Can’t you see Stella greeting her cocktail party guests at the door of her penthouse on Park Avenue? At first glance, in photos 3 & 4, this looks like a sumptuous but sedate evening gown. However, when she begins to walk . .
there’s a strapless jumpsuit underneath! Wide embroidered mesh panels with streams of shiny sequins from shoulder to hem, finely tailored with satin binding, waft and swing across her legs as she fetches your martini. I have never, ever discovered one of these and I’m so excited!
It’s Joan Leslie by Kasper and it’s a late 1960’s – early 1970’s vintage. Almost looks like ’40’s – ’50’s to me, but that would pre-date the label. Just a continuation of the glam costumes which began to appear in the 1920’s when women’s hostess outfits started showing up with wide-leg silk and satin pants.
So, I always love a party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
At first glance, this frock looks like something modern but the tailoring details and fabric tell it’s true age. It’s hard to be sure of the true color in this photo, but it is another beautiful velvet, in aubergine with iridescent flocking in a floral design. Again, sorry for the poor focus.
This dress could go from being a swanky hostess outfit at home to a night on the town. Long sleeves are so practical in the evening and the deep slit in front adds the drama that is lacking in this otherwise conservative style.
Very well-made and fits like a dream. I’ll get a lot of use out of it, when the occasion calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What a great find! Not too many like this one left and it’s a real gem. The apron’s been sewn together of cotton fabric with our ’50’s housewife embroidered on. She has a cotton print pouf dress with a lace collar, pearl necklace and earring. In one hand she holds a coffeepot and in the other a cup, which doubles as the obligatory little pocket for a hankie or small tool.
Finding something so unique and whimsical is a real treat. And, to think that it was made for fun 60 or more years ago is a bonus. So much better than anything modern, no matter how cute.
Long, sweeping gown in a beautiful, heavy cotton(?) – the photo on left shows the cut while the photo on right gives the true color and close-up of the interesting print. This dress has many construction contradictions; some point to 1940’s and some to 1960’s. Undoubtedly, it was custom-tailored.
Maybe our mid-century tailor was very experienced and knew how to use various methods to achieve exactly the slinky, hourglass fit she wanted. The bell sleeves and commercial braid trim say 1960’s but the mid-back zipper placement, dip in the front waistline and fabulous art print fabric say 1940’s. Looks like a film noir hostess gown. I love a mystery!
Anyway, it’s an absolute beauty and fits me like a glove. Dresses with the zipper placed mid-back are always a trick to get into and out of – pays to understand the method. However, when the fit is right and the construction good, it’s a snap. Tomorrow I’ll show you a cute shift with a clear Sixties pedigree. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Embroidered all over with gold metallic thread, this designer dress from the famous high-end retailer is a fabulous find! Couldn’t believe it. Luxurious at-home wear that can easily go out and about – there are no “rules” these days saying that would be “not done”.
I love true vintage hostess and patio dresses, as well as other at-home wear from eras past. Often the better-quality items are in fantastic condition because they were worn sparingly and/or cared for so well by their original owners.
Just another marvelous day in Mid-Centuryland for the Magicvintagespy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
This maxi dress from the ’60’s to ’70’s is a popular style of that time. In this case, the Hostess Gown has elements of the Asian Cheongsam style dress that is classic and very flattering. A Mandarin collar, frog closures, a shadow design of fans and flowers and walking slits in the hem hold true to traditional Asian dress design.
In this case, the dress is handmade and has a vintage Talon zipper. Although it may have been made in some U.S. woman’s home rather than a Chinese tailor’s, the mid-century handiwork of that time adds to the value of a dress made then. So, another garment a bit large for me, but worth collecting. Things tend to get more exciting from here on, so –