Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Meet Dorothy Devore

                                             Has everyone had a good Easter break? I do hope so.

On Easter Monday, my eldest sister and my 2 gorgeous nieces visited, along with my mum. Mum is a real hoarder, it broke her heart to have to downsize from our family home to a one-bedroom bungalow, but she has still managed to keep all manner of treasures. She asked if I wanted my bridesmaid dress (from my sister's wedding in 1981, it was a Wallis powder blue/floral pussy-bow number, as I recall.) I thought it might sell, even if I couldn't fit into it anymore, so I said yes.

When she arrived, with a box full of all sorts of goodies, she very apologetically confessed she couldn't find the bridesmaid dress, but would I like this instead?

                                                                               Would I?
                                                                             Yes I would!

I remember this dress from my childhood. Mum bought lots of old frocks, bags, shoes and costume jewellery from jumble sales in the 1960s and 70s for my sisters and I to use as dressing-up clothes. This was one of them. It has managed to survive remarkably unscathed, and unlike much of that collection (oh how I wish I had it now!) Mum kept it, as she knew it was old and good quality.

It's a 1920-30s silk velvet devore print dress. It's stunning. And it fits me! This one is not going anywhere near Ebay, I am in love with it.

In the course of researching the dress (trying to date it, I can't decide if it looks more 1920s or 30s - Kitty, if you aren't too busy, could you help?!) I googled "devore" and discovered....


                                                     ... Dorothy Devore. I've fallen in love again!

Dorothy was a silent film actress in the 1920s. It's not a period of film I know much about, apart from the household names, but I love the look.


                                  Dorothy Devore giving Harold Lloyd a run for his money in Hold Your Breath.

I think this Dorothy Devore dress has brought out my inner flapper. Helga, stop making up your own jokes, I can hear you guffawing from here.


Mum also brought me this 1930 needlework book. Naturally I don't have the ability to make anything in it, but I can appreciate the lovely illustrations and marvel at the fascinating stitchery skills required.

                                                        Who isn't amused by a handmade tea cosy?

1920-30s silk velvet devore dress (gift), feather fascinator (Ebay), tights and faux pearls (charity shopped) faux pearl strand (gorgeous Squirrel Vanessa), T-bar shoes (market)

There were lots of other bits and pieces to show you but I don't want to distract from the wonder of Dorothy Devore. She's the star.

                                                                 Anyone fancy seeing my Black Bottom?



Emma Litton said...

Love this outfit! You pull off a 20's look so well! I'm jealous.


Vintage Coconut said...

That dress and YOU are GORGEOUS.
What a fabulous gift from your Mom, I imagine you have totally forgotten about the lost 1981 bridesmaid dress.
Your Sister got married the year I was born. =D

Dorothy Devore is stunning, what a beautiful face she had.

That book is lovely and I love that ribbon bag how pretty.

Helga! said...

OMG OMG,what an AMAZING score!AND you never damaged it in your childhood frocking up frenzies!EEK!
I love LOVE it!I love the 20's,everything about the era fascinates me.I like to read about that period of history,and the characters of the time!
Now,you know me too well.I did indeed snort,and promptly settled down as soon as I saw the next remark!Bahahaha! How can a gal resist their inner flapper!
Ah,tears of juvenile joy!
You look just divine,and it's so obvious just how much you are enjoying that GROGEOUSLY ENVIABLE frock!!!
Love you like devore!XXXXXXXXXXXX

Fiona said...

Darling, you make a frightfully spiffing flapper, did you bandage your chest, what?

You are so lucky that your mum kept this dress and the amazing book.How does anyone manage these days without a Duchess Runner? How fascinating to read about Dorothy Devore, she looks a bit of a goer!


YOU are the star, you! What a lovely replacement for the bridesmaid dress. I love the length, pattern, fabric, style - it's gorgeous.
I wish o had the manual dexterity and patience to make things, I can't sew to save my life.
You should wear that dress at every opportunity, it's got to be one of the best outfits I've seen on you.

Lucy x

two squirrels said...

Oh Curtise!!!!! My little heart let out a sigh of pure joy. She is stunning and nearly 100 years old. Treasure her always.
It is so hard to find 20's dresses in that amazing condition.
You look so very beautiful.
Love v

Mary Lou said...

oh how beautiful dorothy was darling!!! well and so are you in this fabulous frock. the fabric is amazing and i love the story behind that your mum bought this dressing up clothes;)

Kylie said...

You do the flapper thing just as gorgeously as you do the maxi thing Curtise. Beautiful dress, amazing fabric. I love the Flowers of Crisp Organdie.

La Dama said...

Curtise amor,
That dress was made for you ,simply ravishing you wear 1920's so well.
I love the special mom story dressing up behind the frock.
Such exquisite colors.
I always want to see your black bottom.

Krista said...

Wow what an absolute treasure! I know so little about fashion from the 20's this is so feminine and the print, the way it hangs just right on you, just beautiful! Was your Mum stoked at how fabulous it looks on you and tickled to see it brought back to life!?!
Black bottoms girls they make this little world go round, my terrible attempt at a Queen rip off;)

Sara said...

WOW! What an amazing dress! You look stunning! Fabulous look for you. :D

Oh, Dorothy Devore is wonderful--and funny! Hold Your Breath is a fun one! :D

Melanie said...

Carnivore, herbivore, dorothydivore! This dress certainly brings out your inner Devore! I love your poses, your feathers, your shoes, everything about this dress. Thanks for the introduction to the gorgeous Dorothy Devore too! I'm wondering if you're going to be making "a pretty bag to hold all your dainty trifles safely." Hm? It's only shirred ribbon! Wonderful post!

Dawn said...

Visiting your blog is like getting a free history lesson...love this dress on you and the style suits you perfectly. I swear you were born then and this is your reincarnation. You have all of the little accessories to fancy up the dress and complete the look...wow! dawn suitcase vignettes xo

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Oh you glorious, glorious woman!!!! I am having a major dribbling problem over here, Ms D. Devore (so the frock shall be named) is so utterly, gorgeously, delicious on you!!! Oh pleeeeze do a zillion posts for me wearing it!! You are sooooo lucky and I can't wait to see what other scrumpilitious goodies your lovely mama gave you!!! GAH!!! xoxoxoxoxoxooxox

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic, fantastic dress and it fits you perfectly! I've seen the 20s style on the runways, but this is for realz and so much better than anything in 'takes on the flapper' I've seen the designers come up.

I imagine our parents have many fantastic things in the depths of their home.

Melanie said...

You look absolutely gorgeous Curtise, that dress is just wonderful xxx

Trees said...

My mum loves the op shops (charity stores) as much as I do and from time to time random packages of old vintage fabric will arrive at my office from her!

You look great in that frock - it looks just great on you. Also as a self-confessed craft geek I am VERY jealous of that old needlework book!


Passionately love the dress, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the best ever !!! and all your lovely inspiration pics.

Miss Simmonds Says said...

You are so flippin' lucky! What an amazing dress! The colours have lasted and it looks in great condition! I think it looks late 20s very early 30s. It's another museum piece! (did you find out more about the other one?) - and even luckier it really suits you!

The sewing book made me laugh - and jealous xxxxx

Rose&Bird said...

Oh WOW, gorgeous dress! Definitely a keeper and fair compensation for the missing bridesmaids frock I think! 20s and 30s clothing in good condition is becoming really hard to find and expensive. I don't know too much about the silent films, but Dorothy certainly looks like she warrants more recognition.
Love the needlework book - though I'd be kidding myself I'd one day have time to make some of the things. I'm fascinated by the organdie flowers especially x

Ivy Black said...

Stunning! What a beautiful dress and it looks brilliant on you.xxx

The Style Crone said...

Beautiful dress, especially with your gorgeous feather headwear. And with great history.

Tami said...

I found you as a comment on Helga Von Trollop's blog. Your blog is tres adorbs. I've added you to my reader.
Give me a visit some time at thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

Misfits Vintage said...

Ooh she IS the star - and so are you! That dress is absolutely AMAZING! The fabric is BEAUTIFUL and I can't believe how perfect she is! You do a 20s look very well - a tricky look as it can often look very costumey, and you do not at all...

Such an amusing tea cosy!

Love! Sarah xxx

Forest City Fashionista said...

That is SO much better than a bridesmaid dress, and deserves to be named after Dorothy Devore. Can't believe it's in such stellar condition after all these years. You do make a fantabulous Flapper -kick up your heels you sassy thing!

his_girl_friday said...

I can't even deal with this post. You are too fabulous.

Miss Peregrin said...

Amazing! That dress is absolutely gorgeous. And we all need to indulge our inner flapper every once in a while. ;)