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Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY, Gladys Marcus Library, Special Collections and College Archives Lucile, Ltd. records, 1910-1925 Drawing
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Lucile, Ltd. records, 1910-1925

  • US NNFIT SC.1
  • Collectie
  • 1863-1935

Collection is comprised of model photographs, sketches, photographs of sketches, show programs, some newspaper and magazine clippings with articles about or by Lucile, order forms, advertisements, and fashion plates. Garment designs include theatrical costumes, wedding gowns, day and evening wear, tea gowns, lingerie and pajamas. Bulk of the collection consists of model photographs, fashion sketches, photographs of sketches and official phototransfers. In addition there are clippings of articles from different publications written by or about Lucile, she wrote regular columns for Hearst publications. Programs for the "Model Parades" introducing lines of clothing for several years. There are some photographs of Lucile's clients, and photographs of "Rose room" interiors of Lucile. Ltd from New York and Chicago locations. Inspirational and reference materials collected by Lucile and/or her staff, mainly fashion plates and newspaper clippings from different publications. Dates range from the early 1910s to the mid 1920s. Model photographs were glued in large format (12-14"w to 16-18"h) standard, blank books to order, referred throughout this finding aid as scrapbooks; there are 12 volumes in the collection. Bulk of original drawings that are arranged according to the type of clothing are loose, drawn on a heavy weight board; sketches for 1916 and 197-18 lines were glued into scrapbooks; there are 12 volumes of original drawings and 2 volumes of photographs and phototransfers. It is possible that two types of arrangement seen throughout the collection (most of Model photographs chronologically, most of sketches by type of clothing) are due to different purpose these materials served; sketches of period gowns or theatrical costumes could have been referred to time and time again for different productions or themed social events, whereas model photographs would have documented actual creation of such a garment at a certain point in time. It is also not clear why, but some scrapbooks with model photographs are reproduced in complete entirety, using same photo session materials some fully annotated.

Lucile, 1862-1935

Sketches, original drawings, circa 1915-1925

4.6 linear feet - The bulk of original drawings are from early 1920s. This part of the collection has several arrangements, by year, season, or type of clothing - such as Evening Wear, Evening Gowns, Theatrical Wear, Wraps and Coats, Pajamas and Negligees, and Wedding Gowns. 2 volumes document lines by year and season (1916, 1917-1918). Sketches rendered in several distinct styles, by multiple artists. Some illustrations very carefully drawn and colored with great attention to detail (most consistent example 1916 sketches), drawings from later period captivate as much for the style of execution as the subject they portray (Theatrical costume). Loose sketches collected into volumes by clothing type make up the bulk of the subseries (fragments of scrapbooks' cover artwork can be seen in 1.3.6). Drawn on a heavy board in various techniques, predominantly ink, gouache, and watercolor, some accentuated with gold and silver. There are many cases where it is especially difficult to attribute the purpose of the garment, a tea gown or theatrical costume maybe misinterpreted/misattributed, since Lucile designed for themed occasions, theater and revue, where risque outfits were required; evening gowns designed for the stage actresses may have become part of the evening wear collection. Most of the loose sketches have rusty staple marks on them.

Sketches, drawings, 1916

Disbound scrapbook, 182 sketches from 1916, 3 folders in 2 containers. Sketches are named, numbered according to the line(s) sequence(s). Drafted in pencil and painted with gouache, and watercolor. There are 20 unannotated sketches; 62 sketches have fabric swatches. Numbering implies 3 lines. At the end of the 1st folder there are some childrens clothing designs. In the second folder #3 "Brighton South Shore", #40 "Flo, Flo" In addition to these consistently numbered and annotated sketches there are 50 "Coats and Wraps" sketches from mid 1920s, some of these are signed by Ethel Rabin, sketch artist who worked for Berley Studios, a fashion drawing subscription service. These are not original drawings, but reproductions, and pasted randomly on the available pages of this otherwise filled volume. In most of these "out of place" sketches Barely Studios imprint and artist's signature are obliterated (scratched out) or covered up by the imprint of Lucile Limited.

Sketches, phototransfers of, and original drawings, circa 1915-1925

5.5 linear feet - Sketches series are divided into following subseries: 1.2.1 phototransfers and photographs of sketches; 1.2.2 Original drawings. Descriptions with specific details regarding form and content are provided with subseries, and volume or folder level descriptions. Authorship of the sketches is hard to determine, at least 7 distinct artists' work appears repeatedly throughout the collection. Stylistically they vary greatly, from very precise drawing and color application, to much looser line and dabs of color. Some of the figure drawings indicate classic training, in other instances figure appears stiff, faces cartoonish, yet other artists favor stylized figure. There are differences in color application as well, ranging from masterful technique in watercolor for transparent and light fabrics accentuated with gouache for effect of raised texture or embroidery, to carefully applied opaque, flat, vibrant color with incredibly detailed textile pattern or texture. Bulk of the sketches are not signed, those that are signed rarely were signed in full; among those - Louise Schabacker, Mary Keene, Marie Cook, Ethel Rabin (reproductions of sketches mid-to-late 1920s); other artists supplied initials, abbreviation, or pictogram, in some instances only first or only last name - Bob (possibly Robert Kalloch), Alison, Dorothy, Barker (Shirley Barker), Mand T. (or Mond T.) W. Ward. In some cases name is too difficult to decipher for example - "Albalverton" has been signed in few different ways, and most likely deciphered incorrectly. Many times sketches are signed "Lucile", but that name was signed by many, in variety of styles, and could mean among other things: sign of intellectual and/or physical ownership of the Lucile, Ltd., or a sign of approval by lead designer. Items --US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.2.6-34 are sketches arranged by the type of clothing; although rarely dated, those dated are from 1920, 1921, and 1922, some of the material might predate or be of later dates than indicated. For years 1916, 1917-1918 see US.NNFIT.SC.1.2.2.1-5