Tag Archives: Picasso

Picasso for White Stag Jacket

So how many times have I written about this Picasso for White Stag line?  At least six times, and there will be more as long as people keeping finding me and sending in the photos.  If you have not read the series on this collection, and you love art and textiles, then follow the link to read about this ongoing obsession, and to learn about how it all came about.

This jacket belongs to Pascal, who found this in a thrift shop in the 1990s.  He had been looking for information about it for years until a friend pointed him to The Vintage Traveler.  This is what makes blogging fun, and keeps me at it!

Several weeks ago a twitter friend posted one she spotted in Las Vegas at the Funk House.  And I have  an ad for that one.


Filed under Collecting

Picasso for White Stag Poncho

The poncho in the photo is another item from the line sportswear maker White Stag did using fabric designs from Picasso.  These surface from time to time, and this one came to me from etsy seller LaMaindeLaValle161.   It’s made from corduroy, and is the same as the one pictured in this ad:

It’s a really good thing that White Stag put the date on this label, otherwise it would be very hard to believe this was made in 1963.  I was a teen in the 1970s, so I know all about ponchos, so if not for the date I would have guessed early 70s on this piece.

I spent some time this afternoon investigating the poncho.  In looking through dozens of fashion magazines from 1962 through 1970, I can tell you that ponchos and capes made sporadic appearances throughout the 1960s.  In the fall of 1967 though, the cape was a big part of the French couture collections, and the following year, capes were made by most anyone who was making coats.

Ponchos probably owe their appearance more to late 60s Hippie and  Rock culture than to couture.  Being an item of ethnic origin, it appealed to the young who began looking to the world for clothing inspiration.  Of course, by 1970, one could buy ponchos at their favorite store, or make them from Simplicity patterns, or make them from crocheted “granny squares.”   The poncho was fully mainstream by about 1972, when most of the ladies and little girls in my little town had crochet ones as a cool weather church wrap.

Still, I can also picture this in 1963, with slim pants and a turtleneck sweater.  Add a black hat and a pair of black booties to make the look complete.

Since I last wrote about this line, I’ve been in contact with Christina Conklin, who is the granddaughter of  Harold Hirsch, the president and owner of White Stag at the time.  According to her, the Picasso line did not sell well, and was never put into full production.  The designs were novel, perhaps too novel for 1963.  They were also expensive.   Note the price in the ad, which is $30.  In today’s dollars, this poncho would have cost $214.

The good news is that the company saved an almost complete set of the clothing, along with fabric samples and promotional photos.  The collection now belongs to Christina. She will be photographing her collection, and I  hope to share it later this summer.

In the meantime, if you are wanting a Picasso, then you are in luck, because this one will be listed on etsy, probably later this week.  I’ll add the link when it appears.

Photos of poncho copyright and courtesy of Linda Lavalle


Filed under Advertisements, Vintage Clothing

Modern Master Original by Fuller Fabrics

It’s always fun when someone comments on a post which leads to us seeing a new chapter of a fashion story.  In this case, Vicci posted on one of the posts I’ve made about the 1955  Modern Master Original series by Fuller Fabrics.

About 20 years ago Vicci’s grandmother gave her a length of fabric, which she has kept through moving about over the years.  She finally got around to looking up the information on the selvage, which let her to The Vintage Traveler.  What she has is 8 yards of  “Pierrot and Harlequin” by Picasso, from the  Modern Master Original series by D.B Fuller & Co.   Super design, and what about those colors?!

After the first garments were designed and made by Claire McCardell, the fabrics were made available to other manufacturers and as yardage to home sewers.   Keep your eyes open for these, and remember to always check the selvages of garments too.  It’s the only way these prints are identified.

After emailing back and forth, I just found out that Vicci just moved from Asheville.  Small world!


Filed under Curiosities, Designers

Picasso Fabric

The “problem” with collecting is that one thing naturally leads to another, and another, and …  You get the picture.  You find one vintage swimsuit and find you won’t be satisfied until you have a few more.  But sometimes you just have to be happy with one.

As in my Picasso for White Stag raincoat.  I’ve pretty much convinced myself that I must be happy with just the one item from this artist/ready-to-wear collaboration in 1963.  The items from this line rarely come up for sale, and when they do they cost more than a retired teacher can justify spending. I keep hearing from people who have a piece, but they aren’t interested in selling, not that I blame them.

But sometimes you just get lucky.  My luck wasn’t a piece of the clothing  – it was a piece of fabric that contains the same  Toros work as my raincoat.  And whether or not this was printed for the White Stag line, I have no idea.  I’ve not seen this print of various Picasso posters made into clothing, but that does not mean it was not used by White Stag; I’ve never seen my coat in a print reference either.

My piece of the fabric is one full repeat, and is about 1 yard by one yard.  There is a nickel-sized hole that the seller didn’t bother to mention, but I can’t whine too much as it was a real ebay bargain.  And it came from one of those rare “I’ll just spend a few minutes seeing if there is anything on ebay” moments that end up sucking me deeper and deeper into the ebay search machine.  An hour later I’m peeved whenever I don’t find a thing I’d have, but this time produced not only this, but also a dandy 1950s Rose Marie Reid whimsical beach towel, which of course, I’ll show off at a later date.


Posted by samsara:

I love Picasso prints! I had this fabric in a set of twin-sized bed sheets when I was a kid and I always found it cheery. It made me happy just looking at it now on your blog. What a great ebay find.
Though it is too true what you say about collecting. I have a Picasso print blouse and I want more MORE. Sometimes looking just whets the appetite. 

Wednesday, November 17th 2010 @ 3:22 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Sheets? Seriously?!

Wednesday, November 17th 2010 @ 6:22 PM



Filed under Novelty Prints

Picasso for White Stag, and Thoughts on Social Media

Photo courtesy and copyright of Mary Scanlon

One of my online contacts and a fellow Vera collector is considering giving up his blog and putting all his content on Twitter, flickr and tumblr. He sites a lack of conversation on the blog, something that is certainly not lacking at twitter, and something that is so important to bloggers.  So is the conventional blog becoming obsolete?

I’ve noticed a bit of a drop in comments on this blog as well, and I know that it is partly that people are responding to me on flickr.   But give up The Vintage Traveler?  I can’t imagine!

I’d be too afraid that people like Mary Scanlon would never find me.  Mary sent the above photo of a 1963 White Stag top after reading one of the posts I’ve made on the venture.  Here and Here

Here’s what Mary had to say about this fab piece:

“My mother bought this top in 1963, probably at Levy’s department store in Tucson (Arizona), along with a pair of black stirrup pants. She remembers them as being ‘rather expensive.’ I was fascinated by this top from the time I was very small. The drawings looked so whimsical and appealing, as if a child had done them. When I was in high school I absconded with it and wore it frequently until I was in my twenties. At a certain point I realized it might be somewhat unusual, even rare. So I packed it carefully away. It’s still in reasonably good shape, albeit with a loose neckline seam as you can see. As I’m writing this I realize it has a drawstring sewn into the lower hem; I don’t believe I ever noticed that before. I have periodically searched for this piece online over the years, to see if I could learn more about it. Only now, as I’ve found your blog and a couple of other websites, have I been able to learn something of its history. I had actually hoped to find another shirt like this to BUY at some point, but I see now that may not be in the cards! “

So therein lies the power of the blog.  It’s such a good way for people with common interests to find you.  It’s here, it’s on google, and people can find you.

I use Twitter, mainly because I find so many interesting things that I just don’t have time to look for myself.  It’s great for sharing links, not so good for sharing concepts.  And it’s here now, gone in an hour!

I know some people who do use flickr like a blog and it works very well for them.  I put some photos there, but it’s too limiting for me.  I don’t want to up-load other people’s photos there where it is often a big photo-free-for-all.

I know that internet communication is constantly evolving, that today’s hot site quickly becomes a faded memory (Myspace, anyone?)  But until some smart 20-something comes up with a better alternative to blogging, I’ll be right here.

PS:  Mary’s White Stag Picasso print top was featured in the August 16, 1963 issue of Life magazine in a feature on college fashions.


Posted by Scott:

You make some really great points, Lizzy. Your observation about the constantly evolving nature of online communication is particularly important, in my eyes. Who knows what Flickr/Tumblr/Twitter is going to look like in a year? Not me, for certain! The one great thing about running Ars Longa is that I have control over the format … and that is something I’d definitely like to preserve. Now only if I could find a way to reach out and bring more folks into the fold, get them interested, and build some sort of meaningful conversation. That seems to really be the tricky part. 

I really appreciate your thoughtful words. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, October 27th 2010 @ 8:45 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Scott, You are most welcome. It was a bit ironic that you made that post about considering giving up Ars Longa when I had just read my email from Mary. This post practically wrote itself! 

Wednesday, October 27th 2010 @ 8:52 AM

Posted by tom tuttle from tacoma:

you’re spot on. remember i mentioned i never got caught up in the facebook craze? guess what? i’m a convert. it’s twitter that i still don’t get. but maybe i’ll change my mind later? lol. 

i believe it’s synchronising your blog with the other social media tools that’s the trend now (i mean, i noticed it only recently). as a reader, i have become less participatory in posting comments. when i feel i wish to say something but can’t think of something fruitful, i do the ‘like’ thing on facebook. facebook is like twitter for me. i prefer the visuals, they help to ‘anchor’ stories for me, whether i’m a reader or a blogger/twitterer/facebooker. i can imagine flikr works for people who photo-blog mostly.

Wednesday, October 27th 2010 @ 9:09 AM

Posted by Karen/Small Earth Vintage:

Oh, that top is amazing! 

I am glad you are not planning to give up the blog. I follow a lot of vintage blogs and one thing I’ve noticed recently is that nearly all of them (many with fewer followers than my own small blog) have started adding ads and are becoming vehicles for giveaways and promotion. I have no problem with that (I promote my own offerings on my blog), but the lack of other content makes for much less interesting reading. Your blog is one of the few I follow where I always find something new-to-me and fascinating!

Thursday, October 28th 2010 @ 8:44 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Karen, I really do agree about what is happening to so many blogs. I don’t blame people at all for trying to make money off something that is actually work, and by the looks of the ads on some blogs, there are some people who are making a pretty penny from monetizing. But I decided some time back to never accept any ads. I want to be able to post here without considering whether or not I’m pissing off the advertisers. Not that other bloggers are self-censuring, but I can’t help but notice that many fashion and vintage bloggers spend a lot of their posting on directing attention to the folks in the sidebar. 

And I don’t mind people promoting their own stuff, as long as that is not the extent of the blog. Who wants to read something that is nothing but an advertisement? I like a mix of content.

and I sure do appreciate your kind words!

TTFT, that’s funny about facebook. I used to say the exact thing about twitter, but I actually like it and get lots of good info from people’s posts. There again, though, I can’t be twitter friends with someone who tweets nothing except what is in their online store.

Friday, October 29th 2010 @ 8:48 AM

Posted by Valerie Chapman-Stockwell:

I vote for the blog to continue (all blogs, for that matter). It’s like reading letters from friends. I respond when I think I have something to contribute, otherwise, just enjoy. And appreciate the people taking the time to create the blog. 

Thursday, November 11th 2010 @ 5:53 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Valerie, thanks for taking the time to post. I like your analogy of blogs being like letters. 

Thursday, November 11th 2010 @ 4:31 PM

Posted by Jen O:

OMG, this post comes at the right time for me!
I too have noticed the ‘quiet’ scene when it comes to comments on my blog posts, but on the other hand, my Google analytics show that my blog’s ‘hits’ have increased by 5x in the past year.
I believe that we should power on with great content, as readers are finding good info on our blogs, and they are still dropping by in increasing numbers to see what’s up. 

One reason for the lack of comments might be that our blogs are being seen on hand held screens, rather than big ol’monitors. These smaller devices are cropping and narrowing their field of vision, and THAT is something we bloggers won’t be able to ignore for long. Reply’s have to be sent as text, which makes the viewer think twice, or at least that’s my take on it.
So, power on! I love what you have to say.

Sunday, November 14th 2010 @ 9:17 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Jen, that is an excellent point, one I’d not considered. Probably because I don’t use a hand held device of any sort. 

I had naturally assumed that as my readership rose, so would the commenting, and I do get more comments, but they are not proportional to the increase in traffic.

And you are right that good content is the key to people finding you.

Friday, November 19th 2010 @ 7:11 PM



Filed under Curiosities, Sportswear, Viewpoint

Picasso for White Stag, Part II

Last week I posted photos of my Picasso print White Stag rain jacket, and I asked if anyone had any additional information. I knew I could count on the vintage lovers who read this journal.

Amanda (who will soon be opening Vintage from Vermont on etsy) found an article written by the great fashion writer, Eugenia Sheppard in June 1963.  According to Ms. Sheppard, this project was one of the best kept fashion secrets ever.  The story:

Two ad guys from San Francisco stumbled on a good idea in a Peanuts comic strip – making and promoting Bach, Beethoven and Brahms sweatshirts.  The shirts were a huge hit, and the two guys, Howard Gossage and Bob Freeman thought they had hit the big time.  Then reality, and the copiers set in.  Within a short time, Gossage and Freeman were out of luck, undercut by cheap knockoffs.

Undaunted, they decided to try again, but this time they realized they had to better protect their idea.  Since culture was obviously selling, the second time they settled on art.  The duo went to France, to the town where Picasso lived and started hanging out in the local bar in hopes of meeting him.  That never happened, but through his Parisian representatives a deal was struck.  Picasso evidently liked the idea of his work being displayed on sportswear, so Gossage and Freeman, and the manufacturer working with them to actually produce the line, White Stag, were given the exclusive right to use certain Picasso designs on fabric.

Even after the deal was made, White Stag and Gossage and Freeman kept complete silence about the project, which they had code-named Project Marvin.  At no time, even behind closed doors, was the Picasso name ever used.  It was not until April of 1963, shortly before the launch of the line, that the news leaked out.

Since White Stag was a sportswear maker, the pieces were along the lines of other pieces they produced.   Besides vinyl covered rain coats like mine, there were ponchos made from printed corduroy, silk and cotton blouses, a pile fabric ski jacket, a hostess culotte dress and sweatshirts.  To help the  salespeople at stores that carried the line, White Stag printed a booklet to educate them about Picasso’s work  (I want one of those booklets, please!)

Was the line a hit?  Did Gossage and Freeman finally get rich?  I really don’t know, but I do know that these pieces are rarer than hen’s teeth.  I’ve seen a few come up from time to time at some of the vintage clothing auctions, but my jacket is the only one I’ve actually ever seen.  I will keep you posted if anything else interesting surfaces.


Posted by Karen/Small Earth Vintage:

Thank you for the update! I am fascinated by this.

Friday, September 25th 2009 @ 6:31 AM

Posted by Joules:

You unearth the most fascinating, and in this case, obscure, fashion history stories, Lizzie. This one is quite amazing! I want to find one too; a printed corduroy poncho, yeah!

Friday, September 25th 2009 @ 6:44 AM

Posted by james thegaptoothedidiot:

Hi lizzie,
I’ve just stumbled on your fascinating White Stag blog, parts 1,2 & 3! I recently found a cotton blouse which is printed in the “Figures” design featured in one of your White Stag advertisments you posted. I found it here in the UK, so it shows that the range had some international appeal. It would be fantastic to know where the Euginia Sheppard article was published, I’d love to get a copy of it. I would really appreciate it if either you or Amanda could post the details of which magazine or paper printed it and I’ll try and track down a copy.
Many thanks & best wishes,

Saturday, June 26th 2010 @ 10:55 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

James, the article was from the NY Herald Tribune. She wrote a column called Inside Fashion. Amanda found it through an online database, but I’m not sure which one.

I would love to see photos! Please…

Friday, July 2nd 2010 @ 6:30 PM


Filed under Curiosities, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing

Picasso for White Stag

I’m still working on gathering info on White Stag, and to make it even more interesting I got an email from a researcher at a museum who had seen my Picasso for White Stag label on the VFG Label Resource.  This museum has a blouse in the same print as my rain jacket, though their label is dated 1962 and mine is dated 1963.

According to some ads I have from 1963,  White Stag secured the exclusive right to reproduce some of Picasso’s work.  There were at least four designs, and I’m assuming more than that.  My jacket is like the parka in the last ad with a different print.

The museum is currently researching the line, about which I’ve been able to discover practically nothing.    So if any of you knowledgable readers have any information to share, I’ll be glad to pass it on to the museum.


Posted by Karen/SmallEarthVintage:

Now THAT is cool! How wild.

Saturday, September 19th 2009 @ 8:39 PM

Posted by Hollis:

Great story, great prints and what an innovative thing for White Stag to have done

Sunday, September 20th 2009 @ 8:02 AM

Posted by Joules:

What an unlikely and unexpected pairing! I had not been aware of this marvelous mix.

Friday, September 25th 2009 @ 7:52 AM

Posted by June:

I love it!!

Friday, November 6th 2009 @ 8:53 PM

Posted by dawn:

that is so cool!!!! thanks for sharing! the hunt is on!

Sunday, November 8th 2009 @ 8:33 PM

Posted by The Red Velvet Shoe:

I’ve always seen “White Stag” and thought “yuck, Walmart”. I had no idea the label dated back far before the monster~store took over the planet! I’ll have to pay more attn to the labels now!

Wednesday, November 3rd 2010 @ 4:33 AM


Filed under Advertisements, Collecting, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing