Last Thursday, I opened up Catherine DeVore's 1920's portfolio and gave an overview of it and what collaborating history I could find. Today, in an image-heavy post, I'm going to show you Catherine's artsy drawings of the clothes she wanted to make! In future posts, I'll show some of her more interesting ephemera.
I'm not kidding about the number of images in this... if you have a slow internet connection, click "read more" and then go make some tea or do a few chores while the post loads.
All the pictures that follow were drawn by Catherine Emma DeVore in the 1920's. I have no claim to them. The photographs, however, were taken by me. I release my photos in this post under an "Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives" license. If you take the pictures, use the following credit: "Art by Catherine DeVore (1923). Photograph by Karen Roy (2018). Released under Creative Commons license: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0." Thanks!
This one looks a bit like the costumes of "dancers" on vintage and antique bellydance photo cards. Actually, those were usually erotic art, and the women posing were clearly not dancers, but the costuming elements--bead-draped torso, flowing transparent skirt, elaborate coiffure and eye make-up--are all the same. It's neat to see this costuming trope executed in color instead of black-and-white or sepia photography.
I can't be sure that all the pictures in the portfolio are from the 1920's, since Catherine could have added to her folder over time. Here the broad shoulders of the late thirties and the forties, but with nipped in waist of the fifties and skirt length of earlier. I wonder when she drew this?
Catherine DeVore dreams of Jeannie... That is some cleavage, huh?
Do you think the one on the left is a tracing or copy? It isn't the same style as the others. Catherine's other art is less sophisticated, but this girl in her party frock has shadows under her arm, foreshortened hand, realistic proportions. Contrast it with the righthand picture to see the difference.
CATHERINE DeVORE'S HAT IDEAS!
The costumes and hats Catherine DeVore drew are fascinating and redolent of their time, but the faces are even more so. Assuming that Catherine was a young woman when she went to Wolfe School, she might have been born in 1900 or thereabouts, and her formative years would have been in the Teens. She would have been a child when the Gibson Girl--curvy, voluptuous, sporty--was the ideal. Later, as women got the vote, the idea of independent women was apparently so scary to society that these women were equated to vampires. Women embraced the term, and the vamp--with wild hair, heavily made-up eyes, and tiny pursed lips--became a thing. Judging by the way Catherine drew her model's faces, she liked the vampy look. She also liked to draw sad faces, or moody ones, rather than happy ones. Maybe she was an angsty young'n? Maybe vamps were like goths in the nineties? It's interesting how emotional states can slide in and out of fashion.
Such interesting stuff, huh?
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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