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Summer Storm of Prints

Posted by Laura
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The fly-by-night: white silk organza, frail and flowery as a Japanese lantern, with elongated, fan-pleated sleeves. Twigs and blossoms to float on a summer night—aqua, violet and green. By Oscar de la Renta, in Tzaims Luksus-T.S.M. silk. Swingy Kenneth Jay Lane earrings. Guido Brustia shoes.

 

 

When better than summer to dress yourself in a "storm" of florals, paisleys and stripes? As someone who loves a great textile print, the late-1960s was a wonderful era for them—and the voluminously cut maxi-dresses of that period provided the proper amount of fabric space to show them off. Featuring the work of Seventh Avenue's finest designers and manufacturers, it is apparent from this editorial that American ready-to-wear was as successful as the Parisian couture in producing eye-catching gowns with striking prints. Two of the gowns showcased (by Oscar de la Renta and Mollie Paris) are made from prints designed by Tzaims Luksus—one of the United States' greatest textile designers, he was also the first textile designer to ever win a Coty Award (in 1965). Luksus briefly had his own ready-to-wear and couture line—even showing at the Crillon in Paris in 1968—before returning to only textiles around the time of this editorial. While the provenance of the other textiles is not included, they are all dynamic and graphic examples that attract the eye and perfectly exemplify the '60s love for bold colors and shapes. The prints take center stage with the silhouettes kept quite simple—full skirts and sleeves with tight bodices is the predominant shape, though Trigère's fluttery slip and Simpson's shirtwaist are also good foils for the graphic prints.

 

Editorial by James Moore for Harper's Bazaar, June 1969. 

 

 

Will-o-the-wisp: gray and white cotton voile, appliqué fluttered. A sleeveless slip of a dress flounced beneath the hip. A gay, young fichu, tied negligently at the throat. By Trigère. Mimi de N bracelet.

 

 

 Imperial paisley: strident reds and yellows. The shape, ultimate discretion: high collar, high bodice bound in black braid. Loose flow of skirt. By Geoffrey Beene. Lee Menechetti earrings. Jerry Eduoard shoes.

 

 

The summer gypsy: color whirling in a maelstrom, silks and cottons sheer as smoke. Left: buoyant batiste, cotton striped and strewn with paisley, constantly stirring. Vendôme beads. Dan Berk shoes. Right: silk organza spun in paisley. The bodice caught in black crepe. Kenneth Lane earrings. Jerry Edouard shoes. Both dresses by Donald Brooks.

 

 

The kerchief shirtdress, fresh as a field of daisies: striking red, bursting blue—in a breeze of cotton voile. Flounced skirt, piping a tune in white. Collar, wide open. By Adele Simpson.

 

 

The summer signal, flashing zig-zags of orange, blue and white, telegraphing style. Wrapped bodice, sashed over a twirl of skirt with border lines. By Jacques Tiffeau. Mimi de N bracelet.

 

 

Coloring book flowers, jolly green on white silk organza. A child's delight of shape: tiny ruffles at the throat and wrist, deep-flouncing hem, small waist tied in a bow. By Mollie Parnis, in Tzaims Luksus-T.S.M. silk. Ring by Kenneth Lane.

 

 

The shirt of summer, forest green silk organza growing an English garden of old-fashioned azalea pink flowers. Tiny buttons in a row. By Chester Weinberg. Ring by Jules Van Rouge.

 

 

The measure of cotton, its flounce, its float, its freshness. White-on-white stripes with a flourish of pow-red flowers. Deep décolleté, stopped short by a bright red velvet belt. By Malcolm Starr.

 

 

The measure of wit: the innocent contrast of red and blue cotton, a well-laced bodice, the buoyant burst of white cotton organdy sleeves. Babushka: for head or shoulders on a midnight picnic. By Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner. Michael Singer rings.

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