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Edwardian evening cloak

#1112 $1,250

Stern Brothers embroidered silk velvet evening cloak, c.1918

Founded in 1867 in New York, the fashionable Stern Brothers department store was known for its French imports and dignified doormen in top hats. The store's reputation was so high that it removed the labels of Paris imports and replaced them with the Stern Brothers label.

The luxe silk velvet fabric falls in graceful, full folds from the shoulder yoke. The plush velvet signifies the opulent luxury Fortuny so admired in Renaissance fabrics. He called velvet "the aristocrat of stuffs."

Our sumptuous cloak retains the easy, unstructured comfort of a cape with just a suggestion of sleeves. Do not, however, confuse comfort with informality.

This is a grand evening cloak for a great occasion like the opera or your annual party for special friends. You will not be wearing it to a block party nor for an assignation on a windswept moor:)

The scarf-collar is weighted to hold the cloak closed with no other closure. The cloak is lined with blue silk chiffon. I love the sensual fullness of the ruffled hem.

The shoulders and lower sides are hand embroidered with large blossoms of blue silk floss and burnished metallic gold cord. The distinctive, elegant embroidery on the shoulders is particularly noteworthy.

The semi-abstract pseudo-heraldic motif connotes aristocratic insignia—an emblem of membership among the elite of family or of taste. In this case, it is the aristocracy of style, a special cadre of fashion initiates whose smart attire always attracts admiring glances.

What phrase will you take as your heraldic motto to match the proud beauty of the noble cape? I suggest: Singulare Aude! ("Dare to be Exceptional")

The condition is almost excellent. Along the lower side folds, the velvet shows faint discoloration, which gets lost in the fullness and does not spoil the appearance.

One size fits all. The cloak is 48" from shoulder to hem.

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