HOW INTRIGUING. A POST-WAR 1940’S COCKTAIL DRESS FROM URUGUAY

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 . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BEAUTIFUL TAILORED DRESS – VINTAGE ELEGANCE

Though this frock is so classic that it could be from many different decades, I’m placing it in the late 1960’s for several reasons. The finishing is very professional but I believe that it was custom-made, which has been rare for a long time. The fabric is a loose weave which was popular in the late Sixties. Fully-lined and substantial, it’s really a 3-season dress rather than just for summer, as the style might suggest. I have hardly ever seen a well done custom-tailored dress that dates later than the 1970’s. Also, the hooks at the neckline have gotten a little rusty . .. . . .

I’ll love this dress forever. It will probably last that long. It’s such a pleasure to wear something that has been beautifully-made. Tomorrow we’ll really get over the line into 1970 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE BOLEROS, CAPES, SHRUGS AND SHAWLS FROM McCALL’S

IMG_1480With all the graduation parties going on and the weddings coming up, we’re sure to need little cover-ups like these for the cool nights.  Despite the hot days in some places, it’s still Spring!

Well-dressed ladies in 1956 loved pretty “wraps” to wear over their dressy finery at times when a jacket or coat just wouldn’t do.  What could better than to pick the perfect style, material and color for your own custom-made accessory?

Skilled needle-workers could whip up one of these in no time.  Inspired? . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BOOK:  HOW TO FIND THE BEST IN VINTAGE FASHION – AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

RARE FIND!! THE SWEETEST LITTLE TRUE VINTAGE BABY JACKET – A MID-CENTURY TREASURE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SUCH FUN FINDING VINTAGE CHILDREN’S CLOTHING!  THIS COAT WAS HAND-MADE WITH LOVE.

What a gorgeous little sweater-coat!  So well-made.

It’s so unusual to discover baby clothes and toddler’s outfits.  Other than special-occasion garments like christening gowns that are made to wear only once and then folded away as keepsakes, children’s-wear tends to disappear after it’s been through months of dirty diapers, falls and messy meals.

Although this little coat probably wouldn’t have been worn every day, it would have experienced some wear and tear and has been beautifully preserved.  The style and the buttons put it smack-dab in the 1940’s – early 1960’s, when the wool yarn would also have been more common for an infant’s garment than something made since then (too hard to clean when easy-care acrylic yarn is available).  The knitter’s label, however, would have been attached some time in or after the 1960’s – or it could have been made with vintage materials and a vintage pattern at a later time.

Since the blue-for-boys, pink-for-girls thing was pretty rigid until recent years, I feel safe to say that it was made for a little girl.  It’s so intriguing to wonder about the story behind it.  Was it made by a relative or close friend or even purchased at a craft show?  I’ll always wonder – you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

EARLY ’60’S (OR LATE ’50’S) DRESSY 3/4 SLEEVED COAT JACKET FROM A CHICAGO DESIGNER

EARLY '60'S (OR LATE '50'S) DRESSY 3/4 SLEEVED COAT JACKET FROM A CHICAGO DESIGNER

This is an LBC  rather than an LBD – a Little Black Coat.  One of my very favorite surprise finds!   And, just perfect for shoulder-season wear – when it’s not too hot or too cold outside yet.

Late ’50’s – early ’60’s – just about First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s time.  She could have worn one like it over a dressy LBD or evening wear.  Look at the trim around the collar and the heavy, glossy fabric.

It has 3/4 length sleeves with bows at the cuff, large covered buttons and a bow at the neck and falls straight in a boxy cut.  Two side pockets at the hips.  The length of the hem would also be 3/4 on a taller person.

From a Chicago clothier – maybe tailor-made and very distinctive.   I’ve never run across one like it before, or since, but I have seen pictures of them from that time.

Just perfect for Stella!  I love it when something like this appears . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BOOK:  HOW TO FIND THE BEST IN VINTAGE FASHION – AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

TRUE VINTAGE MID-CENTURY FALL COATS & JACKETS TO MAKE AT HOME!

IMG_1030 IMG_1048 Need a new coat?  Well, in just a few minutes of your spare time . . . . . . Right!   McCalls Needlework Magazine used to publish patterns for projects like these all year.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s it was so common.

Aren’t they beautiful? – But, can you imagine making one??  Your grandmother might have.  I rarely find a hand-knitted one now, but once in a while . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

IMG_1047 IMG_1049

MORE HAND-TAILORED TRUE VINTAGE TREASURE – ANOTHER COAT, OF A VERY DIFFERENT STYLE

IMG_3904

Still in wool but, for someone who’s not into the darker colors, this one is done in pretty pastels that can go 3-seasons of the year.  The style is also easy-breezy with an open front.  I’ve clipped it in the photo to protect Stella’s privacy but it would normally hang free, showcasing the garment worn underneath.

Also hand-tailored (perhaps by the same woman as yesterday’s?) – I’m amazed by women who could sew so well.  Since there’s no tailor’s label, I presume that the person who wore it also made it.  What a great way to save tons of cash.

I should have saved this photo for the Spring, when I have the perfect hat to pair with it.  Perhaps you’ll see it again when I show that off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM