Monday, April 23, 2012

Gilbert Adrian Suits

Striped insets are expertly matched to form diamond patterns at the shoulders and sleeve cuffs.
Gilbert Adrian was Hollywood costume designer who gained great fame at MGM studios in the 1930s.  But as the war loomed and the film industry was forced to cut budgets, the designer became frustrated and left to form his own fashion house in 1941.  The business was an immediate success and Adrian designed some of the best clothing ever put out by an American designer.    In fact, his designs were so popular, they were copied line for line by many 7th Avenue manufacturers.  Adrian became so paranoid about others copying his designs (and who can blame him?), that he rarely allowed publicity shots or sketches of his clothes.  For his advertisements, he only used designs with extravagant and intricate details that would be nearly impossible to copy.  Some of those outrageous suits are shown here today.  These all date to the war years of the 1940s.  Which one is your favorite?

Shimmering beading and a teardrop cutout adorn this suit.

Outrageous pointed peplum.  Note the seam in the skirt that matches the line of the peplum.

The cutting and matching of the stripes here is an engineering marvel.

The precision required by a seamstress to match stripes like this is mind boggling.

A sweeping striped cape is made from the same fabric used for the sleeves on the suit.