1940's Irene Lentz Suit
rare true vintage 1940's Irene for Bullocks - Wilshire striped skirt suit
Irene (aka Irene Maud Lentz, or Irene Gibbons), an important American fashion and costume designer. After gaining recognition for her flair for style through the designs she created for her small dress shop, Bullocks Wilshire offered her an opportunity to design for their Ladies Custom Salon which catered to a wealthy clientele including of course, many Hollywood actresses. Her designs received so much attention from the film community that studios began to contact her to design wardrobes for their productions. Her first film work was in 1933 but her first big break as a costume designer was in 1937 when she was hired to design gowns for Ginger Rogers in the movie she starred in with Fred Astaire, “Shall We Dance.” She continued to design costumes for other Hollywood leading ladies like Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Marlene Dietrich, Lana Turner, Doris Day and more…
In 1941, Cedric Gibbons (regarded as the most important production designer in American film history) hired her to replace iconic designer Gilbert Adrian at MGM who of course was famous for so many things including Dorothy’s ruby red slippers in the 1930’s original version of The Wizard of Oz and also for Joan Crawford’s shoulder pads which created the trend that seems to have also inspired this design.
The “Irene” clothing line (under the same original label attached to this suit) was one of only two to have its own salon at Los Angeles’ famous Bullocks Wilshire luxury department store; the other was Coco CHANEL.
For more interesting information on this prolific designer whose brilliant and recognizable work spanned several decades, you can click on the following links:
if you've shopped with me for a while, you may know that sometimes it doesn't seem like i'm in much of hurry to sell some of the items that i feel fortunate enough to acquire... this is why: details. i fall completely and madly in love with the details you can only find in the work of very good designers. the details are often small and not immediately evident; in fact, sometimes it's hard to get them to translate through photographs but the details are what make things special. and this suit is special.
from the rich herringbone wool striped fabric to the luxurious black silk lining. gorgeous figure-flattering seam work, hand-stitched finishing details, weighted hem... beautiful.
- classic forties silhouette with strong shoulders and a fitted pencil skirt
- black silk (looks and feels like, no content tags but contact us for more information if verification is important to you) lining
- internal shoulder pads
- beautiful hourglass seam work
- turned cuffs
- weighted hem
- back rear vent on skirt
- side metal zipper
Measurements given are ''actual'' measurements of the item taken from the outside of the garment. Please consider your individual comfort and compare measurements accordingly. For more information regarding our sizing, or measurement process please review our
lots of seam allowance for possible alterations if necessary; please see photos of insides
jacket, bust-35-36", waist-28-29", shoulders-15 1/4", sleeves-22" with cuff turned (can be turned deeper for 3/4 length sleeves as there's fabric on the underside at the wrists), length-25"
skirt, waist-26", hips-37", length-25 1/2"
excellent. appears to have only been worn lightly and stored well. no fading, or holes detected. label needs a few stitches to secure and lining at armholes will need some stitching.
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