King's Row anyone?
Monday, August 5, 2013 at 12:11AM
Joyatri in Alley Cat, Betsey Johnson, Butterick, Crafts, Etsy, Fashion, King's Row, Magazine, Puritan, Visible Monday, Youthquake, sewing pattern, stars, vintage fashion

Darn you, eBay.

Since they added the ‘here’s some listings from your recent searches” on the home page, I’ve been sucked into perusing 1960s and 70s dresses that I have no business looking at. Well, I bought one. It fit but I just didn’t like it on me. So the dress is headed for Etsy.

I have a weakness for fabric-covered buttons and psychedelic prints.

I was intrigued by the label, King’s Row, which, of course, sounds similar to ‘King’s Road’ in London, home to 1960s avant-garde boutiques like Granny Takes a Trip. But which company issued the King’s Row label? By searching the RN number, it was revealed that the manufacturer was Puritan Fashions!

Puritan Fashions, a Boston company that had been around since the beginning of the 20th century, helped introduce British mod fashion to the U.S. Aided by Paul Young, a British entrepreneur, Puritan launched the Youthquake label in 1965 bringing in designers like Mary Quant, Sally Tuffin and Marion Foale and fostering young American talent like Betsy Johnson. At this time London had a number of forward-thinking boutiques, but the U.S. fashion industry was fairly staid in its approach to the youth market. So, the establishment of Youthquake led Young (who was inspired by Biba in London) and Puritan’s CEO to open Paraphernalia in New York, a ‘happening’ store that brought together music, fashion, art and popular culture to give American youth their own shopping experience.

I own a metallic knit Youthquake dress that I bought decades ago, which I used to wear to art exhibition openings in London in the early 1990s. It was far too short for me to consider wearing in Boston. Note that the delightfully flouncy sleeves are as long as the dress.

I love the label.

So it seems that Puritan also had the King’s Row label (again capitalizing on British fashion), but I can’t find out when or why. The King's Row clothes for sale online appear to cover the early to mid-1970s. If anyone knows more about this label, please let me know.

Like the ice-blue dress in my last post, I seem to be finding lots of 1970s vintage at the thrift store (I’m guessing no one else wants it). Since I have a dearth of short sleeves in my wardrobe, I picked up this early 1970s knit dress (no label) and shortened it (thanks to everyone who offered that advice for the ice-blue dress).

For the bag, I broke out my textile paintsand painted gold stars on the Tyvek-like fabric (when it comes to crafts, rather than ‘put a bird on it,’ I put a star on it) and made new straps out of star-print fabric.

The general style of the dress reminded me of this one by Betsey Johnson for Alley Cat, from an editorial in the March 1974 issue of Seventeen magazine.

The print of little pink flowers springs recalls the sweet floral prints of the early 1970s, for example, on these Butterick patterns for Betsey Johnson/Alley Cat designs.

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In addition to filling out my summer wardrobe with short-sleeve dresses, the thrift store has me prepared for fall. A load of opaque tights by American Apparel had been deposited there yesterday. All looked to be unworn, perhaps just taken out of the package or used for display. Retailing for $16 - 25 each, I paid 99 cents each.

A dozen just-washed tights in lovely fall colors.

I pulled something out of my closet last week and thought, "this would look great with a pair of mustard-colored tights." Now, I have two pairs of mustard-colored tights! It's like the Law of Attraction or something.

Joining in with this week's Visible Monday.

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