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

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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

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HOW ABOUT A TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S SWING EVENING DRESS?

STILL WONDERING WHAT YOU'D NEED SOME ELEGANT GLOVES FOR?  HOW ABOUT A TRUE VINTAGE 1940'S SWING EVENING DRESS?

Black is always good, but this dress – with its black velvet accents – looks just right for that Halloween party or autumn dance.  Originally from Margaret’s of Lubbock, Texas, it’s a ’40’s stunner with a big swingy skirt.  I look forward to photographing it properly on Stella some time, back at Headquarters.  But, for now, here’s an early photo I took shortly after the discovery.

Made of black taffeta sometime after World War II with black velvet tubing all around the skirt and making a false lacing up the bodice front.  Ruching on the 5/8 sleeves – a common tailoring touch on garments from the Forties.

As always, fashion good fortune was with me.  A great dance dress and fabulous find!  Jitterbug or Texas Two-step – let’s go!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY
Blog: Magicvintagespy.com

PRETTY MID-CENTURY COTTON PATIO DRESS IN RED, WHITE & BLUE PRAIRIE STYLE

This dress is pristine – a beautiful example of a custom-tailored frock from the 1960’s or 1970’s.  The fabric is quilting-type cotton with small floral detail.  Very patriotic, too, if you’re into that.

Prairie style was huge during the 1965 – 1975 decade and I suspect that was when this dress was made.  However, it’s almost like new with very little evidence of wear.  Perhaps it was made for a special occasion.  Because of the style – a bit prissy for my taste – it might not have been worn regularly.  Long sleeves limit the summer usefulness but are a great plus for Fall.  All things considered, I’m thrilled to find a frock in such perfect condition!

Unraveling the clues is always the icing on the cake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE 1960s – 1970s PATIO HOSTESS GOWN

TRUE VINTAGE 1960s - 1970s  PATIO HOSTESS GOWN

Now that the weather hotter and sunnier we’re all thinking (or dreaming), of outdoor activities.  The idea of giving or going to casual parties (and what to wear) is all part of it.

In the early 1960’s patios and “patio parties” became the big rage.  People built patios onto their houses like crazy and all kinds of decorative lighting, furniture and dinnerware were sold especially for hosting these gatherings of neighbors and friends.

Hostess gowns in very casual styles and materials were all part of this wave, and they persisted into the mid-1970s.  Of course, long casual dresses have been around for a long time and still are, but the “hostess gown” is kind of a separate breed.

This one is typical.  Most of the earlier ones had a defined waist and, often, a belt.  They are a floor-length style that would also look good as a knee-length dress (hint-hint: if you find one you like but don’t want a gown, think about shortening it to a day dress).

I just love finding these dresses.  They really say summer fun in a very true vintage way. Get out the Tiki lanterns and the barbecue grill and have a blast!  If your patio is big enough, don’t forget the cha-cha and bossa nova records.  The girl from Ipanema might show up – you just never know . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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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

Blog:  Magicvintagespy.com

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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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