Designer Love: Claire McCardell

“Most of my ideas come from trying to solve my own problems”

Claire McCardell - Designer icon

Born in 1905, and designing from the 30s to the 50s, Claire McCardell is one of the most influential designers of the 20th Century. She studied at Parson’s school of design and designed things for her own personal life style.

Influential looks by Claire McCardell

McCardell is such a great influence in not only the fashion world, but also a feminist icon. She was also a fashion model and wrote a book “What shall I wear” and created garment patterns.
Her designs were quite modern for the age she was designing for, and she herself had a modern concept for her time. She designed functional, affordable and stylish womenswear. Some of her iconic ideas include the tent style dress, empire waists, the pop over dress and using denim as a dress fabric.Because of the war, shoes were also heavily unavailable and so she started using ballet flats as casual streetwear.
Flats - all the rage even in this day and age!

Some of McCardell's modern designs for her day and age - as well as one of her patterns

She experimented with unconventional fabrics such as wool jersey for a bathing suit and the cotton ‘diaper’ bathing suit or cotton full length dresses as eveningwear. She recognised how transport was changing and developing and decided that women needed clothes that travel well. They also often had adjustable components and focused very much on tailoring and cuts to make a clean and functional garment.

More iconic looks from McCardell

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