Category Archives: Vintage Clothing

Audrey Hepburn’s Wedding Dress

Audrey Hepburn Wearing The Dress She Gave Away

Audrey Hepburn wedding gown 2

(Offered at Auction By Kerry Taylor: Estimate £ 8,000 to £ 12,000)

In 1952 Audrey Hepburn was engaged to marry James Hanson. She was in Italy to film her first starring role alongside Gregory Peck in “The Roman Holiday. It is 7 years after the devastation and ravages of WWII.

I wonder if you know that Audrey Hepburn spent the last years of that war in the Netherlands, hoping she would survive the Allied artillery shellings, and the famine the Dutch endured as a result of Operation Market Garden.

In that short seven years, a lot happened for Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday Poster

She Became a Star

Audrey Hepburn decided after already having her wedding gown designed by the famous Fontana Sisters to call her planned wedding to James Hanson off; stating “That the demands of their careers would keep them apart most of the time.”

Here is the Wedding Dress Audrey Hepburn Was Going To Wear

Audrey Hepburn wedding gown front

The Fontana sisters who designed this gown were renowned for their highly romantic ball and bridal gowns. The sisters Zoe, Micol and Giovanna founded their business in Rome in 1944.

While Audrey Hepburn was filming `Roman Holiday’ with Gregory Peck in Rome, she approached the Fontana sisters and asked them to make her bridal gown. Signora Micol Fontana said that the 23 year old Hepburn was ‘young, fresh, and on top of the world’.

But this was a wedding that was not to be, Audrey was not going to say “I Do.” She had other plans…

Once she had decided to call the wedding off, the dress she had had made, still at the Fontana Sisters shop, needed to be dwelt with. And this Audrey did with such generosity and grace that it leaves me with a smile still, as I hope it does for you as well.

She Gave The Dress Away To Amabile Altobella

Audrey Hepburn wedding gown back

Never heard of Amabile Altobella? Well of course not, she was a young girl from the town of Latina, Italy. You see Audrey had asked the Fontana Sisters to give the dress away, saying “I want my dress to be worn by another girl for her wedding, perhaps someone who couldn’t ever afford a dress like mine, the most beautiful, poor Italian girl you can find.”

So Audrey Hepburn Helped to Create A Dream Wedding

Audrey Hepburn wedding gown bow

Amabile Altobella, was a poverty stricken young Italian girl engaged to be married to a farm worker named Adelino Solda. Here is a quote from Amabile, “I have had a happy marriage, so the dress brought me luck.” Indeed, she and Adelino stayed married, had three daughters, and five grandchildren, which is more than can be said for most Hollywood weddings…

(All images from this post came from Kerry Taylor Auctions.)

Written by

Martin Codina

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Look Schiaparelli Sunglasses

Schiaparelli Sunglasses, or another way to see Beauty…

I always like to let you know about a hidden gem, something that it is possible to find at an Estate Sale, Flea Market, or a small Antiques Store that you actually have the chance of finding for not a lot of money…something that you might re-sell for even more…

Schiaparelli sunglasses sold by Doyle auction with link follow 1

(Sold By Doyle New York for $1,400.00 in June of 2006)

I didn’t know Schiaparelli made Sunglasses

Now you do, and it’s winter folks, or at least it’s close to winter. Who’s thinking sunglasses at a time like this? Who cares about Varnet, or Ray Ban or Maui Jim, we’re talking about sunglasses that are distinctive, classy and incredibly unique and fashionable.

But She Did, and they were Stunning

Schiaparelli Glasses sold by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers with link follow 2

(Offered by Leslie Hindman Auctions for estimate of $500-$700.00)

In the last three months eBay has only offered up three of these, selling in the $200-$300.00 range, and Art Fact only had four of them listed as being sold some time in the last 5 years. This tells me that there are either not many of these kinds of sunglasses out there, or that they are not very well understood as having value.

Schiaparelli Sunglasses, My definition of Vintage Eye Wear

Schiaparelli Glasses sold by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers with link follow 1

(Offered by Leslie Hindman Auctions for estimate of $500-$700.00)

Long ago, and now it seems far away, there was true glamor. There was ease and grace, and let me add that there was innocence, playfulness and fun. There was a lot less bad ass hardness. A lot less steel. A lot less edginess. These vintage sunglasses are a kind of proof of that…

I wish I could tell you more about Schiaparelli Sunglasses

Schiaparelli sunglasses sold by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers with link follow

(Sold by Leslie Hindman Auctions for $854.00 In Nov. 2009)

But I can’t, there is simply not much written about them…so be on the lookout, see if you can find them, and then you can be seen in them, perhaps at a showing of some old time 1950′s movie…

Written by

Martin Codina

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Vintage Clothing at Estate Sales

Or, Where Do The Fashion Mavens Get Those Clothes…?

Let’s start this post with a splash of 1970′s Vintage Fashion color

Vintage 70s GOLDWORM dress from Couture Allure with link follow

(GOLDWORM Wool Jersey Evening Dress w/Silk Cape from Couture Allure)

What’s a guy to do, even a guy like me who supposedly knows a lot about antiques and collectibles, because I know my limits, so when it comes to Vintage Clothing, I am like most guys on any sunny day in the park, a bit of a clueless spectator, wanting to join the conversation, but not knowing what to say…

Floral Cotton Maxi Dress with link follow to Sewninpieces Etsy Store

(Floral Cotton Maxi Dress From Sewn in Pieces Etsy Store)

Here’s the simple truth about Vintage Clothing on the web, it’s a world ruled by woman, for woman, and it’s primarily about woman’s fashion. It’s not a casual observation by me, I have made a careful study of many Vintage Clothing sites, and the best, at least the ones I like, the ones that I think have the most visual appeal, the most internet savvy, have all been created by woman.

1950s Beaded Cashmere Cardigan Sweater from Joules Etsy Store with Link Follow
(1950s Beaded Cashmere Cardigan Sweater By Joules)

And they love each other, supporting sister sites with comments, suggestions, and Atta Girls – spreading link love like lip gloss on the warmest of sunny days. James Brown said “This is a Man’s World,” and maybe that’s true when it comes to machinery, and space walks or whatever, but when it comes to the Vintage Fashion World, the world of shoes and shapely dresses, at least from the perspective of this writer – It’s a Woman’s World, and that’s just fine by me.

Vintage Shopping Guide Logo with Link Follow

ADOLFO vintage clothing label with link follow to Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage a La Mode Logo with Link Follow

Vintage Fashion Guild Logo with Link Follow
Vintage Shopping Guide Vintage Fashion Guild Label Research Vintage a la Mode Vintage Fashion Guild

Unlike guys who wear a pair of pants or a shirt until it’s threadbare, woman in general only lightly wear an article of clothing for a while before becoming sufficiently disinterested in it, and then they will store it in a closet, or a drawer or a box somewhere, and years will pass before somehow it is unearthed and made available at an estate sale, thrift shop, or a vintage clothing store. The best of these garments find their way onto the web to be admired, talked about and sold by the Queens of Fashion…

…It’s exciting to be an observer of this…or maybe I am a voyeur…

1920s wedding dress from Dorotheas Closet with Link Follow

(1920′s Wedding Dress from Dorothea’s Closet)

I might not be a Vintage Fashion Expert, but I do know how to score a great deal, and I know that when one of my estate sales has a quantity of Vintage Clothing for sale, the Vintage Clothing Merchants come out of the woodwork. The clothes literally fly off the rack. Here’s why, because estate liquidators can’t sell vintage fashion for what a vintage fashion website can. It’s just a fact, and because this is so, estate sales represent one of the best places to shop for vintage fashion, especially if your intention is to re-sell on-line or in a store.

I also like vintage fashion as a category of collectible because it represents a little understood market niche, and it is especially not super well understood by most Estate Sales Professionals. This is a way to spell PROFIT.

If you want to earn extra income, or even more importantly, if you want to establish a web presence, then become an authority about something that is little understood, and that’s what these awesome woman have done, they took back the male dominated world of fashion creation, and made the Vintage Fashion World, a world of their own, and to that I say Touché…

Martin Codina

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