7 Jan 1927 – Color is the First Consideration by Henri Bendel

Designing clothes for different types of women is the spice in the life of a couturier, what the petite blonde can wear the exotic brunette of Junoesque should never consider. The titian blonde can scintillate in colors and cuts the chestnut haired girl must forego. The white-haired woman’s beauty can be enhanced a hundred fold if she only knows how. Today, I will talk about the costuming the brunette, the type of woman who is apt to have an exotic alluring something about her which every article of apparel should emphasize. Color is the brunettes first consideration – greens, gay yellows, oranges, fame, magenta, vivid purples and reds. Colors maybe vivid, penetrating, startling even, but they must be clear, decided ones for the brunette never the muddy ones. The color of her eyes should be the unswerving guide to hue. Secondly the brunette does well to stick to plain colors. Figures, flowers too much intricate trimming will call attention to the clothes rather than the woman whose beauty they enhance. To illustrate my points today for three costumes I designed this fall for Natacha Rambova, a brunette of unusually true type, one who wears her raven locks coiled over her ears and her head even swathed in a gay turban of her own design. Miss Rambova, former wife of the late Rudolph Valentino recently as returned to the New York stage. For the afternoon, I show a frock of transparent velvet and metallic cloth. The brown velvet skirt is circular in cut. The blouse has a block figure in gold, brown, and orange all shades which tune in with the gold flecks in her eyes. The neck is collarless, which throws into prominence her head and features as an elaborate collar never could. The girdle arrangement of the frock forms a spiral swathing the hips in an oriental manner, buttoning twice with elaborate gold buttons. Matching buttons run up the flaring cuffs of the tapering sleeves, For dinner or dance, a bouffant frock of stunning jade green panne velvet, has a perfectly plain décolleté bodice of severe cut, for the same purpose of emphasizing its wearer’s beauty. The skirt has elaborate cut work and embroidery in golds, blacks and three shades of green around the bottom and up the center front but so fine is the work that it merely adds an indefinable luxury to the gown. With this she wears gold slippers, and matching hosiery and a gold turban. She needs no jewels as is the case with most brunettes. Their own vivid coloring is often not complimented by jewels. Of velvet, also is a stunning tea gown it is cut with long graceful butterfly sleeves and triple shirring across the front to get the up-in-the-front effect to offset the train behind. Shown today is an evening coat to be worn over the green gown. In furs, as in other clothes the brunette should choose richness but simplicity. No type of beauty can shine so lustrously and brilliantly from rich simplicity than a gorgeous brunette such as Miss Rambova. The evening wrap is of ermine, gorgeous white Russian ermine. It has bloused fullness in the waist portion, tapering down to a wrap-around lower part. Luxurious red fox edges the collar and runs the length of the diagonal opening. It is lined with white velvet in a rich figured pattern.

 

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