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Vintage Custom? Couture I. Magnin Silk Gown & Jacket - Help dating & I.D. Fabric

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by helenheven, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member


    Yesterday, I went to a curator led tour of a museum exhibit which just opened, and in the exhibit were some dresses and garments by 5 California female designers (out of the 5 I only knew of 2, Holly Harp and 1 other, some of the garments were from the 1960s and early 1970s and had Hippie style influences. I thought of your dress, it looks a little bit of that "I wanna look like a Calif Rich Hippie" or Flower Power appeal, to me. I just wanted to comment on that is all. So maybe it is not a New York designer, but a California designer is all I am wondering now.
  2. joules

    joules Trade Member

    Yes, Miss Elliette was big on those wired hems and pleating treatments, for sure.

    The thing is, and the saying goes, that I. Magnin's bargain basement was on the 6th floor.
    All kidding aside, it really was a truly high-end retailer, so the finishes seen on this lovely ensemble, would be par for the course at that time, and not custom, or couture exactly. Just the very nice quality one would typically encounter. Things stayed that way into the 80s, up until nearly the end.
  3. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    Just my thought too, that high-end ready-to-wear of that time would probably include things like fabric-covered snaps and a certain amount of hand-finishing. And whatever else it may be - it is a totally stunning ensemble!

  4. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  5. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Hi again, Sorry for the delayed response - I didn't mean to imply that the Saz dresses weren't well-made (I actually came across one Saz dress I would love to buy), it's just that the ones I came across in my research appeared stylistically more bohemian/hippie/ethnic/rock star and this set looks more garden party "white-bread" wedding guest - a little more of a nod to the current styles of the day but still within the rich neighborhood comfort zone! I could be wrong but that's my impression.
    Do you happen to know if I. Magnin actually carried Saz? I wonder where I could find that information - if anyone knows, please let me know & thanks for your responses!
  6. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Malcolm Starr was one of my first instincts as his designs were definitely carried at I. Magnin - although I haven't seen anything stylistically that confirms that hunch - the dresses I did see, including the Elinor Simmons for Malcolm Starr dresses are really beautiful though.... thanks!
  7. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Hello again - Your "California Designer" theory makes a lot of sense - the set & I are in Los Angeles & although I. Magnin was before my time, there must have been one here - I know there was one in San Fransisco because my Grandmother was actually one of the head buyers! What exhibit did you see? Maybe I could look it up and see who the other female designers were (love Holly Harp!) You are exactly right about this set feeling "California Rich Hippie".... Thanks again so much for all your help!
  8. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member


    It was at The Autry in Los Angeles, titled "California's Designing Women" and just opened this weekend. Not a lot on fashion design, as much as all phases of design. Oh and the swimsuits were cool too. I highly recommend a visit, plus it is in the park so there is also the Griffith Park Zoo. Saturday there is plenty of free parking and a farmers market right there, with yummy food and fun. The Autry also has some great antique clothing in the permanent Western exhibit. And the Native textiles! WOW! I am definitely going back. I went as part of a CSA group for a private tour.

    I wrote down the names of the fashion designing women, it is in the bottom of my massive purse and I will dig them out tomorrow.

  9. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s Trade Member

    it's fabulous, very distinct.

    another possible designer of this period that would fit this (kind of wild, high end, californian) is kiki hart. she was sold at i. magnin.
  10. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Barbara - Thanks so much for the info on the exhibit at the Autry Museum - I have never been before . It sounds like a really fun day & I have been longing for a trip back to Griffith Park Zoo!

    Joan - just looked up Kiki Hart - what I saw was lovely - I didn't know about her, thank you for bringing her to my attention.

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