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Golden Age of Couture
November 29, 2007 10:11 AM   Subscribe

The Golden Age of Couture is an exhitibion at London's Victoria and Albert Museum exploring high fashion of the 1950s, inspired by designer Christian Dior's pioneering "New Look" styles. Beautiful things!
posted by thirteenkiller (24 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
OMG what wonderful things! Thanks for this post!
posted by Lynsey at 10:25 AM on November 29, 2007


Somehow I never imagined Christian Dior as the love child of Alfred Hitchcock and Donald Pleasance.
posted by DU at 10:27 AM on November 29, 2007


You have made me so very happy. I'm not going to do any more work today.
posted by Marquise at 10:27 AM on November 29, 2007


Oh, man. Instead of folding my own laundry, I'm going to look at rich peoples' laundry.
posted by padraigin at 10:59 AM on November 29, 2007


Yay! Eye candy!
posted by oneirodynia at 11:30 AM on November 29, 2007


Dresses like these are the only reason I want to be rich. Don't need the houses, don't need the cars, don't need the wine or fine dining. Don't even really care about financial security. But MAN, those dresses.

Last link says it all: "Red silk chiffon from Jean Dess├ęs, 1953. I'm pretty sure this dress dances all by itself. This is the dress of my dreams -- in this dress I would be perfectly perfect. I would drink nothing but champagne. I would have no split ends. My feet would never hurt. I would be as witty as a Phillip Barry play. I would dance divinely, my dear. Men in tuxedos would pursue me, planning to buy me jewels. Other women might hate me. I would not care."
posted by nax at 1:19 PM on November 29, 2007


Oh. And what Marquise said. (Scurries off to the Met site)
posted by nax at 1:19 PM on November 29, 2007


Oh they're so lovely! Thank you. I love that they distinguish between "theatre" dresses and "dinner" dresses.

I'm going out to buy a corset now.
posted by Evangeline at 1:43 PM on November 29, 2007


I'm disappointed that a thread that leads in with The Golden Age of Couture is not a double post.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:48 PM on November 29, 2007


Evangeline, buy your corset from Meschantes! I got one, and it's not a silly bit of fluff- it's a hardcore rib-bending monster!
posted by Marquise at 4:09 PM on November 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I want to be a woman. With a brazilian dollars. And I will wear those dresses ALL THE FUCKING TIME. That gorgeous beaded cocktail dress? That's brunch wear, baby.

Jesus. Seriously. When did designers stop making clothes that were just spectacularly gorgeous?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:57 PM on November 29, 2007


Gorgeous stuff, which I long to wear whilst swanning around town in a Triumph, my scarf trailing in the wind behind me.
posted by scody at 5:16 PM on November 29, 2007


Goody! Thanks Marquise!

I also lament the passing of all those beautiful clothes. Sometimes I can find something on Ebay, but it's hard to find vintage clothing in pristine condition. There are stores in New York, of course, but the prices are exorbitant. I don't mind laying down good money for a beautiful, well-made dress, but I can't make it a habit.

Anthropologie has some good finds. I just ordered this and this. I'm psyched.

Today at work I wore a black wool swing skirt I got from Anthropologie. 2 layers of petticoats!
posted by Evangeline at 5:22 PM on November 29, 2007


Ohhhh how gorgeous. Great post. That beautiful green Balenciaga dress is something else.

My great-aunt just gave me a number of her old lovely tailored dresses from this era--I am the exact same size now that she was back then. Quite spooky. If only I had somewhere appropriate to wear them!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:53 PM on November 29, 2007


hurdy gurdy girl... anywhere is appropriate to wear a truly spectacular dress.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:02 PM on November 29, 2007


It's slightly earlier than this, but the post reminds me of Muriel Spark's book, Girls of Slender Means, about a group of single women who live in a rooming house towards the end of WWII. One of the girls has inherited a beautiful Schiaparelli gown from an aunt, and during this austerity era, this is the only really pretty dress that they have between them.

Its a very fine book, and well worth a read.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:05 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Did you notice you can make a casual dress from a pattern they provide? Anyone else thinking of doing this? How fun!
posted by mightshould at 7:28 AM on November 30, 2007


They also sell patterns on Ebay. I really wish I could sew. I've taken some classes, but I'm hopeless. When I lay the pattern out on the dining room table, I panic.

In the past I've found some nice, 50's inspired clothing at Nanette Lepore and BCBG, but not so much in the coming collections. You can usually find pieces from previous seasons on Ebay.

This is a pretty good site for vintage and vintage-like clothing.
posted by Evangeline at 7:43 AM on November 30, 2007


Evangeline, thank you so much for that link -- I think I'm in heaven.
posted by scody at 11:48 AM on November 30, 2007


Ooh, there's some great stuff on that site, Evangeline. Daddy-Os also carries Stop Staring clothes- usually a bit cheaper than other places. Though I'm more interested in the 20's stuff- I can whip up a fifties style dress, no problem. I don't want to learn to have to bead, though.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:07 PM on November 30, 2007


scody, glad you liked it! I'm trying to stay away from it right now so I won't go into a buying frenzy.

oneirodynia, do you have any of the Stop Staring dresses? I have a couple. I really like the styles, but they make all of their dresses out of the same thick, stretchy material. They're pretty well-made, and the stretch means a good fit, but on the other hand, I really doubt that a true vintage dress would have spandex in it! I still love 'em though.

Sometimes on the unique-vintage site they have a brand called Lily (I think). Lily makes lovely all-cotton shirt-waist dresses and sundresses.

I went to a Dorothy Parker costume party last year and wore a dress I ordered off that site - one of their reproduction flapper dresses. It was a beautiful dress, but not the best choice for me - I really don't have a flapper figure!
posted by Evangeline at 1:29 PM on November 30, 2007


I was able to stop by this exhibit about a year ago and it was really interesting. I hadn't really considered the history of the garment industry before. There were lots of people sitting around the gallery sketching and I thought they must all be art students (quite young, dressed in hipster style) but when I asked around they turned out to be fashion designers for various stores and clothing lines. This really surprised me; people my age were creating next years trends by sketching clothes from a 50s exhibit at the V&A? I had no idea it worked like this. Also, I feel like such a slacker sometimes...
posted by mosessis at 5:44 PM on November 30, 2007


Hmmmm... perhaps I was mistaken.
posted by Evangeline at 6:06 PM on November 30, 2007


DNAB: You've inspired me. I'm going to a tea party tomorrow and I think I'm going to wear one of my party dresses!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:27 PM on November 30, 2007


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