Monday, May 31, 2010

Shouldn't You Be Wearing Pink?

Michelle's doing it....

Michelle Obama in Narcisco Rodriguez

Kristin is doing it....

Kristin Davis wears vintage Jean Desses to the SATC2 New York premiere.

.....and so is Gwyneth.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Prada.

Pink is THE color of the moment. And if you think you can't wear pink, think again. Pink is a universally flattering color that looks great on almost everyone. If you think pink looks too "babyish", go for a more vivid shade and watch it make your skin glow. Pink is a guaranteed mood elevator. I know you'll have fun wearing it!

Need more inspiration? Check out these great pink dresses, all available at Couture Allure!

Remember, ladies.....Think Pink!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Tribute

Today, we remember and give thanks to all the brave men and women who have served and given their lives in the Armed Forces of the U.S.A. Thank you.

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Dresses and Evening Gowns

This week, I've added some wonderful vintage dresses and evening gowns to the site. Check out our fresh vintage by going to our What's New pages at the site!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend Eye Candy - Chanel, 1987

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, 1987. Black satin and white organza combine in a dress compared to piano keys.

Photo by Beate Hansen.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vintage Evening Gowns - 1955

That's me in the center, with 2 of my sisters at the black-and-white formal wedding for our other sister. I'm carrying a 1930s rhinestone evening bag.

I've been seeing a lot of photos in the last few weeks of lovely young ladies in their prom finery. It got me thinking about the excitement of shopping for just the right gown, all the trying on and the dreaming of how beautiful one will look on the special night. And then I wondered, why is it that after our prom years, we women have so few opportunities to dress up for a formal affair? In the last 30 years, I have only worn a true formal evening gown 3 times - once at each of my children's weddings where I was the mother of the bride and then the groom, and once at my sister's black-and-white black tie wedding, shown above. Each time, I felt truly beautiful, and I had so much FUN!

Why don't we have more formal occasions to dress up for? Have we just gotten too lazy? Do we just not care anymore? Why is it OK to wear jeans to the opera? Why is it OK to wear a cotton mini-dress and flip flops to a wedding? I mourn the days when certain social affairs demanded that we respect ourselves and others by dressing up to honor the occasion.

And so, dear readers, here is a call to action! Why not plan a party or get-together and make it a formal affair? Here are some ideas, presented with stunning evening gowns from 1955.

Mme. Grès
Celebrate your next big birthday with a black tie party.

Jean Patou
Plan your own grown-up prom with dinner and dancing to the old standards.

Instead of a barbeque, how about a formal garden party?

Jean Patou
Attend a local formal fund raiser for your favorite charity.

Mme. Grès
Arrange a small formal dinner party at the best restaurant in town.

Pierre Balmain
Plan a very romantic at-home evening for two with your special someone.

Christian Dior
Have your own red carpet party on Oscar night.

Got any other ideas? Please add them in the comments.

Oh, and by the way, if you need a formal evening gown, I have a fabulous collection of vintage stunners at Couture Allure!

All photos by Pottier, except the first, which was taken by my husband.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Add Some Color to Your Summer

Jean Patou Boutique

Nothing says summer like a pop of colorful print. In 1968, simple lines in shift and tent dresses were what every gal wanted. Designers dressed those styles up with wild and colorful abstract and floral prints, the brighter the better.

Fellow blogger and fave fashion icon Sal at Already Pretty has banished black from her wardrobe for the entire summer. She has challenged herself to wear color and more color every day until August. Sal posts her daily outfit each evening, so you can watch her creativity in meeting her goal for the next 2 1/2 months. I'm looking forward to the results! For Sal, and anyone else who wants to join her challenge, may I suggest these fun dresses from 1968 for inspiration?

Pierre Cardin

Jacques Tiffeau

Lauren Hutton in Vera


Photo 1 and 3 by Guegan, photo 4 from an ad for cotton, 1968 , photo 5 by Penn, photo 6 from an ad for McMullen and Tabu perfume, 1968. Photo of Sal via her blog Already Pretty.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

J. Peterman Sarong Dress

If you get the J. Peterman catalog, then you know they sell copies of classic designs. What you may not have known is that they copy vintage pieces almost line for line, including the fabric, and produce them in modern sizes. This can be great for us modern gals that don't fit well in vintage sizes. Case in point: J. Peterman has the 50s style cotton sarong dress shown above in their current summer catalog. They bought the original from Couture Allure!

Here is the original 1950s yellow cotton sarong dress I sold to them last fall.

They've done a beautiful job of reproducing it, don't you think?

And, while I just had the dress in one size, you can now get a faithful copy of it in your size.

They even reproduced the pale yellow fabric with the print of seaweed and fishies!

Of course, what they couldn't reproduce was the original label from Mei Ling Fashions. Theirs will say J. Peterman. And it will be made with modern sewing techniques and a nylon zipper. If you like 50s sarong dresses, but can't fit into a 50s size, consider this copy by J. Peterman. The $149 price is certainly affordable!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Dressing - 1954

There's a mini heat wave that has been rolling across the US, and we're expecting it here in Boston today, before it makes it's way out to sea. It is certainly a day to consider hints for dressing in hot weather while enjoying summer fashions from 1954.

- Wear something simple, with a minimum of fuss, and a maximum of skin exposure within the bounds of professionalism. Dark buttons give this white dress enough decoration without adding weight or layers. Dress by Jerry Gilden.
- Use an umbrella as a parasol to block the sun. Shade is always cooler than direct sun. And don't forget the sunscreen!

- Opt for a dress or skirt instead of pants, and go with bare legs if you can.
- Bring along a natural fiber shrug sweater, a large silk scarf, or a shawl to cover your shoulders in cold air-conditioned buildings. Dress by Kane Weill.

- Always choose natural fibers for hot days, as they keep you cooler by wicking moisture away from the body. Lightweight cotton, silk, or linen is best, but rayon will also do.
- Choose light colors that will reflect the sun's rays instead of absorbing them. This classic shirtdress by Clare Potter is a perfect choice in off-white silk.

- Opt for looser fitting garments for added breathability and air flow. Simple blousy blue cotton shirt worn with an easy green cotton skirt. Both pieces by Claire McCardell.

- Keep your hair style simple for hot days.
- Wear open-toed shoes or sandals if you can.
Cheongsam styled dress in embroidered cotton by Carolyn Schnurer.

- Wear a wide brimmed hat to shade your face and shoulders. This is another reason to keep your hairstyle simple in the heat! Cotton eyelet dress by Carven.

All photos by Lillian Bassman for Harper's Bazaar except the last, which is by Arsac.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Swimsuits - 1961

Evidently, green was popular for the summer of 1961, as Harper's Bazaar did an entire issue of the magazine based on the color. Here, the look of swimsuits for the summer of 1961, all in shades of green.

Rudi Gernreich blouson swimsuit in rayon matte jersey. Sold in 1961 for $35 (about $257 in today's dollar).

Robby Len green floral print Lastex two-piece suit. The bottom has side draping. Sold in 1961 for $13 (about $96 in today's dollar).

Catalina lime green maillot with welted seams and a low-cut back in stretch nylon. Sold in 1961 for $20 (about $147 in today's dollar).

One piece green swimsuit by Stafford-Higgins with a blouson top with cap sleeves and an elasticized waist that ties with a belt. Sold in 1961 for $10 (about $73 in today's dollar).

Top, Rose Marie Reid cap-sleeved maillot in green floral print nylon. Sold in 1961 for $26 (about $191 in today's dollar).
Bottom, Cole of California stretch nylon maillot in two tones of green with lacing at the neckline. Sold in 1961 for $19 (about $140 in today's dollar).

Photos by Melvin Sokolsky for Harper's Bazzar

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Dresses and Suits

New this week at Couture Allure are lots of lovely vintage dresses and wonderful vintage suits. Be sure to check our What's New section frequently throughout the week!