The Vintage Fashion Library, serving fashion conscious customers since 1999, offers hard to find original and reproduction patterns of some of the most stylish looks from yesteryear. Whether you love Victorian fashions from the 1800s or the lovely draping of 50s cocktail dresses, you will find something you love!
I recently came across Advance American Designer pattern 6479, by Carolyn Schnurer. Though some of these American Designers are names we are familiar with - like Suzy Perrette -- Carolyn Schnurer is someone I'd never heard of. The bubble hem bloomer swimsuit reminded me of Claire McCardell's similar design, so I went looking.
Turns out that Ms. Schnurer was originally an art teacher in the New York Public School system, but by the late 40s, she was one of the most popular swimsuit designers out there, and was also known for her sportswear. She even has some designs at the Met. I guess I wasn't too far off the mark thinking Claire McCardell, who was one of the original sportswear designers, having also been on the board of Sports Illustrated. But I digress.
Reading articles about Ms. Schnurer, I found that she literally travelled the world for inspiration: Alaska, Turkey, India, Guatemala and more. I wonder how a public school teacher had the money -- though I suppose if she was a popular enough designer, it wouldn't be hard. What inspired her to make the jump from art teacher to designer? Inquiring minds want to know. She seems to show up around 1945 as a popular designer, but there's nothing out there prior to that. How did she blast onto the scene so fast? I need to know. If anyone has anything to add about her, I'd love to know.