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Diana Leslie coat Help please?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by cymbeline, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. cymbeline

    cymbeline Registered Guest

    Hi, I want to sell a coat I have had for long time. I think it's from around 1980. I have done lots of searching for info about the "designer" Diana Leslie and the name Animal Rainbow, which is on the label in the coat but the only thing I could find is 3 items up for auction on artfact.com http://www.artfact.com/auction-lot/a-1970s-1980s-diana-leslie-animal-rainbow-70s-80s-1-c-1kwmqsio58

    (hope i did that link correctly) but it gives no info really without paying for registration which I dont want to do because I dont know if there is any relevant info anyway.

    It seems like she specialised in knits which my coat is also.

    The coat is really quite amazing, deep wine sort of colour heathered mohair knit, fitted waist, flared skirt, with some feathers and an unsual twisted knit effect around the waist area. The most inciredible bit is the large hood which is decorated with the same bits as the waist area but with heavier detail.

    Does anyone know anything about this lady? It seems like it would be a collectable although it is not that old. Can anyone give mne an idea what they would ask as a price for this? I have never seen anything like it before, has anyone else? The condition is near mint with only a couple stitches having come away from a tiny area of the lining.

    Sorry, I thought I could insert images directly but seems I can not. I will put them up on a host and send them along asap.

    Thank you,
  2. cymbeline

    cymbeline Registered Guest

    Diana Leslie coat PHOTOS






    GemGem likes this.
  3. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member


    No help from me, but I wanted to say it is a beautiful coat. Perhaps the name Animal Rainbow is because there are fibers from several animals in each garment? Love that "marabou" feather trim!

  4. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

  5. cymbeline

    cymbeline Registered Guest

    Thanks ladies..glad you like it! It is all mohair but when you look closely in the light, different colours make up the overall colour which is kinda' neat....

    anyone else?
  6. cymbeline

    cymbeline Registered Guest

    Can anyone else offer help?

    thank you
  7. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Alumni

    I'm afraid I know nothing about her or the label, except that they did some amazing clothes. I once had a peacock feather bustier by her, but that seems unusual amongst the knitwear she seems to have specialised in.

    I love that coat and would dearly love to own one!!
  8. Vintage_Visage

    Vintage_Visage VFG Member

    hmmm,,, i am scared to offer my opinion on this because I just dont know. I get more of a 70s vibe though. the lenght and cut.... but I could be very wrong....
  9. cymbeline

    cymbeline Registered Guest

    Thanks so much everyone. I have taken a guess for the price based on quality and rarity...hopefully it will eventually attract some interest. :D
  10. alicegarrard

    alicegarrard Guest

    diana leslie

    In the mid 1970s I worked in a boutique called Countdown in Greenwich village owned by Diana Leslie and her husband, Murphy -- I forgot his first name. Her clothing was dramatic and graceful and she specialized in coats and suits. She did a lot of knitwear. She lived in England. I never met her but her husband would come to New York occasionally to check on how things were doing. I'm not sure they were in business any more than 10 years. Many of the customers were actresses (Bette Midler) and artists. The designs were not of the style of the day, but were quite unique and sexy. For years I kept some of of the clothing I had purchased there, but this goes back a long time. I only worked there for three months, in between my normal job. Her labels were dark green with white lettering. Now I wish I didn't give them to Goodwill several years ago. it would have been such fun to send you images.
  11. Alice, thank you for your knowledge, that's very interesting.

    This is an old thread, and I don't know if kellybelly is still around but I did a bit googling - and found this newspaper archive, from a Texas newspaper 1982 where it explains that Diana Leslie named her business "Animal Rainbow" after a Ted Hughes poem. It also mentions fit and flare colourful and mohair designs, which could match the coat above, so a possible date of 1982 which sounds about right to me.

  12. bonnie smith

    bonnie smith Registered Guest

    I worked for Diana in the mid 1960's at her New York shop, Countdown. I was a customer, loved her
    work and asked her to hire me. She was responsible for me having a thirty year career as a footwear designer. She designed and made my wedding gown
    and was my maid of honor wearing her interpretation of a Victorian riding habit in brown velvet. My gown with ivory velvet with a train.
    Her designs sewn on site, were of the finest British
    wools and Liberty print cottons.
    She was amazing. Her husband Murphy, no first name, was a scientist. They had two "smalls",
    girl and boy.
    They kept a house in London. I stayed there once.
    It was the last time I saw her.
    She had separated from Murphy, who stayed in New York and sublet from my new husband's former
    studio. The kids went to England.
    Diana sort of went into hiding.
    I was told she went to live in Italy.
    The coat looks like her work and her color.
    I always wondered what happened to her.
    And Murphy.
  13. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  14. bycinbyhand

    bycinbyhand VFG Member

  15. Linda King

    Linda King Registered Guest

    I bought two coats from Countdown in the late 60's early 70's and I remember Diana well. One is a burgundy midi coat in heavy wool with a mandarin collar that became a cape with a tassel at the bottom. The buttons were covered with crochet. I wore it with bright yellow platform knee boots. I also have a victorian inspired straw-colored wool spring coat with embroidery on the collar and down the front. I still have both of them. All the other dresses and blouses are gone, but I could never bear to part with these. My daughter wasn't really interested and they are tiny so I'm hoping my grandaughter will want them. They are art. I have checked Google for years to see if anything was posted, and now I finally found a discussion of the store and her designs. Yay!
    Midge, mags_rags and GemGem like this.
  16. GemGem

    GemGem Registered Guest

    Just love these magical trail threads that draw out information and lived experience from all over the world and so fabulous that the threads stay open for such a long time so they become layer cakes! Fantastic!

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