Happy Halloweenie~

Friday, October 31, 2008 0 comments

Vintage Coats on Sale at Couture Allure

I've been having a frustrating battle with my newsletter service, as I sent a newsletter yesterday at 11:30 AM which you all should have received by now. Newsletter service says the emails all went out, facts say no they haven't. I didn't receive mine and not one person has opened this email. Who knows when they'll go out? You'll probably get yours at midnight on Sunday, the 33rd. Bah!

The newsletter offers a sale on vintage coats, so I thought I'd better put that information for you here. From now through Monday, November 3, save 20% off on all coats and furs at Couture Allure. Simply enter coupon code "coat" at checkout. The coupon is only good on coats and does not apply to previous purchases. Go...shop! Click here to see all Couture Allure vintage coats. Or click the pictures to see more details.

Have a Vintage Halloween!

If ever there is a day to wear orange, it's Halloween! This gorgeous suit was shown in the December 1957 issue of a fashion magazine. The magazine calls this color "golden apricot" - um, OK. Orange. The suit is by Handelsman & Raiffe and is trimmed in lynx fur. It was available at Henri Bendel for $185.00 ($1420.00 today) I can't find any references to "Handelsman & Raiffe" anywhere, and the label is unfamiliar to me, but isn't the suit yummy?

My impression of this photo? Love the suit, but the model is way too thin! If you thought super thin, anorexic models were a modern phenomena, think again. This gal is so thin, the back of the skirt is sagging because her non-existent derriere can't fill it out. Perhaps a little trick-or-treating would help!

Have a fun vintage Halloween, watch out for ghosts and goblins, and play safe!

Doing Housework in a Dress

Thursday, October 30, 2008 0 comments
In these ads from the October 1959 issue of Ladies Home Journal, one would think women dressed up to do the cleaning, cooking, and laundry. Somehow, I don't think life was as pretty as these advertisers (men) would have us think. I can remember my mom wearing pants and blouses during the day, but always changing into something pretty before dad got home from the office. And she would usually pop on a shirtwaist when going out to run errands, at least when I was younger. But wearing a dress while vacuuming or scrubbing the bathroom? I don't think so.

Thank goodness for jeans and sweats!

And microwaves!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008 0 comments
not doing much of anything lately--- but I'm feeling like I want to change everything in site! Soooooooo I've started small.... I've made a new kitchen table cloth (excuse the clear plastic on top, I've got 4 indoor cats that think they own the joint) Also, matching chair covers. I LOVE this fabric, yards & yards of it for only 9 buckeroos! Super easy to make.... and it gives the place a whole new look :-)

I think I'll now go start to work on my Christmas cards~

All Clear~

I had my diagnostic mammogram done yesterday... I am happy to say it was all clear! The doctor reported that he didn't get a good enough lookie-lou of my left breast, there was an area he wanted to see a closer view of....so they took 3 more "views" The first one was easy-peasy.... bring it on sis'ta! The second x-ray, I SWEAR she squeezed my lung on that one! The third, now I'm not joking--- I SWEAR she was squeezing my heart on that one!!! (Today I am bruised but happy lol) The doctor viewed them right on the spot-- nothing like thinking your going to be given bad news to make one feel sick to their stomach now is there.... then the tech came in and said...."All clear".....What? Whats that? really? Whew. Lesson to be learned in all of this??? Do not skip your yearly mammograms girls, I skipped 3 years!! Gasp... I am such a dope! I could have killed myself! geeze, now I need some ice cream to make myself feel better LOL

Vintage Designer Puzzle - Who is Rappi?

During my years as a seller of vintage clothing, I've run into this label a few times, but I can never find any information about this designer or design house. All of the garments I've had by Rappi have been from the 50's and 60's, and all but one were cocktail or evening dresses.

So, I'm sending out a plea to the vintage community. If anyone knows anything about Rappi, please comment here or contact me through the website.

UPDATE: You'll find some great information about Rappi in the comments. This photo of her comes from a vintage sewing pattern.

Henry Rosenfeld - Designer for the Budget Minded

Henry Rosenfeld started his career as a shipping clerk in Manhattan's garment district. He worked his way up the ladder at Bedford Dress, Inc. before striking out on his own in 1942.

The war years were a difficult time for the garment industry due to government restrictions on fabrics and designs. Rosenfeld had contracted to buy fabrics for his line just before the OPA (Office of Price Administration) was preparing to set ceiling prices on fabrics to control inflation and help the war effort. Many garment manufacturers cancelled contracts to purchase fabrics in order to take advantage of the new, lower prices. But Rosenfeld was smart. He honored all of his contracts at the agreed-upon prices that were set before the ceilings went into effect. In later years, when fabric shortages affected the industry, grateful fabric manufacturers gave Rosenfeld first choice.


Elizabeth Hilt was the designer for Henry Rosenfeld, which was a budget label, with dresses ranging from $10.95 - $19.95 in 1946 ($121 - $221 today). Yet the dresses were well cut and simply tailored, which gave them an expensive look. In 1945, Rosenfeld grossed $8,000,000 on sales of 2,000,000 dresses to 12,000 stores.

One of those stores was Lord & Taylor, which featured a Henry Rosenfeld dress in this ad for Glamour magazine in November 1949. This dress was sold in Lord & Taylor's Budget Shops for $17.95 ($163 today). Fashioned of rayon lamé in silver, gold, or gun-metal grey, it has a velvet sash at the waist.

Thank you to Rosenfeld's nephew for pointing out these photos that were featured in a Life magazine article about the designer and his company in 1951.

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Party Dresses

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 0 comments
Just listed at Couture Allure - some great vintage party dresses! Click on the pictures for details!

Christie's London 20th Century Fashion Auction

Christie's London will present an auction of 20th Century fashion from a private collector on Thursday, October 30. Even if you can't bid, you should try to attend the preview currently open and ending on the 29th. This will be an opportunity to see fashions from such important designers as Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, Andre Courreges, Rudi Gernreich, Ossie Clark, Vivienne Westwood, Azzedine Alaia, Gianni Versace, and others. You can see the entire auction catalog at Christie's website.

1960's Paco Rabanne leather and aluminum wedding dress:

1960's Yves St. Laurent evening gown:

1960's Pierre Cardin "Satellite" Cape:

1988 Stephen Sprouse dress after Keith Haring:

1987 Jean Paul Gaultier evening gown:

1970's Ossie Clark dress with Celia Birtwell print:

Anyone up for a quick trip to London?

Vintage Vogue Pattern 196 - 4 More Looks


Here are the other 4 looks produced from Vogue Design 196 as shown in the October 1959 issue of Ladies Home Journal magazine. I showed you look number 1 yesterday. Look number 2 is made in grey wool flannel. The pleated dress is matched with the boxy jacket for a suit look. The belt makes all the difference with this look. Big mother-of-pearl buttons are matched to bound buttonholes and the pleats on the skirt are pressed to a sharp crease. I love the addition of the yellow gloves and hat. They perk the grey right up.

Another suit look, this time in violet tweed, with the slim sheath dress matched to the fitted jacket. I don't know where the magazine found a mouton fur collar tinted to match the fabric, and I doubt you could today. But, you could remove a fur collar from a vintage coat or suit, take it to your fabric store, and match your fabric to it. The magazine also suggests this dress can be worn for evening without the jacket and by adding sparkly jewelry. Hat by Mr. John.

Look 4 includes the slim dress in red wool jersey matched with the boxy jacket worked in faux Persian lamb. To pull this off, you'd have to make this from a high quality faux fur - not the cheap stuff that is used to make stuffed animals available at your local big chain fabric store. Donna Salyer's Fabulous Furs sells the most incredible faux fur fabrics that look and feel like the real thing. Expensive, but worth every penny if you don't want to wear real fur. The jacket shown requires 1 3/4 yds in a With Nap layout.

Finally, look 5 consists of the slim dress worked in gold silk brocade. A beautiful fabric cut with the utmost simplicity is always in fashion. How did she make a belt to match? You can buy belting that you cover with your fabric, both online and at your local fabric store. Add a buckle and you're done! I love the idea of wearing a large rhinestone brooch on the belt, but to the side of the buckle.


Bloggy giveaway!

Monday, October 27, 2008 0 comments
Here is my contribution to the Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival... If your name is drawn on my blog as the winner of my "bloggy give away" you will be receiving this little fairy thats made a snow ball her little home. Glitter & vintage flowers adorn her home-sweet-home... while she sits inside atop a thrown of glittery snow with found rhinestones and pearls which lay at her feet. She has been fluttering around my studio picking up odds & ends to furnish her quaint abode.... she is very victorian in her thinking of "More is better" A true girlie-girl!

Here is the opening with the fairy sitting inside-- reminds me of those sugar eggs at Easter time~
Here is a closer look at the top of the snowball...... Please leave a comment with a link to your blog or an e-mail address if you'd like to be entered into my drawing to have a chance at winning this little fairy.

If you want to check out more blog "giveaways" please click here ---> Bloggy Give Aways Coolio huh? One site that lists zillions of giveaways!

If your interested in viewing more of my blog you can click "here" I just posted two yummy pumpkin cookie recipes that are a "must try" for the upcoming holidays!!! Soooooo simple and soooooooo good!

Vintage Vogue Pattern 196

The October 1959 issue of Ladies Home Journal magazine did a feature about 5 different outfits you could make from one pattern, namely Vogue Design No. 196. This pattern features two dresses, one with a straight skirt and one with a pleated skirt. It also features 3 different jackets. There are an infinite number of ways you could combine these pieces, and the magazine shows 5.

The first version uses the pleated dress and the short bolero jacket. The dress is made of plaid wool and the jacket of blue velveteen with brass buttons. The outfit is worn with a wide belt, a brooch pinned near the waist of the jacket, a navy hat and white gloves. And yes, that is Jane Fonda, who was also featured on the cover of this magazine, which I showed on Saturday. She does not receive credit by name anywhere in the magazine, but you can't mistake those eyes!

Fonda was 21 when these photos were taken. She had a very brief career as a model while studying acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. It is reported that she used the money from modeling to pay for those acting lessons. She was featured on the cover of Vogue magazine twice. By 1960, Fonda had moved on to start her acting career in the film Tall Story.

More from Vogue pattern 196 tomorrow!

Pity Party~

Sunday, October 26, 2008 0 comments
Sooooo while I'm throwing myself a pity party due to the fact I got a notice from my doctor that my mammogram showed "findings that need further evaluation" (next appointment Tuesday-- gulp) I thought OMG, whats a party without cookies? No party I'd ever attend I'll tell you that! LOL
So, I made two different kinds of cookies with recipes I found while surfing blogs~ Who knows which blogs I've taken them from... I am sooooooo like that! Anywho, here are the recipes if you'd like them :-)

This was the BEST pumpkin cookie recipe out of the two. (I didn't like the glaze so I only put it on some cookies) They tasted like little bites of pumpkin pie-- yUmMy!! I am not a big fan of "drop cookies"....I like things uniform-- even my cookies, but hey, these are sooooooooo good, I'll eat them even if they look like little blobs :-) I tried flattening them out with a glass dipped in sugar... they didn't taste as good! Anywho-- here are the recipes!

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze
1 c. pumpkin
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 1/4 c. flour
Preheat oven to 350. Mix wet ingredients together until well blended. In a separate bowl combine the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour and then add to the wet ingredients. With a small ice cream scoop, drop onto cookie sheet and bake for 13-14 minutes.
For the Cinnamon Glaze, use about 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 1 Tbs. softened butter, and milk until it has a nice smooth consistency. After it is thoroughly combined I stir in a pinch or two of cinnamon. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies and Enjoy!

This recipe below was just as easy to make as the first, but it comes in at second place in my book. The first one is THAT good!

Pumpkin-chip cookies~
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup of softened butter
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg until well blended. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until well blended. Beat in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture. Once all ingredients are well-mixed, add the chocolate chips.Place spoonfuls on greased baking sheets. Bake approximately 12 minutes or until edges are firm. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then place on a wire rack and cool completely. Recipe makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

Weekend Eye Candy - And a Quiz

Saturday, October 25, 2008 0 comments
Do you recognize this model on the cover of the October 1959 issue of Ladies Home Journal? Answer on Monday!

Vintage Cocktail Dress - One Last Illusion

Friday, October 24, 2008 0 comments
We just have a peek of a dress in this 1949 ad for Coro Pearls, but what a peek it is! The dress, by Martini, has an off-the-shoulder neckline that reveals a glimpse of an attached red bustier that accents the decolletage. This gives the illusion that madame's racy red undergarments are showing, but it is part of the dress. I love the addition of the red hat. Just another way to entice without revealing too much.

Daisy Loom blanket~

Thursday, October 23, 2008 0 comments
I finished up the little daisy loom baby blanket for one of my daughters girlfriends who is expecting a baby girl.... this one is for little Emily~ Her momma wanted everything to be brown & pink--- so I hope she loves this :-)I really like using this pattern, its one that I can work on mindlessly as I watch t.v. :-P The little daisy loom flowers are fun to make but not so fun to attach to the blanket lol

Vintage Cocktail Dress with a Jacket

Here's another way to make an impression. This dress looks rather covered up for evening. But presto, chango:

Take off the jacket and you've got a strapless bombshell of a dress. Interesting how the buttons on the jacket match the buttons on the dress, so you have the illusion (there's that word again!) of one piece, when it is actually two.

This dress by Saks Fifth Avenue is from 1949. The ad states:

"Sheila Lynn's beautiful change-of-costume. Jacket on at the restaurant table, nude shoulders when the music begins."

Now if we only had a fancy restaurant around here that had dancing after dinner, I'd be all set. Love those strappy shoes!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008 0 comments
October is not only a month with the scarey event of Halloween...but it is also Breast cancer awareness month. Coincidence? I don't think so! Yesterday I had my yearly mammogram-- this morning I get a phone call from the imaging center telling me they want some more x-rays.... Gulp.... spooky stuff!

Vintage Cocktail Dress - More Lace

Ooh la la, another use of Chantilly lace - this one from 1949 by Henri Bendel Young-Timers. The photo is in soft focus, so you may have difficulty making it out, but the dress is fashioned from black taffeta with the lace covering the bodice and forming the sheer cap sleeves. The scallops at the edge of the lace extend beyond the taffeta for an alluring neckline.

The dress was originally sold in brown, red, navy, and black and retailed for $69.95 (that's $634.00 today!). The model wears a black velvet bandeaux hat and a rhinestone bracelet. She carries a tiny clutch purse. This ad appeared in the November 1949 issue of Glamour magazine.

In other news, you may not know this about me, but I volunteer at the MSPCA dog shelter in Boston. Meet Lucky and Calvin.

Lucky the Chihuahua and Calvin the Cairn Terrier were surrendered to the shelter because their owners could no longer care for them. The two dogs have always been together and the shelter would like to place them together in a new home. I worked with these boys yesterday, and they are sweet as can be. If you are in the Boston area and are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact me or the Boston MSPCA.