Monday, January 12, 2015

Davidow Suit from the mid-1960's: A Closer Look

This Davidow suit I has been in my collection for awhile. The classic silhouette and rich texture make it as wearable today as it was when it was sold, probably in the mid-1960's when the longer jacket was popular. I thought it might be good to take a closer look, in part to show details used in this type of tailoring, and also to help identify a similiar suit if the label is missing.

When looking at a Davidow suit, one of the first aspects of the design is it's similar silhouette and texture to a Chanel. Davidow advertising and brochures mention this as well because they purchased those toile designs to use in their own company. For many women, while the Davidow label was expensive, it was much more affordable than the Chanel label.

Pockets, another Chanel inspired feature, are also influenced by military or safari styles in this jacket. The lower pocket with flap is actually a patch pocket with the flap attached, creating a more flattering look that is easier to use. The breast pockets are actually mock flaps and lay flat without a pocket under that flap.

The signature single layer collar Davidow had patented is not seen here, so the collar is conventional, having a facing to back the collar and lapels. These are soft and not tailored with heavy canvas, being more like a blouse in fit and weight. The front shows five textured gold metal buttons which is a departure from the covered buttons found on earlier jackets. Very narrow bound buttonholes are used.

The back view is smooth, with shoulder darts for fit across the back. The body is tapered at the waistline by the side panels that are set at the side body, under the arms. The collar fits flat and low around the center back, being cut on a curve to fit around the neckline.

Two piece sleeves have mock vents, secured with a single button. The shoulders are only lightly padded to retain a soft and natural silhouette. This jacket features the use of textured wool, much like Chanel during that time. This textile has aqua, turquoise, bronze and white yarns which appear to be heavy, but are actually very light weight. Both jacket and skirt are lined in aqua crepe.

This view shows the skirt waistband, with lining, hooks and eyes. There is a narrow waistband that is not crisp or heavily interfaced. The waistband fastens on the left side with a nylon zipper. Two hanging loops with the Davidow logo shown here, are sewn into the waistband at each side. The hem has been released, so it is hanging un-hemmed in these photos. The skirt lining is much shorter, perhaps taken up when hemlines grew shorter as the decade moved on into the 1970's.

This suit was sold by Bullock's Pasadena, probably at a trunk show where a model would have shown the suit to a customer, or the customer might have tried that one sample on. She would have waited for this custom made order to arrive back at the store. This location served clients not only in Pasadena, but also San Marino and all points east of there, since no department stores of this quality were located further east of Los Angeles. Customers from 40 and 50 miles away would have traveled to this store when there was a trunk show with new suits each season.

I have another article on Davidow, with examples of suits from the early 1960's HERE. I also posted an example of suits from 1944, HERE. In the 1944 suit illustration is is easy to see the signature looks that Davidow suits would be known for. It is also interesting to consider that Chanel did not start producing her suits until 1954, at a time when Davidow suits were already well known.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year's & A New Etsy Shop: Silverthorne-Nye

Good New Year to all of you! I hope that 2015 brings you great luck and fond memories for the years to come.

To start this year off, I have a new shop to share with you on Etsy. After a 6 month preview, I opened a stand-alone shop named "Silverthorne-Nye" where I will be sharing a different type of vintage than my other 2 stores. I have wanted a shop where I can list my ethnic textiles and apparel collection, as well as vintage finds of linen and other natural fibers for both men and women. Silverthorne-Nye was the outcome of that idea.

The shop name was drawn from my 2 great-great grandmothers on my mothers side. These were women of the 19th century who settled the mid-west, running households, farms and small businesses. One of them left a wonderful legacy of documents that trace her ancestry to England and Europe, and for that I am grateful. She also left her silver thimble and homespun coverlet as an indication of her own love of craft and textile arts. I hope both women are pleased to be remembered in this way.

This new venture brings me to a place with this blog where you will find that I am marketing what I sell more often. That was how this blog originally functioned, but in the past 2 years I have done little to feature my Pintucks shops in posts. I will be re-introducing articles that feature my shops.

I realize that many of you would prefer that I continue to focus exclusively on articles with a vintage, fashion or sewing focus. I hope you will excuse future posts with a more commercial aspect and continue to drop by to see what's new here, because I enjoy your company!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Peterson's Magazine: Victorian Fashion Resource, 1850 - 1888

Peterson's ladies magazines were an American staple during the last half of the 19th century when so many women lived in rural or isolated communities. These magazines brought serial stories, crafts, home tips and just about everything else you would expect from a home and life-style blog today. Even fashion illustrations were included, so that women could keep up their appearances, even on the prairie or at a small town wedding.

The magazine issues also recall the romantic Victorian past.  These illustrations from the winter of 1888 seem perfect for a dreamy Victorian romance film with a few Christmas holiday scenes where our leading lady is seen wrapped in rich red velvet and fur.

Owning or finding copies of these wonderful magazines is difficult, but having them available online opens up another world. Bound issues from 1850 through 1888 are there for the looking. While the magazines contain mostly fiction and written essays, each monthly magazine had an illustrated center section (the first staple center fold!). As time went by, there were more illustrations in each issue, showing colored fashion plates, accessories and home crafts popular at the time.

Today this information can be inspiring, offering new viewpoints, ideas, and concepts that can be translated into modern life, or at least adapted into Steam Punk costumes or copied for more accurate period apparel.

These illustrations are from the first six month volume from 1888. A full list of links to the 1850 through 1888 volumes are available HERE. This goes perfectly with hot chocolate on a rainy winter afternoon.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Merry Vintage Christmas

And oh my, look what Santa left under the tree last night for his final 1954 Christmas delivery, and aren't you happy about that!

This is the final day of presents from 1954, I hope it either 'takes you back' to a time when your Christmas was like this, or helps you to see how simple gifts were 'back in the day'.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa's Presents from 1954, a very Merry Vintage Christmas to You

Look what Santa found for Christmas Eve! More wonderful presents from 1954. I bet you never dreamed you might be getting a bed spread for Christmas, but here it is, just waiting to be unwrapped. This is our third day of gifts, so if you missed them, scroll down the page here for more fun!


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