Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - 1967 Geoffrey Beene Dress

1967, geoffrey beene dress...or the bottom half of one. 1967 - Geoffrey Beene, native Louisianan, fashion spark of American ingenuity, throws a hundred million sequins into a mirror miracle of a shape; scatters neon flowers at random, then garlands the hem. I want to see the rest of the dress, don't you? And how about those silver vinyl thigh-high boots?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Joset Walker - American Sportswear Designer

You may have heard of 1940's and 50's American sportswear designers Claire McCardell, Carolyn Schnurer, and Tina Leser, but how about Joset Walker? Born in France, Walker began her career designing for Broadway and for RKO studios in Hollywood. In the 1940's, Walker specialized in sports clothes for outdoor activities, swimwear, and casual dresses. Shown above, a 1949 marigold linen dress, belted in gold leather.

1946 sunsuit romper and beach jacket.

1954 cotton print capri jumpsuit.

I'm still dreaming of summer, can you tell? If I can't be the woman in yesterday's post, I want to be the woman in orange linen up above.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Vreeland and Scavullo - Bazaar 1960

Francesco Scavullo, 1960 photo for BazaarDiana Vreeland was Fashion Editor at Harper's Bazaar from 1937 to 1962. Known for her meticulous attention to detail, the fashion shoots she directed delivered fantasy to the American public. She has been quoted as saying, "Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted!” It works for me because I definitely want to be this woman right now. I am so tired of winter.

This photo was taken by Francesco Scavullo in Trinidad and Tobago in 1960. The model wears a white pique midriff-baring blouse over a long red and white cotton wrap skirt, both by Mr. Mort Sportswear. The Weiss bib necklace and the brooch-as-hair-ornament add just the right touch of the exotic. But it's the bare feet that make me feel the warm tropical breeze and the hot sand on the beach. Oh yeah, I definitely want to be this woman right now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

1949 Day Dresses

As a vintage seller, I'm often dazzled by the "special" clothes - the cocktail dresses, the evening gowns, the tailored suits. But I also delight in the everyday dresses - the simple cotton and rayon numbers worn around the house or out to play, worn to class or to the movies, worn to run errands or to meet friends. These pictures are all from 1949.

Wouldn't a dress like this be nice for a change instead of jeans and a t-shirt? Instead of cargo pants and a tank top? Here are a few from the same time period newly listed at Couture Allure. Click the pictures to see details!

Written content is copyright of Couture Allure. If you are reading this anywhere but on the Couture Allure Vintage Fashion Blog, it is via RSS feed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pleats Three Ways from 1955

Pleats. There's something about the way they swish and sway when you walk that makes them so alluring. Here are pleats done three ways from 1955.

bergdorf pleated suit, 1955A tailored suit with a box pleated skirt from Bergdorf Goodman. Made in navy or grey worsted flannel, there's nothing severe about this whirlaway style. Sold for $195 in 1955, the same suit would cost about $1600 today. Love the short matching gloves with the bracelets stacked on top and the super slim umbrella makes an elegant accessory.

1955, junior sophisticates pleated dressKnife pleats are narrow at the top and gradually widen to the hem to add fullness to the skirt in this dress by Junior Sophisticates. The belt keeps things in check at the waist.

1955, Vanity Fair, peignoir set, pleated robeA dramatic peignoir set by Vanity Fair offers a robe with a grand sweep of sheer pleats falling from the shoulder. In nylon tricot and French lace, the set was available in white or pastel colors. In 1955, the gown sold for $29.95 and the robe for $59.95 - that equals $244 and $489 in today's dollar!

Monday, February 23, 2009

2009 Oscars - How Did we Do?

Last week, we had fun with some ideas for vintage gowns that the Best Actress Oscar nominees could wear. How did we do?

We wanted Kate Winslet to wear a gold Vionnet gown from the 1930s. She wore an asymmetric Yves St. Laurent gown in grey ombré with a black lace overlay. This is one of my least favorite gowns of the night. As the winner of the award, I would have loved to see Kate in gold. Oh well.

We wanted to see Meryl Streep in something other than black, and even though we chose red or deep pink, this soft grey gown by Alberta Ferretti will do. Thanks for listening, Meryl! I think the gown and her hair suit her and she looks beautiful.

Most of you disagreed with me, but I really wanted to see Melissa Leo go bohemian with her gown choice. Instead she opted for this copper gown by Badgley Miska that hearkens to the early 1940's. Although I love the copper color, which goes beautifully with her hair, the horizontal ruching of the bodice does not suit Leo in the least. She needs more of a curvy waist to carry this look. Her hair is a disaster, and this morning it is being said she had the worst hairstyle of the night. I wish she had just let her curls go.

We wanted to see Angelina Jolie wear something dramatic and edgy. Instead she opted for safe and elegant in this black Elie Saab gown. Lovely, but rather understated. Has Angelina grown up on us?

We wanted to see Anne Hathaway go for drama in Dior. Instead she did go with drama but in a different way. She is luminous in this Armani Prive gown that is completely covered in graduated irridescent pailletes and crystals. Way to knock it out of the ballpark, Anne!

So who did wear vintage?

Penelope Cruz wore a white vintage 1950's gown by Pierre Balmain. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

My personal favorites of the night?

Natalie Portman in pink and gold by Rodarte.

Freida Pinto in vivid blue John Galiano.

Most people disagree, but I absolutely loved Beyonce in this gold and black fishtail hem gown. It's very different and dramatic, and she looks smokin' hot!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Night - 1954

Oscar Night 1954 - Audrey Hepburn wins Best Actress for Roman Holiday. Although she would be nominated 4 more times in the next 14 years, this was her only win. The dress is by Givenchy, who was designing her costumes for Sabrina at the time.

Enjoy the Academy Awards tonight everyone!

Vintage Roadshow - Links of the Week

Please enjoy these links from my colleagues at Vintage Roadshow!

Glamoursplash spends the week in 1928, with one post devoted to Seaside Chic from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid gives a film and fashion history lesson: Designer & Costumer Go Head To (Edith) Head.

Freudian Slips Vintagefinds a wonderful vintage Bill Gibb jacket

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - All About Eve

The year - 1950. The film - All About Eve. The cast shown here - Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Marilyn Monroe, George Sanders, Gary Merrill. The awards - Oscar for Best Picture. Both Davis and Baxter were nominated for Best Actress, although neither won. The costumes - Edith Head designed Bette Davis' wardrobe. Charles LeMaire designed and supervised the rest of the cast's clothes.

Bette Davis is my favorite actress of all time. As a side note, Edith Head rushed to make the dress worn by Davis in these photos the night before filming with no time for a fitting. Head was dismayed to discover that the dress was too big and the neckline slid off of Davis' shoulders. Davis said she preferred it that way, and I do too.

Links à la Mode: February 21

The major Fashion Weeks have begun, here in New York we have some great coverage, New York favorites on Studio Purpura, my own visit to threeASFOUR on The Coveted, and some Barbie thoughts on Fashion in My Eyes. Couture Allure dresses the stars in vintage, and if the recession is making you nervous Style Amour talks about what you should do if you get fired from the fashion industry.

Friday, February 20, 2009

How I Would Dress the Oscar Nominees - Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway has been nominated for Best Actress for her role in Rachel Getting Married. Hathaway has a unique characteristic of looking good in just about anything, and wearing it well.

Hathaway at the 2008 Oscars

Hathaway at the 2007 Oscars

Hathaway at the premier of "Rachel Getting Married"

I saved Hathaway for last because I couldn't decide who I would like to see her wear. She would look equally smashing in 1940's Adrian, 1960's Norell, or 1980's St. Laurent. In the end, though, I knew it was Hathaway who could carry off the drama of 1950's Dior. And I would love to see Hathaway in any of these gorgeous gowns.

1951 dior evening gownWould you rather see her wear this 1951 Dior gown of gold embroidery on maroon tulle or.....

1955 dior evening gown....this 1955 gown made famous in Avedon's photo of Dovima with the Elephants......

.....or this 1957 Dior gown of red polka dots. The hem climbs slightly higher in the front, as you can see in the mirror.

Which would you choose?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How I Would Dress the Oscar Nominees - Melissa Leo

Melissa Leo has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role in Frozen River. This is a first time nomination for Leo, and she hasn't seen much time on the red carpet.

Leo (right) at Critic's Choice Awards 2009

Leo at Director's Guild Awards 2009

Since Melissa Leo isn't well known, her "style persona " hasn't been developed yet. With her wild reddish hair, she has a rather bohemian mystic and I'd love to see her use that to her advantage. What better to dress her in than in a 1970's designer print?

Would you rather see Leo wear this Albert Capraro ethereal silk gown from 1975......

....or this print gown with dramatic sleeves from Lillie Rubin 1975?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How I Would Dress the Oscar Nominees - Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep received a Best Actress nomination for her role in Doubt. Streep likes to cover her arms, which isn't a problem, but I'd love to see her in some color. Black is doing nothing for her.

Streep at the 2008 Oscars

Streep at the 2004 Oscars

I can't think of anyone who did color better than Valentino, and since he retired this past year, it is appropriate that someone choose vintage Valentino to wear. For me, that someone is Meryl Streep.

Would you rather see Streep wear this color block chiffon gown in shades of pink and grey with purple chiffon yoke and sleeves from Valentino's Fall/Winter 1986 Haute Couture line.....

....or this Valentino red gown from the Fall/Winter 1965 Haute Couture line. The dress has a deep decollete wtih draped panels hanging at the center front. The matching cape is of red tulle with tufts of ostrich feathers held in place with gold embroidery and red rhinestones.

Tough choice. Which do you like?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How I Would Dress the Oscar Nominees - Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is nominated for Best Actress for her role in Changeling. Of all the nominees, I think Jolie has the personality to carry off a vintage gown by Versace - Gianni, not Donnatella. And I really would like to see her bring some daring and edge back to her wardrobe.

Jolie at the 2000 Oscars

Jolie at the 2004 Oscars

Would you rather see Jolie wear this 1988 two-piece black dress with it's bodice that snaps open to reveal a rhinestone covered bustier.....

...or this 1995 gown with overskirt and train made of industrial weight vinyl. The gown is lined in an opaque fabric except for the back above the overskirt, which remains clear.

Which would you choose?