This collection of Nina Ricci seems to pull a lot of inspiration STRAIGHT out of the past - like this totally twiggy pink overcoat, or this 1960's working girl look and this fit for Studio 54 ensemble. I love it when designers pull from history but sometimes it is better to just go back in history. It most definitely is better for your wallet. With Nina Ricci dresses mostly in the $2,000 dollar range, I'd say they are a little bit out of most of our price ranges and you can bet that these real deal frocks from the ages were built with the same amount of care as this admittedly lovely Nina Ricci piece.
Though there are a plethora of black velvet vintage dresses on Etsy, you must beware they are NOT all created equal. Try to stay away from synthetic fabrics -- I will admit that some are okay but a great many get stiff in their old age -- silk is always the way to go with velvet. Most of the dresses below don't mention what they are made of but you can always ask the seller what they "feel like". They should feel like a dream. But whatever you do, under no circumstance are you to buy "crushed velvet". Just say no.
Anyway, let's head back in time. Here goes!
I mean really, down to the belt. How could it be so close -- The boatneck silhouette, the cinching at the waist, the length of the sleeves, even the cut of the hem -- it is basically the same dress. This beautiful 1950's Suzy Perette has got all it takes to rock a winter cocktail party.
I just love the collar on this demur number from the late 40's or 50's. This isn't a dress for those of us -- ahem, me -- who constantly cause people to exclaim, "my goodness you are so CUTE!" But if you're a little sultry, or tall and elegant this would suit you well.
Oh, the femininity of the 1940's! Where has it all gone? Couldn't you see Ms. Katharine Hepburn dazzling Cary Grant in this in the classic Philadelphia Story?
$125.00 @ IKAHN (this IKAHN sure likes the black velvet!)
If you can't get behind the sleeved look of the frocks above, try this super sexy wiggle dress from the 1950's. Everyone needs that little black dress and this one is perfect, figure flattering with a bit of interest at the neckline.
If an all black velvet dress is just too much, you can get the same elegance -- perhaps more -- from a black velvet jacket. I've been stalking this one from the 1960's for quite awhile now trying to justify a reason for buying it. Aren't the stripes amazing?
And just to prove the fact that there is an option for everyone here's another, and another and another. Looks like the ladies in the 1940's couldn't get enough of the black velvet.
I'd say that, keeping style and price point in mind, these less than $200 options beat Nina Ricci by a mile. Don't you think?