Saturday, November 3, 2012

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V306: 1920s Beaded Evening Gowns - Old and New

Met, 1927
There are a few things in the world of historical fashionable dress that I am willing to buy, because I know I will never be able to make them myself - shoes, brassieres, and fully-beaded vintage evening gowns.  I've been drooling over the gowns in "The House of Eliott," absolutely comatose with drool, and also despairing of my lack of skill and patience when it comes to beading, sequining, and applying large amounts of sparkly trimmeries.  Gowns like these originals...



Met, 1925
Met, 1925, detail of the gown above.  Isn't it SPLENDID!?
Met, 1925
Met, ca. 1925
Met, ca. 1925, detail of the gown above.  Ermagherd Sequins!
Whitaker Auctions - seafoam and gold, so very 1920s
Met, 1925-26
Lucky for us, we have so many of these gowns remaining.  They are true works of art, and deserve their places in museum collections.

So where do you lay your hands on a gown like this?  If you were lucky enough to find an original, would you wear it?  I know of a few sites (and I'm sure there are more) that offer some pretty fantabulous beaded gowns, for varying price points, though none of them are cheap.  Here is the one I bought from Unique-Vintage.com:


 ...but it was a HARD choice.  Unique-Vintage.com has a very large selection of beaded gown.  Some are more historical that others, and they vary in skirt lengths.  Here are some others that were rocking my socks:

Yummy
Yummy - might have to get this one in the future
Yummy
Also try browsing the 1920s section on Vintage Dancer, and for those ladies of particularly discerning tastes, check out the reproduction gowns at LeLuxe:
"The Vamp" - my favorite, and comes in lots of colors
"The Chevron Tabard," also in a selection of colors.
"The Duchess" in gold.
I can't wait until my gown gets here! I'm a little worried that the beauty of it might cause an addiction (ha, no, not worried, but my bank account should be!).  I'm thinking of painting up a pair of 23Skidoos to go with it, maybe with metallic gold and silver leather paints, and perhaps even some bling on the heels.  More on all that later...
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21 comments:

  1. Oooooh! These make me want to tear apart a beaded evening gown I bought at the thrift store and make one of these!!! :)

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    1. I agree! There seem to be a lot of '80s and '90s beaded gowns that are ripe for the ripping apart :-)

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  2. I am going to try to pretend I didn't see those links until after Dickens... my wallet might have recovered by then!

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  3. Gasp! I think I know what I want for Christmas!

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  4. The one you bought was just in an episode of Pretty Little Liars. http://static.wetpaint.me/pll/ROOT/photos/310/1289621050pre-1515264031453142636.jpg

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    1. Ooo! I'm even MORE excited about it now! It looks so splendid worn!

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  5. Those are so gorgeous and drool-worthy! Kinda wish I knew about that shop while I was prom-dress hunting... ;)
    But I was fortunate enough to find 1920s inspired beaded dress at Winner's and Zara! And I got both for under 20 bucks!

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  6. The comatose drool is completely understandable after viewing those lovelies. It almost makes you want to dig deep down and find somewhere in the mess the patience and skill to put together one of those works of art. They're absolutely stunning.

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    1. If you do, please blog about it! I want to follow your progress :-)

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  7. mmm gorgeous! So no tips on DIY beading then? I just bought a tambour hook/Kantan which is apparently the way to do it - have a look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTW5jB8X0wk - but so far have not got round to trying it

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    1. Haha! Nooo...I am not the person to go to for beading advice, although "18th Century Embroidery Techniques" and "Couture Sewing Techniques" (books) have some good sections on the subject.

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  8. I would be so scared to wear a vintage beaded gown - knowing me, I tear the netting (I shudder to think of it!). The little mint green number you bought is beautiful! Can't wait to see you model it with the shoes! :)

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    1. I would be petrified too! I'm much calmer with the new version...hehe

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  9. I have one from Leluxe.. it is fabulous. Watch out Lauren, they are addictive, I want another one! Hallie

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    1. I can already feel the addiction coming on, and the gown isn't even here yet. Now...where to wear it...

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    2. Wear it anywhere you would wear a cocktail dress. I wear mine dancing. It is a great dance dress because of the flare of the tabs/fringe.

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  10. NOW IF ONLY THOSE MODELS HAD THE 23 SKIDDOO SHOES TO GO WITH!!!
    Unbelievable! I always wanted to wear one, but that pencil slim line is DEATH on my 1903 figure...
    N

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  11. It was a little unfortunate for some of the reproduction gowns that the models didn't appear to have the appropriate underpinnings, so they don't look quite right "in person". I love the look of the 20's, and fortunately for me, my fat body is perfectly tubular, with almost no bust projection, so 20s would be a good era for me. I DO need shoes, though ;)

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  12. I sucked it up and splurged on the LeLuxe "Kimono" dress... I can honestly say I own very little else in my wardrobe so lovely. I almost feel guilty wearing it, but it is such a beautiful and versatile piece that I have NO regrets. Now, to make that 1925 corset from Corsets and Crinolines...

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