Monday, June 27, 2011

Innovative clothing of 1939: Steven Arpad

Evening shoes, House of Balenciaga, Steven Arpad designer

A month ago I started a small exploration of fashion in 1939 (A great year in clothing; 1939 continued). I am often surprised by the innovation that took place that year. It seems ahead of its time.

A few days ago I posted a few 1939 clothing examples from the The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum Collection Database. Louise was right, the items look much more modern than they are, including this shoe prototype by the French designer Steven Arpad.

Among the other Arpads dated 1939 in the collection:

These were manufactured by Delman

Search Steven Arpad at The Met Museum website to see all 74 of the items in this group (very worthwhile!).

Another vintage convergence

The latest vintage convergence, a pair of Jer Marai pajamas that I had photographed and ready to list showed up on a vintage ad card at the website

See the “Gad About Pajama” (so 60s!) listed here...and see my previous convergences here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can you name the vintages?

What years were these items made?

(What looks like a heel on this shoe is a actually a display stand)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Future vintage 2: Swedish Hasbeens

My next candidate for Future Vintage is Swedish Hasbeens. I'm a fan of clogs, and the colorful clog-inspired creations of this Swedish company had me at hello.

According to the company website, the shoes are handcrafted by artisans in a traditional way in small factories that have made shoes for decades. They claim that the quality is such that the shoes will last for future generations. “Revolutions bring change and we all feel the time has come. The time to throw away the plastic chrome tanned shoes with too much bling-bling and really bad quality. People across the world are demanding quality, natural materials that age great and that our grandkids can wear. Bring on the revolution!” Hyperbole? Perhaps, but their heart is in the right place.

Some of the current offerings (and yes, they do make more traditional and classic colors and styles, but I find these bright models even more lovable):

Please let me know of companies that you believe meet my standards for future vintage: 1. well designed, 2. well made, 3. created by reasonably-paid people working in safe, humane conditions.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Future vintage 1: Marimekko

With an awful lot of cheaply made, poor fitting and/or badly designed clothing available now, I do sometimes wonder what the future's idea of vintage clothing will be. What other than couture fashion will be worth having from the year 2011? Will clothes even make it long enough to be worn in 2031?

I've decided to search out clothing that meets my idea of really worthwhile: 1. well designed, 2. well made, 3. created by reasonably-paid people working in safe, humane conditions.

A label known to vintage collectors is Marimekko, a Finnish company in existence since 1951. Marimekko has always been known for its bright modern prints and clean-lined clothing, and I'm delighted to see that the current designers have carried on these traditions.

Responding to my request for information about the manufacture of Marimekko's clothing, the Communications Coordinator Minttu Kuoppala wrote that Finland is responsible for 36%; more than 80% is manufactured in the EU. Wherever the clothing is made (and some is made in developing countries) responsible sourcing is part of the company's business strategy.

New clothing by Marimekko has my vote for Future Vintage!

Do you have any suggestions for this series? Any favorite labels that meet my 3 requirements? Any individuals making clothing that you believe has a great future as well as a great present?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

For the manatees

A reminder: 25% of every sale in all my selling venues at is now benefiting the Save the Manatee Club. My goal is to raise $500 to help with the overwhelming needs of the organization.

Perhaps I can tempt you with
this 30s dress with its charming bow print?
or these 50s Delman sandals in unused condition
or this 50s beaded cashmere cardigan
or this 50s iridescent taffeta dress and jacket
There are nearly 200 items for sale in my shops, so drop by and see what's in store! Your purchase will be appreciated even more than the manatees and me!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Vintage convergence

My husband showed me this Bazaar cover from February of his favorite Brodovitch designs, and I said Hey, I know that dress! It was labeled Harvey Berin designed by Karen Stark. I sold it some years ago. I am pleased that I had the same basic instinct in shooting this angle.

And while I'm at it, an alert reader found this Lilli Ann ad, matching a jacket I had in my web store...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Save the manatees...they need us more than ever

I just received an impassioned plea from the Save the Manatee Club. Although it was not put in so many words, it appears that new Florida Governor Rick Scott is leaving an opening for self-interested concerns to downlist the manatee from endangered to threatened, or to even be removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act altogether, at the federal level, despite the fact that 767 manatees were known to have perished last year, which is more than twice the 5-year average. In the past two years there have been many manatee deaths from boating collisions and from cold stress. We still don't know what effect the oil spill will have on manatees and the ecosystem in which they live. Manatees are only becoming more endangered, and only need more of our help to survive.

The manatee's situation is dire. Speed boating's situation is not dire. Can't we bend to save a species that has made it 60 million years so far?

I had planned to do something later in the summer for manatees, but instead I will start a push to help answer the Save the Manatee plea for assistance right away. If you know me at all you know I can't refuse manatees! Starting tomorrow, 25% of my proceeds will go to Save the Manatee Club. If the listings are on eBay, the listing will show the cause. I will also donate 25% of sales from my Etsy stores and from my website. My goal is to make $500, however long it might take.

Thank you for your help!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm a winner thanks to you!

It's champagne cork popping time—Denisebrain is among Lulu's Vintage Top Ten People's Choice Award winners for 2011! Check out the great company I keep!

Many thanks to Lulu for holding this contest and to all who voted for my website. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I have the best customers!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Picture yourself in vintage

Get out your old Brownie Hawkeye, Rollei B35, Argus C3, Kodak Instamatic, or Polaroid One-Step and shoot a vintage shot...June's a great month for it! Get in the mood with my latest theme:

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Many thanks to the inspiration I get from using photo effects!