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A blog with a daily splash of vintage swimwear, vintage fashion, news, designer profiles and all things retro.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When Images + Patterns = Provenance

Ahh the 60's. We recently acquired this lovely little frock made of semi-sheer silk voile by the fabulous Rudi Gernreich. Pieces such as this can be timeless, after all Rudi was a man before his time in his design sense, construction and trend setting fashion ideas. So we went on a search for images that would help us date it more precisely. After searching on the net for quite some time and coming up empty handed we popped over to the Vintage Fashion Guild.




One of our colleagues at the VFG, Melody of Tangerine Boutique, who has just started her own blog, sent us a scan of this image from The Rudi Gernreich book by Peggy Moffit and William Claxton. This image is of Peggy Moffit modeling a 1965 chiffon "Klimit" cocktail dress by Gernreich. The pattern is just a bit different but most likely there were versions of this dress in different fabrics to make up the collection.



Then we found and purchased this lovely pattern on line. The pattern dates to 1967 from New York Designers Collection Plus, by Rudi Gernreich. The image mentions that the Rudi Gernreich Original was photographed in New York. But look, it's the same print as our dress that we have listed over at GlamourSavvy. Most likely the pattern came out a while after the debut of the collection this dress was part of. This pattern also has more bell shaped sleeves and an empire elasticized waist but it's marvelous all the same and we can see now that there definitely was a collection this dress was part of.


So it just goes to show that there are various ways to help you date vintage clothing; pictures, books, colleagues, communities and even patterns. Both of these visual clues helped date the dress to 1965, and both are available at our on line store GlamourSavvy.

3 comments:

Mary Catherine said...

Oh, my gosh, I made up that pattern in 1967 or '68 out of a lime green psychedelic print and was wearing the dress when I danced onstage with Janis Joplin at Winterland in SF! -- MC (APrizeEveryTime)

Glamoursurf said...

MC, Wow, what a memory! First the pattern, the dancing on stage with Janis, who is now gone, and at Winterland which is also now gone! I wonder if you still have your dress???

Mary Catherine said...

No, I am very sorry to admit that I no longer have the dress. I might have a photo of myself in it, though. I *loved* it, wore it to one of the first Renaissance Pleasure Faires, in Marin County somewhere. And yes, I wore flowers in my hair ...