Fashion 1934 – Gowns

“As I walked through the lobby to the bar, I drank in the luxurious European decor. I was aptly dressed in a frock designed by Madame Charlotte Revyl. It was a columnar gown slit open in the back from my neck to my waist with a back pouffed peplum reminiscent of a Belle Époque bustle and pleats down the back with a barely there train. In emerald satin it rippled as I walked. My hair was in sculpted curls around my head and I wore a delicate diamond necklace. I felt like a walking portrait in subtle finery, contrasting with the brazen Moorish revival 24 carat gold accented ceiling and bronze Baroque doorways.”

-From Chapter 4 of The Belle from the Ebell

"Belle Corinne" The dress that inspired what Beatrice wore when she met Sam Parrish at the Biltmore in Chapter 4.

“Belle Corinne” The dress that inspired what Beatrice wore when she met Sam Parrish at the Biltmore in Chapter 4.

Fashion from the 1930s is iconic. Bias cut, slinky, figure flattering.

Dress designed by Elizabeth Hawes. 1937 Fall/Winter.

Dress designed by Elizabeth Hawes. 1937 Fall/Winter.


“Elizabeth Hawes created simple, witty, distinctive, elegant and practical garments for women of means. Her designs were so smart and timeless that they were as contemporary in the early 1930s as they were in the late 1940s due to her commitment to quality of materials and simplicity of line. She was committed to the notion that form follows function and paramount in her design sensibilities was the desire to make clothes that were stylish, easy to move in, and by incorporating breathable fabrics, easy to wear. Hawes focused on construction and comfort, rather than embellishment, and incorporated a variety of interesting fabric combinations and construction techniques, successfully using somewhat complex textural juxtapositions to create visual interest. Aspiring to follow in similar design techniques as Madeleine Vionnet, Hawes draped fabrics on the body and creatively pieced together wearable garments that were also beautiful works of art. Hawes’ philosophy toward fashion also shaped her aesthetic. She firmly believed there was a difference between fashion and style. Style, she declared, “is dressing to fit your own self – it lasts.” […]
This dress exudes a high level of drama with a fitted bodice and waist, flaring into a very full circular skirt, which is constrained by the wide blue ribbons at the lower hip level. The effect of the ribbons makes this silhouette appear almost sheath-like, gathering the skirt in at the hips which accentuates the female form, and then extending into a ruffled train.”




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