48 posts categorized "Fashion"

Please Pardon My Error

It has been brought to my attention from a fellow vintage fashion aficionada that the print on the dress in my last post, although Poiret~ish, is actually an Aubrey Beardsley illustration produced for the first English edition of Oscar Wilde's play "Salome" in 1894...It's called "The Peacock Skirt".   Please allow me to properly introduce to you "The Peacock Skirt Dress".  

Vintage Aubrey Beardsley The Peacock Skirt Salome print dress (2)

Vintage Aubrey Beardsley The Peacock Skirt Salome print dress (3)

Vintage Aubrey Beardsley The Peacock Skirt Salome print dress (4)

Vintage Aubrey Beardsley The Peacock Skirt Salome print dress (5)



xx ~ Michelle

Posh Poiret Print?

Vintage Aubrey Beardsley The Peacock Skirt Salome print dress

This stunning vintage dress was the result of a last minute, unplanned 10 minute treasure hunting expedition. I was avoiding doing things I didn't feel like doing and popped into one of the shops I frequent and there she was, waiting for me. Don't you just love when that happens? Serendipity, once again.

I was bit stumped as to how to describe the print on this dress at first.  But I keep going back to Paul Poiret, when his work took on the influence of orientalism. 

Paul Poiret oriental influence designs

It's about a size 4/6...not a tag or label to be seen, so off to do some research.  Look for it soon in The Shoe.

(Addendum~4:00pm EST 23 November 2011: In the six hours that have lapsed since this post, I have been provided with updated information about the print on this dress.  Please visit here for more information.)

xx ~ Michelle

Halston & Karan...They Go Way Back

1970s Halston menswear inspired 3 piece suit & Donna Karan Fall 2011 
(quote borrowed from "The Berg Companion to Fashion" by Valerie Steele)
This 1970s Halston 3-piece khaki wool suit is on it's way to The Shoe.  Everyone knows menswear inspired suits are "in" for fall, but I also found it interesting how boxy the jacket is on this suit, another very fashion-forward current trend.  I also remembered reading this quote by Donna Karan about how much Halston inspired her work as a designer.  I finally found it again and realized that although the suit pictured above from her fall collection (far right) is different in many ways, the "simplicity, fit and the importance of uniform" is there and the same. 

Update:  You can find the suit here.

xx ~ Michelle

Fit For Royalty

1960s vintage royal  navy blue dress suit Betty of Providence  (19) 

I found this amazing suit at an Estate sale earlier this year.  It's stunning.  I know I always say that about the suits I find, but this one is, well, stellar.  The only label, aside from the Union tag, is "Betty of Providence".  Not much info out there about who Betty was, except that there was a boutique with this name on the East Side of Providence in the rather exclusive Wayland Square neighborhood a long time ago.  It's still one of the few places you can actually stroll and shop in fine boutiques, pick up some really good cheese and wine, and have a wonderful lunch or dinner.  I've always said if we ever "downsize" I want to live a condo in one of those great old houses in Wayland Square.  Maybe someone around there remembers Betty.  I'll have to go snoop around. 

Back to the suit...it's divine.  It has the weight of a fine, almost couture garment, and the design, cut and workmanship are superior.  I venture to say, given her penchant for fabulous suits and dresses in all shades of blue, that even the Duchess of Cambridge would approve.  Too bad it's not her size.   Find it here.

xx ~ Michelle

Kimono Craze

I've had a bit of a "Kimono" thing going on lately.  It started when I found a great polished cotton cherry red one while out thrifting one day and decided it would be the perfect thing to wear when I am "beautifying"~~you know: masking, waxing, coloring, & painting myself in an effort to fend off the damages of time.  Considering it cost less than a Stella at my favorite watering hole, I can justify the chance of "ruining" it~~and it looks much more elegant than an oversized t~shirt & boxers.

Vintage black Haori Kimono Jacket  (2) Vintage black Haori Kimono Jacket

A few weeks later, I scored this amazing vintage Haori and I was hooked.  You can, literally, wear it with just about anything from lingerie to jeans and it looks amazing.  I was in love.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2011 kimono top 
When I saw this image from Dries Van Noten's Spring 2011 collection it caught my eye...not quite Haori or Kimono, but there was just something about it...

Vintage Pomare Hawaii Bold Floral Kimono Top Vintage Pomare Hawaii Bold Floral Kimono Top (6)

Then in March, I came across this little beauty: a vintage Pomare Hawaii Kimono style top with a keyhole neck & frog closure and just like the little piggy I carried it all the way home...because it reminded me of something I had seen but just could not seem to recall what or where...

Dries Van Noten Spring 2011 kimono top (2) 

Until I was flipping through my March issue of US Vogue and there it was:  an ad for the very same Dries Van Noten top!  

The Hovey Sisters Kimono perfection! 
(photo source: Hollister Hovey)

To wrap it up, today I visited one of my favorite blogs of all time: Hollister Hovey.  And there she was, with her sister Porter, showing us exactly how to wear a Kimono perfectly

Vintage Pomare Hawaii Bold Floral Kimono Top (3) 

This one is for the shop and will have to feed your Kimono craze and not mine as we were not made for each other.










xx ~ Michelle

And In This Corner...

Ok, I admit I feel a bit poorly about ranting on (and on, and on, and on....) about the whole eco-UNfriendly recycled vintage dress/gown controversy that I wrote about yesterday and a few weeks ago.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to read about a much more "friendly" and well executed vintage gown makeover in the May issue of Vogue.

Elettra Wiedemann Prabal Gurung Ingrid Bergman gown Costume Institue Gala Met Ball 2011 Vogue May 2011

Elettra Wiedemann is one very fortunate (and beautiful) young lady.  Daughter of the stunning Isabella Rossellini and granddaughter of the iconic screen beauty Ingrid Bergman, she found herself the heir of a trunk full of Ms. Bergman's evening dresses that had somehow been long forgotten (a vintage treasure hunters dream find!)   She humbly admits: "My family is so amazing, but it's also so overwhelming and overpowering...I'd felt honored to be part of my family but also not sure what accomplishments were mine and what accomplishments belonged to someone else bigger than me."  She also makes this insightful comment:  "It's interesting how clothes can connect you to a sentimentality that can be very complicated sometimes."  (I nod my head in silent agreement as I contemplate the part of my grandmothers wardrobe I've inherited...)

Ms. Wiedemann, in honor of her grandmother, has chosen to wear one of her gowns to the Costume Institute Gala (aka The Met Ball ) on the 2nd of May.  The gown she chose was created for Ms. Bergman by the postwar Roman couturiere Fernanda Gattinoni, who also created the costumes for Ms. Bergman in the 1952 film Europa '51.  Designer Prabal Gurung was called upon as the "cosmetic surgeon" for the dress, as there were a few issues with fit & fabric.  Both heir & designer agreed that it was important to maintain the integrity of the dress and to pay homage to it's original owner, which, being her grandmother, would be of utmost importance to any grateful heir of such beautiful pieces of the past.

"It's still the same dress," says Wiedemann, "but it feels a little bit sexier, more contemporary, and younger."

"The beauty of this dress," Gurung adds, "is it's history."

I think we have a winner.


(All quotes from May 2011 US Vogue p. 172 & 174)

xx ~ Michelle

(T)urban Sophistication

How do you wear a turban without feeling like your grandmother?  I pondered over this question for the last few weeks as I was preparing to list some vintage turbans in The Shoe.  This led to one of my favorite parts of my job: image search, which led me to this post.

How to wear a turban 
I'm quite sure you agree there is nothing "grandmother-ish" about Kate Moss in this gold vintage turban designed by Stephen Jones which she wore rather well at the 2009 MET Costume Gala. 

Carrie Bradshaw gold turban 
Fast forward a bit, to May of 2010 and we saw Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in SATC 2 looking rather lovely in her gold turban with the Western Sahara Dunes as a very fitting backdrop.

Jennifer behr gold shimmer metallic turban 
And then, in February of 2011 and we saw Jennifer Behr's gold metallic turban featured on The Zoe Report....(going for a mere $800)

Catherine Baba & how to wear a turban 

And my favorite of all--Catherine Baba's perfect execution of how to wear a turban and not look like your grandmother.  Stunning, from head to toe!

Vintage 1940s gold metallic shimmer turban_444_480 

Vintage gold shimmer metallic mesh & satin turban--now available in our Etsy Shop, find it here.


xx ~ Michelle

The 1930s Vintage Dress Massacre

What some in the fashion world had hoped to be among the most noble "green" fashion causes of the 2011 Oscars has turned out to be far from that.  Instead, The 1930s Vintage Dress Massacre story has stolen the limelight.

South-East London fashion designer Gary Harvey was hired by Livia Firth, the lovely wife of the very handsome Oscar nominee (and winner) Colin Firth to design her dress for the Oscars.  Her goal was to wear only eco-friendly, sustainable, and green fashion on the red carpet.  The result?  Eleven 1930s vintage dresses purchased at vintage clothing shop 360 Degrees were cut up to create one gown for her to wear.

The victims lie helpless 
(photo credit: Vogue.com )

360 Degrees was asked about the condition of the eleven gowns.  " What was the condition of the 1930s gowns used to make Gary Harvey's dress? Were they already damaged beyond wearability or did he actually destroy 11 perfectly good vintage gowns?"  (February 28, 2011 11:48 pm) source: 360 Degrees FB page

360 Degrees: "He bought the very best gowns..."  (March 1, 2011 4:18 am)  And later that same day: "I did say he bought the best gowns I didn't say they were perfect most vintage garments will have some sign of wear and tear." (March 1, 2011 2:18 pm) source: 360 Degrees FB page

Mr. Harvey was asked "Were the gowns that you used in wearable condition as they were, or would they have been considered damaged beyond repair?" 

Mr. Harvey: "This is an unjust criticism...not one of these garments was suitable to wear in its current state, due to distress, damage, or decay, they had all been beautiful dresses once, this is the true nature of recycling.  I have preserved and given new life to these vintage garments, some of which would have ended up in land-fill." (March 2, 2011) courtesy of Couture Allure Vintage Fashion

 A close-up of the victims
(photo credit: Vogue.com )

British journalist Lucy Siegle, who co-writes The Green Carpet Challenge blog on Vogue UK with Livia Firth and helped with the final touches of the gown stated:

"The pieces were damaged to such an extent and or so tiny that they had little to no chance of resale in their original state - sorry, there are not enough costume museums to accommodate. Rot on a hanger or make sustainable style history? You decide." (March 3, 2011 01:43 PM) courtesy of The Huffington Post

I've read that one of the gowns purchased was priced at 250 pounds.  I wish I could sell a damaged, distressed, decaying, rotting vintage dress for that much...I understand Mrs. Firth was trying to do something good.  I understand that Mr. Harvey is a very talented designer.  I understand that 360 Degrees loves vintage clothing or they wouldn't exist.  What I don't understand is how any of them can justify this, or call it eco-friendly, sustainable, and green fashion.  Deleting critical comments and blocking commenters because they called this farce on the rug (which reportedly happened on the Vogue UK blog)  is proof enough that all involved are guilty as charged. 

 I’m sure being contacted by a famous designer to shop in your store and create a dress for a swanky client who’s handsome husband is up for an Oscar is a shop owner’s dream come true. Let's face it, it's the break of a lifetime.  But personally, if he waltzed into my shop, chose 11 of my best 1930s frocks and then informed me he was going to take the scissors to them, I couldn’t do it. I would refuse the sale. I’d rather remain the quiet shop on the corner than hear my name swirl around the fashion world for a week or two, where you’re here today and forgotten tomorrow. Let’s hope 360 Degrees didn’t know the scissors were coming.

In this vintage clothing lovers heart, it will be known as The 1930s Vintage Dress Massacre forevermore...


xx ~ Michelle