FINAL REPORT ON STUDY GARMENT
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VINTAGE STUDY GARMENT

JENN VERMILLION'S COSTUME HISTORY PAGE 

I chose a 1960's Persian lamb jacket for my historical garment study. The coat was a product of Evans furrier of Chicago. Evans, Inc. is a 70 year old Chicago based furrier that had several outlets throughout the country. However the company has been in decline for several years and is downsizing its operations. There doesn't seem to be a high demand for fur like there has been in the past. Luckily Evans produced one of the most beautiful vintage coats I have ever seen. The coat is absolutely stunning and you would be able to purchase this type of coat today between $25.00 to $99 .00 depending on its condition. It is a midnight black with a beautiful light sable mink collar. It has a subtle swing to it and is belted in the back for detail. The lining is a matted silk flower pattern that blends beautifully with the Persian lamb. It is double breasted and has elastic button closures. The sleeves are oversized and full in length. It appears to be around a size 10.  It measures 27 inches in length and 17 inches across the shoulders.  It has no pleats or darts and the seams are barely visible.  My source Frances Cidella is a very tiny lady.  I am sure the coat swallows her but I am sure in her younger days she looked very beautiful in it.  The reason I chose this garment is because I have always been interested in vintage coats especially furs like sable, mink, chinchilla and of course Persian lamb. I admire the detail and the various patterns used in the 1950's and 1960's. During this time there was no talk about avoiding fur coats, but of course future environmentalists would make fur garments politically incorrect and controversial.

The coat is in great condition and still bears the Evans name on the inside lining. I believe the reason it is in such good condition is because the owner treasured this coat. It was a gift from her late husband. She only wore it on special occasions such as, weddings and special dinner parties. The first time she wore the coat was in 1965 on her 25th wedding anniversary when her and her husband went to Toronto for a vacation. She remembered her husband had been on a trip to Chicago a few months earlier and had bought the coat as an anniversary gift. Til this day she can't figure out how he managed to keep it a secret until their anniversary trip. She is not sure if her husband purchased the coat directly from an Evans shop or if he bought it at one of the various boutiques that carried Evans furs. To her it really didn't matter where he got it, she knew it was special and he even had her initials put inside the coat. She told me that whenever she wore it you could tell how proud he was for such a find and always told her she looked good in fur. I loved the fact that she remembered so many details just by looking at her coat.

Information Source: Frances Cidella



I found a wonderful site on Fashion Furs from the pasthttp://www.theoldtimes.com/past/0102_2.html.

 You must visit the site it is very interesting and is full of history on furs from boas to jackets and stoles.  Persian lamb jackets and coats date as far back as 1891.  I can remember how my mom treasured her mouton coat.  She loved the approaching winter season because she could take her mouton out of storage.  There was always a reason to wear her mouton no matter where she went if it was a dressy affair the coat went with her. 

Many furs have perished unless it's owner was very conscientious and went to great lengths to care for it.  I know that my Persian lamb was very well cared for.  The photos do not reveal its impeccable condition.  It really looks like new!  It has a wonderful sheen to the fur and all the buttons are intact.  Even the elastic button closures are not worn a bit.  The mink fur collar has a shimmery look to it and is still full without any bare spots.  The mink collar also has some history.  During the 1930's new shades were developed "Autumn Haze" and "Blackglama". I am not sure what shade my Persian Lamb has but it is very pretty.  A mixture of white, tan and gray creates a sable hue.  In the postwar years mink reached its peak and became a dominant status fur.  Women craved mink whether it be a jacket, coat, stole or trim as on my Persian lamb.  I am sure some Vintage dealer would love to have it but my source would never part with the jacket.  It's a piece of history but to her more than that it's a symbol of love between her and her beloved husband.  I'll soon return the jacket to her and it will go back into the aging garment bag once again. It will hang dormant until a rainy day entices her to reminis once more and she'll take it out and look and feel and remember......                       

  FRONT AND BACK SKETCH - SHOWING SEAM PLACEMENTS

 

ANOTHER INTERESTING SITE TO VISIT!

Since I was unable to produce a pattern for my jacket I searched the web and found an interesting site that contained many vintage patterns.  I found a Butterick pattern that was very similar to my jacket.  It would need to be altered a bit by cutting the collar lower and also adding buttons to the left side of the coat to make it appear double breasted.  To view the pattern please visit the site at http://www.vintagecat.com/womans.htm.  It is Butterick pattern #5608 and is view number 7.  It is described as a short swagger that flares in front and back.      

http://www.vintageblues.com/history3.htm

PLEASE CLICK ON LINK TO PHOTO PAGE FOR JACKET PHOTOS

http://www.vamp-offashion.4t.com/photo.html