BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN LEATHER HANDBAG WITH A GREAT STORY

BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN LEATHER HANDBAG WITH A GREAT STORY

This beauty was made in Florence, Italy and has a fantastic story. First, I’ll tell my part –

On a Mediterranean cruise, I was listening to the excursions director tell about the ports of call that we’d be stopping in.  Part of her presentation was to highlight the special products available in each place, in case we wanted to go shopping.  She flashed a photo of this handbag made in Florence, Italy on the screen and I just about jumped out of my seat.  I had discovered this one above just like it about 2 months before while vintage-hunting in my neighborhood!  When I told the excursions director my story, she congratulated me and said that these bags sell for 300+ Euros!!

Italy has long been known for its exceptional leather goods – some say it’s #1 in the world. This purse is certainly a good example.  It has a gorgeous red leather lining with special internal pockets which I have never seen before.  Each one closes with a snap clasp like old cigarette cases used to.  The outside clasp is like other true vintage ones I have seen that self-lock when the purse is closed.  After I brought it home, I added a black and red leather billfold which I had found on a previous thrifting expedition.  It coordinates perfectly!

This handbag was styled after one which was made decades ago BY SPECIAL ORDER FOR GRACE KELLY, probably after she had married Prince Ranier of Monaco in 1956 and was living as Princess Grace in Europe.  Can you imagine how my little vintage-loving heart swooned when I learned that?!!!

What a great surprise!  Nothing could have added to the joy and mystique of my first cruise experience like this did. You just never know . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TWO TRUE VINTAGE PURSES FOR SPRING & SUMMER BY MORRIS MOSCOWITZ & ANDE’

TWO TRUE VINTAGE PURSES FOR SPRING BY MORRIS MOSCOWITZ & ANDE'

These two are very special, though they may not seem so at first glance. Let me tell you why –

The coral-color clutch is by Morris Moscowitz, a maker of fine handbags until about 1975.  This one is from the Fifties or very early Sixties.  It is fabric on the outside – a linen/rayon blend is what it looks like – and fabric-lined inside (much more nicely than anything I see in the mid-priced range today).  Love the color and the fabric exterior – great for Spring and Summer.  You will find the maker’s name printed in gold inside – MM with the full name in small letters below.  Beware, as always, of logos that look similar, but are not authentic.

The second one can double as a clutch or handbag, made of imitation leather with a fabric lining.  It is by Ande’.   Purses by this maker, in my experience,  were not high-end items but their designs were always innovative and creative and they are nicely made.  For example, this one has a make-up mirror that folds out on a hinge.  You’ll never lose or break this one!  Of course, it would usually be stored inside the purse, as the handle can be, too.  Notice the Lucite clasp.

What else makes these handbags wonderful?  Remember, they are at least 50 years old and have stood up exceptionally well.  Their construction speaks to the quality of the materials and the workmanship in the manufacture of them which is something that we, unfortunately, see very rarely today.

I’ve discovered several of these in my various vintage-hunting episodes and they are each different and distinctive.
Little details are always a surprise! You just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE FIFTIES / EARLY SIXTIES SCARF BANDEAUS – BEAUTIFUL FOR SPRING AND SUMMER!

TRUE VINTAGE FIFTIES / EARLY SIXTIES SCARF BANDEAUS - BEAUTIFUL FOR SUMMER!

These scarves are of a vintage style I see rarely – sewn in a continuous circle and open in the back.  You can scrunch and spread them but they have no elastic built in.  Mid-century film stars loved this style.

The idea is to make a chic “hat”, pinned and adjusted to your type of hairstyle, or a quick and elegant solution to bad hair days.  They’re usually sheer rayon, nylon or silk.

Must have been, more or less, a brief “fad”. It would be easy to make or fake now, but the real thing is always more intriguing . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

AN ALWAYS-WELCOME TRUE VINTAGE ACCESSORY: MID-CENTURY VERA SCARF

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Isn’t this one a  beauty?!  There are the green and blue tones so popularly paired together in the early 1960’s, the great graphic design and, of course, the designer’s signature.  Whenever I see one in excellent condition (that’s almost always true), I always pick it up.

I love how well these scarves hold up over the years.  That’s a testament to quality, and to the women who treated them with care.  Nothing adds a better and more authentic vintage touch to your outfit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

VERY CUTE! TRUE VINTAGE EARLY 1960’S SPRING DAY DRESS

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SWEET LITTLE BIAS-CUT FROCK WITH A SWING AND SWAY HEMLINE.

This dress is so simple, but there are very interesting and attractive details – true to its mid-century era.  The bow at the neckline and little covered buttons are precious.  The fabric, also, is lovely.  It feels like rayon and has a weave that makes it look like shantung – very smart for such a plain dress, but – that’s true vintage – they put really nice details on even the most everyday off-the-rack garments.

Although this style would be very easy to home-sew, the dress was commercially made.  A tag inside says it’s a vintage plus size 18 1/2, believe it or not.  Equivalent to a size 6 or 8 today.  Size 4 me can even wear it with a belt, though I might want to pad my bra a bit . . . . . .. .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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ANOTHER SURPRISE FIND! TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S/’50’S DRESS WITH THE TAGS STILL ON!!

ANOTHER SURPRISE FIND!  TRUE VINTAGE 1940'S/'50'S DRESS WITH THE TAGS STILL ON!!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE surprises like this!! A polished cotton Spring shirtwaist frock from back in the day that’s new to me!

This dress would have been sold in a hometown store or a department store – it was a budget to mid-priced item – but the quality of workmanship would beat most of what is sold today.  That’s not even to consider the fabric – it’s really superior and you won’t find anything like that now!

It was just an everyday day-dress to Rosie the Riveter or Lucy Ricardo, but I think it’s cute with a lot of attitude today. That’s what it’s all about.  Madge thinks it’s pretty swell . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE EARLY SIXTIES FORMAL & SEMI-FORMAL DRESSES IN PASTELS WITH LACE OR EMBROIDERED OVERLAY

EARLY SIXTIES SPRING SEMI-FORMAL DRESSES IN PASTELS WITH LACE OVERLAY

A hallmark of early Sixties fashion was lace or embroidered organza overlay, which we see again and again every decade or two! These very pretty frocks were meant for semi-formal occasions – dinners, parties, dances and ceremonies. A professional cleaning will refresh the full-length ones in time for Prom or a wedding!  The bride would look gorgeous in the white and the blue is perfect for any of a wedding party or mother-of-the-bride.

They’re so feminine and flattering, in a variety of styles.  And, of course, beautifully-made.  I especially like the knee-length one – a little bit Mod, but also traditional.   The lace over-dress is partially open in the back, revealing the fitted sheath beneath.  Long sleeves add a little warmth for early Spring and make the design more demure BUT . . . . . . .

very sexy in an elegant and sophisticated way.  They knew how to do that back in the day.  A lost art?  I hope not  . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A HAPPY TRUE VINTAGE MID-CENTURY PARTY DRESS

BYE - BYE BLUES!  A HAPPY FIFTIES PARTY DRESS ENDS MY BLUE SERIES, for the time being . . . .

If you find a good deal on a vintage dress with stains like these, don’t let it worry you. I’ve had great success learning how to deal with them . . . . . . . . .

In heavy rayon or a blend, with its own rhinestone pin and a sassy fit, this dress has 1950’s party written all over it. In a pretty robin’s egg print, it’s just right for Spring. Try it with a little bolero jacket or sweater.

A frock such as this one is too good to pass up, if you feel confident about your skills. . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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CUTE LITTLE SEERSUCKER MINI SKIRT SUIT FROM THE MID-SIXTIES, FOR SPRING, SUMMER AND EARLY FALL!

CUTE LITTLE SEERSUCKER SKIRT SUIT FROM THE SIXTIES, FOR SUMMER!

A cotton suit like this is a very unusual discovery.  Casual wear often didn’t stay in good shape over the years and separates, especially, didn’t stand the wear and tear of frequent use.  It’s not rare to run into seersucker, which is a really fun and durable fabric.  But, to find a true vintage piece is quite uncommon.

Like in the Fifties, it seems that little casual suits were also popular in the Sixties and were worn like day-dresses used to be.  Pants were STILL not hugely popular, with women generally sticking to dresses and skirts more often than we do now.

This outfit has cute little details like waist tabs and notches in the hems – nice tailoring details that are a hold-over from the 1940’s and 1950’s, though I think this suit was sold through one of the catalog houses that were popular then, like Montgomery Ward, Penneys or Sears & Roebuck, and wouldn’t have been considered a high quality item.

Not quite my color and a little large for me, so it probably won’t stay in my closet forever. But, can’t pass up a beauty like this! Such fun . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MORE TRUE VINTAGE MID-CENTURY ACCESSORIES – IN RARE CONDITION

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TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S FASHION ACCESSORIES

Look what cropped up yesterday?  3 beautiful accessories from the Fifties – handbags and a silk scarf.

What’s so special about these is their rarity and excellent condition.  The scarf is perfect in gorgeous silk, with no snags, holes or hemming problems.

The raffia purse is rare and very clean.  The weaving is undamaged, as is the liner!  It’s only issue is a bit of discoloration in places – probably from sun.

The white purse is hard to see in detail because of the glare but is totally covered in TINY white seed beads.  Excepting for a few missing beads near the clasp, there is no damage, inside or out.  It was made in Belgium for Bonwit Teller.

Couldn’t be more pleased. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM