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Seller Story: The Marilyn Lewis Designer Fashion Collection, Los Angeles, CA


“Before her time” is a characterization of Marilyn Lewis that arises frequently when discussing the restaurateur and fashion designer’s life. Lewis, who arrived in Los Angeles from Cleveland with aspirations of modeling, first became known for opening Hamburger Hamlet in 1950 with actor Harry Lewis (whom she eventually married). The eatery on Sunset offered an elevated diner menu and unpretentious seating — relatively unheard of in the city at the time — and quickly became a local institution, beloved by throngs of teenagers and Warren Beatty alike. The Hamlet would go on to become a chain with more than a dozen locations in Los Angeles and the Lewises; fashionable fixtures on the scene.

A longtime fashion aficionado, in 1966, Lewis created her own line, Cardinali, whose pantsuits, ruffles, swishy dresses and jumpsuits evoked a 1960’s career woman, who traded tweed trousers and suit skirts for sultry evening looks come quitting time. Marlo Thomas, whom she outfitted for the sitcom That Girl, became the poster child for the brand, and it garnered fans in LA and beyond; all of whom coveted Cardinali’s reworked classics and showstopping use of texture and color.

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Seller Story: The Marilyn Lewis Designer Fashion Collection, Los Angeles, CA
Seller Story: The Marilyn Lewis Designer Fashion Collection, Los Angeles, CA
Vintage Cardinali Black Jumpsuit

Vintage Cardinali Black Jumpsuit

Final Bid:
$111
Daniel Swarovski Paris Crystal and Black Leather Belt

Daniel Swarovski Paris Crystal and Black Leather Belt

Final Bid:
$55
Women's Yohji Yamamoto Gloves

Women's Yohji Yamamoto Gloves

Final Bid:
$61
Issey Miyake Leather Embellished Sweater

Issey Miyake Leather Embellished Sweater

Final Bid:
$220
Women's Vintage Cardinali Belted Jacket

Women's Vintage Cardinali Belted Jacket

Final Bid:
$181
Yves Saint Laurent Scarf

Yves Saint Laurent Scarf

Final Bid:
$175
Women's Vintage Issey Miyake Trousers

Women's Vintage Issey Miyake Trousers

Final Bid:
$71
Miu Miu Spectator Style Heels

Miu Miu Spectator Style Heels

Final Bid:
$80
Alaïa Red Knit Day Dress

Alaïa Red Knit Day Dress

Final Bid:
$231
Roger Vivier Red Satin Heels

Roger Vivier Red Satin Heels

Final Bid:
$191
Women's Chloé Cardigan Sweater

Women's Chloé Cardigan Sweater

Final Bid:
$162
Vintage Circa 1970s Pauline Trigere Libra Scarf

Vintage Circa 1970s Pauline Trigere Libra Scarf

Final Bid:
$140
Women's Vintage Cardinali Sample Sleeveless Top

Women's Vintage Cardinali Sample Sleeveless Top

Final Bid:
$75
Women's Vintage Cardinali Palazzo Pants

Women's Vintage Cardinali Palazzo Pants

Final Bid:
$210
Manolo Blahnik Black Satin Mules

Manolo Blahnik Black Satin Mules

Final Bid:
$70
Christian Lacroix Handbag

Christian Lacroix Handbag

Final Bid:
$143
Women's Vintage Cardinali Full-Length Coat

Women's Vintage Cardinali Full-Length Coat

Final Bid:
$168
Vintage Anna Sui Hat

Vintage Anna Sui Hat

Final Bid:
$36
Andrea Pfister Mongolian Sheepskin Boots

Andrea Pfister Mongolian Sheepskin Boots

Final Bid:
$162
Women's Vintage Cardinali Dress with Bloomers

Women's Vintage Cardinali Dress with Bloomers

Final Bid:
$235
Women's Fendi Alpaca Cashmere Blend Sweater

Women's Fendi Alpaca Cashmere Blend Sweater

Final Bid:
$240
Vintage Cardinali Sample Brown Pleated Skirt

Vintage Cardinali Sample Brown Pleated Skirt

Final Bid:
$12
Fendi Zucca Canvas Tote with Floral Embroidery

Fendi Zucca Canvas Tote with Floral Embroidery

Final Bid:
$623
Giorgio Armani Crocodile Trimmed Leather Belt

Giorgio Armani Crocodile Trimmed Leather Belt

Final Bid:
$43
Women's Vintage Cardinali Wrap Coat

Women's Vintage Cardinali Wrap Coat

Final Bid:
$135
Louis Vuitton Monogram Scarf

Louis Vuitton Monogram Scarf

Final Bid:
$350
Vintage Cardinali Silk Jumpsuit

Vintage Cardinali Silk Jumpsuit

Final Bid:
$150
Escada Holographic Mules

Escada Holographic Mules

Final Bid:
$85
Fendi Cloud and Floral Pattern Silk Scarf

Fendi Cloud and Floral Pattern Silk Scarf

Final Bid:
$93
Women's Jean Paul Gaultier Maille Femme Sheer Shirt

Women's Jean Paul Gaultier Maille Femme Sheer Shirt

Final Bid:
$85
Women's Cardinali Sample Tapestry Pants

Women's Cardinali Sample Tapestry Pants

Final Bid:
$86
Vintage Fantazia By Hana Leather Coat with Faux Fur Lining

Vintage Fantazia By Hana Leather Coat with Faux Fur Lining

Final Bid:
$245
Vintage Cardinali Short Sleeve Jumpsuit with Matching Hat

Vintage Cardinali Short Sleeve Jumpsuit with Matching Hat

Final Bid:
$204
Vintage Cardinali Sample Dress

Vintage Cardinali Sample Dress

Final Bid:
$215
Hermès "Skyros" Silk Scarf

Hermès "Skyros" Silk Scarf

Final Bid:
$221
Women's Vintage Cardinali Jumpsuit

Women's Vintage Cardinali Jumpsuit

Final Bid:
$478
Jean Paul Gaultier Stretch Turtleneck Top

Jean Paul Gaultier Stretch Turtleneck Top

Final Bid:
$92
Vintage Cardinali Black Skirt

Vintage Cardinali Black Skirt

Final Bid:
$65
Chanel Red and Gold Plaid Scarf

Chanel Red and Gold Plaid Scarf

Final Bid:
$257
Walter Steiger Suede and Mesh Boots

Walter Steiger Suede and Mesh Boots

Final Bid:
$46
Women's Vintage Cardinali Plaid Jacket

Women's Vintage Cardinali Plaid Jacket

Final Bid:
$12
Jimmy Choo Wedge Heels

Jimmy Choo Wedge Heels

Final Bid:
$91
Claude Montana Paris Red Cotton Dress

Claude Montana Paris Red Cotton Dress

Final Bid:
$22
Women's Chanel Cargo Pants

Women's Chanel Cargo Pants

Final Bid:
$275
Jean Paul Gaultier Soleil Navy Dress

Jean Paul Gaultier Soleil Navy Dress

Final Bid:
$66
Vintage Chanel Quilted Crossbody Flap Purse

Vintage Chanel Quilted Crossbody Flap Purse

Final Bid:
$800
Vintage Cardinali Red, White, Blue Silk Scarf

Vintage Cardinali Red, White, Blue Silk Scarf

Final Bid:
$50
Women's Vintage Cardinali Navy Blue Blouse

Women's Vintage Cardinali Navy Blue Blouse

Final Bid:
$56
Women's Vintage 1970s Cardinali Sample Chiffon Jacket and Skirts

Women's Vintage 1970s Cardinali Sample Chiffon Jacket and Skirts

Final Bid:
$395
Vintage Cardinali Red Moire Jumper Gown

Vintage Cardinali Red Moire Jumper Gown

Final Bid:
$95
Bernard Perris Striped Scarf

Bernard Perris Striped Scarf

Final Bid:
$120
Women's Braetan for Saks Fifth Avenue Black Knit Jacket

Women's Braetan for Saks Fifth Avenue Black Knit Jacket

Final Bid:
$50
Jean Paul Gaultier Maille Femme Black Shirt

Jean Paul Gaultier Maille Femme Black Shirt

Final Bid:
$40
Circa 1970s Delores for Poirette Lingerie with Shrug

Circa 1970s Delores for Poirette Lingerie with Shrug

Final Bid:
$170
Alaïa Black Wool Pants

Alaïa Black Wool Pants

Final Bid:
$95
Pas Pour Toi Sweaters and Scarf with Matching Gloves

Pas Pour Toi Sweaters and Scarf with Matching Gloves

Final Bid:
$55
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Seller Story: The Marilyn Lewis Designer Fashion Collection, Los Angeles, CA

Lewis led Cardinali for nine years before shuttering it, pulled in other directions by the family business. By 1987 that included Kate Mantilini, which, until its closure in 2014, was the favored locale for a Hollywood power lunch. Lewis’s later years saw her as a successful Hollywood producer and woman about town, always with an expert eye for fashion inextricably linked to her charisma and ability to command a room.

The collection here is part of the nearly 6,000 pieces of designer fashion that Lewis left in her estate after passing in May, many of which are vintage Cardinali of her own design. One-of-a-kind gems, like a persimmon-hued Cardinali trouser pantsuit, Yohji Yamamoto gloves, fierce magenta and clear Dolce and Gabbana boots, Louis Vuitton shoes, handbags from Chanel, Christian LaCroix, and more celebrate the vibrant life of a true original.

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