The Little Black Dress

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Nothing says “classy” quite like “The little black dress” or LBD. Created and popularized by French designer Coco Chanel it is probably the most versatile item of fashion a woman can own. It effortlessly goes from day to date night with some jewelry, or silk scarf and a fine pair of shoes.

French designer and creator of the “little black dress” Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

Coco Chanel’s first little black dresses 1926

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury” said Coco Chanel. Her LBD quickly became so popular that Vogue magazine nicknamed it the “Ford” of fashion. After all it only came in black, like Henry Ford’s Model T. Vogue rightly predicted it would become a classic too.

The first little black dress was straight midi length.  Chanel had created a simple, classy dress that was comfortable, and easy to wear, eliminating the need for restricting corsets. Her designs were welcomed by modern women and her influence is every where. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel can be thanked for creating pants for women, ropes of pearls, sling-back pumps, bobbed hair and costume jewelry.

Coco Chanel working on a beautiful LBD

And then there is Audrey…..my very favorite actress …she perfectly illustrated what Coco Chanel meant when she said

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous,”

Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Just a few of the “Little Black Dresses at http://www.ctmercantile.com

https://www.etsy.com/listing/95134531/little-black-dress-sale-breakfast-at?ga_search_query=audrey

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. Fashion fades only style remains the same” Coco Chanel

Oleg Cassini

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“To be well dressed is a little like being in love”- Oleg Cassini.

Oleg Cassini was a French-born American fashion designer. Cassini dressed numerous stars creating some of the most memorable moments in international fashion and film. Oleg Cassini’s designs for the First Lady, ‘The Jackie Look’ are recognized as being the “single biggest fashion influence in history” by film costume designer, Edith Head. Cassini’s contemporary designs such as the A-lineSheath and the Empire Strapless continue to remain influential and predominant today.[2] from Wikapedia

Hong Kong Tailors

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Vintage wool coat tailored in Hong Konghttps://www.etsy.com/listing/98979599/mod-60s-coat-white-coat-wool-coat?ga_search_query=white%2Bcoat

detailed hand stitching

Some of our vintage finds were tailored in Hong Kong. Beautifully sewn I decided to  see what I could find about these wonderfully made items. A style in the 50s was matching dresses and coats. Apparently you could actually draw out what you wanted and have it created in a a few days!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopping_in_Hong_Kong

“Custom tailoring is also very popular and affordable in Hong Kong. You can draw out your own design for clothing and have it made in a few days. Although there are many Tailors in Hong Kong it is a profession in relative decline. ”  Here are a some of the interesting articles I found about Hong Kong tailors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indians_in_Hong_Kong

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANS_Fashions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indians_in_China

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raja_Fashions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheongsam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam%27s_Tailor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsim_Sha_Tsui

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seam_(sewing)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHOCHENG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canali

bespoke tailoring

http://www.lnstar.com/mall/literature/tailor4.htm

http://www.travelintelligence.com/travel-writing/tailors-hong-kong

http://articles.submityourarticle.com/Dave-Roberts-6672/hong-kong-tailor-72056.php

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Schiaparelli and Prada

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Just found this great etsy blog by New York designer and fashion writer Chappell Ellison on the Metropolitan Museum‘s current fashion exhibition featuring fashion designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/20Miuccia Prada12/schiaparelli-and-prada-impossible-conversations/?ref=fp_blog_title

Here are some beautiful treasures by Schiaparelli and Prada on etsy shops.

First this amazing Schiaparelli jewelry set from TheDealhuntress http://www.etsy.com/listing/99353920/vintage-schiaparelli-watermelon?ref=sr_list_1&ga_ref=%2Fblog%2Fen%2F&ga_search_query=Schiaparelli&ga_view_type=list&ga_order=price_desc&ga_page=0&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_facet=vintageSchiaparelli

..and a stunning sweater by Elsa Schiaparelli from VintageBlueMoon on etsy

1950's Vintage Schiaparelli Black Rhinestone Sweater M/L

http://www.etsy.com/listing/100069169/1950s-vintage-schiaparelli-black

Here is a beautiful illustration for one of her gowns from the etsy shop paperdollgirls http://www.etsy.com/listing/70378590/vogue-1940-magazine-advertisement?ref=sr_list_4&ga_search_query=Schiaparelli+gown&ga_view_type=list&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_facet=vintageSchiaparelli+gown

Vogue 1940 Magazine Advertisement Fashion Illustration by ERIC for SCHIAPARELLI Evening Dresses Haute Couture Paris

I found this amazing Prada leather coat from the shop fmarie01 on etsy http://www.etsy.com/listing/101967375/authentic-prada-milano-leather-coat-for?ref=sr_list_18&ga_search_query=prada+&ga_order=price_desc&ga_view_type=list&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_facet=vintageprada

And a little black Prada dress from MadVintageCouture on etsy http://www.etsy.com/listing/98625274/prada-special-little-black-dress-w?ref=sr_list_22&ga_search_query=prada+&ga_order=price_desc&ga_view_type=list&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_page=1&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_facet=vintageprada

PRADA Special Little Black Dress w/ Elasticized Waist

California Couture Designer Bud Kilpatrick

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When I found this beautifully made dress with the handwritten signature of Bud Kilpatrick on the inside I had to find out who this designer was. I discovered this article from the Milwaukee Journal of August 28, 1961 by Betty Ann. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19610828&id=qzsaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IicEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7275,4034262

“‘Simple elegance’ with these two words, Bud Kilpatrick summed up his view of what makes a woman well dressed. The same two words describe the clothes he designs- wonderfully wearable and femminine looking clothes made of beautiful fabrics.”

During the 60s Bud Kilpatrick was one of California’s best known designers. He made the move to California from Minneapolis, Minnesota because he liked the casual well made fashion there. His mother was also a custom clothing designer and he got his start working with her.

Fine fabrics were very important to his work. Simple lines and well made clothes were what he is known for.

California couture designer Bud Kilpatrick

In 1963 he received the Neiman Marcus award.

Fashion by Bud Kilpatrick

Neiman Marcus Fashion Award

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 From Wikipedia

The Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion was a yearly award created in 1938 by Carrie Marcus Neiman and Stanley Marcus. Unlike the Coty Award, it was not limited to American-based fashion designers.[1] Recipients of the Neiman Marcus Awards include couturiers, non-American based designers, journalists, manufacturers, and celebrities and style icons who had had a significant personal influence upon fashion such as Grace Kelly and Grace Mirabella.[1][2] The award was typically presented to multiple recipients each year, rather than to a single individual, although Adrian was the sole winner in 1943, a feat repeated in 1957 by Coco Chanel.[1] From 1969 the awards became increasingly intermittent, with ceremonies held in 1973, 1979, 1980, 1984 and 1995, the last year in which the awards were presented. For the final ceremony, the founder, Stanley Marcus, received one of his own awards

Bud Kilpatrick
Margaret Clarke Miller
Maurice Tumarkin
This yellow ultra suede maxi coat dress with hand embroidery is available at http://www.ctmercantile.com. Beautifully made with a hand written signature inside, it is fully lined and is a fine example of the couture design work of Bud Kilpatrick.