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

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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

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

FABULOUS SURPRISE FIND – REEDCRAFT LEATHER PURSE FROM THE 1920’S – 1930’S

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What a rare and wonderful discovery!  In excellent condition – perhaps never used.  Only some minor discolorations from age or storage and almost 100 years old.

These handbags have beautifully finished leather and fun hardware touches.  A tri-color Bakelite or celluloid clasp ornament and even a little coin purse stashed inside.  When you think that this was at the beginning of the Great Depression with war looming in Europe, it puts a different slant on this pretty product.  The company was formed in 1928, just a year before the stock market crash.

Despite it all, people did find ways to enjoy life in the 1930’s – some of the most fun and outrageously glamorous movies were made during that time, some of the most luxurious and over-the-top fashion plus beautiful Art Deco furniture, architecture and ornamentation.

“Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..”

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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MID-CENTURY FLORAL SCARF: AN ALWAYS-BUY-IT ACCESSORY

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Found this great headscarf, in superb condition.  I always pick these up when I come across them because they are unique.  The floral, geometric or novelty prints are irreplaceable.  What could say “SPRING!” better?

Hand-rolled edges and interesting fabrics make them quality items which obviously stand up well over time (if not silk or fabulous mid-century rayon, they are often made of one of the mystery synthetics of that era as this one probably is).

Nothing sparks up an outfit like one of these attention-grabbing pieces.  Anyone with an “eye” will know that it didn’t come from a mall store or even modern Europe.  But often, it just leaves them perplexed  – “That’s a nice scarf.  Where did you get it?” . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE RAYON DAY DRESS FROM THE LATE 1930s TO EARLY 1940s

TRUE VINTAGE RAYON DAY DRESS FROM THE LATE 1930s TO EARLY 1940s

Here’s another lovely shirtwaist dress for a Spring day, this one in rayon.  It could have been custom made or ready-made – no tags or tell-tale details to help me be sure.  In most cases, dating true vintage clothing is not an exact science, but with knowledge and experience can be pretty close. This frock makes me think of something Bonnie, of Bonnie & Clyde, might have worn.

Due to its age and previous history of wear, it did require a bit of rehab despite the wonderful condition.  Buttons had to be replaced and, as I mentioned in a previous post, a “new” belt had to be constructed as the original was missing.  I keep a store of vintage buttons for cases just like as this.  Also, I keep vintage belts that are worn in order that they can be re-covered.  That’s exactly what I did here – as there was lots of extra fabric in the hem allowance, I was able to harvest enough to re-cover a belt without messing up the original hem length.  You can see that the color of the fabric in the belt is slightly darker than that of the dress, but I don’t mind.  Sometimes that is done on purpose to add extra interest.  Also, since covered belts usually would not be laundered along with a dress (since their insides are like cardboard), the dress fabric might fade a bit more over time.  So, this un-faded piece of fabric from the interior of the hem (never exposed to sun) ends up being a perfect authentic-looking touch!!

To me, nothing says “Spring” more than these pastel printed dresses in breezy styles.  The lingerie that must go with them, because of their sheerness, just adds to the package.

When I find one of these I really jump for joy! It’s just one thrill after another because, you just never know .. . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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FABULOUS TRUE VINTAGE VELVET GOWN – 1930’S STYLE

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This is my latest “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” FIND – a custom-tailored frock made for someone very petite, and shorter than Stella.  The deep green velvet is gorgeous, but I’m most taken with the styling.  Shoulders like that come from the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Will be an oh-so-elegant way to go to the St. Patrick’s Day dance or cocktail party.

Makes me wonder so much who, where and what this dress was sewn for – it’s got to have a fascinating story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE EVENING BERETS – VELVET AND BEADS, STARS AND MIDNIGHT SKY

TRUE VINTAGE EVENING BERETS - VELVET AND BEADS, STARS AND MIDNIGHT SKY

Two beautiful evening hats in the classic beret style. They would be from the 1950’s or before.  Hats like this might have been worn with the type of dresses I’ve been showing lately.   I always love midnight blue and velvet, so the one on the right is a favorite.  However, the sparkly one perhaps spans more seasons and can go to a semi-formal or formal  occasion any time of day.

Of course, if you’re not going for a really vintage vibe, wear it with whatever and whenever.  I often prefer a more calculated look, however – not stiff or traditional by any means, but something that looks as though I might belong in a story with an intriguing plot . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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PRETTY IN PINK: 1930’S – 1940’S – 1950’S NIGHTWEAR FOR THE VINTAGE BOUDOIR

PRETTY IN PINK:  1930'S - 1940'S - 1950'S NIGHTWEAR FOR THE VINTAGE BOUDOIR

Now we’re talkin’!  Setting the mood here for Cupid’s Day.  Some are relatively demure, but all are beautiful nylon and silk sleepwear from a time when those things were really special.

Whether a young girl heading off to college, or a young woman on her honeymoon, one (or two) of these would surely be stowed in her luggage.

Madge likes that cute robe with the double button closure at the waist.  It would work well over the little short-sleeved gown – perfect for dorm room dreams. As for the silk number in the center, well, it is Valentine’s Day so forget the robe . . . . . . . … . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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GORGEOUS AND LUXURIOUS 1930’S – 1940’S SLEEPWEAR FOR ST. VALENTINE’S NIGHT

GORGEOUS AND LUXURIOUS 1930'S - 1940'S SLEEPWEAR FOR ST. VALENTINE'S NIGHT

There’s nothing like a silk or fine nylon gown against the skin. These also have beautiful lace on the bodices.

If you dream of being in the movies, here’s your wardrobe. These are real special prizes of mine.

Forget all the lace and frills on anything modern; one of these gowns will give you complete amnesia.

Have a lovely day, and night . .. . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE FUR ACCESSORIES FROM THE ’30’S, ’40’S, ’50’S & ’60’S

TRUE VINTAGE FUR ACCESSORIES FROM THE '30'S, '40'S, '50'S & '60'S

It’s still not too late to glam it up with fabulous fur accessories, especially during the variable March weather . . . . . . . our mothers and grandmothers had to be prepared to look chic no matter what!

Marlene and Celia have been waiting for another chance to get into the picture.  Here you see them modeling a variety of mink accessories, with the exception of the black muff far left, which I believe is of rabbit fur and has a small zipper compartment and the black hat, which is curly lamb.

Whole skinned animals, with heads, feet and tails (and little glass eyes) were popular as stoles in the 1930’s & 1940’s, maybe the ’20’s, too.  Big “Eeew!” factor for a lot of people now.  I’ve already covered the fur issue so, if you love real furs (and animals) stick to 1960’s and before.

There’s a dark brown mink scarf that closes with a big mink-covered button (very elegant) and a blonde mink “dickie” to wear at the neckline under your coat.

The hats are probably the most visible accessory when you’re first seen – these are super-flattering but also will be warm. So, when you’re forced to take to the sidewalks, just remember —- to be well-dressed at all times is a gift to yourself and everyone who sees you.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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