BIOGRAPHY of: MARLENE DELL SPENCER MANSFIELD Born the 7th of February, 1932 in Lincoln, Nebraska Graduate of North East High School Graduate of Stevens College – Associate of Arts Degree (Fashion Design Major). Received top scholastic award. Washington University – St. Louis Mo., - Bachelors of Arts Degree (Fashion Design Major). Dean’s List and won fashion design award. Professional Fashion Designer, Copyrighted Trade Name – Marlene Dell Originals Married to Kenneth Harry Mansfield in 1950, and together we have two children, Kent and His Wife Cathy and Children in Houston, Texas, and Steven Edward Mansfield in Shanghai, China, and Children in Washington State.
Growing up our Spencer family home was in Bethany, a neighborhood and former village in the northeast region of the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. My Parents, Judge Harry Arthur Spencer, born in Bishops, Walton England and Leone Marie Spencer, Born in Minnesota. As you know, I am a graduate of North East High School, as well as my Brothers Harry – Annapolis Graduate and Naval Officer retired; Terry – Business Executive retired; and Victor – Contractor Builder retired and my sister’s Pagean - Teacher and Rancher retired, and Leon – Teacher and Business Women Simi-retired. My father became a lawyer, practicing law in Lincoln, was elected to the District Court and later elected to the Nebraska State Supreme Court Ultimately retiring as a Supreme Court Justice, Lincoln, Nebraska. During this time he also pursued Law at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Becoming a Professor of law.
I started my Designing and Dress Making Career when I was about age eight (8), in Lincoln Nebraska, it was at this time I chose the Design name Marlene Dell Originals and my father had this name Copyrighted in 1939 after I had sold a number of my completed dress designs to one of the department stores in Lincoln at that time. My first series of designs were blue and white check Dress with red and white embroidery. I wore it to church every Sunday. Clearly I was my own best customer.
I made many dresses on an old Singer Peddle Sewing Machine and many dresses for myself when the “Sack” dress was in style.
When I went to high school I made my first wedding gown for Jean Ward in white satin, she lived in Bethany. It was on summer vacation I used my old machine to make the very special wedding gown for Joan and Ed Childress’s wedding, as well as all the attendants’ gown’s. At North East High School I made and worked on clothes and special things for the school plays. I always entered State Fair contests for designs and dresses over the years winning many awards and ribbons. At North East High School I worked on numerous costumes for Plays and Props. I was just 15 or so when I graduated and enrolled at Stephens College in Columbia Missouri. In my first year I entered my designs in the schools fashion show and I received two awards. In 1949 and 1950 I designed and made a wedding dress and veil and four attendant’s gowns and a little girl’s dress which won a fashion design trophy and a silver plate award for fashion design. This started off a whole series of Wedding gowns and attendant’s dresses. I went on to Washington University in St. Louis where I majored in dress design. During my time at Washington University, I made many designs that were sold to Stores in St. Louis and earned Royalties from my fashion designs and was very fortunate to win various designer awards which lead me to getting my designs approved for Vogue and Butterwick pattern makers. The companies would provide all the materials; I made the first pattern dress and was awarded a five (5%) percent royalty. During this time I also managed to obtain royalty awards for my shoe designs. My Husband was just out of the service and had taken a job in St. Louis which was perfect for us. I accepted a number of offers to designs clothes and shoes for several companies in the St. Louis area during the time we lived there. I had married in my senior year at college and my husband was being transferred in the next three months so I arranged to do free lance for many companies which I picked the fabrics and changed instead of making the garments. I sent designs in detail and sent my patterns. We were transferred to Alabama where my Husband set up stores for his company. After living in Alabama and Texas for a number of years we were transferred to California to the Home Office in Beverly Hills for some time and bought a house in Huntington Beach, California. It was here that I touched on designing costumes for various movie studio prop companies and a few rock and roll bands like the Animals. In Every city we lived I did designing and when we transferred to Canada I designed for both profit and for countless charity events to support the local communities in each City we lived.
Marlene Dell Spencer Mansfield 5411 Penzance Court Katy, Texas. 77449 Email: care of my son, email@example.com
Published on Oct 7, 2011