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SPECTACULAR & RARE! Vintage Blazer in Trompe L'Oeil "Shadow Sunburst" cloth; by GGG Clothes, before

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May 18, 2009
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SPECTACULAR & RARE! Vintage Blazer in Trompe L'Oeil "Shadow Sunburst" cloth!


This is an extremely rare trompe l'oeil blazer, made by GGG Clothes, the NYC-based clothier that could be considered the ancestor of Martin Greenfield's tailoring firm.

At first sight this blazer appears to be a perfectly ordinary if very well-made classic dark navy blazer.... perhaps with a slightly unusual patterned shimmer to the cloth. But when it catches the light at a certain angle it's immediately (if briefly) transformed into something exotic, with the cloth suddenly revealing that it is in fact beautifully patterned with William Morris-style geometric sunbursts throughout... and then just as suddenly the cloth doesn't catch the light in just the right way to reveal this, and the effect vanishes, and the blazer reverts back to being a normal, well-made blazer in standard dark navy.

I've seen an awful lot of blazers, and this is only the second Trompe L'Oeil one that I've ever encountered; the other was much less impressive, as the hidden patterning was a much smaller repeating pattern, and so it appeared that the cloth just had an interesting texture, rather than concealing a hidden pattern. Owing to the nature of this cloth (the patterning is only revealed under very precise lighting conditions, at very precise angles) it took me a LOT of time and experimentation to photograph this jacket to show the hidden shadow sunburst patterning--which is why this is the only jacket that is shown being photographed under artificial light, which I was using to replicate the angle that this jacket has to catch light at to reveal its secrets. And despite a lot of effort my photographs fail to capture the beauty of this jacket--although they have managed to give some indication of the wonderful visual effects that it offers!

Obviously, the primary appeal of this jacket lies in the Trompe L'Oeil cloth that it is cut from. But its beauty doesn't end there. As is common with Trompe L'Oeil jackets the lining matches the hidden pattern; here, wonderful Art Nouveau-esque sunbursts. The buttons are silvered and their face pattern complements the silvered sunburst lining; all the buttons are original and intact. Cut as a standard two button blazer is is subtly darted, half-canvassed, and half-lined. The cloth is also extremely soft, with a lovely hand and drape. It has a single centre vent, and was, of course, Made in the USA.

Moreover, this jacket was made by GGG Clothes prior to its acquisition by Martin Greenfield. GGG Clothes operated in Brooklyn, and had a national reputation for superlative tailoring: It outfitted Eisenhower in 1950 when he was running for President, and was also Gerald Ford's tailor when he was in office. Judging by the Union label, this jacket thus dates from the time when GGG Clothes was at the height of its reputation--as GGG Clothes. This latter caveat is needed as GGG was bought in 1977 by its then Vice-President Martin Greenfield in 1977, who turned it into his own tailoring firm, Martin Greenfield Clothiers. Martin Greenfield has been called "the best tailor in America", and his firm has outfitted two US Presidents, Clinton and Obama. As you'd expect from pre-'77 GGG Clothes, this is a superbly made jacket.

This has some minor rumpling from storage, but this will be remedied by its first press and dry clean. Given this, however, this jacket is in Very Good/Excellent condition, and is a steal at just $69, OR OFFER, boxed and shipped in the USA; International inquiries welcome, with shipping at reduced cost.


Chest: 22
Sleeve: 25 (+1 1/2)
Shoulder: 18
Length: 30 3/4



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