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French Fashion Sketches from the Henri Bendel Collection

DATES April 27, 1944 through July 16, 1944
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  • April 21, 1944 French Fashion for the three decades, 1910 - 1940, is illustrated in an exhibition of original fashion sketches which will open April 27 at the Brooklyn Museum and continue through August 6.

    In December of last year, the Henri Bendel estate generously donated to the Museum Library the entire sketch collection of Henri Bendel, Inc. This collection contains a sketch of each garment made or imported by Bendel during the years 1912 - 1939. Since Bendel imported more extensively than other American houses, this record of French Fashion is the most important available in this country.

    The major part of the exhibition contains colored sketches representative of the work of such Parisian designers as Callot, Chanel, Poiret, Patou, Vionnet, Rouff, Jenny, Lanvin, Molyneux, Doucet, Cheruit, Worth, Premet, Alix and many others. In sharp contrast to the chic mode illustrated by these designs are the highly amusing and naive tennis gowns and bathing suits typical of the period of the last war. The theatrical and music world will be interested in the fantastic and lovely costumes created for such stars as Geraldine Farrar, Fay Bainter, Elsie Fergusson, Hope Hampton and Jane Cowl.

    The exhibition represents a small part of the Bendel collection which numbers altogether about 7,500 sketches and which supplements the extensive library of Original Fashion Sketches by Contemporary American Designers collected by the Museum during the past two years, an exhibition of which will open on August 11, in connection with the large show, America 1744 - 1944.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 04-06/1944, 041.
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