Oh well, at least I can get a bit more use out of my faux fur collection! Charlie might be joining it soon (as the only genuine article) if he doesn't stop biting everyone and sharpening his claws on the side of the doors in our house. Monster.
1970s dress and faux fur jacket (flea market), belt, boots and bangles (charity shopped), bag (vintage fair)
While we were out and about, I came across various dresses to sell on Ebay, nothing vintage but labels which should do OK.
An Escada silk polka dot dress (£7.99) and a Get Cutie Eiffel Tower print frock (£3.99) were good buys, I think, along with a couple of bright floral Joe Browns items (£5.99 and £3.99 respectively), which always sell well. I usually sell a mix of old and new (for those that asked, my seller ID is cumo2, though I've nothing selling just at the moment.).
But the piece de resistance was surely a little bit of vintage heaven.
This 1960s (I think) gold dress, with its fabulous sequin and bead detail at the hem, couldn't fail to catch my eye. Sadly it's too small for me, but I just had to buy it for the princely sum of £4.50.
The label that's really interesting, however, is this one;
Not a name I was familiar with, but I always Google vintage labels I haven't seen before, and M. Heim proved to be fascinating.
Jacques Heim was a French haute couturier, from a family of furriers, who designed in Paris from the 1930s until his death in 1967. There are images of his work worn by the top models of the day, here are Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot wearing his designs, and examples of his work are in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
There are lots of gorgeous photos on blogs here and here and on Flickr here. If you love vintage fashion photography, do take a look.
He was a contemporary of Balenciaga, Lanvin, Dior, Balmain, Givenchy, Courreges, Cardin and Pucci. The stuff I've read suggests he isn't as well known as these designers because he designed with less flair and innovation, and was more of a business man. However, he is credited with the invention of the bikini in 1946, although his name for the two-piece was the Atome, which obviously didn't catch on in the same way as Louis Reard's appropriation of Bikini.
So much for the history lesson! Is anyone still there? I've just loved researching all this stuff.
But my question to you is - what on earth should I do with this dress?
It doesn't fit me, so I can't wear it. I could Ebay it, but will anyone know who Jacques Heim was and realise that this is a little piece of vintage French haute couture? What reserve would you put on it? Should I donate it to a museum? Should I try and sell it to a high-end vintage retailer? Again, for what price?
The dress is fabulous quality and in great condition, but sadly it isn't perfect; 4 (count them!) gold beads are missing from the bottom. Will that mean that posh vintage retailers or museums won't want it?
What puzzles me is how on earth a very expensive and glamorous item of French couture ended up in a charity shop in a fairly working class area of Sheffield? Oh, if only that dress could talk!
I'm happy with my 1970s polyester frock though, at least I won't cry if I spill my tea down the front of it - which is likely, I am so clumsy...
I'll be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions.