1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A Fashionable Summer ~ TINA LESER

Discussion in 'A Fashionable Summer 2005 (Asst. Designers)' started by fuzzylizzie, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Charity, I know her clothes were featured in Coke ads. Usually pictured was a model in a great Leser pants ensemble, relaxing on the floor with a bottle of Coca~Cola!

    And thanks for the kind words! You are right that Leser's work looks very "right" at the present. I bet Lin looks fantastic in that sarong dress!
  2. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    That's another thing to look for...coca cola collectibles to see if she is there!!
  3. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Hi Charity

    Don't be afraid to jump in and chit chat guys! No matter how insignificant you think it is, we are all here to learn!

    Lizzie, with all the indian influence, etc, it is not what i usually think of for this era. I think of the polynesian influence brought from hawaii/people coming back from being stationed during the war. I think more of the indian influence as 1920s or 60s/70s. Was this really more widespread than i was exposed to, or was she truly a frontrunner on this?

  4. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Lin was disappointed that she had a commitment that conflicted and couldn't be here but she gave me this picture she wanted to post. do you think this is from that same honeymoon inspired time frame?

    she says "reminds me of Maharani-print-meets-that-Disney-snake-from-TheJungleBook!"

    <img src="http://archive.noirboudoir.com/researchimages/lesertopclose.jpg" width=300>

  5. Cats Sass

    Cats Sass Registered Guest

    Hi again - I was just checking in on ebay and ran a search for Tina Leser which yielded a listing for a really cute and nicely cared for swimsuit of hers (No stampeding, now). The tag says Tina Leser by Gabar, which according to this lisitng is a NY store she sold to. What is the era on Leser's business relationship with this store? Did she design items exclusively for them at one time? The tag kind of seems to indicate so. There is both a store tag and leser's tag whcich bears the store's name. Thanks again!
  6. Cats Sass

    Cats Sass Registered Guest

    Wow - dynomite top! I love thought-provoking prints like this!
  7. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    She really was an innovator in this area. I think partly it was because she was a product of her background, but also, of her time. People WERE starting to be more interested in transcontinental travel. For years, only the wealthy could afford to be tourists, but that changed starting in the 20s, and especially by the 40s. And men coming back from the War brought all kinds of exotic goodies to the girl back home. It all worked to spur an interest in global design.

    There is another theory; that the horribleness of the Holocaust and the disenchantment with European affairs just after the War caused Leser and other designers to turn to India, Central America, and Hawaii for inspiration.

    There are quite a few designers who also had a global view at this time - Carolyn Schnurer and Louella Ballerino spring to mind.
  8. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    <h3>Fabric and Function</h3>

    After 1949, Leser continued to reference a variety of ethnic influences, often mixing them in a single garment or collection. For example, she might take a purely American fabric such as the red and white check commonly used in picnic tablecloths, and sew it into an item with an Oriental-influenced shape such as a sarong or kimono.

    Leser also liked to take a "casual" fabric and use it for a "formal" function. An example would be the same gingham tablecloth cotton sewn into a party dress. Or she might take a formal fabric and use it for a casual function, as in the case of her elaborately printed and embroidered bathing suits.

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/leserbath1.jpg>

    <img src=http://fuzzylizzie.com/myPictures/leserbath5.jpg>

    She also liked to take a favorite fabric or trim and use it across her collection. I've seen embroidery very similar to what is on the above bathing suit made into a hostess gown, trimming the edges of a cashmere sweater, and made into a pair of slacks.

    But so that you don't start thinking that ALL Tina Leser could design was exotic and foreign-inspired, she also used fabrics from some of the very best fabric design firms. Most notably, she had designs using the "Modern Master" series of fabric from Fuller. This was a series of fabrics commissioned by Fuller Fabrics by some of the world's most prominent artists, such as Picasso and Miro. She also used Wesley Simpson prints, Hope Skillman fabrics and Boussac florals. And she loved and used cashmere, both from the American firm Dalton, and the Scottish Pringle.

    She designed lots of pretty dresses that today, would be considered to be quite dressy, but in the late 40s and into the 50s, were much more casual than what most people were accustomed to wearing. A great example is ths ensemble from the October 1951 issue of <I> Woman's Home Companion.</i>

    "Brilliant felt jacket, wool jersey skirt with inside of hem lined in same felt, worn with so many petticoats to make it stand out. Dress and huge bead necklace by Tina Leser."

    <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/wsleser3.jpg>
  9. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    No, Gabar was the maker of the swimsuit, not a store. Leser designed suits for them for many years, and that will be addressed in the next part of the workshop. That's a cute suit! Leser used a lot of contrasting piping on her swimsuits.
  10. Cats Sass

    Cats Sass Registered Guest

    Ah ha......I had never heard of this store so that makes more sense. Thanks for the Coke-a-Cola tip, too. Lo and behold, I found an ad for it featuring Leser on ebay, too! Just like you said - a lovely model lounging on the floor drinking Coke-a-cola. Darn, you know your stuff!
  11. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    I've been reading up! My husband called my research a "Term Paper!"
  12. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    This was a series of fabrics commissioned by Fuller Fabrics by some of the world's most prominent artists, such as Picasso and Miro.

    I remember going to the art museum in Chicago and seeing quite a few Jean Miro paintings. This was quite a long time ago. I remember thinking to myself looking at some paintings of some cartoony birds and wondering what it would look like on a skirt. that was an odd thing to think but i guess there was some precedence for it that i wasn't consciously aware
  13. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Those prints are pretty rare, although I think some people get them and don't know what they have! I know Susan at Northstar Vintage had a Claire McCardell with one of these prints a year or so back, but I can't remember if it was on the label or just in the selvage of the fabric.
  14. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Chris, in reference to Lin's wonderful top - I believe it is a little later than the Honeymoon, mainly because I'm pretty sure this has a "Tina Leser Original" label. The would date it no earlier than 1953. I see lots of items on the internet with that label, but the seller has them listed as 40s. This may be because sometimes her lines were narrower than what you might expect in the 50s, or because they have read about the honeymoon trip and assumed that a very ethnic looking print MUST date to that time period!
  15. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    Speaking of Lin, this was the other item she had. It looks very op arty to me despite the little inset of that indian motif.

    <img src="http://worldservice.noirboudoir.com/tinaleser/lesersuitfull.jpg" width=300>

    <img src="http://worldservice.noirboudoir.com/tinaleser/lesersuit.jpg" width=400>
  16. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Interesting mix, don't you think?
  17. Patentleathershoes

    Patentleathershoes VFG Veteran VFG Past President

    It looks like a playsuit to me...but do you think this one is later too because of the more op arty motif....? Playsuits were 40s/50s right? or am i off?
  18. This is just great Lizzie!! You have opened my eyes to a new designer.

    (Hoping I might find some TL's when I vacation on the West Coast this summer.)
  19. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    Thanks, Bonnie. I sure hope you find them too!

    Chris, Lin might be the best judge of this piece's age. Maybe she'll be able to pop in later.

    You'd never refer to Leser's bathing suits as "sexy" in the traditional 50s mode. Picture this suit with a matching wrap skirt and you'll see what I mean in the next segment that "The bathing suit became the foundation for streetwear."

    And playsuits were popular into the 60s (and even later for toddlers and older women;-)
  20. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    <h3>Tina Leser Originals</h3>

    Tina Leser left Foreman in 1953 to form her own company, Tina Leser Originals. In the 1950s, women needed clothes for an increasingly casual lifestyle, and Leser's pieces were casual but sophisticated. People were entertaining at home, and many of Leser's ads during the 50s show a relaxed hostess curled up in a pair of her slacks and a comfortable tunic.

    She perfected (some references say "invented") the slim toredor pants of the 50s, which were often paired with exotic tunics or cashmere sweaters trimmed with embroidered edgings. And in 1957 she showed a cashmere sweater that was dress length, bringing about the inception of the "sweater dress."

    She entered into a design arrangement with Gabar Swimsuits, and she designed for them for many years. She's often thought of as a swimsuit designer, mainly because her work for Gabar was so wide-reaching. But it was not just swimsuits she was designing - it was a whole new way of wearing it. The cover-ups and skirts and matching shorts and wraps incorporated the design of the swimsuit beneath into a complete ensemble. The bathing suit became the foundation for streetwear.

    <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/wsleser4.jpg>

    Lots of Tina Leser's garments had multiple uses. This cute item was made by Gabar, and may have been a bathing suit cover-up, but in Tina's hands the cover-up could also be seen on the streets of town.

    <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/wstinaleser01.jpg>
    <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/wstinaleser04.jpg>
    <I><h5>Thanks to Marlene at MemphisVintage.com</i></h5>

    In 1964, Leser closed her business, only to open it again in 1966. Her first collection after her re-opening was a tribute to India, with the fabrics being made on traditional Indian looms. She continued to make clothing that was oriental in feel, but she concentrated less on sportswear, and more on clothing was was adaptable to many situations, be it evening, day or at home. Her fabrics were still very much inspired by her travels.

    <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/wslesermarlene.jpg>

    This brocade and lame' dress from the 60s shows Tina Leser's love of beautiful oriental-inspired fabrics.

    <img src=http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e270/fuzzylizzie/wsllesermar60s.jpg>
    <I><h5>Thanks to Marlene at MemphisVintage.com</i></h5>

    Tina Leser Originals remained open until 1982. Leser died four years later in 1986. Hers was a life of fashion and travel, and our fashion history is rich with the legacy of exotic places which she brought to us.

Share This Page