KENNEDY-ERA COCKTAIL FROCK #2

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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

KENNEDY ERA LITTLE BLACK COCKTAIL DRESS #1

This baby has a good pedigree – Saks Fifth Avenue. Made from, what else? – rayon crepe. The stand collar was super-popular at that time, with the expected fancy trim. This dress is, of course, fully-lined and well-cut. The style is nothing revolutionary, but you can’t beat this kind of quality.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MORE CLOSET CLEAN-OUT! STARTING WITH THE 1950’S

So, I dug out some more things to vett and chose 3 dresses to sell online. I’ve shown them all to you a few years ago, but I know that many haven’t seen them and some won’t remember! As always, hate to part with my beauties but I haven’t worn this one in a while. It’s a really sweet little number in rayon with that lovely sheer mesh bodice that was popular post-WWII.

And, of course, the velvet ribbon trim and little flowers with rhinestone centers. Boy, they sure loved to decorate frocks during that early mid-century time. No maker’s label, so it was probably a union-made piece, but the size tag tells me that it’s a Junior size aimed at the teen and young women’s markets. It’s LBD time in this series. Next I’ll show you a couple of cocktail frocks from the early Sixties . . . . . . . . . . .. . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

IN THE BACK OF MY CLOSET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’ve had this one for a long time – really cute Swirl wrap dress from the early 1960’s. Had relegated it to the back of the closet because of a little minor damage and almost forgotten about it. The bandana ties on the shoulders are not original – I put them there to disguise a little color fade. Cute, no? Now that the hot weather is really upon us, I’ll be wearing it again. The wrap tie makes a good fit without fussy buttons or the need of a zipper. Just one button at the back of the neck. Swirl made nice casual dresses and I’ve got another one, plus a home-sewn version. These were very popular!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1980’S -1990’S FLORAL SUMMER FROCK

In the same general category of yesterday’s dress but miles ahead stylistically, this frock is lightweight and comfortable. The lovely print is a common type from the Eighties and Nineties and looks as though it could be for an English country tea dress. This garment wasn’t made by any established fashion manufacturer but is a one-off custom construction. Pretty nice!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1960’S SUMMER SHEATH FOR THE COUNTRY CLUB SET

Here we have (ahem) a very conservative and pedigreed frock made by Flutterbye. It’s well-tailored and no one would say you’d put a foot wrong when wearing it. Perfect for the horsey set. What more is there to say? Therefore, it would make an outstanding disguise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BRIGHT MID-CENTURY DAY DRESS FROM A TIME OF AUSTERITY

Love the color, the atomic print and collar shape. I believe that this dress was made during the 1940’s, when sewing materials were hard to come by. However, if so, our seamstress didn’t skimp on the hemline. What tells me that this may have been a wartime dress or sewn at a time when money was scarce is the lightweight material in some kind of synthetic and the very pared-down design. The bright color and au courant print for that time speak to how wartime women and manufacturers rose to the challenges during a very difficult era and held on to their fashion-sense.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

EARLY 1960’S SPECIAL OCCASION FORMAL DRESS

It’s rare to find these true old ones in great condition anymore. 20 years ago they were coming out of the closet when the former debs and prom queens were moving house or retiring. Now anything that looks like this on the surface was probably made in China yesterday.

However, when you look a little more closely at a true vintage gown you’ll see the careful construction and quality materials that these older garments were made from. Even those that aren’t top-of-the-line are still distinguished and built to last!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

CUSTOM-TAILORED 1980’S REPRO OF A POST-WAR CLASSIC GOWN

A beautiful 1940’s cocktail-style dress constructed to professional standards. Who knows if it was made for a gala event, theater production or just for the love of couture. Whoever did so had marvelous skills as a dressmaker.

Although it looks best on a more voluptuous figure than Stella’s, she shows off the stylistic elements better than my models Madge and Giselle. Extended, padded shoulders, trim waist, full skirt and a wide sash are each iconic elements of late 1940’s fashions designed after the rationing of fabric was ended. Hemlines fell again and glamorous elements reappeared. It was a fabulous time for fashion and was championed from Paris by Christian Dior.

Like Stella, my figure doesn’t do it justice so it will be among the archives on offer in about 3 weeks.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

PRETTY EARLY 1960’S DAY DRESS

Here’s one of the loveliest examples of a Kennedy-era day dress I’ve found. The special characteristics that stand out here are the bubbly, happy print and the “whipped cream” texture of the synthetic fabric. They’re features identified with those few years surrounding John’s and Jackie’s “Camelot” and not often done as well since then. Women’s clothing between about 1955 and 1965 combined the elements of feminine style and fun in really wonderful ways.

Although the fabric is a type of polyester or poly blend, the light weight and the fit of the dress make this a cool summer confection. It really makes me think of some kind of dessert. Although I’ve loved the frock for years, the fit never loved me and I couldn’t bear to re-style it. Its a real Marilyn Monroe piece that looks it’s best on a voluptuous figure.

So, I’m happy to let it go to someone who can allow it to fulfill it’s mission. More to come . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM