Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who Says?

Who says you can't wear black with brown?  I do it all the time.  The fact is, these two colors look great together.  And Christian Dior agrees.  This suit from 1954 is by Christian Dior-New York. 

The ad was put out by DuPont to advertise their trademarked Dacron polyester fiber.  I've shown you ads before of clothing made from DuPont fabrics by Paris couturiers.  The Dior suit shown above was made from wool blended with Dacron to add a wrinkle free quality to the fabric.  OK, enough about the suit.  I want the car!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Franklin Simon Cashmere Sweater

I've told you before how much I hate shopping at "The Mall".  I used to enjoy shopping at department stores, but now I avoid them like the plague and will only step foot in one if I am desperate.  Franklin Simon was one of the original department stores in New York.  The main store was established in 1903 at Fifth Avenue and 38th St.  Other store owners laughed at Mr. Simon's choice of opening so far uptown where "no one would shop."  Mr. Simon's goal was to import as much of his merchandise from Europe as he could for his discerning customers.  The Franklin Simon chain of stores closed in 1979.

The ad shown above is from 1956.  "Franklin Simon translates the relaxed refinement of American living with elegant simplicity....turns separates into a magnificently integrated costume!"  The cashmere sweater wtih contrast bands came in yellow with gray, champagne with white, or gray with white in sizes 34- 40.  Sold for $32.95 in 1956 (about $274 in today's dollar.)  The wool flannel skirt came in gray or champagne and was available in sizes 10-18.  Sold for $19.95 in 1956 (about $166 in today's dollar.)

If I knew I could walk into a department store today and find this coordinating sweater and skirt displayed together and in the high quality fabrics used in the 50s,  I would not hesitate to hand over my credit card.  Alas, I know it is not to be.  If I find a cute cashmere sweater, the quality will be crap.  And I will have to search through the entire store for any skirt that I might possibly find to go with it.  Ugh.  No thanks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Skinny Pants - 1963

Today we call them skinny jeans, leggings, tights, what have you.  But narrowly cut pants are nothing new.  Neither are leggings.  With the advent of the new "miracle" knit fabrics in the early 60s, knit stretch and stirrup pants were all the rage with young women.  Make note, though, that pants like these were strictly for casual wear and would not have been worn to work, to a meeting with a professional or to a restaurant.  Many women wouldn't even wear them for shopping or to class.  Today's photos are from 1963.

Above at left:  Davenshire rayon/nylon stirrup pants came in 8 colors and were offered in short, medium and tall lengths.  At right:  Davenshire wool worsted plaid skinny pants, fully lined of course.

Tiger brand pants and coordinating blouses.  Left:  Black wool flannel pants (fully lined) worn with a printed acetate blouse.  At right:  Wool/nylon stretch pants with stirrups worn with a cotton blend blouse.

Koret of California introduced jacquard textured skinny pants in Permathal cotton knit.  Supposedly, the pants were tough enough to be tackled by football players!

 What did one wear with skinny pants and leggings?  Flats and only flats!  Shoes with heels would have been considered too "trashy".  Cute flat shoes and ankle boots were called for and the style choices were plentiful.  Above, 9 styles of flat shoes and booties, all by Sandler of Boston.

Three menswear style boots, all in leather.  At the top, Pappagallo buckle boot.  In the center, a laced bootie by Sandler of Boston.  At the bottom, A loafer extended into a boot by Trampeze.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Accessories and Dresses

It's been kind of an off week for me.  On Tuesday, I sat at my computer and just felt an overwhelming sense of weariness.  Instead of working, I took a nap.  Then I took the next 2 days off.  Thanks, I needed that!  I did manage to get a lot of accessories and a couple of really great dresses listed for you though.  Be sure to check our What's New pages to see all the newest goodies!

1971 Rudi Gernreich wool knit dress

1960s Gino Charles beaded silk dress

Gianfranco Ferre designer bracelet

1950s La France poodle purse

1960s Enid Collins style owl purse

1970s doeskin leather wrap belt

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Notes

I'm interrupting my usual Weekend Eye Candy post to bring you a few notes and to tell you a story.

First, my blog surpassed 1000 followers earlier this week and I didn't want to ignore this important landmark.  Welcome to all my new blog followers!  I'm so glad you're here and I hope my blog brings you much enjoyment!

Second, as you probably know, Hurricane Irene is currently moving up the East Coast of the US and is supposed to hit New England tomorrow.  While Irene will probably only be a tropical storm by the time she reaches us, we will probably experience high winds here along the coast.  While our offices are not in danger of flooding, we could lose electricity.  If I'm out of touch for an extended period on Facebook or Twitter, it will probably be because we have no electrical power here at the office.  I have blog posts scheduled to go up automatically for the week, but there may be a short delay in shipping any orders that come in.

Now I have a story to tell you.  This morning, my husband and I decided to take a walk along the beach while our weather was still calm.  The first wisps of the cloud cover to come were starting to appear and the sun was dazzling on the ocean.  It was early enough that the sky still had shades of pale pink, peach and lilac.  Simply beautiful.  As we walked along at a brisk pace listening to our individual tastes in music, we noticed a woman head onto the deserted beach with her American Staffordshire dog. 

The dog (let's call her Lucy) was happy and took off at a run as soon as she was let off leash by the owner.  I laughed as I watched Lucy chase after sticks.  When she got to the stick, she would hit the brakes and slide, just as if she was headed for first base.  She would then run back to her owner with the stick for another throw.  I did notice that as soon as the woman approached Lucy, the dog would skitter away playing Keep-Away with her stick. 

We kept on walking and after a bit turned around to head home.  As we approached, Lucy and her owner were headed toward the opening in the sea wall.  Lucy was still unleased and her owner was calling to her.  Next thing we know, Lucy comes racing towards us along the sidewalk.  Now friends, my husband and I are longtime dog lovers and owners.  My husband is a volunteer dog trainer for the MSPCA here in Boston.  We know what to do and what not to do when greeting a strange dog, especially a large breed like Lucy.  We both turned to the side with our hands down so Lucy could get a sniff.  I was concerned because Lucy was still unleashed, but had no intention of reaching down to grab her collar.....not with those teeth and that jaw so close.  Lucy was obviously friendly, but she doesn't know me and I don't know her.  As Lucy's owner approached, she reached down to grab her and Lucy skittered away...........straight into oncoming traffic in the street.

Lucy was lucky.  She was hit by a car, but did not get run over.  The car's right front fender hit Lucy and she was thrown and rolled over a couple of times, but she walked away from the accident.  She'll probably be badly bruised for awhile, and she may develop a fear of cars, but hopefully she'll be OK.  As dog lovers, this incident was very traumatic, not only for Lucy's owner, bur for my husband and I and for the driver of the car.  Things could have been much worse; much, much worse.  As it was, we all walked away, but I can't stop thinking about Lucy and what could have happened.

Why am I telling you this story?  Just to say this.  Dog owners, I beg you, don't let your dog off leash in an unfenced area no matter how much control you think you may have!  Unleashed is Unloved!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vintage Bergdorf Goodman Mink Coat - 1954

I am a firm believer that if you chose to wear fur, you should always chose vintage. That keeps coats and stoles already in existence out of our landfills and at the same time doesn't support the unneeded slaughter of today's animals for fashion. Since fall and winter are approaching and since fur coats were an accepted part of fashion in the past, I will be showing images of furs over the next few months. In showing images of vintage furs on this blog, I hope to inspire you and show you how beautiful they can be for the modern woman.  If you choose not to wear real fur, let these images inspire you to make your own with today's high quality faux furs.  

The year is 1954 and Leslie Morris is the head designer in Bergdorf Goodman's custom design department, a post she had held starting in 1931.  Morris was considered one of the top designers in the U.S. during the 30s, 40s, and 50s.  In the following year, Bergdorf's would lure fur designer Emeric Partos away from Maximillian Furs by giving him free reign as their custom furrier.  But the coat shown above was designed by Leslie Morris in Eastern Canadian Wild Mink.  It is a clutch style coat with a big collar and pear-shaped sleeves.  Bergdorf's would make it to order for you in their Fur Salon.  If you had to ask the price, you couldn't afford it! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paris Fashion - 1934

Today we continue our look at Paris fashions of the 1930s.  Here, from 1934, are clothes to take you from day to dinner to evening in style.  Which is your favorite?

Brown wool knit daytime dress with stripe knit accents by Bernard et Cie.

Bruyere made this dinner dress in black wool decorated with black patent leather "jewels".

Charles Frederick Worth gray wool dress with capelet and muff trimmed in gray Astrakhan fur.

Lucile Paray pink silk crepe evening gown trimmed with sable fur.

Callot Soeurs brown silk velvet evening gown trimmed in wolf fur at the hem.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Take a Vintage Scarf....Part 2

...and wrap it, tie it, twist it, drape it, double it.  The possibilities are endless.  Yesterday I showed you part 1 of this mini-series on how young women were wearing scarves in 1969.  Here are more of the same.  Enjoy!

Wear an oversized shawl as a scarf with your coat.

Two solid scarves, one black, one white, are tied in overhand knots around the neck.  This menswear look contrasts nicely with the lace blouse.

Wrap a mile-long scarf around your head, then allow it to fall freely to the floor.

Take another mile-long scarf and drape it around your neck.  Catch it in your belt to hold it in place.

Finally, a fringed silk shawl as dress by Holly's Harp.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Take a Vintage Scarf....

....and jazz up your fashion statement.  Today and tomorrow we'll look at images from 1969 when young women experimented with bold scarves in new and different ways.  Take a vintage scarf and wrap it, tie it, twist it, drape it, double it.  The possibilities are endless.

Long dotted scarf wrapped under a beaded necklace and thrown over one shoulder.

Fringed scarf knotted under a collar in the manner of an ascot.

Two complementary print scarves are knotted at the neckline and allowed to drape over the front of a solid tunic.

Wear a printed scarf that contrasts against your printed blouse.

Tie a printed scarf bandanna style with a plain white shirt.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Party Clothes - 1958

I always enjoy looking a pictures of vintage party clothes.  I know it's still summer, but the holiday party season will be here before we know it.  Have you started to think about what you'll wear this year?  These designer garments are all from Fall/Winter 1958.  The photos are by Richard Avedon.

Mainbocher white satin dinner dress with cut-away armholes.  To wear with it, a pink floral silk ottoman coat lined in quilted white satin.

Deep yellow satin dress with a huge bell shaped skirt by Balenciaga.

Also by Balenciaga, a fuchsia satin ball gown with a lace bodice.  I'd love to see this gown full length to see the shape of the skirt, wouldn't you?

Pink silk moire fashions a strapless bubble dress by Givenchy.  Love the way the bodice is knotted!

Givenchy uses pink again, this time a deep magenta satin, for this dinner coat.  Note the stand-away collar which would become hugely popular in the early 60s.

I love all these garments, but I must confess that the dark stockings with light shoes looks a bit jarring.  It wouldn't be my choice!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Clothing for Fall

New this week at Couture Allure are some gorgeous choices for fall.  We've also listed some fabulous vintage purses and belts!  Be sure to check our What's New page to see all the latest listings.

1940s dress with matching cape.
1960s Galanos charcoal wool dress and jacket set.
1960s Donald Brooks dress and jacket set.
1960s Larry Aldrich wool dress and jacket set.
1970s Pucci-esque print dress by Cassandra.
1950s faille princess coat.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Eye Candy - Hermes, 1960

It seems appropriate after our look at wearing plaids this week that this gorgeous coat and suit set by Hermes from 1960 should come along.  Note how the designer uses the same plaid in different sizes so they combine beautifully.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Vintage Mink Coat, 1954

I am a firm believer that if you chose to wear fur, you should always chose vintage. That keeps coats and stoles already in existence out of our landfills and at the same time doesn't support the unneeded slaughter of today's animals for fashion. Since fall and winter are approaching and since fur coats were an accepted part of fashion in the past, I will be showing images of furs over the next few months. In showing images of vintage furs on this blog, I hope to inspire you and show you how beautiful they can be for the modern woman.  If you choose not to wear real fur, let these images inspire you to make your own with today's high quality faux furs.   

From 1954, this full length Emba Jasmine white mink coat is by Ritter Brothers.  Worn with Kislav white satin gloves and diamond and turquoise jewels by Van Cleef and Arpels.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Psychedelic Florals, 1966

When taking requests for this week's blog posts, Sarah asked for some psychedelic florals.  Here you go, Sarah!  These are all from 1966 and early 1967.  Which is your favorite?

Emilio Pucci

Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner

Pauline Trigere

Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner

Emilio Pucci