Monday, December 30, 2013

Pictorial Review Patterns 1930s

I find the illustrated/photography combination Pictorial Review Patterns from the 30s to be wonderful pieces of vintage history. They incorporated a real model into the illustration so you can see what these patterns might look like in person.   I think it makes them feel more "real", even though these are models and sewn by experts (smile).   It is also a rare treat to see color illustrations of 30's color attire, making these gems even more lovely to look at.

I'm not exactly sure when Pictorial Review discontinued this practice but I thought I'd share some of these wonderful illustrations I've compiled.  You don't see these types of patterns come up for sale too often.  It looks like they had this theme going in the mid to late 30's and then discontinued it.

Happy New Year, everyone!





Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Big Four May 1955

I thought this was a cute, smart article about the four top supermodels from a May 1955 photography magazine.

Here are some excerpts front his article:

"The four highest paid fashion models- worth together $200 an hours and appearing regularly in countless magazines had never been photographed together."

"Their working hours are generally 10 to 4:20, with double-time for overtime to discourage clients from interfering with the girls' private lives.  All four are married:  Barbara Mullen designs interiors and washes dishes as charity work for a hospital, Evelyn Tripp lives and works on a farm in New Jersey,  Jean Patchett plays golf, Dovima Horan likes to go to Europe on short notice."

"When I asked them about getting together for a picture, they thought it was a great idea -and were willing to donate their valuable overtime.  But it took more than a hundred phone calls and fifty-odd alternate schedules...before all four could agree on a date."

"Most startling was Dovima Horan, whose purple-shadowed eyes were set of by dead-white face makeup' Patchett's renowned beauty mark showed to good advantage; Mullen's hair was in studied disarray (later slicked down for the color photos); Evelyn Tripp was windblown and demure."

"At 5:30 Evelyn Tripp rose sedately and announced that she had to make the 5:57 to New Jersey.  The others broke into conversation: "I don't know what to give my husband for dinner...I hope I can make the supermarket before it closes." Etc.  They're women, you know."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I used this image last year too but she is just so sweet and lovely I thought I'd wish you all a great holiday season and Merry Christmas, with this lovely lady again:)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

1941 Bur Mill

This video is interesting because it's in color but it doesn't start really getting interesting until 10-15 minutes in.   The dialog isn't that great but the fashions are!
Check it out, the dresses the ladies are wearing are just lovely to see in color.  Oh and towards the end the hats!  Very rare to see all this in color for 1941.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Carole Lombard

I thought I'd share an image today of the spectacular Carole Lombard.   If anyone knows which promotional movie this is for, please let me know.  She really knew how to wear a hat.  She is one of my favorite "old time" movie stars.

This image is from an 8 x 10 that I acquired (I do believe it is a reprint image.) so this gives us a rare opportunity to really take in all the details of the photograph.   I also have a few more detailed looks at fashion here with other period photographs.  

I also have some scans to share in a future post of her life story.

Check out how fabulous this hat is!  Carole Lombard is one of those rare timeless beauties.

The print on the dress she is wearing!  Just lovely!  I do believe it may be a Paris novelty print dress.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jacques Fath - Couture Marvel (Image Heavy)

Where to begin with Jacques Fath?   He was a sublime artist and above all followed his inspirational dreams.  You can very much see and feel his passion for the art of design in his pieces.   As Marlene Dietrich declared "A genius of fashion".   His untimely death is really what has left him under the radar.   But, this is relative too because when his creations do come up for auction, they can certainly command premiums inline with the other couture giants.

L'Officiel Magazine

I am very thrilled to report that I have acquired a Jacques Fath suit.  It is not a couture suit with a made in France label.   However, this suit still has historical significance to me and is still quite rare to find.  I really wanted to spend time researching more about his life and understanding some of his design elements so this is why I wanted to split out my blog entries into two posts.  This post explores who Jacques Fath was and some of his wondrous creations.  In my next post, I'll share images of the grand suit I acquired.

 There are books and books on Dior but I was only able to locate one book dedicated to Jacques Fath (Jacques Fath by Savignon).  There maybe other books out in foreign markets.  There was a documentary made on his life called "Les Folies Des Fath".   I'd love to see this but I'm unable to see any copies floating about.

Jacques Fath was born in 1912 and died in 1954.  He began his career as a bookkeeper, mainly to please his father, but eventually (fate driven)  followed his true passion into fashion.  Fath was drafted into the French Army in 1939 and was taken prisoner by German forces in 1940.   After Paris was liberated in 1944, he set up shop again.  His first collection appeared in 1937, when he was 25 years old.  He was a self taught designer.   Givenchy was a Fath assistant in 1945.  At his height, he employed over 600 people.  He treated the people around him with kindness and was a friend to a lot of  his employees.  Over 4,000 people attended his funeral.  After Fath died, the company continued on for a few years but eventually just produced perfumes, gloves, hosiery, and other accessories.   The company was relaunched again in 1992 and this is why you will see the label in today's fashion world.

He is considered one of the three top French post-war haute couture influences along side Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain.  He was just beginning to take America by storm when he died of leukemia  at the age of 42.  You can scarcely get through the pages of Vogue and Bazaar in the early 50s without seeing the wonders of Jacques Fath glamour.

In 1948, Fath secured a deal with Joseph Halpert to bring ready-to-wear collections to the US market.  He also entered into another agreement with Schindelheim-Lupia (for US market).  There is little I can find with this design arrangement.  They were a husband and wife team based out of New York.   He really was working a lot on expansion ideas before his untimely death.

Jacques Fath was married to his muse and model Genevieve Boucher, who also kept the company going for a couple years after his death.  It is difficult to find information on Genevieve.  They also had a son.  A very beautiful lady.

-Jacques Fath and his wife Genevieve.

"Fath! His name evoked visions of faille, of silk, of an enchanted mix of all the sequins and hopes of the 1950s.  Jacques Fath!"  What made him unique was that the man "was as alluring as his collection." - Savignon

Photograph by Nina Lee (Fath's wife) New York 1948 Source

"If Dior and Balenciaga were known for the architectural beauty of their designs, Fath's style was praised for its glamour and vivacity.  He often used diagonal lines, asymmetrical drapery, and floating panels to give a sense of movement."  - Fashion Encyclopedia

"The connection between the man and his art was seamless; the designer was both the essence and the creation.  Together, Fath and his dresses trumpeted a groundbreaking manifesto of modernity and true glamour-dazzling, provocative, and intrinsically Parisian." - Savignon

Jacques Fath Gown Source

Jacques Fath day suit 1950's, Made In France label, sold for $3,883 in 2003

Jacques Fath image via Couture Allure

Jacques Fath Dress 1954

Famous photograph by Walde Huth, Jacques Fath

"Shortly before his premature death at the age of 42, Fath- to the snobbish horror of many in the haute couture establishment - began offering affordable chic to Parisian women, too" -Voguepedia Jacques Fath

Images below from L'Officiel magazines from 1950-1955:

YouTube video of Jacques Fath creations from 1954:

Jacques Fath 1955


Jacques Fath 1954, really interesting with polka dot stockings and a funny sunglass hat.

Have you overdosed on glamour yet?


Jacques Fath 1956 (color) just awesome!  For some odd reason, I couldn't get the link up through Blogger.  But, it is certainly worth the look to see Jacques Fath in color as it was.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

1950s Wrap Dresses

I've been thinking that I would like a wool wrap dress from the early 50's.  I'm now going to put it on my collecting radar.  But, the problem is, I want it to look like a Dior, Balmain, Fath, etc.   So, my expectations are quite high.  There is just something so captivating, harmonious, and majestic about a perfectly draped wool dress that makes you stop twice to revel in the details.

I thought I'd share some of these glamourous dresses.  This gives an idea of the vision I have in trying to find my future dress.   I see a lot of vintage suits on the market but I do not see very many wool wrap  dresses with angular features and draping effects.  You see a lot of "wiggle" dresses but not ones that drape and twist.   There is a mastery and art to this type of look.   I'm hoping I can find this gem under the radar.   Now, if I could only transport myself back to 1952/1953 for a day to pick up one of these gems with today's money value at a 1950s price point, I'd be quite set.

I'm also working on a post about my BEST acquisition of the year (and no, it isn't a Lilli Ann).  So stay tuned, it's taking me longer than I anticipated to write up because I keep drifting off and finding interesting things to explore.


I know these are suits, but check out the wrap around details, 1951


Aren't they just grand?  Do you have a favorite?  Above images are all from L'Officiel Magazine.

Some patterns of Paris Original's that I've quite liked:

An auction for a Dior that went for $5,500 and estimate was $600 haha.  I'm thinking a museum or a celebrity bought  this one but check out the lovely wrap effect in the center.  Posted about here.