Saturday, December 29, 2012

Flair, 1969

Flair's special issue for Summer 1969 reports on the latest Paris designs - like this hippy-inspired outfit in "yellow brocade embroidered with gold".  However...

...the women who originally read this magazine were probably more likely to wear clothes like this - or garments featured in any other advertisement in its pages.  The late 1960s was one of those eras when the gap between the fashions on the catwalks and the fashions in the streets and shops became a chasm.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spiegel catalog, Spring and Summer 1951

I've just remembered I own this blog and got up the energy to post something to it.  Here we have summer dresses from Spiegel in (from top) silk, rayon and silk organdie.  I wish I had the rayon one on the bottom left!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simplicity Fashion News, 1970

Fresh from eBay - eight issues of Simplicity Fashion News from 1970.  These were little pamphlets produced by Simplicity patterns and given away at fabric stores to promote the manufacturer's designs.   Taken together they give a fairly good idea of what was In at the beginning of the seventies.

In January - a mini-skirt worn by a model with big sixties hair.  

February - a midi-length skirt.  The beige and brown colours of this outfit are very seventies, but the new skirt length didn't really take - in spite of designers' attempts to promote it - at least not in 1970.  Women thought the look was "ageing" and preferred minis and pants.

Back to the mini - this time with a fringed shawl (a very early seventies touch) for May.  So was the brightly patterned fabric this pattern is made up in.

June brings his n' hers "beach togs" made up in terrycloth.

July's cover features another classic mini - though it's only fair to add that some midi-length fashions were featured inside.

August tries to have a bet each way, with a mini, a midi and a combined mini-skirt with midi-length vest all featured on the cover.  Is it just me, or does the vest on the model on the right resemble a tablecloth?

October's cover features a vest in an animal-print fabric worn over a turtleneck with trousers.  Though there are a lot of patterns for pants (mostly in pants-tunic combinations) in these pamphlets, this is the only time they are pictured on the cover.

And lastly, for December - a dress to wear to parties.  Would people think me too weird if I say I rather like this design?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Woman and Beauty, May 1948

More spring hat silliness, once again from Woman and Beauty.  Clothes were still being rationed in Britain in 1948 when this cover was published, so a frivolous (unrationed) hat would have been one of the few ways of brightening up a shabby spring outfit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Woman and Beauty, April 1954

Spring is here! (Though sometimes winter comes back and elbows it aside.)  Never mind - it's still a cause for celebration.  And what better way to do that than with a new spring hat?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vanity Fair, September 1962

September is here, and what better way to mark it than by posting this scan of a magazine that was published exactly fifty years ago?  This is one of a number of issues of Vanity Fair I acquired recently thanks to a friend of the sister of a friend of mine who found a bundle of magazines stashed in her roof space.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photograph, ca. 1870

... And this carte de visite photograph, taken by Francis Guy of Cork around the same time Peterson's published the fashion plate I posted yesterday, show the fashions translated into clothes Miss or Mrs Average would wear.  As you can see they're somewhat less than elegant, though the lack of colour in this photograph may have robbed the garments of some of their original charm.  I wonder what shade they originally were?  Bright purple was popular in the early 1870s, a colour made recently available to all by the invention of the first artificial aniline dyes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Peterson's Magazine, June 1870

This magazine spent over a month wandering around in the postal system after I bought it on eBay!  However it made its way to me at last - and included the delightful plate I've scanned here.  It depicts a selection of fashions from the early 1870s, the main features of which are high waistlines, bulky skirts supported at the rear by bustles and an abundance of frills.  All in all  dresses in this plate look rather overwhelming, and the women of the era who wore these fashions must have looked more like bundles of material than actual human beings!  Sleeker and more sinuous outfits became fashionable later in the decade.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Postcard, 1908

The subject of this real picture postcard has inscribed and dated it - "With best love, Ettie, 11/10/08" and has added on the back:

Hope this will remind you sometimes of your old chum, Ettie.

I don't know who she was addressing, but whoever they were they must have been important to Ettie as she has got rigged out in all her finery for the picture she sent them!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Postcard, ca. 1907

I found this little gem in a box labelled "Glamour", and it is clearly a publicity photo of an actress or some other kind of performer.  Unfortunately her name doesn't appear on the postcard so I can't identify her.  However she makes a pretty picture in her elaborate Edwardian evening dress, and the postmark on the postcard dates it to around 1907.  (This "Carte Postale" was originally published in France and the message on the back is written in French.  I wonder how it wound up in a bookshop in Melbourne?)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Bisy Backson" (Pilochtry Knitwear, Spring 1982)

If I've been missing in action the past few weeks it's because I've been travelling - and managing to pick up a pile of early 60s fashion magazines and some Victorian and Edwardian photographs and postcards along the way. I have to sort them out and scan them before I can post them to this blog, so meanwhile ... here's a little something I found among the craft books in a charity shop today:

This little catalogue was produced by a Scottish mail-order knitwear firm in 1982 and shows some fashionably conservative clothes from the period.  Note, once again, the pie-crust frills on the shirts worn by the models in the top picture!  The pleated skirts were also very true to the era - in fact I can remember owning something like them myself!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lana Lobell Fashion Magazine, Spring 1977

Beware - there be lots and lots of polyester between the covers of this catalogue!

Actually, I quite like the outfit displayed on the cover of this little booklet.   It's made of acrylic knit rather than polyester, and perhaps would have been considered a little old-fashioned and conservative in its day.  Ironically, this is why I find it pleasing, as a lot of the more fashionable women's wear of 1977 seems to me to resemble nothing so much as sacks with drawstrings around the waist!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Style Pattern Book, Autumn-Winter 1982

Look!  It's a model wearing a pie-crust frill collar.  It must be the early eighties!  This particular form of neck-wear was a favourite of the young Princess Diana and it quickly made its way into the shops and onto the streets.

Later in the decade the fashions would become less romantic and more assertive - and shoulder pads would grow, grow, grow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Koch & Co. Fashion Catalog, Fall and Winter 1892-3

It was cold day in Canberra today, with icy winds blowing down from the mountains.  Thus it was distinctly cheering to find the latest addition to my collection awaiting me on the doorstep when I got home.  The clothes illustrated in this fashion catalogue from the 1890s look enviably warm, too!  Later pages show a generous selection of coats, cloaks and cosy wrappers for home wear.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950

I should never visit a bookshop (at least with money in my purse) at lunchtime.

Or maybe I should visit them more often, because look what I found today! 

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 is the catalogue of an exhibition held by the Victoria & Albert Museum so it tends to be long on glossy photographs of the exhibits and short on text.  (As an aside, the photographs are gorgeous indeed, and make me envious of those who live within easy travelling distance of the V&A.  Here's hoping this exhibition eventually comes to Australia!)  However the book does contain a couple of essays: "The magic circle: designing the ballgown" by Oriole Cullen and "Ballgowns: the rituals of dressing up" by Sonnett Stanfill as well as an introduction by Magdalene Keaney.

Just one small thing puzzles me about this book.  Flicking through the plates I notice that most of the photographs are of gowns from the mid-1960s onwards.  Surely the golden era of the formal ballgown was in the 1950s!  However, this may reflect the V&A's collections as much as anything else.

The Ballgown: British Glamour Since 1950
London: V&A Publishing, 2012
ISBN 9781851776849

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fashion Service, January 1928

It's now officially winter in Australia!  Time to hunt out those warm, woolly garments.  This outfit, worn by a bright-eyed hiker on the cover of the first issue of Fashion Service for 1928, certainly looks cosy enough. Unfortunately the magazine doesn't offer patterns for the "heavy, hand-knitted sweater" or the "knitted tam and scarf" that accompany her "black kasha flannel skirt".

Friday, May 25, 2012

Le Petit Echo de la Mode, 31 Mars 1935

It's cold, wet and blustery outside.  What I really need is a smart, weatherproof trench-coat - like these French examples from the 1930s!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Butterick Home Catalog, 1971

Next to brown, purple appears to have been the most popular colour of the early 1970s.  It predominates on the covers of at least one third of the pattern catalogues I own from that era.  This example (another one of my acquisitions at "Love Vintage" fashion fair) dates from 1971.

However, purple didn't have quite the staying power of brown.  By the end of 1972 purple appears to have been overthrown and large checks taken its place on the cover of the world's pattern magazines.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Simplicity Pattern Book, Autumn/Winter 1969

I went to the "Love Vintage" fashion fair yesterday, where I picked up a big bundle of late '60s-early '70s sewing pattern magazines.  The example I've posted above is from 1969, but it looks boldly ahead to the 1970s with the model wearing a pants suit in brown - that most typically 70s colour!

If I hadn't broken the bank buying magazines at the fashion fair I could have had myself decked out from head to foot in vintage styles from any dates between the 1920s to the 1980s.  There was a stall specialising in hats - and a stall which offered to do people's hair 1940s style.  There were people selling  vintage stockings and corsets and jewelry.  Instead, after gawking at all the fair had to offer, I found myself watching a jitterbugging exhibition.  It's strange to think how an era which produced so much misery could also have generated so much nostalgia!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vogue Pattern Book, 1952

The theme of the Vogue Pattern Book for August-September 1952 was "Summer into Autumn", and a seasonable dress in tan and brown tweed illustrates this idea on the cover.

Ironically the sticker on the bottom left hand corner of cover indicates that this particular magazine was for sale in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand - all in the Southern Hemisphere, and all about to experience the transition from Winter into Spring!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Philipsborn, Fall-Winter 1909

... And with more rainclouds looming, it seems appropriate to go back to the beginning of last century and post some pictures of raincoats.  These utilitarian garments are smartly designed, though I suspect they wouldn't have looked quite so elegant in real life.  As for the hats the models are wearing - oh dear!   They appear most impractical as rain wear.  Can you imagine what would happen to those feathers in a downpour?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lana Lobell, Fall 1967

Once more on the theme of autumn: this simple knit dress from 1967.  It looks like it would have been perfect for those in-between fall days!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Myer Festival of Fashion, 1978

Autumn has officially started in Australia, and outside my window it is wet and miserable with rain, rain and more rain forecast for the weekend.  To cheer myself up I've decided to post a scan of this catalogue cover full of warm Earth tones from Autumn 1978.    It was originally published by Myer - an Australian department store - as a supplement to the Adelaide Advertiser of February the 27th, 1978.   Locals can probably spot that it was shot on location at the Adelaide Festival Centre!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Harper's Bazaar, November 1947

This roomy winter coat adorns the cover of the British edition of Harper's Bazaar, but as the country was still very much in the grip of clothes rationing it is doubtful that many women were able to afford a garment like this.  Life must have been difficult for glossy publications like Harper's Bazaar during the forties: devoted to fashion, frivolity and conspicuous consumption they found themselves in a world very short of all these commodities.  Still, their readership could always dream.   This issue contained lots of fashions in the style of Dior's New Look - glamorous and not-quite obtainable!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Golden Hands, July 1975

Oh, what typically '70s trousers! High-waisted and tight at the top, they flare out until they almost cover the wearer's feet at the bottom.  They are worn with a blouse with a pussy-cat bow - a style that remained a conservative staple for work or daytime formal wear through the 1980s.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flair, 1956

And here we have the Australian version of Flair. This issue celebrates the Melbourne Olympics of 1956.   By all accounts it was a simpler time: the opening ceremony was less a spectacular than an actual ceremony, and it was much easier to get in to see the events!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elegance, August 1967

Elegance was the title given to the Australian and New Zealand edition of Flair, which was published in London.  This should not be confused with Flair which was published in Sydney - no doubt why the London Flair was called Elegance in Australia!

Whatever.   It certainly doesn't stop the models on the cover being very mod and up to the minute - and while they aren't exactly "elegant" they certainly epitomise Swinging London!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Delineator, May 1933

This pretty outfit was drawn by Dynevor Rhys and designed for the Delineator by Goupy, "a Paris house that specialize[d] in garden party frocks".   The dress was "made in pink organza (silk organdy) with a belt of black velvet ribbon" and the hat was made from "fine Italian straw".

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Celanese, 1960

These leaflets were included in an insert in the Summer 1960 issue of McCall's Pattern Fashions.  They were intended to advertise the latest "Celanese" materials available to home dressmakers - as made up in McCall's patterns.  The evening dress above is made in "leaf-printed satin of pure Celanese acetate", while the suit below is made of "Fabrex flannel of Arnel tricatetate and rayon".

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Butterick Pattern Book, Summer 1954

These ladies are the picture of '50s domesticity in their summer cottons.  The photographer has even posed them behind a white picket fence!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Australian Home Journal, February 1942

Included in this issue of The Australian Home Journal were patterns for three "frocks" (including one shirtwaist, a fashionable mid-century standby).  Clothes rationing had yet to be introduced in Australia, and the dresses are cut on noticeably more generous lines cut than they would be a couple of years later in the war.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

National Suit & Cloak Company, Summer 1912

Goodbye 2011!  And Hullo, 2012.  In honour of the New Year, I'm posting a page from the National Suit & Cloak Co.'s summer 1912 catalogue.  All the suits you see pictured above were made-to-measure, and cost the buyer from $13.50 for the cheapest suit in the cheapest material, up to $31.50 for the most expensive suit made in black satin!