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Original Issue


Sport clothes that combine a love for Irish fabrics with Californian living are bringing fame to Designer Jane Ford

The California life that centers around sports cars, beach houses and sailboats is the life for which Jane Ford lives and designs clothes. In the past three years she has become known on the West Coast for clothes colorful enough to hold their own under the brilliant sun, sturdy enough for the sandy life of the beach and streamlined enough to slip into sports cars. This resort season, for the first time, her designs labeled V.I.P. (Very Important Play-clothes) and manufactured by Ardee Sportswear of Los Angeles, will be available in stores in all parts of the country.

Jane Ford was born in Ireland. She is married to another Irish-American, Pat Ford, son of Hollywood Director John Ford. The entire family makes a trip to the homeland almost every year, and it was with the Irish fabric, bainin, brought back from one of her trips, that Jane had one of her first successes. This was one of the first car coats, rough and warm in the distinctive hand-woven unscoured white wool fabric woven by the islanders of Aran.

American work-clothes fabrics—rough denim and canvas—are current favorites, and her research in this field has turned up what may be the heaviest canvas usable in clothing: fire-hose canvas, which Jane has cut into a sports car coat (left) shaped like the coats worn by the elegant Jawaharlal Nehru. Clothes for the cocktail hour, on land or sea, are based on flattering tapered pants and unusual details of cut for the camisole tops—such as the ribbon-tied scoop neck and the open, wrapped back shown opposite. Shorts for California beach life are really short—a length that this designer stands by as being the most flattering. The clothes on these pages are at Roos Bros., San Francisco; Neiman-Marcus, Dallas; Bramson's, Chicago; Bullock's-Westwood.

Sports Car emblems decorate sleeve of a sports car coat made of fire-hose canvas ($30), worn by Allyn Annison, debarking from Thunderbird at Malibu home of Mrs. Edna McHugh.


Classic blue denim is given new twist with embroidery and bias back opening for rib-length camisole ($13) shown by Allyn Smith Annison with tapered trousers ($11).

Rings and ribbons fasten boat neckline of yellow corduroy camisole ($8), trousers ($9) worn by Joanne Holt Bundy at Leonard St. Clair Ploeser's Malibu beach house.

White duck shorts banded with blue jersey ($7) are worn with jersey camisole ($9) under straw beach umbrella at Leonard Ploeser's front-yard strip on Malibu beach. Mrs. Arnold C. Kirkeby's straw beach hat is from California's Bill Hawes.

Fire hose canvas is newest of designer Ford's finds in unorthodox fabrics. Here her ribbon-and-medal-trimmed jacket ($18) and shorts ($7) are worn by Mrs. Sherman F. Wagenseller.

Blue shirt with sleeves buttoned into pleats ($15) is teamed with cotton-and-rayon shorts ($8) by Joanne Bundy. The straw hat is a copy of a style picked up in Tahiti by hat man Hawes.