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vintage 1950's dress ...rare Tina Leser Original cotton ethnic paisley cutout full skirt dress

vintage 1950's dress ...rare Tina Leser Original cotton ethnic paisley cutout full skirt dress

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true vintage 1950's Tina Leser Original ethnic cutout paisley full skirt cotton dress

Tina Leser (1910-1986) was born Christina Wetherill Shillard-Smith. Born into an affluent Philadelphia family she was able to travel the world and experience different cultures. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the Sorbonne in Paris.

In 1931 Tina married Curtis Leser, and they moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. It was here that Tina Leser began her career in fashion. She opened a shop in 1935 where she sold clothing that she designed. In 1940, she went to New York to  sell her designs and was able to get an order placed with Saks Fifth Avenue for 500 pieces.  She continued to live and work in Honolulu until 1942.

Due to WWII, she closed her Honolulu store and moved to New York in 1942 where she continued to run her company. In 1943 she became the head designer at Foreman and remained there until 1953. She was still an avid traveler and she created scores of designs inspired by ethnic clothing from around the world. During the postwar era, India was moving towards independence and very much in the news.  Having spent time there during her childhood, she was of course inspired by their ethnic clothing.  She was a master at taking the exotic, and turning it into something elegant, timeless, and entirely original. 

In 1953, she left Foreman, and again designed under her own label. She did evening wear, and is famous for her swimsuits, but she was an absolute master at what then would have been casual wear. Like Clare McCardell, she could work wonders with humble fabrics like ginghams and cottons, and

she was very good at unexpected plain-and-fancy pairings of fabrics, trims, and styles... and this dress is a wonderful example of her masterful skills and keen eye for design!



  • classic silhouette with a fitted bodice and a full skirt
  • gorgeous ethnic indian paisley print
  • cutout and stitched paisleys around the waistline with shirred pleating following the lines
  • wide squared neckline and back
  • shoulder skimming sleeves are held up by self ties that loop through hidden loops at the inside of her back
  • original tassels
  • bodice lined in cotton muslin
  • side seam hip pockets
  • back 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


(she has a bit of seam allowance if you need a little room)

bust-33" +cup space, waist-25", length-46"



very good/excellent with a couple minor notes. a very tiny little split on her bodice (very hard to see due to the print and has been mended) and one at the edge of her hem. please see pics. price adjusted accordingly.

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