Saturday, August 30, 2008

1961 Branell Mink Trimmed Suit

My attempts to find information about the Branell label have turned up nothing except items for sale on the web. But isn't this suit from 1961 simply stunning? This ad appeared in the September 1961 issue of Vogue magazine.

The ad copy reads, "American Chic: circa 1961. Branell expresses it in a blend of Dacron polyester. Opulence! and purely American opulence - lean, limber, understated. Hilda Altmark of Branell, one of America's designing greats, finds new imagery for this look in Raefords' Dacron polyester, worsted wool and nylon, trimmed with dyed mink. Shapes it, here, in a blouson dress and eased jacket. Today, tomorrow, and tomorrow, this costume will have the same sure opulence, Because it blends wool and nylon with the enlightened chic of Dacron. About $350. At Best, & Co., New York; Joseph Magnin, Juklius Garfinckel, Gus Mayer, Montaldo's."

There are a few things we can talk about here. First of all, the list of stores that sold this suit includes some of the elite department stores across the country in 1961. At $350, this suit was quite an investment. The same suit would cost you about $2500 today. Certainly, Branell was an upscale brand worn by women with money to spend.

This ad shows the DuPont logo prominently in the lower right corner, and the headline states that the suit is made from a blend of Dacron polyester. "Dacron" was DuPont's registered trademark for its polyester fiber, which was introduced in the US in 1951. The polyester fibers would give added shape retention to the fabric, to help avoid the sagging and bagging that can happen over time with a natural fiber such as wool. The polyester would also help with resistance to moths.

The model is wearing a high crown pillbox hat by Mr. John, and white DuPont nylon gloves. The jacket is trimmed with black mink at the hem and has a mink wedding ring collar.

Get the look with this black wool suit trimmed in sheared beaver fur from another famous suit maker, Jack Feit. Available at our website. Click the picture to see the listing.