Volume 1 contains coverage of Mainbocher's back-to corsets movement and the new long torso silhouette he created in undergarments during his collaboration with Warner. It also contains extensive coverage of his famous "Rules for Chic" 12-point plan and his first trip back to his native Chicago. Included are Mainbocher-Warner PR materials, a New Yorker profile, and ads taken from the New Yorker, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Folders contain a periodicals list, a brief note from an unidentified woman to the designer and an issue of Look magazine with an article on Mainbocher's business from January 18, 1938.
Volume 2 contains extensive coverage of the opening of Mainbocher's establishment in New York City in October 1941, as well as his first and second New York collections in the fall of 1940 and the spring of 1941. His fall collection consisted of approximately 80-100 ensembles and featured dresses with the Swan silhouette and bold leaf patterns. His spring collection incorporated capes, peplums, long white gloves and small bouquets of artificial flowers as buttons down a dress or jacket. This scrapbook has a copy of the exclusive radio release put out by the Bureau of Fashion Trends in anticipation of Mainbocher's first collection, coverage of wedding gowns he designed in the summer of 1941 and articles about how his sketches for Paris couture were exhibited at the Museum of Costume Art in New York. It includes clippings from newspapers in Spanish, Hebrew and German. Folders contain a typed contents page that outlines what is in Volume 2, a periodicals list and an article entitled "The Flight of Fashion," from the July 1941 issue of Coronet magazine.
Volume 7 contains coverage of Mainbocher's Fall/Winter 1946 and Spring/Summer 1947 collections. For fall, he showed several trend-making innovations, including the fur evening dress--a simple black dress trimmed in mink and chinchilla. His spring collection was hailed a "new fashion era" by New York Times fashion critic Virginia Pope. Mainbocher designed clothes with an absence of material and pattern restrictions. The final third of Volume 7 is miscellaneous coverage of the designer's public appearances and articles he wrote that were published in various newspapers. The final leaf has an original copy of a press release from The Fashion League, for release on or after October 20, 1947. Mainbocher is mentioned twice: First, he is credited with his masterful use of fabric as a trimming; and second, for turning out his most beautiful collection in recent years.
Volume 8 contains coverage of Mainbocher's Fall/Winter 1947 and Spring/Summer 1948 collections; his designs for elite weddings; and his role in dressing Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, named one of the "Best Dressed Women of 1947." For fall, corsets were back. Mainbocher's collection was esentially a total recall of the past seven years executed in more opulent materials of post-war opportunity. He said the two key "battle-points" of fashion change were skirts and shoulders. For spring, the main idea of his collection was to merge "prettiness and chic." Included in this volume are several press releases from Eleanor Lambert's agency, as well as excerpts from radio programs that either Mainbocher himself appeared on, or his fashions were discussed by the host. The highlight of Volume 8 is a six-page color spread from the March 1948 issue of House and Garden magazine entitled "Self-Portrait in Two Rooms." It is a rare glimpse of the designer's New York City apartment with numerous Kertesz photographs. The single folder has a typed contents page. There are a handful of articles written in French.
Volume 11 contains mostly coverage of Mainbocher's designs for the Girl Scouts and Red Cross volunteers in 1948. The new Girl Scout uniform was introduced in August. It was the first time in 20 years it had been changed. It was a green cotton covert dress with buttons down the front and a flaring skirt worn with a new cap. The new Red Cross uniform marked the first major changes made since before the war. It was a steel-blue gray whipcord suit with a topcoat, blouse and skirt that had the same slimness seen in women's fashions of the time. It was worn with a matching visored hat. This volume also contains miscellaneous coverage at the beginning and end. Included: Mainbocher's designs for Ruth Gordon in The Leading Lady and Tallulah Bankhead in Private Lives; his notable designs for summer, such as white suits for evening restaurant-wear and gilt-threaded cotton gingham dresses; and the pink chiffon dress he designed for Ruth Gordon in The Leading Lady was put on exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Folders include a typed contents page; four pages of correspondence about the uniforms from the American Red Cross National Headquarters; and several loose newspaper clippings of pictures of Mainbocher's uniforms with attached labels from various press clipping services.
Volume 12 contains mostly coverage of Mainbocher's biannual collections, but also includes coverage of his designs for the Passavant Hospital nurses' uniforms; the wedding dress for Mrs. Romaine Simpson; some miscellaneous articles on his designs for Mary Martin; the opening of La Galerie, his new, less expensive shop below the salon; his designs for the wife and daughters of Connecticut governor-elect John Lodge; Wallis Simpson's donation of her wedding dress to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and his designs for debutantes for the Benefit Opera for the Free Milk Fund. Folders include a typed contents page; two pamphlets from 1950 from the Passavant Memorial Hospital; The Pink Door Caterer's Menu; a document from the Institute for the Crippled and Disabled Theatre Benefit; a press release from October 3, 1950 for his fall collection; and a 1948 booklet put out by Warner Brothers entitled "Always Starting Things." Volume 12 includes an article from the Scandinavian press and some Spanish coverage.
Volume 17 includes coverage of Mainbocher's costume designs for Rosalind Russell in "Wonderful Town;" the cast of "Point of No Return;" the cast of "Kind Sir" starring Mary Martin; the cast of "The Prescott Proposals" starring Katharine Cornell; Blues-singer Libby Holman in "Blues, Ballads and Sin-Songs;" and Mary Martin in her 1955 television appearance with Noel Coward in "Together with Music." The highlights of this scrapbook are the personal telegrams and handwritten notes to Mainbocher from prominent players from the Broadway stage. There is correspondence from Rosalind Russell, Cole Porter, Joshua Logan, Norman Krasna, Leland Hayward, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Mary Martin and Hedda Hopper. Folders include a typed contents page; small miscellaneous photographs of different individuals, two of which can be positively identified as Mainbocher and Mary Martin; the program for "Kind Sir" from the Civic Theatre in New Orleans, 1953; a personal note from Norman Krasna, the writer of "Kind Sir;" the Eleanor Lambert press release on Mary Martin's costumes for "Kind Sir," dated November 1, 1953; the Playbill for "The Prescott Proposals" from the Broadhurst Theatre, December 16, 1953; and two personal notes to Main from Howard Lindsay (writer/director of "The Prescott Proposals") and Leland Hayward (producer). Last leaf includes clippings from 1971 -- could be misplaced; may need to duplicate for the 1971 material; Becky L. has named many of the unknown figures in the photos contained in the folder of this volume.
Volume 21 begins with a continuation of coverage from his Fall 1958 collection and also includes coverage from his Spring 1959 collection. He said the latter grew out of his desire to express his conviction that "a good dress attracts and does not distract." He maintained his use of the higher waistline for some silhouettes, though most of the clothes had a normal waistline. In April, Ladies' Home Journal asked he and Lanvin's designer Castillo to create special wardrobes to be featured in the magazine. Mainbocher designed three ensembles, and the editorial spread is one of the highlights from this scrapbook. In May, there is a lot of newspaper and magazine coverage of the yellow sari gown he designed for Mrs. Henry Ford II for the Metropolitan Opera. This volume also includes articles and photographs of his designs for other prominent socialites such as Mrs. Winston Guest, Mrs. Alfred Corning Clark and Charlotte Ford. The final page is a large original photograph of five Mainbocher models wearing Fall 1958 daytime and evening looks. The single folder contains two small original photographs of Macalester cheerleaders wearing uniforms designed by Mainbocher.