TRUE VINTAGE GOWN MODELED AFTER GRACE KELLY’S IN THE HITCHCOCK MOVIE “REAR WINDOW”

A very favorite find, custom-tailored in the early 1950’s after one that Grace Kelly’s character, Lisa, wore in the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie, Rear Window.  Lisa’s dress had a yellow printed skirt, rather than blue.  I even know the woman who made this frock in 1954!

The black fabric in the bodice is stretchy and the neckline very unusual.  It fits perfectly, no matter how your own curves go!  The skirt is of three layers, with sheer fabric on top and netting underneath.  The little black “leaves” are embroidered on the sheer overlay.

What could be more fabulous? – a costume similar to one worn by one of my all-time favorite actresses in a favorite movie by a favorite director! How intriguing . . . . . .. . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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GORGEOUS TRUE VINTAGE BLACK RIBBON-DECORATED SKIRT SUIT – EARLY 1960’S

GORGEOUS BLACK RIBBON-DECORATED SKIRT SUIT - EARLY 1960'S

This suit is so chic and understated, but makes a real appearance!  It’s decorated all over with swirled ribbons stitched down.  In classic wool, of course, but not as heavy as the winter ensembles I’ve been showing.

Reminds me of some of the things that European women have traditionally worn when they are in mourning.  But, it’s a sophisticated ensemble and would make a great dinner suit.  That’s probably how it was worn when it was sold, about 55 years ago.

In the early ’60’s they made some dresses and suits that were entirely of ribbons swirled around and stitched down on some kind of mesh or lightweight fabric. I inherited a dress like that which had been my grandmother’s and found a green skirt made that way last year – all true vintage, of course.   An intriguing style, which I don’t often run into . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A SOPHISTICATED AND ELEGANT SKIRT SUIT FROM THE 1950’S, A LA’ PRINCESS GRACE

A SOPHISTICATED AND ELEGANT SKIRT SUIT FROM THE 1950'S, A LA' PRINCESS GRACE

This lovely suit was from a smaller women’s dress shop – it has the store’s label inside, rather than the label of the clothing company that made it.  Of course, big companies like Gap and Banana Republic outsource the manufacture of their clothing, but here I’m talking about small, privately owned shops that might have been owned by your neighbor down the street.

Back in the day, a store’s buyer (this was often the owner of the store) would sometimes pick items at the wholesale market to carry in their own shop with their own label, even though they didn’t make it themselves.  A second label giving the name of the company that manufactured the item might be present, too, but not always.  Since I wasn’t a shopper during that era and never have owned a dress shop, it was surprising and fun to learn this!  Maybe it’s still done this way by some big department stores or small, elegant boutiques with high prices but, back in the Fifties, a local small-town  dress shop might have sold frocks carrying an embroidered label with their own store’s name inside. Amazing!

Conservative but very elegant – Grace Kelly wore garments like this often in her public and private life. Looking like a tart is not elegant (and not really sexy, either).  I wish some of the popular designers and their market would get that.  It’s difficult to find well-designed and well-made clothing, if you shop at retail.

Anyway, this is another of those keep-it-for-decades ensembles that could go almost anywhere when you need a traditional style.  You can dress it up or down, or split the separates and accessorize and, if it fits well, it’s very flattering.  The skirt hem length could be anywhere from below to slightly above the knee without ruining the line.  Make it micro-mini and you’ll look like you haven’t got a clue . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A BEAUTIFUL AND ELEGANT TRUE VINTAGE SPECIAL-OCCASION SKIRT SUIT FROM THE LATE 1950’S / EARLY 1960’S

A BEAUTIFUL AND ELEGANT TRUE VINTAGE SPECIAL-OCCASION SKIRT SUIT FROM THE LATE 1950'S / EARLY 1960'S

Perfect for a special cold weather dinner or other holiday event or for a dressy winter wedding (as guest or bride), a semi-formal skirt suit is always astonishingly elegant.

This little lovely is of wool in a cream beige textured weave, with large ornamental buttons and a boxy cut, beautifully made, of course.  Knee or just-below length skirt and a hip-skimming jacket with bracelet-length sleeves.

The most arresting feature is the mink collar, which amps the visibility of this ensemble to a high level.   Or, you could remove the fur and replace it with a silk scarf or a pearl collar. It will make a noticeable entrance, but it’s powerful presence will only build after that.

You can decide if you’re Jackie Kennedy or Princess Grace or, or, or . . . . . . . . .. That’s the fun – you just never run out of options . . . . . . . . . ……. . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

TRUE VINTAGE EARLY 1950’S DRESS A’LA GRACE KELLY

TRUE VINTAGE EARLY 1950'S DRESS A'LA GRACE KELLY.

TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S DAY FROCK IN SHEER VOILE

TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S DAY FROCK IN SHEER VOILE.

A CUTE LITTLE ’70’S NUMBER – ONE THAT’S ALMOST TOO SWEET

Traditional, classic lines keep coming back, decade after decade.

Magicvintagespy

A CUTE LITTLE '70'S NUMBER - ANOTHER ONE THAT'S ALMOST TOO SWEET

I guess it’s just the high neckline. Lots of dresses from the early ’70’s (except the hippy/prairie/boho styles that were popular then) have a very innocent, girlish look about them. Have you seen the Prom dresses from that time? Watch the movie Footloose.

This one is unremarkable in its tailoring, but it was just that ’70’s cache’ that made me bring it home. I must admit, it is a very classic style and can be done beautifully if it’s with quality materials and exceptional workmanship. But this one just takes us on a daydream journey back 40 years.

It’s fun to watch old movies from that time (or That ’70s Show, I guess), just to see how awful some of the clothing was. Uh, oh – I’m going to get myself into some big trouble here.

But seriously, the dance scene from Footloose is a good tutorial on ’70’s Prom dresses…

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