The New School Archives Digital Collections

Claire McCardell fashion sketches ➔ Hattie Carnegie 1940


Related people/organizations

Claire McCardell (designer)
Hattie Carnegie (commissioner)


circa 1940

Work Type



8.5 in (width) x 11 in (height)


During the beginning of the year, McCardell continued to work for Hattie Carnegie, a high-end New York retailer known for selling adaptations of Parisian designs. This series features sketches that allegedly depict styles that were copied by McCardell from Parisian fashion designers, although many inscriptions don’t include a designer name. The designer names that are mentioned include Edward Molyneux, Maggy Rouff, Cristobal Balenciaga, Jeanne Paquin, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Alix Barton (Madame Grès). It is known that McCardell did visit Paris to see the spring collections in 1940, which would be the last shows presented in Paris until after World War II. It was also the last time that McCardell ever attended the Paris showings as she later claimed that she feared that she would be influenced by them if she did. The sketches in this series are rougher than what McCardell was producing for Carnegie in 1939, but many still include fabric swatches. Designs range from casual jersey dresses to lace evening gowns. In this same year, McCardell left Carnegie due to fundamental differences in design aesthetics, as McCardell’s style of casual adaptations did not fit the tastes of Carnegie’s clients.


Yohannan, Kohle and Nancy Nolf. Claire McCardell: Redefining Modernism. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998.

Related Terms

Kellen Design Archives


binders 55-57



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