Universal Costume Designer Vera West
This is a VERY rare peignoir designed by Universal costume designer Vera West. If you don't know about Vera West, you might want to do some research - she was quite mysterious and once you start reading about her career and life, you will find her to be an incredibly fascinating individual!
West was the designer of the most famous of Universal's horror films including Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.. You can read my blog post about Vera West to find out more! Her life and death were as mysterious as some of her films! West was very famous for her gorgeous gowns - many times, the female leads of the movies she worked on would be wearing extravagant nightgowns, robes and formal dresses. She designed costumes for almost 400 movies from the late 1920's until her death in 1947. I acquired this 3 piece peignoir from a wonderful woman named Debbie, who is the daughter of the actor Reginald Denny. Mr. Denny had this peignoir made for Debbie's mother during the early part of their marriage. Both Reginald Denny and Debbie's mother, Betsy "Bubbles" Lee, were under contract at Universal, so they knew Mrs. West personally. So when it was time to buy his new wife a one of a kind peignoir, Denny turned to Vera to create something original just for his bride. He could have bought it any time from the late 20's until around 1933. This set includes an all lace teddy, an all lace gown, and a silk chiffon robe with lace trim, silk ribbon, and incredible handmade satin roses.
This set is unfortunately for study or display only as it is very fragile and has tears and weak spots making it unsuitable for wear. I was so thrilled to be fortunate to be able to buy it, as I am very intrigued by Vera West and am especially in awe of her extraordinary lingerie and sleepwear. You can see how the silk ribbon of the gown goes through lace panels similar to belt loops, which is something she did quite often. The fine ivory lace is absolutely some of the most beautiful I've ever seen - exceptional - and I especially love the way the lace on the sleeves drapes. The roses are to die for! This would be perfect to frame or display professionally - a wonderful piece of fashion history.
Helen Chandler in 1931 "Dracula" wearing a Vera West gown
Complete the look
Vintage Jewelry Makes the Perfect Finishing Touch
Complete the look
Vintage belts tie it all together