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

Advertisements

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!

 

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.