Until the mid-to-late 1960's, it was common practice in the US for major department stores and manufacturers to purchase French couture garments and copy them for the American market, with the approval of the couturier. We'll look at several of these garments over the next couple of weeks. The department store's line-for-line copies were less expensive than the Paris originals, but were also produced in very limited numbers, to maintain the cache of exclusiveness. Bergdorf's custom order department refused to produce more than 30 copies of any particular Paris original, but considered 12 orders of that garment a success.
Shown above: A Dior black and white tweed suit with matching scarf and hat, copied by Saks Fifth Avenue, pictured in the September 15, 1961 issue of Vogue magazine. The magazine states that the picture is of the original Dior couture garment, not the Saks copy.
The short jacket is double breasted and has large black buttons at the front. The 3/4 sleeves are set off by long black kidskin gloves. The skirt has slit pockets set into the front Princess seams, and is slightly flared. The scarf has short black fringe.