c.1954 Claire McCardell Green & Pink Print Cotton Sun Dress w Belt

Claire McCardell is remembered as a being a true pioneer of American fashion. She was one of the most influential women's sportswear designers of the twentieth century. She studied at Parsons and worked as a fit model before a series of small jobs in fashion.  in 1929 McCardell landed a job as a design assistant to Robert Turk, an independent designer and dressmaker. It was he that took her along with him when he became the chief designer at Townley Frocks in the early 1930s. When he passed away in 1932 she became the head designer for Townley and eventaully a partner due to her success with the label. She gravitated towards natural fabrics like cotton, denim and wool. Her silhouettes flattered the female form and even now they seem shockingly modern. In 1954 Audrey Hepburn was photoed by Mark Shaw for Mademoiselle Magazine in her dressing room backstage at Ondine. In those series of photos she is wearing a paisley print dress that is remarkably like this one.

This incredible dress is likely from that same 1954 collection as Audrey's was from and is made out of a soft cotton that has a satin finish to it. This gives the fabric a slight sheen that is very pretty. The bodice is fitted with a simple scooped neck and sleeveless silhouette. The waist nips in and then the skirt flares out from there. It is not excessively full but it does have a touch of fullness due to the way the skirt is set into the waist with that series of soft pleats that you see. The dress hangs sleek and slim when you are still and then will flare out a touch more when you move. I have photoed it without its belt as the belt did not fit on my mannequin properly but with the belt in place I think the dress is even better. It is wide so really cinches the waist in and the large gold toned belt buckle at the front feels very modern. It is gorgeous and the perfect little summer frock. Excellent condition with a note below

Unlined and closes with a metal zipper at the side. The belt has a double buckle to close. There is one area of discoloration on the side of the skirt that gets lost in the patter. The fabric on the belt shows minor grubbiness. Otherwise the dress is is very crisp and fresh feeling

Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 14" from neck to waist
Skirt: 29" from waist to hem with 4.5" turned under the hem
Belt: will accommodate 24" - 27"

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML


This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.

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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.