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This is a vintage 1950s silk evening coat that was sold at high-end New York based retailer Bonwit Teller. Bonwit Teller was originally founded during the late 1880s as a millinery shop by Paul Bonwit. Bonwit partnered with Edmund Teller in 1898 and Bonwit Teller was incorporated in 1907, specializing in women’s apparel. It gained the reputation of carrying high quality merchandise and eventually became, along with Saks Fifth Avenue, Peck & Peck and B Altman, one of the high-end stores serving the “carriage trade”. Bonwit Teller gained a reputation for championing young, upcoming designers such as Christian Dior.
This coat has a long wide shawl collar that tapers to the bottom and covers the shoulders and upper back. It has no closures, so simply folds over at the front. It has 3/4 length sleeves, typical for the period, in order to allow a lady to display her gloves. The coat has a wide flare to the hemline and is meant to fit loosely over the body. It has a large patch pocket applied to either side. The coat is fully lined in similar fabric and there is a white muslin interlining. It has a below the knee length.
Colour: Midnight blue, so dark that one might call it black, but definitely has a deep blue tone to it.
Label: Bonwit Teller. In addition, there is a National Recovery Board of the Coat and Suit industry label. The National Recovery Board was a trade organization that came about in order to assure that garments were made in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards. The label assured consumers that the garment was made by workers who were not working excessive hours and who were being paid a fair hourly wage (info courtesy of the Vintage Fashion Guild). This label was used from the mid-1930s into the early 1960s.
Material: Peau de soie type silk in a satin finish.
Sizing: There is no size label, and although this should fit a large size, or perhaps a larger medium should you like it roomy, please rely on the following measurements for fit (please take the style of the coat and thickness of the fabric into consideration):
Shoulders: 14” across, from one shoulder/sleeve seam to the other shoulder/sleeve seam, but this should take the cut of the sleeve into consideration
Sleeves: 23 1/2” from the neck seam, 18 1/4” from the shoulder seam
Sleeve inseam: 14”
Bust: 46” around, taken under the arms, with a normal overlap at the front
Waist: 48” around, with a normal overlap at the front
Hemline: 88” around, no overlap
Overall length: 40", measured flat
Condition: It is in very good condition with no noted wear, tear, staining or odour.
This is a very sophisticated evening coat, constructed to accommodate wide skirt evening gowns of the 1950s - exceptional quality!
Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: Midnight blue (blue black), Size: M / L
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