TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S SEMI-FORMAL SLEEK AND STRAPLESS DINNER GOWN

IMG_1656In midnight navy blue, this dress is elegant in rayon with a side zipper.  Let me tell you how she would have dressed it up . . . . . . . .

A diamond or rhinestone necklace or pearls, depending on the venue, would be first – with some elegant earrings to complement. And, a small dress handbag.

A stole, fur or dressy coat, of course, unless it’s the height of summer (but, even then . . . . . .)  Finished off, courtesy of her escort, with a corsage.

The bodice has no boning, so those little mesh straps hold it in place.  When I wear it, I prefer a pair of ’50’s evening sandals of dark navy fabric with  pearlized ornaments on the vamp rather than the Forties styles that Stella is wearing.   Beautiful as she is, this frock is really better suited for Marilyn . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

TRUE VINTAGE EARLY SIXTIES FORMAL OR SEMI-FORMAL DRESSES IN PASTELS WITH LACE OR EMBROIDERED OVERLAY

EARLY SIXTIES SPRING SEMI-FORMAL DRESSES IN PASTELS WITH LACE OVERLAY

A hallmark of early Sixties fashion was lace or embroidered organza overlay, which we see again and again every decade or two! These very pretty frocks were meant for semi-formal occasions – dinners, parties, dances and ceremonies. A professional cleaning will refresh the full-length ones in time for a wedding!  The bride would look gorgeous in the white and the blue is perfect for any of a wedding party or mother-of-the-bride.

They’re so feminine and flattering, in a variety of styles.  And, of course, beautifully-made.  I especially like the knee-length one – a little bit Mod, but also traditional.   The lace over-dress is partially open in the back, revealing the fitted sheath beneath.  Long sleeves add a little warmth for early Spring and make the design more demure BUT . . . . . . .

very sexy in an elegant and sophisticated way.  They knew how to do that back in the day.  A lost art?  I hope not  . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

CLASSIC GARAY EVENING CLUTCH FROM THE 1950’S

So many clutch purses are made today in vintage styles, but there’s nothing like the quality and attention to detail found in true vintage examples.  I’ll ALWAYS go for those instead!  I love rigid handles that can be folded inside the purse to hide and beautiful satin fabric covering is always elegant and versatile.  Two compartments inside with a see-through vinyl divider is so practical, too.

This Garay handbag is elegant and probably never carried.  There is a bit of storage wear, but the inside is absolutely perfect.  Sigh – another happy escapade!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

JUST FOUND – 1960’s DRESSY PETIT POINT TAPESTRY-LOOK HANDBAG

IMG_2545This style, popular in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, looks like it’s never been carried!  Mid-century ladies often had two or three treasured handbags carefully stored in a dresser for specific occasions, from semi-dress to formal.  I love these pretty dressy purses that add an elegant touch to evening or better day dresses. They used to be a staple of city-wear for well-dressed women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

THIS TIME I REALLY HIT THE JACKPOT! 1950’S – 1960’S CLUTCH PURSES – METALLIC, LEATHER AND BEADS

IMG_3578

Look at these beauties!  The convertible clutch style which lets you use the handle or not has always been so versatile and convenient.  Although some of these are very mid-quality, they all have some distinctive features that make them stand out as great true vintage finds.  Let’s start out from left to right . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

The white purse at far left is a high-quality construction from the Sixties and has that shiny box hardware enclosing it on 3 sides.  It is made of leather and has a shoulder strap that can be tucked inside. Very sleek and streamlined – a great look for summer.

The 1950’s beaded evening bag in front is in perfect condition, with a silk satin lining and a beautiful clasp and box chain handle, which can be hidden inside.  This type of handbag was always hand-made, usually in Hong Kong.  Even for an expert, can you imagine the care and time it took to attach all those beads so perfectly and securely?

The other three bags have a metallic finish and are made of synthetic materials or cloth – not in quite as good shape as the first two.  But, they are nicely made and all have pretty hardware clasps – always interesting to find.  The two in the center also have box or braided chain handles, rather than the simple chain that is most often seen.  These more complex types of chain are prettier and also seemed to break less easily.

As always, they all show that care was taken to preserve and protect them, so I can enjoy them 50 or 60 years later!  The throw-away quality that we seem to be satisfied with today can’t begin to compare, but is still way over-priced!! Such  a shame – but not for this Magicvintagespy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

 

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MID-CENTURY TRUE VINTAGE SISTER HANDBAGS-MADE IN HONG KONG

Both these little ladies were made in Hong Kong, of similar basic design, but there is a world of difference between them.  Lady Right was made for the uptown market, while Lady Left was sold downtown.  Though they’re both clean and well-put-together, Lady Right grew up with all the best, while Lady Left’s beginnings were more humble.

It’s obvious “in person” that these bags were made for different markets. The styling in both is superior, but the materials and extra attention to detail show that Lady Right brought a higher price.  Just comparing these two pretties, found at the same time, was a fun chance to evaluate a number of “clues” about their backgrounds.

I don’t have a favorite.  Their stories are equally interesting to me  (maybe Lady Left’s is a little more so . . . . .).  Each one is perfect with the outfit that coordinates with it.  While Lady Left could be much more casual, she is no less elegant – maybe even more so, if you don’t look too closely. Lady Right could seem a little tasteless if she showed up everywhere dressed like that.

I see one for holiday festivities or a very gala occasion (maybe tonight?), while the other would be lovely with a pretty summer dress.  Both would be gorgeous for a bridal venue. It can all be so fascinating . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

I NEVER GET TIRED OF ELEGANT MID-CENTURY CLUTCH PURSES

DSC00676

I know – the black rayon evening handbag is so common and I see many of them.  Although they almost always have something for their designers to be proud of in comparison to today’s cheap copies, I usually pass them by (I have so many!)  However, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

once in a while I’ll see one with an unusual clasp or shape that makes me take a second look and know that I gotta have it.  Here is one.  It’s in beautiful condition, for one thing, but the closure set off to one side is handy and attractive.  The style  has that sleek, atomic feel that some post-war and mid-century modern designers really went for in the age of mega-bombs and Sputnik.

No matter how long this handbag hangs around, it will never be anything less than elegant.  The quality and “look” keep it from being dated or unfashionable.  Unless we someday stop carrying handbags altogether – you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE MID-SIXTIES – 1970’S EMPIRE WAIST SEMI-FORMAL LONG DRESS IN NAVY, WITH MATCHING JACKET

IMG_0981 IMG_0982     So typical between the mid-Sixties and mid-Seventies.  In spite of all the frou-frou Edwardian/Prairie/Hippie stuff that was popular, plain knit dresses with clean lines were also a staple – more elegant and timeless, but still very fashionable.

This ensemble is a polyester or poly blend with an empire seam that rises from waist level up under the bust-line in front, fold-over neckline, back zip and a princess cut.  The long-sleeve bolero jacket echos the military trend that was also popular then with it’s metal buttons.

Otherwise, the design is  plain and undecorated.  The fabric has a slight ribbed texture to add interest.  It’s hard to call this dress “semi-formal” because it is so tailored, but at that time the style would not have been a day-dress.

Especially good for Spring or Fall.  What a treat!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM