Bombshells: Destination Deauville

I've always been inspired by vintage beach photos and resort towns. Possibly because I grew up in a small beachside town that swelled in population in the summer. Victorian houses dotted the cliffs and there was always a photo here and there of ladies in fine dresses and parasols walking along the beach. My town in Maine doesn't compare to the stylish French beachside resort of Deauville in Normandy. Let's have a look at my latest inspiration.


Seaside resorts became popular in the 1800's. Especially in the later half of the century when developers started to build up coastal areas to attract the wealthy and upper classes. With that brought high fashion and it became popular to stroll the boardwalk in your finest outfit. Deauville, France was no exception. Developers drained the marshland and built fancy resorts. Only a little over an hour away from Paris meant it quickly caught on as a destination and was dubbed the "Parisian Riviera".


Throughout the Bello Epoque era up until WWI the fashion set arrived. A young Coco Chanel (pictured above) opened her first shop in Deauville where she sold hats and soon garments that eschewed the corseted dress of the time. Deauville is in the north of France and can be chilly. Ahead of her time and inspired by the jerseys she wore due to the colder temperatures she developed a uniform of wide leg trousers and classic men's jersey tops. She was such a trendsetter that jersey would soon make her millions. However, when the first World War started the resort town shut down and the large hotels became hospices for the soldiers.


The 1920's brought back prosperity to the area and Parisians started to enjoy the beach again. Fashion photography started to become, well, fashionable. All of sudden it was the place to be seen looking like a silent film star on the beach.


The boardwalk soon became a catwalk. Ladies showed off the latest in swimwear fashions.


And let's not forget the races! Deauville had a race track which was the best place to show off your finery!


By the 1930's all of fashion's finest were in Deauville; Hermes, Schiaparelli, but Coco Chanel remained Queen. Her mainstay fashion of wide leg trousers and jersey tops that she wore when she opened her shop were now on all of the fashion set. Coco always looked so happy in the photos of her from this time. Easy to see why! Once again though, when WWII happened, the resort town shut down and the history of the beaches of Normandy have a different story to tell.


It's not until the 1950's and 1960's that the resort town gets it's mojo back. The boardwalk once again becomes a destination for fashion and remains so to this day. 

Have you been to Deauville? Are you like me and adore vintage beach photos and fashions? Leave a comment below.


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Bobbins: Davidow's War Time Patent

It starts with this. US Patent No.2318295.


I love to do research on my vintage finds, but when I discovered the US Patent No. label on the inside of a recently acquired Davidow vintage wool jacket, I decided to do a little more digging. Fashions, especially in this day and age, are rarely patented.


Davidow was a high end women's suit and coat designer / tailor/ manufacturer that started out as William Davidow and Sons in the late 19th century. Eventually they became Davidow and were carried on the high fashion floors of the best department stores in the nation, well known for their expert tailoring. By the 1960's they primarily focused on tweed "Chanel" styles and replicas.


The jacket I have seemed to date before the 1960s and has some wonderfully interesting seam work and details. Besides the lovely chevron breast pockets, I noticed that the seam work was designed with ease in tailoring in mind. Do you see the top button hole in the seam? Having studied tailoring in design school years ago, I also noticed that his jacket doesn't have the usual facings to make up the collar or back up those bound button holes. This is interesting indeed! The patent tells us why. 


I was delighted when I found the patent! Melville Davidow is named the inventor of the special construction of a faceless tailored jacket. He goes into detail with drawings on how the seams of the collar and lapel will be handled, so they don't show. He also goes into detail on the bound buttonholes. The patent was filed in 1942 and issued in 1943. The patent was a way to save hard to get nice fabric and woolens during war time rations. 


Above are some, albeit fuzzy, shots of the details. I love discovering more about fashion history, and I find patents on apparel construction to be so interesting! Especially for the wartime effort! If you'd love to own a piece of tailoring history or just simply need a cool red wool jacket, this marvelous Davidow jacket is available in my shop


All photos copyright of Bobbins and Bombshells. Patent illustration from Google Patents. Read more about Melville Davidow's patent here