Floral chiffon dress with low cut back, 1930s. The slinky, form fitting silhouette and hip-seam detail anticipate the longer styles of the 1930s. The hybrid style combines a sophisticated 1930s silhouette with an endearing floral print, whose sunny hues—for a 1930s viewer—symbolized the unbounded optimism of the carefree 1920s. NEW LISTING
Embellished chiffon tea dress, 1930s. Our gossamer creation of silk chiffon is trimmed with delicate silk lace appliqués and ribbon art bouquets. An endearing pink chiffon was used as a ground for the charming silk ribbon bouquets limned with a pleasing pastel palette. The delicate silk lace appliqués are executed with a masterful Rococo touch. NEW LISTING
Embroidered silk wedding dress, 1930s. Embroidered with 3-dimensional roses of matching silk floss, which intimate a willful romanticism that steals our hearts. The low-waisted bodice is form fitting below the neckline. The full skirt dips to a graceful train in back. The shirred, low-scoop neckline and gently puffed sleeves are of the last degree of feminine charm. NEW LISTING
Beaded satin flapper dress, c.1926. Featuring dazzling embellishment of silver-lined crystal beads and glittering rhinestones. The intricate pattern—the same on front and back—includes delicious stylized pineapples. The subtle elaborations of the intricate curvilinear Art Nouveau motifs on the bodice have a memorable beauty.
Beaded flapper dress, c.1928. Made from taupe silk crepe, the fetching dress is beaded with clear crystal and silver-lined crystal beads set in a grid design. With a handkerchief-style pointed hem, the skirt is ideal for dancing; the beaded decoration sparkles with joie de vivre. Both sexy and demure, here is the personification of the free spirited, fun loving flapper era.
Deco evening coat, 1930s. Made from black silk/rayon velvet, the stylish and sophisticated coat pays homage to the heyday of Art Deco in the mid-1920s. In fashion, a white-on-black theme creates high drama. In the dazzling Deco design, the striking "framing effect" of white-and-black color blocks creates a powerful theatrical effect.
Metallic brocaded lamé evening dress, c.1929. Made from gold and purple silk/lamé brocaded with metallic gold, our dress has the uneven hemline that anticipates the longer styles of the 1930s. The skirt consists of separate, ruched panels attached at the top to a short, straight underskirt. The layered effect of the richly textured, Persian-style pattern calls to mind the splendors of Central Asian textile art.
French flapper wedding dress, c.1928. The simple flapper style is the perfect background for the romantic embellishment. The hemline draws the eye to a delightful rhinestone basket of ribbon art roses, which have metallic cord centers. There is a second smaller basket of flowers peeking through the lace just above the knee.
Gallenga stenciled velvet cape, 1920s. The opulent cape is noteworthy for the subtle restraint of the virtuosic stenciling. Made from luxe silk velvet and lined with mesmerizing red silk velvet, the regal cape is every bit the equal of Fortuny's creations, which regularly sell for $10,000 plus. The full signature Maria Monaci Gallenga, part of the stenciled pattern, has been cut to fit the shape of the cape.
Mixed lace tea dress, c.1920. So soft and romantic, the dress combines hand-embroidered tulle panels with a medley of hand-assembled tape lace in a textured design. Your "audience" will appreciate the masterful combination of floral motifs with design textures. Rows of feminine ruffles on the sides of the skirt enhance the textural appeal. The pale peach chiffon sash at the waist is the only hint of color.
Fortuny Peplos tea gown, c.1920. The tunic attached at the neckline falls in points to the hip, giving the appearance of a two-piece garment. Fortuny used silk satin more finely pleated than anything ever seen in costume. The Peplos is incredibly soft and liquid, molding to the curves of the body. The richly modulated pastel pink has a mysterious, enchanting depth. Fortuny's luminous and subtle hues have never been reproduced.
Beaded Chantilly lace flapper dress, c.1928. Made from black Chantilly lace with a wide hem border of finely embellished bronze metallic lace, the loose fitting, straight style is softened in front with large bias-draped lapels above the waist and a draped bias skirt panel below. The fab lapels intimate a "fashion uniform" for a high official, whose only qualification is to be the most stylish of women.
Embroidered mixed lace tea dress, c.1922. The loose fitting style is effortless to wear. Here is the ideal synthesis of high relief hand embroidery with different styles of handmade lace. Inserted throughout the design are panels of delicate flat filet lace, which outline the neckline and sleeves. Your "audience" will not fail to appreciate the peerless artistry of the fine lace work.
Appliquéd robe de style dress, c.1924. With the original built-in panniers (side hoops), this exemplary piece s a special find. It was based on Jeanne Lanvin's signature robe de style, which hearkened back to 18th century Court dress. Against a canvas of luxe maize-hued velvet, the exuberant floral appliqués—made from silks and silk ribbons—are of the last degree of charm.
Beaded silk chiffon jacket, c.1928. The cardigan style is a timeless classic. Covered with multi-hued glass beaded roses, the chic jacket presents a luminous kaleidoscope of color. The coruscating colors and stylish shape—like a gilded frame of a portrait in life—project an exotic, magical aura around the wearer. This is the essence of style: individual, brilliant, and impulsive.
French beaded velvet evening coat, mid 1920s. The sleeves and sides are elaborately beaded with alternating stripes of roses and geometrics. The sinuous, serpentine beading pattern is visually arresting. The main bands of the floral motif are executed with matchless mastery, conveying the exotic allure of the East. The bracketing patterns of linked circles add a delicate, feminine grace note to the design.
Beaded tabard-style dress, c.1920. It lightly skims the body and drapes perfectly. Cleverly referencing the medieval tabard, the highly elaborated geometric design has a mesmerizing appeal. Just as emblazoned arms on the knight's tabard was a means of identification, so here the masterful beading and the inspired design certify a different kind of identity: as an aristocrat of style.
Beaded chiffon flapper dress, 1920s. Made from cream colored silk chiffon, the torso is embellished with a cobweb-style design of white glass beads. The fluid quality of the inspired design accentuates female curves. The neckline is bordered with superb open work. The exemplary Deco design features the primary geometric forms characteristic of the Art Deco—a brilliant concept, a veritable brain wave!
Beaded evening dress with strappy back, 1930s. The sheer black silk chiffon dress is totally covered with clear crystal beads. It slips on without closures, hugging the torso in just the right places. Everything is miraculously held in place—and only by your curves :) With its fab "back interest," this sophisticated dress conveys the alluring sensuality of 1930s silver screen idols.
Deco sequined evening cap, c.1925. By the late 1920s, the bell-shaped cloche had been pared down to the skull cap, obeying the dictates of the new streamlined modernism. The simplified shape of the evening cap cried out for elaborate surface decoration. Here the embroidered design uses an ingenious mix of glittering sequins and coiled metallic spirals.
Sequined tulle flapper dress, c.1925. Cut straight to the hipline, where it is attached to a bias-cut circular skirt, the stylish dress personifies 1920s glamour. Whispering the romantic intrigue of the night, the sophisticated black-on-black design is punctuated with bursts of glitter from a textured assortment of large diamond-shaped paillettes, sequins, and glass beads.
Beaded velvet and brocaded satin evening coat, c.1922. There is nothing quite so enduringly chic and timeless as a high style evening coat. Made from black-and-gold brocaded satin, the regal coat is probably French. The surface is covered with gold beads and sequins. The glittering Art Deco design infuses the dress with high-octane 1920s glamour.
Hollywood-style beaded evening dress, 1930s. The soft pink hue is the perfect setting for the outer layer finely embellished with opaque white beads, clear crystal beads, and glittering rhinestones. Fantasy is the quintessence of the scintillating, semi-abstract design of stylized roses and sprays of opaque white beads. Here is the dress for a woman who will embody those dreams.
Hand-embroidered flapper dress, c.1926. The simple flapper chemise is the perfect canvas for textile art. This one is elaborately embellished with alternating panels of handmade filet lace and high relief hand embroidery on a background of oatmeal colored batiste. The bias-cut flirty hem flounces on the sides add a touch of flapper sass.
Sequined net evening dress, 1930s. This is the slinkiest, sexiest mermaid dress I have ever seen. With its seductive cut, the sylphlike dress is reminiscent of glamorous 1930s styles. Made from stretchy ivory net, the dress is completely covered with scalloped rows of iridescent sequins. It provocatively molds to the body, ending with a scalloped hem and small back train.
Hollywood style sequined evening jacket, c.1939. Made from black net totally covered with flat black sequins that shimmer and sparkle in the nighttime of our dreams, the cut is gently shaped and comfortable to wear. Here are the built-up shoulders popularized by MGM designer Adrian in his designs for Joan Crawford (Letty Lynton,1932). The style really took hold after America entered WWII.
Metallic lace evening dress, c.1929. Made from gossamer beige and metallic silver lace, the dazzling dress bespeaks the gilded optimism of the Roaring Twenties. The skirt consists of artfully draped bias-cut panels of lace. What accounts for the sublime, empyrean beauty of our celestial dress? Is it the charming design motifs or perhaps the electric excitement of the glittering metallic silver lace?
Chantilly lace flapper dress, c.1925. The torso is straight to the drop waist. The skirt, straight in front and full in back, has layers of bias-cut panels. The slip is skillfully constructed with a sheer layer of black silk chiffon over a chartreuse satin lining. The cheerful red-yellow-blue tambour embroidery personifies the unbridled optimism of the mid-1920s.
Beaded crepe evening blouse, c.1939. Made from black rayon crepe with a persimmon crepe neckline border, the blouse is gently fitted at the waistline. The beaded decoration is spectacular. Here is the showiness and brilliance in clothing celebrated throughout the Great Depression. The creativity of the design motif conveys a stylish elegance that the initiated understand, but which remains a mystery to the rest.
Chinese embroidered dragon coat, 1920s. Straight cut, wide sleeves, mandarin collar, vented side seams and embroidered with 3 dragons, symbolizing good luck. The wonderfully expressive dragon eyes are embroidered with silk floss. The striking 2-color design of real silver cord against carmine red satin makes an indelible impression: the glowing red hue is redolent of the dragon's fiery breath.
Embroidered metallic lace skull cap, 1920s. By the late 1920s, the bell shaped cloche was pared down (streamlined modernism) even more to become a skull cap. The lace cobweb pattern creates a delicate filigree effect, as mysterious as it is beautiful. The embroidered chenille flowers add a three-dimensional quality. This treasure of textile art has a mellow beauty not found in modern synthetics.
Embroidered tulle/Irish crochet flapper dress, c.1926. The winsome dress is embellished with raised floral embroidery, decorative crocheted ball buttons, and bands of pale beige Irish crochet lace. I love the fluttery lace faux sleeves. The dress slips on without closures. The simple shape of the dress is contemporary; the detailing has the distinctive charm of an antique original.
Fortuny stenciled velvet jacket, 1930s. Never before on the market, the regal jacket is hand stenciled with a Renaissance-style pattern in gold pigments. Here is the subtle shading found in Renaissance frescoes. With wide sleeves and a stand-up shawl collar, the short boxy style is meant to be worn open without closures. A Fortuny stenciled velvet outer garment is even more rare than a Delphos gown.
Chiffon and lace flapper dress, c.1929. The delicate chiffons of the late 1920s were like a fresh summer breeze after the hard edged geometry of Art Deco. In this alluring yet ladylike dress, gossamer floral-patterned lace alternates with panels of black silk chiffon. Note the uneven hemline that anticipates the longer styles of the 1930s.
Fortuny stenciled velvet jacket, c.1930. The "lace" pattern is hand stenciled with layers of subtly changing silver/gray pigment, reproducing the Renaissance fresco effect. By an aesthetic dialectic,Fortuny synthesized ideas to create a new and different design. Here he brilliantly combines blocks based on Islamic tiles with borders based on 17th century lace.
Embroidered knotted net lace tunic, 1920s. This artistic tunic combines an ancient lace technique with a thoroughly modern T-shirt shape. The ingenious symmetrical design is composed of semi-abstract natural motifs—many referencing the harvest time. The variegated, multiform motifs create an unforgettable panoply of masterful ethnic-style design.
Metallic lace flapper dress, c.1925. The torso is straight to the hipline. The fullness of the skirt is softly gathered on the sides and in back. The elaborated floral motifs still show the influence of Art Nouveau. The incandescent beauty of the lace personifies the dazzling splendor of late 1920s fashion.
Rhinestone studded evening dress, 1930s. This sophisticated evening was fashioned from black taffeta with a dramatic rhinestone studded neckline. The layered skirt, with bias-cut flounces, is great for dancing. The silhouette is ladylike, yet sexy—the perfect fantasy dress that will glide smoothly over the torso. What accounts for the affecting feminine appeal? That is the mystery of great design!
Metallic lace flapper dress, c.1925. Made from bronzed metallic lace over a black satin lining, this scintillating dress slips on without closures. The lower sides of the bodice are ruched, creating a cummerbund effect. The scalloped border on the lace is a delightful touch. The incandescent beauty of the lace personifies the dazzling splendor of 1920s fashion.
Egyptian Revival beaded satin flapper dress, c.1925. The hem borders are lavishly hand beaded with crystal beads and rhinestones. Smaller motifs outline the neckline. The tunic has long beaded panels that fall from the back shoulders. The intricate design motifs have been arranged like aesthetic hieroglyphs that impart to the viewer a pleasing, yet enigmatic, message: high style chic with the exotic allure of the East.
Velvet and lace evening dress, 1930s. The beguiling velvet dress, artfully cut in concentric rings that conform to the underlying curves of the body, gracefully skims the hips before flaring out in the circular lower skirt. I love the low cut neckline, framed with a draped collar flounce of fine beige lace. The sensual drape of the velvet and the deep black hue lend a seductive glamour to the alluring dress.
Flapper velvet skull cap, late 1920s. By the late 1920s, the bell shaped cloche was pared down even more to become a skull cap. This essential flapper accessory was made from black silk velvet and lined with black felt. The hard-edge skull shape is softened with bouquets of black velvet petals that frame the face. Skull caps are perfect for bad hair days—just tuck your hair up inside the cap and forget about it.
Chinese embroidered satin coat, 1920s. Made from black satin with borders of ivory satin, the brilliant coat is finely hand embroidered in silk polychrome floss with Chinese motifs of flowers and figures. Especially memorable are the decorative cerise and amber flowers, whose whimsical verisimilitude puts Nature herself to shame.
Beaded chiffon and crepe evening dress, 1930s. What a delightful soft maize color! The bodice is of silk chiffon embellished with a grid pattern of clear crystal seed beads and outlined with rhinestones and Swarowski-style crystal beads. The design motif is endearing—a delightful bow tying the "necklace" for the heartbreaker who first wore the dress. With its plunging neckline and glittering rhinestones, this beauty personifies 1930s Hollywood glamour.
Metallic brocaded silk chiffon evening dress, 1930s. The long fluid style, with its low cut back, intimates the seductive elegance of the gown. The dress was brocaded with metallic gold flowers, whose motifs have a delightful whimsical charm. The opulence of black-and-gold (royal colors) makes an indelible impression on the eye of the viewer. Indeed, it is the burnished metallic gold brocade that epitomizes the luxe design.
New York silk lace dress, c.1924. The slip-style under layer is of black silk chiffon with a skirt lining of black China silk, attached black lace sleeves, and a satin ribbon cummerbund. Its pretty watered silk floral pattern shows through the outer lace—an imaginative design detail. The lace over dress is decorated with velvet ribbon rosettes and streamers that hang from the base of the cummerbund.
Embellished straw cloche hat, c.1924. The fashion magazines of 1920s show the cloche hat as the distinctive flapper fashion accessory. Made from café-au-lait brown straw, our hat has a small wired brim of matching silk taffeta. Plump padded fruits are combined with stylized beaded silk flowers and cellophane-type leaves. The fun loving style personifies the joyful mood of the 1920s.
Needlepoint bag with petit point birds, c.1920. What joy and gaiety in the brilliant design with two mythological birds—different on front and back! The design was worked in fine wool petit point. Its exuberance and vivacity has a distinctive and memorable charm. The bag is hung from a gold tone metal frame and is lined with aqua silk. Inside are two pockets with a matching change purse and silk backed mirror. The bag closes with a jeweled cloisonné clasp and has a linked chain handle.
Straw cloche flapper hat, mid 1920s. The mid-1920s cloche, or bell-shaped hat, is a perennial favorite because it perfectly frames the face. Made from natural brown straw, the hat is lined with black striped silk. The brim is accented with alternating rows of gold and yellow braided ribbon. The plump padded grapes cascading down one side are spectacular. The leaves are of velvet and taffeta.
Museum quality opera coat, c.1922. Made from cobalt blue devoré velvet, cut to a ground of bronzed gold metallic lamé. The upper back and sleeve borders are of solid silk velvet elaborately embroidered with a Persian pattern of bronze metallic cord and small, coral colored beads. The kimono-style coat, loosely fitted on top with dramatic wide sleeves, hugs the body over the hips.
Fortuny stenciled silk gauze wrap, c.1920. The caftan-style wrap allows a body-clinging gown to show through. The 3/4-length wrap is cut square with openings for the arms. The hand stenciling is done with real gold metallic pigments aged to a mellow hue. His stenciled pieces are built layer on layer, achieving the effect of an old fresco.
Printed silk day dress, late 1920s. Made from pale green silk crepe de chine printed with plaid lines and flowers, the sleeveless torso is straight to the hipline, where it breaks to overlapping rows of bias-cut ruffles. The large cape collar (tying in front) forms faux sleeves. The floral print has an irresistible innocence, perhaps due to the improbable purple binding around the edges or to the layers of flirty ruffles.
Flapper printed velvet day dress, c.1925. The attached skirt and over blouse are fashioned from silk velvet printed with a small scale Deco geometric design. The style is effortless and easy to wear. The simple style is nicely detailed with open work at the neckline and pointed sleeves at the wrist. A draped, bias-cut front panel softens the straight lines of the skirt. A stylish "fashion uniform" from the 1920s!
Beaded velvet evening blouse, c.1938. Closing in front with a metal zipper, the blouse can also be worn as a jacket. With its coral and turquoise combination, the beading pattern is reminiscent of Navajo jewelry design. The pattern is outlined with burnished metallic gold beads. The bold beaded design executed in assertive, contrasting hues creates an almost hypnotic aesthetic tension that holds the viewer's eye.
Beaded silk chiffon dance dress, 1930s-40s. Made with an outer layer of black silk chiffon over a black silk crepe slip. The sleeves and belt front are embellished with large opaque white beads and clear crystal seed beads. The ankle-length gored skirt flares above the knee with inserted bias-cut panels and flounces. With swirling skirt and sleeves, this dazzling, Ginger Rogers dance dress makes a great dance even more spectacular.
Marcelle André evening dress, c.1930. Made from heavenly aubergine silk chiffon with lace inserts, the skirt has an amazing, intricate cut and molds to the hips before falling in soft full folds. The dress comes with a matching satin slip that has a nude silk chiffon top. In every era, there are creators who have fallen into obscurity due to a caprice of fate. Marcelle André was one such artist. Magnificent labeled French couture!
Gallenga hand-stenciled tea gown, c.1920. Made from pumpkin colored silk velvet, it has dramatic long pointed sleeves and a square-shaped back train. In the subtle pattern, birds, hounds, and floral motifs frolic inside pointed ovals. The loose fitting style is comfortable and easy to wear. The coat was signed Maria Monaci Gallenga on the hem of the train.
Lace dress and bolero ensemble, late 1930s. The figure flattering dress accentuates the bust, skims the hip, and flares out below the knee. Open in front and longer and flared in back, the bolero jacket demurely covers the bust. Yet the bolero stops short at the waist, revealing a sexy dress clinging to the body over the hips. The enchanting ensemble recaptures a past inaccessible to the intellect but embedded in a particular antique garment.
Chiffon evening cape, 1930s. Dramatically shaped with fluttering double layers of black chiffon that plunge from just below the bust in front to full length in back. The amazing scalloped edges are thematically repeated in the multi-layered petal collar. Is it the black chiffon cocoon or the exotic scalloping that creates an inviting yet enigmatic intimacy? The sphinxian cape will wrap a stylish woman in the mystery of the night.
French silk velvet jacket, 1930s. The luxe jacket reminds me of the clothing favored by the young American expatriates in the film, The Talented Mr. Ripley—the sort of ease and elegance that comes from money and leisure. They were not afraid to be stylish or artistic—or decadent for that matter. The gracefully draped skirt of the jacket is bias cut. The ivory silk lining features a set-in pocket with bows on each end.
Embroidered cotton tulle dress, c.1920. The lavishly ruffled dress captures the lost innocence of youth. Here is a refreshing simplicity and an endearingly feminine charm that will win all hearts. It is embellished with bands of cut work, fine embroidery, and delightfully feminine ruffles. While the simple unstructured style fits in a contemporary wardrobe, the exquisite hand embellishment cannot be found on modern garments.