Friday, January 19, 2007

Send in the Clowns. Dorothea’s Closet has posted this fab 40s rayon dress that cannot be described without using the word whimsy. A clown on a unicycle, a trick rider, and a seal balancing a top hat are all shown to their advantage. I like that Dorothea’s Closet has shown all the elements of this print in multiple photos. So many ebayers just include one close-up that doesn’t embrace the entirety of the repeat print. I am grateful that Dorothea’s Closet is so detail oriented.

Medium-sized (B42 W32 H44) this midway frock is not cheap at $185. But you know how it is with 40s rayon, goslings. If only I’d had the presence of mind to buy it up by the bushel in the 80s. But then I was busy doing things like going to High School and later being a starving college student. Ah, hindsight.

You should buy this dress. It’s in beautiful condition and has its original belt. The repeat print features red stars along with the circus performers. It manages to combine red and blue with great alacrity. You could wear it to work with a cardigan. Perhaps you are surrounded by jokers, or feeling particularly Lucy Mcgillicuddy. I feel utterly clownish at work and wearing this frock would surely make me smile.
I once had a 40s rayon dress with a printed with jack in the boxes. Black background and here and there a purple, green and yellow jack in the box in various states of popping out of the box. ¾ sleeves and a high collar. Lately I’ve been missing this dress a lot. I sold it for $5 in a garage sale in 1986. It was relentlessly tiny, and would never fit me now, even if we were to meet again by chance at some enchanted flea market.
How unique is any particular vintage novelty fabric? Looking at prints more and more intensely, I’ve seen some patterns resurface. Surely there is not simply one jack in the box dress in the world, just as the sun does not shine for only one flower.

What is your vintage novelty print holy grail? Meditate on it. I’ll be visualizing mine as well. Tell me if you find it.


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