Every so often I like to post about a vintage designer label that I think has not received the attention it deserves and should be on your radar when shopping . Sort of like an undervalued stock pick, it can still be had at a bargain price compared to similar and is destined to increase in value.
So if you’re a big fan of 60s and 70s mod abstract and geometric prints, and can’t spend several hundred smackers on an authentic Pucci, Leonard of Paris or Lanvin, then a fabulous, more affordable alternative is the Paganne by Gene Berk label.
Gene Berk actually studied to be a lawyer, but found it wasn’t for him and dropped out of law school. He ended up in the fashion industry merchandising menswear. From there he went on to creating sportswear for Oleg Cassini. In the late 1960s he started his own company, Paganne Ltd. He hand sketched his whimsical designs and sent them to Como and Milan to be transformed into screenprints. He designed the textiles first and then figured out how to incorporate them into clothing. Many of the same prints would be reconfigured different ways depending on the garment.
His clothes were made in silk jersey, cotton knits, velvets and Qiana nylon, which is the most plentiful and moderately priced. Qiana is a luxurious synthentic fabric that feels a lot like silk jersey and is washable. Paganne Qiana maxi dresses retailed for $100-150 back in the day. And according to this handy little inflation calculator that would make them over $500.oo in today’s dollars! But it is still possible to find them for less than that, and often much closer to the prices of 40 years ago when they were made! This makes them a great value considering the quality construction, the beautiful screenprints and the fact they were made in Italy.
Here’s a few of my favs from around the interwebs
If this one was my size, I would buy it in a heartbeat!
Find it here at HK Vintage on Etsy 42Bust $228
Great black and white graphic zebra print Paganne dress.
42Bust $187 Find it here.
Love this deco inspired Egyptian motif
38b – $275 Find it at lastrigabianca on Etsy.
And, I’ve got a few for sale on the site.
- 70s Blue geometric floral Paganne dress 36b 28-30w $125
- 70s Big Cat print maxi dress 40b $179
- 70s Paganne Paris print dress 38b $159
Have a glamorous day!