Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Glorifying the American Bride: Designer Herman Patrick Tappe and the Fantasy Wedding in America, 1910–1952
by Benson, Hannah Nicole, M.A., Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2020, 132; 27834917
Abstract (Summary)

Herman Patrick Tappé was an American milliner, importer, fashion and wedding designer based in New York whose career spanned from 1907 to 1952. While he was originally best known for his zany and unconventional millinery, by the latter half of his career, his name was most associated with high society weddings. He worked with brides from the elite and wealthy social classes, including brides from the families of politicians, businessmen, and members of society, whose famous names drew attention and the details of their weddings were printed in newspapers across the United States. Tappé created headpieces, wedding gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, and even dresses for flower girls and mothers of the bride, at times designing the attire for the entire bridal party. Tappé also became known for stage managing entire weddings. Tappé would work with brides to decorate their venue to ensure that the proper visual tone was set, while also orchestrating any detail necessary to ensure that the wedding went smoothly. Tappé’s design style varied, and he was able to successfully design wedding gowns in a traditional wedding style, while also creating wedding gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses that were historically inspired. A true man of the Victorian era, Tappé loved the “splendid fashions of grandmother’s day,” and designing wedding gowns provided him the opportunity to create designs with a historically inspired aesthetic. Tappé’s personality and eccentric character also added to his allure as a designer, and he was described by one writer as being “…as temperamental as an opera diva.” Throughout his career, the fashion press enjoyed reporting his personal exploits and quips about fashion. Although he is not well remembered in the history of fashion, Tappé is deserving of recognition for his contributions, and his important work in the American wedding industry will be acknowledged in this paper.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kelly, Rebecca J
Commitee: Arbuckle, Joanne, Font, Lourdes
School: Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York
Department: Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 81/10(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Fashion, American studies, American history
Keywords: American fashion, Bride, Fashion journalism, Tappe, Herman Patrick , New York fashion, Weddings
Publication Number: 27834917
ISBN: 9798641782744
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