Today’s Inspiration: Ceil Chapman
There’s a great story about a party in the 1950’s, an event where actress Betty Furness arrived in a Ceil Chapman dress- one that the designer herself was also wearing that night. Chapman excused herself, went and checked the little jacket that went with the dress (this was the 1950’s), and then removed the decorative elements at the neckline. No one was embarrassed because Chapman was a lady and a brilliant businesswoman.
At the end of the 1940’s Cecelia (Ceil) Chapman made what might have been the first deal of its kind- she agreed to let NBC use her designs for their tv shows in exchange for a design credit. This not only got her name out in Hollywood, it was a surgical strike that resulted in a boom in business from her target market. Chapman designed moderately priced cocktail gowns & evening wear for the post WWII era. Having her clothes on TV was a genius move.
Though she is often credited as one of the American designers who translated Dior’s New Look for the American woman, Chapman made a point of never going to Paris shows, she said she didn’t want the influence on her work. Supposedly, Ceil Chapman was one of Marilyn Monroe’s favorite fashion designers, she was photographed in a lot of Chapman’s clothes. When Elizabeth Taylor married Conrad Hilton in 1950, Chapman designed her trousseau. She was an early adapter to the world of licensing, and utilized the concept to further grow her business in a way that was new to the fashion world (if I had more characters, I’d tell a great story about Cadillac). Chapman won all the awards and she built a business that really defined mid-20th century American fashion. She died in 1979 of lung cancer, only a couple of days after the death of her husband. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #CeilChapman#PostWarFashion#AmericanStyle#AmericanDesigner#WomenWhoDesign#WomenDesigners#NewLook#HauteCouture#Couture#FashionDesign#FashionDesigner#FashionHistory#CostumeDesign#CostumeHistory#HistoryOfDress#WomensWear#WhatWomenWore#TodaysInspiration ...