USEFUL INFORMATION FOR BUYING, DATING AND IDENTIFYING LILLI DIAMOND DRESSES
WHERE TO BUY:
Lilli Diamond dresses are available on eBay, Etsy and 1stDibs, plus bricks and mortar vintage stores, especially in the USA. The most desirable dresses are the ones with the older label (left) and asking prices vary from $50 - $25,000.
It can be difficult to determine exact dates for particular garments, but if a dress has the original label (left) it will be from 1951 - 1965. After 1965, Al Diamond sold the label to Campus Casuals and the newer style of label came in, which continued until the mid-1980s.
Many vintage collectors use Union labels as a clue for dating garments, but early Lilli Diamond dresses do not have Union labels. The workers were treated so well, they voted against joining the garment workers' union until 1967.
Unlike many other fashion brands, Lilli Diamond Originals did not advertise in fashion magazines. Any advertising to the public was done by retailers, usually in their local papers.
Lilli Diamond dresses were sold in upscale boutiques and department stores across the USA, particularly in California. Some department stores refused to stock the label, because it was deemed "too sexy" for their conservative clientele.
The somewhat daring styles were a drawcard for retailer Frederick's of Hollywood, which was the largest stockist of Lilli Diamond Originals. Any dress sold there was a Frederick's exclusive, and wasn't available anywhere except their flagship store on Hollywood Boulevard, or their mail order catalogs.
Another well-known retailer was the House of Nine "the small size specialists", available in vintage sizes 3, 5, 7 and 9. (A size 3 was likely much smaller than today's size zero.)