All Barbie's Fault — Vintage Fashion

Queen Victoria's Foundations

Posted by Bella Coeur on

Queen Victoria's Foundations

A friend passed along a link to this exhibit of a recently acquired set of Queen Victoria’s underpinnings and it got me to thinking ….  (look out, she’s gonna rant!  LOL)

Everyone is familiar with photos and portraits of Queen Victoria which are mostly from her more mature years.  She wasn’t no skinny mini!  As the article above points out, even beginning with a 20-inch waist in her youth, the birth of 9 kids will take its toll on a body.  I’d venture to guess that a royal lifestyle that includes an abundance of food probably would tend to put a few extra pounds on a girl.  All she’d be required to do is ring a bell and a servant could be sent with any sort of treat a queen could desire!  If I had that luxury, I’m certain I would be MUCH larger than Victoria’s 56-inch waist indicates!

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What’s in a name: Housecoat, House Dress, Dressing Robe, or Bathrobe?

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What’s in a name:  Housecoat, House Dress, Dressing Robe, or Bathrobe?

My latest “whatzit” is a delightful late 1930s / early 1940s house dress.  To be honest, when I first laid eyes on it I thought it was just Depression era cotton fabric yardage.  That is, until I discovered the metal zipper down the front that led from the bodice with the poufy sleeves and scoop neckline to the billowing bias cut full-length skirt.

To say I was stymied, is an understatement.  To my modern eyes and modern mindset, this looks to me to be almost an evening gown.  But in cotton calico?  With a metal zipper at center front?  And it’s so simply constructed that it could easily have been homemade except for the size tag and the manufacturer’s label – Modely.

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Fascination with Nelly Don Dresses

Posted by Bella Coeur on

Fascination with Nelly Don Dresses

A dress inspired me this morning.  Isn’t that fabulous?  I always do a little extra research for my descriptions whenever there is a label or an interesting feature or history.  I’ve had other Nelly Don dresses, but this one just has that Pitty-Pat Factor.  I love it.  I would wear it in a second, but it will take longer than a second to return to my pre-marital, pre-motherhood weight and shape.  Liposuction, here I come!

The style is just adorable with the wide waist, cap sleeves, and pleated skirt.  One of my favorites.  But it’s the F A B R I C that really caught my attention:  a dark, royal blue with black sort of amoebas and bright pink, green, white, and gray spring flowers scattered throughout.  They stand out so -  almost starkly.  It’s very striking and THEN it fastens at the center front with small rhinestone buttons.

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Mingolini & Guggenheim – Italian Designers

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Mingolini & Guggenheim – Italian Designers

From the first moment I laid eyes on it, it was obvious that this dress was special.  The label read “Mingolini Guggenheim Piazza del Spagna, 9-91- Roma”.  Honestly, I had never heard of Mingolini & Guggenheim before I found this dress. What little information I found while researching indicates that Carlo Guggenheim and his partner, Mingolini were designing clothing at least since the 1930s and into the 1990s.  Micol Fontana mentions a Mingolini Guggenheim jacket from the 30s in her archives that was once owned by Edda Ciano – Mussolini’s daughter – in an interview with Eugenia Paulicelli, the author...

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Martha Sleeper – Silent Film Actress to Fashion Designer

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Martha Sleeper – Silent Film Actress to Fashion Designer

Maybe I said this before when I was researching a Nelly Don dress, one of the most enjoyable parts of selling vintage clothing – for me – is research and learning.  It seems selfish not to pass along information when I find it. Including a lot of historical detail  in a description can be overwhelming for some, so I’m passing some knowledge along here! I purchased several pieces of clothing from the estate of a woman whose family owned a high end clothing boutique from about the 1940s through the 1960s or 70s.  Almost every item was either tailor made,...

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