Black tie vintage dress



Having been invited to a black-tie event this summer I pondered what to wear. I wanted it to be youthful as I am only 21 and have plenty of time for more subtle and demure looks, but obviously elegance was an important quality for my dress and choice of style to behold. It was the decision to aim for a youthful elegance that lead me to recall on a quirky shop close to my student house that I lived in last year in Bristol. The shop isn’t purely a vintage store, as it sells current lines too. However it stuck in my mind that 71Queens stocked black-tie worth vintage gowns from having previously spent time in there, bartering for a friend when she was buying a coat. So off I went to find something vintage and vivacious. Upon approaching the gowns I was immediately drawn to 5 pieces. As I went through trying them on one by one I was growing ever more disappointed. Firstly I looked like a head mistress jazzing up her look for an evening music recital. The other dresses didn’t fit quite right. Then I got to number 4.

Immediately I was gallivanting about the store, shimmying and shaking the beading on this divine dress. I transformed when I stepped into this sparkling piece of history. They said it’s 50s. I have to disagree I think it is 60s! But the intricacy of the beading is incomparable to what we are sold nowadays. The trim on the neck, sleeve and hemline is exquisite. The curved line of the beading down the dress makes for a flattering and sparkly finish. And finally the beaded fringe is just too wonderful for words. With golden oldies being blasted from the amps like ‘twist and shout’ the shake of the fringing was effervescently fabulous.

My reason for writing about it isn’t just to go on about what I wore and gloat about the work of art that is this pink piece, but to encourage a different take on black-tie. Having chosen a vintage piece rather than a current dress meant for a wonderful conversation starter, it emulated a spirited persona as soon as I had done the zip up and I felt really special.


With such an extravagant dress how I styled it was an important decision. My main goal was to keep everything else reasonably subtle. Chanel’s latest show had some inexplicably divine shiny, sparkly and splendid pink pieces. Comparing the couture show to a feel emulated in the 40s, Karl Lagerfield went on to clarify that “Vintage is depressing, but 'new vintage' is something to come. It's preparation for something that could last."  I’m not sure I take the stance that vintage is ‘depressing’ but I understand the need to contemporise old looks. All of the dresses or jacket and skirt combos were teamed with oh so current pointy shoes and shimmering grey tights. Mine don’t shimmer but the grey was a great choice over ordinary black as it was a less severe contrast. Keeping on the grey train of thought, I chose to wear a modern silver pointed shoe with a studded heel. The shoe is what kept the whole look current rather than past it. As for accessories I kept a 60s vibe with a modern edge. The silver grey colouring of my Topshop earrings kept with the look and felt of the same era as the dress.

I really cannot express how one item of clothing can elevate you. But let’s just say, I never tried on the fifth dress. 

This entry was posted on Sunday, 26 August 2012 and is filed under ,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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