Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Year at Traphagen (1948-49)

Filling in with some background information during a letter-writing hiatus from October 6 to November 9, 1949, as June recuperates at the hospital from a ruptured appendix…

June finished her year at Pembroke in spring 1948 and never returned.  With her acceptance to the Traphagen School of Fashion, she found an apartment on 96th Street in New York City, going in on it with four roommates, including friends Shirley Stahl and Jane Hastings.  From this apartment, she took the subway to the Traphagen School of Fashion at 1680 Broadway, between 52nd and 53rd Streets.

Ethel Traphagen (1882-1963) opened the Traphagen School of Fashion in 1923 to promote fashion ideas that she popularized in books such as Costume Design and Illustration, published in 1918.  The school gained a reputation for its cutting-edge ideas, including the promotion of shorts and slacks as women’s wear. 

June's sketch of
a woman in pants.
In 1948, the school offered courses in fashion drawing, illustration, life drawing, design, forecasting, textile design, fabric analysis, interior decoration, window and counter display, fashion journalism, clothing construction, draping, pattern-making, grading, dressmaking, remodeling, millinery, and glove and bag making.  In her sixties, Ethel Traphagen was still an imposing presence at the school while June was attending. 

June tended to procrastinate on her Traphagen assignments – hardly a surprise considering all the distractions of Manhattan – but she was a good student with real talent.

Sketches by June of women in pants.

(On Friday, Art returns home…)

Countdown:  Correspondence resumes in 12 days.

© 2010 Lee Price

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