Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Details Make the Dress, 1951

One of the things I love about vintage dresses is the amount of work that goes into the details.  Case in point, this little black dress by David Marcus from 1951.  A lot of effort went into getting that collar just right so it frames the face and neck in such a beguiling manner.  The sleeve is not just a straight thing that hangs there.  It is cut with a slight bell shape and gathered into a cuff at the elbow.  The details are interesting enough that just a simple pair of earrings are all you need.

Photo by Clifford Coffin for Vogue.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Suzy Parker Wearing Sophie of Saks

From 1958, the gorgeous Suzy Parker wearing a made-to-order ensemble by Sophie of Saks.  Asian style black silk surah is jacquard woven with golden brown flowers and fashioned into a sheath dress with a draped skirt.  The floral clusters in the fabric are cut out and appliqued onto a black cashmere sweater to match.  Here, the cardigan is buttoned up over the dress, but you could also just drape it casually over your shoulders.

Photo by Richard Avedon for Harper's Bazaar.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Weekend Eye Candy - Germaine Lecomte, 1953

From Spring 1953, Germaine Lecomte pleated silk dress with a sheer coat that sweeps over it.  All in pink, mais oui!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rudi Gernreich Swimsuit, 1968

Not all of Rudi Gernreich's swimsuits were topless.  This one from the summer of 1968 is black wool knit with clear vinyl at the hips.  The neckline is high in the front, but low in the back.  Sold for $40 in 1968 (about $268 in today's dollar, but likely worth a whole heckuva lot more as a collectible or museum piece.....if you can find one.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

High School Fashions, 1969

I posted this first picture on my Facebook page last night and quite a discussion ensued about the fashions shown here.  Many schools still had dress codes in 1969 and girls would not have been allowed to wear their skirts this short.  In addition to skirts being no more than 2" above the knee, girls could not wear pants to school until the dress codes were abolished.  Here in Boston, the dress code at my school was thrown out in 1968 after a group of boys started growing their hair longer than their shirt collars and refused to cut it.  After they were all suspended, their parents protested to the School Board because the length of one's hair has nothing to do with learning. The School Board caved and after that, we could wear mini skirts, pants and even hot pants, but jeans were still taboo until 1972.

The photos shown here were all taken in 1969 by Arthur Schatz.  I get a California vibe here, and wouldn't be surprised if that is where the photos were taken.  The hippie looks did not become popular here on the East Coast until a couple of years later, but the mini skirts, bell bottom pants, wild prints, long straight hair and knee socks are spot on.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pierre Cardin Jewelry, 1962

I must apologize for my random posting of late.  Things are a bit crazy in my personal life right now.  In the meantime, I thought you might get a kick out of this necklace and bracelet made from plastic grapes by Pierre Cardin in 1962.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Designer Evening Gowns

New at Couture Allure this week are some beautiful vintage evening gowns and a few other surprises!  Be sure to check our What's New pages to see all the latest listings.

1950s silk organza wedding or evening gown inspired by Elizabeth Taylor

1980s silk taffeta evening gown by French designer Jacqueline Crouve

1950s Emma Domb evening gown

1960s Malcolm Starr bead encrusted evening gown

1980s Morton Myles pouf dress

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Weekend Eye Candy - Christian Dior, 1951

I adore the way Dior balanced the fuller than full skirt with the elegant drapery at the neckline.  Dior Haute Couture, Fall 1951.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pauline Trigere, 1957

No words necessary.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Donald Brooks Coat, 1967

Navy and white wide stripes, criss-crossed in Mod perfection fashion this Donald Brooks coat from 1967.   I love, love, love this. 

Monday, April 08, 2013

Mr. Blackwell Dresses, 1960

Mr. Blackwell, of the famous Worst Dressed List, had his own clothing line starting in 1958.  Here he is photographed surrounded by a bevy of beauties wearing his dresses for summer 1960. 

Left:  Angel sleeves add bewitchment to a sorceress sheath of imported silk linen, fitted to make everyone glad  you're a girl.  About $90 (that's $706 in today's dollar.)

Back:  Flag-colored stripes blazed on sailcloth.  Cutaway jacket, giant clutch purse, square-necked sheath of sailcloth.  About $45 (that's $353 in today's dollar.)

Right:  High voltage colors in a flowered cotton sheath strewn with glitter.  Added flirting voltage: neckline, fish-tail skirt.  About $45 (that's $353 in today's dollar.)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Weekend Eye Candy - Pierre Balmain, 1957

The more I study the work of Pierre Balmain, the more he is becoming my favorite designer.  This deep pink silk evening gown from 1957 has a long train and is accented with a huge pink silk taffeta stole.  The photographer's choice to use a red backdrop is simply genius. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

Wear Your Necklace Backwards

Jennifer Lawrence wore a necklace backwards at this year's Oscars to great effect.  I like this version of the same look from 1955 even better.  In this ad for DuPont nylon fabric, the model wears a dress by Filcol and piles of beaded necklaces fill the back neckline.  Love it!  Do you? 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Krizia, 1984

I've talked about Bergdorf Goodman ads in the past.  Often found on page 1 of Vogue, the company was genius at catching your eye with black and white artwork or photography.  In the 50s and 60s, their ads featured wonderful descriptions that described the garments.  In the ad shown here for Krizia in the Spring of 1984, Bergdorf's lets the clothing speak for itself.  There is no attribution for the artist who did this marvelous pencil sketch, but it certainly captured my attention this morning!

Ad from page 1 of Vogue, February 1984.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Louise Barnes Gallagher Update

A couple of years ago I wrote a biographical post about designer Louise Barnes Gallagher.  At the time, I was only able to find a tiny head shot of Louise from a newspaper which was poor quality and quite fuzzy.  Last week, I was contacted by the designer's granddaughter Mary-Louise and she was kind enough to send me the two photos of her grandmother you see here today.  The one above probably dates to the 1920s.

In the second photo, Gallagher is wearing a suit made from her signature "Gallagher Mesh" fabric and decorated with lots and lots of buttons, a design element she used frequently.  Judging by the hat, this photo likely dates to the late 1930s or very early 40s.

I'd like to thank Mary-Louise for providing these photos of her grandmother for all of us to see and enjoy.  It is a pleasure to keep the memory of Louise Barnes Gallagher alive!