blouses matched with thinly tapered capris. But she had a 22 inch waistline and I just died.
    Lovely post, tres chic!
    Oh I will email you to adjust your layout margins so your layout would be more fab.
    And thanks for grabbing my butt-on! ♥

  2. I really liked this post... I like sketches and that would include fashion sketches... your artist from the Vogue cover is Bonnie Cashin...

  3. FANTASTIC...Scoop Thank You !!
    Will amend are a Gem
    I have sketches by someone famous

  4. These are quite fantastic! Lucky you! You have a great eye for art and fashion.


  5. Stell, this a magnificant post, thouroughly entertaining, illuminating and you have managed to make it thought-provoking!

    Try hard though I did, it is impossible to come up with a single favourite.

  6. I love these sketches! Thanks for sharing them.

  7. Have you ever wondered about the work it takes for a garment to be produced and sold? The fashion designer may create the concept, but hosts of people get it ready for retail.

  8. Faith, hope, and love -
    the greatest of these is love:
    jump into faith...
    and you'll see with love.
    Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe.
    God believes in you.
    God bless you.

  9. Faith, hope, and love -
    the greatest of these is love:
    jump into faith...
    and you'll see with love.
    Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe.
    God believes in you.
    God bless you.