When you first look at this well made dress, you can easily see why I call it my "That Girl" dress. Anyone who ever watched Marlo Thomas in her TV show, That Girl, can just picture her in this dress.....and, of course, she would be wearing her `60's Breton style hat to compliment her stylish dress!
The story behind the label on this dress is quite interesting. The two men whose names are on the label, Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman began their business together in 1959. Each man had originally started careers in different fields than the fashion industry. Shannon had studied architecture and Silverman, a Harvard graduate at 16, had studied law. Each left these initial endeavors and luckily for collectors joined forces in the garment business designing and manufacturing "day and afternoon" dresses, as well as cocktail dresses. These dresses were recognized as "better dresses" with simple yet elegant lines and were often sold in specialized ladies dress shops, as is the case with this particular dress sold originally at the Sarah Cohen shop in Norfolk, Virginia. The partners business ended in 1978 and in 1979 Rodgers and Silverman began a new project in collaboration with Kent State University in Ohio. The two men had collected antique clothing and textiles for many years and had an extensive collection and with an eye to preserving these many items, they created the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Design in 1983 at Kent State. Sadly, Jerry died in October of 1984 before the museum was officially opened in September of 1985. Shannon continued to work with the Museum until his death in 1996. Today, the clothing items that bear the label, Shannon Rodgers For Jerry Silverman, have become highly collectable.
The material used in this dress is very linear and has a slight architectural feel to it's criss-cross pattern, possibly reflecting Rodgers original training. The background is white and looks a little like linen. The light cocoa brown design has the appearance of being woven and stitched on the white background in many window like squares and has a nice amount of detail when examined closely. The bodice is fitted with darts at the bustline and the skirt is A-Line with a definite waistline (slight gathers at the waistline). Off white linen details give this dress a very smart style.....Peter Pan collar with top stitching, half belt (also topstitched) which attaches to each side of the dress with two round off white plain buttons and extends around the back of the garment (one of the buttons is actually functional and can be buttoned and unbuttoned....the other is not) and the nice strip of linen that serves as the flap (topstitched, too) which the non functional 4 off white button are attached. This dress is sleeveless and fully lined. The skirt is lined with white muslin material and has an attached slip made from synthetic brown material.....the same brown material lines the bodice. There is a metal zipper back closure. The collar has three metal hook and eye closures at the back of the collar. There are dart seams on each side of this collar on the back of the dress at the shoulders. One last detail.....slit pockets on each side of the front of the skirt. The pockets are placed nicely in the two front seams on the A-Line and are almost invisible! Lots and lots of extra detail on this dress!
Condition: Very Good
There are some issues with this dress and this is reflected in the price. There is a faint yellowish stain on the back of the collar on the right side. There are perspiration stains on the inner brown synthetic lining in the bodice.....these are visible only on the inside of the dress and cannot be seen from the outside, as the outer underarm area is not affected and shows no staining. There are some very small irregularities in the threads that comprise the weave.....these don't look like damage, just irregularities. I have just recently had this dress dry cleaned.
Label: Shannon Rodgers for Jerry Silverman
Sarah Cohen, Norfolk (This is the store where this dress was originally sold.)
There is a Union Label and a Lot and Size Label: 12
Size: Stated as Size 12, but by today's standards, most likely a Size 8. Please refer to the following Measurements to ensure a proper fit.
Shoulder to Shoulder: 15"
Armhole Openings: 19"
Neck Opening: 20"
Shoulder to Waistline: 16 ½"
Waist to Bottom Hemline: 22"
Total Circumference of Bottom Hemline: 54"
This seller is a proud member of The Costume Society of America (CSA) and The Vintage Fashion Guild (VFG).
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