Joan Crawford Dress – by Russell Patterson – 1931

1930’s All in One Dress – by Artist Russell Patterson –

Well known stylist Russell Patterson designed this ‘all in one’ outfit for actress Joan Crawford. He is best remembered for his famous magazine covers in the 1920’s along with artists such as Coles Phillips and John Held Jr.
This Modern Screen review from November 1931 was aimed at all those ‘Joan Crawford’ types across the USA. It’s ethos was to save money in the more frugal post 1929 era.


A two in one. Charm and practicality – a daytime dress and an evening frock in one !

On the left is the daytime version – a black chiffon velvet dress with a trim bolero jacket, cut straight and severe and buckled at the high waistline. The only decoration is the buckle, the cowl yoke of pure white organdie, and extremely full godets which start at the knee line. There are seven of these godets in all – three in front, cut in one with the stitched panels, two at the sides, seamed in line with the side seams, and two at the back.


And the beret? – a perfect duck, which is adjustable to any bob or coiffure, because it toes on the side, you see. Mr Patterson suggests white galyak, with black velvet ties. The ends of the ties are weighted with rhinestone tabs.

On the right, we take off the bolero and – presto! – we are correctly attired for the evening. Black transparent velvet would be very effective for this design., but we might substitute lace for organdie for the yoke.


The back view of our evening gown – which, incidentaly , makes one look devastatingly slim. Note the seaming just above and below the natural waistline. The lower seam is omitted in the front of the dress and is simply added to the back to insure that very slim, close fitting look around the hips. You might develop this gown in three toned material, or in black chiffon with a black lace top also !

That’s all !

Transcription© 2014
Originally published in Modern Screen 1931
Read the Art of Russell Patterson for more on this amazing artist.

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