Fashion History

Guest post on American vintage fashion by Monica D. Murgia

JANE STIEG - 1967 April/May in San Francisco on a cable car (credits: Stieg family)
JANE STIEG – 1967 April/May in San Francisco on a cable car (credits: Stieg family)
Dear readers, today, for the first time, I propose you a guest post from one of my readers. She is Monica D. Murgia ( an American girl with Sicilian origins, who often comments the photos of TheFashion Commentator Fb page. Sometimes she writes a post about
them adding some interesting links between art, fashion and culture. Monica is an adjunct professor of “fashion and textile courses” at many institutions (recently at the Berkeley College of New York), but her passion for fashion was born since her childhood when she used to look through an encyclopedia volume that illustrated the history of costume. At the moment she is into American vintage fashion cataloging the entire Stieg collection of the Baum School of Art in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This particular collection of clothes belonged to Stieg Jane, an American woman married to a wealthy engineer. Every year from 1958 to 1968 she made huge orders of specially tailored clothes by the Utah Tailoring Mills, a fashion house from Ogden, Utah. I highly recommend to read her article dedicated to the collection and to this particular American
brand active until 2001.

Jane Stieg collection - Utah Tailoring Mills dresses
Jane Stieg collection - Utah Tailoring Mills dress
The following text, written by Monica, refers to an image that I posted on The Fashion Commentator FB page in which I compared some vintage bags of Anna Rontani’s collection, to the latest Dolce and Gabbana baroque collection. Monica has created a further connection introducing her vintage American handbag by Ollà. Enjoy reading.
The Fashion Commentator is something that I look forward to reading every week. My family is from Sicily, and I lived in Florence for some time. News of Italian fashion is not always easy to get in America, so I value Alessandro’s observations and reporting on the trends, fashion, and cultural history. His latest article explored the exhibit on Anna Rontani’s couture collection. A famous writer, Rontani amassed an impressive fashion collection. Before going to auction, her garments and accessories from 1950-1980s were on display. All of the images were dazzling. From Alessandro’s post, I got a real feeling of what the exhibition was like and just how impressive Rontani’s fashion sense was. Several pieces caught my attention. I particularly liked Alessandro’s connection between a vintage purse and the latest Baroque collection by Dolce Gabbana. Along with the Miss Sicily collection, Dolce Gabbana offers amazing tapestry bags for this fall/winter.
Dolce & Gabbana - Fall Winter 2012 collection Dolce & Gabbana - Fall Winter 2012 collection
I really liked this bag, and it was on my mind for a while. I could hardly believe my eyes when I found this tapestry bag by Ollà. This bag is vintage, made in America in 1966. I was able to figure this out because the original tags were still attached to the handle. Usually, it is difficult to date an object down to the year. Italian design houses have superior quality – that is part of what you can expect from the “Made in Italy” label. This is mainly because Italian designers keep production in the country. Vintage products that were made in America, like this handbag, also are of very good quality. When production is kept domestic, it allows the brand to monitor the entire manufacturing process. Finding this bag made me feel like I have the best of both worlds! Italian style, but made in America; vintage and trendy at the same time. And it was all possible because of the great articles from The Fashion Commentator. Thanks, Alessandro!
American vintage fashion - Ollà bag - 1966   American vintage fashion - Ollà bag - 1966
American vintage fashion - Ollà bag - 1966

Italian architect into fashion. Art curator in love with books, flea markets and interior design.

4 Comments on “Guest post on American vintage fashion by Monica D. Murgia

  1. Che bello questo collegamento tra Italia e Stati Uniti all’insegna della moda.
    Mi piace molto l’idea che da una foto su Facebook e da un commento possano nascere spunti infiniti da una parte all’altra del pianeta. Bello!

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