Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Letty Lynton Dress

Joan Crawford in the Letty Lynton dress
As much as I love pleats and ruffles and stuff it remains a mystery to me why the Letty Lynton dress, worn by Joan Crawford, designed by the famous Adrian was such a huge fashion success back in the mid thirties. I just don't get it, as I find it most unappealing.
In the book Gowns by Adrian it reads: "The mutton sleeve, puffed at the shoulder and tight from the elbow down, was itself a throwback from the 1890s. At the time Letty Lynton was released in 1932, the trend in fashion was toward an interest in such revival styles; (...) The puffed mutton sleeve that Adrian had so confidently predicted would alter the prevailing silhouette of fashion came and stayed. With Letty Lynton Hollywood was finally ready to rival Paris as the leading exponent of style, at least among American moviegoers, and this was measured in dollars, cents, and the most sincere form of flattery, imitation. (...)
When the film was released in May of 1932, Macy's Department Store chain had a Cinema Shop that specialized in gowns 'worn by the stars'.(...) By late summer, Macy's claimed to have sold in excess of 15.000 copies of Crawford's Letty Lynton gown, eventually some 500.000 copies were sold in stores nationwide."
Compared to the then sleek and rather sophisticated style of the early thirties, to me it lacks elegance and even glamour. But as it seems, fashion never is one dimensional and stays non predictable as it always catches on various influences.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post!! Where'd you find that beautiful photo?!