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28-08-2007
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1928-1995 Jean Muir
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Jean Elizabeth Muir, CBE, FCSD (July 17, 1928 - May 28, 1995) was an English fashion designer (though she herself preferred the description, dressmaker: Daily Mail, 12 June 2006).
She was born in London of Scottish parents, educated at the Bedford Girls' Modern School (now known as the Dame Alice Harpur School) in Bedford, which she left at the age of fifteen to pursue a career in fashion, encouraged in this pursuit by her exceptional gifts, even as a schoolgirl, as an illustrator. The eldest in a large family, she worked throughout her childhood to support her mother and brothers and sisters.
She worked as a saleswoman at Liberty & Co and a designer for Jaeger before starting the Jane & Jane label in 1961. Influentially, she designed Diana Rigg's wardrobe for the 1965 series of ABC TV's The Avengers, including her famous PVC catsuit for the episode, A Surfeit of H20. She left Jane & Jane in 1966 and set up Jean Muir Ltd in October of that year. Her husband Harry Leukert was also her business partner. They had no children, although Leukert fathered a daughter by another women whom he married after Muir's death from breast cancer [1] in 1995 (Sunday Times, 4 June 2006).
Muir was described by The New York Times as "one of London's most influential and modern minimalists".
She was also a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers, and was a recipient of the Minerva Medal, the Society's highest award.
She won the Museum of Costume's Dress of the Year award three times. The first was in 1964 with a design for Jane & Jane, then in 1968 and 1979.
She was awarded a CBE in 1984.
[edit]Jean Muir Collection

The National Museums of Scotland recently acquired Jean Muir's collection of 20th century costume and accessories. It will be housed at a new storage building being planned for the National Museums Collection Centre, at Granton in Edinburgh.
Here is the link to the family's website for Madame Muir, and the link to the announcement of the closure of the business from January 2007.

wikipedia.org

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28-08-2007
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`Apples and Pears' print chiffon dress, circa 1972, labelled and size 10, with smock-like bodice, button fronted, full sleeves, midi length.




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28-08-2007
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Midnight blue suede bodice and skirt, 1970s, labelled and size 12, with punched decoration, enamelled pansy buttons.




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28-08-2007
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Printed jersey dress and hat, 1970s, labelled and size 10, with overall squiggle print, matching bell-hop type hat and belt, accentuated pointed collar.




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28-08-2007
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Three Jean Muir garments, early 1970s, all labelled, comprising: pink jersey blouse with ribbed collar and shoulder panels, a rust-brown jersey blouse with buttoned detailing; and a tiered floral printed cotton summer dress.








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28-08-2007
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Printed chiffon mini-dress, late 1960s, labelled Jean Muir and size 10, with pin-tucked and button-fronted yoke, low inset balloon sleeves, `Apples and Pears' print, bust approx 82-86cm, 32-34in. An identical gown was used on the front cover of `Vogue' 1972. Glenda Jackson wore a similar gown in the film `A Touch of Class' in 1972.


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28-08-2007
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Classic printed jersey day dress, late 1970s, labelled size 14, with gold paisley motifs on a navy ground, lilac perspex buckled belt.


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28-08-2007
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Moving away from the conservative...

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Jean Muir’s clothes are generally considered to be timeless fashion ‘classics’ rather than high fashion. As a result, they are as wearable today as they were during her 1970s heyday and are still much sought-after. She described herself as a dressmaker rather than a designer and was highly skilled in the actual making of garments. Her signature ‘look’ was the fluid, beautifully draped dress in stretchy, natural fabrics like silk and wool jersey or finely-finished suede and soft leather. Muir was not influenced by passing trends as some other designers were. She aimed to produce stylish and wearable garments that relied upon a superb cut.

This leather pinafore dress is typical of her designs of the early 1970s. Jean Muir frequently used this type of over-stitching on her clothes and the skirt is cut with a slight flare, giving it the movement she always tried to achieve. Leather is often very difficult to work, yet Jean Muir’s skill as a dressmaker has resulted in this tailored finish, similar to that produced with a woven fabric.




liverpoolmuseums.org.uk


Last edited by SomethingElse; 28-08-2007 at 10:29 PM.
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30-12-2007
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Blue suede fringed jacket, 1980s, labelled, of interesting panelled construction.




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06-01-2008
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The first pattern I ever bought was designed by Jean Muir. It is a dress very similar to the apples and pears example illustrated above, except that it buttons up the back and has dolman sleeves. I still have it and plan to make it up again soon.

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06-01-2008
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^ Oh, pictures, please Jandh.

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c. 1966. Suede, Given by Mrs Ernestine Carter

Unlike her art school peers, Jean Muir learned her trade in the fashion industry. Celebrated as a gifted dressmaker, she worked for Liberty, Jaeger and Jane and Jane during the 1950s and '60s. Her clothes were always a subtle demonstration of the sculptural qualities of fabric, with suede a particular favourite.


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06-01-2008
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I will try to post a picture of the pattern tomorrow and when I make up the dress, I will post about it on my blog.

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06-01-2008
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love to see the orange blouse/dress!! Looks good

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06-01-2008
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c. 1969, Wool, Given by Lady Pamela Harlech

This high-waisted wool dress with a collar and smock sleeves was worn by Lady Pamela Harlech, a former Vogue editor, at her 1969 wedding. The bride wore strips of braid in her hair to match the Celtic design on the front of the dress. The New York Times reported that family members at the ceremony were 'all wearing flamboyant, hippie-style outfits'.


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07-01-2008
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Jean Muir Vogue Pattern 2804, 1973
I hope that this works. I am trying to post a picture of the Jean Muir pattern I first purchased in 1973.

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