A really fabulous wardrobe staple, beautifully constructed. The Met museum describe Griffe as ‘remembered as a master in draping and cut and understanding the relationship between the fabric and the body’ - this is a real sculptural look.. and I know it's black but how very useful? No fastenings, duster or edge to edge style.
I’ve found a photo dated 1953, of what seems to be the same coat with a damask lining. I wondered if this coat has been relined, as the label appears to have moved (or one -retailer? - is missing). It's been very nicely done if so, with piped seams etc.
The back of the label has a number '506503' written in pen.
I think the outer fabric is a silk ottoman - faille's big expensive brother! I’ve not got anything to do a burn test on, but wouldn’t surprise me.
Bust 40" - I measured across the back, so there is a little give bust wise as edge to edge.
Hips n/a (trapeze)
Total length s-h approx 40"
Good and immediately wearable with noted minor flaws;
- query relining? underarm repairs made to one side, well done and unseen when worn, obviously
-evidence of snaps? around neckline with lining, one nick to fabric where removed?
- backs of both armpits have very slight pulls to seam - please see close ups. It's not immediately apparent.
Otherwise coat is very clean, and I would be happy to wear immediately.
Jacques Griffe (1917-1996) was one of the great French couturiers of the mid-20th Century. As a boy, Griffe was taught sewing, first by his seamstress mother and then by a local tailor. He then worked for and trained with Mirra, a couturier in Toulouse. In 1936 he went to Paris where he was employed by Vionnet. There he learned the art of draping and cutting the fabric the Vionnet way – using a small jointed mannequin.
After WWII Griffe worked briefly as an assistant to Molyneux and opened his own design establishment in 1946. Though his collections were small, he gained attention in the fashion press. In 1950 he took over the house of Molyneux, as Molyneaux was retiring. Besides his couture collections, Griffe also did a ready-to-wear line, “Evolution.”
Griffe was known for the cut and drape of his garments – a lasting effect of his years at Vionnet. He retired in 1968.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com
(Information courtesy of VFG label resource , vintagefashionguild.org)