1930's or 1970's or neither?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by Joanne Walter, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Joanne Walter

    Joanne Walter Registered Guest

    This piece has me stumped. It is a silk velvet fabric identical to a silk velvet 1930's opera coat I own but I'm a little unsure about this piece being 1930's itself. It has a loose fit with no closure and a shirring elasticated gathered waistband as pictured. Also, it has serged / overlocked seams, which I know already existed in the 30's but I'm not sure to what extent. Armhole facings are handsewn down (pictured). The shoulders have two pleats each (pictured) and there is a separate silk velvet decorative appliquéd piece around the neckline and down the centre front that is edged in gold metal thread. The label is in a playbill font - HILITE Regd. Size 38.
    Any ideas on locking down an era would be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Trade Member

    That smocked and elasticated waist is looking later than 1930s to me. But it's a puzzler.
    Joanne Walter likes this.
  3. northstarvintage

    northstarvintage Administrator Staff Member

    I can see why you're stumped! I am too!
  4. bycinbyhand

    bycinbyhand Trade Member

  5. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    The close up shows, to me, that it is more contemporary.
  6. Joanne Walter

    Joanne Walter Registered Guest

    My thoughts too. The construction reads later, but the fabric is like water. Incredibly soft and beautiful. Another stump is that the construction isn't perfect either. Not like you'd expect a more modern labelled garment to be. And I can't for the life of me find this label anywhere! Hopefully someone out there recognizes it.
  7. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    I'm seeing 70s boho. REGD is something I see on UK clothing, and I see that rarely if ever later than 70s, from the 80s onwards you are more likely to see ®, so I don't think it's 90s or later either.

    And the size on the label like that, I don't think that was something you'd see in the 30s.

    Might it have been a dress, cut and hemmed just below the elastic waist?

    ETA , it could just be early 80s too. I vaguely remember this kind of clothing, sold in little hippyish boutiques, probably from quite a small scale maker
  8. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  9. Joanne Walter

    Joanne Walter Registered Guest

    Thank you so much! Thats what my gut tells me. I can’t see any evidence of an alteration. But I always saw it as late 70’s until a friend pointed out how exact the fabric is to my 30’s coat and it got me thinking.
  10. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    The overlocked seams appear original to me, which makes it unlikely to be of an earlier date. Overlocking did exist back then but wasn't at all common, you tend to mainly see it on lingerie if at all. I don't know if you've burn tested, but it could be rayon velvet rather than silk, they can feel similar.
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  11. Joanne Walter

    Joanne Walter Registered Guest

    I've done a burn test, it's definitely silk - (burnt hair smell, falls to ash, no flame). It's a conundrum why such a lux fabric was made into a garment so poorly. The construction really isn't great. The more I look at it, the more I believe it may actually have been altered from an earlier garment. I've done some label inspection and I should have noticed earlier that the label is actually printed. Something more common from the seventies onward. As the 30's were a huge influence on 70's fashions, I'm coming to the conclusion that this was a 30's piece reborn into something new in the 70's. If only clothes could speak!
    Retro Ruth likes this.
  12. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    It's certainly not impossible, especially with the silk fabric. It's possible the overlocking was done as part of the transformation. You have it in your hand so I'd trust your gut.
  13. JulieThomas

    JulieThomas Registered Guest

    Interesting...looks later (e.g. 70s) to me.

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