Vintage Designer Vera Maxwell
Vera Maxwell. A massive name in the design world from the 40’s to the 70’s and now forgotten about. Her fashion mantra was designing clothing to be both fashionable and functional and in that she most definitely succeeded. In a 1964 New York Times article, Maxwell’s clothes were described as “handsome, interesting, and eminently wearable.”
Born in New York city in 1901, Vera became well known in the 1930’s for her fashionable sportswear designs after she gave up ballet dancing and modeling to pursue a career in making comfortable, wearable clothes.
In 1947, she founded her own label called Vera Maxwell originals and by the 1970’s her clothing was sold in over 700 stores. She was best known for her classic separates and suits. She often used fabrics from men’s clothes or different countries, rough Indian silks even camel’s hair. She had the ability to turn these heavy fabrics into something sleek and beautiful.
Her practical clothing was especially appreciated during war times and she even designed several work uniforms for female factory workers, the military and other service industry sectors.
She has been honored in exhibitions in the Smithsonian and the New York city museum and some of her work is still on display in the met. I fell in love with some of the images I found of her work, my favorite being the grey one, 4th one done! Which one’s yours?
Following the precepts of her idol, Coco Chanel, Mrs. Maxwell devoted herself to making timeless clothes that women could move around in. In 1975, she showed what she called a “speed suit,” which was actually a pull-on dress with a stretch top and no zippers, buttons, snaps or ties. A woman could slip it on in seconds.