I’m becoming increasingly smitten with St. John knits, specifically vintage St. John knits. Their modern stuff is a bit too “career” for me, but the earlier stuff, from the 1960’s and 1970’s is quite sexy, as is the case with this dress.
Santana yarn is amazing stuff – a wool/rayon combination that doesn’t wrinkle, stretch or sag. Marie Gray, the co-founder of St John, developed the santana yarn. She was told that it would not hold colors. But it did, beautifully, which is perhaps why color is always such an important feature of the earlier pieces. So, why do a black dress when you can make it a black dress with a rainbow in the middle?
Love this! Please click on the image to see the listing.
Betsey Johnson might have been ahead of her time, but Courreges was downright futuristic – we’re still waiting to live in the space age world that he imagined in the 1968.
Ironically, as the space age look went out of fashion, Courreges went for a softer, more old-fashioned look, with peasant inspired looks, and collections in all-white (okay, maybe all-white is still a bit futuristic).
I believe this skirt is from the era when he was softening his look and designing in all-white. There’s still a touch of space-age, with the Courreges logo embroidered on the front and the over sized pockets on the hips.
This is from the estate of a Massachusetts woman who LOVED her white clothes, and she lived hard in them. This is one of the few white pieces from the estate that survived intact – the others were sent to a friend for study and appreciation.
Betsey Johnson has always been ahead of her time, not just with her fashions, but with her business sense, her trajectory, and even her own sense of style.
After winning Mademoiselle Magazine’s “Guest Editor Contest” (which sounds like the 60’s version of Project Runway) Johnson was hired on as a designer for Paraphernalia, a company known for bringing the British Boutique and Mod look to the U.S.
Influencing and being influenced by the Andy Warhol art scene, in 1968 Johnson married John Cale from the Velvet Underground, who were pretty much the soundtrack of the movement.
Again, Johnson was decades ahead, by going pantless (a la Lady Gaga to her own wedding). According to New York Magazine (2003), she married Cale at a civil ceremony wearing a crushed velvet tunic, and “Definitely showing crotch” after she was turned away for wearing pants.
Changes at Paraphernalia, meant Johnson was losing creative control, she left to form her own company, Alley Cat, in 1970. She designed high fashion/low cost clothing for stylish (and poor) young women, and preceded today’s DIY movement by putting out patterns, and even a series of cutout paper dolls in Mademoiselle magazine.
From this era of Betsey Johnson design, we are offering this amazing 1970’s embroidered peasant dress in a very forward shade of hot pink. This dress is from a woman who lived in Greenwich Village during the 1970’s, and wow, am I jealous of her! (Click on the dress to see more).
I’m getting ready to list a 1920’s dress with a Sadie Nemser label. As I’ve been thrilled to discover, Sadie was a high end designer, even designing the dress for Mrs. Calvin Coolidge for the inaugural ball (actually a charity ball, but still!).
The search for a picture of this dress lead me to this image of the event:
Cool enough at 200 pixels wide, but this is from the Shorpy blog, with tons of high resolution vintage pictures. Click HERE to see the large version of this picture or HERE to go to the Shorpy website. Be forewarned – there is SO MUCH cool stuff there – it may take you a few hours to emerge.
I would sell about 10 times as many vintage ties were I not married to a tie hoarder collector. I’ve been known to hide ties from him until they are listed on eBay, and even then, he’ll complain. Apparently 200 vintage ties aren’t enough? But, I suppose as the owner of approximately 15 pairs of black motorcycle boots, I shouldn’t complain.
Here are a few that managed to make it past the Mr. NSV gauntlet (whether by my stealth or by his choice, I will not say). Click on the picture to go directly to the auction.
These are two of the ties that did not make to eBay, even though they were photographed and ready to go. The MR shows no mercy when it comes to his tie collection.