All posts tagged: 1950s

Rate the Dress: Adrian does daily life

Last week I showed you Emily Warren Roebling in her court gown – as a painting, a photograph, and the extent gown.  Most of you appreciated being able to compare all possible versions of the dress, though that actually ended up dragging ratings down a bit, as each version showed you something you wished wasn’t so obvious in another.  It also made things a little hard for me, as some of you rated each different version, and I had to figure out what rating to take.  Overall, Emily came it at 8.9 out of 10, with kudos for balancing event appropriate fashions, her age, and the wacky factor of court dress. This week we’re toning down the formality, and cranking up the unconventional factor.  Gilbert Adrian was primarily a costume designer, responsible for some of the most iconic costumes of the ’30s & ’40s, and for creating the classic broad-shouldered, slim-hipped ‘Adrian line’ silhouette.  In addition to film costumes, Adrian designed ready to wear garments, though they often had a slightly theatrical twist, as with this dress: Without …

Rate the Dress: ’50s nautical Norell dress-off

Last week I posted an 1860s seaside frock in one of my (many) favourite colour combinations: white, yellow and aqua.  Alas, the colours, combined with the waistless bodice (so characteristic of 1860s outerwear, but so anathemic to modern aesthetics) elaborate scallops, and long tails with pom-poms had you calling ‘circus marquee’.  The circus left town with a disappointing 5.8 out of 10. Intriguingly, of all the votes, only one of you gave it a x.5 score  – I guess you all had solid feelings about it! Today’s Rate the Dress has a twist.  I’m not just showing you a dress to rate: I’m showing you two dresses with the same theme, by the same designer, but with quite different silhouettes, for a Rate the Dress-Off. You’ll rate both dresses, and we’ll see how the overall look comes off, plus which dress you prefer. First, a sleek shift dress, with Norell’s classic sailor collar, red silk tie, halter back and blue trim: Then a full skirted sun-frock, with exactly the same bodice, but a gathered dirndle skirt …

My vintage menswear patterns

Mr Dreamy can rarely be convinced to wear vintage styles, but I still like collecting vintage mens patterns, partly because they are useful for clients, partly because I want to teach classes on vintage menswear, and partly out of a hope that someday he will convert and become as enamored of vintage fashions as I am. A lot of my vintage men’s patterns are from the 1970s, because the 70s was a great period for men’s patterns – incredibly well written and drafted, and easy to alter to other periods.  I do have some earlier patterns though, so I’ll focus on those today. Like Butterick 3999, the only menwear pattern that I inherited from my Grandma.  I can just imagine Grandpa wearing this shirt.  I don’t think he played golf though. Academy 2174 is the (slightly earlier, or well behind the times) New Zealand version of the sports shirt.  I love how dapper the men are, in a sort of really ugly Clark Gable way. Keeping things casual is Weigel’s 1590, with beach shorts, summer …