Early 1960s European Train Print

It’s couture fashion week in Paris, and since my invites did not arrive, I’m here to show you that in order to be completely wonderful, clothing does not have to be couture.  It doesn’t even have to be expensive.

I spotted this dress in someone’s Pinterest feed (thank you Robin!) and began tracking it down.  The problem with Pinterest is that so many of the photos posted are of things long ago sold.  But I couldn’t believe it when I found this on a website, still for sale.

There are actually four pieces – a sleeveless top, a short sleeved top, a skirt and belt.   By the 1950s many makers were selling on the concept of coordinating separates.  I can just imagine that there were other pieces in the print.  Can’t you see the shorts, in the creamy white with a band of train cars at the hem?

What is really interesting is that there are two different maker’s tags in the pieces.  The skirt and the sleeveless top are labeled “Loomtogs” but the short sleeved top has a “Rosewood” label.

Loomtogs was a well-known sportswear company, headquartered in New York.  They specialized in moderately priced separates, and over the years had some pretty big names doing the designing:  Jeanne Campbell, Donald Brooks, Leo Narducci and John Weitz.   Eventually Loomtogs was bought by the Fred Perry company, makers of tennis clothing.

As for Rosewood California, I came up completely empty.  There is a Rosewood Fabrics, but I’m quite sure it is not the same company.  Unfortunately there are no selvages, so I have no information on the fabric maker.

It is not an oddity to find vintage pieces that have identical fabric but different maker’s labels.  Fabric companies often sold the same fabric design to several different makers.  I don’t know if this set was assembled back in the late 1950s when the set was new, or if some former owner got lucky and found the pieces and married them into a set.  And what really matters to me is the fantastic design, which is perfect for The Vintage Traveler:

I really love the scenes on European trains.

You have to love that little piggy!

I’m puzzled.  Is that a three-eared dog?

The design on the skirt is actually cut from the print and stitched onto the white.

I love the back of the skirt.  The seller had the design at the side, and she might have been right, but it makes more sense to me to have it in the back, with the design giving a bit of an apron effect.

The skirt has an interesting zipper.  It’s metal, but is invisible.  The maker is alco, and there is a patent number, but it must not be a US patent because I can’t locate it on the database, and I had no luck on the German database either.

I’d appreciate your thoughts or any information you may have.

Correction:  Due to information from Denisebrain, I now believe this to be early to mid 1960s.  The length of the skirt is a bit longer than I would have though to be later, but then I was judging it against myself, and I am short!  I have changed the title to reflect this new information.

Update, 7/3/13:  Maggie of Denisebrain has very kindly sent a photo my way of her skirt.  She double-checked, and it does have a partial label, which she is quite sure is Rosewood.

27 Comments

Filed under Collecting, Vintage Clothing

27 responses to “Early 1960s European Train Print

  1. So CUTE! There’s nothing like those vintage graphic prints! What a great set!

    Where is the tag in the skirt? That is usually how you can determine intended zipper placement. If it’s beside the zipper, you are correct about the centerback being the zipper. If the tag is a quarter of the waistband away from the zipper the seller was correct about the side-zip. It’s a great design either way! Love it!

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    • I did consider that, and the label is placed so that you would put the zipper at the side. However, there are side seams, which puts the zipper in the back. It seems weird that there would be a seam in the front and back, but not one on the right side.

      I tried it on, and it looks cute either way.

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  2. Fabulous print, i reckon the lady with the three eared dog is actually warding off a vampire (or devil) on the orient express.

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  3. What a great find! I’m jealous! 🙂

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  4. What a fantastic print!! I wish I could offer up information, but alas, I cannot! Best of luck on the info hunt!

    -Janey

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  5. Lin

    Is the 3-eared dog a little girl with a bow in her hair?!

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  6. Oh My Gosh, I am SO in love with this!!! I can’t even stand it. And, to have so many pieces, you can wear as separates is just fantastic! Great find! I wonder if Rosewood changed their name to Loomtogs? I must have fabric like this now, will be on the lookout.

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  7. What a great find!!!

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  8. Teresa

    Oh wow! This is an amazing set and so very perfect for you Lizzie. I adore the print and the characters contained within.

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  9. Someone who is a dear old friend of the family bought a short-sleeved shirt with this print about 1965. I was so in love with it as a little girl that when (many years later) I saw a full skirt with the print I snatched it up and kept it. ADORE the print. My skirt is cotton sateen with no selvage information or label. It has a side nylon zipper.

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  10. That is a print of magnificence!

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  11. If you ever run into financial problems, you might consider a new career as a detective–you are a skilled fashion bloodhound! I think that the three eared dog is in fact a little horned goat with only one ear visible. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know who designed the print?

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  12. Christina

    What a great conversation print! It wouldn’t surprise me if the designer was Jeanne Campbell. There is a reference to her layered “apron-effect” fabrics. Did Fred Perry buy the Loomtogs label in 1951 and continue to use it? I think this piece could be a bit earlier. The cultural references are a hoot. I’ve been on the Milano-Como train. The animated Italians are pretty funny. Is the lady on The Royal Scot reading a menu to a West Highland Terrier? Those dogs can have a bit of a tuft between the ears.

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  13. Pingback: Ad Campaign – Loomtogs, 1957, 1958, 1960 | The Vintage Traveler

  14. What a fabulous print! I too love the way the passengers are represented, so clever!

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  15. Ooh, I have a skirt in this print too! Mine’s by Mode O’Day if memory serves, and buttons all the way down the front with big black buttons. Interesting that (at least) three companies used such a distinctive print- I wonder if they were unable to get it exclusively?

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