Deadstock with its original tag still attached, this mid-1960s Vera Maxwell lightweight coat or duster showcases the rich, tonal hues of natural, unbleached silk tussah, or raw silk, with flecks, streaks, and bands of sand, wheat, and cocoa woven through. It exemplifies the classic lines and ease of motion Maxwell’s designs were known for, as well as the texturally rich fabrics that were her trademark.
The long-sleeved coat, with notched collar and cuffs, has a slightly A-line, skirted silhouette due to its princess seaming and the gored construction in back. The lightweight fabric has an almost fluid drape to it. Lined in matching taupe silk, the coat has onseam pockets and closes with 10 self-fabric buttons.
The designer’s signature wine, white and green colorblocked label is present, as well as a paper hang tag indicating that the fiber is 100% silk.
Vera Maxwell’s career spanned the mid-1930s through the mid-1980s, with her company, “Vera Maxwell Originals”, launched in 1947. She introduced important and innovative designs along the way—from “Rosie-the-Riveter" overalls and wrap blouses in the 1940s and 50s to Ultrasuede clothing and easy-to-wear “Speedsuits” in the 1970s. Retrospectives of her work were held by both the the Smithsonian Institute (in 1970) and the Museum of the City of New York (in 1978).
Vera Maxwell’s emphasis on classic, timeless style in interesting fabrics (which she regularly travelled the globe to source) remained utterly consistent through the decades. It was her belief that well-chosen wardrobe pieces should remain fashionable for 10 to 15 years, and her loyal customers (Grace Kelly among them) proved the truth of this edict by wearing their favorite Maxwell designs for years, with perhaps a hemline tweak or two to keep things current.
A pioneering proponent (along with Bonnie Cashin and Claire McCardell) of the “American Look” –aka sportwear—Maxwell created mix-and-match ensembles with coats throughout her career. A voracious traveller who sourced her fabrics globally, the worked frequently with silk tussah, both unbleached and in vibrantly dyed colors, in the 1950s through the 1970s.
Measuring bust 36”, shoulders 15”, sleeves 22”, waist 32”, and length center back to hem 39”, this deadstock coat is in excellent condition.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
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NOS Vintage 1960s Vera Maxwell Natural Silk Tussah Coat
$165 SALE PENDING
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