When I got off work yesterday I decided to stop by a couple of my favorite thrift stores just to see what they had and if I could find anything for my Etsy shop. I went to the first one and found a couple decent things. Nothing amazing. Then I went to my absolute favorite thrift store, which happens to be where I scored those 3 carved Bakelite bangles for $8 a few months back. I was perusing through the racks, picking out a few 70s-80s dresses for my shop. When I got near the end of the rack my eyes stopped on something spectacular: a black Hawaiian sarong dress.
It took a moment to sink in. I grabbed it to inspect it, of course fearful that someone would notice my glee and rip it out my hands. Silly vintage collector phobias! I looked at the dress up close. Black, brushed cotton with a bit of a sheen. Hand painted gold and white flowers. Gathered bust with boning and sarong skirt. The only thing wrong is that it lacked a label and had a plastic zipper. Besides that, it was obvious to me that this was indeed an actual vintage sarong dress.
Blurry photo of the dress.
You can see the sheen of the fabric.
It was hard to contain my delight. I was positively giddy. The price tag said $10 and the sales lady informed me that everything was 30% off. Perfect!! I finished shopping and gathered up all my other goodies and got rung up. After discount the dress cost me about $7.50 with tax.
When I got the dress home I tried it on. It fits, but is slightly too big in the bust. Also, the buttons on the halter straps are missing. These are easy fixes. There is also a small faded streak on the skirt that isn't too noticeable. Aside from those, and the plastic zipper, this dress is in amazing condition!
Now came the task of determining what label the dress was. It's definitely not a Kamehameha so I compared it to my Shaheens. The gathered bust was close, but not the same. The painted flowers looked like something that Shaheen would have done so I went online to research further.
I didn't find any Shaheens in that same print so I continued to look. Then I saw this:
Thats it! Thats my dress! Same print, same bust. Turns out I got an Elsie Krassas of Waikiki. She designed dresses from the 50s-80s. Chances are my dress is from the early 60s, which explains the zipper. I couldn't find too much info on her but did see some completed listings on Ebay where dresses similar to this one sold for almost $200 in 2011. That doesn't matter too much though because I am not selling this baby!!
This was a great find for me. I was going through my closet trying to get ideas for Viva and I realized that I don't have a lot of new dresses. This one is a great addition! I don't have a single black Hawaiian dress either which is an added bonus. I can't wait to rock this baby at Viva!!
Now I am going to go shopping for some gold confetti lucite jewelry to wear with it. I already have my gold confetti lucite purse and some gold Frederick's of Hollywood springolators to round out the outfit.