The Ladybug Vera

A past visit to MAD (Museum of Arts and Design) New York January 2020, before we were aware of the deadly spread of COVID-19. I happily walked the streets of New York, engaging in my favorite pastime – Museum exhibits.

How many Vera’s come to mind when you think of fashion? Vera Wang – (1949 – Chinese American Fashion Designer) ; Vera Bradley (Actually a company founded by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller named after Baekgaard’s mother) ; Vera Maxwell – (1901 – 1995 American designer dubbed the “American Chanel); or the Vera of this blog post Vera Neumann (1907 – 1993).

This exhibit ran at the MAD from Aug 8 – Jan 26, 2020. Here is a link to the exhibit ‘Vera Paints a Scarf’ https://madmuseum.org/exhibition/vera-paints-scarf

This Vera signs her work with a cursive “Vera” and a ladybug. She was one of the most successful female design entrepreneurs of the twentieth century and the originator of the American lifestyle brand. She is best known for her scarves in their fresh, modern designs. But she also designed housewares (linens, dishes) and clothing.

Vera designs all start with a painting. Her inspirations are from all over the world. She was the very first to sign her name to a scarf. The museum had reprints of a 1968 pamphlet titled ’14 Ways to Tie a Scarf That’s a Painting That’s a Scarf’. If you want inspiration today, check out this Nordstrom’s link on scarf tying: https://www.nordstrom.com/browse/style-guide/womens-tips/how-to-tie-a-scarf .

You can find vintage Vera on Ebay; Etsy and probably at any upscale vintage shop. But note that Target started selling Vera reproductions in the mid 2010’s, so if you want more info on how to date your scarf, check out this blog post from the Etsy shop Birdcage Vintage : https://thebirdcagevintage.tumblr.com/post/62914046004/how-to-date-a-vintage-vera-neumann-scarf

My collection, estimate from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Some silk with hand rolled hems, and some poly, nylon and maybe rayon with machine rolled hems. Little pieces of art.

Enjoy the gallery of photos I took from the exhibit.

Cheers,

Markita

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4 thoughts on “The Ladybug Vera”

  1. I so enjoyed your post, the pictures, and the links!

    Back in the early 1970s, I was a student in Fashion Merchandising at ITT Peterson School of Business in Seattle, and our class took a 3-day “field trip” to Los Angeles. One of our stops was at the Vera rep’s booth, where we each received one of her tiny ladybug stick pins. Sadly, that has since been lost, but I well remember seeing one of the printed panels for a blouse or dress, as well as some of her lovely scarves. This brought back memories!

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