Nelly Don Dress - 1961

The Nelly Don Company was known from the 1930s through the 70s for it's stylish, yet budget minded dresses.  This sheer cotton blend dress from 1961 came in misses and half sizes.  Made even more special with the addition of a bright pink hat, don't you think?  Sold in 1961 for $18.00 (about $136.00 in today's dollar.)

Harvey Berin Dress - 1955

Delicious, no?  This incredible dress was designed by Karen Stark for Harvey Berin.  The dress is pieced together from black lace and pin-tucked black silk chiffon.  It is lined in a light colored silk, probably pink or beige.  The work that went into this beauty is simply astounding!

Weekend Eye Candy - Pierre Cardin Diffusion, 1975

Two evening gowns from Pierre Cardin's Diffusion line for spring 1975.  Both gowns are made of brightly colored silks and, while vastly different, I love them both.  How about you?

Lanvin-Castillo Dress - 1961

Lanvin-Castillo makes evening sultry with many layers of sheer black silk marquisette.  The matching silk boa was a big feature in their line for Spring 1961.  This dress copied in America by Saks Fifth Avenue.

June Arden Dresses - 1949

June Arden made budget dresses, but they sure don't look it, do they?  Both are made of rayon shantung, perfect for the warmer days of summer.  The dresses were available in misses and half sizes and sold for $9 in 1949 (about $86 in today's dollar.)

Mary Black Dress - 1961

Designer Mary Black made this stunning silk chiffon dress exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman in 1961.  Drapes drop from the shoulders and are attached to the skirt front.  The dress was available in avocado green, beige and navy and came in sizes 10-20.  Sold in 1961 for $215 (about $1628 in today's dollar.)

Talmack Silk Dress - 1956

The Mattie Talmack name is largely forgotten today, but Mr. Talmack's design house produced some gorgeous dresses.  Likely designed by John Moore, this paisley silk shantung sheath dress is adorned with elaborate frog closures over the side zipper.  Apricot and pink are touched with gold metallic threads.  Sold for $100 in 1956 (about $832 in today's dollar.)

Mainbocher Evening Gown - 1963

This Mainbocher couture evening gown is from the spring of 1963.  White silk crepe is printed with a black geometric pattern.  I adore the mix of a casual print with a formal dress. The gown has a high neckline and short train in the back.  Made to order only in Mainbocher's couture salon in New York.

Weekend Eye Candy - Guy Laroche, 1966

Guy Laroche brings op art to evening wear with the use of black and white sequins.  Notice how he accents the waist with the use of the size of the diamonds and how the pattern swirls from there.  I'm pretty sure I would faint if I found this dress today.

Larry Aldrich Dress - 1951

Larry Aldrich jumps into the New Look in 1951 with this dress made of black rayon faille.  The full skirt is pleated onto a dropped waist and measures 4 yards around at the hem.  Sold for $50 in 1951 (about $435 in today's dollar.)

Jane Derby Dress - 1964

Jane Derby was a designer of high end ready-to-wear.  Oscar de la Renta took over design duties at the company in 1965 right before Derby's death.  This dress from the spring of 1964 is likely one of her last designs.  The simple sheath dress with matching overblouse are fashioned of lilac cotton blend cloqué.  Sold for $125 in 1964 (about $913 in today's dollar.)  The fantastical hat is by Emme.

Jonathan Logan Dress - 1949

Jonathan Logan designer Dorris Varnum  used rayon taffeta with black velvet flocked dots for this dress in 1949.  Available in tropic blue, vibrant red and jewel green.  Sold for $12.95 in 1949 (about $123 in today's dollar.)

Dior Couture Dresses - 1956

Two stunning evening dresses from Christian Dior's couture line for Spring 1956.
At left:  While silk faille strapless dress is gathered into a bow-knot at the bust.  Copied in the U.S. by Henri Bendel, Julius Garfinckel, I. Magnin and Wanamaker's.
At right:  Black silk faille dinner dress with a high waist bow and criss-crossed pleats in the skirt.  Copied in the U.S. by Bergdorf Goodman and I. Magnin.

Mainbocher Dress - 1954

Couture genius Mainbocher designed this double skirted evening dress in 1954.  Fashioned of cotton in a pastel floral print, the halter neckline is perfect for a hot summer night.  Made-to-order couture in Mainbocher's New York salon.

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Dresses for Spring

This week at Couture Allure we've added more wonderful dresses for spring.  I seem to have a love for shades of green and blue right now!  Be sure to check our What's New page to see all the latest items.  And to update you on my travels, I'm nearly halfway through my trip and have found some wonderful vintage things for the website.  I should do this more often, as I"m having a blast!  I've been posting pictures on my Facebook page of some of my finds and of some of the places I've been searching.  Check it out!

1970s Vera cotton caftan

1970s Polly Hornburg silk dress

1950s Kay Windsor cotton dress

1960s beaded silk cocktail dress

1950s silk satin party dress

1960s Originala linen dress

Weekend Eye Candy - Givenchy, 1956

I don't need to say much.  Just take a deep breath and let it out slowly as you take in the masterful details of this strapless evening gown by Hubert de Givenchy from Spring 1956.

Junior Circle Dress - 1956

The thing to notice here is the stripes.  See how perfectly they are matched at each gore seam in the skirt?  It used to be that companies took pride in the construction of their garments.  Even a budget line like Junior Circle took care when sewing together a pretty dress.  Cotton dress from 1956 in pink, blue, beige or green stripes on white.  Sold for $23.00 in 1956 (about $191.00 in today's dollar.)

Patrick de Barentzen Dress - 1961

My oh my, I would not have guessed this dress was as early as 1961, but those Italian designers tend to surprise me quite frequently.  This dress by Patrick de Barentzen is fashioned of black and white silk shantung.  The back is held together with a black ribbon.  Originally came with a matching jacket (but of course!)  Even though the dress is backless, the woman who wore it would not have gone bra-less.  Not in 1961!  Either she is wearing a backless corset or the dress has one built into it.

B.H. Wragge Playsuit - 1958

Take a little playsuit to wear at the beach or pool and make it infinitely more versatile by adding a matching skirt.  B.H. Wragge offered this ensemble in 1958.  Made of silk crash, the playsuit is aqua and the skirt is aqua, pink and lilac.  Sold for $70 in 1958 (about $591 in today's dollar.)

Henri Bendel Dress - 1949

The description of this dress by Henri Bendel Young-Timers from 1949 does much more for it than the black and white photo.  "Young-Timers brighten summer evenings with an iridescent rayon chiffon in the dark glowing green and blue of the sea...the draped bodice, shoulder to shoulder decolletage and flowing longer-then-skirt-length panels hinting of autumn fashions in the making."  Blue and green!  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  Sold for $49.95 in 1949 (about $475 in today's dollar.)

Anne Klein Dress - 1969

Anne Klein started her own line in 1968, so this dress of hers, from the spring of 1969, is one of the earliest with her label.  Huge black dots on white acetate/rayon crepe make quite a statement.  Sold in the Anne Klein Corner at Saks Fifth Avenue for $85 (about $524 in today's dollar.)

Weekend Eye Candy - Elsa Schiaparelli, 1949

Elsa Schiaparelli constructed this incredible evening gown from black taffeta in 1949.  I use the word constructed in a literal sense because if ever there was an evening gown that could be called architectural, this is it.

Adele Simpson Dress - 1954

No description other than stunning!  It looks like this dress is made from a jacquard weave fabric and it has sparkling glints of something.  Perhaps metallic threads, perhaps rhinestones, perhaps sequins or beads.  By Adele Simpson in 1954.

Mollie Parnis Dress - 1949

Designer Mollie Parnis takes a simple shirtwaist style and makes it more formal by using silk twill in navy with red polka dots.  Love that graceful rounded collar.  Sold for $70 in 1949 (about $665 in today's dollar.)

Vera Neumann Dress - 1967

I love me some Vera, and I would snatch this dress from 1967 right up if I found it.  A simple sheath in Ban-Lon nylon, it is shown bloused a bit by way of the tie sash at the waist.  Sold for $26 in 1967 (about $176 in today's dollar.)  The hair?  Not so much.  And are those necklaces posing as earrings?

Henry Rosenfeld Dress - 1955

I want this dress.  Or maybe I want to be her with those fabulous sunglasses and chandelier earrings holding a bouquet of flowers from my lover and about to board a boat to Rome.  No, it's the dress I want.  Bright cotton print in pale green, black, and red on a yellow background.  The black and white photo gives the illusion of a bare midriff, but the solid portion at her waist is yellow.
 Dress by Henry Rosenfeld.  Sold for $15 in 1955 (about $127 in today's dollar.)

Wesley Simpson Prints - 1943

Both of these 1943 dresses are made from Enka Rayon in Wesley Simpson Custom Prints.  Simpson worked with several top artists.  This print of pretty hats was designed by Marcel Vertés.  There is no indication who made the dresses, but they sold at leading department stores for $39.95 in 1943 (about $523.00 in today's dollar.)