Thursday, February 7, 2019


1956 | Andre Perugia | The Circlet Boot | Lastex & Mink
I.Miller Dept. At Carson Pirie Scott. & Co. | Chicago
Photograph: Guy Bourdin

The Lastex yarn was invented in the early 1930s by the Adamson Brothers, a company owned by the US Rubber Company. Their aim was to give all kinds of woven or knitted fabrics the possibility to stretch or shrink in such a way that the articles adapt perfectly to the wearer's conformity, giving a more comfortable feeling and lasting longer. At first they were mainly used for girdles, corsets and other women's underwear, but its use spread easily to other areas. 

André Perugia experimented new shapes and materials throughout his long career. A recurring theme was the use of elastic materials to create new fashionable and original models, so he also used the Lastex yarn many times in his collections. In the 50s the choice of Lastex became more recurrent.

In this interview of 1958 for Vogue France he explained his vision of this material:
(Translation by TheHistorialist) 

In my next collection, 25 to 30% of my models will feature the Lastex Yarn. This proportion will probably increase considerably afterwards. 

Is it a new fashion? 

Exactly. It takes two or three years for a fashion to be born. This one - which I launched in the United States - is spreading rapidly in France. The success of my recent creations "Filés Lastex" testifies to this. 

What do you think of the "elastic" formula for shoes? 

I believe in it, I love it and I work to spread it. It is a formula of the future because it answers a need. It is practical.

1958 | André Perugia
At the Msusée de la Chaussure, Romans sur Isère
Source: Instagram - Métiers du cuir

Compared to leather, what are its advantages? 

The same: solidity, duration, comfort, elegance. With the elasticity in addition. But, almost always, I combine the virtues of leather with those of the Lastex Yarn, elastic fabrics being placed in strategic places. 

What are they ? 

Where great flexibility is sustainable. On the instep, for example. No more shoes with the quarters open when an elastic fabric underlies the circumference. No longer inextensible straps, compressing the flesh. 

But is the foot supported? 

The Lastex fabrics used are studied for a certain elasticity that has nothing to do with the softness of a slipper. 

Who invented the elastic shoe? 

I believe that I was the first to have the idea; as early as 1932, I filed a patent for elastic shoe. 

With his last statement Perugia referred to a patent for a transparent, elastic coating of acetyl cellulose applied as a protective cover for leather, fabrics etc. made of cellulose acetate, acetone, crystallised acetic acid, benzyl alcohol, tiacetin and castor oil. Probably not very fashionable, but it gives an idea of his experience on this matter.


1960 | Andre Perugia
Buckle-less pump with lace in Lastex yarn
Photograph: Guy Bourdin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.