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Pat Premo was one of the California labels that blossomed in the 1940s. Premo was a native Californian and she started her design career in Los Angeles at Peggy Hunt in the 1930s. She went to Marjorie Montgomery in 1936, which was bought a few years later by Bill Schminke. He and Premo were later married and the “Pat Premo” label was launched as the chief label in the company. She was known for her use of unique fabrics and prints and for her golf dresses and sportswear. The label lasted into the 1970s.

“Pat & her husband, Bill Schminke, were very close friends of my parents. The Schminkes had a lovely house on Sunset Blvd. in Beverly Hills and she was a very charming lady. It’s so nice to see some of her wonderful designs live again. I had many of her dresses as I was growing up. As a point of interest, she always worked her stripes horizontally, as she said it was more flattering to the figure.

My family moved from N.Y. to Beverly Hills in the late 1940s. My mother and father belonged to Bel Air Country Club, as did most of their friends, including Pat and Bill Schminke (Pat Premo). At that time ladies were not allowed to play golf in pants or shorts, but wore skirts or dresses. Pat made what she called her “little golf dresses”, as well as dressier ones. She used some wonderful fabrics like Egyptian cotton that was almost silken in texture and she always worked her stripes horizontally. I asked her about that one time and she replied that it was more flattering that way.

The way she designed her dresses it certainly was, but it would never work on the overweight figures of today. Her dresses always fit beautifully and the finishing work was very good. When I married in 1959 I had my wedding dress made by a coutouriere who was a friend of my grandmother. I wanted only the best fabric and simplicity of line, but elegant. Dorothy, my grandmother’s friend, and I designed the dress in a heavy peau de soie. For a long time after the wedding Pat would tell me what an absolutely elegant piece of design and work it was; that was praise indeed. But one could wear anything Dorothy Veeder made wrong side out, they were finished so beautifully.

Pat and Bill had a lovely home on Sunset Blvd. in Beverly Hills, but in the 1960s they had a great tragedy. They had two sons. One had a swimming accident and died. He dove into the shallow end of their pool and broke his neck. One of the family went out to call him in for dinner and found him in the pool.

I know that her factory was still in operation in the 1970s, but don’t know when the business ended.” – Ellen Harvey, friend of Pat Premo

Thanks to vintageclothesline for sharing this information.

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from a 1950s New Look dress  - Courtesy of

from a 1950s New Look dress

Courtesy of

from a 1960s dress  - Courtesy of joules

from a 1960s dress

Courtesy of joules