(Delaunay in an outfit of her own design)

Do you remember a little while ago I was having a Sonia Delaunay moment?

(‘Simultaneous’ dress & car upholstery)

Around this time, I was knitting the the Puffin Sweater, and shortly afterward, I wrote a piece about Delaunay which has just been published in Rowan 53.


The brief for my feature was to write something to accompany this Rowan design story . . .



. . . and I felt that the influence of Delaunay was startlingly evident in mod-inspired knitwear collections.

(Delaunay, 1923 / Céline, Autumn / Winter 2010-11)

Delaunay’s proud, modernist vision of garments as wearable art was the starting point of my thinking . . .

(Delaunay celebrated by Vogue in 1925)

. . . but I ended up somewhere rather different.

(Jean Shrimpton in Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian Dress, 1964)

(Lisa Perry & Phillip Lim’s appropriations of Lichtenstein)

You can read more in the magazine!

15 thoughts on “Mod

  1. I love the 20s/60s, and your wonderful linking of the two underscores the main reasons why, although there’s a certain unspoken freedom that ultimately speaks to me. Love that first cap as well!


  2. I enjoyed reading your article and was wanting to buy rowan mag 53 because of the beautiful floral intarsia jumper shown in some magazines so your article will be an added bonus.


  3. The “Mod” title of your post filled me with anticipation as I scrolled down. I was not disappointed – or perhaps only slightly so, as I hoped you might be presenting us with a new, mod design of your own. (Of course, I do see a nod to Delaunay as well as to avian Shetlanders in the Puffin motif)! I’m not often interested in Rowan’s spring/summer issues, but I too will want to buy this one for your article.

    I particularly love the ensemble in the upper left of the Vogue feature, but all of Sonia Delaunay’s clothing design inspires me.


  4. I remember my first encounter with Delaunay in my Fashion History class (back in college)…the first photo of her in your post is lovely…

    Totally agree with Katarina…it’s been a while since I purchased a Rowan magazine…I would love to read Kate’s article though…


  5. I was looking at the patterns in Rowan 53 yesterday, I guess this will be the first time I’ve bought a Rowan mag, for the article, not the pictures!!! (I didn’t find any of the patterns overly inspiring)


  6. I had the Mondrian dress when I was in kindergarten. This was in the backwoods of Wisconsin. I was such a progressive little mod! (actually, I had an Aunt who bought us all clothes in Chicago. We were always on the cutting edge of fashion as children. Nowadays, not so much)


  7. Hmmm, I remember wearing a dress like that! How old am I anyway? Not telling hahahaha
    Nice reminders. Looked at a ‘new’ Koos van der Akker coat dress pattern and thought, YIKES, without the embellishments, that is my shocking pink (don’t ask) wedding coat dress!! so I hauled it out and am going to have a go at it, dyeing, embellishing etc etc etc thanks for a fun post!


  8. That mod era was so experimental and left us with many inspiring and enduring design options. Loved reading your post about Sonia Delaunay and the driving caps in your earlier post. There’s a rhythm in those geometric patterns that lends to everything from clothing design to home design. I saw this Mondrian house and had to ask myself if the principles of design from this era worked for a beach home:


  9. It’s interesting, but the mod-style dress has been “in” for the last couple of summer seasons (the last one in particular). I was eyeing one made by a young designer I like but instead bought a vintage pattern on etsy and some orange (!) linen to make one myself.


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