A stunning Digby Morton Coat from the 1940s!
If you’re not familiar with Digby Morton, he was born in Dublin in 1906. He founded the tailoring firm, Lachasse in Mayfair, in 1928, formerly Gray, Paulette and Singleton as he believed British women wouldn’t accept any design without a French-sounding name – John Bates adopted this approach decades later when he chose to design under the name, Jean Varon!
Digby Morton opened his own couture house in 1934 and in 1939, he was invited to design the uniform for the Women’s Voluntary Service. During the war, Morton designed a collection of garments for the British Government’s “Utility” clothing scheme and helped to promote British fashion exports, overseas.
Some of his designs can be seen at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and his work was included in their exhibition, “The Golden Age of Couture” a few years ago.
Morton’s stylish tailoring and use of simple lines are both evident in this elegant coat. I’m not sure my photography skills have really done justice to the simple, sleek beauty of this navy, wool coat but it is a piece which has been much admired in our shop. It has the most unique belt I think I have ever seen! It is formed of “links” which button together around the waist. Inside, the coat has a dog-tooth-design lining. The wide lapels are sewn into place to maintain its structured look.
Approx size: Bust 32-34″; Waist 26-28″
Condition Report: When this lovely coat arrived with its vintage designer stardust, we knew we had to have the collar professionally repaired and you can see how Virginia (the talented seamstress we whimper to whenever we need her magical sewing skills!) has taken great care with both the outside of the coat as well as its lining. There is also a small hole near the inside armhole. At first I thought this was a tear, but Virginia identified it as a hole. She could have undertaken a repair which would have involved her moving some of the lining from another area of the coat but I wanted to keep as much of Digby Morton’s original seam design as possible – including the interior. There are one or two marks in the lining and I can send you additional photos if you would like to see them.
I believe this is a Digby Morton original and I can find very little of his earlier work, elsewhere, so this may be quite a rare piece. If you have any Digby Morton pieces, I’d love to see some photos as I’ve become a real fan of this lesser-sung fashion hero!