+  Edited and photographed by Iké Udé, author of Style File. Selected as one of Vanity Fair’s 2009, 2012 and 2015 International Best Dressed Originals.  +

special guest/HEIDI ROSENAU: talks about her 5th outfit. #5 in thirteen acts




What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
ruffled rayon print gown (mid-to late 1930s)
purple crochet handbag
lavender shoes

How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?  
In my work life and beyond (I am a competitive authentic swing dancer) I have very good reason to wear elegant long gowns several times a year.  This is fortunate for me as a collector of vintage fashion and as beautiful, desirable, flattering formalwear seems to have survived in abundance—at least as compared to daywear separates. I wanted to share with you that element of my collection with this particularly distinctive example.

Did you compose this outfit spontaneously or was it planned ahead of time? 
There is enough going on here between the print and ruffles that there is little else to assemble to create a complete look, so this came together quickly.

In a scale of 10, how pleased are you with this composition/outfit? 
9 (I wish I had a slightly shorter length of hair here and a perfectly marcel-waved hairstyle…then we’d have a 10)!

What roles do color, the fit and integrity of fabric play in this particular outfit? 
The choice of rayon allows such an abundance of ruffles to work and the relaxed fit (and perhaps the bold print) disguises any lines.  The right vintage lingerie helps.

How soon would you repeat/wear this same outfit again? 
My full-length gowns are on a slower rotation cycle than anything else in my wardrobe, so this one might not see the light of day for another 3 years.  It’s hard for me to resist a beautiful 1930s gown, and several more have entered into the collection this year.

There is perhaps a spiritual, emotional, intellectual or psychological aspect to what/how we dress. What is your personal experience in relation to this outfit?
The ability of this dress to move and create beautiful lines and shapes on the dance floor is remarkable.  Most often I dance in 40s cotton day dresses, but I will admit that in such an elegant piece, I feel transformed…and am perhaps at my best on the dance floor.  I hope that it helps illustrate to others why the vintage swing dance community—I focus on lindy hop, balboa, and collegiate shag—preserves and enjoys these dances.

Posted in Heidi Rosenau, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

16 Responses to special guest/HEIDI ROSENAU: talks about her 5th outfit. #5 in thirteen acts

  1. Jeanette Reilly says:

    Gorgeous dress. I would wear this in a heartbeat. Love your style and I look forward to tomorrow’s outfit.

  2. Alicia says:

    Heidi, I’ve been enjoying all these fabulous photos and outfits…if I only I were your size so I could steal a few!

  3. Kathryn says:

    You are stunning in this dress! Right out of Vogue! (a vintage issue perhaps?) I love the length of your hair. The flower adds the perfect complement to this flowing gown. What a fantastic look!!

  4. MaRCIE aDLER says:

    Simply…tastefully, gorgeous!!

  5. renate says:

    This No 5 represents a fine example of synthesis of art – textile: material, pattern, tayloring – and of course with the person wearing it.
    The choice of shades of the basiuc color yellow contrasting with some variations of the cxomplementary color violett (mixture of basic colors red and blue) for am mille-fleur-motive show that the material is a sophisticated result of Bauhaus theories (Johannes Itten) and others and their schools 1920ies-1930oes. Would be interesting to know who designed and who produced the material. The combination of material and cutting is also perfect.
    Love, Renate

  6. Cheryll says:

    This is such a treat and pleasure to be given a glimpse further into the depths of Heidi’s well formed and informed style. Being a fellow follow on the vintage swing dance floor, I’ve always admired and am inspired what she brings to the scene on so many levels.
    The gowns such as this one will never see a Friday night of barroom balboa, which is when I usually see Heidi. So, thank you very much Iké Udé for showcasing the wonderful, true living vintage fashion scholar treasure that is Heidi Rosenau. I am thoroughly enjoying this series!

  7. Cheryll says:

    Ahhh, yes! Some marcel waves to echo those ruffles would be a dream. The bottom detail on the back of the skirt coupled with the print is a wonderful treatment that makes this era so appealing to me.

  8. CRoberts says:

    You are always the right-nowness of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  9. Caroline says:

    Wonderful, classic ensemble. Great color combination, too.

  10. Laura says:

    Absolutely stunning. I would love to see more dresses like this worn to formal events!

  11. RPaul says:

    Beautiful dress. Would love to see you bring it to life on the dance floor!

  12. Jo Anne says:

    This is my favorite so far. It is fabulous. I’m enjoying all of the wonderful outfits from head to toe. You’ve got great style. I look forward to the rest.

  13. Voon says:

    I’ve seen many stunning photos of Heidi in the past by fashion bloggers/photographers and newspeople but this is by far my favorite shot of her yet! Exquisite composition and the luscious back drape on the dress really elongated her petite figure… Breathtaking! Well done you two 😉

  14. Becky says:

    Stunning! My favourite so far.

  15. rikomatic says:

    this one is breathtaking

  16. gretchen says:

    The cascade of ruffles on this back is just something else. I love that it has a hair flower that looks like it came right from the print of the dress. Dying to see those ruffles on the dance floor!

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