Claire McCardell: redefining modernism

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Harry N. Abrams, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 151 pages
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This is the first biography of fashion designer Claire McCardell (1905-1958), the pioneering creator of American sportswear. When other designers were slavishly copying Paris couture, McCardell insisted on clothes for an American lifestyle: useful, wearable, and affordable.Kohle Yohannan and Nancy Nolf show how McCardell's "comfort first" ideology fostered pride and belief in American fashion. Her design inspiration drew from the pages of her own life -- she loved sports and the freedom of men's clothing -- and she disdained shoulder pads, corsets, and heavy construction in favor of self wrap-and-tie styles. She preferred ordinary fabrics to more expensive ones, believing that "clothes should be useful".In this illustrated tribute to a great American designer, McCardell is pictured wearing her own clothes, and specially commissioned photographs of McCardell garments from the archives of New York's Fashion Institute of Technology reveal her subtle craftsmanship. This publication coincides with an exhibition opening at FIT in October 1998.

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Claire McCardell: redefining modernism

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Determined and ambitious best describes the extraordinary career of the 20th-century sportswear fashion pioneer Claire McCardell, whose comfort-first philosophy, mix-and-match ensembles, and casual ... Read full review

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746.92092 Y547 1998 Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Yohannan is an art and design historian who teaches at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.