Silk velvet evening coat, c.1936
The plush velvet evening coat captures the glamour aesthetic of the 1930s. The coat is made from luxurious silk velvet, which has the opulent luxury that Fortuny so admired in Renaissance fabrics. He termed velvet "the aristocrat of stuffs."
The collar is tightly pleated around the neck to stand up and frame the face. The coat closes on the inside with ties and on the outside with two self-covered buttons—one at the neckline and one at the waist. The leg-of-mutton sleeves are puffed at the top. The coat is lined with cream colored silk faille.
During the 1930s, fashion trends were driven by more than practical economy. A different and seemingly contrary impulse had a powerful effect—the yearning for the unattainable, for the lost world of the 1920s, in short for glamour, the key concept in 1930s high style clothing.
A woman who could no longer hope to buy French couture could still admire fashionable clothing in the movies or read about it in the society pages. Paradoxically, glamour in clothes was more important in the 1930s than it ever was before or since. Glamour signified romance and excitement, especially with an alluring, mysterious quality.
The opulent burgundy hue gives our luxe coat an enduring significance and charm. Indeed, it is a coat with an "attitude," conveying both old money assurance and the confidence of supreme stylishness.
The condition is almost excellent. It shows gentle wear. The lining is lightly soiled along the hem.
It measures: 36" bust, 32" waist, 44" hip, 15" from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, 24" sleeve length, and 54" from shoulder to hem.