Gladys Parker Fashions

By | Wednesday, March 16, 2022 Leave a Comment
It seems as if some of the most well-known women in the early days of newspaper cartooning were the ones who A) drew very attractive women, and B) had a great eye for fashion. I suppose one could easily argue that combination of being able to draw what men and women ostensibly both wanted to see (pretty girls for men, fantastic fashions for women) is what made them well-known, but I suspect that's a somewhat superficial and dismissive argument in at least most cases.

In any event, one of these well-known cartoonists was Gladys Parker. She began cartooning professionally in 1928 and took over the already-popular Flapper Fanny Says strip in 1930. Parker started her most well-known strip, Mopsy, in 1939 and continued working on it until she retired from cartooning altogether in 1965.

But her initial interest was indeed fashion design. She ran a dressmaking shop out of her home while she was still in high school and moved to Manhattan at age 18 specifically to study fashion illustration. By the early 1930s, she had her own fashion line and I recently came across some silent newsreel footage of her creations being given the catwalk treatment. The clips are from 1933 and 1935 respectively...

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