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Cocktails with Cthulu

Another vintage dress from my collection! This is an early 1960s cocktail dress, in a delishful  “wiggle dress” cut, made of slate-to-cerulean-blue crepe. The strange tassel detail at the neck reminds me irresistibly of Cthulu – cephalopod god of unimaginable evil turned Internet meme and geek mascot.

Most fortuitously, a photographer friend snapped me wearing it:

In his house beneath Ry'leh, dead Cthulu lies dreaming...of an apertif...

See how flattering it is? That is why the wiggle dress, and other vintage styles, are having a renaissance (as noted in this NY Times article).

Detail shots time.  Here we have the cephalopod-evoking tassel and the eldritch folding detail. In the shot where I’m wearing it, we can see how the folding becomes flattering bust accommodation. This is yet another vintage dress missing its belt – based on the belt loops, the belt was about two inches/six centimeters wide. The label says “Helen Harper.” This vintage brand was better known for its knitwear. Obviously, this was manufactured under occult influences!

The assymmetrically folded front front is gathered up into the Cthulu tassel.

And the inside. You can tell this was all class because it’s fully lined. Also, note the overlocking!

What lies beneath the crepe fabric of evil beyond the stars? Mass-produced but high-quality finishing.

From the back, the lining is separate from the zipper. And the separately lined waist and skirt are stitched, then overlocked, together.

Skirt lining is separate from the skirt zipper. The separate sections are overlocked at the waist.

This dress is extremely comfortable to wear, and the crepe fabric, spun from nameless fibers, does not crease much, yet lacks the hideous “oh god this is a synthetic, take it off me” feeling.  My educated guess is that it is rayon, or a rayon blend.

I’d say this dress was a lucky find except that when I don it, I can hear the voices, whispering from beyond, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!”

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