Friday, August 27, 2010

Ladies Home Journal S-33 "ITALY"

After 1905, probably before 1920.

Ladies' Home Journal apparently produced a series of these country-themed fancy dress patterns.  We've also seen the pattern representing 
England.  Here is how Italy is described:
ITALY In representing Italy a composite Dress taken from the peasantry garb has been designed in the colors of the Italian national emblem. A pleasing satisfaction can be derived from the attractiveness of this Costume, for it is typical of brilliant colors, regardless of harmony, and an abundant display of jewelry.
The illustration is obviously in black and white, so I assume that references to colors (and the designers' opinion that the Italian national colors lack harmony) refer to a color illustration that appeared either in a Ladies' Home Journal Magazine or pattern catalog.  The designers get honesty brownie points for admitting that they've designed a composite of peasant dress.  I like the instruction for "an abundant display of jewelry."

And earlier maker made some pencil notations on the pattern envelope for the colors of the blouse, bodice, apron, skirt and bodice facing including red, green, and dark blue.  The bodice was also cut a bit lower, with the cut-off piece carefully folded into the envelope.

I believe that the young lady in our illustration may be reading her dance card, a clue that this type of costume could be worn to fancy dress balls.

Here is my grandmother in another interpretation of "traditional" Italian folk garb from about the same time that this pattern was published.

While we "read" the red, green, and white in my grandmother's costume as typically representing Italy, the Italian tri-color flag with which we're now familiar wasn't formally adopted until 1948, though there were many variants of these colors in earlier Italian flags.


Little Black Car said...

Okay, now that is fun, even if it's of questionable accuracy. And I'd say the lines and length of the dress suggest late teens to very early 1920's. 1917-1921-ish.

Diane Shiffer said...

love the hat..... ;-D

melina bee said...

just love the historical insights and clues you give, like her dance card for example. that picture of your grandma is priceless. I wish you still had the dress!