Saturday, July 14, 2018

1960's Catalina Swim Suit: Pucci Style Print on a One Piece Bathing Suit

This terrific Catalina swimsuit with it's Pucci inspired design is a perfect example of a one-piece maillot or romper from the late 1960's or early 1970's. It has many details that I will show here, so you can really see how these bathing suits were made.

In the photo above, the body shaping is apparent. This suit has a built in bra, along with a back zipper and attached lining in the bottoms. The fabric is a nylon tricot that has limited stretch 'side to side' and no stretch 'up and down', so it cannot be stepped into, and must have a back zipper. There is a narrow belt around the waistline and ball buttons at the neckline.

The briefs have 'boy leg' style, with a very short 'leg' that has princess seamlines in the back to create a smooth fit.

The back view shows how the zipper fits from the scoop neckline down to the hip level.  The princess seamlines are also seen here in the briefs.

The straps don't stretch, but they do have buttons to change the length. Inside the 'hard cup' bra is sewn to the lining of the neckline.  The neckline is faced with a stretch mesh, and the bra cups are sewn to that as shown below.

The picture above shows the narrow belt with clear ball buttons like the ones at the neckline.

The lining for the bottoms is white tricot, sewn into the waistline. It has elastic at the legs to keep this panty in place.

Designed and made in California, Catalina swimwear was a staple in the regional design community, known for quality and fashion styles.

This swimsuit is listed for sale in my shop, PintuckStyle on Etsy. The measurements for it are included with the listing if you are interested in that information.

Friday, April 20, 2018

1950's Day Dress by Anjac: Audrey Hepburn Style

This 1950's day dress by Anjac of Los Angeles is a perfect example of a mid-decade look for adult women.  It has the classic hourglass silhouette with a dropped waistline, so popular worn by Audrey Hepburn as designed by Givenchy ("Love in the Afternoon" and "Funny Face", 1957). This figure revealing silhouette had a popular style termed “corsage”.  It was look was worn by fashionable women with slender waistlines. Although the dress has a fitted bodice or corsage, it is not as tightly boned like a corset.

The fashionable bodice has several iconic details from the 50's: wing collar (this one is two layer), with a white top collar to frame the face, 3/4 length kimono sleeves that are cut in one with the bodice. These have turned back cuffs and a center front button closure with self covered buttons from the "V" neckline to hem.

A slender body silhouette is achieved by having the fitted torso with dropped waistline. By lowering a gathered skirt to the hip bone, the waistline doesn't look bulky and full.

The unique "atomic" or futuristic fabric pattern is screen printed in white on what seems to be an acetate textile with some shine in soft gray. The fabric texture enhances the dress design, creating emphasis for the skirt folds.

The dress's label is designed to promote California fashion. This marketing technique was popular among companies in the region who hoped to see their products displayed in "California boutiques" at department stores throughout the US.

More photos of this dress can also be seen in my shop Pintuck Style.

Anjac labelThe dress label reads:
Anjac fashions
Made in California
Styled by Jack Needleman

ANJAC story

The Anjac label was designed in Los Angeles for over 30 years. The company was founded by Jack Needleman, who named his new apparel company by combining his name with his wife Annette’s. Needleman had moved to Los Angeles with his wife in 1943 from New York City. In New York he worked in the apparel industry as a jobber. Although Anjac was begun to produce dresses, his business focus would later center on more profitable real estate transactions in the Garment District. By the 1960’s this was to become the force of his business.

Anjac designer, Ilse Metchek, joined the company in 1967. She arrived from Catalina, having worked there designing sportswear. At Anjac her profitable styles financed Needleman’s property expansions in the garment district where he would build an empire that exists today and includes many important historical buildings in the area. He would pass away in 1999, the properties now managed by his family.

Needleman maintained the Anjac label until 1984, when he sold it to Metchek. Under her leadership the company was renamed “Ilse M. Inc”. Metchek designed for her label until 1990 when she gave it up to take a position as president at White Stag. Today Ilse Metchek is president of the California Fashion Association in Los Angeles, which she formed in 1994 to promote unity and compliance within the local apparel industry.


Fit to a T: from modeling to management, Ilse Metchek taps into her decades in the apparel business to guide the California Fash, by Maya Meinert: Los Angeles Business Journal, March 23, 2009,

Jack Needleman, OBIT, by Myrna Oliver: Los Angeles Times: May 4, 1999,

Orpheum Owner Steve Needleman Is Bringing Life Back to Broadway, by Jason Mandell: LA Downtown News: Sept. 24, 2004,

(this blog post is taken from a previous article published here on Pintucks)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Vintage Fashion Dirndls

Fashion Dirndl Dress:

In the 1950’s a dress with gathered skirt called a dirndl became widely popular.  Originating in Europe, this hourglass fashion silhouette emphasized a full skirted, close bodied dress that closely followed in style many regional costumes.  The term is German and began to be used in the 1930's to describe a fitted dress with gathered skirt. Popular fashion influenced by this folkwear, were often made in authentic cottons and challi prints.  They became popular following the rise of Dior's New Look in 1947.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Lilli Ann: 1955 Jacket, a Closer Look at the Diamond Details

The Lilli Ann label carries with it an aura of mid-century feminine mystic. While photos of jackets with that label are easy to find, close up details are not often shown. This example is a well fitted short body suit jacket in a silhouette that was popular during the early and mid-1950's. I have seen similar styles with the Lilli Ann label that used the same shades of wool, so it is probably part of a suit collection that was created in the same fabric.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Lilli Ann, 1949 Jacket: A Closer Look at Details and Dates in a 1940's jacket

Lilli Ann 1940s jacket in brown

Lilli Ann suit designs from the 1940's have a distinctly different silhouette from the suits produced in the 1950's. While the longer length skirt is a clue to the era a suit was designed in, often those have been altered to suit current styles. The jacket however will have significant details specific to the 1940's.  I'm slowly listing the best of my collection, and this jacket is a favorite of mine.  Here are some of the details that I think make it a stand out piece.