Sunday, November 30, 2008

Still feeling a bit under the weather here. Please enjoy these posts from my colleagues at IFB!

Links à la Mode : November 27th
  • 39thandbroadway - Ever wonder where fashion trends come from and how they develop, long before they hit the stores?
  • A Few Goody GumDrops - A Few Goody Gumdrops asks…Who needs a Mink Coat when you can have a Mink Bag!
  • Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy - Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy gushes over Freeman’s Replenishing Body Lotion - the effective, but stinky moisturizer
  • Capitola Girl Jewelry Blog - I’m saying no to gift cards this holiday season, and looking to the indie sellers on Etsy for some great guy gifts.
  • Clutch 22 - Tackling Black Friday and Cyber Monday this holiday season.
  • Couture Allure - Couture Allure shows how to dress up your holiday hairdo with vintage accessories.
  • dapper kid - Essay on the impact of the Industrial Revolution on Men’s Tailoring.
  • Diary of a Style Addict - Diary of a Style Addict Reviews Paint Cosmetics fab mineral eyeshadows
  • Dirty Laundry - 37 Things to Love: The Definitive List (And How I Have Way Too Much Time)
  • Dogmom’s Dish - Five little luxuries for the holidays, ranging from Free to Sugardaddy Suggestible.
  • dramatis personae - Why Dieting is a Dirty Word
  • fashion fille - What is YOUR opinion on the trendy scarf? Fashion Fille debates keffieyahs.
  • fashion in my eyes - Love of a lifetime,Coco Rocha and Roberto Bolle
  • Fashion Pulse Daily - We’ve got the skinny on the upcoming Target accessory designer collaborations — including Felix Rey!
  • Flights of Fab Fashion Fancy - Wearing fur, faux and real, is sooo trendy hot! Here are hot looks from all over the globe!
  • Hello, Lover… Shoe Daydreams - Recognize the things that trip your relationship up and keep you from having the “real” fairy tale.
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers - IFB announces the new newsletter!
  • Iole in fashion - Inverno a colori / Colored Winter
  • Mademoiselle Robot - Outfit ideas for Thanksgiving.
  • Pencil - a look at Suphanut Suwansanya’s, a London Fashion Designer, Autumn/Winter 08 collection and his inspiration.
  • Petite Bourgeoisie - Interview with Kristen Calavas of TheLookbook
  • Retro Chick - Putting on the Glitz, working your sequins for Work, Rest & Play
  • ShopDiary - ShopDiary invites you to access, the first ever online Chanel boutique, and discover a limited edition selection of Chanel accessories.
  • Shopping and Info - Shopping and Info found some amazing leather jackets and boots on sale for 50% off
  • Some Like It Fashion - The shape of things to come: have your say on what ‘look’ will come to define this recession.
  • Style Discovery - Style Discovery goes burlesque.
  • Sweety P Style FIles - Since I haven’t been shopping in three months, I find myself in a wardrobe recession.
  • Tainted & Sweet… - Thank you Daddy Karl!!!
  • The Bare Skinny - Eco Friendly and Fabulous…Fashion Goes Green
  • THE COVETED - Feathers, Lashes, and Courtney Brooke Hall… vintage fashion photography
  • The Sunday Best - Contest on TheSundayBest! Big fun! Big prizes! Big…pandas?
  • Your Style Star - Shop on Black Friday like a pro

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - Jacques Fath Draped Dress

October 1946 - Jacques Fath couture draped crepe dress in two tones of grey. Yum.

Vintage Roadshow - Links of the Week

Debutante Clothing shares Edith Head's advice on how to dress to meet and keep a man.

Glamoursplash takes a flashback to fashion in the air during the 60's & 70's.

The Vintage Traveler asks the question:What do the circus and couture have in common?

iKonic is walking in a vintage wonderland with the Etsy Vintage Street Team.

Couture Allure brings you 12 looks from one vintage evening gown.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

Feeling a bit under the weather today. DH and I went to a party last weekend, and between the greeting kisses and handshakes, and the finger foods, I picked up something. Today's post will be a short and sweet one that shares a few of my favorite things.

I was catching up on my magazine reading yesterday, and came across this photo taken by Raymond Meier for the October 2008 issue of Vogue magazine. Who cares about the boots? Look at that face! Yes, I am a dog person. Here is my Zippy. Talk about cute faces!

I love the dramatic and sophisticated look of the 1940's. All of my favorite film stars and movies come from this era. I very rarely find 40's garments that fit my short-waisted figure. But thankfully, I can sew my own with vintage patterns. These are available from one of my favorite stores,

While we're talking about 40's fashion, how about a few swimsuits? My sister Pam is the owner of the premiere site on the web for vintage swimwear, She offers the widest and best selection of vintage swimsuits you'll find anywhere.

Pam and I collaborate on another blog called Vintage Detail. We both love the details and construction of vintage garments, ones you just don't find in today's ready-to-wear. We developed this photo blog to share those special details with you. Use them for design inspiration, or just enjoy the ingenuity of clothing of years past.

My blogroll contains a select list of interesting blogs about fashion and living, both vintage and modern. I think you'll find them just as fun to read as I do!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Vintage Thanksgiving!

From the days when we dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner!

Today I am thankful for all of you who read my blog. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going to Grandma's

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. Today is one of the busiest travel days of the year. So whether you're going to grandma's by car,

by train,

by ship,

or by plane,

travel safely!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

12 Looks from One Evening Gown

Take one strapless evening gown in white (or black) peau de soie, pair it with matching white (or black) satin shoes, and dress it up 12 different ways. Now that's accessorizing! Dress shown is by Mr. David from December, 1959.

1. Add a long velvet ribbon sash over the bust with a corsage of green velvet leaves and tiny Christmas balls at the back.
2. Add a jacket or sweater with fur trim at collar and cuffs. Match your clutch and shoes to the fur.
3. Add a wide striped and fringed silk sash at the waist.

4. Wear the gown with a gold tweed evening coat, gold evening slippers, and sparkling rhinestone jewelry.

5. Add a sash in a colorful silk sari print, worn over one shoulder and tied at the waist.

6. Wear a statement sparkly necklace and long formal gloves.

7. Add a cropped jacket in a bright pop of color, suggested here - bright yellow velveteen.

8. Belt the waist with a bright pop of color and add matching shoes.

9. Wear a long chiffon stole over one shoulder and clasped at the waist with a large sparkling brooch.

10. Add a dramatic stole in white silk backed with emerald velvet and wear it wrapped or draped to the back.

11. Make a collar from holly leaves and berries woven with velvet ribbon.

12. Wear the dress solo with a dramatic hairdo, or pop on a wig in a different color from your own hair.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Scandal of Sargent's Madame X

Yesterday, I finished reading "Strapless" by Deborah Davis, a fascinating history of John Singer Sargent's painting "Madame X". I saw this painting in 2006 when it was on loan to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts as part of their Americans in Paris exhibit, and this book has been on my reading list since then.

This painting of Amelie Gautreau nearly ruined Sargent's emerging career as a portraitist, as it was regarded by the Parisian public as quite risque and scandalous. Why? It all had to do with Amelie's dress.

In this photo taken of the painting at the Paris Salon in 1884, you can see that Sargent originally had painted the strap of Amelie's dress fallen off her shoulder. But the dress would have been considered risque even with the strap in place, as Amelie is quite bare and obviously not wearing the "proper" undergarments of the day - a chemise and corset.

Fashion in 1884 dictated that a woman be more covered up, usually with her chemise peeking out from her sleeves and at her decolletage. At a time when lace, fripperies, and frou-frou were de rigeur, Amelie's severe black gown seemed outrageous to the public. The dress was probably designed by Félix Poussineau, a former hairdresser to the Empress Eugénie, who made most of Amelie's wardrobe. And it is likely it was made to Amelie's exact instructions, as she was quite a controversial figure in Paris society, and strived to make a memorable impression wherever she went.

After the 1884 Salon ended, Sargent returned the painting to his studio, where he repainted the strap in it's proper place. After her very public disgrace, however, Amelie and her husband refused to purchase the painting from Sargent, and he moved to London in order to try to salvage his career. The painting remained hidden in his studio for 30 years. After Amelie's death, Sargent finally allowed the portrait to be shown on exhibit. It traveled to San Francisco in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition. While on display there, Sargent approached Edward Robinson, the director of New York's Metropolitan Museum, offering it for sale. The museum purchased the painting for £1000, with Sargent's stipulation that the painting should not be called by Amelie's name. It became known officially as "Madame X".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vintage and Antique Jewelry on the Auction Block

The next couple of weeks will bring loads of vintage and antique jewelry to the auction block in several cities around the world. But first, lets talk about an exhibit of ancient jewelry.

1st Century BCE Parthian Earrings
Gold, garnet, and turquoise

The National Jewelry Institute is presenting "Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization". The exhibit has pulled 135 pieces of jewelry from museums around the world, some more than 7,000 years old. The exhibit is open at the Forbes Galleries on Fifth Avenue, New York through December 31 and then will travel to The Field Museum in Chicago where it will be on display February 13-July 5, 2009.

1930's cherry amber Bakelite
4 strand necklace with 88 beads

Estate Roadshow Auctions in Mount Pleasant, SC will conduct an auction on December 7 of vintage and antique jewelry from the estate of Connecticut antique dealer Louise Mondani Graham. The collection includes fine and costume jewelry, most of which was purchased in the 1950's and 60's, put away in boxes and never opened again. About 40 percent of the collection consists of costume jewelry by such designers as Miram Haskell, Christian Dior, Jorgen Jensen, and Alice Caviness. The best part? You can bid online at the Estate Roadshow website! The entire catalog is on view now and you can start bidding today.

20th century amethyst necklace
owned and worn by Deborah Kerr

Bonham's, London will bring to auction 132 lots of fine jewelry on December 4. Included in the auction will be 5 lots of jewelry from the estate of actress Deborah Kerr, who died on October 16, 2007. The entire catalog is available for online viewing at the Bonham's website. Preview in London begins November 30.

Diamond and ruby floral clip, 2" diameter

Weschler's Auctioneers in Washington, D.C. will conduct an auction of jewelry, coins, and watches on December 6. Included will be 204 lots with a wonderful selection of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, and Victorian jewelry. The entire catalog is on view at the Weschler website. Preview in D.C. begins November 30.

Verdura onyx and multi-gem
Maltese cross bracelet

Christie's, New York will offer an auction of fine jewelry on December 11. The sale includes 283 lots featuring such designers as Bulgari, Cartier, Lalique, Tiffany, Harry Winston, and Verdura. The entire catalog is available for view at the Christie's website and preview in New York begins December 6.

18K gold, Lapis lazuli and diamond earrings

Joseph DuMouchelle will offer an auction of Jewels, Time Pieces, and Artwork on December 7 in Dearborn, MI. The complete catalog is available online at the DuMouchelle website, and you can bid online. Preview begins December 4.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Weekend Eye Candy - Schiaparelli Evening Gown for Wallis Simpson

Before her marriage to the Duke of Windsor, Wallis Simpson purchased 18 garments from Elsa Schiaparelli's summer 1937 collection. One of them was this black evening ensemble consisiting of a full length dress and matching jacket. The jacket is trimmed in white leather applique.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How to Dress Up Your Hair for the Holidays

If you're like me, you'll be wearing a dress you already own to your holiday parties this year instead of going out to buy a new one. But how can you make your outfit look different on a budget? How about dressing up your hair with accessories?

A dramatic cocktail hat from the 1950's is one way to make an impression. A woman in a hat exudes confidence, poise, and style. And a dramatic sweep of aigrette feathers adds a hint of mystery and allure to your outfit.

Take one dramatic chandelier earring and wear it in your hair instead of on your earlobe. An old fashioned bobby pin will hold it in place.

Or use a dramatic rhinestone brooch to accent your up-do instead of your lapel. Use bobby pins to anchor it in place.

A black satin ribbon cockade worn over the ear looks grown-up and just right. This could look too babyish if worn at the top or back of the head, so be careful with placement.

Want to wear dramatic feathers without donning a hat? This vintage 1950's hair comb is adorned with black ostrich plumes and can be worn in many different ways. Available at Couture Allure for $45.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vintage Evening Gowns - Ted Shore, Rappi, Oscar de la Renta, Sophie of Saks

November 1949 - Ted Shore long sheath dress with a sweeping overskirt in brocade. The dress sold for $45 ($410 today) at DePinna. The model wears long white gloves and rhinestones at her ears and neck.

December 1959 - At left, a pale green satin sheath with floating panels at the back. The wide waistband is of glittering brocade. Dress by Cameo Evening Fashions sold for $125 ($925 today). The model wears a rhinestone necklace as a tiara and statement rhinestone earrings. Long formal gloves and satin shoes by Herbert Levine complete the look.

At right, a pink silk peau de soie ball gown with shimmering crystals decorating the bodice. Dress by Rappi (remember her?) sold for $145 ($1075 today). The model wears rhinestones at the wrist and long rhinestone chandelier earrings.

We have a very similar lilac satin ball gown available now at Couture Allure for $145.00.

October 1964 - Oscar de la Renta exclusive for Elizabeth Arden sky blue silk faille with crystals embroidered at the wide waist and hem. This much sparkle only needs pearl earrings by Marcel Boucher and a statement coiffure.

October 1963 - crystal encrusted pink satin strapless evening gown with matching stole by Sophie of Saks. The model wears white formal gloves and white satin shoes. One doesn't need jewelry with this much sparkle!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vintage Evening Gowns - Ricci, Dior, Scassi, and Teal Traina

September 1961 - Nina Ricci gown in emerald green satin worn with a matching green satin coat edged in blue fox fur. Glittering earrings and a coiffure that makes a statement are all she needs.

December 1957 - Scassi ball gown in pale green silk moire has an asymmetric hem that dips to floor length in the back. Worn with a matching coat that is lined in white fox fur. Accessorized with satin shoes, white gloves, and sparkling earrings.

October 1960 - Dior strapless platinum grey silk satin gown with a large rose at the dropped waist and tulip shaped skirt. The model carries a flocked tulle wrap and wears black satin shoes and a bow at the back of her head.

December 1966 - Teal Traina charcoal silk chiffon column dress decorated with rows of silver paillettes. The matching stole worn as a head wrap. Coordinating clogs were made by Herbert Levine. The model wears a huge Charles Elkaim cocktail ring.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vintage Evening Gowns & Cocktail Dresses

Holiday party season is nearly here. If you haven't found the perfect dress yet, I thought I'd spend the next few days giving you some inspiration. At Couture Allure, we've got loads of vintage cocktail dresses and evening gowns, all at affordable prices. Want to be sure your dress is unique? Wear vintage!

October 1964 - Silver and white brocade evening bodice and skirt trimmed with white ball fringe by Leslie Morris for Bergdorf Goodman's custom department. Worn with a white mink fur muff and yellow satin shoes with sparkling shoe clips.

Get the look with this 1960's beaded silver and white brocade evening gown at Couture Allure, $125.00.

September 1961 - Gold brocade on black silk top and skirt by Edward Abbott and sold at Bergdorf Goodman. Worn with black satin pumps and a black satin clutch. $110 ($793 today)

Get the look with this elaborate gold and silver brocade top and skirt from Neiman Marcus at Couture Allure, $95.00

Or this gold brocade on black fitted 1960's dress, at Couture Allure, $85.00.

October 1963 - Bright canary yellow brocade evening gown with matching stole by Nat Kaplan and sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. Worn with a black beaded necklace and black satin shoes.

Like yellow for evening? Not as bright, but still yellow, this 1960's Alencon lace evening gown is available at Couture Allure, $125.00.