Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Letty Lynton Gown: Love it or Loathe it?

A while back, I got into an interesting discussion with some acquaintances. Essentially, when it came about that I am really into the 1930s, I was asked what looks or outfits really define the style of this era.  I've already blogged a LOT about how, for me, the crocheted/knitted dresses, suits, and accessories seem to have been quite a defining look, especially amongst the middle classes.  As well, it seems, Joan Crawford's Adrian gown in 1932's Letty Lynton had a huge impact on early to mid 1930s fashion.  (Actually, there are several other outfits in the film that were very influential on fashion at this time, but I'll save some of those for other posts).  People usually associate deco eveningwear with long sleek lines, but, love it or hate it, one cannot underestimate the impact of the ruffled organdy number shown below. I read somewhere that after the movie's release, Macy's had 500,000 copies of the Letty Lynton gown made--assumably, all of them sold.  Apparently, designer Edith Head Designer Edith Head called this dress, "the single most important influence on fashion in film history."  I've been going through a number of 1930s magazines and this style definitely shows up A LOT in the illustrations, thereby supporting Ms. Head's point. Maybe I'll do a whole post showing some of these Letty Lynton inspired gowns shortly.   In the mean-time, I'd love to hear from you regarding the original Letty Lynton gown: love it? loathe it? Considering I just acquired one of the above mentioned L.L. inspired gowns, you can guess my own biased opinion, but don't let ME sway you! Tell me what you think!!










18 comments:

MrJeffery said...

i love it! the ruffles are gorgeous.

Francy said...

It is very ruffle-y, but I love looking at photos of them.

Miss Emmi said...

I can't help but think it looks like nightwear! As in, for lounging about in your bedroom, but not really for the outside world. However, I think that says more about what I've been exposed to in terms of 50s nightgowns and bedjackets, rather than the dress in general.

Yesterday Girl said...

LOVE it! If you look at the dress that the lady in your header picture second from the right is wearing, it is not dissimilar in shape, but just with a whole lot more ruffles going on! I can absolutely understand why this dress must have been so important in fashion at the time, it is quite extraordinary, I would love to see you in something similar!x

BomshellShocked said...

I love it in the picture, but I can't imagine wearing it.

Miss Woody said...

she's incredible ! i would like to look like her !

Debi said...

Love it! Love it! Love it!

Stefanie Valentine said...

It would look totally ridiculous on me, but i do love all the ruffles. I'd love to swirl around in it! xx

Miss Rayne said...

What intrigues me about this dress and was probably a major factor in its sales success is that it looks so demure. Any small town girl could wear it and be attractive. Yet the character in the film was a playgirl and ultimately a poisoner. I bet it didn't come with a a buyer-beware label......

Dizzy Dame said...

LOVE this gown and would love to own it!!

Diva said...

Its a gorgeous gown, but to me ( and as a 40s gal ;) I think what makes it so interessting is the combination of soft fabric and Joan Crawfords "I´ll take what I can get"-look !

Maggi said...

I can definitely see how it became an iconic look. I think it looks amazing HOWEVER it's not for every body type, that's for sure! lol

Lesley Ann said...

I would just tone down the ruffles on the sleeve a bit. Otherwise, I do like it.

The Dreamstress said...

I'm afraid I rather loathe it. I just don't think it is a very flattering style, even on the fabulous Joan Crawford.

On a segway, my grandmother used to buy Joan Crawford's old clothes at secondhand stores way back in the 30s and 40s as they were the same size and lived near to each other. Sadly, one of the evil step-grandmothers got rid of all of them :-(

Barn House Antiques said...

LOVE IT~

BaronessVonVintage said...

I agree with Yesterday Girl that the dress at right on the banner of my blog is an example of how this REALLY frilly and poofy and romantic and girlish frock got reimagined in mainstream 30s fashion. Miss Rayne's point about its attractions for small town girls and its demure appearance is also really true, I think. This is a great way to highlight what Edith Head was talking about.

Diva, I agree that the attitude which which the dress is worn is a HUGE part of the look....

Thanks all, for your thoughts!

Lauren said...

It's lovely!

Dsata said...

I adore these pictures !