Carine Lègeret

The artist Carine Lègeret models Muy Marcottage on Paros!

"Sky" Muy Marcottage dress

“SKY” Muy Marcottage dress

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

 Carine  wearing the Muy Marcottage dress θέλημα (will/errand)

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

with the Aegean sea in the background, Carine wearing “Sigh” Muy Marcottage dress…some people make you sigh, some do not

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

“No Expectations” Muy Marcottage dress

Carine Lègeret wearing Muy Marcottage

“Enjoy” Muy Marcottage dress

 

Button Jar

Copyright © 2012 Cynthia Korzekwa. All Rights Reserved

Claire McCardell and The American Look

Claire McCardell (1905-1958) was a designer who also took the Occam’s Razor approach to creating clothes in large part because of  the WWII imposed parsimony. Using limitation as a source of inspiration, Claire created designs meant to make the most out of a little. She used “alternative” fabrics such as denim and wool jersey and surplus government weather balloon cotton for her creations.  And the shortage of leather led to Claire’s making ballerina flats popular.

With the war, women had to assume a chores generally done by men as the men were busy being soldiers.   No longer objects but, instead, sheer animation, women needed clothing that was practical and easy to move in.  Claire may have been influenced, when studying in Paris, by Coco Channel’s desire to liberate women shackled by fashion.

Claire, often referred to as the High Priestess of the Understatement, said she designed things that she needed for herself but, it seemed, others needed, too.  She strove for simplicity and created mix ‘n match garments that could extend a wardrobe with the leitmotif of  functional and affordable.

Claire revolutionized American fashion via some of the following designs:

 

Diaper Bathing Suit (1942)

Claire McCardell's Diaper Bathingsuit

 

Popover Dress (1942) which was a wrap-around dress including an attached pot holder for those women who had guests for dinner and thus had to run back and forth from the kitchen.

Claire Mccardell, every hostess needs an oven mitt

 

A wrap dress was versatile in that it could be used as a house dress, party dress, dressing gown and even as a bathing suit cover up.

Claire McCardell, Popover Dress

For the Mayans, a huipil created a sacred enclosure for a woman’s body. And, when she entered her garment by pulling it over her head, the woman became the axis of her universe. Popover dresses also permit the woman to be the axis.

 

The Future Dress made from triangular pieces of fabric.

Claire McCardell, she cut a triangle and wore it

 

Shoulder Shrugs are easy to fold and easy to wear (1947).

Claire McCardell, shoulder shrug

 

Georgia O’Keefe owned a number of McCardell dresses.

Claire McCardell & Giorgia O'Keefe

 

Claire collaborated with artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Milo, Leger using fabrics designed by them for her creations. For her  “Fish Dress”, she used Picasso’s ‘Fish Print’ fabric (1955).  Thus something designed by Picasso could be bought by the yard. The artist didn’t mind commercializing his art.  However, Picasso refused to have his designs used for upholstery fabric.  It was one thing to be worn but something totally unacceptable to have his art used for sofas thus be sat upon.

Claire McCardell and Picasso's Fish Print

 

Huipil dresses to make inspired by Claire include the halter top dress and the Grecian tunic dress.

Claire McCardell Style

 

Bibliography:   McCardell, Claire. What Shall I Wear? . The Overlook Press.New York. 2012

 

 

 

“Lupe” dress

LUPE dress worn by Genie

Genie modelling “Lupe” dress on the terrace of La Sussurrata, Paros.

LUPE dress by Muy Marcottage

On December 12, 1531, an indigenous shepherd by the name of Juan Diego saw the Virgin Mary. Not only was she dressed in indigenous attire, she spoke to Juan in his own indigenous language. She asked Juan to build a temple in her honor and, as a souvenir of their encounter, left her image imprinted on his cloak. And this was the beginning of the cult of the Virgen de Guadalupe.

Today La Virgen de Guadalupe is undoubtedly the most popular Mexican icon. Her image can be found on just about everything from T-shirts to coffee cups to hand fans to key chains, etc.

Before the Spaniards invaded Mexico, the indigenous people had other gods.  Then the Catholic Spaniards imposed their god turning faith into dogma. But when Juan saw the Catholic Mary who dressed and talked like him and was even brown skinned like him, an important change took place. Juan’s vision transformed an alien presence and made it local. Worship was once again personalized.

a souvenir T-shirt attached to a peplum

fabric print with calla lilies and indigenous people (Frida Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, loved to paint calla lilies)…appropriation is everywhere

peplum & gussets

"Lupe" Dress by Muy Marcottage

To make it easier to get into the dress, an opening in the back.

"Lupe" Dress by Muy Marcottage

Lupe” is the diminutive of Guadalupe and a popular female name in Mexico. It’s a great dress for dancing especially to Little Latin Lupe Lu!

Moral of the story: personalize the world and make it yours!

Mal Oo

Cynthia Korzekwa  ©

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The Quiddity Dress

Quiddity Muy Marcottage Dress

All of the dresses I make have a name. Because they are not anonymous. Because instead of looking at a dress as a thing, I try to create a relationship with it. For example, the Muy Marcottage dress “Quiddity”.

Quiddity, in philosophy, is the whatness of an object, its inherent nature or essence. Otherwise, quiddity refers to a distinct feature or a quirk, an idiosyncrasy.

A dress is a category but my dresses are specifics. They help to define me. They are an extension of my personal quiddity because I interrelate with myself when I chose the clothes I wear.

The body and its clothing live in symbiosis.  At least temporarily.  There is an intimacy we have with our clothes that we have with nothing or no one else. Because our clothes cling to us and touch our skin.  They are there omnipresent and participate in our every move. Our clothes know our secrets. Our clothes are well aware of our quiddity.

                                                  Quiddity Muy Marcottage DressQuiddity Muy Marcottage Dress

The dress “Quiddity” represents, in terms of Muy Marcottage, a union between past and present. The top half was made during my early experimental attempts at remaking secondhand clothes. I was dissecting all the old clothes I could find and sewing parts together almost as if I were making a collage.  Not happy with the results, I cut the top off from whatever it was attached to at the time and abandoned it.  Then this summer my friend Lyn gave me a dress made from a stretchy ethnic looking fabric and, anxious to play, I got out my chopped up fabric stash and came across the abandoned top. Seemingly incongruent, the two mated perfectly.

Melding is magic.

 

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