Lidewij Edelkoort, trendwatcher extraordinaire, recently presented her thoughts on the upcoming fashion biennale (Moba 13). Ms Edelkoort is the curator of this Biënnale held in Arnhem, The Netherlands, she chose the provocative and evocative theme of: “Fetishism in Fashion”. Amongst many other ideas she told us about the apron, or rather; the secret of the apron. According to Ms Edelkoort its the superior fetish garment. Interesting!
1971, movie poster Wat zien ik aka Business Is Business (via movieposterdb)We are aware of the fact that people like to dress up in an apron to clean the room bare-assed with a plumeau, or something like that. We understand it origins seen in a psychological perspective, but fashion wise? Being a bit on the prudent side, we never thought of the apron that way. As always we like to dig (a little bit) deeper, we found vintage sewing patterns to check on how the apron evolved into the cliché sex-garment. Please have a look at what we came up with, what do you think?
First part of the 20th century
Pictorial Review. Minute Maid Apron. ca. 1920s; This apron is as demure & dainty as a “minute maid”, yet it is large enough to be thoroughly pracitcal. Pleats, stitched down to give a trim effect about the hips & across the front, are released halfway down, rippling out into a pert flare. Patch pockets are cleverly fitted in between the pleats. Tie strings fasten the apron at the back. (no date – no pattern number.) (via vintagepatters)
Sewing Pattern Ladies Dress and Apron 1930’s DuBarry 1431B Bust 36 (via)
Simplicity 4585 Vintage 1940s Misses’ and Women’s Apron: The top edge is softly gathered to yoke and tie ends. A convenient patch pocket trims the right front side. Style I is without the bib and is trimmed with rick-rack at the lower edge. A dainty print with a bordered-edge brightens Style II. the suspenders of Style III are finished with a ruffle. (via)
Vintage sewing pattern: 1950s hostess blouse and apron (via)
Okay, here’s what we think, it isn’t that hard to figure out; in the twenties it started already, women were to entertain the husband. Hard, manual labor was done by the hired staff so the lady of the house could wear a “demure & dainty” apron. In the 1940’s the larger Bib Apron, similar to the apron worn by little girls in the 1900s, (think Little house on the prairie) was very popular.Fabric was less available due to WWIIso daytime dresses had to be well protected. In the 1950’s the invention of several home appliances, like washing machines, made house chores even more easy for women. Entrez the Hostess apron (or Cocktail or Party apron) unsuitable for work and put on for show only. We think the fifties were the heyday of the apron. In this era they became really sexy (but that’s only our opinion, based on these sewing patterns, which are leftovers because they are all still for sale)
More useful aprons called Cobbler aprons were available as well in the fifties. They had large pockets to store your garden tools or pots in.
1950’s Advance 5992 Vintage Sewing Pattern American Designer Jeanne Campbell Blouse: Wrap halter apron dress. Capri pants. Long or three-quarter sleeve blouse. From the New York Times Designer Series; designer Jeanne Campbell. (via)
Butterick 7960 Vintage Pattern Swirl Like Back Button Large Pockets Coverall Dress Apron Bust 36 (via damngoodvintage)
Simplicity Pattern 4492 Vintage 50s Cobbler Apron, Half Apron and Potholder + Poppy Transfer, dated 1953. This includes; “Simple to Make” cobbler apron features pockets at lower edge. Tie ends of View 1 and 2 are sewn into front darts. Bias trims scoop neckline, armhole, pocket and back closing edges, View 1. View 2 has higher neckline. Applique and embroidery detail pockets and pot holder. When apron is made of net, waistband, tie ends and trim may be of satin ribbon. (via vintagepatterns)
Moving on to the second part of the 20th century
Aprons for entertaining purposes only
Simplicity Pattern 6809 Vintage 60s Misses Aprons – Fabric or Vinyl, dated 1966. This includes; Misses’ Aprons: The apron V. 1 with tie ends stitched in front darts has pockets, lowered round neckline and back button closing. Apron V. 2 made of transparent or coated vinyl fabrics as well as other fabrics has back button closing, square pockets, armholes and neckline finished with grosgrain ribbon. (via vintagepatters)
Simplicity 5097; ©1972; Mens’s and Misses’ Set of Aprons (Transfer for Appliques Included): The men’s apron V. 1 and 2 with self fabric tie ends and neck strap has cobbler type pocket encased in fold over braid and trimmed with applique. V. 1 has breast pocket. V. 2 has contrasting pocket. The misses’ apron V. 3 and 4 gathered to waistband has self fabric tie ends. Short apron V. 3 has contrasting cobbler type pocket encased in fold over braid and trimmed with applique. Long apron V. 4 with self fabric bib and buttoned suspenders is trimmed with rick-rack, embroidered braid, or ribbon and crochet type lace insertion. (via vintagepatterns)
Less sewing patterns for aprons were made in the sixtiesand zeventies. In the 1970s the apron was more a romantic, ruffled dress than anything else. (again, think Little house on the prairie) The pattern above also includes the apron for men; the plastic, quirky ones like we have today, available mostly in gadget stores and worn by women as well.
Your fetish out in the open (via ifood). Macho man apron (via drinkstuff)