Every now and then I like to do a post featuring a lesser known vintage clothing label. When it comes to collecting and/or wearing vintage fashions there are many designers and manufacturers that don’t garner the attention of the big name designers, yet they produced some beautiful garments. It’s always good to be on the lookout for more obscure names like this, as they’re often less expensive than the more well known labels , yet the quality and design is still excellent.
The featured designer in this post is German born Greta Plattry.
Found the below information here.
Greta was born in Berlin in 1909. Her original name was Margarete Hutschnecker.
In 1931 she married Fredrich Plattring. They had a daughter named Gabrielle.In 1937 she moved to New York with her husband and daughter, joining her parents and brother, who were already living there.
In 1941 she and Fredrich divorced. That same year, as a new single mom, she decided to become a designer and changed her last name to Plattry.
Seems she had a talent for crocheting and at that time American women were not familiar with the skill to be used in clothing. So she set about crocheting her way into business.
From a 1945 article in Life Magazine-
“Crocheting is a genteel art long used by housewives to turn out sedate antimacassars and bedspreads. But in 1937 a German emigree named Great Plattry arrived in the US wearing a crochet dress and crocheting reached a turning point. Miss Plattry’s dress and her crochet gloves, sweaters, scarves, caused a great wonderment among American women, who were accustomed to knitting, not crocheting, such items.
Miss Plattry decided to make a business of crocheting. In her first US year she sold $500 worth of crochet mittens. Last year the sales of fancy crochet clothing from her workshop, which employs 130 women, amounted to $300,000. She makes jaunty sweaters, gloves, halters and “coifs” , head scarves like the one shown on the over of this issue.
Miss Plattry thinks that crocheting is simpler than knitting. Both processes produce a series of loops. In crocheting, with a single hook, in knitting , with two to five needles. Crocheting can produce a greater variety of stitches, and hence, of patterns.”
Love how she decorated the snood and gloves with crystals.
Toward the end of the 1940s she expanded into sportswear in woven fabrics. The post WW2 era fashion scene was dominated by what was known as “the American Look”, a heavy emphasis on sportswear and separates. Though names like Claire McCardell, Bonnie Cashin and Pauline Trigere are better known as pioneers in American sportswear design, Greta’s creations were certainly comparable in quality and style. Her 1950s designs remind me very much of some of Tina Leser designs, with their ethnic influences from around the globe.
According to fashion historian, Jonathan Walford, Greta eventually retired her own label and went to work designing for Teal Traina in 1966. Once Teal Traina closed in 1978, Greta’s name was soon forgotten.
Clothing with the Greta Plattry label is somewhat rare, especially the earlier designs. So if you come across a GP item in good condition, grab it! You’ll have yourself a special, unique piece of fashion history that will stand out from the crowd!
Till next time….