Saturday, November 22, 2014

1950s Paris Fashion - A Taste of the Orient

The Oriental influence inspired by the Chinese Opera's first visit to Paris in 1955 resulted in couture designs like this one by Dior. The evening sheath dress of pearly satin  is topped with a richly jeweled and embroidered caftan coat with split sides. This brilliant brocade definitely results in a rich, exotic look.

It seems as though they tried to give her eyes an Oriental look with the use of makeup. What do you think? Seen in Women's Home Companion, October 1955 edition.

Friday, November 21, 2014

1940s Originator Sketch - Cocktail Dresses

Ooooo la la! These stunning cocktail dresses feature cascading drapes topped with bows. Did you notice that both dresses dip lower in the back? Fabulous eye candy!

Look at the details carefully - intriguing!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

1930s - Glamorous Metallic Two-Piece Evening Dress

Oh, she looks sensational and knows it! This divine two-piece dress of  lamé provides a sculptured look, wrapping the body in waves of elegant shimmer. The matching hat is a high calot, trimmed with kid and an eye-catching whisper of a veil.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I've Seen That in Vintage Patterns - 1950s Popular Sheath

Browsing through a September 1955 edition of Mademoiselle magazine, this ad for the synthetic fabric "Arnel" features a dress style that appears from time to time in vintage patterns from the 1950s. Seeing it in "real life" in this photograph, I am surprised at just how flattering this style is, with its peg-top-esque hip pockets. Would you have expected it?

I think, the hip pockets actually work to make the waistline thinner by emphasizing the hips, while the straight line from the hips to hemlines minimizes the hips. Is that a contradiction? At the very least, it is an interesting contrast. :) The dress certainly looks cute on this model!

Here is one version, Butterick 7750, a very close match and a wonderful dress.

Here is a fine half-size version, Simplicity 1458, with button accents and the bonus of a matching coat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Vintage Tweets from 1908: Miss Lillian is in Seattle!

Postcard 024

Sender: Elsie
Addressee: Miss Lillian Maguire, 1902G Terry Av., Seattle, Wash.
Postmark: East St Louis, Ill.
Date: April 27, 1908
Image: First Presbyterian Church, East St. Louis, Ill.
Dear Lillian,
By the time this
reaches you, you 
will be with the
Kidders. I hope you
arrived safely &
enjoyed your trip.
Be sure to write soon.
I rec'd your postal
from St. Paul.
Love, Elsie

This postcard features a lovely church in East St Louis that was probably newly built or relatively newly built. Whether the building still stands, I do not know. East St Louis, Illinois is located across the Mississippi River from St Louis,Missouri.

What is exciting about this postcard is the fact that Miss Lillian has traveled to Seattle, Washington, where her sister and brother-in-law live (Anne and Adolph Mueller). She is staying with the Kidder family, about whom we know nothing. Are they family? Are they friends? And how long is Miss Lillian staying? Why is she not staying with her sister? So many questions!

According to this postcard from Elsie, Miss Lillian traveled through St Paul, Minnesota on her way to Seattle. I believe the only Amtrak passenger train between Seattle and Chicago still goes through St Paul. I have taken that train ride, but I suspect that it took me much less time than it took Miss Lillian in 1908.  I look forward to learning more about this adventure!

1907 Fashion

Friday, November 14, 2014

1960s Winter Fashion from Young Designer Gayle Kirkpatrick

Today let's take a peek at winter fashion from 1966. Gayle Kirkpatrick was a hot "In" designer from the mid-60s to the late 1970s. During that time, he won a Coty Award, and designed for Butterick, among many other things. Here are a couple of his designs for Butterick from 1966.

Coatdress Butterick 4204

The coatdress could be sewn to be a coat or a dress (or both!). In this interpretation, sewn in wide wale corduroy, it definitely looks like a coat, with military details.

The double image below pairs Butterick 4204 with Gayle Kirkpatrick's Blouse and Suit Butterick 4205 (looking darn cute and perfectly Mod in paisley). Note the "power stance" of the models. No demure crossing of legs in the youthful revolution of the Mod years!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

1930s Winter Coat - Wrap Yourself in Luxury

Double pockets with flaps that hug a snug waistline, a double-breasted closing, and a warm shawl collar topped with luxurious fur make this tweed coat from 1937 a beauty. That sculptured hat tops it off with panache!

Such a fashionable way to stay warm during freezing winter days!