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

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TRUE VINTAGE SUMMER SUNDRESS FROM THE 1960’S!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A very cool find from Canada.  This one is bright red & white cotton plaid, with big white buttons front and back and patch pockets.  By Nu-Mode, it’s just the cutest sundress!

Ankle length, with a big ruffle at the bottom and looks very good on.  Quintessential late 1960’s, for sure!

MORGANA MARTIN, the Magicvintagespy

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A GLIMPSE OF TRUE VINTAGE LINGERIE – OOH!

A GLIMPSE OF TRUE VINTAGE LINGERIE - OOH!

So, under all these sheer dresses . . . . . . . . . This is a pretty tame but VERY practical full slip, made of cotton batiste for wearing under summer clothing in hot weather.  There don’t seem to be many of these around anymore, and usually they are not as nicely embellished as this one.

But, just look at that ruching and lace.  It’s lovely, sweet and would be so cool.  Now, women might wear THIS as a summer dress alone!  There’s also a deep ruffle at the hem.

The length gives it away as a 1940’s to early 1950’s style.  Possibly even 1930’s.  Because of the label, I’m going to go with the ’50’s.

Of course, on really hot days it’s nice not to be wearing more than one layer.  But, if you’ve got a pretty, sheer dress on in the bright sun, well, it’s up to you but I’ll wear the slip.

Cotton, naturally, is better than nylon (can you imagine!?) when it’s 95 degrees in the shade.  I’m certainly glad to have found one that’s so pretty, just in case . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE MID-1950s POUF-STYLE PARTY FROCK BY FRANK STARR

TRUE VINTAGE MID-1950s POUF-STYLE PARTY FROCK BY FRANK STARR

Another of my absolutely fabulous finds – fit for a princess at a party or Prom. This one is a quintessential 1950s pouf dress by Frank Starr, (of California, I believe) in a floral print.  He was a well-known designer at that time.

I’m always amazed at what I find, and this frock really turned the lights on! Organza over rayon or acetate, with a velvet-covered belt & the makers’ label on an inside seam.. In virtually perfect condition.

I can just see Elizabeth Taylor flouncing around in this in one of her movies, playing a young woman ready to go to a dance party.  Imitations are made, but true vintage can’t be replaced and it’s priceless, in my opinion.

This example can hardly compete with the one shown yesterday, or the day before. They are all wonderful and uniquely original. We’ll step backwards in time just a little bit tomorrow. What’s coming up until then? You just never know . . . . . . . .

Morgana Martin, the magicvintagespy
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TRUE VINTAGE 1960s – ’70s FULL LENGTH FLORAL PARTY GOWN

TRUE VINTAGE 1960s - '70s FULL LENGTH FLORAL EASTER PARTY GOWN

,Zooming into Summer now, you may be looking around for outfits to wear this weekend, to a garden or patio party . .

A beautiful gown in a pastel floral print, perfect for a dance, dinner, theater event, etc. – anything a bit more formal that this week’s celebrations or events might throw at you.

This one has an empire waistline seam, a sheer layer of fabric over an opaque lining and a center back zipper. No slip necessary, though I do have a true vintage long crinoline underneath in this picture. I’ll show that to you later as it is very interesting, itself.

I’m not sure whether this dress was made in the ’60s or ’70s. I lean toward the ’60s, but it is a classic style with only one tag left inside that is not a definite answer to the question. But, the fabric just has a ’60s feel to it . . . . . . .

Anyway, it is lovely and radiates the feeling of cheerful, bright sunny days. This is the kind of thing that we all like to start wearing this time of year. If it were shortened (or maybe even if not) and without the crinoline it could be worn as a day dress, because of the simple style.

Look for things like this now. Lots of older women made a habit of cleaning out their closets in the Spring, and you just never know . . . . . . . . . .

Morgana Martin, the magicvintagespy
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GORGEOUS MID-CENTURY SPECIAL OCCASION SILK DRESS FROM AUSTRALIA

IMG_1056     Back to my Australian find – I found the best photo and description of this gown and Stella shows it off properly.  I gasped when I discovered it.  It may even have been a wedding gown back in the Depression and World War days of the 1930’s and 1940’s when they were often simpler.   But, I suppose they had the equivalent of “debutantes” in that society, too.  The custom of showing off young, marriageable women “of good family background” was a widespread practice that still persists in some places.

Lots of clues:  Since Australia is closer to Southern Asia than we are in North America, silk may have been a more  popular fabric for better dresses than it was here.  A friend of mine says that she remembers the wired necklines from the 1950’s.  This dress was made for a VERY tiny person (even more so than Stella), so it could have been floor length on the original owner.  Impossible to say for sure.

Anyway, it’s beautiful and unique with an interesting history. I’m glad to have it home where I can show you a better photograph.  Fully lined, with covered buttons at the wrists and that collar with  wiring all around the edges – it was quite a tailoring project for someone!  It’s really one that makes me wonder what stories it can tell . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A FABULOUS EARLY 1950’S JUNE WEDDING – IN HANDMADE LACE

IMG_1479     Count on the McCall’s magazine to come up with everything! – including patterns for hand-crocheted or knitted dresses for all the women in your wedding party.  Unbelievable!!

Well, it would certainly have kept the cost down.  Many women did make their wedding gowns and attendants’ dresses in the past, or have them made, but usually the designs weren’t so labor-intensive as something like this.  Can you imagine, with everything else there is to do to prepare for a wedding?

So, that was life in the early 1950’s.   A lot simpler in some ways, a lot more tedious in others – but we’ve lost most of the elegance along the way.  We’ll keep stepping back in time with my latest finds . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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STELLA’S TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S 2-PIECE WEDDING SUIT

IMG_0937
This is the ensemble that Stella was wearing when I met her and I’m glad she didn’t want to give it up.  I’ll be showing some white satin 1940’s wedding pumps tomorrow.   Although they didn’t come with this outfit, they’d be just perfect with it!

During wartime, this was a relatively modest choice for her wedding and the bride probably had this suit custom-tailored.  Naturally, it has many of the 1940’s styling details which were popular then – shoulder pads, nipped peplum waist, a handkerchief hem and a rare coil metal zipper in the skirt.

Also, some of the favorite classic features of a wedding gown are also present – rows of tiny, covered buttons and medieval-style points on the sleeve hems.  The fabric is a substantial brocade/jacquard floral – not a high-end textile, but nice.  Clearly, this wedding took place in a formal setting.

I wonder about her hair . . . . bridesmaids?  Wouldn’t it be fun to go back as a guest? . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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