10 Ocak 2010 Pazar

A Vintage Hunter: Couture Allure

There are many places on the internet where you can buy vintage clothes, but there is one among those that has received my attention and I would like to share it with you. The real allure of Couture Allure' for me is, before the clothes it sells, its blog section which includes enjoyable posts on designer labels, periods, fashion history and vintage clothes. I especially like that for the items under discussion, both their original prices and what they translate to in today's prices are given.

Among the many posts that I found noteworthy in the Couture Allure Blog, I would like to mention the following, from which I learnt so much: A post series about the coat fashions of the decades, starting with 1930s and through 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s; on "foundation garments" which are essential for the proper fit of the vintage clothes and the secret behind their form hugging cuts and alternative foundation garments that can be bought today to wear with vintage clothes, the disco craze fashion of 1978, the fast changing skirt fashions of 1950s (1951, 1954 and 1959), the blog author's predictions on which clothes were to be used in the second season of the popular TV series, Mad Men and her self review at season's end (first and second parts), "Furrier Extraordinaire" Emeric Partos, jewelry designs from 1957, 1966 and 1975...

Now, let us have a look at some of the vintage clothes Couture Allure has found in her hunts and is offering at her shop. Let's begin with an embroidered mini dress from 1980s by Fabrice Simon.

While thousands of tiny black beads embrodiered on black silk organza fabric covers the whole dress, the skirt's hem is adorned with pink, green and black flowers, again made with embrodiery. Can you believe this mini dress weighs more than 3 kilos?!

Now, let us have a look at another fantastic dress from 1970s, which carries, besides the Goldworm label, all the colours of the rainbow in all its vividness. A silk chiffon cape/shawl in the same colour and pattern accompanies the dress.

The final outfit I would like to show you from the Couture Allure collection is a genuine vintage treasure. It is a night gown and matching coat which had been specially ordered by Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York in 1968 to the designer house Oscar de la Renta for a customer.


Bergdorf Goodman is one of the oldest and most luxurious examples of the "department store" concept and it is still in business in Manhattan, New York. Hardcore enthusiasts of the TV series Sex and the City shall immediately remember it as Carrie Bradshaw's favorite shopping place.

I can count Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's in the US, Selfridges, Harrods in the UK among the high end department stores. These department stores are still very important for big fashion brands, for example some designer houses offer certain special products exclusively in some department stores, however, with so many different channels available to reach to the customer base directly today, it seems to me that the balance has shifted in favour of designers who are not as dependent as they were on the department stores. The story of this outfit shows us how influential the department stores  had been on the designer labels back then.

The dress and the coat are made from a brocade fabric in pink, brown and white colours. Besides, the fabric has golden coloured metallic embrodiery in it. The fabric's unique print with flowers and geometric patterns makes it look like a handcrafted fabric. The dress features a gorgeous golden coloured metallic braid circling the neckline, the center front bodice, and the waist seam. The coat's collar and cuffs are made from deep brown mink fur.

Every part of this outfit is radiating elegance, beauty, luxury and opulence. Imagine Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly wearing this dress and coat with white satin gloves reaching their elbows, waltzing into a ballroom. That's the allure that Couture Allure promises.

2 yorum:

  1. Cool prints!

    Lovely blog!


  2. I think Carrie's (Sex & the City) fave store was Barneys, but I love Bergdorf!