Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A wonderful Ben Zuckerman, dating from the mid 1960's. It is comprised of a long coat and dress in a jewel toned floral pattern.

The fabric has a slight sheen to it, and as seen in the close up of the buttons, is textured as well. The fabric is very heavy.

The buttons are also heavy and are jewelled, and add a lot to the overall appearance of the outfit.

You can see just how high quality this suit is by noting that the pattern is matched over seams. This ads a lot to the overall cost of a garment as there is often wasted material, which is not used because the patterns don't match.

This suit retailed at Bonwit Teller, for $1085. In 1965 in America the average cost of a new house was $14,000 and the average yearly wage was $6500. This outfit would have been out of reach for all but a very few Americans

Photos courtesy of Monica's Vintage Fashions.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

A very interesting undated Ben Zuckerman, likely from the mid 1950's. It features a swing coat made in either cashmere for $300 or vicuna for $500.

Cashmere is made from cashmere goats, and is well known for its high quality and softness. Vicuna is a type of wool made from the Vicuna, which is a llama-like animal found in South America. Vicuna is very costly, as the animal itself is on the threatened list, and each animal only produces 1lb of wool a year. Current prices for Vicuna range from $1800-3000 a yard. It is the finest diametre wool in the world.

The model is also wearing a Lynx hat. There are several types of Lynx, including the Canadian Lynx, Iberian Lynx and Eurasian Lynx. The Iberian Lynx is critically endangered and the Eurasian Lynx is threatened, as is the Canadian Lynx. Many of these gorgeous animals were overhunted during the period this hat was made.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A very stiking Ben Zuckerman suit from 1964. The suit is boxy in shape and inspired by Jacqueline Kennedy. It is trimmed in a darker material, probably black, and also features large dark buttons.

I would imagine that this suit is made of very heavy wool, perhaps in ivory or pink.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

A late 1960's Ben Zuckerman dress. This dress was likely sold on it's own and not part of an ensemble, as the label is in the dress. Zuckerman usually only had one label in his suits or outfits, in most cases in the jacket, so if this dress had been part of a set it is very likely the label would have been in the jacket.

This dress is very late 1960's in style with its graphic print and knee length cut. While many younger ladies were wearing mini skirts at this point, Ben Zuckerman catered to a slightly older woman, and thus the length of the dress was more conservative.

This is a really well made dress, as the pattern matches across the seams in the back of the dress, a feature only seen in more expensive clothing .

It is interesting to note that by the late 1960's, fashion had become a lot more casual. Compare this Ben Zuckerman with one from the early 1950's and you will note that the earlier clothing was very tailored, and would have required significant support garments underneath to maintain the desired shape, where as this dress is much more casual, and it may not have been necessary for the wearing to have a girdle on.

Photos courtesy of Monicasvintagefashions.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

From the mid 1950's- a Ben Zuckerman evening coat, in the swing style.

'Ben Zuckerman goes to the new shorter length-with his new velvety coat, pocketed at a new low. Sizes 10-14, $250. '

It is interesting to note that this coat was considered by the times to be rather short-to modern eyes it looks like a longer coat!

This suit was sold at I Magnin. You can see pictures of the I Magnin stores at the bottom of the ad. I Magnin was a very luxurious store that sold the finest of items. All of the I Magnin stores pictured look very grand indeed!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Also from 1951- a Ben Zuckerman suit. This is very similar in shape to the suit seen below- a tiny waist, and exagerated hips, which were probably padded to make the difference in size between waist and hip even greater.

In the background, there is another model wearing a large swing coat- illustrating the wide variety of shapes of clothing available at this time.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

From 1951- a super Ben Zuckerman suit, designed by Fernando Bosc. Bosc was the artist of choice for Zuckerman ads, so I'm not sure if he actually designed this suit or just the picture of it. Harry Shacter was the usual designer at Ben Zuckerman.

This suit was the height of fashion in 1951- the waist is tiny, and the hips are accented by buttons, all the better to call attention to the hourglass silhouette. The model carries a fur stole- probably mink, which was de rigueur in 1951.