Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Skimp: 1974 and 2011

Did you watch Project Runway last week?   Like so many others, I really loved Bert Keeter's sleek color-block mini dress that was produced for Piperlime:

 As you may know, Bert designed in the 1970s so he was well-prepared to meet the design challenge to create a modern look inspired by 70s fashion.

Bert also worked at Halston, the designer who revived the mini-skirt and introduced what he called "The Skimp" in November 1974 for his Spring '75 line.  The raised hemline was big news (read all about it in New York Magazine, December 1974) and gave women another option apart from peasant skirts and maxi dresses. McCall's even produced pattern #4600 in 1975 called "The Real Halston Skimp":

via the Vintage Pattern Wiki

While watching that episode I kept wondering why the judges were making such a huge deal of the little cord belt with silver tips that Bert made to accessorize his dress, as though they had never seen one before. 

I also kept thinking that I'd seen something similar in my pattern collection.  So I dug through part of it and found Vogue Couturier Design 1170 by Belinda Bellville:

via the Vintage Pattern Wiki because I was too lazy to digitize my copy

Clearly this simple A-line silhouette was a popular design choice in the mid-1970s. I'm certainly not trying to stir up any sort of controversy by sharing any of this, by the way.  Bert's look was indeed modern (color-blocking! wide v-neck!) and truly did update a classic 70s look. 

I just have this compelling need to point out to Nina and Michael that the cord belt with the silver aglet tips is not a new idea -- these were mass-produced in the 1970s.  Neither was the flowy A-line silhouette in jersey fabric.  Regardless, Bert  made a fab little dress and it's already sold out!  I think we'll see some knock-offs soon.

In other news, we have a My Memories Suite giveaway winner, chosen by random number: commenter #4, Gustosa of Gustosa Giveaways!

Stay tuned for another fun giveaway coming up soon....


  1. Actually I thought it was the guest judge (can't remember who that was) that made the biggest deal about the belt. I agree with you I scratched my head at the notice it even got... duh???

  2. I love the vintage fashions! I remember when they were popular the first time around.....

  3. I love the show and thought this was a fantastic design. I am loving the vintage pattern to pair!


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