ALWAYS A WELCOME DISCOVERY – CLASSIC MID-CENTURY TOOLED LEATHER BELT

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I’m including a little close-up photo here of the essential features of these wonderful hand-made belts from the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s.  The best were made by artisans in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico but many home-leatherworkers became quite good at the craft and could rival them, or almost.

Handbags, purses, wallets and belts were the most common items made but once I saw a full set of luggage at an auction.  Almost got it.

The features that distinguish these pieces from newer and less worthy ones are primarily three:  1.  high quality leather  2.  deep carefully-done tooling in traditional designs, with nice finishing and  3.  an adjustable snap-on/off at the buckle end and high quality silver or silver-plate buckle.

Rare enough to be worth pouncing on whenever seen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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BEAUTIFUL 1950’s CORDED EVENING BAG BY GARAY

I have a couple of corded purses, but they’re all different and naturally one can never have too many. . . . . . . . .  Although Garay purses are still not scarce, they are a very good true vintage brand so I’m always glad to find one.  This clutch looks as though it was never used and has the nice feature of a center zip compartment, with an open pocket on either side.  Still very slim, and more convenient than some little bags that will only carry a lipstick, a small wad of money and a key.

So, it’s a keeper.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

GREAT 1970’S SEPARATES FIND!

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Wouldn’t normally wear these together, but it was convenient to photograph them that way and the look surprisingly good.  I’d just been dreaming about finding some wide-leg, high waist pants and more blouses . . . . . . . . . .

Love these!  They both fit me really well and I’m already enjoying wearing them.  The pants are Bobbie Brooks (always a reliable vintage find) and the blouse is by Mardi Modes New York.  How cool is that?!  A really neat feather print on the shirt, and nice colors.  I wouldn’t wear the neckline in a frilly bow, but prefer a high-neck tie effect.  The pants are just super-flattering and, with a navy and ivory coloring, are great with my pea jacket find.

So, it keeps going on and on.  What next? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

GORGEOUS CUSTOM-MADE POST-WAR FORMAL GOWN IN SUMPTUOUS BLACK RAYON VELVET

Although very similar, I might place this dress as having been made a little earlier than the one shown yesterday – looks late 1940’s to me.  It might or might not have been worn with a crinoline underneath.  Like the other, it’s completely hand-made and this one has the tailor’s label sewn into the neckline.

One of the best things about this gown is the fabric – a plush, heavy velvet that feels like old rayon.  Love the sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder sleeves that, to my taste, are done a bit more artfully than those on yesterday’s dress.  I think it’s mostly a style change that took place over a couple of years around the turn of the ’40’s to ’50’s decade.

Anyway, who wouldn’t love it!  I so wonder what events these dresses were made for and where they went.  That part of the mystery is as yet unsolved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

 

 

 

BEAUTIFUL SCOTTISH WORSTED WOOL POST-WAR SKIRT SUIT

This is a magnificent find, with all the beautiful tailoring details that I love on post-war suits and dresses.  Notice the notched cuffs, fabric-covered buttons, interesting pocket treatment, back belt, button trim, interesting collar lapels with little embroidered detail and, of course, the fabulous fitted shape.

It’s worth every minute I’ll spend on altering the size to fit me (a simple job, in spite of the professional tailoring).  No need to hire this job out, which is an extra bonus.  Someone loved it very much over the years.  Just one little, tiny moth nibble on the back of a sleeve and, otherwise, no damage or noticeable wear.  Another mother-lode treasure!  And, as always, for a mere pittance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

ELEGANT 1980’s DOES 1940’s BLACK DINNER DRESS

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Although I’d much rather wear one of my real 1940’s crepe dresses, this one has some nice styling touches.  It’s one of the better ’80’s does ’40’s designs I’ve seen.  Please forgive that it is a couple sizes too large for Stella.

The augmented shoulders are done well and the whole dress drapes nicely.  The back neckline has a keyhole opening that does away with the need for an ugly back zipper.      I like the sheer sleeves, too, and the sheer overlay on the skirt.  These features were frequently seen on similar dresses made in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Though you can’t see them because of the blouson, there are tabs at each side of the waist that add a nice touch to the design and allow the wearer to adjust the fit – another plus, as far as I’m concerned.

So, rather than being an obviously hop-on-the-fashion-bandwagon retro dress, this frock is simply a well-designed garment with some classic styling elements that make it elegant in any decade.  That’s always the best of the best, no matter when it was made.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

HERE’S A BETTER FIND – A 1950’S -’60’S SLINKY KNIT HOUSEDRESS IN A FABULOUS PRINT

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Love, love, love the graphics here!  Although this dress was never more than a lower-end bargain fashion, the style and construction testify to the superior quality and value of  garments made several decades ago.  I’ll enjoy wearing this one, but I’ll take special care of it, too.

The label is no longer legible, so I’m not sure of the exact fabric content or the brand name.  Also, the original belt is missing, which was probably a tie belt.  Like many of the knits back in the day, it has a really nice feel and hangs and drapes beautifully.  I like this shiny buckle belt now – dresses it up a bit.

Keep on watching, because it only gets better . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM