Nov 21, 2012


How do you feel about designer labels?  I must admit when I started collecting vintage clothing, I specialized in fashions of the 1920s and back, so designer labels weren't a factor for me. The labeled clothing of the those early eras is rather sparse here in the Upper South, and I didn't run into names like Worth, Vignon, Poiret, or Doucet. I did find an 1880s Worth right after I had decided to go into business, but the asking price would have completely depleted my entire funds to get started.
It was a few years before I started to be interested in fashions of the 1940s - 60s, and then even a few more before American ready-to-wear labels began to work their magic on me. And the market has shifted a lot since I started in 1992. Vintage designer names are so much more familiar to collectors today. Just think about how logo clothes have taken hold! I must admit to bouts of frustration that still strike me when I see great clothing spurned because it doesn't have that little magic bit of woven ribbon.

That rambling story brings me to our November additions to The Designers. Omar Kiam ( 1894- 1954) was a 1930s film designer, and a fine one with credits including the first A Star is Born and Wuthering Heights. This 1950s dress is from his work for Ben Reig. The red velvet Hattie Carnegie  lounging set on the left is from 1939-1940, with wonderful rhinestone buttons and pocket details. 


 1930s - 40s Hattie Carnegie Custom Label  Red Velvet Pajama Set and 1950s Black Silk Taffeta Dress By Omar Kiam for Ben Reig

The Ceil Chapman dress in a grey and white ikat dyed taffeta has a grey velvet waist inset. A lovely day or afternoon dress, it's beautifully detailed without being a typical draped work. The black linen Trigere on the right is a 1950s dress with circle skirt, with Trigere's deceptively simple seaming - it was way ahead of its time.

1950s Grey and White Ikat Weave Taffeta Dress by Ceil Chapman and 
1950s  Black Linen Dress with Circle Skirt by Pauline Trigere

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