Europeana Fashion Focus: Jacket designed by John Redfern, ca. 1880
26 February, 2018

Short coat designed by John Redfern and Sons, ca. 1880. Courtesy Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation, all rights reserved.

In the picture is represented a short coat designed by the English couture house John Redfern and Sons in the 1880s.

The jacket is in green wool, with tapered sleeves and a high neck collar. On the lower back is attached a pleated bustle with a drape tail. Over the jacket is a vest with gold metallic soutache couching work and embroidered in a scrolling paisley floral leaf pattern.

The couture house John Redfern and Sons opened in London and Paris in 1881. It can be considered the first high-end sportwear brand in fashion history. It was founded by John Redfern, who followed the steps of his father who run a clothing shop since 1811 in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, internationally famous centre for yachting since 1815. A tailor since 1855, John Redfern specialized in tailored dresses and suits for women, designing for the aristocratic clientele tailored suits for sport activities such as yachting, tennis and riding, which remained for long the house speciality. Although designed for sport, these suits and dresses ended up to be worn by Redfern clients in more everyday occasions, marking the house popularity and success. In 1888, Redfern was even named Dressmaker By Royal Appointment to the Queen and the Princess of Wales.