FROM FORMAL BACK TO COCKTAIL – A LATE 1960’S NON-TRADITIONAL FIND

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

Definitely bling-worthy.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

ANOTHER PRETTY PARTY SWING DRESS FROM THE 1940’S

Love this color so much, and it’s been fun to wear. The previous two frocks shown have been reproductions but this one’s the real deal. Side metal zipper, generous hem allowance and hand-applied sequin trimming. I believe that this dress was home-tailored.

And, instead of being made from a jacquard or faux satin, it’s a plush red velveteen fabric; couldn’t be more winter-holiday-festive than that! Whether it’s Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day – just perfect for dancing the night away. . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1980’s DOES POST-WAR 1940’s LUX COCKTAIL FROCK

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

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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1970’s DOES 1940’S FESTIVE SWING DRESS

This dress is made very faithfully to style elements of the wartime 1940’s. The zipper told me that it was made during the early 1970’s during the Forties fashion revival of that time, but otherwise it could have been original. Sometimes well-done reproductions are even better in some ways such as ease when dressing (zippers are not in hard-to-reach places) and laundering. However, there’s NOTHING as wonderful as original vintage so I love finding beautiful reproduction garments from eras where a lot of the originals no longer are with us. More to come, in colors and styles just right for the coming season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

TRUE VINTAGE 1940s BOWLING TEAM DRESS / UNIFORM

TRUE VINTAGE 1940s BOWLING TEAM DRESS/UNIFORM

Back to wartime or post-war frocks.  This is the cutest rayon dress ever, with that iconic swingy skirt that ’40s dresses often have and a wonderful relic from the ever-popular women’s bowling teams of the war  years.  Just like splashy musical movies, recreational activities like hometown sports were a great distraction from the reality of the times.

Anhauser-Busch or, more likely the local beer distributor, was the team sponsor.  Hence, the Busch Bavarian Beer patches on front and back.  The belt had the player’s name embroidered on it.  Perfect features for costume-wear!

Without the patches, the dress is styled like many day dresses from that time.  This one is probably from the late 1940s or, possibly, the early 1950s.

What a thrill to find it, and in excellent if not near perfect condition!  You truly just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A DISCO DANCE DIVA DISCOVERY FROM THE 1970’S

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Yes, at first glance this looks like so many cheesy LBD’S made today and that’s why some discriminatory powers are important to develop.  I can tell when something is true vintage or not, with a just little investigation.  This example was truly made about 40 years ago.

It is still not a prime favorite frock, but was worth picking up and I’ll keep it because it would make an outstanding costume for a play or Halloween (which is creeping up on us as we sit here!).  Keep your eyes open – it gets better . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1980’s DOES ’40’s – ’30’s GLAM RAYON VELVET GOWN

This example is one of the few cases where picking up a more modern garment is worthwhile.  Although it’s definitely retro and not expensively made, this gown has so many of the true-to-style elements that evening frocks from the 1930’s and 1940’s did – I was delighted to see how much of the styling the designers had gotten “right” and couldn’t resist it as a great costume.

For Halloween or a historical play it will be lots of fun and fits me well.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

THE COOLEST TRUE VINTAGE FORMAL PRAIRIE DRESS: WHAT A MYSTERY – HOW OLD?

IMG_1710 IMG_1711Here’s a find that I can’t quite figure out!  It’s somewhere in the mid-century and not likely a costume, because of all the detailed buttons in back.  But, wouldn’t it make a great one for Halloween?

The illusion neckline is an interesting touch, though it is very modest with long sleeves.  Not a child’s dress, but maybe for a teen.  One way or another, it was made for a special occasion and seems to have been custom-tailored.

It’s beautiful with a soft green fabric underneath the sheer ivory.  I’ve never seen one quite like it even though I’ve found things similar in some ways.  ALWAYS love a mystery . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

TRUE VINTAGE 1970’S GUNNE SAX BY JESSICA “DANCE-HALL GIRL” DRESS

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Here’s a great find from the ’70’s – a black taffeta dress by Jessica McLintock from her Gunne Sax label.  It’s got netting, beading and button & loop detail around the neck and bodice in “old West” style.

Slim sleeves, puffy shoulders and a flouncy full-circle skirt. This would make a great Halloween costume and is just a very cool dress in itself. To the knees or a little below, with a wasp waist and puff sleeves.

I’ll be watching for any opportunity to wear it, but clearly it will be a fantastic disguise on October 31 – in my favorite color . . . . . . . . . . . .. .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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