Friday, May 6, 2011

A Shameless Friday Plug for My Etsy Shop

Whew!  I'm done with blogs about sequin dresses and the madras plaid cummerbund and tie, at least for a few days.  Thought you might enjoy seeing some of the cute straw handbags currently in my Etsy shop.

Mayor's Charity Ball - Dress Option #5, The 1980's Little Black Dress

My final vintage option for the Mayor's Charity Ball is a classic late 1980's beaded black dress.  A few years ago I picked up a heavily embellished black and silver silk jacket by Laurence Kazar.  After languishing in a thrift shop for several months, probably because it looks like something Michael Jackson would have worn on stage, I decided to give it a home.  It turns out to have the the honor of being the first of many beaded dresses, tops and jackets I've acquired over the years.  There is something really enchanting about these elaborate pieces, perhaps the enormous shoulder pads remind me of my youth or maybe I've just gotten old.  Many of these dresses were very expensive to purchase new and were marketed to mature successful women.  The majority of these lovely dresses were made of silk in India and sold in the USA by Laurence Kazar and Stengay.  Right now you can find a nice selection at very reasonable prices on the vintage market.  The dress I have picked out for the Mayor's Ball is made by Nite Line and is not quite as elaborate as the Kazars and Stengays in my collection.  This dress has a simple scoop neckline, V-Back, and sheer long sleeves.  The handkerchief hem hits me just above the knee.  The dress is accented with black beads throughout but the dress retains it's sheer quality which seems more appropriate for a spring event.  Once again, jewelry can be kept to a minimum, I'll add a pair of shiny drop earrings, and the nude peep toe shoes update the look.

Vintage Nite Line Black Beaded Party Dress

Detail of Beadwork

Pro's and Con's Dress Option #5

1.)  It's a simple black dress, one can't go wrong.
2.)  Fits me well.
3.)  Looks okay with the madras plaid cummerbund and tie my husband will be sporting,

1.) It's a black dress, so much for light and frilly and being daring!

Tomorrow is the big day so check back next week to see what dress I wore to the Ball.  Spoiler Alert:  I have two additional dresses waiting in the wings, one is not vintage but is second hand. The other could be vintage, or at least on the cusp of being vintage.  Both are long and comfortable and depending on the weather, which is unseasonably cold for a tent event,  going long may be the practical choice (ugh, I sound like mother I am).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Mayor's Charity Ball Dress Option #4, The Vintage Morton Myles Purple Sequin Party Dress

My final two vintage dress options for the Mayor's Charity Ball are from my own collection and the first two dresses I considered wearing.  The first dress is an amazing purple lace fitted party dress.  I'm not exactly sure when this dress was made, it has a timeless appeal that could place it in a variety of decades but I think it belongs to the late 1970's.  The dress is the creation of American designer Morton Myles for the Warrens.  Mr. Myles burst onto the fashion scene in the 60's when Jacqueline Kennedy was photographed in his iconic robin's egg blue sheath dress for the cover of "Life" magazine.  Wearing a vintage Morton Myles would be the closest I would ever get to a couture design, even though this dress was probably ready wear.  The dress is stunning with clusters of purple sequins embellishing the purple lace.  The lining of the dress is purple satin with a sweetheart bodice.  The dress hits at the knee, and the full skirt is perfect for dancing.  Jewelry again can be kept to a minimum,  a simple pair of earrings and bracelet should do the trick. And those nude peep toe shoes I've been blogging about for two weeks, well I purchased them with this dress in mind.

Morton Myles Purple Sequin Dress

Sterling Silver CZ Earrings

Alexis Bittar Lucite Bangle

Option #4 Pros and Cons

1.)  Love the color.
2.)  Love the style.
3.)  Feminine and fun.

1.)  That madras plaid cummerbund and tie my husband insists on wearing!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mayor's Charity Ball - Dress Option #3, The Iconic 80's Party Dress

If you are a woman in your fifties, wearing vintage from the 80's can be a little tricky.  For one thing you don't want people thinking you haven't updated your wardrobe in 30 years, and you certainly don't want someone blurting out at a party "I wore that same dress to Studio 54!"  One of the blogs I enjoy following is Advanced Style.  This blog is written by a young man who interviews and photographs fashionable women of "a certain age (60+)" and subsequently blogs about their unique choice of clothing.  Like many young women who are not afraid to experiment with fashion, these women no longer feel a need to conform to social norms, especially those on aging.  All are naturally beautiful women who take pride in their appearance, but I think the key to their fashion success is their ability to "own the look" of the fantastic, often bold, outfits they assemble.  Being solidly ensconced in middle age myself, perhaps its time for me to take a page from the Advanced Style playbook and be a little daring.  When I saw this dress on Etsy,  I thought "this is the one that will finally allow me to break free of the little black dress" (which by-the-way is at the cleaners just in case!)  I purchased the dress from Love Pebbles Vintage an Etsy vendor who sells out of Texas.  And a Texas dress it is!  Big and bold and Texas glamours!  The dress is made by Tadashi of iridescent teal taffeta and is just amazing with wonderful 80's detailing consisting of padded shoulders, ruched waist, and hip ruffle.  With such an dazzling dress I would opt to keep jewelry to a minimum and am considering one or two vintage rhinestone pieces or a topaz set from Lagos.  And of course, my nude peep toe shoes!

Tadashi 1980's Party Dress

Vintage Sterling Silver White & Aqua Rhinestone Bracelet & Ring

Vintage 1940's Rhinestone Set

Contemporary Sterling Silver & Blue Topaz Lagos Suite

Option #3 Pro's & Con's

1.)  An amazing dress sure to draw attention.
2.)  No one will have one like it.  
3.)  Gives me an opportunity to wear some great jewelry.
4.)  Fits like a glove.

1.)  Sure to draw attention.
2.)  Clashes with my husband's madras plaid cummerbund and tie, and I can't get him to wear a conservative black one - he's not afraid to stand apart from the crowd!
3.)  Fits like a glove, not sure I'll be able to sit.