Friday, March 28, 2014

San Diego in Kelly Green at ConDor


Kelly green. Not a color I would wear except as a retro look. But I really love this dress. I requires ironing or I woudl travel with an wear it more often.


But I do love this dress. I think it is so flattering. I suspect it of being a bridesmaid's dress, lucky bridesmaid.

By Jerry Abuan cia FB

 By Jerry Abuan


I paired it with a vintage faux gold broach and earring set that has a steampunk feel, and cream accessories.

Here's a bit of a retrospective on kelly green...

For Lord Akeldama:
1810 Vest  1810s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 For Mrs. Loontwill:
1872  The Victoria & Albert Museum
 For Primrose:
1902 Virot, 1902-1903  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
 On Gail's wish list:
1940s  1stdibs.com

 1944 Swimsuit and Skirt  Cole of California, 1944  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

1953 Sunny Harnett for the Simplicity Spring Pattern Book

1955 Hubert de Givenchy, 1955  The Victoria & Albert Museum
The last time I wore the kelly green dress at WorldCon:



Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Then & Now ~ Black Lace V Neck Gown


Then


Ball Gown  La Religieuse, 1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Now


via artschoolglasses tumblrMonique Lhuillier, Pre-Fall 2013
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 2 Matched


After a brief break for New York outfits I return, Fashionable Reader, to my previous series on belts. Having covered the decorative belt, now we are on to the matched belt.

Dovima for Lady Manhattan, 1957 via myvintagevogue tumblr

 Several of the dresses in my personal collection came with matched belts, although it's not necessarily something I look for in a vintage dress it does increase the value (and cost) if the dress has its original belt.

 Matched & decorative with the black 1930s maxi; plain buckle belt with a blue pattern dress

 Matched bow belt for the flowered browns, one of the reasons I bought this dress; and a tie belt for the knitted navy which I never use with the dress

 Tiny bow belt for the green (no picture available) and a matched buckle belt for the red dot, belt falling apart

Many of the matched belts I never wear because they are too delicate, or not wide enough for my taste. Sometimes I want to use a contrasting color belt to tie together my accessories. (The exception being the black maxi and the brown flowered above. For some reason I love those belts and always use them.)

Coordinating cream accessories requires the contrasting belt

So, without further ado, here is a retrospective on the matched belt in fashion...

1820  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1840  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Sophronia's older sister to wear, before the Finishing School books:

1850  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Agatha after the Finishing School series:

1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Countess Nadasdy in the Parasol Protectorate series:

1870-1875  Afternoon Dress  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Ivy after the Parasol Protectorate series:

1885 Ensemble  1885-1888  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Prudence and Primrose in the Custard Protocol series:

 1897 Visiting Dress  1897-1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1898  Augusta Auctions

 1897-1898 Walking Suit The Metropolitan Museum of Ar; 1900-1905 Evening Dress  Jacques Doucet, Les Arts Décoratifs

The turn of the century and beyond...

1903 Jeanne Paquin, 1903  The Kyoto Costume Institute

 1905 Summer Day Dress  The Victoria & Albert Museum; 1905-1906 Evening Dress Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arketektur og Design

 1910  Kerry Taylor Auctions; 1910s  The Goldstein Museum of Design

 1913 Evening Dress  1913-1914  Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arketektur, og Design; 1915  Antique Dress

1937 Evening Dress  Coco Chanel,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 1950 Hawaian Day Dress; Ensemble  Christian Dior, 1952  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

1954 Model wearing ‘Haiti’, a cocktail dress by Dior. Photo by Mark Shaw. via theniftyfifties tumblr
1960s  Whitaker Auctions
1970 Halston, 1970s  1stdibs.com; Yuki, 1987  Kerry Taylor Auctions

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Big Pink Moving Blanket Coat of Doom


When the AB and I were first together, Fashionable Reader, we went shopping on Haight Street. I find this is a good test of any relationship. Because, frankly, I can out shop almost everyone I know, with few exceptions, and it requires serious stamina to even keep up. The AB proved up to the task, if not entirely happy about the unexpected marathon. I walked away from that epic jaunt with two new jackets, one of them The Big Pink Moving Blanket of Doom. I can't remember the details but I suspect I paid something around $200 for it.


Early on in our relationship, as it was, the AB was circumspect with opinions. Eventually, however, the AB dubbed this the Great Pink Moving Blanket of Doom. And frankly, it does seem a bit like a moving blanket, what with the wide grosgrain trim. I love this jacket. Love it!


Of course, living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I rarely get an opportunity to wear it. But it came with me to Edmonton in November and than recently to New York during a Polar Vortex and earned its space in my closet. The zipper is not a YKK and gives me trouble on occasion, I've had it fixed 2x already, and will probably have to replace it entirely. And, of course, it's a horribly impractical color, but I do love it so.


It's a high-low hem cut with a cross over zipper that fit over the Rack. Its almost drop-waist look is made less frumpy by being basically form fitting, which also keeps it from looking as bulky as most large winter coats would on a curvy figure.

1950 Pink Wrap Coat

The sleeves on my pink coat fit perfectly, and are long and slender. Although sometimes I wish I had a bit more room to layer sweaters under, I find that this coat and a cashmere sweater can take me, at least for the space of an hour minute walk, into well bellow freezing. I do think, in the end, it was worth investing in a quality coat that stands out. Let me just say, in NY (land of black) and Edmonton (land of puffy) this jacket stands out!


Despite the unique cut I think of this pink coat as a maxi coat, and here's a bit of a retrospective on the breed. I'm thinking in terms of both high low, pink, and maxi coats.

For Lord Akeldama a cut away or swallow tale jacket (the original high-low?):


1790s  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The early 1800s we see the pelisse...


1820 Pelisse  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Dimity after the Finishing School series...


1863-1867 Skating Ensemble The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Lady Kingair after the Parasol Protectorate series...


1885  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Ivy after the Parasol Protectorate series...


1885 Dressing Gown  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Note the steampunk style and the influence from the earlier pelisse?

For Prudence, Primrose, and company in the Custard Protocol series...



 1890 Worth coat; 1891; 1898  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Custard girls are very brand loyal to House of Worth. 

The turn of the century and beyond...


 1900 Evening Coat  Jean-Philippe Worth  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1900s  Antique Dress

1902 Evening Coat  ean-Philippe Worth,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1934 Dressing Gown  The Meadow Brook Hall Historic Costume Collection

1949 Evening Coat  Charles James,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(I actually have one similar to the one above, only in deep royal blue, and slightly more robe like. For some reason I always forget to wear it.)

1955 Coat  Valentina  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 1968  Shannon Rogers,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art (BEST COAT EVER!); 1968 Wedding Coatdress The Victoria & Albert Museum

1980 Arnold Scaasi,  Augusta Auctions
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.