Good Afternoon and Welcome to the Vintage Winter Fashion show, I am Kristen Willis owner of Kris’s Vintage Clothing.
Before we get started I want to thank the Puskarich Library for hosting this event and letting me share my love of vintage with each of you. I would also like to thank the lovely ladies who agreed to be my models for this fashion show.
Coco Chanel said “Every Day is a fashion show and the world is the runway”
So let’s go back to the days of glamour and style, when a party meant dressing up in your new outfit instead of jeans and a t-shirt. Not that there is anything wrong with jeans and a t-shirt but who doesn’t love getting dressed up for a night out on the town? I know I do.
This afternoon we are showcasing party dresses and winter apparel from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. While each era has their own unique style I am drawn to the 70’s maxi dresses and the 50’s and 60’s winter coats. Where looking glamorous was an everyday occurrence and not just for special occasions.
So lets go back and talk about Frannie’s clothes. This story begins almost 8 years ago long before I opened my Etsy shop, even though selling vintage clothing is something I had wanted to do for a very long time.
My older sister’s Grandmother passed away unexpectedly, my sister is the only grandchild of Frannie Udeck. She was a woman of many talents and one who loved to play bingo and she played several nights a week and from the stories I’ve been told she was quite the character. I only remember meeting her once and that was at my sister’s wedding almost 16 years ago now.
After she passed away, my sister was told by her Dad to go in and take whatever she wanted because he was just going to have an estate auction since there wasn’t anything that he wanted in the house not to mention he lived in Florida while Frannie lived here in Ohio.
Frannie’s whole house was a treasure trove of trinkets, jewelry, clothing and dolls. It was like stepping back in time to the 1970’s.
My sister knew her grandmother kept all of her clothing from years past and instead of throwing them away or selling them, so my sister told me come on up and take whatever I want.
Frannie’s clothing were the very first thing I ever had for my shop, most of it is from the 1970’s occasionally the 1960’s and very few pieces from the 1980’s. Her memory lives on through each item I sell from my shop, here is a small sample of clothing found in Frannie’s Closet.
April K. is wearing one of my favorite Frannie Dresses, The epitome of the Little Black Dress with the addition of bling, rhinestone cluster below the breasts.
April J. is wearing a white with silver lurex dress, I’m honestly surprised if Frannie wore this as she was quite short in stature. This is your formal style Maxi dress, if you aren’t familiar with a maxi dress it is a floor or ankle length dress.
Brandi is wearing a black dress with white and silver paisley skirt.
April K. is wearing another one of Frannie dresses in a pretty blue with silver accents around the collar and cuffs, It is paired with a pretty set of gloves.
As it is the Holiday season, let us look back at to the dresses of yesteryear where gowns were beautiful, flowing and alluring.
Elise is wearing a J.C. Penney dress that just flows around her.
“J.C. Penney had its origins in the store opened in 1902 by James Cash Penney (1876-1971) and William Henry McManus, who opened the Golden Rule dry goods store in the small mining town of Kemmerer, Wyoming. This store was so successful that the partners opened more stores. The headquarters was moved to Salt Lake City in 1909 and in 1913 the name was changed to J. C. Penney Company when Mr. Penney acquired majority holdings in the company.
As the company grew, more and more stores opened and the company acquired other companies. The first of these was Crescent Corset Company, which J.C. Penney bought in 1920. They also began developing their own store brands, starting with Big Mac work clothes for men in 1922. By 1930 there were over 1000 J.C. Penney stores.
In 1963 Penney’s distributed a catalogue for the first time. Also in the 1960s they started offering more than just dry goods, adding appliances and other durable goods. Today J.C. Penney still relies heavily on house brands, such as Arizona Jeans Company And a.n.a.”
The Red dress that Charlie is wearing is one of my favorite red dresses I currently have, the beautiful bodice with its embroidery gives this dress an elegance and stands apart from everyone else at any party this is worn to.
Before we go any further, real fur and faux furs will be showcased during this fashion show, if you have anything against real fur please note that these animals have been dead for several decades and we do not want their death to be in vain. So let us continue
April J wearing a short black faux fur jacket, great for brief moments in the cold winter air.
The Dress April is wearing is white lace dress with pinkish red skirt, a bow accent really makes this dress pop.
Elise: is wearing a beautiful cream Faux Fur Coat by Intrigue, this is the kind of coat you that will keep you warm and fashionable on your way to and from any event this winter.
Underneath the white faux fur coat is a beautiful red dress, that is ready for any event wither it be a Christmas party or a night at the opera.
Charlie is wearing a Chocolate Brown Velvet Cape Perfect for Fall and Winter to keep you toasty warm. 3 large buttons are the only closure for this lovely cape. I would say this is an open size cape.
Underneath the coat Charlie is wearing a golden yellow dress which is fully embroidered bodice and mid-way down the skirt. Features a large bow at the back of the bodice, a metal zipper down the back, short sleeves, full pleated skirt and an attached crinoline.
Brandi is wearing a purple gray coat with real mink fur collar and cuffs by , I love the rich brown of the mink. “For many women in postwar Britain a fur coat – preferably mink – represented the height of luxury, the ultimate object of desire. In popular culture the ambition to own a fur coat became a defining quality of femininity, tantamount to a secondary sexual characteristic.”
Brandi is wearing a empire waist dress with scalloped collar and cuffs, showcasing a yellow skirt, I feel this dress is something that Snow White would wear.
Elise is wearing a heavy green coat with real artic fox fur at the collar, I love the look of artic fox it is one of my favorite fur as it is very soft and luxurious.
Elise is wearing a metallic green strapless dress, when I found this dress it had a string of green and purple feathers attached to it by 4 stitches and the skirt had been hemmed up and it was very uneven. Once I removed the ugly feathers and took the hem down this ugly duckling turned into a swan.
Charlie is wearing a plaid dress that came my way via Carol Spiker, and it looks just gorgeous on Charlie it is by Celyne Design INC. The shimmering gold within the plaid is brought out by the necklace Charlie is wearing.
Brandi is wearing a Nieman Marcus sweater set. “Carrie Marcus Neiman, Al Neiman, and Mrs. Neiman’s brother, Herbert Marcus, founded Neiman Marcus in 1907. The first store was in downtown Dallas, Texas. From the beginning the goal of the trio was to establish a store in which customer service was unsurpassed. “It’s never a good sale for Neiman Marcus,” Herbert Marcus said, “unless it’s a good buy for the customer.”
In 1925 son Stanley Marcus began working at Neiman Marcus. It was Stanley who developed the image of Neiman Marcus as a luxury department store. He started the tradition of having in-house fashion shows and beginning in 1938 he established the Neiman Marcus Award for Excellence in Fashion. Stanley Marcus became the president of Neiman Marcus in 1950. The following year, in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue, the store started what has become one of their most famous features — the addition of unusual and very extravagant gifts. The publication of the catalogue is always a much-awaited event, with lots of press coverage.
Today the Neiman Marcus Group includes the Neiman Marcus stores, Bergdorf Goodman, and the Horchow catalog.”
April is wearing a lovely teal green Leslie Fay 2 piece outfit. “Leslie Fay was the clothing business founded by Fred Pomerantz. In 1942, Fred Pomerantz began making uniforms for the women in the US armed services. The government had done a study of statistics concerning the measurements of the typical female figure, and this information was provided to Pomerantz in order to help him make uniforms that properly fit.
After the war ended, Pomerantz decided to produce a line of women’s clothing using the same sizing as he had used during the war. In 1947 he founded Leslie Fay, which he named after his daughter. Leslie Fay became a major maker of affordable and attractive dresses and sportswear marketed toward the middle aged.
In 1965, Herbert Kasper joined the firm, designing under the Joan Leslie label, a slightly higher priced line.
Through the 1980s, the company continued to prosper, but in 1993, Leslie Fay was bankrupt, having suffered a scandal involving fraud. Compounding their problems was a strike at their manufacturing plant, which resulted in the firing of all workers, and the ultimate closure of the factory, one of the last large unionized clothing manufacturing factories in the USA.
The company was able to reorganize and remain open. They are not known for a fashion forward look. Their lines include Joan Leslie, David Warren, and Outlander, which are marketed mainly through department stores.”
April J is wearing a beautiful plain skirt by P.S. I Love You, I have spent hours trying to research this brand to no avail however it is the epitome of a Christmas skirt.
Charlie is wearing a lovely wool outfit by Albert Nipon. “In the early 1970s, accountant turned fashion designer Albert Nipon turned a small maternity clothing company based in Philadelphia into an internationally known producer of ultra-feminine, beautifully tailored women’s dresses and suits. By 1984, dress sales alone reached $60 million and Nipon counted Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara Walters, Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan among his many loyal customers. Nipon’s fall was as rapid as his rise; in 1984, he was indicted for tax evasion and bribery in an IRS investigation and served 20 months in a federal penitentiary. After his release from prison, the Nipon company declared bankruptcy but survived intact, eventually expanding into men’s apparel.”
Brandi is wearing a homemade plaid skirt and a Pendleton jacket. The Pendleton Woolen Mill of Oregon opened in 1909, producing Indian blankets. In time, the blankets were used to make bathrobes and coats. By 1924 they started making the famous Pendleton man’s wool shirt and by 1929 they were producing a full line of menswear.
Even without the jacket this plaid skirt is lovely with just a white blouse.
In 1949 Pendleton began developing a line of sportswear separates for women. Most notable was their ‘49er jacket – hip length, long-sleeved casual jacket with wide collar, patch pockets, and large shell buttons down the front. The 49er is still being made by Pendleton today.
April is wearing a Pendleton skirt in teal green and bright reds.
“For many years, Pendleton raised their own sheep and spun and wove the wool. They sold the fabric as well as the blankets and finished clothing. At one time Pendleton used 1% of all the wool produced in the US.
Pendleton worked exclusively in wool until 1972, when they produced their first spring line. Blue Pendleton labels indicate men’s clothing, and white labels are on women’s.”
Elise is keeping warm and professional in this Hannah Troy outfit complete with blouse underneath. “Hannah Troy was a ready-to-wear firm that specialized in adaptations of Italian designs. Troy began her business in 1937 and remained open into the late 1960s. She was known for clothes that fit the petite woman, and specialized in both day dresses and evening wear. George Saman was the designer of the label in the late 1950s, and Murray Neiman did the designing in the 1960s.”
Brandi is wearing a tweed dress with jacket by Galeries Layfette the material is from Armand Hallenstein. From a little research I was given Armand Hallenstein was a fabric supplier and several stores made their house designs using exclusive fabric from Armand Hallenstein.
After Christmas is over New Year’s Eve and traditionally black and white were worn to New Year’s Eve Parties, Here is a small sample of black party dresses.
April J is wearing a Little Black dress by Oleg Cassini. “Oleg Cassini (1913-2006) first started designing in 1936, working for various stores in New York City. In 1940 he went to Hollywood where he designed costumes for 20th Century Fox. There, he met and married actress Gene Tierney in 1941. By the early 1950s he was back in New York, where he was designing under his own name. His look was very sexy and, at times, flamboyant.
But he was best known as the “Couturier to Camelot,” and his fashion collaboration with First Lady Jackie Kennedy. That collaboration had a profound impact on the way American women dressed, with the “Jackie O” look coming to mean simple designs with easy fit, straight lines, boxy jackets, and very restrained use of trims or ornamentation. Since the mid 1960s, he did little top line ready-to-wear and licensed his name extensively in swimwear, hosiery, foundations, sportswear, fur, and costume jewelry, to name but a few lines of products.
One of Oleg Cassini’s last lines was the Platinum Collection, made to order evening and bridal gowns based on his 1960s designs for Mrs. Kennedy.”
April K, is wearing a black dress in the New Wave Style by Wild Dress, When I first spotted this dress the skirt is what drew me in and I knew it I needed it in my shop.
Charlie is wearing a formal black velvet dress with white off the shoulder draping by Bianchi. “House of Bianchi was a famous name in bridal and formal wear that started back in 1949 in Boston and Medford, Massachusetts, by the family of its namesake. Its designs were sold by bridal shops nationwide until 2001, when it suddenly closed its doors without fulfilling its commitments to orders being processed at the time. The sudden collapse of the venerable company has been blamed on a change in management and on financial difficulties.”
Brandi is wearing another one of Frannie’s dresses, many of the clothing I found in Frannies closet did not have labels in them other than Dry Clean Only, Size tags and ILGWU. “ILGWU or the International Ladies Garment Worker Union, was formed in 1900. In 1935 the union became part of CIO. In 1974 the labels were changed to a red, white, and blue color scheme. This was in conjunction with their efforts to urge Americans to not buy imported goods: Buy American: The Job You Save May Be Your Own. The ILGWU remained active up until 1995, when they merged with another union, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, to form UNITE.”
April J wearing a beautiful and elegant faux fur wrap shawl will keep you toasty warm during those cold snowy months of the year. Beautiful orange satin lining, with a eye hook fastener in the front and arm ribbons on each side. Built in shoulders for a form fitted look.
April J is wearing a polka dot dress that has ruched sides in plain black, front panels are black with gold polka dots. Sleeves have slightly puffed shoulders and are sheer with polka dots all over them.
April K Is wearing a Gorgeous silver bead applique on the right shoulder, it is in the shape wings, and there is also an applique on the matching belt.
The beautiful draping front gives this dress an elegant look.
Charlie is wearing a 1960’s Piano Shawl of black brocade and seed bead appliques all over it, this shawl or cape if you will is homemade and originally had fringe all around the hem when I found it. The fringe was in such disrepair and had large sections missing I eventually removed it all together for a cleaner look.
Charlie is also wearing a Frannie Dress Beautiful 1950’s Brocade Black Dress with a contrasting black leaf print all over the dress. Metal Zipper down the back of the dress. Simply a Gorgeous Dress great for a party dress or the new Little Black Dress in your closet.
This dress originally had fur on the cuffs, however they were uneven and weren’t in the best of condition so I removed them and hemmed the sleeves.
That concludes today’s fashion show, I want again thank the Puskarich library for hosting today’s show and being very supportive of my small business. I also want to the lovely ladies that modeled for me today. Brandi Stearns, April Kovaks, April Jones, Charlie Edwards and Elise Davis.
I would also like to thank my oldest daughter Katherine who is wearing my youngest Abigail and for helping keep the models moving and in order for me today.
Before we close is there any questions?
Thank you for coming, I hope each of you have a lovely Holiday season.