Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 0 comments
Gee wiz, is it that time of the year again? Where did the year go? I still haven't gotten to do any of the things I "resolved" to do in the year 2008-- Oh well, whoop dee doooooooooooo!

My only wish is for health and happiness for all those I love. That and to win a huge lottery. Health, happiness the lottery and calorie free chocolate that tastes really good and-and-and.......

Happy New Year!

Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy yourself tonight! Happy New Year everyone!

Couture Allure Steal of a Deal Sale - Let's Have Some Fun!

Announcing our first ever Steal of a Deal January Sale!

Each day during the month of January, I'll be taking 50% off the price of one item on my website. I'll announce the item every morning here on my blog at about 9AM Eastern. The 50% markdown will be effective from 9AM - 8PM Eastern time, and there will be a new item announced every day until February 1.

This will be a first come-first served sale, and at 8PM Eastern each day, if the item hasn't sold, it will return to full price.

Will the items shown here go on sale? Maybe.....

....but you'll have to check here on my blog every morning to find out!

You can subscribe to an RSS feed of my blog or follow it in Bloglovin'. Or just bookmark it at www.coutureallure.blogspot.com.

Don't miss this fun sale! We'll see you every day in January!

One of My Favorite Thrift Store Finds This Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 0 comments
I went to one of my local thrift haunts last week a couple of days before Christmas. The store was really quiet, and I found quite a few goodies, among them one of my favorite finds ever.

My husband and I are art lovers and we have a very eclectic mix of art, much of it found at estate sales, auctions, and thrift stores. I always check out the art at this thrift, because you just never know what you'll find, and I will often buy a piece just for the frame. When I was at the store last week, the bin was overflowing, with several pieces piled on top of one another. I got this professionally framed Chagall poster for $2.99 because it was at the bottom of the pile and the glass had broken.

Yesterday, I went to my local hardware store and picked up a new piece of glass. I took the frame apart and found that this isn't a poster, but rather a print on heavy tagboard. I replaced the glass, and we hung it this morning in our bedroom. For less than $20, and a little DIY, I'd say this is one of my best deals this year, too.

The piece is called "La Sainte Famille", and from my research, it appears it was originally done as a lithograph in 1970. I just love it!

Trash to Treasure Tuesday~


Here is a little dresser that I pulled off of a curbside pile of trash. It is an old-old dresser fully made out of oak. It is only 26 inches high, and is basically the same height as the twin bed it sits next to. There was one handle missing, so I replaced all of them.... and added a couple of coats of white paint. (love that shabby chic look) The top of the dresser has burn marks where someone had placed cigarettes around the edge-- bunch of uncouth sorts who owned it previously I imagine~
You can find more Trash to Treasure finds by visiting Diane at "A Picture is worth 1,000 Words"

Three Women - One Givenchy Dress 1962

Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, Givenchy dressVogue Magazine, July 1962 featured an article about "The Beautiful People", which discussed what the rich and titled were doing for the summer. These gals were the Princess Diana's and Paris Hilton's of their time. The three Frenchwomen were considered fashion individualists, yet they all owned the same dress from Hubert de Givenchy's Spring/Summer 1962 collection. The short dinner dress was made of silk crepe, and the wide bateaux neckline dropped to a V in the back. The soft gathers at the waist were a hallmark at the time.

Above, Baronne Guy de Rothschild (Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild) owned the dress in pink and wore it with a large diamond brooch at the side waist. The Baroness was an active socialite in Parisian circles, and was also well known for refurbishing the Château de Ferrières in the country outside of Paris. The Chateau had been occupied by the Germans during WWII, and sat empty until 1959.

Françoise de Langlade, Givenchy dressMme. Françoise de Langlade was the editor of French Vogue. She owned the Givenchy dress in turquoise. Langlade had worked for designer Elsa Schiaparelli and at Harper's Bazaar before joining Vogue. In 1967, she was married for the third time to Oscar de la Renta.

Eliane David-Weill, Givenchy dressCountess Roland de Solages, the former Eliane David-Weill, was a member of the family that owned the Lazard Frères banking empire. She also owned the Givenchy dress in turquoise.

Valentino at Dessès - 1954

Monday, December 29, 2008 0 comments
valentino, jean dessesThe evening gown I showed you yesterday was designed at the Jean Dessès atelier in Paris in 1954, but was never actually made by Dessès.

At age 18, Valentino Garavani was hired as an apprentice by Jean Dessès. There, he dressed windows, greeted clients, and did many sketches of ideas for garments. Most of those early sketches were lost.

Original sketch by Valentino
at Atelier Dessès, 1954

In 1989, as part of the execution of a special international exhibit, "Valentino, Thirty Years of Magic", Maison Valentino made 10 garments from early sketches that the designer had done while working for Dessès. The garments were produced especially for the exhibit and were never offered for sale by either Dessès or Valentino.

So, is the gown a Dessès or a Valentino? Good question.

2008~ A Year in Review

Sunday, December 28, 2008 0 comments
2008--- where did the year go? Doesn't it seem like the older you get and the slower you move--- the faster time goes!
Cindy at "My Romantic Home" is hosting this 2008 Year in Review, what a fun idea!
Here are some photos of my home from this past year~ I couldn't make a mosaic, so I'm using something I already had made (and previously posted) If you run your mouse over each photo....there is a magnifier.... pretty neat!

Here is another slideshow of my Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8341340@N05/show/ showing my home and some things I've made....like a huge pirate ship in my backyard!!

Jean Dessès Evening Gown 1954 - Sketched by Valentino

jean desses, evening gown, 1954The Madame Impériale evening gown sketched at Jean Dessès by Valentino Garavani in 1954. More on this gown tomorrow.

Yves St. Laurent Dress 1967

Saturday, December 27, 2008 0 comments
yves saint laurent, Africa dress, 1967

An embroidered and beaded mini dress from Yves Saint Laurent's Africa collection for Spring/Summer 1967. The midriff is bare behind a lattice of beads. Click on the image to see details.

Schiaparelli Evening Cape 1938

Friday, December 26, 2008 0 comments
schiaparelli, evening cape, apollo1938 - An evening cape by Elsa Schiaparelli. The Greek God Apollo rides in his chariot pulled by 5 horses in a magnificent celestial design. The embroidery was worked by the House of Lesage in gold sequins, beads, and thread on black velvet. Click on the image to see the details.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008 0 comments
Merry Christmas, dear readers. May the joy of the season be with you today.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008 0 comments
Merry Christmas~Here is my grandson being very leary of this fat ol' guy who is holding him..... he choose not to cry seeing how his reward was a candy cane lol.

Gianni Versace Beaded Top

gianni versace, beaded top 1991, Mary and Baby JesusIn late 1992, I was lucky enough to see the massive retropective exhibit of Gianni Versace's work at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Titled Gianni Versace: Signatures the exhibit lives on in my memory as one of the best I've ever seen.

Above: Detail of the back of a top entirely hand embroidered and beaded. From Versace's Autumn/Winter 1991-92 collection. The front of the top is seen below in the center. Click the images for a larger view.

gianni versace, beaded top 1991

Claudette Colbert in "The Gilded Lily"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 0 comments
claudette colbert, the gilded lily, costume
Claudette Colbert plays a stenographer who becomes a star in 1935's The Gilded Lily. Travis Banton designed the costumes.

Two new babies~

Monday, December 22, 2008 0 comments
Here are a few things I recently made for a new baby girl...A crocheted daisy loom blanket~ a banner with her name on it "Isla" ~ and a captured cupid so she will always be lucky in love~And.....here is my newest baby girl!....A steal at 2 bucks!

Movie Costume - Loretta Young in "Suez"

It's the holidays, and time for a break. This week, I'll be posting some fun Eye Candy photos for you and I'll return in full force next Monday. Happy Holidays everyone!

loretta young, suez, costumeLoretta Young wears an embroidered velvet coat trimmed in fur over a giant hoop skirt for the film Suez in 1938.

Links à la Mode: December 21

Sunday, December 21, 2008 0 comments
The weather outside is frightful. We've had 10" of snow since Friday with more expected today and then a nice ice storm to top it all off. And the damper to the fireplace broke on Friday night, so I can't even make a cozy fire. Drat.

Oh well, hunker down with me and enjoy some great links from my colleagues at IFB:

Links à la Mode : December 18th


Saturday, December 20, 2008 0 comments
I got this questionaire off of Brenda's blog~
1.Do you like cheese? Yes, pepper jack is my favorite.
2.Have you ever smoked? Yes, french inhaled-- I was so styling~for about a week lol
3. Do you own a gun? No...
4. Do you like listening to Christmas music? Yes, Josh Groban singing Christmas songs (of course)
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Tremendously nervous. I hate shots and I always seem to have to get one.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Great idea...oh, and they taste good too.
7. Favorite Christmas song for all time? Avay Maria
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Soda
9. Can you do push ups? No
10. Who is your favorite Grey's Anatomy Character? I don't watch that show.
11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? A blue sapphire ring I recently bought myself :-)
12. Favorite hobby? Shopping, I do it so much I've decided its a hobby.
13. Do you eat "exotic" foods? I have eaten escargot and caviar and raw foods that most would die for... but never on a regular basis.
14. Do you have A.D.D.? Yes
15. What's one trait you hate about yourself? Oh the pressure, just one? *gasp* okokok howza'bout indecisiveness?
16. Middle Name? Lynne
17. Name 3 thoughts your thinking at this exact moment? Its cold. & I wonder if I keep drinking this diet Dr. Pepper if it will keep me awake tonight. & I should get offline and watch my program, its just started.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? Craft paper, a 2" scalloped edged punch and some pink pom-pom fringe.
9. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? diet Dr Pepper, diet Pepsi and hot tea.
20. Current worry right now? I'm worried about my cat Zacky, he has been missing since Monday night.....
21. Current hate? Cold weather
22. Favorite place to be? Home.
23. How will you bring in the New Year? Safe at home~
24. Where would you like to go? Back to Maui *4th time*
25. Name three people who will complete this? nobody...lol
26. Do you own flip flops? No
27. What shirt are you wearing? Short sleeve t-shirt
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No, they feel cold.
29. Can you whistle? Yes
30. Favorite color? Pistacio green.
31. Would you be a pirate? Yes, dripping in pearls~
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I soak in a tub without singing.
33. Favorite girl's name? Heather
34. Favorite boy's name? Steven
35. What's in your pocket right now? lint
36. Last thing that made you laugh? A scene from the show "Keeping up Appearances"
37. Bed sheets as a child? yes, no plastic lol
38. Worst injury you've ever had? Thank the good Lord above, none besides normal bumps & scrapes.
39. Do you love where you live? Yes
40. How many TV's do you have in your house? Four
41. Who is your loudest friend? no one is louder than me lol
42. How many dogs do you have? One
43. Does someone have a crush on you? Yes, and if he says no, he is so getting a poke to the eye.
44. Do you get embarrassed easily? No, mad yes, embarrassed nope.
45. What is your favorite book? none~
46. What is your favorite candy? Cadburry milk chocolate
47. Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince theme song? nooooooo
48. What song do you want played at your funeral? I don't want a funeral. I just want to be cremated and put in a cardboard box and put on a shelf in the garage. Whenever anyone is mixing cement for an outdoor project I want to be mixed in the mixture :-)
49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Tossing and turning in bed.
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I better get up and hit some yard sales!

Weekend Eye Candy - Jacques Heim Draping

jacques heim draping techniqueCouturier Jacques Heim shown in his workroom draping an evening gown on a model. Draping is a technique used by some designers to create a garment directly on the body. Here, Heim drapes the fabric directly from the bolt onto the model's body and secures it with pins. The workroom will then mark the fabric and make a pattern directly from it.

Classic Holiday Gift - Purse Accessories

Friday, December 19, 2008 0 comments
Most of these items would be considered obsolete today, but it's fun to imagine that someone had enough money to purchase these trinkets from Cartier in the 1960's. Who needs a 14K gold case for their matches anyway? Though I suppose if you want to buy me an 18K gold pillbox, I won't say no.

Cartier vintage 14K purse accessoriesDecember 1966 - "Say it with gold gifts from Cartier." From the top:
- 14K gold carryall clutch, $1400 ($9300 today)
- 14K gold lipstick case, $160 ($1065 today)
- 14K gold powder case, $530 ($3500 today)
- 14K gold cigarette lighter, $90 ($600 today)
- 14K gold matchbook case, $210 ($1400 today)
- 18K gold cigarette box-case, $800 ($5300 today)
- 18K gold cigarette case, $920 ($6100 today)
- 14K cigarette holder, $66 ($440 today)
- Pillbox in 2-tone 18K gold, $365 ($2400 today).

By the way, the "today" prices were calculated using a CPI calculator which shows that if I bought something for $1.00 in 1966, in 2008, that item would cost $6.65. The "today" prices are not meant to be an appraisal or estimate of the current value of these items.

Classic Holiday Gift - Vintage Gloves

Thursday, December 18, 2008 0 comments
No, we're not talking about girlish mittens with a snowflake design or those polar fleece gloves you use to shovel snow. Honey, we're talkin' gloves.

Gloves will add a touch of seductiveness, a hint of mystery, and a sense of individuality to any outfit. Fast becoming a popular fashion trend, great gloves are now easier to find, too.

These blue and black leather gloves are on sale at Banana Republic for $79.99

Go on, try it. See how much attention you can stir up. I double dog dare ya!

Classic Holiday Gift - Vintage Pearls

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 0 comments
Pearls. Their lustre, their subtle glow, their
radiance make them one of the most popular choices for a gift of jewelry. Did you know:

- As far back as Roman times, pearls have been considered to be symbols of wealth, class, and status.

- Coco Chanel helped to popularize cultured pearls in the 1930's by wearing them in multiple strands.

- By the 1950s, cultured pearls were considered essential accessories for well-dressed women.

- Although not a "stone", pearls are the birthstone of people born in June.

- Pearl necklaces look best when they have an odd number of strands. Choose 1, 3, or 5 strands over 2 or 4.

Fieldmuseum.org has a great page of information on how to care for your pearl jewelry.

October 1963 - A necklace of freshwater baroque pearls in nearly matched sizes from F.J. Cooper Jewelers. Because these are natural pearls, this necklace was one-of-a-kind. The cost? A mere $13,000 ($91,600 today).

November 1959- On the other end of the spectrum, "pretend pearls" by costume jewelry maker Richelieu, made of glass or plastic beads coated with pearlized paint and available in many colors. The multi-strand necklace $10 ($75 today), the rope necklace $7.50 ($55.50 today), the earrings $3 ($22 today).

March 1963 - Marvella simulated double strand cocktail length necklace. Marvella's simulated pearls were high quality and were produced in several subtle hues so you could choose the one that best suited your skin tone. Not to mention the fact that he'll nuzzle you're neck when you're wearing them! $17.50 in 1963 ($122 today)

March 1963 - An artistic styling of cultured pearls surround a David Webb gold and diamond bracelet. 24 six-strand necklaces of perfectly matched 4mm cultured pearls were twisted around each other to make the "frame" for the bracelet.

Classic Holiday Gift - Perfume

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 0 comments
Vintage perfumes and perfume bottles are still very popular today. You can find vintage bottles of your favorite classic scents online on EBay and other venues. Keep in mind that some of these scents are very collectible and the prices can go quite high.

vintage chanel 5 perfumeChanel No. 5 was launched in 1921 and remains one of the best-selling perfumes today. The bottle has changed many times over the years. Here's one still sealed in the original box that sold on EBay for $115.00. Learn more about Chanel No. 5 in this recent blog post by GlamourSplash.

vintage guerlain shalimar perfumeGuerlain's Shalimar was launched in 1925. Recently, a sealed bottle of vintage Shalimar in the original box sold on EBay for $151.50.

vintage joy perfumeJean Patou's Joy was launched in 1931. It is always advertised as "the costliest perfume in the world". Recently two unopened boxes of Joy from the 1950's sold on EBay for $267.00.

Christian Dior launched Miss Dior in 1947 with several other light scents to follow. This ad, from 1966, shows a different bottle design than the original. Highly sought after, an early sealed bottle of Miss Dior with the original box sold for $710.00 on EBay.

My signature perfume? KL by Karl Lagerfeld. I started wearing this scent about 20 years ago, and never tire of its spicy scent of bergamot, ylang-ylang, and amber. Lagerfeld stopped selling this perfume in the US in the 90's, and before internet shopping, I had to have friends bring it back to me from Europe or the Carribean.

What's your favorite perfume?