Kick off the New Year right – 1930s that is! 

In the 1930s, the woman’s silhouette was slender yet curvaceous and evocative. Check out these gowns, perfect for a New Year’s Eve party. Both are cut on the bias to ensure maximum cling; the dresses hug the body and drape beautifully.

The olive green silk velvet dress with jacket has a boat neckline, rhinestone shoulder clips and a short train in back. The long sleeved jacket closes in front with ball buttons, also seen at the wrist of these wonderful batwing sleeves. It was worn by Miss Fanny Eliza Hume (1882-1950) of Charleston and bears a McAvoy/Chicago label.

The red rayon evening gown is cut very low in front and high in back with a large velvet flower on the right shoulder. Notice the bias cut gored skirt, shaped for a really dramatic effect. It was worn by Elizabeth Woodroe Meadows (1903-1992) of Charleston, West Virginia.

The bias cut was devised by French couturier Madeleine Vionnet in the 1920s, cutting across the grain to add draping and stretch to any fabric. Usually, a woman could step into her dress without the need for side, back or front openings.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday