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19-01-2008
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c. 1930-1940, England. Green kid-leather gloves with long gauntlets formed by triangular tan leather inserts. Brown rabbit fur edging; contrasting tan machine stitching on seams. Lined pale brown felt.

Transforming an animal skin from its natural state to a finished glove in a shop is a complex procedure. Traditionally skins from English kids, lambs, deer and calves have been used, but the best gloves were made from imported (and ready dressed) French kid. By the nineteenth century many of the methods of dressing the skins were mechanised and most skins used for outdoor were oil-tanned to give them their required gloss finish. This pair of gloves uses two contrasting tones of dyed kid, together with mink trim. Fur had been used for accessories like gloves and handbags for centuries, sometimes incorporating the whole animal (see the purse below).

The 1920s and 30s saw the influence of stylised geometric "art deco" motifs as in the sunburst fan design on these gauntlets. Gloves, especially luxurious fur-trimmed examples were still considered excellent presents, particularly at Christmas time, and mail order catalogues from stores like Dickens and Jones or Harvey Nichols included pairs in the 1930s ranging from 6 to 21 shillings a pair and marketed under the heading "Gloves Make the Ideal Gift". Gloves remained an essential accessory in the urban outfit for men and women until the 1950s, carried if not worn, rather like the umbrella.

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28-01-2008
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c. 1930.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1930s, American.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1930.


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28-01-2008
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Late 1930s, by Maggy Rouff.


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28-01-2008
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Mid 1930s.


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28-01-2008
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Mid 1930s.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1932, by Hanley Seymour.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1932, French.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1933, by Henri Bendel.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1935, Fay Hall.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1935.


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28-01-2008
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c. 1935, by Alix.


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29-01-2008
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American copy of Schiaparelli couture coat, c.1936

The Blum Store in Philadelphia was an upscale specialty store that catered to early 20th century fashionistas. I would love to know the story behind this store copy of a famous Schiaparelli couture coat from the Autumn/Winter 1936 collection.

The original Schiaparelli coat can be seen on pages 488-489 of Fashion/The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute by Taschen. When the Blum coat—with its numerous small variations—is shown next to pictures of the original, you can see that it is not a literal copy.

The shape of the collar on the Blum coat is slightly different; the sleeves have fuller caps; the beading on the collar is not as dense; most important, the coat does not have an inner zipper for closure. Schiaparelli shocked the fashion world in 1935 when she began using zippers in couture garments.

Even with these differences, the Blum coat captures the mood of the Schiaparelli. The former was probably expensive and marketed as the latest fashion from Europe to customers who wanted the look without the time and expense of travel for couture fittings. On the other hand, if this were an original Schiaparelli coat, the cost would be well in excess of $10,000.

The coat is fashioned from a black wool/fur blend and is lined with black taffeta. The red velvet collar is appliquéd with gold leather stars and turquoise-colored glass beads. The coat closes on the inside with ties and on the outside with a black velvet button.
vintagetextile
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And I am nothing of a builder, but here I dreamt I was an architect
And I built this balustrade to keep you home, to keep you safe from the outside world
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29-01-2008
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French hand-embroidered silk nightgown, 1930s

The bodice of this lovely nightgown is fashioned from a combination of pastel pink and blue satin. The skirt is matching blue silk crepe de chine. The label, which reads "Suzanne Foly/Rue St Honoré 372/Paris," is located on one of the side seams of the bodice—see the bottom picture.
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