The VFG believes that informed selling and buying communities are good for the vintage-fashion industry as a whole, and all visitors to the website have access to the VFG resources. These are continually updated and constantly evolving, thanks to a dedicated volunteer staff.
Our blog features our picks of the freshest vintage items, member news and articles. We have also created a growing series of articles on some classic designers.
The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vintage fashion.
The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international community of people with expertise in vintage fashion. VFG members enjoy a wealth of resources, avenues for promoting their shops and specialties, and camaraderie with others who share a common interest and passion.
Elaine Terry was born in Nebraska in 1924 but moved to Long Beach, California when she was only two years old. She studied Art and Design at Long Beach City College and later took a five month course in pattern making and design from a local trade school. In the late 1940s she began making blouses in her home and was able to wholesale them to a Los Angeles department store. In 1948 she and her business partner, Kathleen O’Brien, opened a small factory.
One of their earliest designs involved fabric daisies that could be affixed to dresses and separates with buttons so that the garments could be worn with, or without, the flowers. These pieces sold nationally, sparked a new trend, and helped establish the Elaine Terry label as a notable name in affordable fashion. She produced three lines: Elaine Terry, Sportswear by Elaine Terry, and E.T. Juniors.
Terry’s clothes perfectly encapsulated the aesthetic of mid-century California sportswear. She favored denims and seersuckers and didn’t shy away from gratuitous uses of fabric or bold displays of color. Her designs were often strapless or backless and they were typically youthful and whimsical.
It’s unclear when her partnership with O’Brien dissolved but Terry continued to design under her own name until at least 1962. Despite her early success, by 1963 her business was failing and she was forced to close up shop and go to work as a designer in a Los Angeles fashion house.
Her career was cut short in April of 1967 when she and her lover were found murdered in the home she shared with her husband, Jack Kirschke, a local Deputy District Attorney. Kirschke was convicted of the murders and spent ten years in prison. Elaine Terry was only 42 years old at the time of her death.
Written by Jennifer Binns of Hollie Point Vintage
Courtesy of Hollie Point
Courtesy of Auntie Establishment Vintage
from a 1950s dress
from an early-1960s dress
from a 1960s dress