Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vintage Roberta Di Camerino ...Manhattan Vintage Show preview II

The Manhattan vintage clothing show is a great place to find exceptional vintage designer and couture clothing and accessories. With over 90 vintage dealers on show, there is no shortage of fabulous high-end creations from the likes of 'Chanel', 'Gucci' et al, but it's also a fantastic place to discover some of the lesser known but equally influential and important designers of the 20th Century. For every 'Christian Dior' and 'Yves Saint Laurent', there is an 'Ossie Clark', 'Norman Norell', 'Ceil Chapman', & 'Madame Gres', designers who also changed the world of fashion, and who's influence can still be seen to this day, but whose names are perhaps less familiar to those outside of the fashion world.

Robert Di Camerino in the 1950's with her trademark velvet handbags

Roberta Di Camerino is one such designer who never really became a household name, but who holds a special place in the hearts of the fashion cognoscenti, and vintage collectors alike. She is most famous for her richly colored velvet handbags, and her interesting use of trompe l'oeil effects that appear as pleats, buttons, buckles, saddle stitching, pockets and other details, but are in fact printed onto the textiles.

Founding her fashion house in 1945, Roberta Di Camerino was an innovator of her time, using richly patterned and colored fabrics for her handbags that had previously only been used for clothing. In 1946 she made a bag patterned with a trellis of 'R's', foreshadowing Gucci's 'G's', and is widely credited with creating the status bag concept. Like many of her Italian predecessors and contemporaries, she utilized traditional artisans and craftsmen of her native Venice. The hardware on her bags were made by the same artisans who made fine bronze hardware for Venetian gondolas, and she used the two hundred year old firm 'Bevilaqua' of central Venice to create her velvet textiles on hand operated looms. Here are some Camerino pieces we'll be bringing to the show this week...

1960's Roberta Di Camerino signature velvet trompe l'oeil purse

1960's Roberta Di Camerino trompe l'oeil belt knit dress

1960's/70's Roberta Di Camerino multi color trompe l'oeil pleat knit dress


  1. I know this post is a year old but do you still have the belt knit dress?

  2. Sorry it has sold:/ But you never know, always worth checking!