Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paris Buttonholes the Mode: 1930's

This fashion magazine page from the early 1930's plays up some great ways to use buttons. The slinky, slender silhouette of that era looks great with the sleeve variations shown here, some sporting button accents. Neckline and shoulder yokes, sleeve cuffs, pockets and shoulder straps have buttons as well.

Part of what makes the look so elegant is the accessories. Their gauntlet gloves really have great style. And it would be hard to miss those jaunty little hats worn at an angle over the forehead with a bit of finger waved hairstyle peeking below.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Place in the Sun: the Prom Dress Hall of Fame

A Place in the Sun, white dress

The white gown that Liz Taylor wore in 1951 for "A Place in the Sun" captured the imagination of college and high school girls everywhere. The style and silhouette would become one of the most popular prom and wedding gown looks for the decade.

This original costume illustration by Edith Head must be an early version, since the "V" waistline shown was later changed to become more conventional. When looking at the photos it is easy to see that the blossom details are carefully placed, not to overwhelm the bodice. Similar white velour (or velvet) violet blossoms are scattered all over the bouffant tulle skirt.

These two Butterick patterns: Long version #4928 and short version #5457 are excellent sewing patterns to use if you want to try making your own version in tulle layered over taffeta. It's really a very simple dress design, the blossoms scattered all over are what makes the difference!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Schiaparelli Bustle Gown

This unusual gown by Schiaparelli was designed in 1947 and shows how she draped to create drama and new silhouettes. The hem of this silk gown is shorter in front where the bodice is shirred across the waistline. In the back the hem lengthens, complimenting the puffed bustle-like bow which accents the "V" neckline.

Doyle, New York: Couture and Textiles. Tuesday, November 10, 1998

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring and Summer Color Trends

Summer of 1979 had alot going for it, as this vintage fashion photo shows. This style is back on top of current spring and summer trends by being both cute and wearable. Even the longer length looks fun for summer this year.

The color chips I show here are for Spring/Summer 2013 from Design Options predictive services. Looking at them, it's not hard to see how the late 70's has sparked a revival in vibrant prints and bright solids. Not neon or pastel, but true 'balloon' colors. Keep these hues in mind when you look though vintage from the late 70's and into the 80's. There's alot of undiscovered beauties waiting to be found!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sunny Day Fun

When the burgers area ready, just pucker your lips and blow.

Don't you dare spash me with that hose!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Turquoise Treasury

'Turquoise Vapors' by fionazakka

spring freshness

Post earrings - Min...

Turquoise Blue Hobn...

pottery heart bowls...

50s Princess Silhou...

Vintage File Box Tu...

ONE LEFT - Teal Blu...

Reserved for Frank ...

Blue Shimmer - Thro...

Late 50s Turquoise ...

Vintage Sheer and P...

Turquoise Canning S...

Turquoise Blue Hear...

Vintage 70s Turquoi...

Victorian pendant ,...

Vintage Turquoise O...

Swatch Watch Mens T...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Cybill Shepherd: 1960's College Style

In August, 1969, Cybill Shepherd at Hunter College, was one of several college women featured in the college issue of "Glamour" fashion magazine. Although she was on the cover, it is the editorial shots that really capture her iconic 1969 great look. These photos present the ideal look of the day, as she would wear it at that time. After this feature, she would be seen in many more magazines to come.

From a fashion perspective, everything that she is seen in here is wearable today without looking too retro or costumey. It's pretty amazing to think without making any changes, styles over 40 years old can be worn today as a current trend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Young Innocent, 1969 by Sue Wong at Arpeja

"Young Innocent" was a junior petite label designed by young Sue Wong when she was fresh from her training at L.A. Trade Tech college. This label was under the "Arpeja" brand. Wong's designs were young, spirited and very trend conscious. These and her "Young Edwardian" designs would become iconic junior looks for that era, one of several strong junior brands being developed in Los Angeles at that time.

These illustrations show the strong design influence of Peter Max during during the late 1960's. Sort of 'trippy' in style, with elements of the 1920's illustrator John Held, the figures create a great look that identified that brand from others at the time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Retro Fashion: eShakti

I recently came across eShakti online. For those who haven't seen this site yet, it's a fashion business, with styles that may tend toward Anthropologie or ModCloth. As a shopper, the site allows for color specific shopping, along with price range. This is a nice way to view their dresses, especially if you have a certain color you'd like to find.

They do have blouses, skirts and accessories, but dresses seem to be the main item here. What gives this e-store a different perspective, is the size range. With a bustline list from 32" (size 0 or XS) to 53" (size 26W or 3X) they can fit just about anyone. Now this is interesting to me, especially when the difficulty of grading a dress pattern this widely is considered. And not only that, they allow for customize styles. There are alternate versions of the sleeve available, and the hemline length can be chosen.

What the US consumer may not realize when they order their custom dress is that it won't be made in the states. Instead this venture is based in India and started selling to the US in 2008. At this time, their website does not list country of origin within their pages. Not in the 'about' pages or with each garment description. Even the fiber content description is loose, without percentages of fibers or a complete list of fiber content. Rather they give a general description of the textile composition.

EShakti prices are between budget and moderate, low prices being one of the main advantages of producing their product in India. Clearly, there are objections of such a low price point product in competition with domestic fashions. Some customized apparel businesses exist online, but not at this level of style selection. To try and reproduce the diversity, inventory and turn-around locally at that price point might be impossible. It would be interesting to see how a domestic company based on the same concept would do. If 'made in the US' becomes more popular, maybe we will see something like that in the future.


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