I wish I were in this picture. Looks like a great old travel poster, but this is actually the back cover of L’illustration Magazine, May, 1932.
I’ve never understood all those people who take perfect good vintage magazines and rip them apart to sell the ads. And I really don’t understand the people who buy the ads, especially seeing that for the cost of one or two ads, you can often buy the entire magazine! And I recently saw a page from an old Holiday magazine for sale for $14.99. It was one page from a four page article on tennis dresses. I know that because I have that issue of the magazine. I think I paid $2 for it in an antique store a few years ago.
But seeing that the cover is torn off any way, I’ll probably frame and hang this one. I can’t quite bring myself to pull out the other ads, however, some of which are really fantastic Art Deco designs. There is just something about taking an old object in good condition and ripping it apart.
Some of the vintage clothing groups I participate in have had this discussion about whether or not to alter vintage clothing. Can’t sell that 1970s maxi dress? No problem, just cut off the bottom, hem it up to a mini. Or is that early 1960s gown too demure? Slice it down through the decollete from the neck to the waist. It’s a common practice, all in the name of selling the item.
Now, what you do with your vintage dresses is your own business, but before you get the scissors out consider this: Would you rather find an original bias cut gown from the 1930s, or the one that a 1970s hippie girl took, tie-dyed and cut to knee length?
Would you rather find a great 1950s gown in original condition, or the same gown that a Cyndi Lauper wannabe chopped off in the 1980s?
Would you rather find a fine silk Victorian ballgown in perfect condition, or the same gown that was dragged out of the chest in 1946 to make a Halloween costume?
If you have a great piece of vintage, but it just is not the right lengtht, do what your grandmother would have done: fold the hem up and sew a new hem without cutting it. That way it can be let back down, even though there may be a faded line.
And for damaged vintage (and Heaven knows there’s plenty of that around!) I say go ahead and be creative, just make sure you aren’t cutting up a garment that would be valuable even though it’s damaged. You know, something like a Charles James gown or a 1920s couture piece. This is when it pays to know a little about fashion history, so read before you cut!
I just had a 40s skirt altered. It might be an early 50s skirt. It was way too long on me. I made sure that it was folded and hemmed. It looks better on me at this length and if anyone wants to let it down, that can be done. It’s slim skirt with three horizontal faux pocket type slits at one side of the hip with big button details. I can’t wait to wear it. I would have never worn it at the length it was, though.
Wednesday, March 4th 2009 @ 8:56 PM
Posted by gail:
Today, there is no excuse to take apart a vintage magazine or book. If you want to frame a picture, copy it. You can even enlarge or reduce to fit your space.
Thursday, March 5th 2009 @ 11:53 AM
Posted by Lizzie:
Holly, to me that seems to be the perfect solution. Clothing is meant to be worn, and it’s unrealistic to think that every piece of old clothing can – or should – be saved. But I do think that we need to be mindful of the next wearer in the life of a garment.Your skirt sounds really cute!
Gail, you are absolutely right.
Thursday, March 5th 2009 @ 5:35 PM