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1940's ADRIAN ORIGINAL Suit discovered!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by shesabettie, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. shesabettie

    shesabettie Registered Guest

    Okay, just emailed someone at Ohio State so I'll keep you posted on any interesting updates :headbang:
  2. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

  3. Wow! That suit is incredible! I have had the luck to find several Adrian's, each one was a classic beauty all on it's own. I wouldn't sell that suit for under $3k, I sold a larger sized solid colored suit for $1600 with no problem and if it is a wearable size $$$$$$ Good Luck!
  4. JulieW

    JulieW Alumni

  5. MagsRags

    MagsRags VFG Vice President

    An Adrian is my holy grail. Congratualtions, it is gorgeous.
  6. glamoursurf

    glamoursurf Alumni

    I have some info for you. This suit is pictured in an article I have from Threads magazine May 2001.



    'Working often with NY textile designer Pola Stout, Adrian designed many suits that capitalized on the subtle stripes and tiny geometric figures she wove into her wool fabrics (two examples of which are shown in the above images). Adrians manipulation of stripes, often intricately pieced and always beautifully matched, was legendary.

    The most visually exciting geometric effects often occur when two or more lines intersect at different points. Depending on the position and direction - horizontal, vertical or diagonal - the figure as a whole or certain targeted areas can be lengthened, shortened, made to recede, or appear to be larger.

    The brown checked jacket positively vibrates with energy. Technically, the perceived movement created by the checks is called 'autokinetic' or self moving. Four different sizes of the same check are combined in the jacket. The smallest check is reserved for the upper yoke, minimizing broad shoulders. A medium sized check is used for the next level, with a larger check occupying the next two sections. The same fabric stacking is used down the right sleeve. The real pizzazz comes from the giant-sized checked material of the jacket and sleeve. The dramatic slashes move the eye across the body, never allowing it to settle on one particular spot. They pierce the visual lane with staccato gestures. Any figure faults become secondary to the movement created by these inserts."

    Another paragraph gives some insight into the time and labeling of his works.
    "With the opening of Adrian, Ltd., in the fall of 1941, a new chapter started in Adrians life. Cut off from their usual Parisian sources of inspiration and forced to observe fabric restrictions by World War II, American designers such as Adrian, Normal Norell, and Pauline Trigere were beginning to define the "American Look." Adrian offered a full line of clothing: his ready to wear line carrying the "Adrian Original" label and his couture clothing, "Adrian Custom," sold through his Beverly Hills salon. But it was his imaginative suits that really captured the spirit of the times. "

    So your fabric is wool and would have been designed by Pola Stout.

    Lizzie, you may want to include the label info in the Adrian bio too!
  7. TangerineBoutique

    TangerineBoutique VFG Member

    What a fabulous find!!!

  8. thespectrum

    thespectrum VFG Member Staff Member

    Pam, that's amazing, great info!

    The man could cut.

    I have held on to a couple of the Adrians I have found, they are buried deep in a closet. Sold all the others.

    LOL, I may end up buried in my favorite one... a dress & coat in magenta & black.
  9. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    That's great Pam. Thank you.
  10. Lucitebox

    Lucitebox Registered Guest

    I missed this and glad I am seeing it now! Wow! Gingham check, too. Swoonsville! What a find!

    Pam, that's great sleuthing on your part, too!
  11. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Pam, I sure enjoy seeing the Threads article, as I know others will, as well. Thank you!
  12. lkranieri

    lkranieri VFG Member

    It is so exciting to read the continuing saga of your incredible find. So happy for you for your fantastic find!
  13. shesabettie

    shesabettie Registered Guest

    I now have a link to photos of the jackets back seams, the label, and the hole that is found in the fold of the collar (towards the inside thankfully!) Now that I look at it more closely, it is probably not an easy fix - mostly because of the inticate gingham pattern of the fabric. But perhaps there is a way to patch so it does not enlarge any further.


    Thank you all so much for your kind words and excitement for my find! I am very happy to say the least :)

    No word yet from Ohio State. If and when I do, you'll be the first to hear!

  14. shesabettie

    shesabettie Registered Guest

    Oh, and here are her approximate measurements!


    15.5" shoulder seam to shoulder seam (with pads)
    19" armpit to armpit (x2)
    14" waist (x2)
    27" length (top center of collar to bottom center of hem)


    13" waist (x2)
    19-20" hip (x2 - has some give to fabric)
    29.5" length (top center of waist to bottom center of hem)
    Also, 2" seam allowance at back (could probably let out an additional inch)
  15. glamoursurf

    glamoursurf Alumni

    From NY Times obituary 1984:
    Mrs. Stout was born in Stry, Poland, and studied fabric design in Vienna.

    From 1940 to 1945, she designed for Botany Mills, and in 1946, underwritten by eight manufacturers, she set up her own textile mill in North Philadelphia.

    She created fabrics for Edith Head, Dior, Norell and Jo Copeland, among others. Exhibits of her textiles were held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

    I'll be pleased to hear what you hear from Kent State, here are some of her works in the collection

    "Little is known of the fabric designer Pola Stout except that she made exclusive fabrics for Adrian in several collaborations. The process was a combination of either Stout's fabric coming first and a jacket designed to fit the fabric or Stout working out a pattern to fit into the confines of Adrian's idea of a garment. Pola Stout would create the first sample fabric by hand and are primarily but not always monochromatic in subtle color families. The horizontal and vertical lines of Stout's work melded wonderfully to Adrian's simple yet chic design sensibility."
  16. glamoursurf

    glamoursurf Alumni

  17. shesabettie

    shesabettie Registered Guest

    Hello all :kiss2:

    I finally heard back from Gayle Strege and Leta Hendricks at Ohio State University.

    Response from Gayle Strege: That is our suit exactly! I didn't think there could be another one out there because of the asymmetry of the design and the price it must have cost to produce given the number of different pattern pieces. Although, the "Adrian Original" label clothing was not the one of a kind "Adrian Custom" label clothing.

    I think Mary Elliott did a pattern of this garment that she published in Threads magazine a number of years ago. I think we have a copy in our files and can look it up if you like.

    Response from Leta Hendricks: The suits appear to be similar. Please review the Database description and the two attached images.
    Adrian "original" brown & white gingham wool suit; long hip length jacket (a); long set-in sleeves; notched pointed collar;
    horizontal slash pocket, self bound on lower right side just below the natural waistline; jacket consists of 4 different sizes
    of gingham, smallest squares form the yoke and collar back and front, the section below that is a little larger, and the lower
    jacket has even larger checks; the right side of the jacket and right sleeve has a method of slashing almost forming a pocket
    effect at each horizontal panel; slashing begins from a point at center front where it gradually increases in size to the side
    seam, this is continued on the back; each under panel is the largest size check; jacket is lined in russet silk crepe; b) skirt-
    straight, one gingham size, knife pleat at lower left side.

    The photos attached are of the same suit featured in the "Threads" article Pam posted.

    Just thought I'd pass along the information to any of you interested.

    Thanks again for everyone's enthusiastic help and excitement for my wonderful find!

  18. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm still catching up and only just read this - this suit absolutely fabulous! What an incredible idea with the different sizes of the checks! And what a lucky find!

  19. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    I'm late to the party too.

    That Adrian suit is one of the best things I've seen ever. EVER! :wow22:

    What a fantastic find!

  20. Metro Retro Vintage

    Metro Retro Vintage VFG Member

    Oh my! Such an incredible suit and fabulous information provided by everyone!

    Still reading and catching up, and trying not to drool too much into my coffee, lol.

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