Friday, May 30, 2014

Wartime Parisian Fashion, 1940

Yay, sharing two separate fashion articles today! Double trouble.

They ran back to back (LIFE April 15, 1940), but are completely unrelated. I truly couldn't pick one over the other, as they are both to die for. The first one offers a glimpse into Parisian fashion houses during the war. Schiaparelli, Molyneux, Paquin... um, yes please. Note, Chanel is never mentioned, as she had already closed her shops (and let's be real... we know what she was up to during the war.) The second article is on an eyelet lace trend, and features some celluloid necklaces that I would do terrible things to own. Seriously.

First up:

Some scenes from the economic war front of Parisian fashions

            War came, and all over the world those to whom women’s wearing apparel is business or fun or both posed the question, “What about Paris?”
            War came, and many of the French houses closed. Men important to the industry were called to the colors. Essential materials were requisitioned. Some houses talked of reopening in the suburbs. Some considered Cannes and Biarritz as fashion centers. But some, like Madame Lanvin, never closed.
            By late October, time for the lesser midseason showings, the government had released key men and materials. By December, time for preparing the important spring collections, the great uncertainty was whether American buyers and press would risk the perils and discomforts of a trip to Paris. There was talk of shipping the clothes to New York for a gala fashion show. Nothing came of it. In January, wartime French couture made a worthy contribution to the economic front. Americans attended. A grateful French Government gave them a reception. Madame Suzy held a cocktail party. The American press countered with stories of brave Paris carrying on. Buyers, representing shops with a clientele which normally buys some of its own originals in Paris, bought more than usual. Despite the war, Paris still retains its fashion crown.
            Paris scenes during the latest collections are shown here.
Jenny Holt, French movie star, confers with Schiaparelli, here holding Berard’s dog.

  Gayest of the evening fashions is this brilliant taffeta-plaid wrap by Piguet with its huge leg o’mutton sleeves

  Finnish peasant stockings in white and bright colors startled audiences at Schiaparelli’s show 

  Paquin showed ruffled pantalets for bicycling

Bright plaid taffeta in a day coat by Paquin

  Walking outfit by Lelong has dark blue skirt, red jacket, hobo stick with a pouch bag

  Molyneux evening gown has a swathed apron skirt

  Molyneux-inspired are these two outfits – the dress above with apron front, and coat below with bloused back. Out of all the fashion ideas that came from Paris, these two features are the ones which caught the U.S. public’s fancy immediately. The apron dress has already become a fashion “Ford” (one above costs $10.95), and bloused backs are now being shown in suit jackets as well as full-length coats. 

Which ones are your favorites? Mine is hands down that Paquin bicycling outfit. Not only does it have matching bloomers, but that is definitely fancy lady novelty print. Kill me now.
 Ok, article number two!

Old eyelet embroidery is new

            When 1940 revives a style of 1890, it usually is so modified that it is recognizable only to willing imaginations. The present revival of eyelet embroidery is a glaring exception. The hole-punched cottons now being used for collars, cuffs, neck ruffles, blouses, hats, gloves and dresses are indistinguishable from the stuff sold in the general dry goods stores of 50 years ago. Main difference is the fact that once upon a time all open work cottons were imported, mostly from Switzerland. Now they are made in the U.S.
 Even necklaces take up the punched-hole fad. This one is washable

Finnish bonnet and sailor above bloom in the sun, wilt in the rain

On gloves, eyelet embroidery is new but follows same old cut-out patterns. Backs of these gloves resemble hat's ruff, but palms are plain for greater practicality.

Red stitching outlines the eyelet-embroidered collar on this navy dress. Eyelet collar and cuff sets refresh old dresses. The hat is covered with openwork ruffles.

Batiste blouse is eyelet-embroidered all over, edged with narrow lace. The white hats on this page cost $12. They are not washable, and must be sent to the cleaners.
 See what I meant about the necklaces? 
I definitely told the magazine to shut up the first time I read this.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pioneer Square, Prints & Peplums

I think sometimes I subconsciously avoid posting my favorite clothes on here. Some kind of vague worry "pictures won't do it justice" and "not wanting to waste it." I guess?
In any case, this is one of those dresses.

Of course this dress would be one of my favorites. Cutouts? Check. Crazy print? Check. 
But the back is the kicker - trailing peplum & sashes at the shoulders... Check & check.
Mmm, unsigned Miriam Haskell.

Ha, I still don't think pictures do it justice (even though Jaynie takes beautiful pictures!)


1940s dress & heels: Lucky Dry Goods
Ca. 1940 Haskell dress clip: Red Light

All photos courtesy of Jaynie Healy

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Atomic Bongos

Today's outfit was originally destined for the F****d but Fabulous post, but to be honest.... the messed up parts of this dress don't even really show up? I guess that was the entire point of the post anyways - it's not noticeable. But still, it didn't make the cut. (Please forgive the duct tape on my belt. That's not even fucked but fabulous... it's just fucked. Snrr.)

So here's this dress! No damage to see here I swear! *cough*

I call this print "atomic boobs," because I'm super mature. Perhaps an inappropriate blog title though, so I went with the Lydia Lunch version;)

Short & sweet! I hope ya'll are doing swell <3
Since I mentioned it, I'll just leave this here...

1940s dress & hat: Red Light Vintage
Bakelite necklace & bangles: antique stores (?)
1940 shoes: Lucky Dry Goods

All photos courtesy of Jaynie Healy

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

F****d but Fabulous

Hello lovelies!

Insanely honored to have a guest post up on By Gum By Golly today!
Be sure to head over to her blog & take a gander, it's on a topic near & dear to my heart: giving love to sadly shabby but fab vintage pieces. 

Check it out here!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spring Sailor, 1940

For the past eight years, sailors have been a must on the spring list of every U.S. millinery designer and manufacturer. Because women like them and because they team up with the tailored suits that are American women’s spring uniform, sailors have been the one stable item in an industry that encourages feminine fickleness. Spring 1940, with a bumper crop of suits, is no exception. In step with the march away from whimsical headgear and back to functional head covering, this years sailors have enough crown to fit a head, enough brim to shade a face.
           On this page, and on the front cover are new and sensible versions of the old favorite, designed by top-notch Milliner Sally Victor. With department-store background, she started her hat business after marriage to a millinery manufacturer and now conducts a class in millinery design at New York University. 
  In front, halo brim of yellow toyo sailor frames face, makes pretty wearer prettier.

  In back, deep crown keeps hat anchored. 

  Orchid velvet flowers are heaped on crown of dressy, pale-blue Shantung straw. Brim is wide and paper-flat. $39.50

  A Flemish-inspired ruff of starched white pique lies flat on forward tilted brim of shiny blue straw sailor. $27.50 

  Like a mutton-chop ruff, this hat’s brim is made entirely of starched white pique and trimmed with brown veil. $25

Short & sweet on this one. Spring teased us with a bit of sun, and then promptly took it back. So I'm gazing out the window, at a grey rainy day, dreaming of straw hats. The first one is hands down my favorite, my oh my. 
I'm never sure if inflation calculators are accurate, but holy frijoles... these are some expensive hats. Supposedly, they are the equivalents of $666.68, $464.15, and $421.95 (respectively) in modern currency. Whaaaat. I suppose there are people out there who buy modern designer garments for thousands of dollars, so this isn't "that much". But those people are clearly nuts (and should check their ethical guidelines), so we'll just pretend they don't exist. 
Hope ya'll are doing fabulous!