I can’t tell you how excited I get when I happen upon a 50s dress with a Jerry Gilden Spectator label, as they are getting harder and harder to find, especially in good, wearable condition. He may not have been a big name designer, but Jerry Gilden manufactured some very pretty, very nice quality dresses in the 1950s. His cotton floral print dresses with their fit and flared “New Look” silhouettes are my favorite. According to the Vintage Fashion Guild label resource he started his business in 1945 and within 10 years became one of the top 5 producers of women’s dresses in the US!
He originally hired a designer named Giselle whose designs were responsible for making his clothing line so popular. But after she died in 1952 he partnered up with Abe and Sayde Weinberg and Sayde became his head designer until the company closed in 1960. The really puzzling thing is, though Sayde was an extremely talented designer, designing all manner of fabulous clothing for the Jerry Gilden label, she is relatively unknown till this day. I did find an article on Sayde Weinberg by Lizzie Bramlet on the Vintage Traveler blog. Lizzie actually got in contact with one of Sayde’s family members and was able to shed some light on this talented women’s background. She was from a family of sixteen children and started work at 13 years old at the Blum Store in Philadelphia, eventually working her way up to buyer. She was also a design consultant for other companies before she and her husband teamed up with Jerry Gilden. For more interesting facts about this creative lady, I highly recommend Lizzie’s article if you enjoy fashion history.
A lot of designers back in the day also designed patterns for ladies who wanted to sew their own designer inspired fashions. Here is a photo of one of Sayde Weinberg for Jerry Gilden patterns. This sailor style is so cute and I actually have an authentic Jerry Gilden pink sailor dress available on the website right now, and it’s in a larger size!
Jerry Gilden even had the famous model, Dovima, showcasing his clothing in many ads.
A Jerry Gilden ad from 1947. Faille peplum suits and rayon gabardine wrap dress. I’ve yet to come across any 40s clothing by Jerry Gilden. I guess those are quite rare!
Jerry Gilden printed cotton dresses for “dancing-spinning-whirling into summer”
Kaufman’s Dept store ad from 1955
And here are two vintage Jerry Gilden dresses that we currently have for sale on our website.
If they were my size I’d be keeping them! Because they’re not, hopefully some vintage loving ladies will give them a good home!
Click on images for more information.
This off white cotton dress and matching jacket has pretty pink eyelet embroidery and a pink grosgrain ribbon belt. Ladylike, feminine and from the early 1960s. 34b 26w
50s Jerry Gilden dress in lavender stripes with blue floral bouquets. Nice quality cotton and pretty full skirt make for a stunning garden party dress for summer. 38b 28w
Were you ever lucky enough to find a pretty Jerry Gilden dress? If not, then this is definitely a label to look for when out searching for vintage dresses from the 40s and 50s.
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