Thursday, 30 June 2011

From Harper's Bazaar, August 1953 a suit in what appears to be glen plaid/Prince of Wales check-

which is a wool fabric with a woven design of small and large checks. The fabric first appeared in the mid 19th century when the Countess of Seafield used this pattern to outfit her gamekeepers. It was popularised by the Duke of Windsor when he was the Prince of Wales.

The suit has a slim skirt and a roomy, cocoon style jacket with patch pockets and three quarter length sleeves.

The picture was taken by Louise Dahl-Woolfe, the noted photographer. She was born in 1895 and worked with Harper's Bazaar for most of her career, working closely with Diana Vreeland. She is credited with discovering Lauren Bacall and was an influence on Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. She died in 1989.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

From Vogue, August 1953- a chocolate brown wool coat with striking black buttons. The coat is cut in an a-line and is very voluminous- all the better to cover the crinoline dresses of the period. It also looks great with the slim skirt that were also popular, as it provides a contrast to the close cut of the skirt.

Monday, 20 June 2011

From Vogue, October 1956- a soft suit in boucle, by Ben Zuckerman as photographed by John Rawlings. The suit is probably navy or black and is highlighted by a white bow at the neck.

John Rawlings, born in 1912, was a well know fashion photographer from the 1930s to the 1960s. He had over 200 Vogue and Harper's Bazaar covers to his credit, as well as 30,000 other photos in his archives. He died in 1970.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

'We like this look for spring... the long bodied line of the square-necked sleeveless top... the short slim cut of the skirt... the cropped length of the side slit coat... an important three piece suit by Ben Zuckerman from our Spring Suit collection. At I Magnin.'

What a gorgeous suit! It is probably black or dark grey- and is made up of a skirt, top and jacket, with an accent scarf and a matching hat. The jacket has large patch pockets and three quarter length sleeves. The skirt is slim fitting and the top has a bateau-neck.

The model also carries an umbrella- a must have accessory for the 1950's. These umbrellas were usually very slim, as if to echo the suit.

Friday, 10 June 2011

'See how gently Ben Zuckerman carves the new suit- then asks for decision among yellow, blue or peach coloured wool. $225, Lord & Taylor.'

The suit jacket is princess seamed with a softly folding collar and dark buttons. The sleeves are just below the elbow, and are accessorized by white gloves and a boxy purse. The skirt is just below the knee and features pockets. To top it all off, there is a hat that is similar to a safari hat.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

An early Ben Zuckerman, when he was with Zuckerman & Kraus, which would date this suit to pre-1950. I would suggest it is perhaps 1948 or so, because is is in the New Look-Christian Dior style that was shown the previous year in Paris. The suit is made of black faille, which is a type of fabric that is slightly ribbed, and is usually silk or cotton.

This lovely suit was retailed at Bird&Speakman, Wilmington, a department store that is no longer in business, as well as Montaldo's, which was a chain of department stores opened by sisters Lillian and Nelle Montaldo in 1919. Montaldo's was famed for its personal service and very high quality clothing. Sadly it declared bankrupcy in 1995. The suit was also sold at Doop's, East Orange, NJ. Interestingly, Doop's was owned by Lillian Montaldo's husband, Raymond Doop. Doop's was also a very exclusive department store. It seems that this store too has closed.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

From the 8 May, 1944 Life Magazine- Morris Kraus and a suit designed by the firm of
Zuckerman & Kraus.

Mr Kraus came to America in 1906 from Russia. He formed Zuckerman & Kraus with Ben Zuckerman in 1925 and from the start he designed feminine suits, stating that he hated manish-tailored suits. He has travelled to Europe over 90 times, including trips to Vienna to study design and to attend the Paris openings.

The suit pictured was designed by Mr Kraus. It is a delight, featuring lacy trim and decorative buttons, and it sold for $125.