The House Of Rodier ~ With More Than A Century Of Excellence In French Knitwear

The French designer Rodier has maintained a certain obscurity or subtlety over the past century. But once acquainted with some of their product, this brand is worthy of accolades for its long tradition of excellence in knitwear.

The House of Rodier was formally established in France during the mid eighteen hundreds. With a primary focus on knitwear, they began redesigning shawls of the Kashmir, which brought them acclaim for their creative divergency. The elaborately decorated shawls from the late eighteen hundreds through to the twenties, created stunning examples of the arts and culture of the time.

During the 1920’s and 1930’s Rodier assisted Jean Patou as he embarked on his career in fashion design. They also redesigned a fine knit jersey commonly used in undergarments, which was later made famous by Chanel. The looms of Rodier attracted much inspiration from other cultures. Like a laboratory of looms, they experimented with a variety of fabrics to include spun rayon called senellic. Some articles claim Rodier made sweaters for Chanel, Patou, Lanvin and other luxury brands during the post war years. Since inception – they were central to the “sweater and knitwear source” coming out of France.

Rodier created its first ready to wear line in 1956, and like all luxury brand companies has gone through many changes over the years. In the 1980’s they did an expansion with a focus on the US market. Over the following decade they spiced up their line and sold to multiple luxury boutiques.

As the century came to a close Rodier opted to do a number of licensing agreements. Alas, the tradition of excellence may now be compromised, which makes the earlier Rodier knitwear as distinctive and coveted as it was during Napoleon’s reign.

Below are some pre-millennial examples of Rodier sweaters:

Featuring A 1970’s Opulent Green Maxi Coat With Extensive Beadwork & Laid Work ~ Made In Africa

This one needs some retakes to show the detailed needle work better. When I bought it I was told that it was brought back to Canada by the wife of a Canadian diplomat in Africa. It is a heavy garment with yards of fabric in the skirt to create a wide sweep. The lower portion of the skirt also has the detailed couching and beadwork patterns.

1940’s Plum Dress Silhouette – With A Sample Of Laid Work On A Detailed Bodice

Couching or laid work is an embroidery technique dating back to 1070. It was one of two main techniques used in the Bayeux tapestry, a European historical work of art, consisting of fifty different scenes, and measuring 230 feet long. Laid work was also used traditionally on textiles in medieval England and Japan, with extensive use of metallic thread. Another location with a strong tradition for this intricate embellishment, was in Palestine, with production centred in Bethlehem. The Wikipedia definition is:

In embroidery, couching and laid work are techniques in which yarn or other materials are laid across the surface of the ground fabric and fastened in place with small stitches of the same or a different yarn.[1]

Once you take a closer look at this type of embellishment, as shown in the last picture of the post, it is mind boggling to absorb; how much time and attention to detail, goes into this type of needle work.

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1970’s Missoni ~ Glitter & Multi Colour Bold Stripes ~ Bent On Being Curvy-Linear

Missoni created some of the wildest (and coolest) outfits in the sixties and seventies. My favourite dress in the mid seventies, was a brightly striped Missoni, likely from the sixties, found at a thrift store in Calgary. I loved wearing it. It was similar to the shorts in this post, in that it was brightly coloured with shimmering vertical stripes. The stripes on these Missoni shorts are curvilinear – adding a dazzling and dizzying dimension to the design!

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A Fall Scene ~ 1970’s Lemay Embroidered Denim ~ Get Fresh With Flowers & High On Mushrooms

Check out this fabulous Lemay seventies embroidered denim shirt. It is heavy enough to be worn as a jacket. The scene on the front depicts sprigs of flowers only; but on the back, the mushrooms are taking over! The logo on the label, is of a dog (at least I think it’s a dog) smoking a pipe. Overall – this shirt is happy and well done. I bet she was donned, and danced like a diva – at a few hippie music festivals over the years!

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Gottex In Bright Hues ~ A Sybaritic Summer ~ From A Walk On The Beach ~ To A Picnic On The Dunes

Leah Gottlieb (1918-2012) and her family, were the founders of Gottex. The company was started in 1956, in Tel Aviv. Her vision was to design luxury brand swimwear and beachwear; with the relaxed versatility, enabling seamless meandering – from the beach or poolside, to luncheons, cocktails, and romantic summer evenings.

Gottex swimsuits have graced such figures as Diana Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor and Brooke Shields. In 1975, the company was approached by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin, with a request to design swimwear lines for them. Instead, she chose to remain independent and grow her own brand. Vintage Gottex resort wear, made in Israel, is deluxe in artistry, colour, and uniqueness. True to her word – it is an all around uplifting brand!

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The Finale ~ Celebrating Canada’s Best Mid-Century Designers ~ Montreal Is The Winner!

To sum up the Canadian Designer Celebration mini series, a high percentage of Canada’s best mid-century designs and designers, have their roots in Montreal. The more I delve into the collection, and the labels – the more I realize how much of our great fashion history can be credited to Montreal. When it comes to fashion, the French do not disappoint. Toronto as a second runner-up, retains a mid-century vibrancy, with its legacy of notable designers.

The Montreal designed little black cocktail dresses from the sixties, are as sleek, and as wearable today, as they were back then. The hallmark of a great designer, is in the timelessness of their creations. I will happily share some exclusive examples…Starting with a late fifties, or early sixties Irving Nadler lace cocktail dress with a cape style top.

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Irving Nadler, Montreal Late 1950's or early 1960's Cocktail Dress

Irving Nadler, Montreal Late 1950’s or early 1960’s Cocktail Dress

DSC_0302DSC_0313The next 1960’s little black dress from Montreal is aptly labeled – After dark Cocktails.

After dark Cocktails, Montreal 1960's black halter dress.

After dark Cocktails, Montreal 1960’s black halter dress.

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Another Montreal classic little black dress, 1960’s black velvet, with gold piping at the waist.  This one has the musical label – Beau Time Melodie Frocks.

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An impressive 1950’s full circle skirt by Montreal designer Val Hughes.

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To end the series on a brighter note, this very artistic, abstract printed silk skirt, is labelled Cocktail Montreal. Thanks to these fabulous and talented designers of the eras  – they put Canada on the runway, when it comes to mid-century chic.

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Accolades To Mid-Century Canadian Designer & Retailer ~ Madame Runge

Madame Runge was an upscale retail shop on South Granville Street in Vancouver, from the late thirties until the seventies. I believe most of the clothing designs they carried, were commissioned and made by Montreal designers. Some of the examples are; Harold Taub For Madame Runge, Silverworm For Madame Runge, Gerson For Madame Runge… Regardless of the different designers, vintage clothing with Madame Runge labels are of exceptional fabric, style and quality.

The last image in the post, is a 1960’s double breasted green wool coat. It shows both the Madame Runge label, as well as “Styled By Gerson Inc. Montreal”. Although Madame Runge was based out of Vancouver, it is a rarity now, to come across the label in Vancouver.

The first dress and coat set in this post has been in the Quiet West Vintage collection for about thirty years. The green silk fil coup dress below it, is a more recent purchase. One thing for certain, Madame Runge labels are, and always will be, sought after and treasured by vintage clothing connoisseurs.

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Madame Runge Dress & Coat Set

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Madame Runge Dress With Ruffle & Trim

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Madame Runge Close Up Buttons & Trim

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Madame Runge 1970’s Silk Fil Coup With Plunging Neckline

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Madame Runge 1960’s Double Breasted Wool Coat Co-Labeled Styled By Gerson Montreal

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Styled By Marek Gerson Inc. Montreal

Celebrating Canadian Designer Wayne Clark ~ Featuring A 1980’s Silk Chiffon Couture Cocktail Dress

This exceptional 1980’s Wayne Clark Couture dress, is made of layered silk chiffon, with  rhinestone embellished lace inserts in the bodice, and sheer balloon sleeves. The dress has rows of satin piping down the length of the skirt, satin cuffs, and matching trim on the bottom layers, of an asymmetrical hemline. The back is open, plunging to the waist, and ties at the back of the neck, with a dangling satin ribbon.

For those who love the floating and fluid movement of a silk chiffon skirt, and being well covered; in a pose to behold. Those watching your back, will know… A Wayne Clark dress – is worth its weight in the folds!

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Celebrating Canada’s Finest Designers ~ A Six Part Series ~ Featuring A 1960’s Kaftan By The Brilliant Claire Haddad

Claire Haddad: Born July 17, 1924 – May 17, 2016. Her bio states she is “an Order of Canada recipient, and fashion designer to the stars”. One of her dresses was on the front cover of Vogue magazine in April 1966, worn by model Veruschka von Lendorff, and photographed by Rubartelli. Based out of Toronto she was known for creating eclectic lounge wear, and luxurious high fashion sleepwear from the early sixties until the eighties. She was forward thinking enough to envision loungewear, worn as elegant evening attire outside the home.

From the Quiet West collection – it is a pleasure to share a fabulous 1960’s Claire Haddad kaftan featuring a desert scene on a vivd background of electrifying colours, which was so hip in the sixties. The trim is black, loopy cord, and outlines the neckline downward to the V opening on the front. The trim changes into looped cord buttonholes, for small, rounded black buttons. The two front slits and sleeves are also accented with matching trim. The overall portrayal is so sixties trippy – of swaying, shocking pink palm trees – and camels heading into a psychedelic oasis. It really is brilliant!

Claire Haddad 1960’s Kaftan

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1920’s Silk Chiffon ~ An Ethereal Embroidered & Beaded Dress Ensemble

This 1920’s silk chiffon dress ensemble, is remarkable in how it is made, and even more so, in that the condition is near mint. The base dress was originally without a zipper, and would slip over your head to put it on. Wisely, this dress had a back zipper put in, to avoid stretching and pulling the delicate fabric, when putting it over your head, especially so, given the dress has sleeves. The zipper was put in professionally and stitched by hand. The entire dress is made by hand, to include all of the embroidery and beadwork, as well as the edging and seams. It is rolled and hand stitched, similar to a luxury scarf. The base dress is sheer, and is also covered in the same complex pattern of embroidery and beadwork.

The second layer, like the base layer, is extensively embroidered and beaded. It slips over your head, and attaches at one shoulder, draping diagonally over the dress. This makes one side semi sheer, and risqué, while the other side is draped in folds of silk, like a Roman goddess. The other minor change that was made, was on the left shoulder, where the second layer of the dress is attached. It was changed to a narrow strip of velcro. This too, saved the dress, since the weight of the fabric pulling on hook and eye fasteners, would have eventually torn the fabric. Thankfully, the dress has maintained all of its original glory and design, without damage, which is a rarity in 1920’s clothing.

It is of the calibre of the Callot Soeurs dress designs, when life was seen to imitate art and drama. A few breathtaking poses, show the remaining posies, of the most intricate dresses – ever put on the stage.

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Avante-Garde Hand Painted Silk Dress ~ With Carved Faces On Red Headed Buttons

Another beautiful vintage/antique dress to share, with a handkerchief  hemline, and the 1920’s stylish silhouette. The pattern on the front is both magical and mesmerizing. Many of the 1920’s dresses are lavishly beaded and embroidered. This dress features a hand painted design so avant-garde – it vacillates between sophistication and the desires of her heart. A damsel so charmed, she fans the coquettish. One would suppose – she is a wee bit standoffish, and so very hard to get – as to command a chic nonchalance. For she knows when she arrives she will steal all the glances. The buttons are so done up. With little carved faces, heart shaped lips, and wild red hair, standing straight up on end. What an eloquent way to dress for a smile. She scores a ten on being a classy and fanciful exclusive. She is an original and we get to admire – another fine example of how Art marries Style.

DSC_0482DSC_0474DSC_0472DSC_0475DSC_0485DSC_0470Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To All Loungers ~ Get The Show On The Robe!

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Christian Dior

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Patricia Fieldwalker

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Conrad Lingerie 1960’s Montreal

1960's Lounge Things By Style Rite

1960’s Lounge Things By Style Rite

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Vera Ramsay Vancouver 1940’s Satin

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1940's Ivory Satin Robe With Quilted Accents

1940’s Ivory Satin Robe With Quilted Accents

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Confezioni Di Lussi Dini 1950's Hand Embroidered Short Robe

Confezioni Di Lussi Dini 1950’s Hand Embroidered Short Robe

DSC_0328Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Beautiful & Opulent ~ 1950’s Fuji Kogyo Gold Damask Robe Featuring Embroidered Velvet Accents

This beautiful vintage robe boasts breathtaking distinction. It is embellished and embodied in the warmth of the Mt. Fuji silk patterned textile. The luminescent textile is further enhanced by an extensive amount of pin tucking around the lapel, collar, sleeves, and pockets. The embroidery is done on a backdrop of black velvet, contrasting with the gold, to enhance the vibrant colours of the embroidered floral accents. It is completed with a black trimmed, gold tasseled belt. It has a western design, with the artistry and beauty of the Japanese aesthetic. This robe, like the Cantonese piano shawl in the previous post – captures the culture and talent of an era, to give us another shining snap shot of the rich history and artistry in textiles.

DSC_0428DSC_0432DSC_0440DSC_0446DSC_0419DSC_0433Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Get A Fix On This ~ 1920’s Fringed Cantonese Embroidered Piano Shawl Featuring Birds & Flowers

I realize vintage clothing hunting, is an addiction, but ironically – it can’t get the best of you, because you are looking for the best in it. Every score is a fix. Unlike gambling and certain other addictions – you don’t lose it, before you get (it) home. You can wake up in the morning and look at it without regret. Certain things can be marvelled at every time you look at them. There is the initial amazement when you first spot it. Following that, the enthusiasm and desire to get it home and spread it out, or put it on a mannequin to photograph, and look at it more carefully from different angles.

The Cantonese piano shawl featured in this post, is in my top ten highest, of vintage fixes. The biggest rush is in the colourful array of embroidered birds. The embroidery technique used to make the feathers, looks so real. It features several different kinds of birds, some perched, others in flight. The macrame around the edges, and long silk fringe, is almost like hair. It is a large, and most impressive work of Cantonese textile art, which was so avant-garde in the fashion circles of the twenties, with another flurry of dramatic, piano shawl poses in the sixties.

It is a show don’t tell – true treasure, from the archives of the past. The first picture in the post, represents the 1960’s iconic comeback of the piano shawl. It is a stunning photo of Raquel Welch, taken by Franco Rubartelli, for Italian Vogue magazine in 1969. She is wearing a Valentino 1920’s inspired piano shawl, complemented with an amazing turquoise, squash blossom necklace.

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Photo by Franco Rubartelli for Italian Vogue Magazine 1969 Raquel Welch Wearing A Valentino Piano Shawl & A Squash Blossom Necklace

DSC_0342DSC_0328DSC_0330DSC_0341DSC_0332DSC_0325DSC_0328Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I. Magnin & Co. ~ Among The First To Bring Parisian High Fashion To North America

As with many brand names, there is now an I. Magnin, making licensed product, using the I. Magnin name, without the Co. at the end, and without the same level of quality. Due to mergers and takeovers, it was bought out by Macy’s, who now uses the name or trademark, for a house brand of clothing. The original I. Magnin & Co. was a department store started by an enterprising couple in the late eighteen hundreds in San Francisco. After the earthquake and fire in 1906, the couple managed to keep the business alive by selling product out of their home during the period of rebuilding.

By 1912, the company had secured several retail locations in high end hotels. They expanded from there, creating a large, luxury brand department store footprint in the west. One of the most notable locations (they moved into in 1948) was in Union Square, and was referred to as the White Marble Palace. Once in the high end market (from 1912 on), they began importing the latest Parisian styles, attracting a growing and upscale clientele. The earliest I. Magnin & Co. items will have “Paris” or “Imported” on the label. They focused on couture, and bought from designers such as Christian Dior, Lanvin and Chanel. This was during a time when these designers were keen to get into the North American market.

The I. Magnin & Co. also designed and made luxury brand clothing in the U.S. The following link shows the many locations, and how much they expanded during the post war years:

http://www.thedepartmentstoremuseum.org/2010/11/i-magnin-co-san-francisco-california.html

The hat featured in this post is a gem from I. Magnin & Co. when they were still at their peak, in the Fashion Square concept that was started in 1944, following a merge with Bullocks.

The dress featured in this post is an earlier I. Magnin & Co. Imported dress. As an educated guess, I believe it is a 1930’s or early 40’s (pre-war) full length Lanvin dress with a softly draping, very wide full skirt, in a fun-ky fruit like print, with a matching hood! It’s gorgeous. The following link is a good article on the history and background of Lanvin:

http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/education/jeanne-lanvin-1867-1946

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I. Magnin & Co. 1960’s Wool & Fur Hat

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Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Versus Versace Leather Trousers – A “Juxta ~ Pose” – In Rock Chic & Hip Flowers

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Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Celebrating Textile Art To Wear

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Embroidered Applique Of A Dancing Woman On The Back Of A Robe – Estimated 1970’s. Made in India.

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Japanese Yuzen Dyed Silk Kimono

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Richilene 1980’s Formal Gown – Bodice Of Gold Metallic Embroidery & Sequins. Made In USA.

Henri Bendel Silver & Blue Metallic Thread Weaved Into Floral Pattern. Made in New York 1980’s.

Galassia cropped trousers with faux fur and beaded flowers, made in Italy

Galassia Cropped Trousers With Plush Wide Cuffs, Studs & Beadwork. Made In Italy.

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1950’s Strapless Gown With Blue On Black Embroidery

For The Fall Flair ~ A 1960’s Kool-Aid Coloured Bell Bottom Jumpsuit With Laces At The Back

DSC_0418DSC_0423DSC_0412Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Featuring Gene Shelly’s Boutique International California ~ A 1960’s Thousand Hour Gown

DSC_0413DSC_0422DSC_0441DSC_0447DSC_0396DSC_0456DSC_0285Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Roger Freres Elegant & Exclusive ~ Open Weave 1970’s Formal Gown Made in France

Featuring French couturier Roger Freres – a stunning late sixties or early seventies formal gown, made of a most unique and decorative textile. The fabric resembles blue and white string, wound and looped into a lace-like theme pattern. It may be described as macrame or guipure – but is not like any other fabric I have seen. The material and design is enhanced with a concentric floral motif to accentuate the hemline, bodice and sleeves. The patterned, open weave fabric is draped and fitted over a thick ivory satin – which makes the dress fairly heavy.

When I bought this dress, I was fascinated by the fabric and design, but was not familiar with the designer. I soon learned that vintage Roger Freres dresses are a vintage rarity. The few I have seen in doing research on this designer – are listed on 1stdibs. Each dress is exquisitely unique – made with the highest standards and most incredible fabrics. Check this one out and see for yourself – if you have ever seen anything like it!

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DSC_0313DSC_0305DSC_0317DSC_0315DSC_0286Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Between The Lines ~ 1970’s Striped Summer Lounger

This 1970’s summer two piece outfit has coloured stripes of opaque red, blue and yellow – alternating with enough sheer stripes to let them – read between the lines…

1970's Summer Lounger Made in Italy

1970’s Summer Lounger Made in Italy

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If You’re Hot ~ Lace Trimmed Vintage Summer Dress Embellished With Plastic Flowers

DSC_0287DSC_0285DSC_0295DSC_0291Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oh How Wilt Thou Pose ~ As A Full Bodied Rose?

This funky 1960’s red linen mini dress features a gold hand painted rose, that goes from the shoulder to the thigh. If you love roses – why not wear one? It’s guaranteed not to wilt!

1960's hand painted red linen mini dress

1960’s Hand Painted Gold Rose on Red Linen Mini Dress

Hand Painted Rose on 1960's Red Linen Mini Dress

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Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

February Feature of the Month ~ 1950’s Art to Wear Beaded Sweater

For those who have done extensive needlework, embroidery and beading on fine garments – they can readily see the time and craftsmanship involved in these creations from the past. However – it is hard for most of us to imagine the time and patience required to bead such a sweater as the one featured in this post. The fifties era holds claim to some of the most beautifully artistic beaded sweaters of all time. These fine beaded sweaters have what it takes to hob nob with the most cherished mid-century vintage and luxury designer pieces. It is rare to find them in good condition (especially the lighter coloured ones) – that have survived the rigours of the past sixty five years to age as gracefully as this!

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If you happen to have a hand beaded sweater from the fifties that needs cleaning; the following description is a common-sense method of care and cleaning that I use for beaded woollens:

– Rule number one is to handle it very gently, for the sake of the beadwork as well as the wool. Create a bath of water that is blood warm or body temperature, not quite tepid. Add and mix Zero and then gently insert the sweater.

– If the sweater has a stain, you can put some Oxiclean directly on the stain and see if it will lift it out. Swirl gently. Don’t soak it for very long.

– Empty the bath and add water to rinse two or three times until the soap is rinsed out. Lay it flat on a rack with a big towel over it and gently shape it.

– If the lining has stains or colour bleed from the exterior, in my experience, they are less likely to come out than stains in the wool.

– However, if the lining is white cotton and lifts away from the sweater, you can insert a white linen hankie between the lining and the wool. This enables you to treat the stain on the lining without coming in contact with the wool on the sweater.

In the case of the sweater shown in this post, the lining is synthetic. It appears that the colour from the surface beading and thread, over time, has leeched onto the lining in certain spots. I have not attempted to treat that, because it is not visible, and is not likely to come out. It is not worth taking any risk that might damage the exterior of the sweater.

The other tip to share with those of you who have an interest in preserving this type of artwork on textiles, especially with wool – is to put the item in a snap lid plastic container and freeze it for 24 hours. You can do this even before washing it. Freezing kills moth larva and is a good practice for maintaining fine vintage woollens. But, don’t wash it immediately after freezing it. Let it return to room temperature first. The idea is not to shock it too much. Also, a drop or two of neem oil can be mixed with the Zero for washing certain woollens – as an extra prophylaxis.

 

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Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fashion Designer Ronit Zilkha’s Story – A Poignant Insight

Certain designer labels seldom turn up in western Canada’s second hand clothing market, with London’s Rhonda Zilkha being one of them. I have found one item so far with her label. When I started researching her history, I was surprised to see the list of celebrities who wore her designs, in particular Princess Diana – because she was consistently gracious and model-like in the way she dressed and carried herself.

Ronit Zilkha’s story in the link below, provides us with an honest and poignant insight into the fashion industry – as she gives a detailed description of the rise and fall of her own label:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1233459/When-empire-collapsed-I-numb-shell-shocked-fashion-queen-Ronit-Zilkha.html

Below is a black maxi skirt with a front slit by Ronit Zilkha, likely from the nineties:

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DSC_0392Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Valentine’s Day Topper ~ A Cape Fit For The Opera

This prodigious, heavy cotton velvet opera cape is accented with a fur trimmed hood and red satin lining. It is a perfect topper for an evening out when the weather is still cool – as it is in Vancouver in February. The vintage cape was made in Canada, shown in contrast over a more contemporary skimpy lace dress. The long sleeved lace dress would most likely be worn with a slip or undergarment, depending on how risque one wants to be. I chose the dress to go with the cape for this shot, because of the way the lace covered arms look when the cape is buttoned up. There is a label on the cape “Royal Emblem” – but so far, I have not been able to find any details on the designer. Judging by the buttons, it is estimated to be from the fifties.

Fur trimmed, red lined, black opera cape made in canada

Vintage Fur Trimmed Velvet Opera Cape

 

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A Looming Canadian Love Story ~ Marni Knits

In 2013, the founders of Marni Knits in Toronto, retired and closed shop after more than fifty years in business together. The story of this company is so inspirational because it shows us; not only the teamwork and longevity surrounding their union and marriage, but also, that their designs and creations came from a true “hands on” labour of love. The following CBC story provides the background and history of this sweet Canadian love story – giving us a glimpse into how they managed to knit their lives together:

 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/after-50-years-toronto-couple-quits-knit-wear-business-1.1320559

Below is an example of a hand loomed dress by Marni Knits. So far, it is the only Marni Knit item in the Quiet West Vintage collection. It is estimated to be from the seventies:

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Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

January Feature of the Month ~ 1920’s Embroidered Piano Shawl

This gorgeous silk hand embroidered piano shawl is still luxurious and vibrant, almost a hundred years after it was made with painstaking patience. This one, fortunately, has been stored away from dust and direct sunlight over the years. Piano shawls have to be handled with great care to avoid knotting and tangling the fringe. Originally made to cover pianos, these shawls were used in elaborate fashion photo shoots in the twenties with a revival featured in Vogue magazine in the late sixties. The last two pictures in the post show the reverse side of some of the embroidery.

1920's hand embroidered silk fringed piano shawl

1920’s Hand Embroidered Silk Fringed Piano Shawl

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Reverse Side

Reverse Side

Reverse Side

Reverse Side

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Elusive Film Noir ~ Without A Backward Glance

From face veils to fedoras and super sultry dresses, the film noir look is full of high tension sex appeal, intrigue and mystery. This post features an outfit that has the film noir allure with sparkles that outline your shape – even in the shadows.  It is a 1950’s silver metallic jacquard weave, shimmeringly provocative, slinky party dress.  The hat is a simple beaded skull cap with a silver trimmed flower and feathered hair clip attached to it. Add your jewels and stilettos – and you will be sure to leave the party without a backward glance!

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Film Noir Without A Backward Glance

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Parisian Patter ~ Chasing French Skirts

The French without a doubt have the knack for fashion, with an intuitive grasp of what is ephemeral – and an even better grasp of what is timeless. To take it a step further, the style magazines tell us that the trick to developing a Parisian look is to avoid trends and work toward developing a uniquely personal signature look. The individual aesthetic is something that involves a healthy assessment of what looks and feels best, from both an objective and a subjective point of view.

Regardless of trends, true confidence involves choosing styles that flatter your figure and show what makes you distinct. For some, knee length pencil skirts look fantastic. Others look and feel better in A-line or pleated skirts. In general, the Parisian style has its foundation in quality staple items and a neutral palette. When choosing staple garments such as skirt styles, the fit is most important. Adding some French fashion pieces to your wardrobe, that are tailored to your own individual style and figure – will quite possibly become favorite wardrobe staples for many years to come. Timeless!

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Philippe Salvet

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M Daquin

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Courreges

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It’s By A.A

 

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Lanvin

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2014). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

1950’s Wiggle Dress ~ Eye Popper ~ Stride Stopper

The wiggle dress was used to describe a 1950’s dress style that has a narrow fit in the waist and torso. The defining trait is that it is narrower at the bottom than it is at the hips. It is a style that emphasizes an hourglass figure and was favoured for the pin-up girl photography.

The reason it was called the wiggle dress is because you have to take small steps while walking – thus creating a gait that causes the hips to sway. It may have been a style that rose out of a vintage inspired revival of the hobble skirt, which was in vogue from 1910 into the twenties. The hobble skirt was long and very narrow at the bottom. Even more of a challenge! When the corsets and caged hoops went out, next came a dress design that made it faster to hop than to walk!  Now all that is needed with the fifties wiggle dress is five inch heels and there will be no running wild while wearing one of these outfits! It’s probably easiest to just strike a pose and look pretty.

Aside from hoops, corsets and bustles – the real wiggle dress is up there when it comes to impracticality. It feels like your legs are bound every time you take a stride. Nowadays, the wiggle dress is a term that is used to describe a variety of vintage and “vintage inspired” dresses. But, to reduce it to the origin of the actual wiggle – if it doesn’t constrict your stride – it’s not a wiggle dress! Here is an example of one. I did wear it once – and can attest to the baby steps it took to get anywhere.

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Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2014). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

What Makes Vintage Clothing Collectible ~ It’s All in the Details

Black vintage dress with pink honeycomb sleeve detail

Vintage Dress With Honeycomb Sleeve Detail

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1950’s Ray Hildebrand

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1950’s Hand Embroidered Strapless Gown

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1960’s With Applique, Covered Buttons & Rhinestones

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1960’s Dress Featuring Black Lace on a Pink Background

1950's Hand Embroidered Designer Cotton Designer Dress

Leo Danal 1950’s Hand Embroidered Cotton Dress

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1960’s JS Missy Creation

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1970’s Richilene Silk Gown

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1950’s Black Cocktail Dress With Flowered Waist Band