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Mama Elsa style 1970s Josefa caftan - teal embroidery - Guadalajara dressmaker - princess glam Talitha Getty chic

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Be Mama Elsa for Halloween in this This show-stopping vintage Mexican embroidered caftan by a famous Guadalajara dressmaker from the the 1960s or 70s. Her name was Josefa and there is a link below to some info about her career. She was known, I read, as the Coco Chanel of Mexico, and her exquisite caftans were featured on the cover of Paris Vogue in the 70s. There is a book written about her career called La Gran Josefa. even, and I have included a link to it below.

Long and lovely, it has hand embroidery on the sleeves and the hemline in a symphony of gorgeous color. The vertical applique stripes give it a slimming silhouette. The embroidered imagery is bugs, plants, reeds, flowers, and birds. I spent a good deal of time as a child in San Miguel de Allende and my mother wore lots of stuff like this, though not as refined in construction. Guadalajara must have had it going on back in the day.

The turquoise/teal collar is a squared portrait style, and the trim is a silky soft sheer satin. The fabric is that gorgeous Mexican cotton in a linen weave. The colors are remarkable--teal, turquoise, kelly green, moss green, purple, lilac, lavender, and baby blue. The hemline has a great amount of detailed embroidery work, and the cuffs as well. It has its original hang tag (it's removed, but I have it).

Label: "The Barefoot Eagle Diseno Josefa for any Villa"
Size: none labeled (but see my measurements below)

36" bust
39" across waistline
50" hips (totally laid out)
55-1/2" overall length (shoulder to hemline)
21" sleeve outer length
14-1/2" sleeve inseam
16-3/4" shoulder width (seam to seam)
48" diameter at hemline (for a 96" sweep)

*there is a metal zipper at the back
* unlined

Condition: it looks to have been worn very little, but there are some surface spots on the sleeve, the front (about 5), and the back (about 5), along with some superficial dirt marks from brushing up against something in storage. The marks and stains look like faint coffee or tea splashes, though I can't be sure. They are not very noticeable, but they are there.

The label reads dry clean only, and I'm sure some of the stains would be removed with professional cleaning. I have pics of the marks, and some are visible in the pictures. The stains are small and brown and very faint.

That said, there is an article about Josefa the designer here:

and here:


Convo me with any questions, and thanks for shopping with me. See my other Etsy shop as well:



Meet the owner of CoolVintageFinds

Chip Cordelli

Mama Elsa style 1970s Josefa caftan - teal embroidery - Guadalajara dressmaker - princess glam Talitha Getty chic