In the 1930s, Vogue Pattern Book was not a standalone publication; instead it was sold attached to an issue of Vogue, which was then a fortnightly magazine.
|May 16 1934 edition of Vogue, with the June/July Pattern Book attached|
Looking through Vogue, I came across this article. (Don't worry, there are enlarged version of every paragraph below!)
|Suggestions for the older woman|
The reader's question at the start was depressingly familiar.
|This was almost 86 years ago!|
As was the answer.
So there you go. Vogue was just aching to feature older women but the fashion-artists would insist on drawing youngsters. And the photographers? Well, they just couldn't be bothered. Apparently Vogue in 1934 was such a minor, unknown publication that it just had to accept whatever artwork it was given, and had no say in the matter! Which seems unlikely, given that the author of these articles was at pains to stress that any artist wanting to make a career in fashion illustration needed to be aware that the requirements of the client were paramount.
Anyway, leaving sarcasm and venting aside, what was Vogue's response to the "matron's letter"?
|The first recommendation|
|Crepe and georgette evening gown by Molyneux, worn by a countess|
This reminded me of several of the evening dresses in the Tinne Collection. While many of Vogue's readers would not have been able to afford Molyneux dresses, they would have taken note of the styles, and looked for something similar within their own budget.
|Staying with the evening dress theme|
None of the four ensembles on page 52 have any maker's details, so I assume that they are purely imaginative.
|The suit in question is second from the left|
The next recommendation refers to the one illustration in the entire magazine which features an obviously older woman.
|"tulle . . . is most kindly to age"|
|Evening ensemble by Alix|
If tulle, despite its 'kindly' properties, isn't your thing then there is always satin instead.
This wrap appears in a feature about a wardrobe of five(!) Worth ensembles ordered by the Comtesse Elie de Ganay, who was photographed wearing them.
|Oyster satin cape with black satin lining|
The article then moves on to daywear.
|The suggestions from pages 60 and 61|
It's interesting to look at what other items of clothing feature in the colour spread. I can see why the outfit on the far right might not pass muster, but I'm not sure why the others are considered unsuitable for the older woman.
|The full spread|
As an aside, I'm taken with the idea of H&M being a 'name' in 1934, albeit a different one!
|Henri and Mawdsley, of Conduit Street in London|
Carrying on with daywear.
|More suits and dresses|
Only the outfit on the right is considered suitable: possibly the "corrugated ribs" of the jacket on the left were thought to be unflattering to the older figure!
|Ribs and stripes|
This dress can be "had from Harrods", but is also available from other stockists, including 'Elaine' in Guildford. I wonder what my namesake's shop was like?
|Silk crepe printed dress|
Finally, if you just want to refresh a dress you already have, a detachable jabot (another Mrs Tinne favourite) or collar are this season's way of doing so.
|Again, only some of the examples shown are considered suitable|
|I prefer the examples on the left, but apparently I shouldn't!|
The article goes on to state that the attached Vogue Pattern Book "simply teems with good models for the oolder woman", but that will have to be the subject of another post. (Now written, it's here.)