An exquisite, couture quality, black silk faille, self-lined swing coat, hand finished, possibly hand-sewn, possibly salon made (no retail label) late 1940's-early 1950's. Curved yoke, bell sleeve cut as one piece front and back, diamond styling to the sides, single large button, collarless, princess seams. So beautifully constructed that but for the final hand-finished seams, it is identical inside and out.
We have heightened the contrast in the photos to show the detail. The coat, although it has a satin finish, is very black.
Measures: 48" across bust; 44" long; 94" bottom hem circumference.
Irene Lentz was born in Montana in the year 1900. She opened her first boutique on the campus of my alma mater, the University of Southern California, in the 1920's, designing mostly for college co-eds. She moved to Europe, returned to LA and opened a small salon where she gained favor with a very elite clientele, including Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Carole Lombard and the daughters of MGM chief Louis B. Mayer. Soon she was recruited by the luxurious Bullock's Wilshire department store, where she and Coco Chanel were the only two designers to have their own custom design salon. When Gilbert Adrian left MGM, Irene was tapped to replace him as the head of the Costume Department. At the end of the decade, weary of MGM, she secured funding from luxury department stores to design her own line. Tragically, Irene committed suicide in 1962. Other clients included, Ginger Rogers, Doris Day, Ingrid Bergman, Loretta Young... to name a few.
Irene Black Silk Faille Swing Coat Late 1940's