Friday, July 17, 2009

Vintage Velvet

I know it's a little hot (o.k., a LOT hot) to be thinking about velvet but it's not everyday something like this comes onto the market.

1928 Babani mauve butter silk velvet caftan with gold metallic passementerie embroidery around neckline and all the way down arms to cuffs, with renaissance style lace up cuffs and matching sash. Silk lining.

Note: Katherine Hepburn chose the same Babani gown in white for her 1928 wedding to businessman Ludlow Ogden Smith (they divorced in 1934). In Miss Hepburn's manuscript for her autobiography, "Me," she describes the dress: "...I had a pretty dress - a Babani. It was crushed white velvet with gold antiqued embroidery sort of around the neck and bit down the front and on the sleeves. "The dress was auctioned in 2004 at Sotheby's and hammered at $27,000.

Madame Babani opened her Paris shop in 1919. She carried decorative items and imported textiles from the Orient as well as designs from Liberty of London and Mariano Fortuny. The influence of Fortuny can be seen in many of her creations.

Babani's work often exhibits historical borrowing that constitutes the life of any art form. Babani's inspiration drew from the past and her palette tended to be brighter than that of Fortuny.

Price $9,500 at The Way We Wore

Phone: 323-937-0878 thewaywewore@sbcglobal.net

10 comments:

Jill said...

This is so beautiful it hurts. Fortuny is one of my favorite textile companys. Actually, my most favorite. It's so expensive, I only have two chairs upholstered in Fortuny and two pillows on my bed. I had a client in Houston and we used Fortuny for her draperies in her dining room. It was beautiful and I was soooo jealous! Love this caftan. Great post. I may have to come back several times and look at it again. The only thing that isn't just ruining my day is that I look horrible in this dusty pink color! But, oh, the lacing. Adore!!

David Toms said...

Yes, that is a stunner! Ans as Jill says so Fortuny like. I also think that before Elizabeth Arden started making her own perfumes that she imported Babani Fragrances to the US in the 1920's and sold them in her salons.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Stunning indeed. Such interesting facts about Katharine H. That was one woman that would of looked stunning in a Babani. Great post!

Lucinda said...

At the way We Wore? Well I'll just walk down the street and grab it for you this weekend. Oh wait, $9,500? Nevermind.

The Townhouselady said...

Lucinda- No kidding, Ouch!

my favorite and my best said...

i need something like this at my next dessert party where afterwards when everyone is good and hammered on port i will sidle up to the piano and sing a few standards a la big edie.

Velo said...

nice dress, it looks like traditional dress. =)

Rebecca Welch said...

Hawt!
*sees the irony in that comment-wanders off*

The Townhouselady said...

MFaFB- I'd love to see you're Big Edie impression!

Rebecca- LOLOLOLololll !!

Alluring Interiors said...

The detailing is awesome!