Monday, 31 August 2009

From the 21 January, 1951 New York Times. A Zuckerman suit with a seriously nipped in waist.

'The jacket emphasizes the curves of the figure in all its lines. The revers round to a single-button closing. The pockets on the arched hips are elliptical. The slim skirt is made with a back pleat. The imported grey worsted is flecked with grey and white dots. About $185.'

From a 1960's Harper's Bazaar- a gorgeous Shocking Pink coat by Zuckerman. This coat, to me, seems to have drawn a very strong influence from Balenciaga.

Zuckerman was well known by this time for his suits and coats that featured sculptural details and highlighted seams. Most coats and suits featured glittery or jewelled buttons and the linings of his coats and suits often matched the dresses and blouses that accompanied them. He was also known for taking formal fabrics, such as silk, and making them into very tailored outfits.

From the 24 August 1958 New York Times- 'Colors in a High Key'

'One of the season's strong pinks, a cyclamen shade, dramatizes a short evening coat in silk satin. Curved bows accentuate the high, subtly shaped waist. Ben Zuckerman, $300.'

Sunday, 30 August 2009

From the 20 February 1955 New York Times:

'America loves the long, lithe lines. Streamlining is an American specialty, and never have native designers done it better than in the fashion collections for spring. Now any woman can look slimer, taller, more serene and sophisticated than she ever has before. Clean cut, sparse detail and precise proportion all combine to produce this happy optical illusion which the smartest clothes in town convey.

The short suit jacket; the jacket barely covers the waistline and emphasizes the narrow hips of the slim skirt.  The crisp, dandified town suit is in black and white shepherd's check wool. A soft, white scarf fills in the neckline.  By Ben Zuckerman, about $225. Hat by Mr. John.'

Friday, 28 August 2009

From the 13 September, 1953 New York Times:

'A Kaleidoscope of Color- Stained-glass blue in a rich tone. The rough surfaced wool (Lesur) swings to a full hem. Seven-eighths length coat. By Zuckerman, about $175.  John Frederics hat.'

Lesur wool was at this time made by Lesur et Cie, a Belgian company, which was bought by Segard Masurel in 1963.

From the 27 September 1959 New York Times featuring men's fashions. This features a grey and black plaid suit to match the man's suit of pin-stripe worsted by Roger Peet.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A cream coloured Zuckerman coat from the mid 1950's. It features a self belt and is double breasted. There are two sets of pockets, 2 patch pockets on the breast and 2 others on the hip line.

The buttons are mother-of-pearl and are quite substantial. The coat is made of wool.

There is also a label 'Mollie Abrahmson- Wilkes-Barre'. I have not been able to find out anything about this label, which I assume is from a boutique in Wilkes-Barre, but there are a number of other garments on the internet with the same label, and they are all of a very high quality, so I would assume that Mollie Abrahmson was an exclusive store.

A rather unusual cotton canvas reversable Zuckerman coat. It is navy on one side and ivory on the other, and the Zuckerman tag is sewn inside one of the pockets. The coat dates from the mid 1950's, and is very full, to cover the crinolines of the day.

There are no fastenings on this coat so it is a clutch coat, and it has very unusual pockets- see the bottom picture.

Monday, 24 August 2009

My favorite Zuckerman coat from my collection. This coat is a lovely gaberdine wool in a dark steel grey. It is double breasted with fantastic buttons and two patch pockets. It features seams down both sides that seem to nip the wearer in. It is a very heavy, warm coat.

This coat was sold at Milgrim, which was a specialty store opened in the 1920's. There were numerous Milgrims across Eastern America. Milgrims was noted  for using celebrities in their advertising, long before this became common practice. The last Milgrim store closed in 1990.

A lovely pink boucle Zuckerman coat. Some might recognize this coat from this ad. Sadly I do not own the dress that once went with this coat.

The coat features pockets and a nipped waist with a slightly flaring skirt. It also has two huge buttons and the lining of the coat perfectly matched the dress that made up the ensemble. I would date it to the mid 1950's. It was sold at the Julius Garfinckel's department store. Garfinckel's were a Washington DC based store that carried exclusive, high end merchandise, which of course Zuckerman clothing was.

A mid 1960's Zuckerman coat, which may have come with a matching dress at one point. It is made of really heavy brocade, in a fleur-de-lis pattern. The coat also features really interesting acid green buttons in a 'bubbled' pattern.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A lovely mid 1960's Zuckerman coat in beige wool.

This coat has the interesting feature of buttons that go almost all the way down the coat. It also has pockets and princess seams.

This coat was sold at the high end department store I Magnin.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

A lovely 1960's black velvet Zuckerman trimmed in black grossgrain. The coat is lined in ivory satin and I believe the velvet is silk.

The buttons on this coat are amazing, as they are on nearly every Zuckerman I own. They are quite heavy and are made of a braid wrapped around a ball.

Friday, 21 August 2009

A gorgeous black silk satin evening coat by Ben Zuckerman.  I would date this coat to the mid 1950's. It has no other label besides the Zuckerman one, but it was no doubt purchased from a high end store.

The coat is fully lined in white satin, it has elbow length bell sleeves with cuffs. There are no buttons or other closures on the coat, it is a clutch coat that the wearer would hold closed with their hands- a true 50's style.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

From the 17 April 1956 Chicago Daily Tribune:

Grace Kelly- an efficient shopper. Grace Kelly, as previous mentioned, was a big fan of Zuckerman, and when she married the Prince of Monaco, she had several Zuckermans in her trousseau. Above is one of the outfits, 'A trousseau selection for day wear, by Ben Zuckerman, a suit of pinkish beige thin worsted, with a brown leather belt under loops in the high waistline.'

The Princess had ordered about a dozen new costumes, from beach wear to cocktail dresses from Neiman Marcus, she was also given all the costumes from her last movie, High Society. However, the majority of her trousseau was purchased in New York. Most of what she would need would be summery clothing, as Monaco has a warm climate. Unfortunatly everything in the store at this time was winter clothing, so Grace was shown the summer collections early. Zuckerman, in particular, rushed her selections into production, and consequently his own spring-summer show was late.

Grace purchased about 40 outfits, with a firm control on the budget and a mind to what will go with what.

The Princess dislikes fussiness and adores chiffon scarves, her favorite being a peppermint pink silk chiffon tufted with tiny padded buttons of the fabric.

The predominate colour in her trousseau was beige- from white beige to amber. She also preferred pink, blue and pure white.

She did not wear red, as this colour went against royal protocol, and rarely wore black, although she did select a lovely black Zuckerman alpaca day coat and dress. All the fabrics in her trousseau were of the highest quality, from silk alpaca, faille, and slubbed silk and above all, pastel tinted chiffon. 

From the 4 November 1956 Chicago Daily Tribune- Gala Costumes for 'Curtain at 8.30'

'Hooded coat of cashmere and camel hair lined with beige ottoman tops a shirtwaist dress of matching ottoman. The very wearable costume by Ben Zuckerman sacrifices none of its glamour because of practicality. Luxuriously hooded, the slender but full coat of cashmere and camel hair is lined completely with the same beige ottoman used for the dress.'

From the 13 January 1959 Chicago Daily Tribune.- a selection of New York fashions shown in Chicago.

'Ben Zuckerman's contribution to the spring silhouette: A double breasted, hip bone skimming jacket with natural waist line indicated by drawstring shirring.  Fabric is french wool jersey.'

From the 19 March 1957 Chicago Daily Tribune- Spring Tonic Tunics!

'The coat tunic is interpreted by Ben Zuckerman in a navy wool costume. ($235). There is a hint of the Hollandaise invluence in the pegged waistline.'

From the 15 September 1962 New York Times, a trio of lovely Zuckerman.

From the top- 'The longer jacket for fall is in diagonally woven grey wool trimmed with Persian Lamb wool. $350'

Middle-'Double breasted coat of scarlet wool has black braid buttons. Priced at $250'

Bottom- 'Brown wool coat with scarf fringe attached is fitted in front, swings free in back.  A Ben Zuckerman design, it is $265.'

The middle coat is notable as it is in a bright red- Zuckerman tended towards neutrals such as black, brown, grey and tan.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

From the 2 February 1958 Chicago Daily Tribune.

An ad, from Marshall Field's 28 Shop. 'Ben Zuckerman does the low waisted coat. Very new...the look of this coat meant to be worn over the continue the waist-eased silhouette. In wool crepe for spring '58. Black or navy, sizes 10 to 14. $215.'

From the 21 August, 1952 Chicago Daily Tribune.

A lovely Zuckerman, modeled by Violet Bonner,held by the Fashion Group of Chicago. This ensemble is made up of a two piece dress of grey herringbone weave wool worked in a checked pattern and topped by a long haired grey wool three-quarter length coat lined in the herringbone material. The dress features the middy line in the top and a narrow skirt with a kick pleat.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

An ad from the 30 Nov 1951 Chicago Daily Tribune.

'You've worn white before, but never like this. The white look is the first look of fashion in 1952-here now in the most exciting resort wear. The double breasted suit by Ben Zuckerman, entirely lined with rayon taffeta. Breath taking waist, padded hipline, full skirt, black silk shantung bow. White wool-and-rayon sharkskin in size 12. $245.'

This suit was available from Marshall Fields 28 Shop which was an exclusive department of the very best in fashions from around the world. 

From the 10 Jan 1957 Chicago Daily Tribune.

'The highlight of the Ben Zuckerman collection was the little cutaway jacket suit, designed to be worn with jacket open to reveal a frothy blouse beneath. This is of brown and white tweed.'

Zuckerman's collection was widely rated as stealing the New York Dress Institute show.  His outfits were original and quietly elegant.  An influence of Chanel was seen with sailor collars, brass buttons and open jackets. Particular mention was made of his use of lavender- including a mauve silk semi fitted suit, an ultraviolet cashmere coat and a lilac silk fitted coat and dress with a calf belt.  Some of the coat sleeves reached a new high point of just above the elbow. 

Here we have the man himself, Ben Zuckerman, in an interview with the 10 June 1961 New York Times.  The interview was held in Zuckerman's 40th floor office at 512 Seventh Avenue in New York.

Zuckerman was addressing recent rumors of his retirement to a villa in Italy. He had been inundated with phone calls pleading for him to reconsider. He mentioned one in particular from Jo Hughes of DePinna who tearfully told him that if he retired she would lose one third of her business. 

Zuckerman had just show his fall show, consisting of 150 garments which was produced in 4 weeks. The collection was designed by Harry Shacter, a talented designer. While Zuckerman himself cannot sew he is a master cutter and draper.  His clothes are extolled as being the only American made clothes that compare to Dior or Balenciaga.

Zuckerman touched on his past, starting with his arrival from Romania. He got a job sweeping the floors in a Canal Street factory for $3 a week. He learned the trade of the cutter and formed a partnership with Joseph Hoffman. Zuckerman and Hoffman was replaced in the late 1920's  by Zuckerman and (Morris) Kraus, which lasted until 1949.

All Zuckerman garments are still fitted on his showroom assistant of 28 years, Peggy Weiss, and must pass the 'Peggy' test before being manufactured.

Zuckerman was a demanding man, he expected total loyalty from his employees and buyers.  Any buyer who he thought was disloyal was barred from futher purchases. He also demanded punctuality, all his shows started on time. He was devoted to his business, rising at 5 am 6 days a week to work 12 hour days.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Two lovely Zuckerman suits from the 13 January 1952 New York Times.

The left suit 'Here is the type of jacket that barely covers the hips. Accenting the rounded hips is the crossed and buttoned closing. The neckline finishes in a narrow mandarin band collar. The belling, gored skirt is a favorite in the Zuckerman collection is taffeta lined. The suit is of beige Rodier wool. About $245.'

The right suit 'The longer jacket in navy wool (Forstmann) fastened with a single row of buttons. The neckline is made with a new treatment- the collar ending in scarf tabs which cross and tie at the throat. The gored skirt is lined with taffeta to hold out its flared hemline. About $255.'

Sunday, 16 August 2009

From the 2 February 1955 New York Times. A gorgeous dress and coat combination 'important in length is this knee-touching glen plaid coat covering a two-piece flannel suit.'

This ensemble was featured in the 11th annual March of Dimes fashion show held at the Waldorf-Astoria. The sets in the fashion show were designed by Salvador Dali.

I think this is a particularly fantastic Zuckerman- it is so feminine and stylish.

From 12 January 1964 New York Times. The centre suit is a lovely pinstriped Zuckerman suit. (The left suit is Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner and on the right is an Adele Simpson suit).

'Braid binds the shaped jacket of a striped wool suit that unbuttons on a white shantung shirt with a pleated bib and perky tie. $375.' 

Zuckerman was always at the forefront of American fashion, as is illustrated in this photo.

From 8 February 1952 New York Times- a pale blue fleece coat with self scrolls on bodice and skirt.

This coat was modelled at a Saks Fifth Avenue showing of the season's newest coats and suits, which was held at the Waldorf-Astoria. The leading coat and suit designers were invited, including Vincent Monte Sano, George Carmel, Robert Knox of Ben Gershel and of course Ben Zuckerman.

Two Zuckermans from the 2 March 1958 edition of the New York Times. 

The top suit is 'a newly tailored jacket: tangerine worsted wool flaring gently below the low hip belt. Dress below is a semi fitted wool crepe sheath in navy blue with a matching crisp taffeta bow. The ensemble $315.

The bottom suit is a 'navy blue wool crepe, belted low, touched with classic white. The collar has an overlay of white silk surrah, buttons are enameled white. The effect is as refreshing as a bouquet of freesia. Skirt is cut straight with a slit for walking. $215.'

As is evidenced by these lovely outfits, Zuckerman was a master of ladylike ensembles.