Hello, Vintage lovers!
Apologies for the silence. I've been sorting wardrobe for a few days now. In the process I came across this pretty little 1980s red housedress from Germany by C&A (Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer).
Little is known about C&A, but it was a major high street brand in the UK for about 75 years, and only left the UK market in 2001 due to fierce competition from other dominating brands. They are still around and have an on-line presence.
Going back to the dress, this one is quite special as it brings together design elements typical of several periods. Fashion styles evolved progressively from the 1900s to 2000. But, as with anything, certain styles or 'look' are inevitably referred back to.
From afar, the pattern and colours of the fabric are from the 1950s, reminiscent of Lucienne Day and Marion Mahler.
The stitching pattern across the chest and upper back is reminiscent of a cowboy shirt from the same era.
Then one notices the collar, which is from a polo shirt, popularised by the tennis champion René Lacoste in 1926.
The sleeve detail is of civilian clothing from the Second World War. Shoulder pads and puffed sleeves were typical of the era. Since everything was rationed including clothing materials, women's wear had to be simpler and practical as they had to take over men's labourious jobs. This dress is a Utility Wear revival.
Even though designers come up with mould-breaking concepts every day, good design ideas will stand the test of time and keep coming back. This is why vintage is here to stay, because good design is good design, whatever, wherever, whenever.