Sunday, July 31, 2011

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Print Dresses

Bold prints are all the rage for fall and this week I've added lots of fabulous vintage printed dresses for you at Couture Allure.  There's also a wonderful ball gown and the start of our vintage coat collection for this year.  Be sure to check our What's New page for all the latest listings!

1960s Italian psychedelic print velveteen.

60s silk stripe coat dress.

70s Bohemian cotton paisley.

70s cotton zig-zag print.

60s McInerny cotton tent dress.

Rare 1960s Ernest Newman ball gown.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekend Eye Candy - Valentino, 1992

How does one make a red suit more interesting?  Add animal print!  Valentino uses his signature red for this suit from Fall/Winter 1992.  He adds animal print at the sleeve cuffs and for the piping that edges the pockets.  Then for even more fun, he adds animal print tights, shoes and even a turban!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Paris Fashion - 1932

Continuing our look at fashion from the 1930s, today here are some styles from Paris for spring, 1932.  Which look is your favorite?

Marthe & Rene black wool jersey dress with white georgette sleeves.

Beret with bow by Agnes.

Marcel Rochas black wool jersey dress with large white collar.

Another hat by Agnes.

Jeanne Lanvin black wool dress and jacket with black and white checked silk.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dark Cottons for Late Summer, 1954

One of the best ways to transition your wardrobe from summer to fall is to wear lightweight fabrics like cotton and rayon in darker colors.  Rich brown, rusty orange, warm navy and gray will all work well to keep you cool while toning down the "heat" of bright tropical colors that worked so well just weeks before.  Plaids and stripes also look more formal than the florals of summer.  Today's dresses are from 1954.

Above, a gray cotton stripe dress by Anne Fogarty.  Sold for $40 in 1954 (about $336 in today's dollar.)

This Nantucket Naturals cotton dress is made from a woven plaid that is cut on the bias for the full skirt.  Sold for $35 in 1954 (about $294 in today's dollar.)

 Another Nantucket Naturals dress, this one in deep orange-red edged in black braid.  Sold for $35 in 1954 (about $294 in today's dollar.)

These striped cotton dresses were sold by Peck & Peck.  They came in gray with pink stripes, brown with blue stripes or navy with red stripes.  Dress at top sold for $36 in 1954 (about $302 in today's dollar.)  Dress at bottom sold for $26 in 1954 (about $218 in today's dollar.)

I recently listed this 1950s cotton dress on the site that is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  Deeper colors, but still in a lightweight cotton.  It's the perfect dress to take you from right now on through the fall!  Available at Couture Allure for $145.00 and it's generously sized too!

How do you transition your wardrobe from summer to fall?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bare Legs Were a No-No in the 50s

 "We thought everyone knew........

....a lady's not dressed unless her legs are too."

I got a giggle out of this two-page ad for nylon stockings from 1956.  The two pages appeared side-by-side and the ladies in the top photo are shocked that the woman in the other picture is not wearing stockings.  This seems especially timely given the fact that Kate Middleton is making such an impression because she wears pantyhose with everything(!)  So much so, that pantyhose are flying off the shelves in the UK.

Stockings...pantyhose....that's all well and good, but what about those HATS!!!!!!  Aren't they yummy?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet Judith and Keri!

Meet Judith, author of the blog Style Crone.  Judith has an incredible sense of style and the most amazing collection of vintage hats that she wears with an equally amazing wardrobe full of vintage clothing.  She shares her fashion inspiration on her blog and I am an avid fan.

Judith recently purchased this late 1930s hat from Couture Allure and found out that she can wear it with the feather and pouf facing front or back.  Doesn't she look grand?  Please pop on over to Style Crone for more photos of Judith and her hats.

1930s feather hat at Couture Allure

 Speaking of Keri.  Keri is another woman with an incredible fashion sense.  She purchased this 1970s beaded evening gown by Michael Novarese from Couture Allure and combined it with a 20s style cloche made by her hat designer, Mr. Sax Unlimited.  Isn't she beautiful?

1970s Michael Novarese gown at Couture Allure

 Keri also purchased this 1980s full skirted dress from Couture Allure.  She paired it with another incredible hat.  When Keri sent me this photo, I gasped out loud.  I love her unique perspective and her sense of style, don't you?

1980s dress at Couture Allure

Monday, July 25, 2011

1930s Beach Pyjamas

 I am not an expert on this subject, but I have to share these with you for reasons that will become apparent as you continue reading.  In the 1930s, women wore beach pyjamas for strolling along the sand or down the boardwalk.  They were made of cool fabrics like rayon, cotton or linen and had huge wide legs.  They were often one-piece jumpsuits and sometimes had matching jackets.

 I was tempted to title this post "How to Make Your Sister Happy".  If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that Pam, the owner of Glamoursurf, is my sister.  I happen to know that Pam has been coveting a pair of 30s beach pyjamas for quite awhile now.  On one of my recent hunting trips, I came across a pair and bought them for her birthday gift.

 I got a call from Pam on Wednesday and she asked me, "Did you hear me scream?"  Not only did she love her gift, but they fit her!!!!!!!!!  Doesn't she look fabulous?

Happy Birthday, sister!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Evening Gowns and Dresses

1970s Bill Blass gold evening gown.

1960s black Audrey gown with train.

1960s Malcolm Starr brocade gown.

1950s Dorothy O'Hara draped cocktail dress.

1970s cotton batik shirt dress.

1970s Charles Jourdan sheer silk metallic blouse.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Eye Candy - Geoffrey Beene Coat, 1965

Are you thinking about a coat for this winter yet?  If so, today's Eye Candy is sure to make you swoon.  This Mod era coat by Geoffrey Beene dates to about 1965.  The wool gabardine fabric is printed in a design that references the work of French artist Jean Dubuffet.  Simple black buttons down the front don't distract from the design.  This coat is part of the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Inspiration from Christian Dior - 1960

Today's spectacular garment is a strapless ball gown by Christian Dior for Spring, 1960.  This gown was designed by Yves St. Laurent as part of the collection which would ultimately be his last for Dior.  Pink was a hugely popular color in 1960 and this gown is made of a melon pink silk organdy.  The organdy also fashions ruffles that explode at the bodice and hem.

How does this gown inspire you?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspiration from Nina Ricci - 1960

Today's inspiration comes from Nina Ricci.  Jules Francois Crahay was the designer for Ricci in 1960 and his genius is evident in this cocktail length dress paired with a full length opera coat, both in an opulent Middle Eastern inspired silk.  The coat is accented with black fox fur collar and cuffs.  Silver shoes echo the silver threads in the fabric.  Black kidskin gloves finish the look.

How does this inspire you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspiration From B.H. Wragge - 1960

Today's inspiring garment is a dress by B.H. Wragge.  This is a simple blouson sheath in brown Moygashel linen that probably looks quite elegant but ordinary from the front.  Turn around, though, and you've got a pop of a bright red zipper from shoulder to hem.  The zipper pull is a cluster of beads by Coro.  The zipper is the latest thing in 1960, the new Talon Zephyr nylon zipper.  I adore the fact that the zipper is set off to the side rather than placed at the center back where you would expect it to be. Now isn't that ingenious!  Sold for $50 in 1960 (about $381 in today's dollar.)

How does this inspire you?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inspiration From Guy Laroche - 1960

For Fall, 1960, Guy Laroche showed this trés elegant suit in orange and gray wool.  The dress is made to look like two pieces.  The jacket is reversible from orange with gray binding to solid gray.  The dress is fitted to the body while the jacket is the boxier shape that was so popular at the time.  Note the use of a brown leather hat and brown suede gloves to complete the look.

How does this inspire you?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inspiration From Ben Zuckerman - 1960

I'm going to change things up a bit this week and show you one spectacular garment per day from the year 1960 as inspiration for your own style.

Spectacular indeed is what I would say about this suit by Ben Zuckerman from 1960.  Everything about it just takes my breath away!  The silk is printed in an Asian inspired floral in pink, orange and white.  The jacket is tied at the waist in front and floats freely in the back.  It has the latest news in collars from 1960, the little stand-up style that sits away from the neck.  The suit sold in 1960 for $215.00 (about $1640.00 in today's dollar.)  And how about that hat by Lilly Daché?  It's made of pink silk and matches the lining of the suit jacket.  Gloves by Kislav. Quite a statement!

How does this inspire you?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Eye Candy - Charles James, 1940

Starting in 1933, Charles James showed variations on culottes in his collections.  These leg-wrapping garments always caused quite a sensation. This version, from 1940, shows his brilliant "Figure-8" skirt.  While the piece looks like a skirt, you can see how it is actually one pant leg with the rest of the fabric wrapping the other leg and buttoning at the front waist.  The skirt is cut on the bias from a single pattern piece that is shaped somewhat like a kidney bean.  It is paired with a bare midriff top and gold accessories including gold platform shoes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Paris Evening Gowns - 1931

Today, the second in a series of 1930s garments from Paris, namely evening gowns from 1931.  Which is your favorite?

A Broekman's black lace gown is topped with a turquoise velvet wrapped jacket with fox fur cuffs.

Broekman's chartreuse green crepe gown is topped with a deeper green velvet jacket with sable collar. 

Jeanne Lanvin white georgette evening gown with dramatic sleeves.  A silver belt adorns the waist.

Raymonde Latour black silk gown with tulle bodice and sequined skirt.

Mondet et Cie evening jacket in three shades of pink sequins sewn onto silk tulle.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wartime Swimsuit Photos, 1945

Dick Pope was the owner of Cypress Gardens in Florida and also a photographer who did publicity shots for other Florida resorts.  Because of gasoline restrictions during WWII, Pope was forced to stop his travels throughout the state and take all of his photos at Cypress Gardens.  But without a beach or palm trees, Pope had to be innovative in his use of props.  These photos were taken in 1945.

 The photographer built a fake beach with some sand and beach grass on a wooden platform.

 Here, Pope uses a sawed off trunk of a palm tree to emulate a real one.

Who cares about the swimsuit.  I want the SHOES!!!!!!!!!

The model sits on a large stump while Pope holds a reflector to dramatically increase the sunlight.  Still want the SHOES!!!!!!!

A palm branch is held in place in a wooden contraption so the model can stand under it.