Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mr. Dino, I Presume: More Jetset Knit Dresses

What I love best about the glorious jersey-knit frocks of 60s maestro Mr. Dino are, in no particular order:

1) The insanely great use of op-art prints right on the body, which essentially gave onlookers leave to stare at the wearer's parts with the excuse that those cubes were going to flip sooner or later.

2) As a Pucci for the masses, Mr. Dino created great-looking dresses out of nylon, double-knit polyester, and Arnel triacetate, fabrics that could be thrown into a washer, drip-dried, trampled on by a herd of elephants and still emerge reassuringly crease-free.

3) Mr. Dino was the adopted name of designer Max Cohen. He and his family chose it in homage to his wife's affection for Dean Martin.

His designs not only nodded to Op Art, but to Ming vase decoration, Rajasthani decorative patterning, Aubrey Beardsley, and, at bottom, Accornero's Flora scarf designs for Gucci, scoring himself a twofer in the Knocking-Off-the-Italians division of the garment wars.

Quick note: the images here are from Roseann Ettinger's Signature Prints: Jet--set Glamour of the '60s and '70s, which has finally come in from Amazon. If you love these exuberant prints as much as I do this is a must-have for your library. The examples are wonderfully styled with period jewellery and shoes, giving a real sense of how they were worn.

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