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1960's Cardinali Ensemble with Car Wash Hem


Fabulous four-piece ensemble from Cardinali consists of a bra top, jacket, trousers, and belt. It is made of black wool crepe with silk lining. The jacket has a car wash hem and four covered button closures at the neckline. Straight-leg trousers sit high on the waist. Labeled vintage size 10, which is equivalent to a 4 today. Measurements- Jacket- Bust: 34" Waist: Open Across Shoulder: 15" Sleeve Length: 22 1/2" Center Back Length: 25 1/2" Pants- Waist: 27" Front Rise: 12 1/2" Back Rise: 13" Inseam: 31" Bra- Bust: 32" Belt- Length: 27" Width: 1 1/2" About Cardinali- In 1966, Marilyn [Lewis] was bored at home with two children and a husband who was running a restaurant empire. She reignited her dream of becoming a fashion designer. With no formal training and no sewing skills, she took a leap of faith and started her company Cardinali. Harry [Lewis] bought her a factory and Marilyn designed a line of 35 pieces, including suits, dresses and gowns. Saks Fifth Avenue was her first customer and her clothes retailed for $300 - $2400 in that first year (about $2000 - $16,000 in today's dollar.) Lewis only used the finest fabrics, most imported from Italy. Cardinali clothes were worn by top celebrities and socialites including Nancy Reagan, Betsy Bloomingdale, Edie Gorme, Dionne Warwick and Dyan Cannon, but what really put the company on the map was a phone call from Marlo Thomas. She wondered whether Lewis would design her wardrobe for Marlo's TV show "That Girl". Marilyn Lewis closed Cardinali after only 9 years in 1977. Although she loved the business, she became tired of the extensive travel required and found it was affecting her marriage. Cardinali garments today are rare and highly coveted by collectors and lovers of vintage couture. Courtsey of Couture Allure. (http://coutureallure.blogspot.com/2011/06/marilyn-lewis-designer-of-cardinali.html)


  • Period
  • Condition
    Excellent. Some discoloration in the rhinestones in the belt..
  • Seller location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference number

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