Saturday, February 27, 2016

From My Collection-1960's Brocade Coat

I think this dates to the 60's, though it could be a bit earlier given the quality of the closures and rick rack. The velvet trim is starting to disintegrate in spots, but it does feel like cotton velvet. At some point, it was taken-in (poorly) but I can feel through the lining they left enough of the original fabric that it could likely be restored-I'm just not sure it is worth it. The lining was also put back in place sloppily, and the closures stitched back on in a manner that is beyond slap-dash. My guess is that someone gave it to a daughter or granddaughter and the changes were made by someone inexperienced-perhaps for a quick costume. Still, for the grand sum of .99 cents at Goodwill, I thought it worth bringing home and packing away.

You also get a glimpse of the "Hollywood Regency" corner at the stair landing. Those are Danny's selections (the kid has a thing for gilt wall sconces).
 It is a very pretty coat, but the velvet is turning to powder, and after enough wears it would be threadbare. I could remove it, but I'd rather pack it away as a curiosity than wear it. It isn't really a good shape for me anyway. This is a good example of something I wouldn't sell unless I made certain the buyer really understood the fabric issues. It would be hard to grasp looking at it online. After handling the coat just enough for photos, my nails were filled with black powdery tufts from the trim. Perhaps I should have photographed that. I can't know what conditions it was stored under, but hopefully I'll be able to do a bit better and keep the deterioration from getting worse. That's the worst part about collecting vintage-knowing that sometimes all you can do is slow the inevitable. I won't even talk about trying to preserve 60's vinyl pieces (I have a sad tale of some white go-go boots I'll save for another day).
 The lining is in decent condition save for the hack-job it got being taken-in. There's a bit of age spotting, but nothing serious.

The lesson? Don't give your vintage pieces to the inexperienced learning to sew. And don't keep things in a hot ,un-ventilated attic.


Bibi Maizoon said...

And don't think your vintage pieces will survive even one miserably hot and humid South Asian monsoon, EVER.
Since the style & the botched alterations aren't anything worth preserving I'd be tempted to cut out scenes from that gorgeous brocade material and frame them. The frogs on that robe are lovely too.
White vinyl gogo boots were Bibi's fashion staple as a child in the early 70's. I still have a cracked, yellowed, peeling pair I wore when I was 5 yrs old.

Beth Waltz said...

Too true about the 60s vinyl! I once experienced the horror of having a pair of red heels disintegrate while wearing them at a ladies' luncheon -- only to be reassured by the woman seated beside me, "Oh, that happened to me, too. Just use red nail polish to hide the gaps."

There's something out of kilter with rickrack trimming an oriental robe. I'm suspecting this item is a pastiche, possibly "curtain couture" 'tho not up to Vix's high standards. Bibi is right, do consider recycling the brocade and frogs. Could you use a long vest/coat over that 70s silver catsuit? (Silver shoes and bags you've already got.)

Mim said...

Splendid pattern on that coat - what do you suppose it would have been worn with originally? Being dull, i'd probably have paired it with a black dress...

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

What an absolutely beautiful coat! How lovely you've kept it. Such a shame the velvet is going.

Have you any plans for your vintage collection in the future? Have you thought about donating it to a museum/archive or something - or would you pass it on to Danny for his children?

I think the gilt sconces are the perfect thing to display such a beautiful item!



Vix said...

The joy of selling at vintage fairs is that the buyer can see the deterioration and decide for themselves. On-line is a different beast altogether and its sod's law you'l get an illiterate loon who bids, wins and goes psycho when they receive their parcel and discover their purchase is "really old, man".
Gorgeous jacket. If it were me I'd keep it. Our weather is crap, and I've got a house full of Victorian/Edwardian clothes whose condition will probably stay as the same for the next 200 years as we don't have adequate heating or hot summers. xxx

Goody said...

I try not to scrap things unless it is so far gone it wouldn't matter. I do think this could be an interesting piece for study, someday.

I thought so too (about the trim) but then after poking about on etsy, I saw a few others done the same. Must have been made for the US market.

I think a black dress would be a good option, or perhaps it was worn over pajamas.

He has the sconces all down the stairway. Someday, I'll do a video tour.
I don't know what will become of my collection-I sort of hope a design student will want it.

Yes, it does worry me that people don't always read the fine print. I'm an honest person (I like to think) and wouldn't want anyone feeling misled.