1 of 13 images

Valentina Katharine Hepburn Theatre Collection Jumpsuit Ensemble Museums, 1942

About

This ensemble is from the Katharine Hepburn Theatre Collection. The leisure ensemble was designed by Valentina for Katharine Hepburn's role in the 1942 play "Without Love" at the St. James Theatre, in New York. It has been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York 2009 Valentina exhibition: Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity", the Iwami Museum, Japan in their 2006 exhibition Women & Sportswear: An Alternative History of the 20th Century. The ensemble fashioned of soft cranberry crepe silk was tailor made for Ms. Hepburn by Valentina and designed to be worn during the day or entertaining at home. Styled in Valentina's signature monochromatic style of cranberry crepe silk offset by white piping accent at collar and cuffs. The Jumpsuit is reminiscent of an aviator's suit, recreated with touches of femininity in the tulip style breast pockets and a most dramatic signature Valentina keyhole back. Shoulder pads for definition and balance and matching bodice and hip plackets to emphasize stylish detail. Attached belt for waist definition and the wide leg pants that give the illusion of a long evening dress. Valentina's signature matching wrap-a-round belted coat is simple, elegant and functionally designed with four (4) pockets and attached belt that ties on side. Man tailored yet with a touch of femininity. Both pieces unlined with painstaking hand detail and finished seams with all the hallmarks of fine couture detailing and sewing. Condition: Excellent; some light staining. Valentina labels in both jumpsuit and coat; Valentina and Hepburn signature written in ink on interior shoulder pad. Provenance: Katharine Hepburn KATHARINE HEPBURN Katharine Hepburn was, and is considered the number one Hollywood legend in the world. Her stage and screen career spanned seven decades. Born in 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, her father was a doctor and her mother a suffragist, Hepburn died in 2003 at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, at the age of 96. She was the winner of 4 Academy Awards and was nominated for 12 Oscars. Historically Significant Fashion As a Hollywood icon Katharine Hepburn not only made wearing pants acceptable, she made it fashionable. In many ways, Hepburn was instrumental in redefining femininity, causing a fundamental change in fashion ... away from the shaping and draping of the feminine form towards the creation of a feminized masculine silhouette. "In 1930, she wore pants and suits considered scandalous; today, they are sensational," said designer Calvin Klein, honoring Hepburn with a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers in 1986." "They have prompted generations of fashion designers to capture her vitality and spirit." VALENTINA Valentina Nicholaevna Sanina Schlee (1904 Kiev, Russia - 1989, New York City) was "Often called America's most glamorous dressmaker she was recognized to be one of the United States' top couturiers and theatre costume designers." (St. James Fashion Encyclopedia pg 391). "One of America's few resident couturiers -- perhaps the only one who can be mentioned in the same breath as Mainbocher and Charles James...". (Couture The Great Designers by Caroline Milbank pg. 177). Valentina had an elite and private clientele of faithful devotees from the opera, theatre, movies and New York society. She became famous by designing costumes for Katharine Hepburn for the original theatre version of "The Philadelphia Story" on Broadway in which Hepburn starred in 1939. In fact, five years after the play ended Valentina continued to receive large orders for clothes just like the ones worn by Ms. Hepburn in the play. Valentina Gowns, Inc was established in 1928 on New York's Upper East side. All Valentina's designs were created and overseen solely by her to the last detail and for this reason her fashions were available only through her own establishment (however, she did enjoy a brief association with I. Magnin). Valentina's business flourished for 30 years, patronized by the fashionable and wealthy. A Valentina fashion today is quite rare, as nothing was mass produced and her designs were coveted by a select elite. Valentina is a much sought after label, representing superior and couture sophistication and style. Prominent museums such as The Costume Institute at the Met possess Valentina designs in their permanent collection.

Details

  • Designer
    Valentina
  • Brand
    Valentina
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference number
    LU1964250721

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About the Seller

Recognized
Top Seller
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2011
Typical response time: <1 hr
Located in Los Angeles, CA
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries

More From This Seller
$4,500

Rare Jean Paul Gaultier 1995 Victor Vasarely Op...

Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean Paul Gaultier

Rare Jean Paul Gaultier 1995 &quot;Cavalieres et Amazones des Temps Moderns&quot;. Graphic op-art cyber print by Victor Vasarely who was widely accepted as a &quot;grandfather&quot...

$4,500

Issey Miyake S/S 1997 Runway Ensemble with Dis...

Issey Miyake

Rare Issey Miyake graphically distinctive S/S 1997 runway ensemble. Also part of the Costume Institute permanent collection. Kimono inspired jacket and relaxed style trousers fash...

$4,500

Issey Miyake A/W 2009 Origami Caftan Dress Ense...

Issey Miyake

The A/W 2009 Issey Miyake collection captures a fresh distinctive look utilizing the designer's signature origami and pleating techniques. Asymmetric long caftan style dress fashi...

$5,500

Rare Comme des Garons "Broken Bride" Wedding En...

Comme des Garçons

Rei Kawakubo's Fall 2005 &quot;Broken Bride&quot; Collection emphasized beautiful and romantic &quot;nuptial&quot; clothing inspired by the Victorian era. Look #23 on the runway s...

You May Also Like
$3,600

1971 Astrid Lundstrom's Mr Freedom Sailor Suit ...

Like the Mr Freedom skirt I listed recently, this little sailor suit has double provenance and importance. First it is by the iconic Mr. Freedom label, a shop in London opened by Tom...

$1,200

c1980 Silk Wrap Yves Saint Laurent Attr Ensemble

Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Saint Laurent

This is an important and exceptional silk taffeta, wrap top and full length skirt with amazing and dramatic puffed sleeves. This Rive Gauche version would have been based on that Hau...

$1,500

1980s Valentino Haute Couture Backless Red Dres...

Valentino, Valentino

This extraordinary set is done in that beautiful Valentino red and has the elegant cut and line you expect from him. The dress is beautifully cut and unexpectedly sexy with its bare ...

$2,800

c1954-56 Christian Dior London Couture Silk Coa...

Christian Dior, Christian Dior

This dress and coat set in a rich raspberry print silk is extraordinary. After much research I believe it to be from the mid-fifties while Christian Dior still presided over the hous...

$1,800

Exquisite 1990s Red Silk Chiffon Valentino Dres...

Valentino, Valentino

Valentino knows how to cut to perfectly flatter a woman's body and few can come close to the masterful techniques he perfected over the decades of his career. here we have a very sex...

$2,600

c1978-1985 Chanel Red Boucle Cropped Jacket & S...

Chanel, Chanel

The first ready-to-wear Chanel collection launched in 1978 and I believe this to be from those first few years. It has all of the hallmarks of the Chanel suit - the chain at the inne...

$3,500

Rare 1989 Moschino Couture "Cruise Me Baby" I L...

Moschino, Moschino

That sense of humour and drama is what defined the very best pieces from Moschino. The label had the ability to provoke and challenge all while making exceptional pieces of clothing....

$1,500

Late 1970s Loris Azzaro Couture Red Pant & Wrap...

Loris Azzaro, Loris Azzaro

Azzaro was a beloved label and worn on a regular basis by women like Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren and Marisa Berenson. It was a label that defined sexiness and had a certain French fla...