Some fantastic illustrations, which were used to promote Qiana—a luxury, silk-like, nylon fibre developed by Stanley Brooke Speck for Du Pont in 1962. It was initially introduced to the fashion industry by Du Pont in 1968 through its association with various Couture Houses such as Dior, Balmain, Pucci, Cardin and Ungaro, and would eventually become widely used by ready-to-wear designers throughout the early 1970s as shown in these adverts, before filtering down to the home sewing market by the mid seventies. It then disappeared from view as a marketed fashion fabric brand, and was instead banished to the fabric composition label as a 'blend' under its original chemical name when synthetic fibres had finally lost their allure as the 'miracle fabrics' of the future―and their reputation increasingly moved closer towards one associated with bad taste. It did have one 'last hurrah' though, via the black Qiana nylon shirt and white Dacron polyester suit as worn by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (1978), but could never truly shake off the reputation that it had acquired in the public mind as times changed, once it had fallen out of favour. I've included several links related to the fabric at the end of this post, including an incredible selection of DuPont Company films and commercials from the Hagley Museum and Library: Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, there are some particularly interesting ones from the 1960s and 1970s which are definitely worth checking out.
IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned for the Sweet Jane blog from Dépèche Mode, March 1970, with thanks to Brad Jones. All illustrations by H. Majera. View The Hagely Digital Archive's collection of DuPont Company films and commercials from this period. Discover more about the Daniel Hechter brand, and other examples of his designs as featured in Queen (1969). Some rare film footage of designer Harry Lans at work—creating a silver foil mini skirt in Paris (1967), and more of his designs in Elle (1969). View Du Pont's Heritage Timeline from 1802 to the present day. Marc Bohan's 1968 wedding ensemble designed for the House of Dior using Du Pont's Qiana, which has been donated to The Met Museum. Here you'll find some of my favourite psychedelic Dacron Polyester adverts, narrated by ken Nordine. And finally, the last official 'hurrah' of Qiana by Du Pont, as worn by John Travolta in 1978.