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Brooks / Christian Dior New York Velvet Coat

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Alexandra King, Sep 17, 2023.

  1. Alexandra King

    Alexandra King Registered Guest

    Hi all,
    I purchased this coat online for a small amount assuming that the Christian Dior label was fake and was interested in the red velvet moire. I was intending to dispose of the label and either keep it or sell it for being a lovely red velvet coat.

    When it arrived it was even better quality than expected especially the fit around the shoulders and I want to be doubly sure its not real.
    Does anyone know anything about the Brooks of New Brunswick label? Not sure if this is Canada or New Jersey? I know there are some Dior over the Canada border issues with label removals and fakes according to the Couture and Commerce Book by Alexandra Palmer.

    The back half belt seems off along with a stitched pleats at the hem, like it was a swing coat but has been altered? But maybe not. It has a heavy taffeta lining and cotton muslin interlining. Beautifully hand sewn button holes. Not sure on the plastic buttons. The silk velvet moire is very lovely.

    I'd be really grateful for any insight. Its a really interesting piece, like them all!

    Many Thanks

    Alex IMG_1672.JPG IMG_1673.JPG IMG_1674.JPG IMG_1676.JPG IMG_1677.JPG IMG_1678.JPG
  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    I don't know the label 'Brooks of New Brunswick' - I assume it's a defunct clothier, but it could be Canadian, as Christian Dior New York was carried up here by high end clothiers. The CDNY label is not the same level as couture and as far as I know it has never been commercially faked. CDNY suits and coats have a high standard of quality and this coat is extremely well made so I don't see any reason to suspect its not Christian Dior New York -- the lining appears to be set in by hand, the buttons are anchored, the lining reads as silk in the pictures, the moire velvet is beautiful, and the labels are sewn into the garment correctly... The only Dior New York 'fakes' I know of have been by eBay dealers reusing those labels in other garments, or cutting the labels in half to make it look like a couture label, which it doesn't... The issue with label removals was originally an issue usually by the women who bought the clothes and tried to bring them into their country without declaring them. However, its been a while since I read the Palmer book, so there might be more info in there on that topic than I recall.
  3. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    I am trying to recall if this store was in New Brunswick NJ, as I grew up in that area at the time of this coat. The name Brooks rings a faint bell, but I cannot remember for sure. As I go over in my head all the better shops in downtown NB and the street lay-out I cannot picture this store. While we did have a few specialty women's shops that sold some high end designer clothing, I kind of doubt any of them sold Dior. But it is possible as we were only a 45 minute train ride from NYC and the owners bought wholesale from there.

    Of course, the Brooks label is not the important one, but it is interesting to see.

    What a great looking coat and the velvet is fabulous.
    Alexandra King likes this.
  4. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality VFG Treasurer Staff Member

    It was in New Brunswick, NJ
    Here is an ad for it from 1939
    It is possible that it sold ready to wear Dior
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2023
  5. I agree that the coat looks appropriate for ready-to-wear Christian Dior.... which is a whole different ballgame from couture Christian Dior.
    I regularly see rtw CD in my local thrifts. Very nice stuff that was originally available in "better" department stores.
  6. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    Thanks for that great ad, what a great thing for me to see. Good old George Street! It was quite the destination for women of style back in the day and there were many lovely upscale shops for both women and men. And some fine jewelry stores too, like Black Starr Frost. I think Brooks was a little bit before my time, but maybe when I was very little it was still there. I may have just forgotten as I was more interested in J.J. Newberry's toy department and the Barricini candy store! I have a vague memory of seeing the Brooks label in some of the vintage 1940s suits and coats I wore in my youth, which I had rummaged from the St. Vincent DePaul, thrift store on French Street in the 70s. Oh, the good old days!
  7. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality VFG Treasurer Staff Member

    The store opened on February 12th, 1939 and had its final going out of business sale on August 28th, 1974
  8. Beautiful coat: I haven't seen moire' velvet before. Stunning!
    Alexandra King likes this.
  9. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing VFG Board Member Staff Member VFG Past President

    I believe I have only seen moire velvet once before in black...it really is a lovely coat..glad to see all the help you were able to get here at the VFG.
  10. Alexandra King

    Alexandra King Registered Guest

    Thank you so much everyone, especially Johnathan, Victoria and Barbara! This is such a help and really glad I can give this beautiful coat a history.
    I've been reading Christian Dior's book again and he talks about the diffusion line that is Christian Dior New York as off shoots of his designs from Paris. I'm thinking this coat is 1960s.
    You have all reminding me of how much I love fashion history and being able to see the ad for Brooks in New Brunswick really brings to life the world this coat may have been in and the women who enjoyed it. Wish every vintage piece came with an owners log book sometimes, it would be wonderful!

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