Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Evening Dresses - 1965

What a difference 10 years makes! Today, we continue our look at evening wear through the decades with the 1960s. Gone are the full skirted styles and tiny waists of 1955. In 1965, shapes are more relaxed and elaborate fabrics and trimmings abound. Sequins, beads and bangles. Brocades, embroideries, and heavy laces. Asian influences, pants, and the beginnings of op-art all show up. Oh, and don't forget the big, big hair! Enjoy these evening looks from 1965.

Right: Maurice Roger black gown covered in beads from head to toe.
Left: Jean Patou black silk chiffon with heavy Venice lace bodice.

Ted Lapidus elaborate brocade evening suit.

Pierre Cardin sequined gown with pop art dots.

Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner brocade backless top over pink evening pants.

Capucci op-art satin dress and jacket trimmed in ostrich feathers.

Is the 1960s your decade of choice?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Evening Dresses - 1955

The holiday party season has begun. Have you been invited to one, two, or more soirees? This week we'll continue our look at evening wear through the decades. I hope you'll be inspired to dress up and make a lasting impression on your fellow party-goers. Let's all end 2010 with some glamour, OK?

The 1950s were epitomized by a celebration of the hourglass figure. Whether it was a fitted sheath, a fancy figure-hugging cocktail dress, a full skirted party dress or a full-blown ballgown, all dresses had tiny waists that emphasized a fuller bust and hips. Lace was very big, along with satins and taffetas. Enjoy these beauties from 1955.

Pierre Balmain sequin covered sheath. Oh la la!

Jacques Heim fitted sheath with a full overskirt.

Jacques Heim strapless lace ballgown.

Christian Dior silk satin ballgown.

Manguin red silk satin dress with fullness to one side.

Are the 1950s your decade of choice?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Scarves and Accessories

This week at Couture Allure, we've added loads of vintage scarves and other accessories that are perfect for holiday gift giving. We've also reduced prices on most of the remaining vintage coats in our 2010 collection. Don't miss your chance to grab a bargain!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekend Eye Candy - Traina-Norell, 1954

If you're going to do some holiday shopping today, you might as well go in style. Here, a double-breasted leopard jacket trimmed with red fox fur by Traina-Norell, 1954. Of course, it is no longer legal to buy or sell furs from endangered species whether vintage or not, and we are not advocating such. But, there are wonderful quality faux furs available today and we hope you'll use this photo as inspiration to look your best today and every day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Charm School - The Etiquette of Introductions

Ah, the confusion that surrounds the simple act of making introductions! Yes, there are proper etiquette rules when you are introducing one person to another. The primary thing to keep in mind is to always mention the name of the woman or the most important person first. For example: "Jane, may I present Jim Jones?" Then follow with, "Jim, this is Jane Jackson." Or "Senator Davis, may I present Darlene Smith?" Then follow with, "Darlene, this is Senator Davis."

In making social and business introductions, there are three simple rules to keep in mind:

1. A man is always presented to a woman first, as in the example above.

2. A noticeably younger person is always presented to an older person. "Mr. Older, may I present Miss Teenager."

3. A man or woman is always presented to a very distinguished person, clergyman, official, or higher-up in business. "Ms. Boss, may I present our new employee, Bill Roberts."

When introducing yourself, simply say, "Hello, I am Ruth Smith." If an acquaintance seems to have forgotten your name or an earlier introduction, don't cause possible embarrassment by saying, "Remember me?" Instead, give your name and mention the place where you met, such as, "Hello! I'm Ruth Smith. We met at Bob Brown's party a couple of months ago."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. It's a day when we stop to think about all the things in our lives that we're thankful for. Today, I am thankful for you.

I'm thankful for all my dear readers who come here each day to share a bit of my world.

I'm thankful for the online friends I've made who also enjoy vintage fashion.

I'm thankful that I have a place to share things the that I am passionate about.

I'm thankful that you "get" me, that you understand, and that you love the same things I do.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Evening Dresses - 1945

Are you throwing a holiday party this year? Why not make it a vintage themed affair? Or, better yet, how about black tie? The world needs some beauty, and we can all pitch in by wearing a glamorous gown for the holidays. Today, looks from 1945.

After years of shortages and austerity, the world emerges from WWII and designers celebrate with the use of yards and yards of fabric. Draping, poufs, and gathers abound. Shoulders are becoming important with dramatic sleeves and thick shoulder pads. We often see long sleeves for evening. Rayon joins silk as an important fabric for both day and evening.

Maggy Rouff printed silk gown with back bustle treatment and train.

Left, Jean Patou velvet and crepe gown with appliques in the opposite fabrics.
Right, Worth taffeta gown with huge puffed sleeves.

Another look by Worth. This time the huge sleeves and bodice are covered in tulle ruffles.

Jeanne Lanvin crepe gown with gold embroidery and full sleeves.

Mme. Grès silk chiffon gown with her signature draping.

Is the 1940s your decade of choice?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Evening Dresses - 1935

In the 1930s, women wore full length gowns for evening. Body conscious jersey knits and bias cut satins revealed a woman's curves and these looks were very sexy. Fuller skirts were also available, though not nearly as full as they would be in 20 years time. While bare arms dominated, if a gown had sleeves, they were quite full and dramatic. Today, evening dresses from 1935.

Maggy Rouff navy wool jersey gown with attached sleeve cuffs.

Lucien Lelong white crepe gown with low cut back and floating trains.

Callot Soeurs navy silk taffeta with velvet bodice.

Black taffeta gown with large velvet polka dots and voluminous sleeves.

Black lace gown floats over a black underslip. The lace is embroidered with sparkling threads.

Is the 1930s your decade of choice?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Evening Dresses - 1925

Later this week, the holiday party season begins. Have you been invited to one, two, or more soirees? This week and next, we'll look at evening wear through the decades. I hope you'll be inspired to dress up and make a lasting impression on your fellow party-goers. Let's all end 2010 with some glamour, OK?

In the 1920s evening dresses are mid-calf in length and hang straight from the shoulders to the hem. The waistline is dropped and evening dresses are normally sleeveless. Delicate silk chiffons and crepes abound, often decorated with lace or elaborate beading. Enjoy these looks from 1925.

A beaded silk dress is worn with a dramatic feathered headpiece.

Lucien Lelong navy silk trimmed in lace at the skirt and flowers at the dropped waist.

Sheer gold lace and tulle float over a silk crepe underslip.

This dress has an elaborate beaded bird on the front and fringe at the hem.

Jean Patou adorns the skirt of this dress with flowers
and ropes of the same flowers hang from one shoulder.

Is the 1920s your decade of choice?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Dresses and Jewelry

New at Couture Allure this week are a few vintage dresses and loads of vintage jewelry for holiday gift giving. Be sure to check our What's New page to see all the new items!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend Eye Candy - Otto Lucas, 1965

Otto Lucas was a well known milliner, both in the US and in London where he had his own Mayfair shop. Here, his Mod helmet and overblouse, both fashioned of sheared rabbit and stenciled with zebra stripes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Charm School - Manners and Etiquette, Part 2

Last week's post about manners and etiquette rules certainly sparked some thoughtful commentary! Lets see how you feel about these accepted customs for women in the early 60s.

1. It is proper for a lady to bow her head slightly with a slight forward movement from the waist when being presented to clergymen or officials.

2. Hats are always worn in church. A hat is never worn by a hostess when entertaining at home (other than for a formal garden party). Neither are hats worn by house guests or by the daughter of the house. Hats should always be removed in a movie or theater when you are asked to.

3. Women do not smoke on the street or when waiting in line in front of a theater, store, or other building.

4. It is up to you, rather than your date, to suggest when it is time to go home or leave after dining. You should not suggest that it is time to go to another restaurant or night club, as your date may have made other plans or may not have enough money.

jacqueline kennedy, evening gown, guy duvier, christian dior new york
5. Gloves are worn to all formal occasions, going to or from church, and in the streets of large cities and towns. They are removed before eating, drinking, smoking, playing cards, or applying make-up. It is not necessary for women to remove gloves when shaking hands during an introduction.

6. It is a woman's prerogative to offer her hand during an introduction provided the other person is being presented to her. You should not offer your hand first to an older woman, an older man, or an official. You should wait for them to make the gesture.

Are you surprised by any of these? I was!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Saks Holiday Catalog - 2000 The Jewelry

More from the Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Preview catalog from 2000. While not technically vintage, I do think it is interesting to see what Saks and the designers were showing 10 years ago. Today, a look at some of the jewelry.

Orlando Orlandini for Simon Sobie 18K gold necklace with diamonds. Sold for $7525 in 2000.

Marlene Stowe 18K gold, platinum and diamond butterfly and leaf pins. Sold for $2900 to $4400 in 2000.

Yuri Ichihashi handwoven 18K gold multistrand necklace with diamonds set in platinum. Sold for $18,000 in 2000.

John Hardy Batu Mas Collection earrings, ring, and bracelet in 18K gold and aquamarine. Sold for $3045 to $6825 in 2000.

Michael Dawkins 14K gold and South Sea pearl necklace with diamond clasp. Sold for $13,395 in 2000.