This garment came to light during an investigation in that nation’s capitol, Montevideo. It is a very international city and was undoubtedly a hotbed of clandestine affairs during the wartime 1940’s. The cocktail dress pictured above had been commissioned by a woman who was a member of the social elite who routinely had their fashions custom-tailored or traded with shops that offered handmade garments and imported couture. The lack of a label and evident hand-stitching point to a private tailor. Though the crepe is a little rumpled from years of storage, this frock has been well-preserved and is a perfect example of that genre.
I am not sure whether the tailoring differences from what we expect in dresses made in North America are due to historical constraints or to the culture of that country. The extended shoulders, sheer insets, midi-length hem and ubiquitous black rayon fabric are commonly seen in designs of that post-war time but I was a little surprised by the straight, matronly cut. Either the New Look with its nipped waist had not yet landed in high fashion, or this frock was made for a more conservative, older woman.
The same will be seen in a similar dress from that same investigation which will be shown, probably tomorrow. Stay tuned . . . . . .
I LOVE this dress! It’s so different, but with all the hallmarks of a perfect true vintage cocktail frock. 1. It’s black 2. It’s sophisticated, elegant and well-designed 3. It is not too revealing (didn’t I mention elegant?) The BEST thing about this particular dress is the asymmetrical 3/4 sleeves, trimmed in marabou (another inhumane vintage-era material, like fur, that is definitely off the table today). So Sixties.
A great length, Easy to wear. comfortable and flattering body-skimming cut. Sleeves add a bit of warmth if you don’t want to be forced to wear some kind of shawl, etc. in a cool room. Flattering scoop neckline sets a perfect stage for your pearls (or diamond pendant, or emerald, or ruby, or sapphire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This gorgeous dress is made from a beautiful, glossy fabric which is reminiscent of vintage rayon satins. The styling elements are true to era and the tailoring is impeccable. This garment was made by a professional, even if in his or her own home! It’s a little big on Stella but you can still see the lovely fit. The back-tie sash helps with that while making a big fashion statement from the rear view.
A woman living in the post-war United States with some money to spend would have been delighted with the renewed availability of fine fabrics and flattering luxury designs with full skirts and long hems – a perfect style in which to celebrate the new peacetime. Made in the more modern version, this frock is easy to wear, easy to store. The purchase was a winner but, though I love the persimmon color, it’s just too big for me. So, time to pass it on to a new home for the holidays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nothing to write home about style-wise. Obviously, this one was made just a bit later with a higher hemline. It’s still got a maker’s label, but just not a well-known one. Same type of fabric as the one from Saks and fully-lined, too, so there’s no skimping on the basic quality elements.
However, the neckline treatment is the real star feature. Done as a thick band of bugle-beading to look like a ribbon collar – it’s far from the more boring sequins and embroidery used on the version shown yesterday. Never seen this before or since . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Very surprising find, at first. It’s a non-traditional style for a traditional type of party – very popular in the early 1960’s. Although the LBD has never gone out of fashion since Coco Chanel first designed it and made it a “must” for every woman, cocktail outfits really began to morph in the 1960’s. Not only is this dress not black, but it has an Asian feeling to the design, with decorative knots and slits at each thigh. Fortunately, there is a yellow satin liner underneath so modesty is well-preserved. The shaped sheath style was definitely a staple of early to mid-sixties wardrobes.
The jacquard fabric design also has an Asian feeling to it, so that makes this frock a departure from the normal of that day and very forward-looking. It does need the zip replaced, but I have a stash of vintage zippers where I’m sure I’ll find just what is needed. Fun!
Completely different from yesterday’s cardigan but so much fun! It’s another must-have vintage sweater to wear with cigarette pants. A pretty open-weave Orlon sweater knit with metallic thread design to be worn with a black skirt or slacks at some mid-century party event. It is absolutely amazing that it’s survived for 60 years in almost unworn condition!
Just like the women of the 1940’s onward, I’m grateful for these lovely acrylic yarns that can be washed in a machine (with care) and don’t have to be stored in a moth-proof container. Orlon was a revelation and major time-saving blessing to wartime and post-war ladies who still did most of their housework by hand.
Although we’re so used to acrylic fibers now, these early ones were really special in terms of their quality or, perhaps, it is the garment itself that is made so well that the fabric looks great after more than half a century. I’m sure that I also, again, have to thank the first owner of this elegant top for taking such good care of it.
I’m over the full moon again, and wondering what will turn up next . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
Another rare find! This one was not a high-end item when it was made, but it is an iconic piece with mink-trimmed sleeves. I have a few of these garments with sleeves like this but don’t find them often.
Metallic thread on sheer black fabric, with “Autumn Haze” mink cuffs. Buttons up the back. Back in the day, companies that produced medium-priced clothing still made some “luxury” items that the average woman could afford, and they made them well.
I showed this coat a few weeks ago, but what time could be more appropriate for a re-run . . . . . .
Imagine yourself in this, over a gorgeous green dress, on your way to a swanky cocktail party or the church dance. This beauty is by Lilli Rubin, in emerald rayon blend, lined in turquoise blue! The collar, neckline bow and elbow-length sleeves are hallmark features of that era, as well as the color. The fabric is a jacquard with flowers embroidered all over.
What a great surprise it was to find this!! It starts up all kinds of fantasies about elegant dinners, evenings at the theater . . . . . you just never know . . . .