FABULOUS FORTIES – FIFTIES HAT FIND

WHAT A CUTIE! So sorry not to have Marlene or Celia here to model it properly but, believe me, this hat is so sweet and flattering. It fits on the crown of the head but can also be worn at a tilt, which is so great. The pedigree of this find is also fantabulous. Glenover, Henry Pollak, Fifth Avenue, New York. This company made hats between the 1920’s and, at least, the 1960’s from what I can find out. In this case, it’s 100% wool velvet, with a sassy little detail on the side. Perfect cocktail or city hat.

It does need blocking and a bit of stitching around the inner hatband. The poor feathers have had it, too, so I’ll need to replace them. Otherwise, just a little touching up will do the job. Aside from deep soil or a tear, there’s not much that will ruin a hat like this one so it’ll be ready to roll in a jiff. Very World War 2 understated or Audrey Hepburn sassy. I’ll wear it a lot!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

Rare find – 1950’s or early 1960’s Katz housecoat

While this may not seem exciting to you, it is to me and I’ll tell you why. Katz was in business for almost 100 years, since the late 1890’s, and started off making underwear then branched in several directions until closing in the 1990’s. I have found only 2 items made by the Katz company over all my many investigations, which seems illogical. So, I consider a garment made by Katz to be a rare find. So much for the pedigree – let’s see what else is very cool . . . . .

Another thing about this brand is that, though they seem to have been mid- to low-priced items, the quality of construction is exceptional. All the finishing is very well done and the decoration is made to last. The buttons and lace are of excellent quality. Although this coat is at least 60 years old, it is clean and untorn. We could chalk these two points up to the higher standards of quality usually seen in true vintage garments and the better care of their wardrobes that our mothers and grandmothers took. However, this is still not true in every case. The only things I need to attend to are re-stitching one bit of seam and replacing a button, which I’m sure I already have a good match for.

The design is extremely basic so might be considered boring, but I’ll be keeping this coat because it’s the only one of its type that I’ve seen which is just a mid-thigh length. Very unusual. So convenient and cool. Definitely worth picking up. I also unearthed an accessory item from the same era and with similar credentials. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: Magicvintagespy.com

TO MY FOLLOWERS –

Uncovered a couple of neat finds today. The sort of fun wardrobe items I will use often, with plenty of mid-century history and pedigree. Will post soon. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

EARLY 1960’S TAILORED DAY DRESS

Another WOW find, with some mysterious features. The fabric, styling, and tailoring all point to a true vintage heritage, BUT it looked a little too good to be true. This dress is in near mint condition and the long metal zip is on the right side (!?) – not the usual placement during the 1960’s time period. Also, the finishing reflected a commercial product but I didn’t see a label (found it later!). Almost made me wonder if this could be a well-done repro or custom-tailored retro garment but still, that didn’t seem right.

When I tried the dress on, the label appeared (it is vintage) tucked low inside the front bodice. This, of course, made the research much easier, though I’ve been able to find very little information about the company. Here is what I do know:

GLASS Original New York made dresses in the 1960’s and, maybe, into the 1970’s though I’ve seen a picture of only one other example and it looked more ’60’s to me than ’70’s. The tailoring was evidently exceptional, which is consistent with this frock. Construction includes wide hem allowances, very secure stitching, beautifully-done detailing and styling and excellent quality fabric and notions. The only thing I would add to enhance the fit on me personally would be little strap holders inside the neckline on each side. For someone with broader shoulders than mine (more average), that wouldn’t be needed so the fit and tailoring is still quite correct for the general market since the dress is just a tad too large for me.

Interesting feature: The side zip enhances the hourglass fit of the dress and is sewn in with a covering overlap that faces from back to front, rather than front to back (which I would expect). As I looked more closely, I can see why the the designers probably did it this way – the zip is more hidden than it would be if the flap closed in the other direction! That’s a big surprise and demonstrates the very careful and knowledgeable tailoring involved. This choice no doubt had to do with how the cut and the weight of the fabric affected the way the dress would hang. Most clothing companies don’t take this amount of care.

A below-the-knee hemline and sexy fit place this piece squarely in the Kennedy era late 1950’s – early 1960’s. I’m so thrilled to have found it and learned something about this dressmaker. I’m also sure that the fun isn’t over so, stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BEAUTIFUL 1980’S BARBIZON LINGERIE SLEEPWEAR JACKET

Another pretty pink lingerie item with an impressive pedigree. Although this particular piece was made late in the company’s history and was probably one of the final batches, it’s still beautifully constructed and made from one of the company’s proprietary fabrics, Blendaire.

I understand why these special fabrics were so distinctive and important to the popularity of Barbizon garments. Blendaire is a batiste made of cotton, nylon and rayon. The look and feel of it is so special that I’ll treasure it forever. If you have followed me for some time, you’ll know that I have enjoyed collecting many styles of bed jackets from the 1930’s through to the time of this one.

Although the maker’s label has been made and attached in a modern, ordinary and ugly way, this bed jacket has still been constructed with the precise care and tailoring of older Barbizon pieces. The tiny crystal pleats are perfect, the lace and embroidery trim is carefully stitched, the hem is perfectly finished, the elastic at wrists is stretchy and all the buttons are present. There are even two sets of snaps discreetly sewn at the neckline and mid-bodice to enhance the fit and prevent gapping. I always sigh with joy when finding this kind of careful tailoring and attention to detail.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

SUPER-CLASSIC ELEGANT 1960’S FIND: THE ICONIC A-LINE SHEATH

This one is definitely a keeper! The photograph can’t do this dress justice (yes, I really do miss my modeling team) but you, vintage fashion enthusiasts, have the imagination to see it for what is truly is. I’m showing it here with a recently-discovered chain belt which is a perfect accessory in the Sixties style.

A garment such as this one never goes out of fashion. The original owner knew this since she had it tailored or made it herself from excellent quality fabric in a beige tan shantung weave. It has been worn, but is in wonderful shape with no flaws found and a sturdy metal zipper. The icing on the cake, of course: it fits me.

No huge fireworks display or parade with floats and bands, but continued finds like this one make regular undercover sleuthing adventures well worth my time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM