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Jeanne Defines Separates

Shufflemates Ad from the NY Times

Jeanne was one of a core of young emerging fashion designers that developed an easy-to-wear, "American style" after WWII. It was a style with simpler lines, a little more casual, with less class distinction. The new "working woman" needed the illusion of more outfits, and coordinating separates fulfilled that illusion. It was a completely American concept, but it was up to clever designers like Jeanne to make it practical and attractive at the same time.

Loomtogs VoiledressBoth Loomtogs and Sportwhirl were devoted to the production of "separates", but Jeanne's interpretation was unique. Originally the word referred mainly to athletic skirts-and-blouses or sweaters-and-skirts.
" But Jeanne has helped the word's meaning to grow until now a wearer of her separates can be suitably dressed for almost any conceivable occasion from an early morning class or supermarket shopping trip to a formal evening affair. She has also added to her line a few one-piece dresses, together with suits and coats, but its basic is still those separates which form the backbone of so many American wardrobes." An excerpt from Beryl Williams', "Young Faces In Fashion".

Beryl Williams quoted Jeanne as saying, "Separate top and bottom--that's all there is to it really. And there's no reason why the two things can't make up into formal evening wear as well as into something for a long country walk."
Jeanne also said, "They [separates] can be just about anything these days. They're more a way of dressing than any particular kind of clothes for particular occasions."

As an example of formal separates, in the midst of designing corduroys and denim separates in 1950, Jeanne came up with a romantic evening dress in white voile separates; it had a low puffed sleeve, black patent belt and full skirt. It appeared in the May 1950 "Glamour" Magazine in a "Cruise" section for a "glamour evening".

Having the moderate price niche, both Loomtogs and Sportwhirl marketed their inexpensive, yet high-style fashions to the masses. More women could afford their separates, and the more that were sold, the more exposure they received. More women would buy what they saw other women wearing. It was a very positive cycle which popularized Jeanne Campbell's designs. They received world-wide distribution.

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