Anita here again, pettes, with a little disquisition on satin, which no one has ever said is a completely innocent fabric! Chiffon and lace connote fragility, daintiness, vulnerability, but satin … well satin is what is known as a sensuous fabric, both to wear and to behold, and nowhere is satin more sensuously used than in Trent.

Now, satin is a special type of weave, one that has more warps than fillings on its surface, which is what causes its sheen. It can be woven from silk, rayon or even cotton. Silk satin is the finest and most expensive, although rayon satin is almost as good. Because of its reflective properties, satin makes a girl look larger than she is, so it is worn to greatest advantage by very slim pettes.

Satin did not really come into its own as the fabric for elegant evening wear until Mlle. Madelaine Vionnet of Western Vintesse invented the bias cut. Bias cut fabrics are cut across the grain, you see, which allows a garment to fall in a smooth, flowing vertical drape, and to be rather easily manipulated into clingy, slinky gowns of transcendent grace and elegance. Bias cutting is relatively wasteful of fabric, however, as a pattern must be laid diagonally across the bolt, but it produces garments that are so deliciously fluid that pettes are willing to pay a bit extra.

Take the stunning black ciré satin gown above, as worn by Ursula Jeans in Noelle Coward’s latest film, Cavalcade, which has just been released and is showing right now in local theaters all over Trent. The low, revealing bodice clings enticingly, as does the skirt down to the knees, where it is released into glistening folds which drape to the feet and spread over the floor. Daringly black and ultra-slinky, modesty is maintained by a delicate bow of tiny diamonds applied to the decolletage, echoed by the jewels on the bracelets and on the scarlet red feathered fan.

To the right is Mary Lou Dix in a rather plain gown of pale lavender bias-cut satin. Its lines are almost severely simple and classic, yet its impact is in no way lessened thereby. On the contrary, the gown’s utter simplicity displays Miss Dix’s perfect figure without interposing the least distraction.

But bias-cut satin drapes so beautifully that even when the design is complex and unusual, a woman’s figure cannot be easily concealed.

Look at Miss Carole Lombard in this close-fitting evening gown of black satin. The skirt appears twisted in a large, draped bow just above the knees, trailing off into a narrow train, echoed by a twisted halter held in place about neck and shoulders by a large diamond clip. At the risk of trying your patience, dearest pettes, let me finally show you Miss Lombard in the same dress, now covered with an unusual three-quarter-length cape of black satin, broadly banded in black monkey fur which falls outward in sprays.

Once again, girls, the quiet, self-possessed air of these women is not at all unusual in Trent. You will easily find see it in studio stills from the province such as these. You won’t find any blank stares, nor any hint of hostile or indifferent alienation either, as I understand is quite common among models in the place called the Pit: Trentish women are always connected to everything around them not despite, but because of their self-possession.

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