Monday, August 31, 2009

Fringe - tastic Fashion from 1969

By 1969, high fashion was being influenced by "the street". Designers started paying attention to what young people were wearing and translated those looks into high fashion. Hippies were definitely influencing the runway, as you can see in these images from August of 1969. The looks are modeled here by late sixties "it" girl, Penelope Tree.

A black satin mini dress has long red fringe that hangs from the neckline, wrists, and sash belt. The dress is by Victoria Royal and sold for $90 in 1969 (abut $522 in today's dollar). Fringe wig by Ara Gallant.

A faux suede wrap dress by Ginori with fringe at the sleeves and hem is worn over a classic white shirt. The dress sold for $110 in 1969 (about $639 in today's dollar). Boots by Golo.

All fringe buckskin poncho and leggings by Patricia Bronstein for El Greco. The poncho sold for $65 in 1969 (about $378 in today's dollar). The necklace is by Conrado and Claude.

Bonnie Cashin designed this brown suede dress and leggings with fringe at the skirt and down the legs. The dress has Cashin's signature turnlock closures at the front. I've actually sold this exact dress about 5 years ago and wish I still had the original pictures to show you. It was completely lined in bright pink silk and the suede was incredibly soft to the touch.

Black satin with a deep neckline that laces up and an all fringe skirt by Joel Schumacher for Paraphernalia, a hip boutique in New York. The dress sold for $50 in 1969 (about $290 in today's dollar). Fringe wig by Ara Gallant.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Designer Dresses

New this week at Couture Allure - items from three French couturiers and some wonderful party dresses.

French couturier#1, a 1990's velvet and silk chiffon cocktail dress by Jean-Louis Scherrer. Floating drapes hang from the shoulders down the back.

French couturier #2, a 1970's vibrant orange silk suit by Givenchy. I guarantee you'll be noticed in this suit!

French couturier #3, a 1980's dress by Grès Boutique in black silk faille. A blouson bodice with deep dolman sleeves over a slim skirt defines 80's style. Dresses by Mme. Grès are nearly impossible to find anymore, so this is a rare treat indeed!

This 1970's black evening gown has a halter neckline and is trimmed with authentic black fox fur down the skirt front and along the hem.

From the 1950's, this strapless taffeta party dress by Kay Selig goes from this...... this! The sweet little shrug jacket attaches with 4 snaps under the front of the strapless bodice. How cool is that?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Valentino 1969

valentino, haute couture, coat, 1969As summer wanes, my thoughts turn to staying warm this winter. From 1969, a Valentino Haute Couture cashmere coat trimmed in sable fur.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vintage Coats - 1965

My dears, I am pressed for time this morning, so I can't write a long post for you. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go.

Two coats by Originala from 1965. I don't think mere words will suffice.

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Passion for London Fashion - 1984

London first became a leader of unconventional fashion in the mid 1960's with the Boutique movement sparked by such designers as Mary Quant and Ossie Clark. Flamboyant style continued to flow out of London in the 80's, where several new young designers generated fashion excitement. Here, some looks from 1984 that combine soft man-tailoring with boyish charm. Men's and women's wear are combined with fabulous results.

Do these looks inpire you for fall? Not that you'd want to wear these oversized looks or men's clothing. No, its the elaborate mix of colors, textures, and patterns with big-ass jewelry that I'm talking about. How will you mix it up for fall? Click the pictures for larger views.

Scott Crolla's store in London was a magnet for trendy rockers in the 80's. He and his design partner Georgina Godley are credited with starting the explosion of tapestries, brocades and damasks found in fashion of the time. Crolla, on Dover Street in London, was open from 1981 to 1991.

All from Crolla: a men's oversized smoking jacket is worn over a women's handwoven shirt, beaded cummerbund and skinny tapestry pants. Cross necklace by Blythe & Blythe. Short necklace by Jay Feinberg. Bow bracelet by Dina Tevas.

Design team Culture Shock's oversized women's raw silk pants suit worn with an oversized men's cotton shirt and an iridescent silk reversible trench coat lined in African batik cotton. Sunglasses by Laura Biagiotti. Pins, earrings, and waist chain by Blythe & Blythe. Shoes by Manolo Blahnik.

London designer Betty Jackson got her start in 1981. Her clothes today are still inspired by the visual arts.

All from Betty Jackson: A plaid suit with a roomy jacket and paper bag waisted pants held up with suspenders with a bright blouse. Worn over it, a huge coat in a contrasting wool plaid. A colorful shawl drapes out of the coat pocket and a black hat tops off the outfit. Pin at the collar by Gaetano Fazio. Shoes also by Betty Jackson.

Timney and Fowler was founded in 1979. They are a design team who specialize in fabrics and wallpapers for home decor. Here, three pieces from a brief foray into men's clothing all worn as womenswear. A cotton shirt, silk vest, silk scarf, and silk pants all in fingerpaint stripes. The clothing was sold at Charivari in New York. Hat by Jay Lord Hatters. Earrings and pin at neck by Monty Don. Belt by Barry Kieselstein-Cord. Necklace by Robert Lee Morris.

From Jean Muir, who got her start in the 1960's: A striped crew-neck pullover with striped wool trousers and black hat. Pin at neck and cross pendant by Monty Don. Echo scarf.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

DIY - 1960 Makeup Looks from Paris

Today, a look at new makeup styles being worn by the young jazz club set in 1960 Paris. Like it? Included are instructions so you can do it yourself. Enjoy!

Claude Agathe wears the new "Swan Eye" look

How Claude gets the look:
1. Eye drops whiten the whites of the eyes for bold contrast.
2. Eye shadow in white near the lashes and silver grey above that.
3. Thick triangular shaped eye liner angles up toward the brow.
4. Bold brow makeup is winged up at the center of the eye and then disappears.
5. False lashes extend across the entire lid and are thick and curled.
6. Pale lipstick is grounded with a dark penciled line on the bottom lip only.

Audrey Sedor wears the new "Owl Eye" look

How Audrey gets the look:
1. Pale foundation lightens the entire eye area.
2. False lashes are cut shorter, curled, then glued closer to the inner eye corner to open the center of the eye.
3. Green eye shadow rounds up a the center of the eye.
4. Thick black eyeliner is applied on the upper lid and thin black eyeliner below the lashes on the lower lid.
5. White eyeliner is applied to the bottom inner eyelid.
6. Brows are penciled in strongly.
7. Pale lipstick is used so the eyes are the focus.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mad Men Fashion Oops!

Yesterday, Gladys asked a question about a possible wardrobe faux pas in Sunday's episode of Mad Men. In a scene where Peggy is shown hand washing her lingerie, there is a pair of pantyhose on a drying rack. I didn't watch the episode until last night, but I had my camera ready, just in case. And Gladys, you were right!!!

Here is Peggy in her kitchen hand washing her lingerie.

And, in a close-up shot, we very clearly see a pair of pantyhose that would not have existed in 1963. No way, no how. In doing my research for this post, I found that this is not the first time Peggy has been seen with pantyhose. In season 2, we see her actually putting on a pair of pantyhose in one episode. Big mistake, Mad Men costume department! Peggy would have been wearing either a girdle or garter belt with stockings, and that is what should have been shown on the drying rack.

It is commonly aknowledged that pantyhose were invented in 1959 by Allen Gant of Glen Raven Mills. However, while they may have been invented that early, they were still in development and were not in production at this time. I returned again to my stack of fashion magazines to search for ads for pantyhose. All the ads for lingerie show stockings worn with girdles through 1965.

It is not until 1966, when skirt lengths are getting shorter, that we see ads for tights in patterns. They were thick, heavy, and did not stay up well.

Women also resorted to wearing ballet tights by Danskin with their shorter skirts as a way to avoid showing stocking tops and garters.

It is not until 1969, that we see a new product called "bodyhose" by Round-the-Clock. However, even these were not pantyhose. Bodyhose was a body shaper.....

...with replaceable stockings that come up high and have an elastic top. They slipped under the panty edge of the shaper and did not require garters, but they are not pantyhose.

Again in 1969, Hanes has a two page ad with "The Fall of the Garter" as a big headline. They introduced the "Panty Pair", which was a two way stretch panty with separate stockings. You put on the stockings first, then slipped the panty on over them to hold them up. Close, but not pantyhose.
It is not until the early 70's that we see ads for actual pantyhose. As the industry grew, prices dropped and women became less concerned about throwing away the entire garment when you got a run in just one leg.

So there you have it. The pair of pantyhose on Peggy's drying rack is indeed an error. And if the costume department of Mad Men thought we wouldn't notice, they were wrong!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Test Your Fashion I.Q. - 1956

Are you a brilliant fashion plate? or a dowdy mouse? do you dress mostly for other women? or mostly for men? or are you still dressing to please your mother? Here's a quiz from 1956 planned to tell you whether you are taking fashion too seriously or not seriously enough....or whether you're perfect. Click on the test to enlarge the image. Total up the number of times you say "yes". Answers at the bottom of this post.

Here, a look at the new high-waisted trend popular for Fall 1956. Dress and jacket by Chestnut Hill. Leopard bag and scarf by Winter Furs.

Remember, this test is from 1956, so the scores have little relevance today, but it's fun to see what attitudes toward fashion were.

If you answered "yes" to 18 or more questions, you are a

CLOTHES HORSE: You're a woman who dresses almost too well; may take fashion too seriously. Women admire your clothes, but men may be scared off by your icy, perfectly groomed appearance. Watch out. Be a little more flexible; a little less anxious. You'll look better if you dress for your own, not fashion's sake.

If you answered "yes" to 12-17 questions, you are a

FASHION PLATE: You're in good company; most well-dressed women fall in this category. You have a lively interest in what's new in fashion - even though you're probably not the very first to buy it. If the man you love gets hysterical when you talk about cutting your hair...then you don't, even if it's the new style. However, you won't let a man talk you out of a really marvelous hat - one of the new furs ones, say.

If you answered "yes" to 5-11 questions, you are a

DOWDY MOUSE: You're afraid of fashion. Even though you may like exciting new clothes on other women, you're happier wearing something perfectly safe and unspectacular yourself. You may have a reputation for looking sweet, but people are not likely to remember what you looked like at a party last week. Maybe you're still dressing for your mother; perhaps your beau is ultra-conservative. don't be cowed. They both might love you in a bright red dress.

If you answered "yes" to 0-4 question, you are a

REAL SQUARE: You aren't just timid about fashion - you work against it. You not only avoid wearing new fashions yourself; but probably don't like to see them on other women. You might be a show-off. There's no better way to call attention to yourself than wearing clothes that are out of (or never were in) fashion. You don't have to change - but maybe you're robbing the world of a pretty woman.

How did you score?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Dresses, Purses, Hats, and a Dior Suit

This week, at Couture Allure, we've added a new collection of vintage purses and vintage hats for fall, as well as several great vintage dresses.....oh, and a 60's Dior Pret-a-Porter suit.

This early 1960's genuine black alligator purse is an all time classic and will never go out of style.

This 1950's hat is fashioned of brown velvet surrounded by brown feathers with jaunty little dingle balls hanging from the side. Fun, no?

Here it is, the vintage 1960's Christian Dior Pret-a-Porter suit. Considered a step below the Haute Couture line but a step above the Boutique line, the Pret-a-Porter contains many of the hand finished techniques as the couture, but was made in standard sizes rather than being made specifically for one client. This late 1960’s suit was designed by Marc Bohan for the Christian Dior Pret-a-Porter line and comes with a matching silk blouse and scarf.

Victoria Royal, Ltd. was a maker of fine beaded evening gowns and cocktail dresses in Hong Kong. This 1960's Mod era wrap dress by Victoria Royal is completely covered in black sequins and big square paillettes.

We love 1950's full skirted dresses by American designer Anne Fogarty. She always seems to get it just right. This 1950's circle skirt dress by Fogarty is fashioned of magenta velveteen.

There's nothing like a great sweater dress to help your wardrobe as you transition from summer to fall. This 1950's body-hugging black wool boucle knit dress by Kimberly is a wardrobe basic that you'll wear for years.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Gianni Versace 1992

No one did the Rocker Chick look better than Gianni Versace. Here, a scarf print top, tights, and jacket in laminated lycra with studs from his Spring/Summer 1992 collection modeled by the lovely Linda Evangelista.

Here you can see the studded fabric in detail. Oh, and the shoes. THE SHOES!!!!! Golden satin silk mules with gilt and rhinestone seashells across the vamp and a gilt chain around the ankle. A seashell necklace is added around the ankle on the left. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fashion for Airplane Travel - 1964

First, a big thank you to Sal over at Already Pretty. I had asked Sal to show us how to incorporate vintage clothing into a modern wardrobe, and boy, did she deliver! I think you'll enjoy her post.

In Sunday's episode of Mad Men, we got to see a peek at early 60's airplane travel when Don and Sal fly to Baltimore. Did you notice how formal everyone looked? And later, at dinner, did you notice that the flight attendants remained in full uniform with their hats on? Airplane travel isn't what it used to be! Women used to travel in dresses or suits and men always wore a suit. Here, from 1964, are several images from ads for Best & Co. that featured American Airlines.

Martha Clyde pastel wool suits, both featuring toppers over dresses.

These women are wearing tapestry knit suits by Nantucket Knits.

Two dresses by The Villager. At left an A-line shift with removable collar. At right, a wool flannel shirtdress.

Bardley offered this three piece suit consisting of a sleeveless top and skirt with a matching reefer coat. At right is a second top coat.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Patterned Stockings - 1984

Designers brought us all kinds of patterned hosiery on the runways for Fall 2009. From textured tights with ribbing and stripes to lace and fishnets to florals and polka dots, it seems solid color stockings and tights are outré this season. But my dears, once more, what's old is new again. May I present patterned hosiery from Fall 1984.

Bold lacy stockings by Le Bourget are set off by Yves St. Laurent bright pink satin shoes.

Norma Kamali offered black pantyhose patterned with silver teardrops. Worn with Charles Jourdan shoes.

Undulating stripes on sheer black pantyhose by Stilnovo for Flash Legs. Add extra flash with shoes in wine satin with feathers by Andrea Pfister.

Glittery black pantyhose by Stilnovo for Flash Legs. The shoes? Three colors of satin with a bow by Walter Steiger.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jewelry Trends - 1961

In 1961, dress silhouettes were very sleek and simple with no fussy necklines to be seen. Jewelry was an important way to accent that look. The hot trends in jewelry that year were:
- Drop earrings
- Multi-strand bead necklaces in short lengths
- Longer 22" length necklaces with larger beads
- Large chunky pins, many in floral shapes
- Bangle bracelets worn in pairs
- Large sparkling cocktail rings

From the Paris runway, Christian Dior necklace of grey, white, and black cut-crystal beads. Also came in a longer version.

From the Paris runway, Lanvin three strand necklace of faux pearls dotted with tiny rhinestones
From top to bottom:
- Miriam Haskell floral brooch with jet black stones
- Mimi di N.-Brania gilt and rhinestone ring
- Bergere gilded wire flower brooch with faux pearl center
- Scassi pin of gilt metal with rhinestones and a green stone at center
- Trifari pair of bracelets in gilt with pavé rhinestones

From top to bottom:
- Hattie Carnegie three strand necklace of terra cotta color beads
- Joseph Mazer ring with pavé rhinestones in clear and blue
- Monet 22" strand of gilt beads
- Monet four strand chocker of gilt beads (2 necklaces stacked here)
- Brania long necklace in gilt with black beads

From top to bottom:
- Castlecliff ring with huge baroque mock pearl and topaz colored stones
- Marvella Coutura three strand necklace in faux jade and gilt beads
- Marvella Coutura drop earrings with faux coral teardrops
- Sandor Goldberger maltese cross pin set with faux lapis stones

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