Thanks to Pamela, whose comments prompted me to search through my Halston books hoping to find a picture of one of Bobby Breslau’s purses. Pamela said…
“I bought the Bobby Breslau Vogue pattern in the 70s when it came out. Vogue had 2 Breslau patterns. Bobby Breslau made handbags for Halston. These were the original bags shown on the runway with Halston fashions. I’m sure I can find a picture or two of the bags in my Halston books. Breslau did the handbags, Elsa Peretti did the jewelry for Halston. To continue Kathleen’s point, this bag was not an original design when Michael Kors made it in 2002. I have not yet made the bag ;-) I did just buy some gorgeous red mock croc in leather from an ebay seller, for which I have high hopes. I will be watching your progress!”
I was unable to find any photos of the bags as I quickly thumbed through Halston by Steven Bluttal. As I was nearing the beginning (I tend to thumb through books back to front – weird, I know) of Halston: An American Original by Gross and Rottman, I was feeling a bit discouraged because I couldn’t find any bags or even references to Bobby Breslau. Then, I was rewarded with this great photo on the contents page (maybe I should start looking at books front to back for a change):
While I am a great fan of Halston (who truly was an American original!) I somehow did not remember the bags. Perhaps it is because Bobby Breslau did not become as big a Star as Elsa Peretti – a shame, really. I must say I’m a bit disappointed in Michael Kors, though. How can he sit there and criticize Project Runway contestants for allowing themselves to be inspired by other designers when he has blatantly copied them himself? Look at this photo of Michael Kors’ bag from Handbags: The Power of the Purse by Anna Johnson. Even the photo styling is reminiscent of Halston! Tsk, tsk.
Some of you may recall that I have been working on making a copy of this bag (be sure to hit the back button to come back here). I fell madly in love with it after Kathleen wrote about it on Fashion Incubator. Kathleen was generous enough to actually loan me the bag and allow me to take it apart. I started work on my version but haven’t had the time to finish it because I’ve been so busy with other things. So far I have constructed the main pieces but still need to construct the lining before joining the sections. I know I took photos but darned if I can find them right now.
This is the front pocket with a red Ultrasuede lining. The original bag was completely unlined and I wanted to improve upon this.
I intend to finish the raw edges of the leather with a product called Edge Kote.
Well, recently, while trolling Ebay for vintage patterns (I have way too much time to do that while my embroidery machines are running, sigh) I came across this pattern:
While I was unable to see the line drawings or the shapes of the pattern pieces, it looked suspiciously like the DE bag I borrowed from Kathleen. Being overly curious, I bought the pattern and was thrilled when it arrived yesterday. Interestingly, both the pattern pieces and the processes for these two bags are nearly identical right down to the inside pocket into which it is nearly impossible to put one’s hand (and I have small hands!). The only difference there is that the pattern’s pocket is free-hanging while the DE pocket was topstitched into place.
Based on the price, I’m guessing the pattern dates from the late 1970s. It was designed by Bobby Breslau who, according to Vogue, “designs the softest leather in the world. His BigPouch and family of Little Pouches sensualized the bag world, becoming classics in their own time!” So, which came first – Bobby Breslau or Beth Mitchell?
Last week I discovered a Kwik-Sew 2935 camp shirt that I had cut out for my husband last year. Oops! I remember now that I had cut several shirts out and made them all except for this one. The fabric is a very drapey rayon crepe from John Kaldor. I bought this years ago at a time when John Kaldor’s gorgeous prints were available locally – something beside the ones printed on cheap polyester for JoAnn’s.
To my delight, I discovered that I had already interfaced the collar pieces and the front facing so I decided to go ahead and finish it up before cutting out a new shirt. Embroidering on prints is always tricky. Here I opted for a darker blue that would show up on both the black ground and the light blue leaf. Yes, I know it looks like a tulip but I told my husband they were leaves. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.