Here are vintage pieces that I own that were done by the Arizona designer Leona Caldwell.
I found this dress in a small thrift shop in Prescott, Arizona years ago. I think it was $15, and it fit almost perfectly, which is a rarity for someone as small chested and wide ribbed as I. I have loved on this dress for years, and only recently had to "put it down" (i.e., in a box) because its age is starting to tell.
How amazing are her prints? The simplicity and style, as well as the placement are just so gratifying to me. I also really love this color combo.
Above are the injuries I have inflicted upon this beauty. The seams around the armscye just are too delicate to risk wearing anymore. I've fantasized about mending the rips, but the cotton is so thin, I dare not risk such heavy duty stitching on it.
The other part that has stopped me from even attempting mending is the sweet construction of the dress itself. Super simple: no lining, minimal stitches for the seam finishing, but a facing that was sewn together as one piece and connects to both the armscyes and neckline. There was no way I was going to try to take that facing off and then try to put it back on. I would mangle it!
I have not been able to locate any Leona Caldwell dresses of similar cut as my first dress. And finding anything the right size has been even more difficult. But, I just don't want to own one piece of hers! I was able to find this very differently styled, I assume later made, yellow dress by Leona on eBay recently. It is a little too big, but it becomes less of an issue with a nice belt or tie around the waist. The roadrunners on this one are a little more detailed too, so I like to think of how these two dresses show a trajectory in style and artistic development for Leona. What do you think?
(And how about those sweet socks?)