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Twentieth Century Cinderellas:
Women and Their Aprons

Exhibition Dates: April 2002 - August 2003

History (Continued)

Brown and yellow color schemes followed in the 1960s when popular fashion was inspired by Eastern Asian textile traditions and Sears, Roebuck catalog retailed aprons reproduced from “authentic India batik using rich inks usually found only in the finest dresses”. At the same time, McCall’s Needlework & Crafts magazine provided directions for aprons constructed of imported brown burlap with apple and daisy trim. A set of Woman’s Day magazine’s patterns repeated the era’s flower preoccupation on its waist-less tunic aprons.

The 1970s brought experimentation with new fabrics in fashion dress, and thus in aprons. Included were pop-art embellished plastics, acid-colored psychedelic synthetics, and disposable paper aprons such as those marketed by Hallmark for its party aprons. Mini, midi, and maxi skirt lengths were mimicked in apron lengths while eyelet trimmed "granny" dress details were repeated in apron trimmings. And, women, in enormous numbers for the first  time, sought employment outside of their homes and away from their aprons.

As the 21st century rapidly approached, advertisements with women in aprons all but disappeared and commercial pattern companies promoted aprons as "craft" projects and as a task for "dummies" in a newly-computerized age. As was the case in street fashion of the last decades, what had before succeeded, retro silhouettes and fabrics, monopolized the design of aprons, the few that remained. American women had moved into the workplace, eliminated their relationship with aprons, and, as one printed apron read, started "microwavin'" and "misbehavin'"!



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LSU Textile & Costume Museum
140 Human Ecology Building
Department of Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising
College of Agriculture
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Telephone: (225) 578-5992 and 578-2281
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