19450s sterling silver and rhinestone necklace + screw back earrings set: Gift from a dear friend ♥
Dark grey thin knit shrug: Fairweather
1950s dark teal gloves: Unknown, had for years (probably thrifted)
1950s Style Navy Blue Halter Dress with Silver Brocade Trim: c/o Blue Velvet Vintage
Champagne coloured bow clutch: Bentley Leather
Sparkly champagne heels: The Bay
Lip colour: MAC Party Line
Photography by Tony Cangiano
♥ ♥ ♥
The eve of my beloved husband leaving to work in the US for nearly three months is not something that I'd usually put on my finest threads and celebrate. However, with Tony's departure so eminent and a desire to showcase this breathtaking 1950s halter dress from Blue Velvet Vintage's Classic Dames line before he left a powerful driving force, I couldn't help but get decked out for the camera one last time before he left.
Indeed, in the midst of a wildly busy and exhausting week (which I can so see the effects of on my face here!), less than 36 hours before Tony headed off on his work trip to sunny California, as the last of the early evening sunlight was rapidly fading, I quickly got dressed and we hightailed it down to the historic ruins of the 1912 Hotel in the neighbouring community of Kaleden (which you may recall from this previous 2013 shoot that took place there as well).
There aren't a lot of spots - let alone outdoor ones - around these parts that (to put it mildly!) seem to accommodate particularly fancy vintage attire well, but to my mind, even with their graffiti tags, the crumbling remains of what was one a thriving Edwardian hotel, always strike me as being appropriate in that regard. It’s as if, were one to close their eyes and imagine, they could picture the elegantly attired ladies of the 1910s, 20s and 30s walking through its floors and halls, looking as though they'd just stepped out of a fashion magazine, when such elements of this structure still existed.
My love for the wonderfully popular online vintage + repro shop Blue Velvet Vintage, a longtime sponsor of this blog, knows no limits. Their offerings, be they genuine vintage or 21st century lines and products that channel an old school spirit are always beautiful, honestly described, well photographed, and seriously appealing.
Blue Velvet Vintage very kindly sent me the beguilingly gorgeous 1950s Style Navy Blue Sateen Halter Swing Dress with Silver Brocade Trim that I'm wearing here in these photos (thank you so much for it!), and it is now the second garment that I own from their marvelous in house vintage reproduction line, Classic Dames.
Aside from its captivating beauty - which exists in generous spades - this dress is a gem in a lot of other ways. It's very well constructed and fits, in my opinion, true to size (I'm wearing the size small here and it couldn't possibly fit me better, especially through the bust and torso, which is not common with me and halter styles, as I find that they're usually too big in that area).
The material is thick, but not restrictively so. The brocade is breathtaking, it features a sweetheart neckline (my favourite type of neckline ever!), the halter neck does up not in the usual tie neck fashion, but with two good sized metal hook and eyes, which means that there's no pesky halter tie knot pressing into your neck, and the hem line couldn't be more perfect in terms of its length on me (this is always a seriously big point with me and clothing, so when I find a dress that gets that mid calf length right, I'm one very happy vintage fashionista!).
As well, this dress is deeply comfortable. I could easily picture myself wearing it for many hours, no problem. Its fabric has a wee bit of stretch, which both ups the comfy-ness factor and helps to create an especially flattering fit. This dress retails for $155.00 USD and I would honestly have no problem splurging and paying that for the quality, design, and elegance that this great 1950s style halter delivers.
Ooooh, and let's not forget about the fabulous matching brocade belt, which is totally detachable. I debated actually wearing it as a skinny hair scarf and am sure I will in the future on some occasions when I sport this dress, but for this first wearing, I opted to keep it around my waist. It is generous in length and strikingly pretty, adding just the right amount of twinkle and glamour to your midsection.
A dress this dazzling doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles, and indeed, I was keen to keep it in the spotlight. Pulling on the gorgeous hues in the brocade, I opted for a champagne coloured clutch and sparkly heels, both of which feature bows and created a nice sense of cohesiveness between them. For jewelry I turned to this tremendously lovely 1950s sterling silver and rhinestone necklace + screw back earrings set, which was an awesome gift a while back from one of my dearest vintage loving friends in the whole wide world.
I played around with a lot of glove colours, but none of them seemed right until I slipped on this understatedly sophisticated dark teal pair. Its shade, though similar to that of the dress itself, is lighter and the subtle contrast strikes me as being especially evening wear appropriate. A dark grey thin knit shrug, which has appeared here numerous times over the years (and that, again, drew inspiration from the brocade) was the final touch to this party worthy ensemble.
As immensely busy as we were that weekend, I'm really glad that we got in this shoot before Tony left. Though (as mentioned here), we did manage to create a reserve of outfit photos to help see me though the summer until his return in September, I will greatly miss our usual photo shoots, especially given that we're in the best season of the year for them. I like that I'll always have the memory - and photos - of this last one before he departed to help capture a slice of our life - and this enchantingly beautiful halter dress from Blue Velvet Vintage - before he headed off.
Summer is already whizzing past and I'm sure that, to borrow a great vintage term, in two shakes of a lamb's tail, he'll be back and we'll be launching into as many autumn photo shoots as we can before another powerfully long, tremendously chilly Canada winter kicks in. Speaking of which though, I can't help but think, this dress would be amazing for Christmas or New Year's Eve. Right now though, it's going to be my summer go-to anytime I need, or simply want, to dress to the 1950s style nines!
*PS* I should clarify that while this was technically the last shoot that we did before Tony left, there were a handful of others that proceeded it which I haven't posted about yet. They will continual to appear here at regular intervals throughout the summer.