Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hannah of Troy

My friend Tina of What-I-Found, posted this pattern for sale recently on Facebook.  It's by Hannah Troy.  This era of McCall's patterns are some of my favorites but despite selling sewing patterns for over 15 years, I'd never heard of Hannah Troy, so I went to do some research.

Turns out that Ms Troy was a big designer from the late 30s until at least the late 60s.  How had I never heard of her?  She presented collections along with the big designers, and was frequently quoted in newspapers along with contemporaries like Alan Graham and Jo Copeland.  Interesting that she flew under the radar over the years.

I love her take on 60s mod fashions though.  Keep in mind how outrageous it was when fashion changed from this type of style to the micro minis and such.  It really was out there to think about.  Ms Troy had her say though, stating rather firmly that she saw no reason to show a knee when wearing a dress.  She went so far as to say that knees are UGLY.  She really was repulsed by the idea.  Maybe she saw my knees, but I found that to be a really interesting viewpoint.  Scandalous, yes, but ugly?  WOW.

She went on to mention how vulgar fashion had become, because "everyone is a slave to labels.  Once if you said 'I'm wearing Mr X tonight,' you were bragging.  Now it's expected.  It doesn't even matter if it's pretty.  It must have a designer name to bolster our -- security."

Think about this for a minute.  This is SO true.  The fashions coming out of Dior right now are absolutely atrocious, but people like Jennifer Lawrence are contracted to wear them, so out this beautiful girl walks in some of the most heinous stuff I've seen in years.  She is only one example.  And people like Reese Witherspoon and Taylor Swift do a sidewalk sashay in designer fashions where at least they look cute, but I'm sure are attached to contracts or at least financial reimbursements.  Back in Ms Troy's day, I'm not sure that it was the case that the stars were paid to wear the fashions.  This was an era where women were just starting to be loaned garments to wear to red carpet functions -- before this, they had to come up with their own stuff.  It was considered vulgar by many to brag about what designer you were wearing.  Now the stars get PAID to wear them, and they have to be sure to get it in when they are interviewed.  "Who are you wearing tonight" tends to be one of the first questions the stars are asked now.  And yes, it doesn't even matter if it is pretty stuff, as long as it has a name attached to it.

I have to agree with Ms. Hannah.  It's just plain vulgar.  Your thoughts?