Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lilli Ann: Vintage Suits from the 1950's & early 1960's

Two examples of Lilli Ann suits, showing the span of a decade: 1950 to 1960.

The well tailored suit jacket became an important element for Lilli Ann designs between the late 1940's and early 1960's. During this decade, the overall silhouette was not be altered significantly, but details were many and varied considerably. Jackets showed a smooth fit in the torso, with long narrow or 3/4 length sleeves. The hip was fitted and hems were short or long. In general, the suit skirt remained narrow and unadorned.

The brown wool suit pictured above from the early 1950's has a mock bolero with self bow tie. The face is framed by a wing collar. Bolero shaping sets off the small hourglass waistline which is emphasized even more by a single button.

In this creamy aqua crepe suit from about 1960, a variation in small pleating is used to frame the face with drama. The use of an asymmetrical front is seen. Lilli Ann would use this popular design devise often during this era.

A Lilli Ann advertisement from early 1960 shows several versions of suits from the collection of that year. Continuing the trend that Dior began over a decade earlier, jackets appear to be derived from a basic fitted New Look silhouette. The body is then altered with many styles of collar and neckline drapery. Overall, the look is very feminine and dignified, spiced with details in texture and trim.

Following this collection in 1960, the design of Lilli Ann makes a notable swing towards more current fashion trends of the day. This was a move to showcase a younger, exciting and innovative look to the Lilli Ann customer. An updated silhouette left behind the New Look styles that Lilli Ann had promoted for more than a decade.

This article is third in a series on Lilli Ann fashions.
Earlier articles may be found in the links to the right.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tina Fey's Evening Gown: Gucci does Vintage at the Emmy Awards

This evening gown seems to be about as close to a true vintage style as we have gotten lately.
Tina Fey's floor length black Gucci gown has a strong bias cut look that recalls the mid-1930's to New Look era. Even the matte crepe or jersey look is vintage.
We decided to showcase this as a black and white photo in the style of an early era to give you a true sense of the old Hollywood Glam.

This dress selection was a daring style to wear midst the contemporary flash and bareness seen at the 2009 Prime Time Emmy's. Some critics later made comments on the fit as being too loose (don't they understand drapery?). But overall, it was a completely vintage approach on the age old problem: what should I wear now?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blog Visit: IttyBittyBirdy for a look at Vintage

I was thrilled to get a note from Chelsea Ann that she had featured this dress in her "IttyBittyBirdy" blog. The navy dress is such a throwback to vintage elegance with Victorian bustle and 1930's peplum details as styled in the 1980's. If you haven't dropped by to visit her blog, I can recommend it--the photos are gorgeous!


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