I wrote a short bio for the Vintage Fashion Guild a few years ago. Since posting up yet another great Patullo-Jo Copland dress, I thought it was time to talk about her work again.
Jo Copeland, although somewhat unsung today, was a well-known ready-to-wear designer who shared a label with Pattullo. Born in 1899 in New York and a graduate of the Parsons School of Design, she was selling fashion sketches when she was hired by to Rose Amado of Pattullo Modes on Madison Ave. After working there full time for several years, she quit to start her own business with Ann Sadowsky in 1930. Four years later she returned to Pattullo. By 1936, her name had a spot on the label. She was one of the earliest American designers to be publicized on the manufacturer's label and in advertisements.She won the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion in 1944.
Copeland worked with a variety of silhouettes in her career, from narrow to full, but always feminine. Because of her innovation and talent, her designs were widely copied. She designed her beautifully constructed clothing directly on the figure rather than using toiles. Such quality construction required high prices. A wizard of both cut and detail, she continued her work from the 1940s into the 1960s. Both Oleg Cassini and Kay Unger both worked for her early in their careers. According to FIT: "In 1961, she received the award of Chevalier de l'Ordre Courtoise Français. After closing Patullo-Jo Copeland in 1970, Copeland accepted a position with Lisa Meril." Jo Copeland died March 20, 1982.
From Past Perfect Vintage:
And on Etsy, at Denisebrain:
60s Pattulo - Jo Copeland Designer Long Black Dress w/ Lace
For 3 more wonderful examples of her work , see the collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art:
And my favorite, a 2 pc evening ensemble with shoes, earrings and even stockings:
For even more, see this article written by Jo's daughter, Lois Gould: