AS PROMISED, MORE BEAUTIFUL SLEEPWEAR FROM THE EARLY 1960’S

Very elegant. Not as luxe a label as Gossard, but still very nicely made. Mid-century women loved these kinds of pretty sets for sleeping and then enjoying morning coffee and newspaper, with maybe a pastry. Watch the movies from about 1950 to 1965 and you’ll see a lot of them. Looks so innocent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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BEAUTIFUL GOWN & PEIGNOIR SET BY GOSSARD ARTEMIS – EARLY 1960’S

Just yesterday I delved into the sleepwear file. Police always find bedrooms to be prime locations for crime scenes, but they’re also a hot spot for hidden evidence. Some of the most bewitching things I’ve come across have been stored away in this archive. The Gossard label was one of the best and these photos show why. Not as deeply lovely as some of the silk gowns produced in the 1930’s and 1940’s, but the decoration is always beautiful and the colors so vibrant. I’ll probably be showing more to you . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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FINE SILVER PILLBOXES – A COMMON UP-TOWN PURSE ACCESSORY FOR THE MID-CENTURY WOMAN

Just opened another old file that is rarely consulted and found, among others, these two sterling silver pillboxes for m’lady’s handbag. The one on left is older and may be antique. Although the tiny round one is very pretty and has a nice green liner, the other captures my attention more. Looks like it’s been around the block many times and has potentially witnessed a lot of intrigue.

Specifically, it is from Italy. Aside from the pretty metalwork they both have and the ingenious little clasps that are worked into the shape of the boxes without any moving or attached parts to break or be lost, the rectangular box has that beautiful mosaic on top. It is made of tiny, tiny pieces of what might be shell and/or enamel. And, I don’t think that a single one has gone missing in all the years! Maybe it’s even newer than the metal box itself. Hmm . . . . . .Such an innocent-looking design would be a perfect way to pass identification or other permanent information. Must have it examined for possible code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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ANOTHER FABULOUS FIND FROM THE FORTIES

Stella looks fabulous in this frock, as she does in everything, but actually it’s several sizes too large for her and, so, for me, too. I can’t get away with the things that she does! Therefore, this file is to be retired. However, it’s been fun to review, with all the great features of the dresses in that era. This is a specialty design also, with the dressy velvet bow that pigeonholes it for some type of non-everyday event. Very unique and intriguing clue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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MID-CENTURY COPPER BRACELET TO COMMEMORATE THE NEW QUEEN ELIZABETH II

A sad file to retire, but this case is definitely closed. However, in the early 1950’s costume jewelry made of copper was a big fad so what better material to use for this chunky souvenir bracelet? All around the world, women were admiring the young Elizabeth who had just been coronated. She was a pretty mother of young children with whom it was easy to identify, at least from that aspect of her life. Like with many celebrities, popular fashion trends grew out of her personal style and what the rest of us saw as British culture. It wasn’t just the Brits or citizens of the British Commonwealth who were captured by the royal mania. It has died down over the years but still, take a look at the tabloids stacked up in the grocery check-out lane. Why should we give a hoot? but we do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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1920’S – 1930’S DROPPED WAIST CREPE DRESS WITH BEADED TRIM

This dress was a really great find and incredibly rare. The slouchy, dropped sleeves, loosely fitted silhouette and tons of beading design are very indicative of the few years pre-war – whether talking about WWI or WWII, although other style elements still were frequently seen. This frock was custom-made for dressy dinner or party events. As often happened with vintage rayon crepe, there is some color fade but the condition of the garment is still remarkable. Since it turned up away from its original home, there are no specific clues associated with it. But, the city in which it was found and where its original owner undoubtedly went about her business has been known, for decades, for its high-rollers, shady dealings and clandestine activities. Need I say more? The case will probably never be closed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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ANOTHER VERY SPECIAL VINTAGE DRESS – A PARIS KNOCK-OFF BY NELLY DON

When I discovered this clue in an out-of-the-way place I thought “Hmm. This is interesting. Not sure I’d ever wear it, but worth picking up.” It hung in the evidence room for some time until one day, as I was traveling to Europe, I saw a poster with examples of iconic Paris designs from various years and Guess What! 1952.

The Nelly Don label, made in Kansas City, was very popular with mid-century women in the U.S.. This was, in part, because of their up-to-the-minute designs and they weren’t shy about mimicking the famous couturiers. This example is very well-made and leave it to American marketing savvy to think practically and make the peplum removable and to use an easy-care fabric. I also love the subtle basket weave print, which shows up vividly when exposed to the camera flash and digital imaging but is less obvious in ordinary light. Just my cup of tea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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STELLA’S WEDDING DRESS – A 1940’S TREASURE

This is what Stella was wearing when I found her. It’s so much fun to see her wear it again and to look at all the fascinating details of the construction. The dress has a few light spots (we all know what weddings are like, don’t we?) but a good cleaning will take care of that. It’s beautifully well-made and has stood up magnificently over the years. All those fabric-covered buttons, pointy cuffs and the silky jacquard fabric are all very bridal but I especially love the clues to it’s era in this design.

Shoulder pads? Of course! Midi-length full-circle skirt? Got it. Maybe the neatest thing is the metal COIL ZIPPER. It’s of the time, but rarely found and this one works great. Another cool clue was finding that the fabric had been pieced at each side of the hemline in order to make the circle complete. This tells me that the width of the fabric bolt the skirt was cut from was not quite wide enough. This might just have to do with standard bolt sizes but also might point to the rationing and scarcity of goods that plagued the fashion industry during WWII. Women at home, tailors and manufacturers learned how to “make do” and still turned out great garments.

I loved looking inside the jacket to see how meticulously it was hand-tailored. Each of the tiny buttonholes is hand-worked. Snaps and hooks & loops are placed just where they need to be for perfect fit. These are all the signs of a really professional job and made this bride’s day even more special. More specialized-era files to be opened soon. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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MORE TRUE VINTAGE PURSE ACCESSORIES – SOUVENIR HANKIES

Before small packets of tissues became available (and even afterward – humans don’t like change) every woman carried a hankie in her handbag and collected dozens of them over her lifetime. Like ties, many friends and family selected handkerchiefs as a standard gift item for birthdays, Christmas and Mother’s Day, etc. They also became popular souvenirs of places where she’d traveled, as we see above – or someone may have brought them back from a trip as a present. Usually these weren’t used every day and were kept as mementos.

These types, especially, can be powerful clues when working a case. However, there are many categories of handkerchiefs in my archive files so you may be seeing more. Stay tuned . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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VINTAGE 100% SILK CHEONGSAM DRESS

Beautiful, beautiful. Worthy of Mata Hari, it’s classically hand-tailored – but wait – in Japan?! This is a traditional Chinese style frock. Also, because of it’s classic design and the handcrafting techniques used in it’s construction, I can’t tell it’s exact age. So many mysterious and conflicting clues – like when agents are “hiding in plain sight”. Perfect disguise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anyway, after hats off to my craft and fellow operatives, I don’t have to worry about those twists and turns because this case is closed. Now all that’s left to do is declassify the file and enjoy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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