MID-CENTURY SWING DRESS FIND

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Fun find – a custom-tailored frock made sometime between 1960 and 1985.  It’s got overall a great day dress style, harking back to the 1940’s.  The best thing about the styling, I think, is the flared skirt design which will flip and twirl with every movement.  A perfect dress for dancing!

Another neat thing is that the seamstress put in a LONG side zipper so that it’s really easy to put on and take off – no need for contortion or someone to help you zip, as sometimes happens with back zippers.

This is a relatively simple dress, but little clues tell me that the maker put special thought into the styling and construction, which make it special.  Love it!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

WELL-MADE 1980’S DOES 1940’S DAY DRESS

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This is a very cute dress, faithful in many ways to the styles and fabrics of the 1940’s.  Women of that time with moderate means would wear designs like this for work and general day-wear.

Although I’d prefer the real thing,  many 1970’s and 1980’s garments that were doing the Forties thing are worth adding to the wardrobe.  Not much since then.

Notice the interesting buttons, geometric print, slash pockets and waist treatment.  It was also made by Damon’s, a division of Damon and Draper, well-known clothier since the early 1900’s.  This one has found a place!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MID-CENTURY COTTON DRESS BY POLLY FLINDERS

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Children’s vintage clothing is not my specialty, but when I see a classic dress that has survived in such good condition I usually pick it up.  Polly Flinders brand made pretty, traditionally-designed frocks for babies and children during the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

What could be more classic than cotton with hand-smocked design.  Babes, toddlers and pre-schoolers have been wearing similar little day-dresses for decades.  Unfortunately, we all know what usually happens to children’s garments . . . . . . . it’s lucky if they last long enough for the next  brother or sister to wear them before they’re ready for the rag bin.

So, here’s a piece of history that WILL get passed along many decades later.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MORE SIXTIES – STYLE SOUVENIRS – BASS WEEJUNS LEATHER PENNY LOAFERS

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This super-fun summer version of the classic Weejuns is still true vintage but a more recent incarnation – made in the 1980’s or 1990’s, sometime before 1993.  As we would expect, they are completely of leather excepting for some parts of the insoles.  So, that means that they can be repaired forever when some wear appears.

Completely classic.  How could I resist?

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

A 1980’S GUNNE SAX PARTY DRESS DISCOVERY

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A retro Prairie/Victorian style from designer Jessica McClintock, made in the 1980’s with dark green crushed velvet (so perfect with Stella’s new haircolor) and a lacey bodice.  Fitted styling completes the picture of a feminine design which gives a nod to history.

Gunne Sax early dresses, before the 1990’s, were very interesting and unique.  I always pick one up when I find it – becoming more and more rare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MYSTERY 2-PIECE SKIRT SUIT FROM AUSTRALIA

IMG_1057     This surprise find from October, 2014 looks a whole lot better on Stella than when I photographed it on a bed in the condo!  I simply cannot date it accurately, though it is true vintage.

Custom-tailored, the padded shoulders and bias-cut skirt panels are a Forties thing, while the bonded knit fabric looks more like Fifties or Sixties (maybe even Seventies) and the buttons are uncertain but the zipper is older.  Could it be Eighties Does Forties using some older notions?

Anyway, it’s a cute little casual suit and will be a LOT of fun to accessorize   It can be frustrating to be stumped, but you know I love a mystery . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

ANOTHER LBD FIND – THIS TIME IT’S TRUE VINTAGE ’80’S DOES ’40’S

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlack crepe sheath style with a rhinestone buckle at the draped waistline.  The true ’80’s touch of shoulder pads with cap sleeves   Tailored well and of very good quality.  It’s got lines and styling that very closely follow those of true 1940’s sheath dresses that I’ve found.

Eighties dresses with vintage style were often well-made and very interesting, though not the fabulous frocks of the real Forties.  Anyway, worth collecting – much superior to more recent garments.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

TRUE VINTAGE/RETRO HEELS THAT ECHO THE FIFTIES

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Love the lines of this heel, and the leather construction.  Heel caps are nailed on and materials all quality.  When true vintage (at least 30 years old) and retro are combined in one piece, it’s all about style and quality to decide whether they’re a good choice or not.

Apparently made by a higher-end line of a popular brand from Brazil, which has done a lot of good vintage/retro styles.  I’m guessing these are late ’70’s, ’80’s or maybe early ’90’s. It’s a skill to find old retro items now, that still have some of the good quality.

Rivaling the real 1950’s thing enough to be worth picking up.  Such fun!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

FABULOUS TRUE VINTAGE RED ENSEMBLES FROM THE 1940’S AND 1960’S

IMG_0977 IMG_0986 IMG_0987Now that Stella is part of my modeling crew, I can show more of my gorgeous dresses on more than just a hanger.  Madge (bless her heart, she’s beautiful) just can’t get into many of them.  These temperatures recently have kept 3-seasons garments in the spotlight!

Lots to tell about these.  The sheath on the left is pure mid-sixties mod.  The waistline is open, held together with a row of plastic circles that show your midriff.  In order to make it a little more versatile, I sewed a silk scarf into the waistline.  Easy to remove, but it takes the dress from pure casual to dressy, if necessary. It’s lined and very nicely made.

The printed shirtwaist is 1940’s in rayon – so fabulous to the touch and drapes like a dream!  One of my absolute favorite dresses.

The shoes are my choice, today, of what I’d put with them.  Johansen pumps from the 1960’s are great with the sheath and some ’80’s does ’40’s slingback peep-toes by NINA are perfect with the shirtwaist.  Both leather, of course.

And, for the final touch, anything from this 1940’s – 1950’s assortment of neckaces, bracelets, earrings and pins would be a great addition.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM