Fashions & Home, Outdoor Number, May, 1927

This publication straddles the line between catalog and magazine. The William F. Gable Co, was a department store in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1884, it closed in 1990, another victim of the shopping mall.

My decision to buy this publication was based solely on the cover. How could I miss with four sports represented on the cover? Inside is a mix of articles about Paris fashions and advice on what to buy for summer sports, complete with prices. There is also an article on how to decorate a porch with wicker furniture sets beginning at $46.50.

The illustrations are really great, with a big emphasis, as promised, on sports. This woman in her pretty robe de style, is unpacking the summer things she had packed away the previous fall. Is that a bathing cap with a Scottie dog?

This could be a photograph right out of Vogue which regularly featured the real life costumes of the rich and titled.

A “two-piece Knitted Frock, a Swiss or French import…” would have indeed been the choice for the golf course.

Here we see the knitted golf  ensemble, along with the linen tennis dress.

This illustration accompanied an article on picnicking, complete with suggestions, menu, and recipes.

I suspect this haircut would have been a bit outre for Altoona, PA. The dress was designed by Madeleine des Hayes. I have never encountered the name before, so please let me know if you know more about the elusive Mademoiselle des Hayes.

The dress is about as short as hemlines actually reached in the mid to late 1920s.

In contrast is this dress.

Bouffant dance frock for the graduate with tight bodice  and long full skirt of orchid and pink taffeta, uneven hem.

Yes, as early as 1927 it was evident that hemlines were going to drop. The high-low trend of just a few years ago was truly inspired by the designers who used this trick to ease the fashionable into longer skirt lengths in 1927.


Filed under 1920s fashion, Collecting, Fashion Magazines, Proper Clothing, Sportswear

5 responses to “Fashions & Home, Outdoor Number, May, 1927

  1. I covet that wonderful catalog. Lizzie, I believe the elusive designer’s name is also spelled Magdeleine des Hayes, with atelier at 6, Rue de la Paix, Paris. That address indicates to me that she “had game”: the top fashion houses were located on Rue de la Paix starting with the House of Worth, and in mid ’20s including Paquin, Doucet, and Bouet Soeurs. There are some stylish dress images attributed to Magdeleine des Hayes on Pinterest’s UK, French and Swiss sites. The designs all seem to be dated 1926, ’27, ’28 and ’29. I suspect her business tanked as a result of the crash of 1929.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jacq staubs

    Interesting! The “catalog / magazine” . The Gable Co. – Altoona , Pa. Is a bit of a stretch of a high society style publication . Closing in 199o’s. Never heard of them / nor ever met / knew any of their buyers or executives – at market in NYC or any advertising in major fashion publications. The models in the photos were obviously local “society” ? As you point out – the “photograms” borrowed . The “couturier ” Madalinine” It was after all the roaring 20’s – was funded heavily for this venture. Very – Very …. Lizzie , you never disappoint!


  3. I adore when you see what “sport fashion for women” looked like the 20’s because you don’t see too often. Great find and thanks for sharing!


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