Thomas Franklin Brigance
4 February 1913
|Died||14 October 1990 77) (aged|
New York City
|Known for||American sportswear|
|Awards||Coty Award, 1953|
Thomas Franklin Brigance (February 4, 1913 – October 14, 1990) was a Texan-born New York–based fashion designer noted for his work in sportswear in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.As a house designer for Lord & Taylor, Brigance was best known for bathing costumes and play clothes, and for his clever use of flattering details such as pleats and darts. During the 1930s Brigance was a rare example of a male working in the female-dominated world of American sportswear design. In the late 1930s, he was regularly mentioned alongside Clare Potter as a leading name in mid-range priced sportswear. Like Potter, Brigance was skilled at designing smart, fashionable clothing which could easily be mass-produced, making his work attractive to manufacturers as well as to customers.
After serving in the Army during the Second World War, Brigance resumed designing for Lord & Taylor and for Charles W. Nudelman; branching out into a wider range of garments, including suits, coats, and formal wear.He was known for his clever use of unusually textured and/or unexpected fabrics, such as a flannel swimsuit, and in 1953, reportedly designed over half of the textiles in his collections himself. In 1953 Brigance was awarded the Coty Award for his designs.
Brigance continued designing during the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on swimwear for various companies.One of his swimsuit designs for Gabar, produced before his retirement in the late 1970s, was still a best-selling design for the company in 1990. He died in New York in 1990.
A bikini is a two-piece swimsuit primarily worn by girls and women that features one piece on top that covers the breasts, and a second piece on the bottom: the front covering the pelvis but usually exposing the navel, and the back generally covering the intergluteal cleft and a little, some, or all of the buttocks. The size of the top and bottom can vary, from bikinis that offer full coverage of the breasts, pelvis, and buttocks, to more revealing designs with a thong or G-string bottom that covers only the mons pubis, but exposes the buttocks, and a top that covers only the areolae. Bikini bottoms covering about half the buttocks may be described as "Brazilian-cut", while those covering about three-quarters of the buttocks may be described as "cheeky" or "cheeky-cut". In May 1946, Parisian fashion designer Jacques Heim released a two-piece swimsuit design that he named the Atome ('Atom') and advertised as "the smallest swimsuit in the world". Like swimsuits of the era, it covered the wearer's belly button, and it failed to attract much attention. Clothing designer Louis Réard introduced his new, smaller design in July. He named the swimsuit after the Bikini Atoll, where the first public test of a nuclear bomb had taken place four days before. His skimpy design was risqué, exposing the wearer's navel and much of her buttocks. No runway model would wear it, so he hired a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris named Micheline Bernardini to model it at a review of swimsuit fashions.
A swimsuit is an item of clothing designed to be worn by people engaging in a water-based activity or water sports, such as swimming, diving and surfing, or sun-orientated activities, such as sun bathing. Different types may be worn by men, women, and children. A swimsuit can be described by various names, some of which are used only in particular locations, including swimwear, bathing suit, bathing attire, swimming costume, bathing costume, swimming suit, swimmers, swimming togs, bathers, cossie, or swimming trunks for men, besides others.
Rudolf "Rudi" Gernreich was an Austrian-born American fashion designer whose avant-garde clothing designs are generally regarded as the most innovative and dynamic fashion of the 1960s. He purposefully used fashion design as a social statement to advance sexual freedom, producing clothes that followed the natural form of the female body, freeing them from the constraints of high fashion.
Donald Brooks was an American fashion designer and creator of the "American Look" founded in the 1950s and 1960s. He had an immense passion for stage and film, designing well over 3500 costumes. His efforts were recognized by an Emmy Award and numerous other honors; he was also nominated three times for the Academy Award and once for a Tony.
The most characteristic North American fashion trend from the 1930s to 1945 was attention at the shoulder, with butterfly sleeves and banjo sleeves, and exaggerated shoulder pads for both men and women by the 1940s. The period also saw the first widespread use of man-made fibers, especially rayon for dresses and viscose for linings and lingerie, and synthetic nylon stockings. The zipper became widely used. These essentially U.S. developments were echoed, in varying degrees, in Britain and Europe. Suntans became fashionable in the early 1930s, along with travel to the resorts along the Mediterranean, in the Bahamas, and on the east coast of Florida where one can acquire a tan, leading to new categories of clothes: white dinner jackets for men and beach pajamas, halter tops, and bare midriffs for women.
Bonnie Cashin was an American fashion designer. Considered a pioneer in the design of American sportswear, she created innovative, uncomplicated clothing that catered to the modern, independent woman beginning in the post-war era through to her retirement from the fashion world in 1985.
Vera Huppe Maxwell was an American pioneering sportswear and fashion designer.
Jacques Heim was a French fashion designer and costume designer for theater and film, and was a manufacturer of women's furs. From 1930 to his death in 1967, he ran the fashion house Jacques Heim, which closed in 1969. He was president of the Paris Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture from 1958 to 1962, a period of transition from haute couture to ready-to-wear clothing.
Many stylistic variations of the bikini have been created. A regular bikini is a two-piece swimsuit that together covers the wearer's crotch, buttocks, and breasts. Some bikini designs cover larger portions of the wearer's body while other designs provide minimal coverage. Topless variants are still sometimes considered bikinis, although they are technically not a two-piece swimsuit.
Clare Potter was a fashion designer who was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1903. In the 1930s she was one of the first American fashion designers to be promoted as an individual design talent. Working under her elided name Clarepotter, she has been credited as one of the inventors of American sportswear. Based in Manhattan, she continued designing through the 1940s and 1950s. Her clothes were renowned for being elegant, but easy-to-wear and relaxed, and for their distinctive use of colour. She founded a ready-to-wear fashion company in Manhattan named Timbertop in 1948, and in the 1960s she also established a wholesale company to manufacture fashions. Potter was one of the 17 women gathered together by Edna Woolman Chase, editor-in-chief of Vogue to form the Fashion Group International, Inc., in 1928.
Muriel King (1900–1977) was an American fashion designer based in New York City. She was one of the first American fashion designers along with Elizabeth Hawes and Clare Potter to achieve name recognition. She also designed costumes for several major films in the 1930s and 1940s.
Sportswear is an American fashion term originally used to describe separates, but which since the 1930s has come to be applied to day and evening fashions of varying degrees of formality that demonstrate a specific relaxed approach to their design, while remaining appropriate for a wide range of social occasions. The term is not necessarily synonymous with activewear, clothing designed specifically for participants in sporting pursuits. Although sports clothing was available from European haute couture houses and "sporty" garments were increasingly worn as everyday or informal wear, the early American sportswear designers were associated with ready-to-wear manufacturers. While most fashions in America in the early 20th century were directly copied from, or influenced heavily by Paris, American sportswear became a home-grown exception to this rule, and could be described as the American Look. Sportswear was designed to be easy to look after, with accessible fastenings that enabled a modern emancipated woman to dress herself without a maid's assistance.
Mary Ann DeWeese (1913–1993) was an American sportswear designer. Appliquéd swimsuits and matching his-and-hers swimwear and sportswear are among the fashion firsts credited to DeWeese.
The history of swimwear traces the changes in the styles of men's and women's swimwear over time and between cultures, and touches on the social, religious and legal attitudes to swimming and swimwear.
Emily Wilkens was an American fashion designer specializing in children's wear. She won both the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award and the Coty Award for her work, which was considered groundbreaking for properly taking note of the requirements of teenage dressing, and not simply offering miniature grown-up garments. She was also an author, writing a number of books on self care and style, and during the late 1960s and early 1970s, became a beauty journalist, writing an advice column.
Carolyn Schnurer was a fashion designer and a pioneer in American sportswear. Schnurer's designs have been featured in the magazines Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Life as well as in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also received awards for her designs from Coty, The Cotton Council, International Sportswear, Miami Sportswear, and Boston Sportswear.
Louella Ballerino was an American fashion designer, best known for her work in sportswear.
Sydney Wragge (1908–1978) was an American fashion designer active during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Working as B.H. Wragge, he was particularly renowned for his American sportswear, with the historian Caroline Rennolds Milbank declaring him the leader in mix-and-match separates and interchangeable wardrobe design.
Mimi Fayazi is an American fashion designer who was particularly successful in the 1970s. Mimi was born in Iran and came to New York in 1967 to study fashion at the Mayer School of Fashion Design. Fayazi began designing in New York, and then started Mimi Fayazi Designs in 1974 in Los Angeles, with the Fayazi Couture, Miss Fayazi Dresses, and Mimi Fayazi Sportswear labels. Her style was distinctly feminine, while also drawing on the classic influences of the 1930s and 1940s. Besides being known for her design and fabrication, her clothing was also intended to transition easily from day time to evening wear. Her clothing, considered creative and sophisticated, sold in specialty and department stores, including Saks, Lord & Taylor, and Bergdorf Goodman, and were worn by many actresses, including Ali MacGraw and Candice Bergen. In 1978, Fayazi won 2 Tommy Awards from the American Printed Fabrics Council, Inc. for her designs.
Monika Tilley was an Austrian-born American designer noted for designing loungewear and activewear. Many of her designs were featured on models in publications including the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues. She focused on functional design and some of her designs were considered racy and provocative for their times. She was a founding member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and two time recipient of the Coty American Fashion Critics' Award in the swimwear category.