Claude Montana | FD50
Montana, born in Paris in 1949, got his start in London the 1960s selling his line of Papier-mâché jewelry. Back in Paris at the start of the 1970s, he worked with the leather accessory company. MacDouglas. He launched his own line in 1977 and become famous as one the most important designers of the 1980s. His clothes were known for their powerful, masculine lines. Jackets usually had shoulder pads. His designs were highly prized by high powered women. In the late 80s, he also designed for Lanvin for several years.
The Ebony Fashion Fair (EFF) was founded in 1958 by Eunice Johnson, co-founder with her husband of Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony Magazine. The annual fashion show featured male and female models of mostly African-American descent modeling fashions from top European designers such as Yves St Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, and Emanuel Ungaro. Johnson's aim was to bring high fashion couture to the African-American woman who often didn't have access to the best shops.
Many African-American fashion designers got their start with the show including Stephen Burrows, Patrick Kelly, and Willi Smith. EFF ended in 2019 after the death of Johnson. Johnson Publishing has been gradually deaccessioning the fashions since that time. This collection from Madge includes some of the last pieces made available.
Photos copyright © 2019 MadgesHatbox Vintage
Today’s sizes have very little correlation to clothing size labels from past decades. Over the past 20+ years designers and manufacturers have fed our egos by making standard size numbers smaller and smaller. Back in the 1960s there was no size 0. The smallest size was a 6. Plus today’s men and women are fitter, taller and have much more muscle tone of than people of earlier eras. Even today‘s undergarments make a difference. Today’s woman isn’t corseted, girdled or wearing a stiff bra. So even the thinnest of people sometimes have trouble with vintage sizing.
When shopping for vintage clothing at MadgesHatbox look at the “measured flat” sizing in each vintage clothing listing. This means the garment was lying on a table and measurements were taken from side-to-side. To compare, pull a like piece from your own closet. Place it flat on a table and measure across the front at the shoulders, bust, waist and hips. The bust measurement is taken directly under the armpit. It’s also a good idea to measure your sleeve length from the end of the shoulder to the wrist.
Keep these measurements handy and to be safe sure you are buying from a reputable shop like MadgesHatbox that accepts returns. If you have specific questions send us an email or give us a call at 404 850-1757 and we are happy to help. You can read our complete return policy here.
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