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Historic Clothing Collection

1970-1980

(Page 3 of 3) Print Version 
Bold print caftan, ca. 1975
Bold print caftan, ca. 1975Maine Historical Society

The present 1970s group is rounded out with three garments showing the influence of leading designers, and one with the designer’s label. A long sleeved, mandarin collar lounging or caftan-type garment with knotted buttons is made of cotton sateen with a large bold lime, purple, gold and turquoise print design, very similar to those produced by Catherine Ogust for Penthouse Gallery, New York, the company on the caftan's label. The fabric is also reminiscent of influential Italian designer Emilio Pucci, whose name is synonymous with colorful, dramatic prints.

A Chanel style collarless edge to edge jacket made of diamond quilted pale gray, white and silver lurex flecked fabric is trimmed with nubby lurex flecked braid. It is designed to wear over a dress that features a cream satin bodice attached to the just below knee length matching quilted skirt. The expertly dressmaker-made ensemble is labelled: "Martha Mclean, Portland." At present, this is the collection’s only example of the famous, classic, Channel-style jacket. Near the end of her career in the 1960s and 1970s, Chanel earned acclaim with her beautiful braid trimmed jacket suits.

Metallic lurex gown, ca. 1975
Metallic lurex gown, ca. 1975Maine Historical Society

Also featuring metallic lurex, a lined high neck, long sleeve, slim evening dress is made of a gold flecked red and green paisley print nylon chiffon. It features thick yellow yarn and gold lurex braid edging the neckline, cuffs and inset waistband areas which are studded with multi-colored glass beads. This dress was likely influenced by Yves St. Laurent’s 1970s, exotic, richly embellished fashions inspired by an eclectic mix of embroidered ethnic dress culled from regions worldwide.

'B Green Room' gown, ca. 1975
'B Green Room' gown, ca. 1975Maine Historical Society

Perhaps the most elegant, and certainly unusual, evening dress in the collection is a Geoffrey Beene long gray wool A-line, high waist, sleeveless, square neck dress. The upper bodice features a two-inch wide band of solid diamanté beading that forms a square yoke, and becomes shoulder straps. The lower skirt inside seam bears a label marked "B Green Room," and includes the Beene signature cursive "B." The gown is associated with Cecile P. Carver of Cape Elizabeth.