Royal Glove Maker

Under the threat of Nazism, a young Cornelia Katz left her native Vienna at the young age of 21. She escaped to Paris with very little more than a few lengths of calfskin leather. She would travel on to England to await a visa to enter the USA. However, she met and shortly married Jack James and remained there to become England's premier glovemaker.

Having studied glovemaking at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, she taught the handcraft as a part of occupational therapy for wounded soldiers during World War II.

After the conclusion of the war, James realized that post war Europe's 'utility' clothing could easily be brightened by colorful gloves. Cornelia James, Ltd was born with their goal being to bring quality, freshness, and gaiety to the fashion world.

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in Cornelia James Gloves 1947
Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in Cornelia James Gloves 1947
James' efforts were soon rewarded when couturiers Norman Hartnell and Hardie Amies were attracted to her designs. In 1947 James was commissioned by Hartnell to design all of the gloves for Princess Elizabeth's wedding trousseau.

This was the beginning of a long-standing relationship between Cornelia James and the royal household. James was granted a Royal Warrant in 1979. James Royal Warrant

Queen Elizabeth II wearing Cornelia James gloves at garden party  Sydney, Australia  February 1954.
Queen Elizabeth II wearing Cornelia James gloves at garden party
Sydney, Australia  February 1954.
Queen Elizabeth in Norman Hartnell Gown and Cornelia James Gloves
for Princess Margaret's 1960 Wedding. Cecil Beaton Photo
The late Princess Diana arriving at Claridges Hotel in 1992.  She is wearing midnight blue Cornelia James' Hermione  gloves  and a Bruce Oldfield evening dress.
The late Princess Diana arriving at Claridges Hotel in 1992.
 She is wearing midnight blue Cornelia James' Hermione  gloves
 and a Bruce Oldfield evening dress.
Princess Anne wearing Cornelia James Gloves at Royal Ascot 2013
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing Cornelia James Gloves 2013

Do you think Meghan Markle will continue the royal tradition of wearing Cornelia James gloves?

Dotted Swiss Love

We were called out on our Facebook Page when I labeled an Adrian dress worn by Joan Crawford as polka dots. Upon closer examination, the lovely 1930's dress appears more Dotted Swiss than a simply woven into the fabric polka dot. It is especially notable on the lovely matching gloves.

Joan Crawford in Publicity Photo for "Dancing Lady" 1933 Dress by Adrian
Joan Crawford in Publicity Photo for "Dancing Lady" 1933
Dress by Adrian
You can click on this Vintage Fashion Guild link for an excellent explanation and description of Dotted Swiss fabrics.

Popular opinion on the origins of the still popular Dotted Swiss or Swiss Dots is that the fabric originated in 1750 in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Switzerland had been a textile center since the 15th century.

Although I have always loved polka dots, I am particularly fond of Dotted Swiss. My Oklahoma City  Grandmother made many of my Easter dresses of Dotted Swiss.

I don't remember the dress but my aunts have told me I had the cutest little red Dotted Swiss dress when I was about three years old. Sometimes I think I remember the dress but I suppose I am just remembering the photographs.

Enough about me - enjoy the following photographs of Dotted Swiss dresses.

The Ever Fashionable Silkstone Barbie in Dotted Swiss Dress
The Ever Fashionable Silkstone Barbie in Dotted Swiss Dress

Red Formal Dotted Swiss Dress 1957
Red Formal Dotted Swiss Dress 1957

William Cahill Wedding Dress in Dotted Swiss Vandervoots, St. Louis, Mo. 1955
William Cahill Wedding Dress in Dotted Swiss
Vandervoots, St. Louis, Mo. 1955

Mary Martin in Dotted Swiss Evening Gown  1959 Easter TV Special
Mary Martin in Dotted Swiss Evening Gown
1959 Easter TV Special
Manguin Dotted Swiss Dress 1953
Manguin Dotted Swiss Dress 1953
Lanvin 1954 Dotted Swiss
Lanvin 1954 Dotted Swiss

Fashion Frocks

After working a few years for his father's Princess Garment Company, Philip M. Meyers founded Fashion Frocks, Inc.

Employing mostly women, the company sold their garments door-to-door utilizing a style card or salesman sample. In the 1950's, the frocks were sold in home parties much like Tupperware parties.

Housewives chose the outfit they wanted based on the image and description on the card. A sample of the fabric was attached to each card. The salesperson noted colors, price, deposit, and shipping information on the back of the card.

The style cards would be returned to the manufacturing company based in Cincinnati, Ohio for processing. At the height of their success, the company reported serving one million customers in the United States.

These style cards are a collector's delight.

Fashion Frocks Style Card 1950's 'Parade in Style'
Fashion Frocks Style Card 1950's 'Parade in Style'

Fashion Frocks Style Card 1956
Fashion Frocks Style Card 'Poodle Print' 1956

1950's Fashion Frocks Style Card
1950's Fashion Frocks Style Card 'Junior Delight'

Fashion Frocks Style Card 1950
Fashion Frocks Style Card 1950 '20th Century Wonder'

Fashion Frocks Style Card in Dotted Swiss
Fashion Frocks Style Card 'Swishy Swiss'

1950's Fashion Frock Style Card
1950's Fashion Frock Style Card 'Shirtwaist Plaid'

1950's Fashion Frock Style Card
1950's Fashion Frock Style Card 'Sun and Fun'

Fashion Frocks Style Card 1953
Fashion Frocks Style Card 1953 'Cedar Green'

It's Prom Time

I am seeing a lot of  photos on social media of young ladies in their beautiful prom dresses.

Do you remember your prom dresses?

My Junior Prom dress was a blue full length eyelet dress with short puff sleeves and a satin bow at the waist. It was lovingly made by my Aunt.

My Senior Prom dress was a full length lace dress we bought at one of the few dress shops in our small town.

We would love to hear (or even see a photograph) about your prom dress.

 Please enjoy a look back at a few 1950's prom dresses.

1955 Rappi Prom Dress in Raspberry Tulle
1955 Rappi Prom Dress in Raspberry Tulle
1950's Prom
1950's Prom
1950's Prom
1950's Prom
1950 Paris Effervescence Prom Dresses by Topper Formals
1950 Paris Effervescence Prom Dresses by Topper Formals
1954 Cristóbal Balenciaga
1954 Cristóbal Balenciaga
Nadine 1950's Formals
Nadine 1950's Formals
Jean Patou 1953 Evening Gown
Jean Patou 1953
Christian Dior 1956 Formal
Christian Dior 1956 Formal
1959 Mademoiselle 'Choosing a Prom Dress'
1959 Mademoiselle
Peter Stevens 1953 Family Circle
1956 Prom Dresses
1956 Prom Dresses
Young Modes 1955 Prom Dresses
Young Modes 1955 Prom Dresses
My Vintage Vogue

Alluring Halter Tops

Whether tied, slipped, or buttoned around the neck there is a timeless appeal to the sexy, backless, and shoulder baring halter tops that has withstood the fashion fickle industry's latest silhouette.


Maggy Sarrange in black satin halter dress with wide lapels  Designer Maggy Rouff 1950
Maggy Sarrange in black satin halter dress with wide lapels
Designer Maggy Rouff 1950

Christian Dior Halter Top Evening Gowns 1951
Christian Dior Halter Top Evening Gowns 1951

Halter Style Evening Gown Woman's Day 1950
Halter Style Evening Gown Woman's Day 1950

Celanese Halter Dress Woman's Day 1957
Celanese Halter Dress Woman's Day 1957
Courtesy My Vintage Vogue

Halter Tops Alden's Spring/Summer 1954 Catalog
Halter Tops Alden's Spring/Summer 1954 Catalog

Halter Dress in May 1951 Charm Magazine Photo by Francesco Scavello
Halter Dress in May 1951 Charm Magazine
Photo by Francesco Scavello

Jean Dessés Dupon Nylon Ad
Jean Dessés Dupon Nylon Ad