Sequin Flapper Dress & Lamé Coat, ca. 1920
They were my grandmother's. She lived in New York. And when she passed away, they ended up in a suitcase at my sister's house in Ohio. She didn't really care to have them any longer, so my brother and I, when we were dividing up the family estate after everyone had passed away, they ended up here in Montana.
They're really wonderful garments. The period of time they come from is the 1920s. The '20s was the flapper period when people were dancing and singing and having a good time. Women had got rid of all of that understructure, the corsets. They had freedom of movement. There was a lot of money going around in America in the '20s, so there was money to spend. This gown here is just the perfect '20s gown. The diamond shapes are just like the harlequin shapes that were so popular. Very geometric. And this is French fleur-de-lis here in the center. And it's a mixture of those two styles, the French and the Deco period. The ivory is silk and the lavender color is silk chiffon and it's in just pristine, wonderful condition. In the back of the gown, there's a tiny label that says, "Made in France." So we know that this gown is a French gown. Now this coat, the fabric is made of lamè that came from France. This is gold threads woven through the fabric.
Oh, I see.
It's called gold lame. It's brocade fabric. This type of fabric is one of the hottest things on the vintage market right now. It's so expensive to make that they don't make too much of it. I saw once one that had its original price tag on, and it was around $100. And in the '20s, you could buy a new car for $600. So this was quite an investment for a woman to pay for a coat. Would you help me a minute? I want to turn the coat. This is called a cocoon coat because of the shape. It wraps around the woman. In the fashion world right now, this is quite desirable. The fur that's on it is ermine, which was the fur for kings and emperors. Your great '20s gown, on the current market, if you were to buy it at a vintage show or a good textile shop, you would expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,200 for it. The coat, this is such a hot item that you could expect to pay between $2,000 and $2,500.
Wow. I'm impressed.
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