Saturday, May 10, 2008

Picture a sultry summer evening with you and your significant other. You quietly leave the room to slip into something a little more comfortable......

When you return it's all sparks and flames and we fade out to the boudoir where......

What delicious lingerie we have at Specialist Auctions (where every auction is private!). So what are you waiting for?? Let's go shopping!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I don't know about anyone else but I love vintage buttons, zippers and all kinds of notions and patterns. You can get a real sense of history and a great timeline of fashion on the amount of fabric a pattern used or what zippers were made of (especially during war time) or even what kind of seam binding was used. The vintage pattern and notion sellers at Specialist Auctions have a wonderful variety of notions, patterns and books on knitting, sewing, etc.

So what are you waiting for?? Let's go shopping!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Today we continue our interview with Susan Goldworm, daughter of Robert Goldworm, designer extraordinaire of the fabulous Goldworm one of a kind knit outfits.

Marge: What Goldworm outfits do you own that are your absolute favorites and why are they your favorites?

Susan: Of all the pieces I have – I do still have 4 top favorites. They are all one-of-a-kind samples which make them so special to me. My two nieces will have to argue over who gets what! The first two were from the original Goldworm label and made in Italy. One is a back merino wool bugle beaded sheath dress. In my opinion and I am a bit biased…one of the best little black dresses ever made! It still is in style, and has held its shape and I have not lost a bead yet. You would never know that this garment is 40 plus years old. The second is a knit sequined leopard tank top. Again, still very much in style and over 40 years old. The last 2 are from the year before my father closed the business to retire. A bright pink silk tulips print dress, with coordinating sweater. The sweater is my choice piece. It was made by taking the printed silk of the dress, cutting it into 1” thick strips and then each strip was wrapped with very fine pieces of pink wool, the strips of wool wrapped fabric were then knitted into a sweater. The final piece is my “coat of many colors” silk blouse with knit rib cuffs and matching sweater. (the last two items were unavailable at the time of this interview to be photographed).

Marge: What do you think was your father's greatest contribution to the world of fashion?

Susan: His greatest contribution to the fashion industry came from his love of multi colored intarsia knit garments. My father was one of the first to use this method in knitwear on machines with up to 12 colors throughout the knitted goods.

Seated in a spiderweb of his own designs is the gentleman who is responsible for the knitted fashions favored by the American woman who travels fastest, farthest and neatest. Young (32 years) Bob Goldworm, partner with his mother in a 30-year-old New York knitwear business, is one of the first Americans to reverse the flow of designing talent which hitherto has continually brought Europeans to America. He goes to Italy to design styles in the American tradition - a clean-cut silhouette with no clutter. Three years ago the firm produced the first full-length dress made like a flat knit cardigan sweater, and since then the Goldworms have taken over a factory near Milan to produce dresses for the American Market. The Goldworm product is based on Italian hand-fashioning, a process which builds the shape in and tailors seams and edges in a manner that cannot be duplicated by U.S. machines. Seven variations of this chemise look are shown above. Clockwise from the model seated at the left are a two-piece middy dress with pleated skirt ($45); semi-fitted chemise ($40); striped "bag" ($35); cardigan coat to be worn with or without a matching sheath ($125); sheath with short striped jacket ($55); shirt dress ($35) and two-piece sweater dress($45). The shoes are low-heeled T-strap sandals by Joyce ($14). Dresses are available at Lord and Taylor, New York, Blum's, Philadelphia; Gidding's, Cincinnati; Himelhoch, Detroit; Bramson's, Chicago; Rich's, Inc., Atlanta; and Ransohoff's, San Francisco. (pictures and article courtesy of Sports Illustrated and provided by Susan Goldworm).

Marge: What did your father do after retiring in 1981?

Susan: In 1981 my father closed the doors of his business, but he never stopped creating. He enrolled at the School of Visual Arts and the Sculpture Center, where he devoted himself to his new work. I remember being most impressed by his sculptures. He commuted between his homes on the Pacific Palisades, Wainscot, NY and Manhattan. He loved to play tennis and did so daily.

Susan and Bob Goldworm in 1991

Dad and my stepmom, Carla, in 1981

We'd like to thank Susan for sharing her father with us. As a vintage clothing store owner, it has been my pleasure to find several Goldworms in my time. While they all differed in color and pattern the quality shined through on each and every one. Here are a few more samples of the genius of Robert Goldworm.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Samuel and Gertrude Goldworm started Goldworm Sportswear in New York City in the late 1920s. They made every day wear knits with attractive designs. In 1953 Mr. Goldworm passed away and their son, Robert then headed the company bringing in a younger look to the Goldworm line.

Today we are interviewing Susan Goldworm, the daughter of Robert Goldworm, designer extraordinaire of the fabulous Goldworm one of a kind knit outfits. If you've never owned a Goldworm you don't know what you're missing. Susan has been very gracious in sharing her memories and also her personal photos.

Marge: Was your father always interested in the family business?

Susan: In 1928 my grandmother Gertrude Goldworm “Mama Gertie” started the Goldworm Knitwear Company. In these early years, production was for knit scarves, shawls, and throws. My dad was 2 years old.

My father graduated from New York University in 1947 and joined the company. As the story goes, he was quite influenced by the family business and after looking at t-shirts came up with the idea of designing knit dresses. The first dress designed was very simple very clean….and the idea came about from a basic round collar T-shirt. My dad traveled to Italy and joined forces with the Dragone family and their small knitwear factory in Milan. In no time, more clean cut, clutter free dresses were produced, a polo dress and the scoop neck, v-neck etc – and the Goldworm knit dress business began to take shape.

Robert and Carol Goldworm on their wedding day
(Mrs. Gertrude Goldworm is the woman in the
beautiful black hat on the left)

Carol and Robert Goldworm relaxing in their

living room during the holidays

Marge: Could you give us a description of your father through your eyes?

Susan: My father travelled extensively to Europe (Milan). I do remember when he was home - sketching and drawing for him and playing backgammon. He was a meticulous man. He was very aware of his surroundings and the details of his persona. I remember his large walk in closet where each item of clothing had its place and was folded just so. Every detail mattered, his socks would coordinate to the paisley in his handkerchief, which matched his tie. (My father ALWAYS carried a handkerchief) I think he was one of the first "metro" men. His nickname to his close friends was Loomie (after the knitting looms). He loved tennis and played daily.

Marge: What pushed your father to go to Milan and seek out specialists for certain types of finishing techniques?

Susan: My father was a perfectionist, requiring superior quality in all that surrounded him and therefore what he produced. This is why he traveled to Milan. He based the production on Italian hand-fashioning, a process which builds shape into the garment and tailors seams and edges. Seams were hand rolled and button holes hand finished. There were no machines available in the United States to produce the garments of quality my father required. My father’s sister Beverly soon joined the business (my Aunt Pop-Pop) and things really started to advance.

Robert Goldworm at his desk (the series of pictures all
in a row on the wall are Susan, her brother's picture is
on the desk and his wife, Carol's picture next to Susan's
series of pictures (Carol was a model, although not for
the Goldworm line).

Robert Goldworm, his sister, Beverly Tuttman

and Ruby Lettman

Marge: Where did your father get his ideas for the patterns that were used?

Susan: Growing up I was surrounded by all kinds of art. There were stacks and stacks of “coffee table” books and pictures and sculptures lined the walls and nooks of our home. A great deal of my fathers designs were influenced by, the artists Mondrian, van Gogh, Jasper Johns, Paul Klee, and Picasso to name a few. He was also influenced by the world around him, for example, examining a stone wall for the patterns that lay inside its design. I think he viewed the world as a painting (through an artist’s eye) looking for beautiful intricate patterns it beholds. He would then translate these patterns to his garments. He loved color and bold prints which complemented the simplicity of the style and the tailoring of the knits. This combination created a loyal customer base, and his dresses were showcased at many of the top retail stores.

From the personal collection of Susan Goldworm

Part Two of our interview with Susan Goldworm will be on Wednesday.

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Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, United States
We are the owners of Mod Mary's Vintage on Etsy.