This beautiful raw silk coat was custom made in Japan, 1960 for Charlestonian Margarette deSaussure Black (1913-1997). The all-over printed design is a lovely paisley in red, black, gray, mustard and metallic gold. It is long, with long sleeves and opens in front with fabric rosette and frog closures. It is fully lined and meticulously tailored; the label, inside the clever interior pocket reads: “William D. Wong Ltd. / Tailored Expressly For / Mrs. M. deS. Black / No. Wo-438 / Date 15th July 1960 / Place Iwakuni, Japan.” The pocket is edged with tiny finished prairie points, a nice detail. I have been unable to find any information on William D. Wong, but one would surmise that his shop was a highlight while on duty in Iwakuni.
Iwakuni, Japan is approximately 600 southwest of Tokyo in the Nishiki River delta. It has been home to a United State Marine Corps air facility since 1958. Margarette’s husband, Robert Atticks Black, Sr. was a Silver Star recipient for his World War II service in the Pacific and served as Wing Inspector 1st MAW at Iwakuni.
The coat was given to the Museum in 2004 by Margarette’s sons, Robert A. Black, Jr., Henry William deSaussure Black & William Peronneau Black in 2004, in memory of Dr. Henry William deSaussure & Margarette Whitaker deSaussure Black.
This coat is on exhibit in Positively Paisley from September 11, 2013 to January 5, 2014.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday