Monday, September 08, 2008

1974 Donald Brooks Evening Pajamas

Donald Brooks began his design career in the mid 1950's working for a junior sportswear line called Darbury. Darbury was a relatively inexpensive line, but Brooks made the clothing look great by using unexpected fabrics for his designs. In 1959, Brooks moved to Townley, where he replaced the late Claire McCardell, and was able to use more expensive fabrics to design elegant clothing for daytime and luxurious fashions for evening.

After winning two Coty awards, Brooks opened his own company in 1965. With his own label, Brooks' signature look started to appear. He loved to use bold patterns and striking color combinations. He continued to be a style innovator and won another Coty award in 1970.

Brooks closed his business in 1973, but he continued to design with various licensing agreements, including loungewear for Maidenform. By the 1980's, Brooks produced custom garments, which he sold privately from his town house on East Seventieth Street in New York.

Through the years Brooks also designed costumes for the theatre, film, and television industries, for which he was nominated for several awards.

The evening pajama set shown above was pictured in the November 1974 issue of Harper's Bazaar, and is one of Donald Brooks' licensed designs for Maidenform. Consisting of a tunic and pants with some of the widest bell hems you'll ever see, this set was made from a tiger print jersey woven with metallic threads. The set retailed for $200 (about $875 today), and was sold at Altman's, Marshall Field, and I. Magnin.

The model wears a wide cuff bracelet and glitzy sandals.