TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S SEMI-FORMAL SLEEK AND STRAPLESS DINNER GOWN

IMG_1656In midnight navy blue, this dress is elegant in rayon with a side zipper.  Let me tell you how she would have dressed it up . . . . . . . .

A diamond or rhinestone necklace or pearls, depending on the venue, would be first – with some elegant earrings to complement. And, a small dress handbag.

A stole, fur or dressy coat, of course, unless it’s the height of summer (but, even then . . . . . .)  Finished off, courtesy of her escort, with a corsage.

The bodice has no boning, so those little mesh straps hold it in place.  When I wear it, I prefer a pair of ’50’s evening sandals of dark navy fabric with  pearlized ornaments on the vamp rather than the Forties styles that Stella is wearing.   Beautiful as she is, this frock is really better suited for Marilyn . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE SUMMER FORMAL DRESS FROM THE 1970’S OR 1980’S

TRUE VINTAGE SUMMER FORMAL DRESS FROM THE 1970'S OR 1980'S

This dress is not really old, but it is so cute/pretty that I couldn’t resist picking it up and showing it to you. such pretty colors!

There is a sheer layer with the flower print, over a solid layer – like many of the dresses I’ve shown.  I love the big bow in front – too much!

It almost looks like a ’60’s thing, but I know it’s not that old.  The bodice has some sequins decorating it, too, but it’s not a super-super dressy thing otherwise.  It could almost be worn to a garden party or fund-raising afternoon event, of the right type.

Anyway, a lovely frock – authentically vintage, and just makes me feel like going to a party.  It’s so sweet – would make a wonderful disguise . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, the Magicvintagespy
Blog: Magicvintagespy.com
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TRUE VINTAGE MID-1950s POUF-STYLE PARTY FROCK BY FRANK STARR

TRUE VINTAGE MID-1950s POUF-STYLE PARTY FROCK BY FRANK STARR

Another of my absolutely fabulous finds – fit for a princess at a party or Prom. This one is a quintessential 1950s pouf dress by Frank Starr, (of California, I believe) in a floral print.  He was a well-known designer at that time.

I’m always amazed at what I find, and this frock really turned the lights on! Organza over rayon or acetate, with a velvet-covered belt & the makers’ label on an inside seam.. In virtually perfect condition.

I can just see Elizabeth Taylor flouncing around in this in one of her movies, playing a young woman ready to go to a dance party.  Imitations are made, but true vintage can’t be replaced and it’s priceless, in my opinion.

This example can hardly compete with the one shown yesterday, or the day before. They are all wonderful and uniquely original. We’ll step backwards in time just a little bit tomorrow. What’s coming up until then? You just never know . . . . . . . .

Morgana Martin, the magicvintagespy
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GORGEOUS MID-CENTURY SPECIAL OCCASION SILK DRESS FROM AUSTRALIA

IMG_1056     Back to my Australian find – I found the best photo and description of this gown and Stella shows it off properly.  I gasped when I discovered it.  It may even have been a wedding gown back in the Depression and World War days of the 1930’s and 1940’s when they were often simpler.   But, I suppose they had the equivalent of “debutantes” in that society, too.  The custom of showing off young, marriageable women “of good family background” was a widespread practice that still persists in some places.

Lots of clues:  Since Australia is closer to Southern Asia than we are in North America, silk may have been a more  popular fabric for better dresses than it was here.  A friend of mine says that she remembers the wired necklines from the 1950’s.  This dress was made for a VERY tiny person (even more so than Stella), so it could have been floor length on the original owner.  Impossible to say for sure.

Anyway, it’s beautiful and unique with an interesting history. I’m glad to have it home where I can show you a better photograph.  Fully lined, with covered buttons at the wrists and that collar with  wiring all around the edges – it was quite a tailoring project for someone!  It’s really one that makes me wonder what stories it can tell . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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BEAUTIFUL TRUE VINTAGE SILK FORMAL DRESS OR WEDDING GOWN FOUND IN AUSSIE-LAND

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis frock is another of my stupendous finds in Australia!   Made somewhere between the 1940’s and 1950’s, it’s a gorgeous dress and I suspect that it really is from the Forties.

Looks like it’s hand-tailored, but by someone who was REALLY good.  The collar is reinforced with hidden wire that is soft to wear, but holds the shape and lets you reshape the neckline as needed –  an unusual tailoring feature that emphasizes the irreplaceable value and uniqueness of true vintage clothing and accessories.

It’s a demure style, despite the neckline plunge, and could be full-length on a petite figure.  I wonder if it was made as a wedding gown?   Although some were very fancy, many of that time did not have a lot of frill and fuss and were actually very tailored styles.

No matter what, I’m sure that this gown has at least one fabulous story to tell!  I wonder . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE EARLY SIXTIES FORMAL OR SEMI-FORMAL DRESSES IN PASTELS WITH LACE OR EMBROIDERED OVERLAY

EARLY SIXTIES SPRING SEMI-FORMAL DRESSES IN PASTELS WITH LACE OVERLAY

A hallmark of early Sixties fashion was lace or embroidered organza overlay, which we see again and again every decade or two! These very pretty frocks were meant for semi-formal occasions – dinners, parties, dances and ceremonies. A professional cleaning will refresh the full-length ones in time for a wedding!  The bride would look gorgeous in the white and the blue is perfect for any of a wedding party or mother-of-the-bride.

They’re so feminine and flattering, in a variety of styles.  And, of course, beautifully-made.  I especially like the knee-length one – a little bit Mod, but also traditional.   The lace over-dress is partially open in the back, revealing the fitted sheath beneath.  Long sleeves add a little warmth for early Spring and make the design more demure BUT . . . . . . .

very sexy in an elegant and sophisticated way.  They knew how to do that back in the day.  A lost art?  I hope not  . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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MID-CENTURY TRUE VINTAGE SISTER HANDBAGS-MADE IN HONG KONG

Both these little ladies were made in Hong Kong, of similar basic design, but there is a world of difference between them.  Lady Right was made for the uptown market, while Lady Left was sold downtown.  Though they’re both clean and well-put-together, Lady Right grew up with all the best, while Lady Left’s beginnings were more humble.

It’s obvious “in person” that these bags were made for different markets. The styling in both is superior, but the materials and extra attention to detail show that Lady Right brought a higher price.  Just comparing these two pretties, found at the same time, was a fun chance to evaluate a number of “clues” about their backgrounds.

I don’t have a favorite.  Their stories are equally interesting to me  (maybe Lady Left’s is a little more so . . . . .).  Each one is perfect with the outfit that coordinates with it.  While Lady Left could be much more casual, she is no less elegant – maybe even more so, if you don’t look too closely. Lady Right could seem a little tasteless if she showed up everywhere dressed like that.

I see one for holiday festivities or a very gala occasion (maybe tonight?), while the other would be lovely with a pretty summer dress.  Both would be gorgeous for a bridal venue. It can all be so fascinating . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S PARTY DRESS – REMINDS ME OF GRACE KELLY

TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S PARTY DRESS - REMINDS ME OF GRACE KELLY

This one was a FABulous surprise find!  I always have my eyes open and my antennae up, but this blew me away!

A sheer layer over plain liner, and fitted drop-waist hourglass shape – the colors are for Fall but work beautifully in Spring and Summer for someone with the right coloring.  It reminds me of a dress that Grace Kelly wore in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Rear Window in 1954. Just a fabulous film – highly recommended.

The style is a bit different and the colors are, too.  The criss-cross neckline is something not usually seen.  I love it – it’s so fun to find unusual items.

Watch that old movie if you can.  It’s a great one and the clothing is wonderful.  I have at least one other dress that was, in fact, modeled on one of the frocks that Grace wore in Rear Window.  And, also, a dress modeled on the one that she wore to the opening of that movie.  It pays to have older friends who used to do a lot of sewing back in the day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY
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BEST TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S SUNDAY, DINNER, PARTY, DATE, OCCASION JACKET DRESS

BEST 1950'S SUNDAY, DINNER, PARTY, DATE, OCCASION JACKET DRESS

Beautiful navy and pink combo on this special jacket-dress from the 1940’s.  A real beauty.  Nice drapey crepe in flattering navy and pink hues.

Flower petal collar. Easter splendor.  Come on Springtime! . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN,THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S PROM DRESS GETS REFURBISHED

Here’s a mid-century  Prom or dance party dress for Spring.  I’ve had this frock for several years and it is in wonderful shape EXCEPT that the bodice had some old perspiration damage under the arms.  No fixing that . . . . . . . .SO, I replaced the overlay fabric on the bodice with a nearly – identical modern material.

To the naked eye in normal room light, the dress looks perfect.  Only the digital camera with flash shows the difference – that aging of the fabric over 60 – 70 years has slightly changed its color.

I’m pleased with my repair, but here’s a good example of why saving any old fabrics left over from sewing or hem changes makes a lot of sense.  You might need them some time and, you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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