Tuesday, March 11, 2014

NY in a Velvet Suit



I recently had a brief, lively, and whirlwind visit to New York city. I chose to wear my velvet suit and parse it out for several different outfits.


This is one of the first investment vintage pieces I ever bought. I purchased in back in high school on Haight Street and it is a miracle that it still fits. Some of you have seen me wear this suit before:


For this particular trip it became my staple:

 The top with a black & white skirt, the full suit, and the bottom with a pussycat bow blouse.

You can't really see, because velvet black will photo darker than anything else, but it has beautiful details on the top. There's a little fold over collar, cuffs at the end of the sleeves, and then the bottom hem folds up with button details.


The skirt part was originally quite narrow and almost hobbled me when I walked so I put in a slit up the back. This makes it look a little more A line than pencil (since it has no stretch to it) and more 1970s than 1940s, but I worry less about ripping it.

 Yellow is Jean Louis, 1970-1975  The Goldstein Museum of Art

It's doesn't travel great, because it is vintage silk velvet, but it's so lovely and warm I thought NY in mid Polar Vortex would be its best chance for an outing this year.

And now for a retrospective on the velvet suit...

For Sophronia after the Finishing School Series:



1861 Robe à Transformation  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  For Ivy after the Parasol Protectorate Series:


1878  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

 1882 Carriage Ensemble  The Metropolitan Museum of Ar

For Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series:


1894 Suit  Worth,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1900 Ball Gown  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1938 Elsa Schiaprelli,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My suit, 1940s
1950 Dior New Look

1954 suzy parker in givenchy

1956 suzy parker heinz advertisement

1959 Hubert de Givenchy, 1959  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

1960s suit via Timeless Vixen Vintage

1965 Coco Chanel,  The Victoria & Albert Museum

2013 Fall
What to read in a velvet suit?


Mercedes Lackey's Black Swan, possibly the best retelling of a fairytale I have ever read. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

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