Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vintage Dress: 1960s Mod Party Outfit

This is a fun vintage fashion look from the 1960's. A Mod silk dress in autumn colors is perfect for parties. Right about now most of us have quite a few events in our schedule, and maybe one or two should include some sort of great outfit like this.

This mid-1960s (based on the longer length) dress is couture quality. With an "I. Magnin" label to validate this quality, it is of the lightest silk chiffon, edged in hand beaded collar and cuffs. This longer length can easily be taken up to a shorter hem, but I am listing it in that original length. It could also be belted, since it is a classic 'shift' silhouette.

Here is a close-up detail of this wonderful fabric and delicate beading around the neckline. You can see more of this MOD DRESS HERE

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Edith Head: "Sabrina" & "Penelope" gowns

The Google banner for Edith Head has inspired me to repost this article from a few years back on her design for "Sabrina" in 1954. I am adding a great illustration for Natalie Wood's role in "Penelope" from 1966 as well.

Edith Head illustration for Audrey Hepburn as "Sabrina"


This look is so classic and as perfect for this New Year's as it was in the 1950's. You can whip up your own version with a 1950's vintage sewing pattern such as Simplicity 3002. Current retro style patterns Vogue #8874 or #8789 when sewn up in black also have this vintage look with its horizontal neckline. Wouldn't that be fun!

For the Natalie Wood film "Penelope", in 1966 Edith designed a dramatic wedding gown with a "hi-lo" hemline that is alot like what we are seeing so much of in gowns right now. This was to have had a very Mod look to it, with an "A" line open lattice cage shape over a little shift dress.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Vogue 1857: Pierre Balmain Dress Pattern for Design & Sewing Inspiration

This classic dress design from Pierre Balmain was created in the late 1970's in that wedge of time after the 1960's silhouette had finally expired, and before Armani's big shoulder influence was in full swing. Along with such artists as Halston and Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain used soft, drapey fabrics to create a fluid silhouette and a more sophisticated look than had been worn earlier in that decade.

This dress is inspired by men's shirting from the 1700's and earlier. Complete with shoulder yoke and flowing sleeves, even the neck tie is included in this look. The film "Barry Lyndon" had been released mid-decade, and there was a renewed interest in historical styles from the 18th century, especially from men's wear.

In current fashion trends, we still see neck drapery, most commonly as scarves, but with a strong 1970's revival, the look we see here is also available.

In pattern design, this garment has a classic dress construction, with waistline seam, darts to fit and a back zipper. There is a mock 'blouse' look with slight gathering around the waistline and worn with a belt. The sleeves have gathers at the top, a look we see often in dresses from this era. Even with the gathered 'blouse' at the waistline, this is still a very narrow looking silhouette. The hem length is 4" below the knee or full length. The sleeves do not have pads or inner ruffles, rather they fall naturally.

Cover art was giving way to photos at this time. Here we can see that Christie Brinkley has the cover, with her healthy "all American" look of the era. Both model and illustration have very spare accessories, keeping this look minimal and clean.

Fabrications for this type of dress were very light silks with a 'scarf' like hand. Often they had tiny damask motifs or slight shiny designs to the weave with solids and patterns of equal importance. At a lower price point, this is when the many polyester silkies would hit the market, common in both yardage stores and ready-to-wear. This textile would wash and wear easily, perfect for the little 'secretary dresses' that survive today with elastic waistlines and 'pull over' styling.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Vintage Dress: 1950s Outfit for Fall

This vintage dress in fall colors is a perfect transition outfit into cooler weather. Add a toasty cardi to it when things grow colder. From the 1950s or very early 60s (based on the longer skirt length), this classic 'Mad Men' era sheath dress seems to be custom made, complete with fine piping around the neckline, waistline and sleeves.

I also wanted to share how great the fabric design from this dress is. It has a neat mid-century modern air to it, with the geometric color patches and cross-hatch overlay.

1950s DRESS can be found HERE.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rene Bouche: Fashion Illustration from 1956

It's time to be thinking ahead about the holidays, so I am posting this fashion illustration as a reminder to all of us: plan ahead!

This terrific 50s fashion illustration is by Rene(RR) Bouche and it certainly gets one in the mood for holiday elegance and sophistication. For me, while I personally won't try to re-capture this look, a rich red pashmina might be just the thing to add to my wardrobe this year.

Here's the full 1956 illustration, so you can see the rest of this page:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Coco - Inside CHANEL Video

Quite busy of late, but here's something wonderful to catch your eye until I can get back to my blog!