Monday, October 28, 2013

Are You Tired of Vintage Clothing?

I've been thinking a lot about this question lately.  As I watch what goes on in the world of vintage clothing and listen to my friends and colleagues, it has become very clear over the past several months that the popularity and desirability of vintage clothing has waned.  A lot.  

I am hard pressed to understand this sudden change in the world of vintage.  Can you help?  I would love to hear your opinions and comments either here, via email, or on my Facebook page.

Are you tired of vintage clothing?
Do you already own enough and have stopped buying?
Is the vintage market too saturated?
Is it too difficult to find what you want online?
Is it the economy?

Let's have a discussion.  I am going to open this post to anonymous comments, so if you would rather remain nameless that is fine.  And thank you for your help!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cool Vintage Bat Masks

Need a Halloween idea?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This Dress

Every once in awhile I find a vintage dress that sends me over the moon.  Yesterday, I added one such dress to the website.  Would you like the swoon with me?

It's a silk velvet dress from the 1930s.  This is the back which I am showing you so you can see the train...the ruffled train.

Here it is from the side.  See how deep that train is?  Lovely.  Even better, the dress comes with a matching jacket to cover up those bare shoulders if you like.

The jacket has white ermine fur cuffs.  So luxe!

Here's the ruffled hem in detail with the train at the back.  This photo has been dramatically lightened so you can see the detail.  What do you think?  Do you love it as much as I do?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Designer Dresses

New this week at Couture Allure are some vintage designer dresses and blouses in whites and creams.  Be sure to check our What's New page to see all the latest additions to the site!

1970s seriously sexy evening gown by Susan Roselli

1980s strapless peplum dress by Victor Costa

1970s sheer lace poet style blouse by Anne Klein

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Eye Candy - Madeleine de Rauch, 1954

Imagine walking into the room and unbuttoning the full length coat to reveal this gown!  Entire ensemble by Madeleine de Rauch, Fall/Winter, 1954.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meet Jennifer!

Meet the lovely Jennifer.  Last weekend, she attended the Open House New York event held at the TWA Flight Center at JFK airport.  What a perfect spot to wear this 1960s Mod era dress she purchased at Couture Allure!  I really love it worn with the black jacket.  Jennifer, you look fabulous and I can't think of a better person to do this dress justice.  Thank you for sharing your photo with us!

1960s Mod era wool dress from Couture Allure

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Frost Bros. Award Winning Advertising

Frost Bros ad for Traina-Norell dress, 1955.
Yesterday, I showed you a Frost Bros. ad for an Irene Lentz suit that hailed "American Haute Couture."  Frost's did a series of these ads with the tag line "In Fashion In Texas" in the mid-1950s featuring fashion from the top tier of American designers.  These ads were featured in the local San Antonio newspaper as well as in full page spreads in Vogue magazine.

Frost Bros. ad for an Edith Small suit, 1955

Frost Bros. ad for a Patullo-Jo Copeland dress from Vogue magazine, 1957
In early 1956, Frost Bros. won several awards for their advertising, including the Gold Award for Outstanding Color Advertising from the National Retail Dry Goods Assn. and the Seklemian Grand Award for Outstanding Retail Advertisements from Retail Advertising Week.  Frost Bros. had their own advertising staff who worked hand in hand with Express Publishing Co. to produce the ads. 

Please note: 7 out of the 8 advertising staff members who were singled out for praise by Frost Bros. President Gilbert Lang in 1956 are women.  That makes me smile.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Frost Bros Advertises American Haute Couture, 1956

Frost Bros. was the place to shop in San Antonio, Texas.  It was a very exclusive and old world store for people with old world money.  Frost Bros. carried only the best of the best and made the prices at Neiman's look like Woolworth's.  With those prices, though, you got personalized service and you could purchase fashion from Paris and Italy, as well as the best of American designers. 

In a full 1 1/2 page spread in a San Antonio newspaper in 1956, Frost Bros. advertised the latest fashion from the best of American designers.  Titled "American Haute Couture," the ad featured a pinstriped suit by Irene Lentz. Of course, the high end garments by American designers that Frost's offered were not haute couture in its literal sense, meaning they were not made by hand for one specific customer.  In using the term, though, Frost's is attempting to elevate American fashion to the heights it deserved for its clientele, essentially saying, "You don't have to go to Paris to be in fashion."

Today, I want to share with you the copy from this ad, as the writing is superb and communicates the romance and allure of high end fashion.  Bravo to the unsung writer who penned this copy, beginning with a quote from Irene Lentz.

"To each generation is given a few high-antenna creative people.  They live in the rarified reaches where beauty begins.  A choice few of these find fashion as their medium.  In the olden days, these great artists of fashion were believed to be only in Paris.  Today, a rich vein of them is found in America.  They constitute one of the land's richest natural resources, bringing beauty to our clothes, our behavior, our manners.  They contribute sharp drama as well as gentleness to our way of life, and their works comprise a sector of our contemporary culture."  We apply these words spoken by a fashion philosopher of California, designer Irene, whose highly American design you see in two dimensions [above] and in three dimensions on our Third Floor, to all great American designers.  Making our bow to the tradition of Paris, we honor the designers of young America with the French term, "Haute Couture", so as to offer them, in old world grandeur, the ribbon of honor, the star, the crown and the triple plume of sovereignty and achievement!   With pride, we invite you to see American Haute Couture at Frost's alone in San Antonio.

Doesn't that make you want to shop at Frost Bros?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Furs and Designer Dresses

New this week at Couture Allure are several fabulous vintage furs as well as vintage designer dresses and evening gowns.  Be sure to check our What's New page to see all the latest listings!

1950s genuine mink fur jacket

1970s genuine Mongolian lamb fur jacket

1950s Peggy Hunt nude illusion cocktail dress

1960s Mignon beaded and embroidered evening dress

1960s metallic evening gown with matching bolero

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weekend Eye Candy - Yves St. Laurent, 1962

Another piece from Yves St. Laurent's first couture collection under his own label.  This white silk evening gown has a lace bodice and train.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Yves St. Laurent Suits from his First Collection Spring 1962

In the spring of 1962, Yves St. Laurent showed his first couture collection under his own label.  His designs were an immediate success and one of the most famous couture houses in history was on it's way to influencing fashion the world over for years to come.  Here are some of the lady-like suits St. Laurent showed in that first collection.  Note his use of contrast fabrics for separate little blouses and other details. 

Vibrant red wool suit accented with a navy blue blouse in mohair voile and a double row of gold buttons.

Beige and brown wool tweed suit with a beige wool blouse that buttons asymmetrically and has a big detachable black silk bow.  Wide brimmed hat to match in the same tweed.

The same tweed suit without the jacket, showing the details of the blouse.

A white wool suit accented with a gray and white printed silk fabric 
for the belt, the blouse and the hat band.

Wool houndstooth suit with a collarless jacket.  The bronze silk blouse shows at the collar and at the hip.  Shown with a matching houndstooth "cowboy" hat.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Pre-Halloween Sale at Couture Allure!

Through tomorrow only!  Take an extra 40% off all Sale Items at Couture Allure.  Enter coupon code "extra40" at check out and the discount will be deducted automatically.  Discount does not apply to regularly priced items, shipping or previous purchases.  Ends Thursday, October 11.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Dior Gloves Mystery Solved

Last week I showed you this image of the most incredible gloves and could not find a reference or verification of who made them and when (the photo was captioned Dior 1952 on Pinterest.) A huge thank you goes out to commenter Marshall Stacks for the help in providing the information I was looking for.

Image courtesy of Met Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a pair of these gloves in it's collection.  They were made for Dior by Parisian glove maker Lionel LeGrand.  The museum dates these to 1949.  And the mystery is solved!  The gloves attach together at the back of the neck with tiny buttons so you can get them on and off.  Thank you Marshall!  I knew it would be nearly impossible to put these on if they were one piece!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

New at Couture Allure - 1960s Pierre Cardin and Boho Jewelry

This week at Couture Allure I've added a late 1960s dress by Pierre Cardin and some fabulous vintage accessories including statement necklaces from the 70s and rhinestones belts.  Be sure to check our What's New page to see all the latest listings!

1960s Pierre Cardin wool knit dress

1970s Boho statement necklace

1970s Boho double pendant necklace

1980s statement pearl necklace

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Weekend Eye Candy - Lucien Lelong

To me, this coat is timeless.  It is just as fashionable today as it was in 1939.  Look how perfectly the plaid is matched on the diagonal at the front opening.  Black and white check wool worn over a red dress.  The belt, bag and hat are all in the same red.  Lucien Lelong, Fall 1939.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Madam Satan, 1930

Kay Johnson as Madame Satan
Imagine a masquerade party aboard a zeppelin.  That's the setting for the 1930 film, "Madame Satan," a pre-code extravaganza directed by Cecil B. DeMille.  If you want to get some fun ideas for your Halloween costume, watch this clip from the film and don't miss the presentations of various party goers beginning around minute 7!

Madam Satan Cecil B. DeMille by NilbogLAND

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Two Coats 37 Years Apart

 The moment I saw this..... reminded me of this.  Do you see the similarity?  Or am I just crazy? 

First photo:  Coat by Gianfranco Ferre, 1987
Second photo:  Coat by Balenciaga, 1950

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Most Incredible Gloves!

I stumbled upon this photo on Pinterest the other day and I had to share it with you.  The only caption was "Dior, 1952."  It's a lovely strapless dress, supposedly by Dior, but what I want you to notice is the gloves!  They extend into a stole-like strap that goes over the shoulders and around the neck.  I've never seen anything like them before and would love to know who made them.  If you have seen this photo before and know the source, could you let me know? 

My other do you put these gloves on?