The Story behind the white dress

February 15, 2019

white dress 2.jpg

As a girl that grew up adoring the style icons of Hollywood’s golden era (Sophia Loren, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, etc), it’s obvious where my style influences come from. The 1950s is my favourite vintage fashion era. The dresses of that time embody beauty, elegance, femininity, romanticism.

white dress nina gbor 2

This is probably why it was love at first sight when I spotted this beautiful white, vintage, handmade, 1950s number at a market. It’s got white embroidered floral pieces sewn onto the front, length is just at the knee with a full skirt. So far, I’ve worn it to a fundraiser event at an art gallery, on a dinner date and once to the office.

white dress nina gbor 3

What I wonder, is the story behind this white dress? Considering that it’s handmade, perhaps it was made for a special occasion? A formal? A christening? Or judging by the style of matrimonial gowns in that era, could it have been someone’s wedding dress?

Buying vintage (clothes circa late 1930s to 1960s) is recycling, and therefore a big part of curating a sustainable wardrobe. It’s a wonderful way to save these beautiful, classic treasures from ending up in landfill. Many of them are handmade, well-tailored and of course unique. Moreover, the further back you go in time with vintage, the less likely you are to find synthetic fabrics like polyester. Most vintage pieces last many decades, unlike many of the clothes manufactured today. For this reason, I cherish my vintage pieces above my contemporary ones. They deserve the respect. A great vintage find like this white dress, is one that I’ll someday pass on to someone who would love it just as much. When this happens, I’ll also pass on my own story of the dress and then they too will begin their journey and make their own story.

white dress edit 1.jpg
white dress nina gbor 4


The Look: I wore this dress with a blue petticoat for a cheeky effect and paired it with my leopard print stilettos and vintage handbag (circa 1960s).

Styling tip: For a casual look, I would suggest wearing this dress without a petticoat, every day handbag and flats of some kind. It’ll still look beautiful, just a little more understated.

white dress nina gbor 8

Outfit sourced from:

White vintage dress: Rozelle Collectors Market

1960s vintage handbag: PDSA Charity Shop, UK

white dress nina gbor 3

Photography by Angela Elgiva.

- Nina Gbor