Blouses of French Elaboration - January 1922
Colors, Fabrics, Sleeves and Novel Motifs the Points of Importance
The blouse of elaboration actually designed for Southland wear offers distinctive service for numerous occasions and is a style feature of importance to those who concern themselves with fashion's vagaries in the matter of informal dress.
For several seasons, the standardized luncheon and tea hour blouse has employed, variously, embroidery or beading, or both. The 1922 blouse program as now adopted very generally shows both of these methods applied in elaboration.
Usually the lustrous and dull crepes are found to enjoy equal favor as foundations for embroidery, although a new taffeta movement approaches as the faille rib crepes come into the limelight.
Each of these textures serves admirably as foil for what may be termed the decorative details of fine tinsel embroidery with beadwork, a mode which is featured in the new French collection of A. and L. Levy.
Miss Gossard, stylist for this firm, returning in November from the Paris openings, studied the coat and skirt as designed for Spring with comprehensive grasp of the promised suit revival, but also observed the newer skirt trend.
The Parisian specialties offered for Southern and Spring wear are blouses designed and made in Paris as their exclusive productions and include the short over blouse, a hip blouse of new under-arm line and a fingertip length, the extreme length presented thus far for 1922.
In the matter of color, fundamental high shades are given carefully spaced designs which follow neckline, sleeve and lower edge sections frequently leaving the center front and back areas free.
High glaze or glittering all-over effects are practically abandoned owing to the adoption of the small round metallic bead, the uncut and cut steel bead and a restricted use of the fine crystals.
A point stressed by the firm is that of a number of examples created for their color values at prices new to this line. In this group, the short over-blouse appears in jade with an all-over scallop motif and its variations executed in black and pale gold round metal beads.
A rich copper tone employs crystals applied to restricted areas, also applied as deep border. In a more elaborate conception cut steel is offered in a beautifully designed geometrical pattern upon pansy crepe, and upon mauve, tomato, and cocoa tones.
Black and white may be noted in varied handlings. The design is usually executed in fine jet beads, the pattern utilizing small circles, grouped at center front border and sleeve sections in skillfully devised traceries differing considerably from the more flamboyant effects of recent seasons.
A particularly charming departure from former treatments is that which introduces the round silver bead in massed discs allied with quarter-inch striping.
Here the design achieves a distinctly novel air augmented by the short boxy suggestion and newer under arm line and a jeune fille freshness achieved by the delicate beauty of the bead craft work.
White again appears in a model of fingertip length when cut steel beads are offered in a strikingly good design which presents the outline and centers of cubistic roses, the motifs two inches in diameter and massed in points which descend from neckline to waistline, reversed in the treatment of the border.
The Newer Note in Traceries
The striking new note in this collection concerns itself with the tracing of superior border and sleeve embellishments by the use of fairy-like metallic threads which connect the tiny metallic beads.
The effects produced emanate from suggestions offered by museum treasures and bring out genuine beauty by the addition of the fine colored and metallic beads applied in massed discs or other fine figurations, which retain the full charm of the original ideas.
Upon Venetian red such a design was executed in panel formation, the figuration small but vigorously brought out by fine gold, red and black massed effects. Further enrichment by way of finest gold cross threads brought this design forward as genuine design achievement.
A rich Italian blue beloved by artists finds expression in a model showing a border design and neck line band connected by a broken front panel which employs the round gold bead, finest gold threads and black bugles applied with restraint, the border being especially effective.
This distinctive group, which stresses art motif designs, lifts the blouse as informally considered to a quite different plane from that usually achieved under this heading, especially valuable for the mature figure of fine lines and carriage.
Sleeves are given a wide variety of handlings. Although the long sleeve is shown in bell and gathered effects the approved current American details are practically absent.
The three-quarter length is that which presents numerous details but in the simple strap which crosses the top of the arm at intervals from shoulder to elbow the designers have utilized the basic lines for decorative unity. The bell sleeve shows a pointed or curved line at its lower edge.
The loose under-arm cut carries over the one-piece model into the Greek sleeve achieving a departure from kimono lines yet retaining its simplicity. This line presents a sleeve suggestion which may reach the elbow or fall below the shoulder somewhat in the manner of the former cap sleeve, with a flowing line drooping gracefully into the under-arm section.
The American Mode
Various energetic strivings to promote the peasant mode in America for Spring blouse developments would appear to have registered a solid success for a tendency of the soft line blouse is its universal becomingness.
In Europe it was long, long ago discovered that both queen and peasant wore the sleeve and neckline with similar grace. Translated into modern feeling for universal achievement this means that young and old, tall and short, fat and thin, may venture to wear the original or its adaptation in some form.
The crepes continue to appeal in all lines with perhaps a slight movement towards more lustrous surfaces than those of a few months back, with special emphasis laid upon the heavy weight of crepe de chine in all shades, including flesh, bisque and white.
“Blouses of French Elaboration: Colors, Fabrics, Sleeves and Novel Motifs the Points of Importance,” in The American Cloak and Suit Review: Devoted to the Women’s and Children’s Ready-to-Wear Trades, New York: John M. O’Connor & Co., Vol. XXIII, No. 1, January 1922, p.135.