MID-CENTURY HOME-SEWN FLORAL FORMAL DRESS —PROM, ANYONE?

Empire A-line styling with flutter sleeves and a floral print – couldn’t get more ’60’s early ’70’s than that. But, there are so many retro versions made recently – why would I decide to collect this one?

Frocks that I might otherwise pass on if they were commercially – made, I will collect if custom-tailored. Hand-sewing always tells it’s own story, with special touches and unique designs or fabrics.

So, this dress is especially pretty and versatile. It only needs a few TLC interventions and will be ready to go. I might lose the sleeves, as I like sleeveless styles so much, but will decide later.

More finds from this general era, but very different. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1970’s CUSTOM-TAILORED EVENING GOWN

At first glance, this frock looks like something modern but the tailoring details and fabric tell it’s true age. It’s hard to be sure of the true color in this photo, but it is another beautiful velvet, in aubergine with iridescent flocking in a floral design. Again, sorry for the poor focus.

This dress could go from being a swanky hostess outfit at home to a night on the town. Long sleeves are so practical in the evening and the deep slit in front adds the drama that is lacking in this otherwise conservative style.

Very well-made and fits like a dream. I’ll get a lot of use out of it, when the occasion calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1950’s FUR-TRIMMED GOWN

OK, we’re going from oldest to youngest in these next 3 posts. My apologies for the poor focus. Cropping efforts didn’t come through, either, but you can see all that is necessary for this description. Was astounded a few days ago to find this rare garment! In the past two years 3 or 4 frocks in this early 1950’s style have suddenly come my way; haven’t seen them before that for quite a long time. . . . . . . . . . . .

Like only one of my other examples of this fashion, the gown pictured here was custom-tailored (probably at home) and made for an adolescent girl, from the style indications. Usually, dresses made with the fur-trimmed sleeves, neckline or hem were sophisticated styles made for women. Of course, girls like to wear their own versions of adult designs in every decade.

Aside from the empire styling, rather than a New Look design, one tell-tale clue is the type of fur used. Garments made for women usually had mink trim, whereas the 2 girls’ dresses I’ve discovered have had what looks like rabbit hair. However, the cranberry velvet is plush and I’m sure the young miss who wore it was pleased. It’s so much fun to follow the stories that these old clothing items tell. Stay tuned for a 1960’s item – a repeat of another recent find . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MYSTERY PATIO HOSTESS GOWN WITH SUCH INTERESTING BACKGROUND . . . .

Long, sweeping gown in a beautiful, heavy cotton(?) – the photo on left shows the cut while the photo on right gives the true color and close-up of the interesting print.  This dress has many construction contradictions; some point to 1940’s and some to 1960’s.  Undoubtedly, it was custom-tailored.

Maybe our mid-century tailor was very experienced and knew how to use various methods to achieve exactly the slinky, hourglass fit she wanted.  The bell sleeves and commercial braid trim say 1960’s but the mid-back zipper placement, dip in the front waistline and fabulous art print fabric say 1940’s.  Looks like a film noir hostess gown.    I love a mystery!

Anyway, it’s an absolute beauty and fits me like a glove.  Dresses with the zipper placed mid-back are always a trick to get into and out of – pays to understand the method.  However, when the fit is right and the construction good, it’s a snap.  Tomorrow I’ll show you a cute shift with a clear Sixties pedigree.  Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MADE FOR A BOND GIRL? . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

IMG_5298

The most interesting dress – by Lawrence Kazar  New York and it looks like a “daring” mid-’60’s design to me, but may be 1980’s as I can’t find any earlier history on this designer.  The fit is slinky and small but the armholes are cut very low and it’s styled to wear without a bra.  That’s a trick to do effectively but this design succeeds.  If your dimensions are right, it’s a knockout!!

Besides the bra-less top, the most distinctive feature is the peek-a-boo waistline which was sometimes seen around 1965 or so.  It’s very nicely tailored and such a gorgeous color.  So, Mod or Dynasty, I really couldn’t care less.  Oh, James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

2 FINDS TODAY – 1. HANDMADE 1940’S EVENING GOWN

IMG_5268

Love, love, love this beautiful dress!  It’s all handmade in elegant simplicity, with gorgeous fabrics.  The black velvet bodice is off-set by the pale sage green satin skirt and trim.

What a lovely surprise – and it wasn’t the only one.  Wait till you see the fabulous gabardine jacket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

“NEW” FIND TODAY – 1960’S VERY LADY-LIKE PATIO FROCK

IMG_5252

Yes, it’s a summer dress but how could I resist?  We don’t usually find them with all these pretty details – a very Victorian Prairie thing for a hot-weather girl.  Looks like it was commercially-made, but there are no tags.  I may end up selling it next year but, you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM