Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekend Eye Candy - Mme. Gres, 1962

Our final June bride for this year wears a wedding gown by Mme. Gres from 1962.  I love the idea of a hat instead of a bridal headpiece.  Do you?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Alix of Miami Dress - 1955

How's this for summer perfection?  This dress was made by Alix of Miami in 1955.  Red and white polka dotted fabric is accented with stripes of black binding all around the skirt.  A dress like this will take you to the 4th of July parade, then to the picnic and barbeque and finally to the fireworks.  What will you be wearing on Independence Day?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vote For Me and I'll Set You Free...Sort Of

For the past four years, I have been very proud to have Couture Allure voted as one of the Top 10 Vintage Websites at Lulu's Vintage Blog. Lulu has two categories - her own favorites and the People's Choice award. My friends, Couture Allure needs your help! If you love this blog and my website, please pop on over to Lulu's Blog and vote by leaving a comment on this post naming Couture Allure as your favorite vintage website!

OK, so I can't set you free, but as a thank you, I will do two things for you.

1. I'll continue to bring you the best selection of vintage clothing on the web and daily posts on my blog.

2. I'll share this video of the Temptations performing "Ball of Confusion" so you can stop wondering, "What song was it that had that line, 'Vote for me and I'll set you free'?". If you're like me, that was going to bother you all day until you figured it out, right? By the way, "Ball of Confusion" was released in June of 1970 and hit #3 on the Billboard charts. Rock on. Now!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ann Margret and Elvis

Can't you just feel the electricity between Ann Margret and Elvis?  This is a publicity still for the movie "Viva Las Vegas."  The two began a widely publicized affair during the filming of the movie, which was a big box office hit in 1964.

I think you'll enjoy this musical number, "What'd I Say?"  There's great dancing and great fashion!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tina Leser Swimsuit - 1945

A simple black swimsuit will always turn heads and this one by Tina Leser from 1945 is no exception.  But how do you stand out from the crowd?  Why not wear a pretty charm bracelet around your upper arm?  I like that idea!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Not a Cadillac, But It's Pink!

Wow!  I want one!  This isn't a Cadillac though.  It's a Chrysler Imperial from 1955.  19 feet long, this baby probably got about 5 miles per gallon, but honey you sure looked like something driving it!

Bruce Springsteen came out with the song "Pink Cadillac" in 1984 as the B-side to "Dancing in the Dark".  And Natalie Cole's version in 1988 was a Top Ten song.  But for my money, the best song ever to include a pink Cadillac in the lyrics is Aretha Franklin's "Freeway of Love" from 1985.  No one rocks a song like Aretha.  I just wish this video was in color.  I dare you to sit still while you watch this.  "Drop the top baby, Let's cruise on into it." Enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Party Dresses

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekend Eye Candy - Pierre Balmain, 1955

Today's June bride wears a stunning gown by Pierre Balmain from 1955.  White satin is embroidered and beaded with gorgeous lilies on long stems.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Andre Courreges Pant Suits - 1965

This is André Courrèges playing rugby in 1965.  The designer is perhaps best known for introducing the mini skirt to Paris couture in 1964, but he also was one of the first to champion the idea of pants becoming acceptable streetwear for women.  For Spring, 1965, Courrèges showed several versions of the pant suit.  He paired his pants with flat Mary Jane shoes that had little open toes or short white go-go boots.  Courrèges did not like high heels and always showed his clothing with flat shoes or boots.

Pure white wool pant suit with geometric bands.  A navy and white striped t-shirt was worn under the jacket.

A short double-faced wool jacket reverses from beige to white, worn with white wool pants.  Note the designer's famous tennis ball sunglasses.

Wool check suit with a short sleeve jacket and pants belted below the waist.  Worn with a funnel necked t-shirt.

White sailcloth pant suit with navy grosgrain ribbons accenting the seams.  Note the stripes of ribbon on the inside of the jacket.

Pale pink wool checked with black and bound with white.  Tunic length jacket has little cap sleeves.

Pants for evening?  Why not?  Pink and white checkerboard sequins with a white glazed cotton t-shirt.  The low slung pants have a belt with a bow in front and pink sequined suspenders.  Even the Mary Jane shoes are covered in pink sequins!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Do You Recognize This Man?

Hint: He is a famous fashion designer.  Answer tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Harvey Berin Dress - 1956

May I just say, everything about this dress from 1956 is perfection, pure and simple.  The Harvey Berin company was better known for their evening wear, but designer Karen Stark also fashioned some outstanding daytime dresses and suits, as you can see.

-  Look at that black and white dotty fabric (likely silk) that has an almost Op Art look to it 10 years too early.
-  Look at the black bands at the waist.  Each has a bow, but they are on opposite sides.
-  Look at that pleated full skirt.  The photographer has captured its movement on film.
-  And LOOK at the matching umbrella!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you love it as much as I do?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mr. Mort Dress - 1956

Finding an ad for a dress I've had in my inventory doesn't happen very often, but when it does I like to show it to you.  This morning, I came across this 2-page spread for a dress by Mr. Mort exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue.  The ad appears in a February 1956 magazine.

The ad copy reads: 
"Our young man likes to see a girl wearing diamonds, especially when they're embroidered in black on a dress of Thomas cotton.  He scoops its neck widely, laces the tiny-looking bodice with black ribbon.  In red, grey or beige - and washable!"  Sold in 1956 for $39.95 (about $338 in today's dollar.)

Here's the dress live and in color.  It sold right away to a long-time Couture Allure customer, but you can still click through to the original listing to see more photos and all the details!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pauline Trigere Dress - 1956

Pauline Trigere, one of America's most famous designers, designed this dress in the spring of 1956.  I love the unusual capelet collar that sits away from the shoulders.  Made of a beige and white wool tweed with a gathered skirt.  Sold in 1956 for $250 (about $2,112 in today's dollar.)  The doggie hug?  Priceless! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Coats and Dresses

New this week at Couture Allure are some fabulous vintage dresses for day and evening and a couple of designer coats.  Be sure to check our What's New pages to see all the latest items.  AND most remaining spring and summer dresses are now on sale in our Sale Room!

1960s Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner silk coat.

1960s Zia Luigi knit dress.

1960s Helga silk brocade dress

1960s Originala silk coat, copy of a Dior.

1960s gold metallic mesh party dress.

1960s jacquard cocktail dress with matching coat.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Weekend Eye Candy - Lanvin, 1947

June bride #3 is wearing a silk faille wedding gown by Jeanne Lanvin from 1947.  Look closely.  That faille is woven with polka dots!!!!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Claire McCardell Dress - 1956

Spring, 1956.  Claire McCardell teams with DuPont for this full page ad.  McCardell designed this tattersall check dress in a 65% Dacron/35% cotton batiste fabric.  In case you didn't know, Dacron is DuPont's registered trademark for polyester.

But what I want you to notice here is the wonderful things McCardell does with a simple check fabric that you would associate more with a man's shirt.  Look how she turns the bodice on the bias so the stripes run diagonally.  The skirt front is cut on the straight of grain.  So is the button placket that runs the full length of the dress, the bow at the neckline and the sleeve cuffs.  She then pleats the front of the dress and adds fullness at the back of the skirt.  In short, McCardell takes a fabric that could be boring and turns it into something wonderful.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Carmen Miranda's Platform Shoes

Larger-than-life movie star Carmen Miranda. was a mere 5 feet tall.  She was key in popularizing platform shoes in the 1940s and had an amazing collection which she wore both on and off stage.  She would have the hems of her costumes lengthened to the floor so she appeared taller on film.

Many of Carmen's original costumes and shoes can be seen today at the Carmen Miranda Museum in Rio de Janiero.  The museum's website is in Portuguese, but you can see lots of wonderful pictures of items in the collection there.

This is a wonderful montage of clips from many of Carmen's movies.  Watch closely and you'll see her platform shoes peeking out of several of them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some of My Favorite Mad Men Season 5 Fashions

Some of my favorite looks from Season 5 of "Mad Men."  I'll miss the 1966-67 story arc, but I can't wait to see what comes next!

 Megan's Mod looks.

Peggy's transformation from schlump.... swank.

Power to the Peggy!

Joan, icy and controlled in black velvet.

Jane's bare midriff surrounded by rhinestones.

There were two dresses on screen that I actually had in my inventory (both now sold.)  
LSD party girl in blue silk with color sequin and mylar borders....

...and Sally in silver.

The best moment for the men?  Mad for plaid.  Hilarious!

And by far, one of my favorite looks that showed up for just a few seconds in the last scene of the finale.  
"My friend over there was wondering.....are you alone?"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sew Your Own Vintage Swimsuit and Cover Up - 1965

We really are lucky nowadays that there are many wise women who search out and sell vintage patterns.  What better way to create your own vintage look?  Here are some ideas for swimsuits with matching cover ups sewn from McCall's Patterns in the summer of 1965.  If you do a web search for the McCall's pattern number you like, you can find most of these patterns available for sale.

A two piece swimsuit with matching jacket.  Add a border of wide lace at the jacket hem for a bit of flirtiness.  Made from McCall's pattern 7753.

McCall's 7753

Another two piece swimsuit, this time with a blouson top made from metallic mesh fabric.  Sewn from McCall's pattern 7796.

McCall's 7796

Two piece swimsuit worn with a beach jacket made from sheer white lace.  Sewn from McCall's pattern 7775.

McCall's 7775

Get two looks in one.  Make the one piece swimsuit in basic black and wear it with or without the sheer polka dot blouson top.  Made from McCall's pattern 7798.

McCall's 7798