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Louise Barnes Gallagher was a native New Yorker, and she entered the fashion business as a model. She rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the designer at one of the many suit and coat manufacturers in the city. Her husband went off to war in World War I. Unfortunately he was killed in action.

By the mid 1920s, Gallagher was running her own business. For the next 25 years she produced dresses, suits and coat, and was especially known for her work in a fine wool she patented and called Gallagher Mesh. Gallagher Mesh had the look and feel of fine knit, but was actually woven. She was also known for her use of many buttons on a garment. These clothes were expensive and were sold in the finest stores, like Neiman Marcus.

Gallagher was also an author of books about fashion for teenagers. Her book, Mary Bray, Fashion Designer, was based on her own experiences.

Gallagher retired in 1949, but her company continued on for a few more years. She designed suits and coats for a pattern company into the 1950s. She died in 1972.

Written by The Vintage Fashion Guild

from a late 1930s suit ensemble - Courtesy of thespectrum

from a late 1930s suit ensemble

Courtesy of thespectrum