Sunday, March 22, 2015

Junk Love: Lilli Ann

Think of the last time you saw Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland. Imagine Alice finding that charming little cottage in Wonderland, and the White Rabbit rushing in, screaming, "Mary Ann! Mary Ann!" Now replace that with "Lilli Ann!", and you will understand how my brain works sometimes.
But on to other matters, like the fact that the Blackbird girls love Lilli Ann clothing, especially from the 1960s and before.... We're all about a tiny waist, dramatic collar and unusual sleeve--all things that epitomize Lilli Ann. Oh, and did I mention coats? (But we'll save those for the end....)

The company began in 1933, and they used a lot of unusual fabrics after WWII that became characteristic of the line. We have a fabulous variegated tweed suit in our shop (shown below) that was made of a silk/wool blend. Unfortunately, due to the fact that silk tends to become very fragile over time, and the nature of the weave itself, the wool strands often exert too much pressure on the silk threads, thereby causing the fabric to shred at stress points. Ours has this problem at the shoulders, which broke our hearts. But it's still gorgeous!

In our shop
Here's a near-perfect suit in a variegated silk blend:
On Etsy
A side view of another near-perfect example of the same design:
www.lulusvintage.com

And here's the original ad for it from Vogue (1955):
Love that accordion sleeve? Here's another version, with mink trim:
On Etsy
 The company's designers definitely loved fur collars, which you'll see on suits and coats. This green suit is another to-die-for example of Lilli Ann perfection:

On Etsy
And some great fur-trimmed coats:
On Etsy

On Etsy

I absolutely fell in love with this 1940s beaded suit. Even though there's some damage, it's fabulous:
On Etsy
This 1950s dress came as a bit of a surprise, as it was vastly different from most of the other Lilli Ann pieces that I've seen (but I have always focused mainly on suits and coats, so I suppose it makes sense). This one is pale gray with a pink, green, and metallic gold print.
On Etsy
But the thing I love the most is the wasp-waisted princess coat. This brown one is a fine example:
On Etsy
But THIS ONE IS MY DREAM FANTASY. I want to hold this coat, and love it and squeeze it (but not hard enough to damage the fabric!)...!
On Etsy
Could a coat possibly be any more fabulous than this? Why yes, actually. If you add Persian lamb to the sleeves:
www.1stdibs.com
And...I just went into cardiac arrest. I think we're done here.

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