Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Irene Saltern Salinger Papers MS.P.059
MS.P.059  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (164.91 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Historical Background
  • Chronology
  • Bibliography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Irene Saltern Salinger papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.P.059
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 33.0 Linear feet (64 boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1940-1980
    Date (inclusive): 1819-2005
    Language of Collection Materials: Collection materials are in English, German, and French.
    Abstract: This collection comprises the personal and professional papers of Irene Saltern Salinger, a Hollywood fashion designer in the late 1930s to early 1940s, originator of coordinated women's sportswear separates in the 1950s, and fashion designer into the late 1970s. Her papers include pencil and watercolor costume sketches for Hollywood film productions and her commercial work, photographs, fashion plates, scrapbooks, personal and professional correspondence, fabric swatches, fashion line summaries and photographs, research materials, as well as sales and advertisement materials from circa 1950 to 1980. The collection also includes European fashion plates collected by Salinger, showcasing popular clothing for upper-class men, women, and children from the mid- to late- nineteenth century.
    Creator: Salinger, Irene Saltern, 1911-2005

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Some materials are in the public domain. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Irene Saltern Salinger Papers. MS-P059. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Irene Saltern Salinger, 2002; gift of Lynda Lawrence Salinger, 2011, 2012.

    Processing History

    European fashion plates processed by Audrey Pearson, 2007. Additions to the collection processed by Audra Eagle Yun, Zoe MacLeod, Alix Norton, and student assistants; 2012.

    Historical Background

    Irene Saltern Salinger was a Hollywood fashion designer from 1937 until 1943 and a commercial fashion designer from 1943 until 1979. Born Irene Stern in Germany on January 30, 1911, Salinger grew up in Berlin. She had a privileged childhood and often spent time with her then next-door neighbor, Albert Einstein. After high school, Salinger attended fashion design school in Berlin. After graduating and marrying Harry Salinger, she worked as a fashion journalist, giving talks and traveling to fashion shows throughout Europe. While the Salingers were on their honeymoon, Harry lost his job as a judge. Salinger soon accepted an offer from a relative living in California, where she settled and began to pursue a career in costume design.
    While in California, Salinger attended a party where she met Max Factor’s son-in-law. He helped her get a job in the publicity department at Universal Studios, which was to become her first Hollywood job. It was while working at Universal that Salinger changed her last name to Saltern, a combination of the names Salinger and Stern. Later she began working for Republic Pictures, designing costumes for western films in the late 1930s. Aspiring to design for feature films, Salinger obtained a position with Samuel Goldwyn Pictures in the 1940s as a fashion designer and later as the head of wardrobe design. Among the movies for which she designed costumes are Call of the Yukon (1938), Under Western Stars (1938), Gangs of New York (1938), The Howards of Virginia (1940), They Dare Not Love (1941), Time Out for Rhythm (1941), and Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941).
    In 1942, toward the end of her Hollywood career, Salinger was one of 13 designers highlighted at the Waldorf Astoria fashion show. Salinger won the prize at the show for creating a line that worked within the wartime clothing rations. She used the connections she made at the event as well as her connections in the film industry to become a designer for Hollywood Premiere, where she began her commercial design career.
    Salinger left Hollywood in 1943 and began to design women's sportswear for Tabak of California in 1950. There is evidence in her commercial fashion papers that, while working for Tabak, Salinger proved she was able to hold her own in an industry dominated by men. She frequently voiced her opinions and sought recognition for her work as an individual. One example is illustrated in memoranda where Salinger voices her concerns about the size of her name on Tabak advertisements. In the late 1950s and 1960s, she worked for Phil Rose, Lanz of California, returned to work for Tabak, and also briefly headed her own firm, Irene Saltern of California. In the 1970s, Salinger designed for many different companies, including Pant Pouri, Nemy and Disegni.
    In 1979, Salinger left commercial fashion. She was best known for her influence in the women's sportswear industry, particularly her work as one of the originators of coordinated sportswear separates. Later in life she donated many of her movie sketches to the American Film Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she was honored as one of the seven great designers of the golden age. She died September 4, 2005 in Newport Beach, California.
    The majority of this biographical note is sourced from written biographical information from Salinger's daughter-in-law, Lynda Lawrence Salinger, as well as from the collection itself.

    Chronology

    Chronology

    1911 Irene Stern born in Berlin, Germany on January 30.
    1929 Begins to study fashion.
    1933 Marries Harry Salinger.
    1934-1936 Works as a French fashion journalist and publishes papers in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Cairo, and Jerusalem.
    1936 Sails on the U.S.S. Normandy to the United States.
    1937 Works as a fashion publicist for a Universal Studios radio show on KFWB.
    1938-1943 Works as wardrobe and costume designer for Samuel Goldwyn, Republic Pictures, Hal Roach, and Universal.
    1942 Designs period costumes for boudoir dolls.
    1943 Begins Snood business and designs for SunRose.
    1943-1950 Designs her own signature line for Hollywood Premiere.
    1945 Gives birth to her son, Tom Salinger.
    1950-1955 Designs for Tabak.
    1955-1957 Launches her own line and launches the Irene Saltern brand under her own company, TomBarry.
    1957-1958 Designs for Sir James.
    1958-1965 Designs for Tabak.
    1966-1967 Designs for Phil Rose.
    1967-1969 Deisgns for Tonino and Alexa.
    1969-1970 Designs for Figuremate.
    1970-1973 Designs for Pant Pouri (Lady R.).
    1974 Designs for City Girl.
    1975 Designs for Cynaya.
    1976-1977 Designs for Nemy.
    1977 Designs for Cheeks.
      Designed for Dizzy's Place.
    1977-1979 Designs for Disegni.
    2005 Passes away in Newport Beach, CA on September 4.

    Bibliography

    Basheda, Lori. "When Glamour Reigned: Hollywood Designer Irene Saltern Revisits the Glory Days." The Orange County Register, 11 November 1999.
    Cook, Anne Marie, "Irene Saltern, Unsung Pioneer of California Design," Vintage Reflections,May 11, 2011, http://reflectionsofvintage.blogspot.com/2011/05/irene-saltern-unsung-pioneer-of.html.
    Hall, Marian, Marjorie Carne, and Sylvia Sheppard. 2002. California fashion: from the old west to new Hollywood. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
    Kathy, Bryant. "What Goes Around : From Movie Studios to Private Labels, Irene Salinger Has Seen It All Before." Los Angeles Times, 14 September 1995. http://articles.latimes.com/1995-09-14/news/ls-45832_1_movie-studios (Accessed 6 December 2011).

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection comprises the personal and professional papers of Irene Saltern Salinger, a Hollywood fashion designer in the late 1930s to early 1940s, originator of coordinated women's sportswear separates in the 1950s, and fashion designer into the late 1970s. Her papers include pencil and watercolor costume sketches for Hollywood film productions and her commercial work, photographs, fashion plates, research materials, and personal papers. The collection also includes European fashion plates collected by Salinger, showcasing popular clothing for upper-class men, women, and children from the mid- to late-nineteenth century.
    The European fashion plates were given to Salinger as a gift by her father. The plates are primarily hand-colored etchings and steel engravings, which were collected independently from their original publications. The collection also includes a few costume plates that showcase the attire of lower classes and people of the world.
    Salinger’s papers from her Hollywood career consists of many costume sketches for Hollywood films, movie stills, correspondence, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, cast and crew lists, and address books. Costume sketches include work from 1938 to 1943 for Republic Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Pictures and include costumes from movies such as Saboteur, Miss Polly, They Dare Not Love, So Ends Our Night, Time Out for Rhythm, The Howards of Virginia, Tanks a Million, Cheers for Miss Bishop, All-American Co-Ed, The Westerner, and Raffles.
    Salinger’s commercial fashion and business papers comprise many fashion sketches, fabric swatches, fashion line summaries and photographs, correspondence, research materials, ephemera, salesmen’s books, as wells as sales and advertisement materials from circa 1950 to 1980. Professional materials from 1980-2005 are also included. Commercial fashion sketches include work from the 1940s through the late 1970s for a variety of companies, including Tabak, Phil Rose, Irene Saltern, Sir James, Lanz-Alexa/Tonino, FigureMate, Pant Pouri (Lady R), City Girl, Cynaya, Nemy, Cheeks, Dizzy's Place, and Disegni, and many of the designs have fabric swatches attached to them.
    Salinger’s personal papers include family records, biographical material, early artwork, correspondence, photographs, diaries, and newspaper clippings from 1911 to 2005.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in 4 series:
    • Series 1. European fashion plates, 1819-1886
    • Series 2. Hollywood and costume fashion materials, 1937-1942
    • Series 3. Commerical fashion and buisness materials, 1941-2005
    • Series 4. Personal papers, 1911-2005
    The original order of the collection has been retained as arranged by the donor, primarily chronologically.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Salinger, Irene Saltern, 1911-2005, collector.
    Advertising -- Fashion
    Costume design drawings.
    Costume designers -- California
    Etchings -- 19th century -- Color.
    Fashion -- Austria -- History -- 19th century.
    Fashion -- France -- History -- 19th century.
    Fashion -- Germany -- History -- 19th century.
    Fashion -- United States
    Fashion design drawings -- United States -- 20th century.
    Fashion designers -- California.
    Fashion plates -- Austria -- 19th century -- Color.
    Fashion plates -- France -- 19th century -- Color.
    Fashion plates -- Germany -- 19th century -- Color.
    Steel engravings -- 19th century -- Color.
    Women fashion designers -- 20th century