WHAT IS IT?
CLASSIFICATION BASED ON: FUNCTION, dress
ON MATERIAL, casual winter jumper
ON CONSTRUCTION, home made dress
I bought the dress at a vintage/second hand store in Toronto. Since the dress was home made there are no labels to identify it. It was probably made in Canada. The fabric has a seal with information, but it is blurred and hard to read. I do not believe there is any "scientific" method that will allow me to "decode" the label.
It might be a dress from the 1960s or 1970s because of the a-line shape, the rounded collar, the princess-seam cut ,and the contrasting decorative seams. However, it could also be a contemporary 60s/70s style dress. The overlock seams are from an older machine, but these are still in use ,and are of quite good quality.
Other dresses from the 60s/70s that look similar in shape
I t is a well constructed dress. The person who sewn it must have had good sewing skills. We do not know if it was taken from a pattern book or if it was the owner's own design.
If we compare the front and the back of the dress they seam to be from different garments. Why, for instance, there is no waist seam at the back? Why the princess seams go all the way down at the back and not at the front? This may have made a difference in the draping of the dress. Was it because it was too time consuming to repeat the grid and other details at the back? At least I would have continued the waist seam at the back, and construct the back's skirt as the front's, with only two panels. This would have given some unity and balance to the design.
The dress represents a common choice of design, colour, and material of that period. It belongs to the "street fashions", not to the high street fashions (mass market brands), nor the up market (exclusive brands and tailored garments), nor the high fashions (haute coture and designer labels).
The dress was intended for personal use. Probably for a young woman, though mature women could dress in "the baby doll look." Mary Quant's shifts and jumpers were very popular.
In fashion, the sixties were a combination of very refined styles ( Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn) with "cheap, flashy, immodest styles" (Brigitte Bardot). There was a certain balance between the "little girl" and the world-class sophisticate, not too sweet, not too sexy. During the fifties women had dressed in very feminine styles ,and it was not acceptable to show too much cleavage, or too much legs. Women's clothes "were meant to heighten the fantasy yet keep [them] from being attacked." The appearance of the mini-skirt changed all that.
Pierre Cardin, Rudi Gernrecih and Mary Quant were some of the most innovative designers of the '60s who conceived the Mod Look. Clothes were graphic and bold. Some of the most popular styles were: metal dresses and helmets, plastic disks bib necklaces, swirling silk dresses and tops, bias cut eveningwear, mini's, pants and tunics, A-line dresses and suits, unisex jumpsuits and other space travel themes.
In western societies green signifies growth, renewal, health, and environment. On the flip side, green is jealousy or envy (green-eyed monster) and inexperience.