The Distracting Suit

Before and after being assessed as part of our condition survey project, this dress spent about a day hanging on a rack with a dozen other garments next to my workspace.  Without fail, everyone who passed by ignored the other pieces on the rack and went straight to this distracting suit.

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It’s not hard to see why people are drawn to it.  The very first thing you notice is the fabric, a wonderful shot silk.  The berry-colored weft threads blend with the blue warp threads to make a brilliant purple color that shifts shade with every fold of the fabric.

Consisting of a dress and jacket, this may be one of the most well sewn garments I’ve ever seen.  The hem of the skirt has been hand slip stitched so well that it is perfectly invisible from the outside.

The zipper is also well done.  The lapped insertion allows the zipper to be perfectly hidden when the closed.  The zipper itself glides easily, even in that tricky spot where the skirt meets the bodice.

The matching jacket has covered buttons with a contrast stitching detail, bound buttonholes, and a hand inserted lining.  All the hand stitches are perfectly spaced and the machine stitching is precise.  It is really a wonderful example of craftsmanship.

I also would be interested to find out more about the maker of this suit.  We know from information provided by the donor that it was made in Vietnam c1963.  The tag identifies the maker as Hoanh 78 Dun Tan Saigon.  As far as I can tell, the shop no longer exists, but that is not surprising for many reasons.

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Even without any additional background information, this suit is still a fascinating piece!


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