Debutante of the Year - 1947

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 0 comments
Do you recognize her?  It's Jacqueline Bouvier wearing a $59 off-the-rack dress in 1947.  In 6 years she would be the wife of Senator John F. Kennedy and in another 7 she would be First Lady.  Do you think she had any idea of what was to come behind that smile?

Couture Stripes

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 0 comments
If you've ever sewn with stripes, you know what a masterpiece this dress and jacket ensemble is.  Made by Paris couturier Marie-Louise Bruyere in 1955, the workmanship here astounds me.  Bruyere insets horizontally striped panels between the vertically striped ones from neckline to hips.  Each piece would have been individually cut by a master cutter to keep the stripes straight on the pattern piece.  Then each piece would have been fitted and sewn with extreme care to keep the stripes straight.  Those long vertical darts that give shape to the dress do not extend through the horizontally striped bands.  I cannot imagine the amount of hours it took to construct this marvel of design.  It's pure genius!

Forgotten Designer Mary Black

Monday, November 28, 2011 0 comments

When perusing Vogue or Harper's Bazaar magazines from the 1950s, in the first few pages you are most likely to see ads from Bergdorf Goodman, Lilli Ann, Bonwit Teller, Saks Fifth Avenue, Emba Mink and Vanity Fair.  Amongst those ads from well-known names, you will quite often see a full page ad for a dress from Mary Black.  I know......who?  I've never found a dress with the Mary Black label and I've often wondered about this forgotten designer.  This week I was determined to dig up more information about her.  There is not much to go on, but with the help of fellow VFG member Lynne, here is what we found.

Mary Black was a London designer who started her business sometime in the 1930s.  She emigrated to the U.S. in 1940-41, probably because of the war.  In July of 1941, Mary Black of London leased showroom and salon space on W. 47th St. in New York. In addition to welcoming exclusive clients at her salon, Mary Black dresses were also sold at fine specialty shops and high end department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and I. Magnin.  In 1947, her dresses sold for $80 - $400 (about $812 - $4,060 in today's dollar.)

In late 1951, Mary Black of London moved her business to the 10th floor of 18 East 50th St. in New York City.  She maintained a personal apartment there as well.  On July 29, 1954, Mary was wed to Nichlas Baciu in a civil ceremony.  She continued in business until at least the early 1960s.


As a designer, Black preferred simple lines without an excess of decoration.  She felt that women preferred to adorn their dresses with their own jewelry and so would avoid the use of buttons, rhinestones etc.  She would often use simple bows or flowers, but always made them removable.  She did not like belts and would only offer a belt if a store or customer insisted.  She felt a belt ruined the lines of a dress.

Black often traveled to Europe to buy the expensive fabrics used in her dresses. As we can see in the ads shown here, she liked to use lace for evening wear.

In 1960, Mary Black made a cocktail dress for Bergdorf Goodman that was offered in sizes 10-40 (yes, that's size 40.)  It was a simple tiered sheath with a draped capelet caught at the back with a single rose and came in black or navy.  The dress sold for about $245 in 1960 (that's $1,874 in today's dollar.)  Bergdorf's offered the dress to appeal to the larger sized woman who wanted the more stylish designs usually only available to the size 10 figure.

Thank you to The Spectrum Vintage for allowing me to show you a Mary Black dress that they sold years ago.  Isn't it a beauty?

Please note: This biography about Mary Black is copyright of Couture Allure and may not be copied without permission.

Works In Progress

Sunday, November 27, 2011 0 comments
I've got a lot of silverware to play around with thanks to my father who cut the silverware for me. I've previously cut all the silver pieces myself by hand--- no easy task and very slow going. I've been hoarding collecting silverware where ever I find it-- to make jewelry out of. They are selling rather well at my online store, "The Tarnished Crown" cheap plug, I know. He cut the handles off of spoons so I can make some more pendants... look at all those beautiful spoons! :-) Here is a couple that I've made using really big spoon bowls. These measure in at 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. These will be sold for $10 to $12 each.The bottom right one with the pearls is my favorite out of this batch :-)
The handles which were cut off are lovely. My dad bent the handles back onto themselves and made those into pendants and or key fobs. Aren't they beautiful? I've wire wrapped the tops and added some vintage beads to give them a little bit of pop. These will be sold for $5 each~ I've got lots & lots of pieces to work with.... These little darling vases are made from hollow knife handles. (I've big plans for those)The tiny souvenir spoons I recently purchased, I cut by hand myself. Twenty five in total-- not that I'm counting.Here is one I made into a pendant... these are tiny and measure from top to bottom at 1 & 1/4 an inch. These I'm selling for $5 each.I also used the other end of each spoon making a lot of cute blanks to add something to-to make little pendants. Shown in the photo above.
Those little decorative pieces with a medal will be sold for $5 as well. Is it just me? or is there seriously never enough time in the day to do all the things you want to do... along with those things you need to do? Oh bother..... I did manage to get my Christmas tree up. And yes, It is wedged into a corner behind a chair. (tethered to the mantel of course)I decided not to do anymore "Christmas" decorating other than the tree & stockings this year.... notice the cat under the tree. Nothings sacred....geeze. If I see one hair ball under that tree... someones going to get it!!! I did manage to wrap about 1/4 of the gifts I've already purchased.High on my list of things to seek out and purchase is a cute cash register for my 2 1/2 year old grandaughter Chloe. I have one at my house which she plays with for literally hours. She'll put money in it, close the drawer and then open the drawer and take money out. I gave her a lot of used gift cards which she likes to slide in the slot that is in between the drawer and the register itself. lol.... How does she know how to do that at this age? cute. Well, I've got a bazillion works in progress-- and I guess thats normal for me. I better get offline and try to finish at least one of those projects! I'll be posting things to my Etsy site in a couple of days unless something shiny & glittery distracts me.

Free Shipping at Couture Allure!


Happy Holidays from Couture Allure!


As a special thank you, we're happy to offer free standard shipping worldwide through Saturday, December 3.  Use coupon code "freeship" at checkout and your shipping cost will be automatically deducted! 

Note:  Some U.S. orders will ship via First Class Mail or Parcel Post instead of Priority Mail during this promotion.  Please allow extra time for delivery. 

Free shipping is limited to First Class International Mail for international orders.   International orders that must ship via Global Priority or Global Express Mail are excluded from this offer. 

Offer does not apply to previous orders and expires at midnight Eastern time on Saturday, December 3.

New Beaty Product Crush: Mythic Oil

Saturday, November 26, 2011 0 comments

My hairdresser introduced me with this product two months ago and I loved it :) It has such an amazing scent and it's doing wonders with your hair.
Pre dva meseca moj frizer mi je prvi put stavio ovaj proizvod na kosu i od tada ga obozavam, prelepo mirise i cini cuda sa vasom kosom :)

Weekend Eye Candy - Erik Schaix, 1988

Wouldn't you love to wear this as your Christmas dress?  Designed by Erik Schaix in 1988, the dress is fashioned of white tulle and is adorned with 3-dimensional embroidered strawberries.  Erik Schaix is still in business today on the rue Saint Florentin in Paris.  He designs custom couture and ready-to-wear clothing and accessories.

Enjoy Today the Old Fashioned Way

Friday, November 25, 2011 0 comments

When did this become what Thanksgiving is all about?  Instead, I hope you'll enjoy today in other ways that have some meaning.

 Spend time with your family.

 Sit down and watch your kids at play.  Even better, get down on the floor and play with them.

 Warm your tootsies by a cozy fire.

 Play a game of cards with grandma.

Read a book or two.  

 Take a long walk in the woods.

Enjoy some leftovers.

Continue to give thanks.

Hat & Gloves :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011 0 comments

Hi guys,

As I promised here are more pics from the complete outfit.
It's freezing outside, so winter accessories like hat and gloves are more than necessery, how are you dealing with this cold ?

Hat: Accessories, Boots: Ash; Jeans: Zara; Coat: Legend; Bag: Fendi

I'm Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. It's a day when we stop to think about all the things in our lives that we're thankful for. Today, I am thankful for you.

I'm thankful for all my dear readers who come here each day to share a bit of my world.

I'm thankful for the online friends I've made who also enjoy vintage fashion.

I'm thankful that I have a place to share things the that I am passionate about.

I'm thankful that you "get" me, that you understand, and that you love the same things I do.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

College look

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 0 comments

Hi guys,

It's freezing  outside, not the best time for taking photos... So here are two pics from the inside, hopefully I'll post complete look soon :) Btw, I love this blazer, one of my faves :)



Going to Grandma's

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. Today will be one of the busiest travel days of the year. So whether you're going to grandma's by car,

by train,

by ship,

or by plane,

please travel safely!

Photo Tags

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 0 comments
This past summer I bought a large box of assorted goodies, amongst the treasures was a huge lot of old 3"x3" black and white photos. After looking through them several times, and no clear plan on what to use them for, I stashed them away. Finally, I had an idea. Photo tags! How cute are these?The photos are of a young newlywed couple. I've got photos of their friends & their wedding day, their honeymoon at Niagara Falls... their new car, their first child....all very sweet. Tucked along with those photos were some that are a little older... I made those into cute tags too.Now... what to do with all the photo tags I've made???.... well, I stamped a crown and the words "Thank you" on the backside of each one.... then I tuck these in with the purchases from my etsy store :-)