All posts tagged: 1920s

Rate the Dress: a Vionnet harlequin in green velvet

Last week’s Rate the Dress started out as a mystery, as I couldn’t locate the collection it came from.  A number of you succeeded in doing so, but Daniel wins the google-fu award of the week for finding it first. Things almost everyone liked about last week’s dress: The colour.  The seamstresses’ cleverness and frugality in recycling the fabric. Things that got mixed reviews: how the original mixed patterning of the fabric, and the way it was used in the alteration, interacted.  The padded, three dimensional trim, and the hem cord. Things that almost nobody was impressed by: the fat, unbalanced trim over the bust. The result?  A very respectable 8 out of 10.  Yay for historical recycling! This week we’re going from bright blue to grass green, with an early 1920s Vionnet dress formed from diamonds in silk velvet, evoking a medieval harlequin. What do you think of this dress?  Elegant and playful, or just silly? Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A 1920s dress kit

A 1920s dress kit

Last week Mr D & I went down to Nelson to celebrate Thanksgiving with his parents (who have adopted it since I moved to NZ, to help me feel at home, because it’s my favourite holiday, and because they are lovely). It’s always wonderful to go down to Nelson, but it was particularly good to get away after the upset in Wellington after the earthquakes.  Ironically, we were going closer to the epicenter, but Nelson has had much less damage than Wellington (they say 11% of the city centre is shut down).  Being there felt like escaping, and just helped reset my equilibrium. My wonderful mother-in-law helped with the escape feel by taking my antique shopping – where I promptly found the most exciting thing I’ve ever found at an op-shop. I was digging through a chest of fabric (nothing interesting) when I noticed something that looked a bit like a fashion plate in a cabinet next to me. Curious, I pulled it out.  It was a pretty 1920s dress, with some odd notes.  And then I …

Fashion Notes from Paris, the Girls Own Annual, 1928,

Fashion Notes from Paris, 1928

I collect Girls Own Annuals, and recently added a delicious 1928 edition to my collection. It came complete with monthly fashion notes – wherein the latest from Paris is described and adapted for daily wear, and little tips on re-making and using bits and bobs are given. This one in particular caught my eye, first, for the fascinating description of hairpieces, and second, for a great example of 1920s historicism: ‘A Poke Bonnet lined with a lace cap, a la the 18th century’.  The Historicism challenge for the Historical Sew Monthly is gone, but I still love historicism! The ideas for using ribbon remnants and bits of fur are a great illustration of how those without Parisian budgets could stay in the mode. I can’t decide if I want the bonnet, the evening frock with fabulous hip drapery, or the amazing pieced blouse most!  Which is your favourite?