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Classic Vintage Partywear

Posted on December 17 2014

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We caught up with mother and daughter vintage enthusiasts, Biddy and Mimi as they handpicked their fave party pieces and got chit-chatting about 1940s dresses and swoon-worthy prints. 

Shop Mimi & Biddy's Christmas Party Edit

What's your favourite era?

Biddy: I love the 1940s and 50s - I inherited some beautiful early 50s pieces from my mother and started sewing using her patterns. That and watching a lot of old Hollywood musicals.

Mimi: I fell in love with vintage because of my Mum’s collection of 1940s and 50s. I like early 40s and even 30s too as the shapes tend to suit my figure.

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So you gals are no strangers to shopping vintage! What do you look for when going through the rails?

Biddy: I love 40s and 50s vintage so tend to focus on fabrics first, especially prints. It is always worth looking through everything – often a 40s frock will be mistakenly put into a 70s category, or a 50s in the 80s.

Always scrutinize the garment for damage or stains – my mother taught me to hold it up to daylight to reveal any pulling on seams or evidence of (shudder) moth.

Real vintage hunting takes time and a good eye. Years of practice also helps!

Mimi: I love prints and embroidery, especially folk-inspired embellishment, so I tend to scan the fabrics first. I look out for fun novelty prints too.

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What's your favourite vintage piece?

Biddy: My favourite pieces belonged to my mother. The most beautiful frock I own- or will ever own- is a couture ballgown made for her for a ball to celebrate the Coronation in 1952. It's heavy oyster satin with a petal bust and huge skirts covered in soutache braid. I have worn it 3 times and it's always the belle of the ball!

Mimi: My latest acquisition is my favourite! It is a 1940s black crepe day dress with folk embroidery on the bodice and cuffs. I paid quite a lot for it but it is an investment!  I love that it has so much work lovingly stitched into it- and it is very flattering.

Photographer: Kensington Leverne 

Stylist: Naomi Rowland (Beyond Retro)