Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Mexican Wedding Dress

I had arrived late to the sale, after a morning swim workout – wet hair in a twist and dressed down sweats. I tried to justify to myself that all would be gone, yet feeling the dread of lost vintage, while approaching the suburban gingerbread house.

I headed for the upstairs bedroom and saw a semi-empty room. So I was right. And then ... Surprise! A full closet -- I gleefully chuckled to myself, and proceeded to pull each garment out one by one, each carefully stored in old dry cleaner bags. As I ‘unwrapped’ each piece, I felt the presence of someone behind me.

She spoke as I turned toward her, “That’s a Mexican Wedding dress you know!” while glancing at the bundle of lemon custard colored lace in my hand. “I had a friend who worked in the garment district”, she continues to chortle, while noticing my firm grasp on a fistful of mystery garments, for later revealing of a Chester Weinberg mini dress, several couture dress suits, and a sexy black Estevez with rhinestone buckle that would soon have me happily skipping down the street.

"So these beautiful items are yours?" I asked. “Yes”, she softly answered, with eyes that seemed to glisten with a mix of nostalgia and melancholy. Feeling a small ache in my heart, I heard my own voice coming out like a low rasp, “Are you sure you want to part with these?”

She recovers and answers with a resounding “yes”, and begins to expound upon her favorite “fancy clothes” as she put it, and her many travels during the 50's and 60's. “Will you tell me all about it?” I plead. With excitement and almost child-like glee, we sit upon a small love seat tagged “sold” and enjoy a late morning of happy memories and fondly remembered tales.

I could see that her favorite was by far the Mexican dress, as she returned to it often during the telling. “I wore a flower in my hair and danced throughout my honeymoon in that dress”!

For once, I was glad that I had arrived late, missing the morning crowd and oftentimes rushed madness. Especially since I had come away with the best treasures of all – the thoughtful and shared memories of a well lived life, and the cherished “soul” of a once beloved dress.

Visit us at Metro Retro Vintage.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Don't you just love turning your nightgown into evening wear?

Fab! Fun! Flower Power 2 Piece Ensemble from Vanity Fair
Nightgown DRESS Gown by Vanity FairThis really FAB, FUN, FLOWER POWER *maxi* nightgown aka dress would do the trick! Created by Vanity Fair, this unique 2 piece ensemble would be a hit for spring! Wear out in the warm Spring and Summer evenings...come home and go straight to bed! No changing needed ;)The "scarf" can be worn as a headwrap, scarf around the neck, or around the waist.. so versatile.The colors are amazing in pinks and oranges, and silky soft Antron Nylon. Sized a 34, fitting a 36 too. For Small to Medium sizing.

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ATTITUDES: 50 from the 50's.......Just for fun!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

d.d. ryan and the coolest vintage ever.

just ooooooooooooh. how had i not heard of this D.D. RYAN?. well, i do live in iowa and wasn't even born when she was at the height of her fashion and society fame, so i have that to blame.....but still, i should know who she was! i'm sad for the not knowing, and sad for not BEING this fabulous....

D.D. was known for her eclectic designer tastes ranging from Zandra Rhodes to Ossie Clark, spent time working for Halston and was responsible for the children's book series "Eloise" as she encouraged a cabaret singer friend of hers who created the character to write the book which quickly became a best seller. and she was cool. and stylish. and fabulous. and GROGAN & COMPANY now has the pleasure of auctioning off some of this fascinating woman's estate, and her collections are truly as fascinating as you'd expect. some of the HUGE selection....

A grouping of fashion photographs featuring this one, called WOMAN WATER SKIING, by Toni Frissell.....

Only 2 of the crazy amounts of vintage Emilio Pucci pieces....

Some of D.D.'s own creations (there are more!)....

Miriam Haskell beaded necklace and earrings (i covet)....

An assortment of bakelite i also covet but will never be able to afford....

there's so SO much to love! i need a million dollars please. email me for my paypal info if you'd like to enable my buying addiction!


How Will You Choose The Right Wedding Dress?

Weddings are a beautiful ceremony to show the love for a couple, a time of celebration for families to unite together. A time of excitement, reflection, and stress! The planning, florist, caterer, formal wear, honeymoon, etc. Every bride wants the perfect wedding gown to wear while marching down the isle. Finding that perfect dress can be joyous time and yes stressful. You have the image in your mind of what your looking for, if only you could put it into words. While shopping through the malls, bridal shops, the fashion of today, the bridal dresses all start to look alike. Let me introduce you to vintage wedding attire, very unique and classy, something to be remembered. Your guest will be intriqued.

I recommend getting an appointment with a beautician or cosmetologist to get a skin analyst of your skin tone and which color looks best on you, white or ivory (candlelight), or other color you may choose for your dress. Also whether or not you will need high neckline, off the shoulder, strapless, etc. depending on your body frame. Keep in mind, not all style cuts look good on all bodies! There is nothing worse than going to a wedding and the bride or bridal party has on the wrong cut for there bodies! Keep your bridal party in mind too when choosing bridesmaids dresses. (It is your day, but they are seen too!)

A vintage wedding dress is VERY popular this year. The 50's bridal gowns are a highly sought after choice by the bride. Right now, at Sydney's Vintage Clothing, you will find a great selection of vintage wedding gowns with more to come soon. If you don't see what your looking for, just ask Sydney, she just might have it in her vast inventory.

P.S. Don't forget about the vintage lingerie for the honeymoon! I will combine shipping!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You just never know!

Sometimes you just never know, I bought this necklace several years ago, (it has matching earrings but those aren't on mannequin), and it's been in a box for all that time, I've recently helped decorate an antique shoppe locally for a TV interview "whats in the neighborhood type show" - all of my lovely "finds" I thought would garner the most attention ------- didn't:) (well not as much as this necklace) the one item that has gotten calls etc. and inquiries is the necklace I took so much ribbing for purchasing in the first place! (I heard comments from ewww tacky, to why on earth would you want that to --- oh my goodness surely you don't plan on wearing that). It has tiny rhinestone settings between the lucite teardrops (I have not looked for a makers mark etc. as of yet).
My mannequin looks quite happy wear it:)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wedding Dress....1939....Then and Now!

My beautiful Mother-in-Law gave me her wedding dress yesterday. I had no idea she still had it. It's not your typical formal wedding dress..........just a simple little "store bought" dress that she paid $2.98 for........which was quite a luxury in Depression Era Rural Texas.

I love the detailing on typically 1938-1939 as hems were getting shorter and the emphasis was changing on silhouettes............notice the gathers under the bust and the High Belted Waistline. The skirt is gored and flared and it's made for a thin rayon crepe for a fabulous swing around the knees.

Here's the dress and her wearing it. The photo was taken the day they married.....she was an old maid of 19 and he lied about his age (he was just 17).............

Here's the dress today in Living Color!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The return of the Apron

Here's an interesting story about vintage aprons that appeared on 2/5/08 in the Winona Minnesota Daily News -

Fashion: Aprons make comeback 'in a different way'
2/5/2008 9:46:08 AM
By Amber Dulek - Winona Daily News
WINONA, Minn. --
Tahira Darling doesn't need to cook to wear aprons. It's her fashion accessory. "It's a conversation piece," Darling said, wearing a ruffled blue and red apple-themed full-length vintage apron. "People see them and get nostalgic."
During the past 10 years, Darling has amassed a collection of 400 to 500 vintage aprons -- too many to count, she said. About 25 of them are currently on display at Bluff Country Co-op, where she is the health and body care manager.
Once a symbol of everything homemaker and used to guard clothes from baking and cleaning mishaps, aprons have made their way out of storage to becoming a budding women's fashion trend.
June Cleaver may be hip once again, but it's not like women are turning back into June Cleaver. Americans dine out more than ever and family life often is rearranged to fit busy work schedules. Still, many women are finding activities like knitting and clothing like aprons trendy, or even chic.
Whether women wear aprons for function or fashion, it's an attention-getting accessory.
"They're fun bordering on practicality," said Joyce Cheney, an independent curator of the traveling exhibit
"Apron Strings: Ties to the Past" and author of "Aprons: An Icon of the American Home" and "Aprons: A Celebration." "A fringe-use a number of people have pointed out to me is Web sites from East Coast cities selling sexy flirtation numbers," she said.
The heyday of aprons in the 1950s sizzled out of style after the women's rights movement and the advent of washing machines in the late 1960s, Cheney said. Aprons virtually disappeared from the scene but remained prevalent in backyard grill parties, kitchen workplaces and ceremonial celebrations.
But, now more stores are stocking aprons, Cheney said, especially, children's and vintage stores. Target carries them. So does Winona gift store Magnolia's.
Local apron-maker Sandy Erdman, who supplies Magnolia's with dozens of vibrantly colored aprons, said sales took off after the women on the hit television show "Desperate Housewives" donned "flouncy" aprons to protect their elegant attire. "They see it on TV and see it in magazines, and now it's coming back but in a different way," Erdman said. Erdman shies away from the "vintage look," because she said her customers prefer a custom-tailored look in cotton fabric with ranging designs of flowers, pink paisley, tractors, sports and politically-themed. "I don't call these your grandmother's apron," Erdman said.
Magnolia's Owner Linda Dennis said the buyers are mainly women in their 40s who remember their grandmothers toiling over the stove in aprons. Customers range from day care moms to business executives, Erdman said.
The emerging trend hasn't caught on everywhere. A staff person at Vintage Vogue said "people aren't running inside" to buy aprons at the La Crosse vintage fashion store. The store averages one apron sale a month, which ranges from $4 to $8.
Darling used to sell vintage American textiles like potholders, aprons and tablecloths via the online auction site eBay. But bidders wouldn't pay more than $5, and she thought her aprons were too precious to part with them so cheaply.
For the 37-year-old Rushford resident, vintage aprons tell the story of the woman who made it.
People have stopped Darling in the street to say it reminds them of their grandmother. Older women have invited Darling into their home to tell her stories and give her aprons. One woman showed Darling an apron her husband had commissioned to be made for her while he served overseas in the Navy. It was long and had little Navy insignias and his name stitched on it. She gave it to Darling because she knew she would take care of it.
There are many women like Darling who collect aprons, but most don't talk about it, Cheney said. Also, she said many women like to trade their dull white work aprons for a more personalized look.
Beth Chambers is the lead waitress at the assisted-living home Callista Court in Winona. She owns about 40 full-length aprons and varies her look with the seasons. The pockets act like extra hands, she said. "The residents really enjoy it," she said. "Today, I'm wearing a Green Bay Packer one, and they all comment on that." Chambers said her supervisors first asked her not to wear her brightly colored aprons to work, but said they relented after the residents complained.
All trends aside, Cheney said aprons are an identifier and symbol whether people use them or not. "They're a very powerful memory hook," Cheney said. "When it comes to aprons, don't throw them away -- a lot of history and family memories are in them, and they might be worth keeping."

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Here are some great sites for you to check out all things Apron-related (vintage and new)

The Vintage Aprons photo group from Flickr
Vintage Apron Patterns group on Flickr
Vintage Apron resource on Squidoo
The Apronista Blog
The Apronista Photo group on Flickr
Tie One On - All things Aprony Blog
Apron Outfits!

And here are some vintage aprons and apron patterns currently for sale from assorted vintage sellers -

From aprizeeverytime - a great 1950s pattern for a smock apron -

From thespectrum a 1970s Butcher style apron in 3 different lengths -

There's a nice selection of vintage apron patterns over at cemetarian's website and at the Chez Cemetarian ebay store -

A sweet child's apron/smock top is among the many patterns from Mom's Patterns -

A few from Miss Helene's Vintage Sewing Shop - love those big pockets. When I worked at the Rag Shop, we had to wear a red apron, and everything I needed to get through the day was carried in the pockets of that apron!

from Fuzzie Lizzie Vintage - super cute apron patterns with Scotty dog and flower appliques

From Glamourstitch Vintage Sewing Patterns & Notions - A 1940s smock apron and aprons with appliques -

It's time for Cocktails over at A Prize Every Time with this pleated apron with a great cocktail print.

Two great aprons from Sydney's Vintage Clothing - first a fun Rooster apron, then a pretty fruit apron that I'd be trying to wear as a top in the Summer!

Here are two of the vintage aprons that can be found at Morning Glorious Collectibles -

And a few vintage aprons from Dandelion Vintage -

Monday, February 11, 2008

michael kors, where DO you get such lovely ideas?

Thanks for the links to the collection, Julie! First thing I thought of when I saw that draped flowered number was Ceil Chapman and a dress I have that is eerily similar...

Vintage lives! ~Ang

Vintage on the Runway

Not sure if anyone is paying attention, but Micheal Kor's Fall 2008 collection is all about vintage ala Mad Men 1963.
I am in love.
If I had the bod and the money I'd buy the whole collection.
Of course we all know that we can find the look on any number of vintage websites like Damn Good Vintage.
Here are a couple of my favorite looks:
I think you could see Joanie wearing any of these...and why yes that is a leopard print dress going down the runway behind the Ceil look-a-like.
You can see the whole collection here or watch this YouTube video:

Julie/Damn Good Vintage

Don't Laugh, I know it's a long shot!

But......... I would love to find out more about possible background of this dress - it was given to me 6-7 years ago, it's gorgeous, no tags of course, extremely detailed, well put together, heavily beaded, from an estate in Tulsa OK (old oil matron) - anyone have any ideas of how to research possible creation, links, etc:)

Yes, I quite realize this is a long shot, but thought what the hey. There is an underdress (see above), beaded on bottom. Over the dress is a cover jacket/top, again heavy perhaps silk, but very heavy, with full beads, top, bottom and 3/4" sleeves are beaded (metal zipper up side). All beads are attached and accounted for, unusual I know! I'm assuming it's a late 50's, it's really beautiful and I love it. I also love having history to go with my "special" finds:) If at all possible. If anyone has any good ideas on how to proceed researching, please let me know! Thanks!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Have you heard the NEWS?!

Kitsch-y-Cool Vintage is on the MOVE!
With 600 sq ft of Vintage to shop from- we'll be bigger and better than ever!
So come see us in March at our new location: 4450 South Blvd, Charlotte NC.

So now is the BEST time to fill up your Vintage Wardrobe with all sorts of goodies! At 50% off - how can you go wrong??

Yes... 50% off all Kitsch-y-Cool Vintage now thru the end of February.
Only at Kitsch-y-Cool Vintage in Charlotte NC,
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall

Monday, February 4, 2008

Vintage Jewelry Sale @ Penelopepup's

20% off all vintage jewelry sale ends Feb. 29-08
Save 20% on all vintage jewelry at through the month of February! We have a selection of necklaces, pendants and earrings from funky to demure. More items will be added throughout the month!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

FBI Seeks 'Second Hand Bandit'

I know that this is barely vintage clothing related, but I thought it was kind of funny. Not that bank robberies are funny, they are very serious of course. I just thought it was funny that the FBI is identifying him as wearing vintage clothing. I wonder if he shops on ebay?

FBI seeks the 'Second Hand Bandit'
Last Edited: Friday, 01 Feb 2008, 9:15 PM CST
Created: Friday, 01 Feb 2008, 9:13 PM CST

A man dubbed the “Second Hand Bandit” by the FBI is being sought for robbing as many as 21 banks in or around Chicago.

The robberies started in December 2004, and the man believed to be responsible wears vintage clothing while brandishing a handgun and announcing a robbery to bank employees, according to a release from the FBI Friday.

The FBI is now asking the public for help in finding the thrifty thief and are offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading the identification and arrest of the bandit, the release said.

Recently, the thief held up a Citibank branch at 3128 N. Ashland Ave., the release said. The man ordered bank employees to the floor and “removed an undisclosed amount of currency” from teller drawers and the bank vault.

The man has also robbed the a First Commercial Bank branch at 6945 N. Clark St. and a Shore Bank branch at 7555 N. California Ave.

The ‘bandit’ is described as a black male, 30 to 35 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, with a medium to athletic build and black hair and brown eyes, the release said.

He also has worn a fake mustache and goatee during several of the robberies.

Federal authorities believe there may be an accomplice working as a “lookout” for the man, who has also worn construction worker gear or suits during robberies.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

You Can't Save Them can try though.

One of the things I love about buying and selling vintage clothing is being able to take a garment that you think is beyond any hope of saving due to years or neglect and bring it back to life.
Unfortunately there is a flip side to this when something you
have fallen in love with is just beyond saving.
Case in point these two awesome dresses.

They both look wonderful and lovely in these pictures, don't they?
Looks can be deceiving.

You can read the rest of the post here on my blog, it is pretty long and I don't want to take up too much space.

Friday, February 1, 2008

There she is, Miss America...

Catalina Swimwear and the Miss America Pageant

Catalina has proved to be an ever evolving brand over the decades. Founded in 1907 by John C. Bentz as Bentz Knitting Mills, renamed Pacific Knitting Mills (1912), Catalina Knitting Mills (1928), and Catalina, from 1955. In the 1930s and 1940s the company had a symbiotic relationship with Hollywood. Warner Bros. costume designer Orry Kelly and film color consultant and makeup man Perc Westmore designed for Catalina. Starlets and stars like Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, Ronald Reagan, and Marilyn Monroe were photographed in Catalina sportswear for advertising and publicity purposes. Catalina's influence was also intertwined with the Miss America Beauty Pageant.

The Miss America Pageant began in 1921 as a gimmick by Atlantic City businessmen to extend the summer tourist season.Two local Atlantic City, NJ reporters suggested having a newspaper convention, in which editors could increase circulation by holding contests where readers could send in photographs of beautiful girls in bathing suits. The winners of the photographic contests would then compete against each other live in Atlantic City and the winner would be crowned "Miss America".

In the early years of the pageant, a beauty competition of the women wearing bathing suits was the main event, and for a while all contestants had to wear the same suits. Catalina swimwear began sponsorship of the Miss America pageants and this is when we begin to see Catalina swimwear on all contestants.

This picture shows a bevy of beauties from the 1949 Miss America swimsuit line-up. Jacque Mercer (far right) from Arizona, was crowned Miss America 1949. The pageant contestants were able to wear 'off the rack' Catalina swimsuits except that pageant suits had the flying fish logo on both hips instead of one. This is the last year that Catalina pageant swimsuits were seen in the Miss America pageant.

There is no 1950 Miss America winner. Since Miss America reigns for a year following her September victory, and most of that year falls into the next calendar year, in 1950, pageant officials decided to call the winner "Miss America 1951," and have followed this practice ever since.

Yolande Betbeze, Miss America 1951, refused to pose for publicity pictures while wearing a swimsuit, citing that she wanted to be recognized as a serious opera singer. In response to the dispute, Catalina swimwear, one of the Miss America sponsors since the 1940s, withdrew sponsorship of the Miss America Pageant and created the Miss USA/Universe pageants.

This is one of Catalina's 'Miss Universe' ads from 1952.

Who doesn't still hear Bert Parks singing ~ There she is Miss America....