Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Dress Designs Reflections of Visit to Pitt Nationality Rooms".



Speaking of the Chinese Nationality Room, a Pittsburgh Press article from December 31, 1944 followed dress designer Dorris Varnum [sic] to the Cathedral of Learning to profile "a delightful collection of dresses" inspired by her visit to Pittsburgh. "[T]he dress expressing her notion of the Chinese Memorial classroom" is pictured on the right.
Smooth rayon jersey was the fabric chosen for the print, and black designs are splashed against grounds of pale jade green, lotus blossom and Ming blue.

The black designs could be taken to express one conception of plum blossoms seen on the carved doorframe of the classroom. These blossoms, which grow out of snow and ice, blooming before the winter is past, are Chinese national flowers.

Very appropriately, this bright dress makes its bow during a season of snow and ice.