As Seen In – Regola – 1949 convertible suit and coat

Last week when I blogged about Ellen Peterson I mentioned the patent she registered in 1949 for a suit design she called ‘Regola’, the jacket of which could be converted into a coat with the addition of a skirt and cape. Fortunately, one of the garments included with the archives was Peterson’s own copy of the suit that she brought to Canada in December 1952. The July 1949 design in the article differs from Peterson’s example which I believe originally resembled the example in the article before alterations were done in the early 1950s.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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4 Responses to As Seen In – Regola – 1949 convertible suit and coat

  1. Daniel says:

    Transformation/customisable garments are something which I am always so interested to see – I imagine they must be a nightmare to display in a way that shows the transformable quality, without having photographs/visual aids, unless you have duplicates to show different “looks”. The thinking behind this reminds me very much of some of Matilda Etches’s designs from London in the late 1940s, such as jackets designed to be worn upside down (so that the collar transformed into a peplum).

    • Jonathan says:

      It seems to be something several designers were playing with in the late 1940s – early 1950s. Not usually as inventive, but with things like jackets with two skirt options, and coats with optional turn-back cuffs – the sort of thing where you can get more than one look out of one outfit. I’d forgotten about Matilda Etches – I remember reading about her ‘blitz suits’ when I was writing the 40s book. Maybe I will make her my next obscurier couturier entry!

  2. Daniel says:

    Very appropriately, you used the picture of the outfit with the invertible jacket as an illustration to that bio! I LOVE Matilda Etches – every time I’ve examined something she made, I have been absolutely gobsmacked at the cutting and construction techniques. Truly innovative and creative – you can see why she was such a close friend of Charles James in the 1930s (he passed her his dressmaker’s dummies when he had to rush off to the United States to avoid his debtors, and she subsequently gave them to the V&A as part of her mini-archive.)

  3. Pingback: Vintage Miscellany – February 3, 2013 | The Vintage Traveler

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