Vera makes a big commotion in jazz… in colors from sweet and low-down to red hot!
Suddenly, it seems, Vera Neumann is everywhere. You may have read about the latest Target collaboration, which is a grouping of Vera scarves. The scarves hit the shelves last week, but I did not have a chance to see them until yesterday. At this point in time, I have no illusions about designer collaborations with discount retailers. For that reason I was not disappointed by what I found. I expected cheap poly, and that’s what I got. The scarves are $19.99, and the designs are lovely. But a quick look on etsy revealed over 300 vintage Vera scarves for $10 or less, and they are mostly silk or cotton. This is a case where the vintage version is the clear winner.
image copyright Target.com
The scarves are printed with the signature and ladybug, and there is also an attached label that clearly identifies the scarf as a Target product.
In other Vera news, if you are a Mad Men watcher, I’m sure you noticed that stunning beach cover-up Megan wore in the first episode of this season. I was sure it was a Vera, and I was right. Note the Vera signature at the hem, on one of the orange spots.
photo copyright AMC Network Entertainment
And if that does not make you yearn for a sunny day at the coast and a Vera dress, then you are beyond hope.
I spotted a very early Vera scarf at the Liberty Antique Festival, but did not buy it because it was so damaged; it had literally cracked along the lines where it was folded. It’s been widely written that her first scarves were made of surplus parachute silk after WWII, and this one sure had the look and feel of that type silk. It was screen-printed with a geometric print in gold paint. Why it did not occur to me to take a photo, I haven’t a clue.
The very earliest Vera scarves were quite simple in design, and were often screenprinted in just gold or gold and black. The ad above is from 1953, which was very early in Vera Neumann’s long, fruitful career.