Like Irene and Adrian, Howard Greer was a Hollywood costume designer turned custom and ready-to-wear purveyor. This sweet day dress is likely from the late 1940s, and features several smart touches — the tiered front of the skirt, the hooks above the zipper in back to create a little peekaboo vibe, the subtle sweetheart neckline with sheer net under eyelet lace. Short sleeves, perfect for spring or summer cocktail parties.
Good vintage condition. Structurally sound and wearable, but the blue dye has bled onto the ivory eyelet collar and is not unnoticeable.
About the Designer
Howard Greer had a long and successful career in couture and ready-to-wear, but he also worked for many years in costume design. In the early 20s he joined the costume department at Famous Players-Lasky, the forerunner of Paramount, but as directors and actors began to ask for his colleague and friend Travis Banton more, Greer conceded that his designs translated less well to the camera than Banton’s, and when his contract expired in 1927 he became the first Hollywood costume designer to open his own couture salon. He returned to designing for film periodically in the late 1930s and 1940s, and in 1945 Greer and his partner Bruce MacIntosh began designing their ready-to-wear line in addition to their existing couture business, which mainly existed for a handful of loyal stars like Gracie Allen, Ava Gardner, Dina Shore, Peggy Lee, and Jane Russell. In the early 1950s, they moved operations into a 10,000 square foot workshop at 2020 Stoner Avenue in West Los Angeles, adding men's shirts to their lineup. The business did well for several years, and after they closed shop in the 1950s, they later launched a Greer-MacIntosh label in the 1960s. This dress is from their ready-to-wear collections of the late 1940s, probably around 1947.