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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Claire McCardell Comes to my Doorstep

I am the lucky new owner of this beautiful two piece wool knit swimsuit by Claire McCardell. A few weeks ago I had blogged about Claire McCardell as my holy grail and asked my readers if anyone could help me in this quest. Low and behold we got an e-mail from a fabulous gal named Holly, who just happened to have found this suit and was willing to part with it. I am so grateful to have this in my personal collection. Thanks again Holly!

I ordered up two books from the library to further research this suit. 'Claire McCardell' by Kohle Yohannan and Nancy Wolfe and 'What Shall I Wear' by Claire McCardell herself. The later book by Claire is somewhat obscure and can be hard to find, but the good news is it is being re-released this fall and can be pre-ordered here.

While this suit itself isn't pictured in either of these books it has helped me narrow down the date of this to either very late 40's or early 50's. Julius Garfinckle was a high end department store where the third floor contained copies of the latest fashions from Paris, or the best that American designers had to offer.

I also learned something else new about Claire McCardell swimsuits. Some of her customers thought that her 'unlined unpadded suits' were too sexy to be saleable. HA! And yes, this piece is unlined and unpadded.


SweetiePieOnToast said...

Wow! What a find!

I just wrote an essay on McCardell and went through HEAPS of books about her- that Kohle one was quite good a.

Hold on to this one!

Glamoursurf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glamoursurf said...

Yes, thank you. The pictures are equally seductive! I love Claire!