Fashionable Brooklyn: From the Files of the Brooklyn Collection

October 1, 2012 - December 1, 2012
Central Library
These fashion photographs are made up of images that appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, usually highlighting a fashion collection that would appear in one of the major Brooklyn downtown clothing stores such as Oppenheimer, Abraham & Strauss, Martin's, etc.
This online exhibition is held in conjuction with the exhibition, Fashion Illustration: A Contemporary Look.

If you'd like to see these original photographs, please visit the Brooklyn Collection at Central Library. You can also visit their website and blog, Brooklynology.


1. (September 7, 1951) “Christian Dior’s typical full pleated bell skirt of silk taffeta, worn over several petticoats, is combined with a form-fitting jacket.  Photographed at the Trocadero in Paris and shown this week at the Waldorf-Astoria by Russeks.  The adaptation, in black only, will sell for about $89 in the store’s better dress department."

2. (April 17, 1949) “S-L-I-M is the word for this elegant dinner suit by Christian Dior.  It’s of silk ottoman, and is worn with a bodice of white satin veiled with black net.”

3. (August 31, 1936) “Very ‘Scotch’ are the built-up shoulders, pleated rear peplum and box pleated skirt on this two-piece dress of velveteen designed by Walter Plunkett.  Eva Marsh, Katherine Hepburn’s stand-in, models the frock.”

4. (April 17, 1949) “Two-piece spectator sports dress of imported linen, by Christine Dior, looks like a suit, and is worn with cloche hat.”

5. (September 17, 1951) “Coat for forty-plus matron.”

6. (September 25, 1951) “Cover-up jacket for a one-piece dress- a costume in John Barr tweed and wool jersey designed by Jane Derby, winner of the ninth annual (1951) American Fashion Critics’ Award, sponsored by Coty, Inc.  The bodice of the dress is in a natural beige color called “Blonde Dubonnet.”  Its attached skirt and jacket are in curry gold tweed.  The sleeves of the fitted jacket are slashed to turn back in cuffs to the elbow or button as shown.  Hat and leopard purse by Mr. John.”

7. (September 20, 1951) “An out-moded gray Persian coat is re-worked into a handsome fur-lined career girl coat of Forstmann velour.  One of the styles featured in a re-incarnation of furs showing yesterday at Oppenheim Collins, Manhattan, and to be repeated at the Brooklyn store next Thursday.”

8. (August 15, 1954) “Tailoring’s the thing- A Dacron-silk suit is no better than its tailoring, but this $100 number is assuredly well-tailored, says Lawrence.  It combines the rich look and feel of silk with the lightweight, wrinkle-resistance and press-holding quality of Dacron.”

9. (November 28, 1954) “Stylish and comfortable- Built to take the chill out of the air before it hits the wearer, this worsted wool knit shirt has a soft, smooth feel that makes it suitable for dressy casual wear.  It has two patch pockets, long sleeves and button front, and comes in two-tone gray, brown or beige.”

10. (December 17, 1954) “Plaid- Shadow-box plaid sport shirt in warm flannel, comes in red or black.  Large patch pockets and long sleeves.  $2.95.  At Bonds, 400 Fulton St.”

11. (October 17, 1954) “Double duty coat- A good deal for the man who needs both a raincoat and a light-warm topcoat is this fly-front gabardine of Dynel, rayon and acetate.  It is silver-tan in color and has set-in sleeves, as shown, or raglan if preferred.  Sells for about $25.”

12. (December 10, 1954) “Vest- Made from Simplicity Pattern No. 4107.  Corduroy vests, in bright plain shades or in colorful prints, make dashing Christmas gifts.  Here, a stylized Victorian rose, printed on beige corduroy, provides the fashion theme for this four-pocket waistcoat.  Worn with a charcoal corduroy jacket, tailored with striped cotton lining for smartness and easy fit.”

13, 14. (September 7, 1942) “You can’t get ‘em now- Suits or “zoots” of this type which male jitterbugs wear will soon be found only in museums.  The War Production Board has turned thumbs down on their manufacture.  This is from the window display of a Myrtle Ave. tailor.”

15. (March 28, 1954) “Color is a man’s “fourth dimension.”  Here a smartly tailored, black sports jacket of porous wool has a thinning effect on the wearer.  A subdued, slim tie aids and abets in the optical illusion.”

16. (March 21, 1954) “New sports shirt- The combined striped oxford blue shirt has the new Italian shoulder-to-shoulder horizontal styling, expected to be very popular here this Spring and Summer.  The soft-roll collar can be worn up for protection against sun and wind.  Other colors include charcoal, black, white.”

17. (October 11, 1953) “Black tassel oxford in moccasin style (top) is finding many high school adherents this Fall.  Older fellows who like a little extra style flare wear them with gray sports outfits.  At left is the unusually wide-winged “Pittsburgh Spade,” very popular where the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers meet, and now also hitting its stride in Milwaukee.  The black laceless oxford with elastic gored instep, pictured at bottom, is a good style-plus-comfort shoe for dressier clothes, especially right with a dark blue suit.  Maroon nylon socks are suggested.”

18. (May 2, 1954) “All three hats, from the same manufacturer, are pre-creased at the factory, but the popular “Dart” model (top) has the soft, natural look of hand-creasing.  Note the homburg’s narrow brim, a style innovation (bottom).  The hat in the middle is a porkpie.”

19. (September 18, 1951) ““Continental”- One of Sally Victor’s Campaigners group of millinery.  This pointed velvet hat of Bunker Hill brown is appliquéd with black lace and is worn with a matching capelet.  It is one of the hats in the Autumn, 1951, collection presented by the designer in the Abraham & Straus millinery department yesterday.”

20. (September 7, 1951) “Subtle two-tone combinations are blended in a feather trimmed velour profile beret that is adapted from a Paris model by Legroux Soeurs.  Assorted colors, $16.95, Oppenheim Collins, Brooklyn.”

21. (September 5, 1954) “Good-looking outfit- This winsome lad wears a three-piece suit complete with a button-front vest.  The coat is all-wool flannel, and the contrasting slacks are rayon and acetate flannel.  Vest, with its horse-and-rider imprint, is a pinwhale corduroy.  Color combinations include navy and gray, brown and tan, and charcoal and gray.”

All photos copyright: Brooklyn Public Library/Brooklyn Collection