Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vacation Time! Are You Taking Vintage in Your Suitcase?

I am headed off for vacation and road trips for the rest of this month, but not to worry!  My assistant will be in the office to ship your orders and answer your questions while I'm away.

If you're going on a vacation of your own, I hope you'll be incorporating vintage into your wardrobe.  Need last minute ideas?  There are still lots of vintage and vintage inspired summer dresses, separates and accessories available at Couture Allure.

1970s cotton polka dot sundress

1960s Kahala cotton hostess dress
1970s hand embroidered peasant blouse

1980s abstract print cotton skirt
1950s 3-strand bead necklace

1970s large straw tote bag

1980s Benetton leather belt

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Balenciaga Evening Gown - 1963

Hi-low hemlines....they've been around for years and years.  For spring of 1963, Balenciaga created this gorgeous gown.  The hemline exposes the ankle in front and lengthens to form a train in back.  Note how the designer echoes that line at the hip where the skirt attaches to the bodice.  What you can't see here is that he also echoes it at the neckline, which is high in front but dips to a low U in the back. 

The dress shown in this picture was not made in the Balenciaga workrooms, however.  It is an authorized copy made in the US by Nanty and sold at such high end retailers as Bergdorf Goodman, Stanley Korshak and Nan Duskin.  Jewelry by Vendome.

Photo by Irving Penn for Vogue magazine, 1963.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

What's Under That Vintage Dress? Part 2

Monday's post about foundation garments got a lot of interest with comments, emails and even a phone call!  Here are a couple more examples today.

The strapless cocktail dress by Ceil Chapman shown above is worn over a strapless supportive bra and an open bottom girdle by Perma-lift. If you can't get the look without bulges between the two pieces, then wear an all-in-one corset.

And lest you think that girdles were only worn for evening, think again, my friends.  Women wore girdles with their daytime dresses too.  The Sportwhirl sheath shown here is worn with a supportive bra and panty girdle, both by Perma-lift.

I know what you're thinking.  "They don't make foundation garments like this anymore!"   WRONG!  There are several companies that do, including Secrets in Lace, as shown here.  Back in 2009, I did a long blog post about modern foundation garments to wear under your vintage clothing.  It includes tips and links to several companies that offer the types of corsetry you need.  Be sure to read the comments, as many readers shared other companies to look for too!

Monday, June 02, 2014

What's Under That Vintage Dress?

I post pictures of gorgeous vintage clothing here on my blog and on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds daily.  The comments and questions I receive most often deal with the tiny waists or fit of the dresses shown.  In our modern world, where most of our clothing is styled to be loose or made with stretch fabrics, we find it difficult to relate to wearing a dress that molds to the body like this. The answer, of course, is what she is wearing under that gown.

Before the late 1960s, every woman wore control undergarments, whether they be girdles, corsets, or an all-in-one, as shown here.  Every woman, every day.  You just can't get the look and fit presented in that first photo without some kind of foundation garments. Period. 

Red dress with cape by Pauline Trigere.  All-in-one corselet by Warner's. Both photos from a 2-page ad for Warner's in Harper's Bazaar, 1961.