Today, while still having a fabulous time on our travels to the Pacific coast joy that is Vancouver, I am profoundly delighted to bring you a special guest post from of my dearest and most treasured online friends, Joanna, who many of you will know from her stellar, informative, elegant and always engagingly beautiful blog, Dividing Vintage Moments.
Joanna is, bar none, the most knowledgeable expert on the once hugely popular mid-century American fashion line Lilli Ann that I have ever encountered. From her vast collection of ads to her wonderful wardrobe peppered with incredibly lovely Lilli Ann garments that she has collected over the years, Joanna's passion for this brand is incredible and inspiring.
My own love of the company and their chic designs has increased exponentially since discovering Joanna's marvelous blog, and this morning I'm thrilled to bring you an introductory post on Lilli Ann written by Joanna herself. I'm honoured and thrilled about this and hope that you'll fall even more in love with Lilli Ann after you read this terrific guest post.
Thank you so much for sharing your passion for, and expertise on, Lilli Ann, with us dear Joanna You're awesome! ♥
When Jessica asked if I might do a guest post, I was very honored and I had to think a bit about what I might write about. I thought about the art and the history of vintage and what it is about vintage that appeals to me. Then, I thought about some of my most memorable posts from my blog and thought that Lilli Ann would be a great topic to discuss.
I thought I might share a bit of the history of the company, vintage advertisements, and of course wonderful suits and coats in my collection. I've also included some Lilli Ann advertisements that you may not have seen before. There are quite a few bloggers who have blogged about the history of Lilli Ann, so I'll keep it brief and image heavy instead.
The main focus of the Lilli Ann Company was in women’s suits and coats. Lilli Ann advertised in many vintage fashion magazines like Glamour, Bazaar, and Vogue in the late 40s to the early 50s. The height of Lilli Ann style was in the mid-1950s. There is something very timeless, chic, and classic about the Lilli Ann silhouette from the mid-50s.
Brief History of Lilli Ann
The Lilli Ann Company began in San Francisco in 1934. Adolph Schuman started the company and named it after his wife Lillian. According to Vintage Fashion Guild, Schuman went to Paris after WWII and started adding "Paris" to the label. He bought many textiles from French companies after the war and helped saved many from closing. He helped to show European weavers how to modernize their systems. Schuman died in 1985 and the company closed by 2000.
Some Lilli Ann suits also contain the name "Adolph Schuman", this occurs more in the later period of the Company’s history. Schuman, through his Paris connection, gained contacts with such fashion masters as Channel and Balenciaga. It is said that Balenciaga anonymously contributed design ideas for the Lilli Ann line as a personal favor to Schuman. Lilli Ann clothing was made from the best textiles imported from France and Italy. A great link if you'd like to learn more on the history of Lilli Ann can be found in this Ruby Lane post.
One of the earliest advertisements I've been able to find is from 1947, as seen below from this Vogue magazine below. The first original labels had black backgrounds and focused on the "California edge" for marketing.
Here are some additional Lilli Ann advertisements from various fashion magazines:
1950s ad, don't think the dog is all too happy :):
I scanned these images specifically for you to see dear CV readers. You may not have seen these before:
Glamour Magazine January 1954, how interesting to see Dorian Leigh with blonde hair! When you see the label Lilli Annette, it was catered to the petite lady or very glamorous teenager.
There are a plethora of Lilli Images on Pinterest and MyVintageVogue also has some great examples.
Here are also a few images of some of the Lilli Ann outfits I own and adore:
You honestly can't go wrong with a Lilli Ann princess coat!
A vintage ad for the very Lilli Ann coat from 1949 that I'm wearing here:
Hope you enjoyed this small journey into the look of Lilli Ann. If you'd like to pay a visit to my blog, I am at DividingMoments.Blogspot.com.
Thank you, Jessica, for allowing me to be a guest blogger! And thank you CV readers! I hope you know add Lilli Ann into your wardrobe.