Australian Screen

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Camp-Berlei Foundation Garments: Physiological Support (c.1927)

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Modelling fashion education content clip 1

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Fashionable garments are modelled displaying a range of designers clothes include a dress by couturier Melnotte Simonin; a hand-embroidered coat with fur trim by designer Jacques Heim, a painted velvet georgette fabric again by Melnotte Simonin ; a broad cloth by Bernard ; an art-deco inspired headpiece by Le Mennier ; and a dress with net and accompanying feathers by Jenny .

Curator’s notes

These luscious garments modelled here in designs from the fashion houses of the 1920s show the trend for low waists, slender lines, fur trimmings, gorgeous coats and art deco inspired headpieces.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This tinted silent clip dating from the 1920s is part of a film promoting Camp-Berlei foundation garments. It opens with models posing in high-fashion garments and reveals some of the hairstyles, accessories and fashion trends of the time. Each model and outfit is introduced by an intertitle that supplies information on the fabrics and the couturier. The models adopt a pose, then slowly turn and in some cases reveal a feature of the garment. Sometimes the model is shown in the centre or to the side of the screen with a scene or border framing her.

Educational value points

  • Various film techniques, such as film tinting and framing, have been used to present fashion in an appealing way. The process of dyeing the emulsion or the film base to give the image a uniform colour was popular in the 1920s and in this clip the choice of the warm umber colour was no doubt designed to complement the fashions depicted. A vignetting technique has also been used to provide a frame around the model and to add visual interest.
  • The influence of the decorative art deco style upon fashion is seen in the clip. The Heim coat’s geometric pattern and the headpiece by Monnier both show its influence. In the 1920s, art deco was seen as elegant and ultra modern in contrast to the more florid style of art nouveau it supplanted. Its influence was seen in architecture, interior design, industrial design and the visual arts as well as fashion, and its popularity continued until the Second World War.
  • The clip provides an example of a style of fashion advertising in the 1920s that shows models displaying clothes somewhat differently from today’s models. The static, theatrical poses of the models in the clip contrast with the more fluid and somewhat more animated poses of contemporary models. The models’ expressions are demure and passive.
  • Paris was the centre of haute couture in the 1920s and its influence upon Australian fashion is shown in this film clip. Outfits by French couturiers Melnotte Simonin, Le Monnier and Jacques Heim are displayed.
  • As elsewhere in the Western world in the 1920s, women enjoyed a degree of social and sexual freedom unknown to earlier generations. They cut their hair short in a 'bob’ or 'shingle’ and often wore a cloche hat, as shown in this clip. They wore shorter and shorter dresses made from new fabrics, replaced their cotton stockings with silk ones and discarded their long bloomers for short 'scanties’.
  • The glamorous formal wear garments modelled in this clip contain design elements influenced by 1920s social trends. Less constrained fashions reflect the newfound freedom that women experienced during and after the First World War. Although the haute-couture dresses worn in this clip could only be afforded by the rich, the low-waisted designs would have been easy to copy and therefore accessible to a broader cross-section of women.
  • The film was made in the 1920s for one of Australia’s earliest international manufacturing companies. The company was founded in 1910 as Unique Corsets Ltd by Fred Burley (1885–1954), who changed the name of the company to Berlei Ltd after the company established its reputation in Australia. The 1920s saw Berlei expand overseas with Berlei NZ founded in 1923 and Berlei Ltd (UK) in 1930.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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