Thursday, February 19, 2015

When Safety Entered Fashion

Talk about an odd showing:  in 1954, three new developments in fashion were developed. 

Joggers everywhere applauded when "crashproof" raincoats were shown.  Now, they didn't really prevent crashes, but they "lit up like neon signs as soon as the sun went down," in helping to protect pedestrians and bicyclists who were out after dark.  Jogging really wasn't a big thing yet, but I'm sure if Forrest Gump saw it, he would've liked it.  The new product was displayed at the Aqueduct race track, where the audience got a chance to ride around in race cars, whilst models stood in various places around the track, wearing different colors of reflectorized clothing, reportedly "glowing safely in the darkness while cars whizzed by." Hopefully no alcohol was being served.

Next was "worlderized" fabric.  The "worlderizing" process stiffened the fabric, rendering it flameproof."  This was evidenced by a live model standing calmly whilst the demonstrator held a match to her Ceil Chapman nylon net dress.  Thankfully,no one went up in flames, and, though a part of her skirt melted under the heat, it didn't continue once the flame was removed.  Hmmm......... I'm sure this was a precursor to fire retardant kid's jammies.  It supposedly made the fabric water repellant and crush resistant, and it had shrinkage control too.  Pretty sure they figured they had the perfect product there, though melting nylon doesn't have much appeal to me, and I bet it smelt awful.

The third development wasn't a safety feature, but sweater girls were probably quite interested.  The "Tycora" process was unveiled, which supposedly made the yarn pill-proof and helped it keep its shape.  This meant that sweaters would keep their shape and maintain their original smooth texture, even after multiple washings. 

So what's not to love, when you go to a display and get racecars melting dresses, and perfect sweaters?  Who says fashion isn't science?