Kate Reily

Kate Reily

Famous British dressmaker
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Kate Reilly
  2. Designing Dresses for Lord William Nevill's Wedding
  3. Expansion and Acquisition
  4. The Legacy of Reilly's Designs
  5. Collaboration with Madeleine Vionnet

Biography of Kate Reilly

Kate Reilly, a renowned British dressmaker, owned a workshop at 11-12 Dover Street, London, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Her subsidiary was located in New York, at 277 Fifth Avenue, while the Chicago store operated at 1305 Michigan Avenue.

Designing Dresses for Lord William Nevill's Wedding

In 1889, Reilly developed a design for dresses worn by the bridesmaids at the wedding of Lord William Nevill and Miss Luisa Maria Carmen de Murrieta, which took place at the Brompton Oratory in London. The unique dresses, as reported in 'The New York Times', were made of white silk and trimmed with otter fur. They were paired with velvet hats in a mouse color and ostrich feathers.

Expansion and Acquisition

In 1894, Reilly's American branch acquired the New York firm 'Ehrich Brothers', which made 'magnificent clothing' more accessible to the public by reducing the prices. This acquisition allowed Reilly's designs to reach a wider audience in America.

The Legacy of Reilly's Designs

Today, the Staten Island Historical Society houses a collection of 'Reilly' label dresses. These garments, made of pale green silk satin with floral decorations and grape-themed designs, are adorned with lace trim on the neckline and cuffs, as well as wide satin belts with metallic tassels, among other details.

Collaboration with Madeleine Vionnet

At the beginning of her career, French designer Madeleine Vionnet (1876–1975) worked alongside Kate Reilly, undertaking alterations and modifications to ready-made dresses as per the clients' requests.