We have such wonderful resources to find information these days but sometimes what you seek can be elusive.
I love to look up fashion labels, particular when I like the styles but often they use popular words and google can be unhelpful.
Yesterday Becky Lou and I photographed new stock and this style from “Gallivant Coats” caught my eye:
1940s redingote – “hang on” is that what you’re thinking? “What’s a redingote?”
I’m so glad you asked. A redingote is a light flared coat secured at the waist and based on historical riding fashions and has appeared at many times in the past but is no longer a feature in our wardrobes. A pity, I really like it and it’s perfect for the sort of weather we get in Melbourne, like today, where it’s warm but we also got a thunderstorm.
I’ve got some redingote patterns on the webshop – they’re a very similar cut to the one above.
Early ’40s redingote pattern on the left
Here’s the label – isn’t it a darling name, “Gallivant Coats”? “For Smart Wear Everywhere”.
I’ve had a few stylish Gallivants from the ’40s and ’50s (and memory suggests one from the ’30s but I can’t be sure) but a search turned up nothing, perhaps because the word “gallivant” is used in other contexts too. Like actual gallivanting, not just frock-wearing.
The Gallivant label – you can also see the pintucked neckline detail and the unlined interior with overlocked seams.
“What’s that?” I hear you ask “didn’t overlocking come in much later?” Overlocking (or serging as our American friends call it) has an old history too, much older than this coat. It’s a misunderstood technique in vintage, with some unenlightened souls claiming it’s only found in fashions from the last few decades but I’ll save that for another blog post.
Meanwhile, searching for more Gallivants, I found a few on ebay and etsy – here are some labels.
From a late ’50s nylon frock. Not sure I’d want to be called a “Little Woman”.
The styles of the more recent fashions are unremarkable, so I suspect that like many fashion labels they got older with their clientele. The quality is middle of the road, but they’ve lasted and they have charm.
Created by the Mollard family (who also created the Maxine label), and based in Flinders Lane, the history of the label goes back as far as the late 1800s but most of the Gallivants I’ve found were ’40s and ’50s. They were still going in the early ’80s. There is currently a “Gallivant Clothing” registered in NSW but they don’t seem to be related.
I did find this from the New York Post 1936 though: unlikely to be the same company but nice all the same:
“Gallivant! What an exciting word! Not travel, not journey, just junketing about here and there. New places, strange places, adventure. All that is hinted at in this one word. You may not be going any further than Central Park but as long as you move about, you’re gallivanting, and for this now we have special fashions”.
if you know anything more about Gallivant fashions, please let me know and in the meantime, the Gallivant redingote is now available in the city salon for a lucky new wearer.