Jul 9, 2008

Madame Irene

Irene Lentz Gibbons, better know simply as Irene, was a wonderful American designer. And as one of the few costume designers to really make a name for herself in fashion, she has a special place in my heart. I wrote a piece about her for the Vintage Fashion Guild several years ago - you check it out here at http://www.vintagefashionguild.org/.

Irene is rightly known for her tailoring, her use of very special buttons and her manipulation of stripes, not unlike her contemporary, Adrian.

For a great example of her use of stripes, see this late 1940s suit:

from Kerry Taylors June 10 auction, through http://www.liveauctioneers.com/
For her use of buttons, see this late 1950s suit with fantastic large crown buttons in cream:

But 2 dresses have come on the market recently that highlight her skills in evening and after five dresses. This strapless gown from Ang at Dorothea's Closet is spectacular in draped purple velvet and ivory satin. The sash is Obi like in scale.

available at www.dorotheasclosetvintage.com

This 1950s black silk dress from Jody at Couture Allure is stunning. The use of texture in the pleated frills to provide contrast and definition is special.

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