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Mary Harnes summer coat - any ideas about this label or dates?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Impey, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Impey

    Impey Registered Guest

    Hi all

    it’s been a little while but I’m back again with questions about dates! My latest find is this lovely spring coat from Mary Harnes. Does anyone know anything about this label (I’m intrigued by the Paris imagery) and any thoughts about likely age?

    I had a Mary Harnes dress from the early 70s which had a very similar label, but I’m wondering if this could be a little earlier?

    many thanks


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    Katarzyna likes this.
  2. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    Lovely - looks like spring personified! I am tending towards 70s - early. Unfortunately I don't know anything about this brand either.
  3. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

  4. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Registered Guest

    yes, 70s based on the labels
  5. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    I did look up the history of the fabric Crimplene and of the company ICI which was apparently the largest British chemical manufacturer that made everything and anything kind of like DuPont.
    You may already know this but here is what I learned:
    Crimplene was launched in 1959 and enjoyed popularity throughout the 60s especially for A-line dresses but began to fall out of fashion in the early 70s due to the invention of lighter weight polyester fabrics like Trevira.

    “ICI developed Crimplene, a thick polyester yarn used to make a fabric of the same name. The resulting cloth is heavy and wrinkle-resistant, and retains its shape well. The California-based fashion designer Edith Flagg was the first to import this fabric from Britain to the United States. During the first two years, ICI gave Flagg a large advertising budget to popularise the fabric across America.”
    So based on that, it’s possible the dress is a bit earlier. For some reason though both the color and floral pattern strike me as very 70s.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
    Retro Ruth likes this.
  6. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, ICI is a familiar name over here, at least to me. As is Crimplene. Crimplene was most definitely still around in the 70s. It fell out of favour gradually, and certainly wasn't over until well into the 70s. I expect it was still in use (though definitely not fashionable!) in the early 80s - think of older lady 'smart' dresses in larger sizes.

    Personally I'm fond of a bit of crimplene!

    I think this is probably very early 70s. It could just possibly be late 60s.

    The care labelling is very minimal, just the one, which also indicates an early date in the time period, ie very late 60s to early 70s. Later into the 70s there would be more likely to be several care symbols, and in the mid-late 60s, probably none at all. This would vary by manufacturer, so isn't definitive, but that's my observation of care symbols in Britain. Some manufacturers started using them early and before they were mandatory, and some no doubt dragged behind.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
    Vintagiality likes this.
  7. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    I see very early 70s, a Spring coat as we used to call them. I had one similar in lime green and yellow, in 1970.
    Midge and Retro Ruth like this.
  8. Impey

    Impey Registered Guest

    Thanks everyone for the information - it’s so helpful - I really wish I could see your lime green and yellow coat, it sounds fabulous!
  9. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    Here is just a little information about Mary Harnes, Ltd., from a 1964 publication on International Commerce. I found online references to the company until at least 1989.​

  10. Impey

    Impey Registered Guest

    That’s really interesting - I came across a family history excerpt on the internet where the father had worked for Mary Harnes at Osborn Street - and he indicated it was part of the ‘Carnegie Group’ - which would make sense as I believe Carnegie were based there (and it might even be called Carnegie House). Both Mary Harnes and Carnegie were liquidated in the 80s I think ...

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