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help with dating this fabulous silk cape/coat

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by crushvintage, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. crushvintage

    crushvintage Registered Guest

    Hello!

    We were able to purchase this gorgeous coat/cape from a lady who collected a lot of 1920's items. It is done in the smoothest deep brown silk, lined in an ivory silk. The amazing sleeves have little threaded buttons and loops, running from the shoulders down. The large tassels drape from the collar, these are heavier , so we thought they hang over the shoulder for closure, as there are no hooks or closures on front.
    Fragile fringe is attached to the hem, its delicate fabric but very sturdy and wearable. We thought it may be from the 1920's does anybody have any other opinions or information?

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Joji Furukawa

    Joji Furukawa Registered Guest

    I agree that's it's from the 20s but I'm not an expert. The fringe and the shapelessness points me in that direction.
     
  3. Jasmin Key

    Jasmin Key Registered Guest

    I'm in love with those sleeves!
     
  4. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  5. Vinclothes

    Vinclothes Alumni +

    And I saw a 1930's evening wrap in the color, shape and draping.
    Marian
     
  6. Omgosh! What a stunning coat! I do believe it's from the 20s as well, based on the style and details...I have a soft spot for 20s Coats :)
     
  7. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    I don't have experience in this area, but I just get a funny feeling about this garment, like it was made up from a curtain or tablecloth or something. Reminds me of that famous curtain dress you know? :)
    Particularly the fringed braid looks more like upholstery than dress trimming to me. Perhaps you can show close ups of the features, like the buttons and loops, how the trims are attached, so we can see how it was made?

    Also, odd request here - but if you lift the sleeves above the shoulders, does the material lie flat, i.e. was it a large rectangle originally that was cut down the back, while gatefolded, to form the two sleeves?
    You've even got those two tasselled pieces, which could have been tiebacks...
     
  8. crushvintage

    crushvintage Registered Guest

    Thanks everyone for your info!

    Melanie, I have attached a few more photos for you to get a better look at the small details. The fringe I see how it sort of looks like upholstery! The tassels and fringe are pretty lightweight and soft, fairly delicate to be upholstery I believe. The shape is a lot like a square lying flat, but has dropped shoulder seams. Hope these photos help!
    Please let us know if you need any additional photos! We are in love with this cape/coat and appreciate all the help!

    Crush Vintage
    IMG_6073.jpg IMG_6078.jpg IMG_6080.jpg IMG_6084.jpg IMG_6089.jpg
     
  9. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    I was not going to chime in, but now that Melanie has already mentioned it......here I go!

    My first thought when I looked at this several days ago was that the fringe trimming looks really odd. I agree with Melanie, it does look more like pillow trim or upholstery trim than dressmaking trim. Also, what really looks terribly "off" is the way it sewn to the coat. That top band part of the fringe trim should not be seen, it is not normally sewn like that on clothing, it should be hidden under the cuff or edge of the garment/fabric, or have something sewn over it to hide that top stitched band. This person has laid it on top of the fabric, it looks raw....very strange (to me) and not a professional technique. The fringe appears to have been doubled to give it more of a thick and vintage look, but the strands seems rather thin and more modern looking.

    It just looks so very odd to have been sewn on that way. More like a costume maker's try than a fine dressmaker garment. The rest of the coat may be original, I don't know from the photos.

    It does have a nice style.
     
  10. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Lovely piece, and the style looks '20s but I, too, have some doubts and think it is likely to be a costume piece. Here's my reasoning:
    • Even though '20s coats of this type are quite unstructured, this pattern cutting on this one is particularly unsophisticated and looks like someone who does not know much about sewing - mind you, amateurs of all eras do this, so that alone does not point to a particular date.
    • I agree that the fringed trim is poorly applied and messy. I thought it could be an addition but it's inclusion on the front suggests otherwise.
    • Of more concern are the rouleau loops on the sleeves, which looks like modern Russian Braid. Shiny and synthetic, garments of this era usually have either self-trim made of the satin or hand-knotted loops of thread. A close up will help here. You can see that it also trims the front "tassels".
    • I don't like the contrast white lining: can you tell what sort of silk it is? Usually coats of this era have a delicate tissue type silk that has often deteriorated over the years. This one looks more robust. I also don't like the way it's sewn to the hem of the coat, where it bunches up a bit. It would be better to have it separate, perhaps connected at points, so that the coat hangs better.
    • The way you have it displayed open at the front, with the tassels hanging down looks like the correct way. They're a lovely detail, and the clearest sign to authenticity as they look original. It's a pity that there are other elements that conflict with this.
    • The buttons look nice: like little threaded toggles? Can you tell us more about them or provide a clear close up? They look good for the era.
    Personally I think you have a costume piece, a very lovely one but not authentic '20s. By looking at the construction and fabrics you help determine the age it was made. I find that '20s styles are so popular and repro/costume items are much in demand because they're more robust that originals so you should still get a good price for it. It is very nice.
     
  11. crushvintage

    crushvintage Registered Guest

    Thanks Barbra and Nicole!

    all of your information really helps!
    So as for the silk, I can see how in the photos it may looks a little robust. This silk is fairly delicate, has worn down areas ( such as back of neck) mends have been made to part of the back of the neckline because of some wear. There are a few spots throughout the cape that are thinning or wearing down. The silk is very luscious and liquidy. I attached another photo of the loops and buttons. the buttons are wooden with the thread wrapped around them. Thanks again for all your help!
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    I was actually thinking the material itself may have been an old curtain (things were a lot more luxe back then!) that was then made into this 1920's style garment, as Nicole says, at some later date. When, is very hard to say. But I do agree the russian braid looks newer.
     
  13. I agree with Melanie....looks a bit like the famous curtain dress Mammy made for Scarlett from "Miss Ellen's portieres"! That was a lovely dress, too, just as this coat is a lovely coat, but I got a feeling when I first looked at this coat that the fringe looked not quite what should be on this coat. Another thought was a piece made for costuming as Nicole suggested. I love this style coat and I would certainly wear it, regardless!
     
  14. crushvintage

    crushvintage Registered Guest

    Thank you everyone for your information!

    We just had another vintage seller send us a photo of ( what looks to be exactly what we have) a Paul Poiret coat, the seller thinks that this may be a sister to what she had sold to the FIT museum. The fringe, and all the little details look so similar.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Since the coat you show is a reproduction, perhaps what you have is a reproduction of a reproduction?
     
  16. crushvintage

    crushvintage Registered Guest

    Or maybe the label has been removed?
     
  17. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

    Just to clarify...the other coat you have shown from the other person is an early 1917 "authorized reproduction" of a Paul Poiret coat. Interesting though that I was right about dating your example to pre-1920s. It's very difficult to say whether yours is a repro from just seeing the photos as you can see by all the opinions given here. It certainly looks similar to this other one.
     
  18. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    The FIT museum has made a film about the conservation of their example, and it gives a lot of information you may be interested in:



    Interestingly Mary Jane throughout the whole film above the 'authorized reproduction' is referred to as an authenticated original Paul Poiret, they seem to make no distinction between the two. It sounds as though Poiret produced the designs and licenced a company to make them, thus an 'authorized reproduction' of his original design...
     
  19. crushvintage

    crushvintage Registered Guest

    Yes, Melanie. That is correct. Here is the letter that authorizes an American manufacture of the reproductions.
    The original owner of this coat who contacted us, sold it to FIT and this is the same one in the film. It was so interesting to watch! It truly is a labor of love for them!
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

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