A few years ago I nabbed this vintage Lilli Ann suit on ebay. It was only a little too small at the time, now it's a lot more but I hold on to the belief I'll wear it some day. I could sell it on for a good price, but it's too gorgeous to part with, and who knows if I'd ever find another at a good price and in a decent size (a lot of mid-century vintage is tiny). So anyway, I thought I share some pics and details with you. If you're interested let me know as I have a couple of dresses I could do posts on too, albeit not quite as special as this.
So first, a bit of background on Lilli Ann. The company have become a byword for particularly stylish, tailored suits. This one is quite a typical style. Adolph Schuman started the company in 1933 in San Francisco, naming the company after his wife Lillian.
This particular suit appears to have been licensed through a department store going by the Addis Company, Syracuse NY label. I googled it and found a picture of a rather swish building which had housed the, now closed down, store. It seemingly was quite an upmarket department store. I assume it would be a similar set-up to a modern day 'Designers at Debenhams' type arrangement. If anyone has any further information I'd be fascinated to hear it.
Note the fabric label? Well after the war Schuman travelled to France, opened a showroom in Paris and bought up fabric, often from small companies on the verge of post war bankruptcy saving them from going under. At this time he started adding Paris to the labels and there are similar labels showing Italy and England.
The company produced similar, fitted suits into the 50s then changed tack to a knits line and so on. Schuman himself died in the 80s but the label carried on until the end of the 90s.
The peplum is corded and stitched with contrast thread then pleated so it has lots of volume and shape. The buttons are white hard plastic and fasten through loops. I noticed one of the buttons has been re-stitched on with different coloured thread, so it's had a little more wear than I initially thought it had. It's lined with what feels to me like a silk crepe in wine. The skirt is lined in blue which I thought a bit strange.