Designer Spotlight

Jeanne Lanvin, 1867-1946

Jeanne Lanvin began her career as a milliner in Paris in 1890, and later started the fashion house of Lanvin, the oldest Paris fashion house still in existance today.  She became known for the dresses she made for her daughter, Marie-Blanche.  Other mothers and young women wanted her designs for their own children and themselves.

She opened her clothing store in 1909, selling mother-daughter garments, and her “robes de style” designs.  The “robes de style” dress consisted of a nipped in waist and full skirt; 18th century designs with modern embellishments.  She was influential in bringing fashion such as Eastern styles to Paris, and the Chemise dress of the 1920’s, as well as innovations like the modern department store.  Her store was the first to dress the entire family in ready-to-wear clothing when she introduced a menswear department in 1926.  She dressed many celebrity clients including Marlene Dietrich, Mary Pickford, and royalty from Italy, Romania, and England.  Her impeccable craftsmanship and design has continued throughout the house’s existence since her death in 1946 through today, under the direction of chief designer Elber Albaz.

Madame Jeanne Lanvin has always kept the symbol that inspired her and her fashions in her label logo.  As seen in the label below, the left corner has an image of a mother kneeling in front of her daughter.  This dress also has an Henri Bendel label which notes which store of fashion boutique it was sold at.

1979-022-021label

This Black Lace Evening Dress is from 1930 is a part of the Museum of Texas Tech’s permanent collections.  The overlay is completely made of lace, with ruffled layers making up the skirt for a flowing effect.  There is a black silk shift, underlayer for lining.  The straps have a cream, silk ribbon woven through the lace.  An interesting design feature, the zipper is in the front of the bodice for decoration.

1979-022-021zipper

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Object of the Day

White patent pumps, Mary Janes, 1970’s

With the 1970’s came Disco, and the flashy styles in sequins, leather and polyester.  And when getting ready for a night of disco dancing, no outfit would be complete without a pair of platform shoes.  The pair of pumps from the collection, shown here, have a high, chunky heel, and a decorative buckle in the Mary Jane style.  They were handmade in Italy by “Salvanna di Torino,” bearing its logo on the insole.

The Mary Jane’s namesake comes from the comic strip character of this name in “Buster Brown,” first published in 1902.  The classic Mary Jane style has a low (or no) heel, a wide toe, a strap across the instep, and is usually associated with children and girls dress clothing.  Although, variations of this style are popular in modern women’s fashion, as shown below in this example from Prada’s 2012 collection.

Object of the Day

Three-piece second-day dress, brick-red wool, 1882

Mary Matilda Hancock and Frederick Wm. Watkin were married in New York City in 1882. This three-piece, brick-red, wool dress – a shaped-fitted, basque bodice with pointed peplum, a long gored skirt with overlapping ruffles, and a pouffed overskirt – would have made a wonderful impression when Mr. and Mrs. Watkin embarked on their honeymoon.

This three-piece dress was part of Mary’s trousseau. The word trousseau came from the French word ‘trousse’ which means ‘bundle.’ The Trousseau originated as a bundle of clothing and personal possessions the bride brought with her to her new home. In America, a girl might begin preparing her trousseau from an early age, saving treasured items (including clothing and household linens made by herself or given to her) in a Hope Chest to be stored for her married life. Among a bride’s trousseau would be the dresses and lingerie she would wear right after the wedding and on her honeymoon.

A Second-day dress was a semi-formal dress the new bride would wear when the newlyweds were visiting relatives and friends, or receiving guests in their new home. The second-day dress or suit was usually more modest in style and ornamentation than the wedding gown. It would be worn on special occasions and Sunday church services for years to come. A bride might also wear a going-away suit when she and her husband left for their honeymoon, serving the same function as the Second-day dress.

Original metal buttons have a moon and stars motif.

Ask A Curator Day!

Today is Ask A Curator Day! In this spirit, the E&T Division curator and staff will participate by answering questions (as best we can!) about our collections here at the Museum of Texas Tech University.

To get things started, the images below display a corset and bustle hoop form dating from the 1880’s.  Because these items are no longer worn in modern fashion, they are objects of curiosity that many have never seen before.

Although the petticoats would go over the wire hoops, this is how these items would be worn together.  The corset creates and keeps a small waisted, hourglass form that was fashionable.  The bustle hoops buckle at the waist, and support a skirt with its shape; flat in the front, bustled at the back, and flared at the bottom.

The corset is tightened and tied in the back, but clasps in the front to easily dress.  The small hook shown above hooked over the petticoat waist to prevent it from riding up.

This bustle form was worn under a brown dress made for Ms. Rhoda Shields when she was 16 years old, around 1884.  Sadly, she later died three weeks apart from her sister (Mrs. Sophronia Shields Rogers) during an epidemic.

Please leave your comments about these objects, or any other inquiries about our collections!

 

Object of the Day

Texas Tech Saddle Tramp Uniform, 1936-1937

This Saturday the Texas Tech Red Raiders play at home against the University of New Mexico.  Let’s get ready for some college football!

The Saddle Tramps is the oldest student spirit organization at Texas Tech University, founded in 1936.  The founders of this organization brought about many of the University’s traditions, and it is involved in service to the school and Lubbock community.

Some Saddle Tramp projects include raising money to buy the first forty band uniforms, helping to obtain the fountain and TTU seal at the Broadway Street campus entrance, and helping restore the Tech Dairy Barn in the early 1990’s through monetary donations.

Game-day traditions include wrapping the Will Rogers & Soapsuds “Riding into the Sunset” statue in red crepe paper, and ringing the victory bells for thirty minutes after every home football, men’s basketball, and baseball win. The bells are also rung for every Tech Big 12 Championship win, and after every graduation.  They also make the Homecoming bonfire, and conduct a torchlight parade at the beginning of the bonfire for the Carol of Lights.

Saddle Tramp Jim Gaspard created the university’s costumed mascot Raider Red, based on a character by Dirk West.  During each mascot’s tenure, the identity of the person playing Raider Red is unknown to everyone but the Saddle Tramps.

This uniform is from 1936-1937, and consists of red flannel pants, a button-down over-shirt, and a tank under-shirt.  The back of the button-down shirt has a black, felt megaphone applique with “Tech” stitched on top.  The under-shirt displays a faded black “T” printed on the front.

Object of the Day

Multi-Colored Beaded Purse, 1917

The Clothing & Textiles collections contains many fashion objects other than dresses, suits and quilts.  Purses, fans, parasols and umbrellas, gloves, shoes and other accessories are a large component of these collections.

Made in France, this beaded purse has a brass frame, and a colorful geometric design on both sides with fringe and a chain strap.  It also has a small, round mirror for accessible primping.  Belonging to Mrs. Ruth Bryant, this purse was given to her by a young French Chasseur of “The Blue Devils” during World War I in 1917.

A mountain unit of the French Army, created in the late 19th century, were called the Chasseurs Alpins.  They were formed as a defense along the Alps border with Italy.  During World War I, they were called the “Blue Devils” by the Germans because of their blue uniforms, their “dashing” attacks and fierce fighting techniques.

If you have any other information about this object and Mrs. Harold (Ruth) Bryant, please contact the E&T Division or comment on this page.

Interesting Stuff

USMC Uniforms Worn During WWI & WWII

The E&T Division has a large military uniform collection with representation from all military branches, men and women, from the mid-19th century through today. The two uniforms featured below are United States Marine Corps uniforms from the 6th Marine Regiment.

The 5th and 6th Marine Regiments were awarded the French Croix de Guerre for their bravery and sacrifice in France at the Battle of Belleau Wood, fought from June 1-26, 1918 in World War I. To this day, members of the 5th and 6th are allowed to wear a Croix de guerre Fourragère, the red and green cording shown below, over their left shoulder with their service and dress uniforms.

Fourragère worn with WWI USMC service uniform.

The Marine that wore this WWI uniform was a Sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, and has three service stripes on the lower left sleeve, and two wound stripes on the lower right sleeve. The Fourragère shown above would be worn over the left shoulder of this uniform.

WWI USMC, 6th Marine Regiment service uniform.

WWI Arm Patch Insignia for the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines.

WWI USMC campaign hat.

During World War II, the 6th Marines fought in the Pacific Theater. They fought in notable battles such as Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Okinawa.

The Marine that wore the uniform below was a Private First Class, and served in the 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Division during WWII. He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon, and WWII Victory Ribbon. Above the right breast pocket is an Honorable Discharge badge, allowing military service men and women to wear their uniforms after WWII when they were discharged from military service.

WWII USMC, 6th Marine Regiment service uniform.

This uniform is on display now in Gallery 1 as a part of the collaborative exhibition Celebrating Our Heroes, from now until November at the Museum of TTU. Come and see the exhibits honoring our men and women at home and abroad during WWII.

Exhibit News

Friday was the May’s First Friday Art Trail, and the votes are in!  This month will feature the most voted for wedding gown from the exhibit They Weren’t Always White.  This 1948 ivory satin wedding gown received the most votes throughout the entire exhibition.

This ivory satin wedding dress with a fitted bodice and a gathered skirt with chapel train was specially made by Neiman-Marcus in Dallas for the bride Mrs. Marian Hinn Riggs, cousin of Mrs. W. C. Holden.

The next most voted for dress is this 1946 aqua chiffon, Lucien Lelong wedding gown, was worn for Kay and Paul Boutin’s May 29, 1946 wedding in Paris, France.

The third most voted for dress is this traditional style wedding gown in ivory brocade worn by Louise Hopkins for her marriage to Harris Faulkner Underwood II on October 12, 1941, at St. Matthews Cathedral in Dallas, TX.

Thank you for your participation!

Object of the Day

Flame-Color Tulle Maifest Gown, 1960

This dress is entirely constructed of flame-color tulle net.  The bodice is strapless and boned with a side zipper, and the bust area is covered with multiple rows of ruffles.  A false pleated cummerbund encircles the waist. The full skirt is made of multiple rows of narrow, net ruffles over an acetate lining. The skirt is topped with a modified polonaise and a large bow with long streamers.  This dress was made by a local seamstress in Brenham, Texas, and worn by the donor as a Duchess in the Brenham Maifest Annual Celebration.

The festival known as Maifest, takes place annually (since 1881) in Brenham, Texas.  This celebration involves the entire community, highlighting its German heritage.  Maifest begins in January, announcing the Junior and Senior royalty, and continues with events in ending in May.  There are parades showcasing each court, and events that follow including live music and performances, and is kicked off with the traditional Maipole dance.  This year Maifest takes place May 4-5, 2012.

Object of the Day

Ivory Brocade Dress, 1912

April 14, 2012 marks one-hundred years since the Titanic’s sinking.  The clothing and textiles collections at the Museum of TTU has this dress from the same era (1912), and of the same fashion that would have been seen on first class passengers aboard the Titanic.

This ivory brocade dress’ bodice is tucked on the left side of a pointed V-yoke, over which the right side is bound with black satin over a wide French re-embroidered lace.  The trim is repeated on the sleeves, and on the skirt front in a diagonal line from the right side to the lower left, extending around the hemline in the back.

Fashions from the 1910s started changing from the constricting and voluptuous styles of the Edwardian era, to the straight-lined, lighter silhouettes of the Art Deco era.  The flowing and soft look of this period was heavily inspired by the opulent fashion of the Orientalist aesthetic, brought by the Ballet Russes when they performed Scheherazade in Paris in 1910.  Paul Poirot was one of the first designers to make the transition from the corseted look of the Victorian age, into the more natural and draped designs of the modern era.  Many characterize this extravagant and rich fashion style with that of the tragic ocean liner, Titanic.  In more recent pop culture, the PBS mini-series Downton Abbey has popularized this era, as well as its opulent fashions, which begins with the news of the Titanic’s sinking.

1912-1914 Paul Poiret Evening Dress. Courtesy of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Courtesy of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For more examples from the Museum of TTU textiles collection of this straight-lined, flowing style from the early 1910s era, go to our Current Exhibits page under the exhibit They Weren’t Always White to vote on your favorite Art Deco styled wedding dress!