Aug 19, 2011

Designer du Jour: B.H. Wragge


Designer du Jour: B.H. Wragge

This was a NY ready to wear house, run by Sydney Wragge and active from 1931 to 1971. The clothes are referred to as ‘affordable’, usually the kiss of death when it comes to quality, but every piece I have handled with this label was beautifully made of fine fabric with a lot of hand sewn finishes. This would be a time when 'affordable' clothing did not bring up images of polyester or cheap T shirts. We will not even discuss sweat pants. Those are gym clothes one sweats in. This was the clothing a budget conscious gal could afford to invest in keep wearing for multiple seasons. 

A very popular label in the 1940s, Wragge was one of the first to focus on separates and sportswear for the younger woman. As the 1950s came along, and his college age customers were married and became young matrons, he added dresses and evening wear. For the collector, this is one label we love because, borrowing from the haute couture tradition, it actually carries dates in the 1960s.  After closing in 1971, Sydney Wragge died in 1978.

And in reverse order, a small gallery of B.H.Wragge dresses: 

 
1970 BH Wragge Op Art Wool Dress, and currently available at Past Perfect Vintage  
in a heavy weight woven wool with superb pattern matching, lining, covered snaps at the left shoulder, hidden zipper and small hem vent at the front. Nothing is allowed to interrupt or distract from the strong graphic pattern.  

1969 Aqua Linen BH Wragge Dress with self belt and printed silk scarf. Construction details used for visual  interest here, with a rouleau belt, self loops, covered buttons, blouson back and deep inverted skirt pleat. The focus is drawn to the face with a structural collar, V neck and the original printed silk scarf with white stars. 
from the Past Perfect Archives


1967 Sleeveless Brown Linen BH Wragge Dress with square patch pockets, square buttons, rouleau loops and square armholes. Here there is the added definition of the original black belt and black buttons to add to the  repeated motif of squares.
from the Past Perfect Archives
 
 1950s Silk Print BH Wragge Shirtwaist Dress in a lightweight white silk with a pattern of 19th Century inspired black pen and ink drawings, with red highlights and a hem border. The red belt brings that red horizontal line up into the body.
from the Past Perfect Archives 

4 comments:

thevintagetraveler said...

I've never met a BH Wragge I didn't like. Beautiful stuff!

MaureenSharib said...

Are those the years in the lower right of the label when the frock was made?
SMARE!

MaureenSharib said...

Are those the years in the lower right of the label when the frock was made?
SMARE!

Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...

Yes,indeed they are