Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1920's Glamour

Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova, circa 1920's

Designer: Salvatore Ferragamo

Born in 1898 in Bonito, Italy, Salvatore Ferragamo emigrated to America in 1914 and became "shoemaker to the stars" in Hollywood during the twenties. After designing shoes for Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and even crafting Judy Garland's iconic red heels for The Wizard of Oz, he returned to Italy and founded his own house in 1927. The Palazzo Spini Feroni in Florence has been home to the company's flagship store and headquarters since 1938, and it’s also the location of the Ferragamo Museum, which contains over 13,000 models, including the legendary cage and wedge heels, as well as the invisible sandal. When Salvatore died in 1960, his widow took over and employed her six children to assist in the company's development, launching men's and women's ready-to-wear collections, in addition to eyewear, perfume, and accessories.

Salvatore Ferragamo, 1951
Sandals with uppers made up of calf white polychrome, 1959-60
 Salvatore Ferragamo with Audrey Hepburn
1939 Silk and Leather Evening Sandal (metmuseum.org)

1980's Kelly Handbang (Esty.com)
Salvatore Ferragamo signature accent the "Gancini" is one way to identify the designer. Shaped like a backwards horseshoe, the logo, also called Gancino, which was developed in the late 1960's can be found on many of his handcrafted shoes and accessories.

Silk Green Pump, 1955-1962 (metmuseum.org)
1969 Ferragamo Shoe Ad

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Vintage Finds

I bought this great vintage sterling silver cuff fork bracelet at the Chelsea Flea Market in New York City this weekend. The bracelet possibly from the 1970's is solid and heavy to the touch and marked inside Towle Sterling "Candlelight". Of course I did some research on the designer and found out that Towle Silversmiths was formed as the Towle Manufacturing Co. in 1882 in Newburyport, Massachusetts and is considered one of the most prestigious silver manufacturers in the United States. The company is best known for its Towle forks and flatware patterns. Over the years, Towle has created numerous sterling silver flatware patterns including the "Candlelight" pattern designed in 1934; in addition to creating beautiful jewelry.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Designer Moment: Jole Veneziani

Well before designers like Armani and Versace called Milan their home, there was Jole Veneziani. A true fashion pioneer, Veneziani, who rose to fame during Italy's post-war industrial boom, taught Milanese ladies a little something about elegance. She was know for her lavish cocktail gowns and elaborate silk, beaded and velvet gowns, as well as feathered bathrobes and turbans.

1950's Spanish-influence Flamenco dress by Italian fashion designer Jole Veneziani
Jole Veneziani with models circa 1960's
Jole Veneziani was born in the southern Italian city of Taranto and moved to Milan as a child. She set up her furrier shop in 1937 and built her dressmaking and Haute Couture business in the mid-1940's. She had been acclaimed in 1951, at the historical and first fashion show of Villa Torrigiani in Florence,that marked the beginning of the Italian Haute Couture, and she became a pioneer of "Made in Italy" all over the world. She appeared on the cover pages of the most important glossy magazines, and she created dresses for the most important stars of that time, such as Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Maria Callas, Elsa Martinelli to name a few. 

 Model Iris Bianchi in dress by Jole Veneziani, circa 1950's
Jole Veneziani 1960's designs

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Backs Makes A Statement

I am so mesmerized when it comes to the detailing and design on the back of a dress; I don't get the same WOW factor if a similar design was on the front. There's something about the back of a dress that has a lot of drama going on; it gives a more sexiness feel to it and a high-end look. The front of the dress can be plain and simple with no decoration, but the unique design of the back adds much charm to the dress. It's impossible to not have your back to someone, so why not give them an eye full.

The back of this Christian Dior's organza dress stands out with an accent bow 
and a draped cowl back featured in U.S. Vogue, March 1, 1965 issue
What person could resist tapping  you on the shoulder to see who's wearing this  Balenciaga
 dress with the gathered layers of organza on the back - U.S. Vogue March 15, 1968 
Flower applique blossoms over embroidered organza and caught with a water-green sash 
tied into a bow-knot beneath the bare back by George Halley, 1968
Very sleek and simple dress by Nina Ricci! The line of buttons and decorative flaps at the 
back waist adds to its elegance - Photo Philippe Pottie, 1955
 Raspberry-red organza dress adorned with sparkling jeweled and a embroidery
design framing the oval shaped back by Sarmi, 1969
1952 Heller Jersey Dress Ad
Dress by Pierre Balmain back decorated with a row of buttons, a tired-bow 
attached to a accordion-pleated skirt - Photo by Georges Saad, 1954

Diamond chains elegantly attached to the back of this Bill Blass dress for Maurice Rentner
U. S. Vogue February 1,1968