Since we just featured William H. Block’s personal abode yesterday (in the first of 31 days of “preservation denied”), it seemed an appropriate time to feature a couple more gorgeous adverts from our friend, Thomas Brown (thank you again!)

Who knew that Adrian had designs for sale at Block’s? Wow! If you weren’t aware, Adrian was a famous costume designer for hundreds of films in the 1930’s and 1940’s and is one of my favorite designers– anywhere in the world, anytime. How amazing to find an Indianapolis connection to the person who designed the famous “Ruby Slippers” and the rest of the “Wizard of Oz” costumes! Adrian also worked regularly with famed beauties, Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo, in addition to numerous other stars of the time.


Does dull green translate to olive green, do you think? And where would an Indianapolis woman of this era have worn this gown? The symphony was not yet installed on the Circle, you know…  

…Love the cartoon drawing of the monument in this advert as well.


This outfit immediately conjures visions of Garbo, if just for the hat. Ever seen Ninotchka? And again, one wonders: where would the Indianapolis woman of this time have worn this number? To the office, the new secretary for a well-known company president? hmmm…

Adrian designed the wardrobe for the film, The Women- noted for the beautiful ladies gowns. You may also easily connect the 1980s fashion trend, and its recent reincarnation, of “enlarged shoulders” to Adrian as well. It was he who innovated Joan Crawford’s signature ‘enlarged shoulders look,’ which she wore to great effect.

It would be fantastic to see a current designer who can match the quality and figure flattery so ably accomplished by designers such as Adrian…

From time to time, you might even get your hands on an Adrian garment. My favorite site to stroll the creme de la creme of vintage finery is –last I checked, they do have at least one Adrian on offer

Please share your thoughts!