Mademoiselle, April 1943

This year’s young bride has a new style – as simple as the wood violets she carries, as fresh as the wood violet cologne she chooses.  Her wedding dress, designed by MLLE, with no train, no veil, and a look of utter innocence, is of imported organdie,  floor length all around, over a rayon taffeta slip.

I chose this cover today partly because of the cap the young bride is wearing.  It is a form of the Juliet cap, which poster Bonnie mentioned she wore to the prom in the 1960s.

As in the 1960s, the 1936 film version of Romeo and Juliet triggered a fashion for the Juliet cap, or calot.  Juliet was portrayed by Norma Shearer, who did justice to the little cap.   It was considered to be a romantic hat for weddings or evening wear, and was often made of lace or mesh.  I know so little about hats that I always turn to Susan Langley and her excellent Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970, and so thanks to her for the nice information about the Juliet cap.

Photographer:  Jerry Plucer
Model:  Not credited
Copyright:  Condé Nast

7 Comments

Filed under Too Marvelous for Words

7 responses to “Mademoiselle, April 1943

  1. Such a refreshing and sweet cover shot. I do miss the “good ole days”. Thanks for another memory, Liz.

    I did not know the hat was called a Juliet hat. I will try to remember that.

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  2. Teresa

    Oh, she is utterly adorable!

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  3. I love the fact that she is carrying purple wood violets instead of your standard red and/or white roses. Very refreshing and pretty.

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  4. Fashion Witness

    There is a discussion of the “Juliet cap” –described as “a skullcap of networked gold and pearls” in Anne Hollander’s wonderful book, Seeing Through Clothes. She traces the cap’s first appearance to silent star Theda Bara, of all people! For a photo of Theda Bara playing Juliet in 1916, just search for theda bara juliet.
    Book recommendation: If you’ve never heard of Seeing Through Clothes, art historian Hollander demonstrates the strength of fashion’s influence on artists, and on our concept of beauty, showing that nudes are often painted with the silhouette of the period’s corsets and fashion silhouettes. She’s also very articulate about the costume designer’s need to reconcile authentic period fashions with a modern audience’s [different] standard of beauty. It’s a readable, scholarly work about fashion, beauty, art, and theatre, from pre-Renaissance through the movies. Well-illustrated.

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  5. John

    I’m going off on a tangent, but when anyone mentions Norma Shearer, I say ‘damn fine actress’! If anyone hasn’t seen this STAR in ‘The Women’ (1939), she is terrific!! Nar a man in this production, (and it’s all about men) and all the better for it… one of the best casts ever! As the trailer put it “see them with their hair down… and their claws out! Jungle Red!” “Women, women everywhere, and not a man in sight!” (Oh, this was a great year for movies too!). The movie trailer is on IMDb.

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