These stylish dark brown suede platform sandals, 1940s were made by and marked DeLiso Debs / Designed by Palter DeLiso. These high fashion shoes were worn in Charleston by, Mrs. T. W. Bennett.

Palter DeLiso was an American shoe design company, founded in 1927 by American businessman Daniel Palter and Italian-immigrant footwear designer, Vincent DeLiso.  In 1938, they invented the peep-toe slingback pump, shocking the public by offering such scandalous open-toed shoes. Their shoes were especially popular during and after the war. The brand was influenced by haute couture, but marketed to the upper middle-class, selling in high end shoe boutiques and department stores. They won the inaugural Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion.
A 1944 advertisement for Palter DeLiso in the Ottawa Citizen was entitled “Artistry in Shoes.” It read: “To wear Palter DeLiso’s Shoe is to experience the result of a master shoe designer’s art. This season they’re probably smarter than ever – simpler – in good taste.”

Another pair of platform sandals, these silver leather studded shoes, also from the 1940s, are labeled Ferralli of Hollywood.  They show their glamour with the “silver” studded platform soles. This nail head embellishment was popular throughout the 1940s, on shoes, trousers and dresses. Evening shoes and summer sandals with nail head embellishment across the vamp and along the ankle straps were widely advertised in the early 1940s. This pair was worn by Francys M. Kasdorf of Charleston in 1944. We have been unable to obtain information on Ferralli of Hollywood and the Museum would welcome any help.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our 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

This coral silk and chiffon cocktail dress would have been just the right thing to wear to an end-of-summer soiree in 1945. Made by Lee Claire of New York and sold by the fashionable dress shop Margaret Riley’s of Charleston, this dress was worn by Margaret Middleton Rivers (1913-2004), wife of U.S. Congressman L. Mendel Rivers of Charleston.TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our 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

This coral silk and chiffon cocktail dress would have been just the right thing to wear to an end-of-summer soiree in 1945. Made by Lee Claire of New York and sold by the fashionable dress shop Margaret Riley’s of Charleston, this dress was worn by Margaret Middleton Rivers (1913-2004), wife of U.S. Congressman L. Mendel Rivers of Charleston.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our 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

Take a break from those hot summer rays with this Genuine Breez-A Panama / Made in South America / Original Roberta Bernays New York creation. Lightweight and woven to perfection, this perky cap is an unusual take on the traditional Panama hat form. It has openwork around the crown and brim only on the sides and front, but it does have a traditional black ribbon. Comfort and fashion in one hat. It probably dates to the 1940s.

It was worn in the Lowcountry by Ruth Holmes Walker Gadsden (1895-1980), probably in the 1940s. She and her husband, William Boyle Gadsden lived in Summerville at what is now The Woodlands; they married in 1926. Ruth was an active socialite in the years surrounding World War II and the Museum has much of her stylish clothing (see dress)

Panama hats were actually not made in Panama, but in Ecuador. The toquilla straw hat was made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovia palmata plant as early as the 17th century. These Ecuadorian products were sent to Panama for shipment on to further destinations. They were named and popularized by President Teddy Roosevelt, who was photographed wearing a “Panama hat” while viewing the construction of the Panama Canal in 1904.

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 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

This summery party dress is black rayon with a large pink, red and cream floral print. It was worn and possibly made by Mary Elinor Waterhouse Hoyler (1912-1998) of Beaufort in the late 1930s or early 1940s. The flowing skirt is pieced with four bias cut panels, a technique very flattering to the body. It has a seam at the waist but is missing its belt. There is a short metal zipper in the back seam.

Mary Elinor was married to Lt. Hamilton Hoyler, USMC, who served in the Pacific during World War II. He was at Pearl Harbor and she did not know his fate for six months. After the war, he returned to Beaufort and they had three children.

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

This cute little striped cotton playsuit with matching overskirt is labeled Freshy Playclothes and was worn by Ruth Holmes Walker Gadsden of Summerville. c. 1940. The one-piece playsuit was introduced around 1935, suitable for a variety of sports or casual wear. Shorts for women were a pretty new concept and a coordinating wrap-around skirt made it even more appealing. This outfit was probably purchased by her at James F. Condon & Son in Charleston, one of the many fine stores nationwide selling this brand. An advertisement during their 1940 campaign of Freshy Playclothes Worn by the Stars features a garment very similar to this one, for sale at $6.95. The one in the ad is of acetate rayon whereas ours is of Sanforized cotton. The list of stores carrying it includes Condon’s.

The one-piece shorts playsuit has four white buttons on the blouse front and 5 white buttons down the left shorts leg. The matching flared skirt, of four bias panels, opens on the left with four buttons. There are two slit pockets in front and a shaped waistband tie.

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

Red, white and blue for the 4th of July! Shoes, that is. All from the late 1940s and early 1950s, these stylish pumps are perfect for any celebration.

The RED peep-toe shoes are labeled Mainstreeter’s, size 7 and date c. 1948. In the late 1940s the open toe as well as the opening of the heel and the chunky heel were popular. The white-trimmed bow is a nice accent. This pair was worn by Mrs. Ruth Holmes Walker Gadsden of Summerville, SC.

The WHITE perforated leather pumps from the early 1950s are from Naturalizer / The Shoe With the Beautiful Fit. Started in 1927, Naturalizer became known for its stylish yet wearable shoes, a name that signified quality. In 1945, $5 million worth of Naturalizer shoes were sold. This pair was worn by Margaret Ellen Chandler James of Charleston.

The BLUE leather pumps are also late 1940s, worn by Mrs. William Mims Harper of Darlington, SC. The right shoe bears an I. Miller, Beautiful Shoes / Made in New York  label, while the left shoe label tells us  they were sold at the I. Miller Salon /  Sosnik’s, Winston-Salem, N.C. The squared walled toe is very stylish for the ‘40s, as is the smart 2 ½” heel. The unusual “bow” adds a streamlined flair.

Israel Miller, a Polish immigrant in 1892, was originally a theatrical designer in New York. He established the I. Miller Shoe Company in the 1920s, designing and manufacturing women’s shoes. In 1926 he built a large building on Times Square, with architect Louis H. Friedland and decorated with sculpture by Alexander Stirling Calder as a tribute to the theatre. The carving on one side reads: “The Show Folks Shoe Shop Dedicated to Beauty in Footwear.”

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

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, hats were perhaps the most essential and flamboyant fashion accessory. Whether going to church, the market or just visiting, a woman would always wear a hat. After World War II, this requirement declined until it was no longer socially important in the 1960s. Even the Catholic Church abandoned its requirement of head coverings for women in 1967.

Straw hat with purple velvet and silk trim, 1890s. The label inside is Mme. Virot / 12 Rue de la Paix, a stylish milliner in Paris. This luxurious hat was worn by the donor’s grandmother, Sarah Jane Cochrane (Mrs. Stephen Sanford).
Gift of Gertrude Sanford Legendre in 1979

Mme. Virot was one of the most sought-after Paris milliners, working closely with the House of Worth. She is mentioned in Edith Wharton novels and her hats adorned a cover of Harpers Bazar Magazine and a Toulouse Lautrec poster. It was said that she was the first milliner who ever solved the problem of how to put 17 ostrich feathers on a single hat without making it look ridiculous or overloaded.

Straw hat with red, white and blue ribbon, 1940s. The brim, cocked over one eye, adds dramatic flair to this fedora style. It was worn by donor’s grandmother, Oriole Nohrden Gaffney of Charleston.
Gift of Neil Norhrden in 2006

Straw picture hat with chiffon scarf, 1950s. This Evelyn Varon exclusive sold at Condon’s for $10.95 and was worn by Regina Kawer Greene of Charleston. Born in Poland, Regina and her husband survived the Holocaust and came to Charleston in the late 1940s.
Gift of the Estate of Regina Greene in 1990

These hats are currently on exhibit in a small Easter display. Come visit!

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

White leather wedge sandals, c. 1942, worn by Charlestonian Anna Wells Rutledge (1907-1996). During World War II, when leather was in short supply, designers cleverly added substitutions, such as the snakeskin on these shoes. Ferragamo revived the use of cork for soles and wedges which these also demonstrate. The peep-toe was also a popular way to reduce the amount of leather needed.These beauties are marked on the insole “J J Slater / New York,” a well-known maker and retailer for many years, started by John Slater around 1857.Anna Wells Rutledge was an art historian and influential writer who lived at 44 South Battery. Her papers are held at the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian.HT 1426TEXTILE 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

White leather wedge sandals, c. 1942, worn by Charlestonian Anna Wells Rutledge (1907-1996). During World War II, when leather was in short supply, designers cleverly added substitutions, such as the snakeskin on these shoes. Ferragamo revived the use of cork for soles and wedges which these also demonstrate. The peep-toe was also a popular way to reduce the amount of leather needed.

These beauties are marked on the insole “J J Slater / New York,” a well-known maker and retailer for many years, started by John Slater around 1857.

Anna Wells Rutledge was an art historian and influential writer who lived at 44 South Battery. Her papers are held at the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian.

HT 1426

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

Cherry red knit wool bathing suit, c. 1949, labeled Jantzen and sold at Alta Cunningham’s shop for ladies’ fine clothing at 104 Trade Street in downtown Greer, SC. It is a two-piece puckered knit suit with ties at the waist and bodice back. It was worn by Greenville resident Audrey Nash Jordan (1921-2005).

In the 1920s and 1930s, attitudes toward sun exposure were changing. Women no longer wanted the pale, delicate look and now eagerly sought a sun tan and healthy glow. Swim suits quickly reacted to that change. In the 1940s the two-piece bare-midriff suit with skirt panel over tight shorts was popular. The more extreme bikini, introduced in France, 1946, was not generally adopted by American women until some years later.

While this suit was manufactured by bathing suit giant Jantzen, home knitters could create their own bathing suit like the one pictured in the Woman’s Day 1949 Knitting Annual. Click for a printable PDF of the pattern. It is knitted in two pieces using the relatively new Lastex yarn, made with a core of rubber for elasticity.

EQ05.002.015

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