Sunday, March 08, 2009

The "Kitty Foyle" Dress

Kitty Foyle, subtitled The Natural History of a Woman, is a 1940 film starring Ginger Rogers. The film was adapted from the eponymous 1939 novel by Christopher Morley. Ginger is not dancing and Ginger is not adorned in glamorous ballroom dresses. She's a working girl! In fact, Rogers' dress became a popular style, taking the name of the film.

A Kitty Foyle is a dress style of the 1940s characterized by a dark fabric and contrasting (usually white) collar and cuffs. This dress has also been worn by characters such as Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl and Wednesday Addams.

Reminds me of impact of "Annie Hall" on 70s fashions. More about Kitty Foyle dress from the blogosphere:

If Wednesday Adams Digs the Kitty Foyle, Then So Do I

The Kitty Foyle crops up everywhere…notably on Christina Ricci as Wednesday Adams (god i loved those movies). Over the years, it’s taken the shape of a bow at the neckline (rather than/as well as a contrasting collar) and a bright coloured dress contrasted with white or another colour. But the classic b-n-w version always ends up resurfacing.

I don’t have a KF myself, but you’ve gotta love them. Clean and classy. Plus it gives you full licence to maximise the size of your coiffe, a la Ginger Rogers. MORE »

In 1940, Hollywood offered audiences the quintessential White Collar Girl: Ginger Rogers as Kitty Foyle:

The collar for example, was a sign, expressively nuanced by size, line, decorative quality, and shape; Kitty's small, neat, crisply starched, simple white collar expressed the ideal character of the working girl. Better yet, it effected metaphorical literalization through design. Life explained, "she wears the white collar which gave her kind its name." MORE »
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