Ballantyne Cashmere for 1965 at N. Peal

N. Peal was established in 1936 by Nat Peal, and was located at the prestigious address of the Burlington Arcade in London. It sold cashmere and other wool sweaters, all made in the UK. Today, N. Peal is still in business, having been bought and somewhat rebranded in 2010. A quick look on the net shows that the sweaters under the N. Peal name are sold in the N.Peal stores, but also on discount sites like Outnet. They also appear to be made in China.

At one time the name Ballantyne guaranteed a high-quality cashmere product. The factory that made Ballantyne sweaters closed in 2013, but you can still buy Ballantyne products – made in China, of course.  But in the 1960s cashmere sweaters were a true luxury, and Ballantyne was one of the best. Combine that quality with the design skills of Bonnie Cashin, and you have a collaboration made in cashmere heaven.

Click to enlarge

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the orange, or zinnia, version of this Bonnie Cashin for sale at some time in the past.

This sweater is so typical of the way Cashin mixed colors. I love that rounded collar.

A seller on etsy actually has this sweater and skirt set in two different colors. Note the pin in the neck opening. One of the sets that is for sale still has the pin and the original tags.

The skirt was a special design by Cashin which ensured a better fit. t was available in all the colors of the various sweaters.

Not all the items in my little catalog were designed by Cashin. Sweaters like the one above were probably available for several years both before and after 1965, being such a classic design.

By 1965, the collarless Chanel jacket had been made and sold by Mademoiselle for over ten years. If a brand labeled a jacket as “Chanel style” women who followed fashion knew exactly what was meant. Chanel herself found such references to be flattering.

Today though, Chanel, Inc. takes a hard line against any other company (and that includes re-sellers on eBay) using the Chanel name to sell a non-Chanel product.

This open letter to would-be abusers of the Chanel name was first published in 2009 in fashion magazines. This is an attempt to keep control of the Chanel name. They don’t want “Chanel” to become an adjective. The Fashion Law explains it well. 

It’s a bit like trying to close the barn door after the horse is already out, seeing as how “Chanel” has been used in a descriptive manner since at least 1965, and I suspect, even earlier. But those Chanel lawyers are, as they say, serious. I’ve known eBay auctions for “Chanel-like” suits to simply disappear.


Filed under Collecting, Designers, Proper Clothing

6 responses to “Ballantyne Cashmere for 1965 at N. Peal

  1. I remember them-my mother had a cashmere sweater coat and coordinating sweater dress in a pearl taupe color that year -I was a senior HS -cashmere and mohair sweaters were a big trend -didn’t seem to last long-her outfit was CASHIN I think. Shown have that Quant/ MM influence?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Something that women who wear modern knits may not realize is that women used to wear a slip under unlined garments like these. The slip, sometimes closely fitted taffeta (it needed a zipper!) allowed the skirt to glide smoothly over your underwear — and, if you were wearing stockings held up by a garter belt, the slip helped conceal the garter bulge. Does anyone wear a slip any more?


    • I doubt it, unless that person is really into wearing vintage clothing and like to be authentic. I don’t even own a slip, except for a few in my collection.


    • anonymous

      Yes I do! And believe it or not, I think many people still do too, based on articles (with attached comments) promoting slips that I’ve read in the past as well as a recent discussion on FB where a woman who must have been a teenager in the 70’s posited the same question. To her surprise, many people (29!) commented that they do along with folks offering places where to still find them. I have a feeling most of the people commenting were roughly her age (so maybe they continued to do so b/c they’re used to doing it?) but I’m half(-ish) her age and I can’t wear a dress without one. It prevents clingyness! Plus when I’m done with work I can just take off my dress and bra, and I’m already in my pajamas! Win!


  3. As a vintage seller who has received a ‘letter’ from Chanel, I can tell you that they are very thorough, if not totally accurate–their letter was sent regarding a home sewing pattern I had previously sold years earlier that was still appearing on the ‘sold’ section of my Etsy store.
    As a retired fashion professor, I know that the term ‘Chanel’ was included in text books to describe that style of jacket, so actually I feel it has already become an adjective, and as you mentioned, the barn door has indeed been closed waaaay too late. It seems to me that this could be proven in court with many dated documents (Davidow materials for certain). As someone who finds Chanel’s bully tactics offensive, I would love to see someone with adequate knowledge make that challenge.


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