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Women's Department

Vintage Dresses, 1950s and Earlier

Vintage Dresses, 1960s through 1980s

Vintage Suits & Separates

A Designer's Collection

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A Designer’s Collection, Irene Saltern

Vintage Baubles is pleased to bring to you an exclusive collection from the estate of Irene Saltern, a California designer and pioneer in the booming California sportswear fashions of the 1950s and forward.

Ms. Saltern grew up in Germany and was a neighbor of Albert Einstein’s, who taught her to sail. Her love of sailing is evident in her many nautical-inspired designs. Multi-talented, she worked as a radio journalist in Germany and took classes in fashion design. After moving to the U.S., Ms. Saltern became a costume designer for Samuel Goldwyn Pictures and was a contemporary of the famous Gilbert Adrian.

She went on to commercial design and was for many years the head designer for Tabak of California. Tabak was one of the design houses that led the California “Sportswear Revolution.” Ms. Saltern is widely credited for pioneering the separates for which this revolution is known. She also designed for Phil Rose and other firms, including her own label. In the 60s and 70s, she again was an innovator, designing Asian looks after a trip to India. During a visit to a hardware store, she was inspired to create the chunky belts and hardware buckles popular in that era. Her sketches and apparel have been shown in fashion and history museums.

We purchased hundreds of pieces from Ms. Saltern’s estate, and have perhaps the largest private collection of hers around. Some items are runway samples, spec or sample pieces, and garments from her own wardrobe. Many are unworn. Ms. Saltern's timeless designs, along with their exquisite fabrics and workmanship, make them eminently wearable today. We love the way she used fabrics and selected only the best for her designs. Unfortunately, online presentation can’t possibly show how nice these fabrics are. But, most of our customers who purchase one of her items end up buying more, often citing the quality of the fabrics.

For more information on this amazing woman, please read our blog, Irene Saltern, Unsung Pioneer of California Design.

We’re starting out with just a handful of pieces, but will be adding more on a regular basis. With so many items from this estate in our inventory, it’ll take us awhile!

More Photos

Vintage 50s 60s Cardigan Jacket & Pencil Skirt Suit, Unworn Deadstock, XS, Small

Item Number: TAB-4211

Price: $85

A very late 50s’ to early 60s’ skirt suit from Tabak, featuring a cardigan-style, slightly boxy short jacket and slim pencil skirt. Perfect business or dinner suit, or pair each piece with other pieces for great versatility!

Suit is made of a spring- and summer-weight slubbed fabric that appears to be rayon or a silk or linen rayon blend. (See photos for fabric texture.) The color is a deep marine blue. Fully lined jacket has bust darts that add shape to the jacket, rather than a straight boxy look. Fastens at the top with hook and thread eye and, in one of the quality details we often find in Ms. Saltern’s work, has weights sewn into the corners of the open front to keep it laying properly and not flopping around or flying open. Unlined skirt has set-on waistband, darting front and back, side pockets, back metal zipper, and kick pleat. (Blouse shown sold separately.)

Condition:  Near mint, appears unworn (may have been a runway piece, but no signs of wear). A bit of color shift on the lining (common in older acetate).

* Size: Labeled size 10, but is about a modern small (4 to 6). But use the dimensions below to determine fit, and remember to leave room for your body.

 Measurements

JACKET, measured laying flat with hook & eye fastened

Bust: 39 1/2"; Around Hemline: 36"; Shoulder to Shoulder: Approx. 16"; Length: 20 1/4" down center back, from bottom of collar band

SKIRT

Waist: 25" to 25 1/2"; Hip: 36"; Length: 24 1/2" down side seam

Vintage 50s 60s Blue Silk Secretary Mad Men Blouse, Unworn, Sz Small, Medium

This late 50s/early 60s secretary blouse with pussy bow” is chic! Made of lightweight, smooth and lustrous silk broadcloth. Buttons at back with four self-covered buttons plus a flat hidden button just below the waist for a smooth look when tucked into a skirt or slacks; there’s no bump visible from the thicker, covered buttons (another of Ms. Saltern’s attention to detail). Waist darts front and back, and bust darts for a shapely fit. Attached self tie can be worn as shown or tied in a bow (see additional photos). Add a stick pin or small brooch at the knot for a cute accent. Tie can be easily removed if desired. Blouse looks great with a skirt suit, slim slacks or cigarette pants.

The color is lovely: a soft light blue (not pale, but the studio lights may make it appear slightly lighter than it is–see additional photos), like a rich sky blue or powder blue.

Condition: Mint, looks unworn.

* Size: Approx. small to a "small-medium", about a size 6, possibly down to a 4 or up to an 8 (but check dimension around hemline). Was OK on my XS manni, with just a bit too much room. Not meant to be extremely fitted, so there’s some flexibility in sizing. The buttons can be moved over to gain or lose a little room. But use the measurements below.  

Measurements

Bust: 38" plus a bit of ease from darts (best for a full cup)

Waist: 30"

Around Hemline (falls just above hip): 34";

Shoulder to Shoulder: 15 3/8";

Length: 21" down center back

More Photos

Item Number: TAB-4221

Price: $40

Shipping: Based on weight and destination, calculated at checkout.

Shipping: Based on weight and destination, calculated at checkout.

   * See our Sizing Tips for how we measure.

Vintage 50s 60s Leather-Front Jacket & Pencil Skirt Suit; Sz XS, Small

This outfit from Tabak, ca. late 50s (possibly early 60s),  pairs genuine leather with linen/linen blend for a look that goes anywhere! Showcases Ms. Saltern’s creative use of fabrics and her ability to create designs that stand up to time. This has a coordinating blouse and “city” shorts (blouse below, shorts to be listed soon). The entire ensemble is a great “weekender” outfit and/or a “busy day” grab-and-wear selection.

The skirt is unworn, and we think the jacket was a runway piece with the shorts.

Jacket has leather front with small flapped pockets and lightweight acetate lining. Fabric sleeves and back, and great diagonal buttonholes–a quirky touch we love. Tapers slightly to hemline, darted at bust for additional shaping. Skirt is long and slim, with back metal zipper and kick pleat. The lightly slubbed fabric looks like linen but is a bit softer, so possibly a linen/rayon blend.

Please be sure to check out the photos to see the individual pieces in detail!

Condition:  Skirt is mint, clearly unworn “NWOT.” Jacket shows signs of very light wear, and may have been a runway piece. Judging by its pristine lining and condition of the tag, it wasn’t worn more than once, maybe twice.

* Size: Both pieces labeled size 12, but are about a modern XS to small, or a size 4, give or take a size. Please use the dimensions below to determine fit, and remember to leave room for your body. Fabric does not stretch!

Measurements

JACKET, measured laying flat and buttoned

Bust: 39 1/2"; Around Hemline: Approx. 37" (some flex due to slits at sides); Shoulder to Shoulder: 15 3/4"; Length: 19 3/4" down center back

SKIRT (note there are very ample seam allowances so this can be let out if needed)

Waist: 26" (buttons can be moved over to gain some room) ; Hip: 36"; Length: 29" down side seam

More Photos

Item Number: TAB-8011

Price: $90

Shipping: Based on weight and destination, calculated at checkout.

Vintage 50s 60s Pink Rayon Sleeveless Blouse, Unworn, NWT, Sz Small, Medium

A “Tabak Tie-In” with the pink checked skirt and jacket above, this late 50s/early 60s blouse features ladder faggoting down the front and is made of 100% rayon. The rayon is slightly slubbed, giving it the look of shantung silk. This has the hidden button at the waistline to give a smooth look when blouse is worn untucked and to minimize “bump” when blouse is tucked in. Can be worn with other pieces, not just its targeted coordinates.

Tabak “Tie-Ins” were separates that were made to go with many other pieces in the line. At the time, this was a fresh concept in wardrobes, and very few did it better than Tabak of California and Irene Saltern!  

Condition: Mint, unworn with tag.

* Size: Approx. small to a "small-medium," about a size 6. Meant to fit comfortably loose, so has some flexibility in sizing. Shown on an approx. size 6/8 dress form, unpinned except to take up extra room through the arm area (because form has no arms). Please use the measurements below to determine fit.  

Measurements

Bust: 38" plus a bit of ease from darts (best for a full cup)

Waist: 34"

Around Hemline (falls at or just above hip): 37 1/2" (some flexibility since this doesn’t button all the way to the bottom)

Length: 21" down center back

More Photos

Item Number: TAB-8012

Price: $35

Shipping: Based on weight and destination, calculated at checkout.

Ordering: You can place your order and pay for it online using our shopping cart, or order via e-mail if paying by check or money order. Any questions? Just e-mail us! Or phone us  at 717-870-3522, from

9 a.m.  to 5 p.m. EST.  Refer to this page for detailed information on ordering.