web analytics

Archive for January, 2009

Here’s Linking To You, Kid

By , 29 January, 2009, No Comment

The lovely Justine of iKonic Vintage just awarded me the “Este Blog Investe E Acredita Na Proximidade”:

Blogs who receive this award are ‘exceedingly charming’ say its authors. This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

Who am I to argue that I am “exceedingly charming?” *wink*

So now I’m to give the award to eight bloggers I find charming (and they in turn will each include the award definition and pass the award along to eight more bloggers they find charming).

I give the award to:

Alessia of Relationship Underarm Stick
Cliff of Vintage Meld
Deanna, aka Pop Tart who has so many blogs… I’ll go with Things Your Grandmother Knew
Josi of The Daily Beauty Break
Raquelle of Out of the Past
Sandra of Debutante Clothing
Slip of a Girl of A Slip of a Girl
Solanah of Vixen Vintage

In other news, Here’s Looking Like You, Kid also made the rounds in several blog carnivals this week — check ’em out and see the company I keep *wink*

Fashion & Style:

Three of my posts made it into the 8th edition of SoloMode Style.

Film:

Two of my posts were included in the latest issue of Movie Monday at Reel Gazer.

Three of my posts made it into Pajama Party Flick Picks roundup.

Green:

(Because wearing vintage is super green — it’s recycling!)

The latest All Things Eco blog carnival.

The recent edition of the Everything Home carnival.

Citizen Kane Fashions?

By , 29 January, 2009, No Comment

Do you think this is what Charles Foster Kane had in mind when he murmured, “Rosebud?” *wink*

Vintage Sheer Chiffon Peignoir

Vintage Sheer Chiffon Peignoir

A sweet yet stunning vintage sheer chiffon peignoir set with embroidered rosebuds on both the nightie and the matching robe.

Vintage Peignoir Set With Rosebuds

Vintage Peignoir Set With Rosebuds

Close Up Of The Vintage Nightgown Bodice

Close Up Of The Vintage Nightgown Bodice

The Retro Parisian Street Chic Of Irma La Douce

By , 28 January, 2009, No Comment

In Billy Wilder’s Irma La Douce (1963) the too-honest policeman Nestor (Jack Lemmon) falls in love with Paris prostitute Irma (Shirley MacLaine). Along with being a comedic story of mismatched people, the film features what most fashionistas would call mismatched colors. For while Irma has a signature color (green), she isn’t worried about matching shades.

Shirley MacLaine as Irma La Douce

Shirley MacLaine as Irma La Douce

As far as the film goes, the mix & match green wardrobe gives MacLaine’s Irma the perfect blend of independence & sophistication with underlying notes of few bank notes; Irma is street chic.

Retro Parisian Street Chic

Retro Parisian Street Chic

Usually, as anyone who has run around town with bits of thread from her navy jacket will tell you, when one creates monochromatic outfits or wardrobes, great care is taken to dress in the same tone. Just little things, such as accessories, are allowed to be just a tad lighter or darker, highlighting such details. But Irma just seems to pile on the green — “seems” being the operative word here. It’s clear that great pains are taken to make her ensembles work.

Creating a signature color look requires dedication. These tips are especially wonderful when wearing vintage clothing. We all know how difficult it can be to find a skirt to match a fabulous jacket… We all know the pain of passing up the otherwise perfect vintage shoes just because they are the wrong shade… We all hate to leave the vintage clothing shop without that perfect fitting 1960’s Leslie Fay green brocade suit, but you know you’re never going to find anything other than white to wear with it, and you already have enough problems like that…

Retro Leslie Fay Suit

Retro Leslie Fay Suit

But with tips from Irma La Douce, you can go from ‘mismatched’ to ‘street chic’ and never pass up a perfect fitting vintage bargain again!

Begin with that perfect something — your favorite color itself, a pair of the prettiest mod Mary Jane shoes you’ve ever found that fit perfectly, your most recent thrift store bargain. Whatever it is, you’ll be building from that color.

Mod Mary Janes

Mod Mary Janes

Every little thing, every accessory, must be in that color. Some items, like authentic vintage green stockings may be difficult (but dreamy!) to find…

Vintage Moss Green Stockings

Vintage Moss Green Stockings

But you can supplement with new hose.

The color is worn right on down to the lingerie (and in Irma’s case, in her the decor of her apartment as well). The beauty of such monochromatic street chic is that you can mix and match new with vintage, making it easier to shop — so even when you cannot find a vintage green bullet bra in your size, you can buy a new green bullet bra. But, tempting as it may be, don’t wear all matching lingerie — the kick to this street chic is the mixing to match, not buying perfectly matched.

Secrets In Lace Lingerie

Secrets In Lace Lingerie

The shades or tones in your signature color ensemble may be different, bright green with moss green, etc., but they should not clash (no lime green, for example).

Occasionally, as Irma herself did, you may include a basic black skirt or some such. It may be worn until you find the perfect color replacement — or used to fool the eye by keeping shades that are too dissimilar apart. But it should also accentuate and draw the eye towards the main color, like Irma’s skirt plays up her green stockings.

Irma La Douce Street Chic

Irma La Douce Street Chic

Those who wish to look taller &/or slimmer may wish to wear a single matching shade over most of their torso, like this 1940’s Gilbert Adrian suit, using blouse, lingerie, and accessories to build additional shades without breaking the single long line of color.

Vintage Gilbert Adrian Suit

Vintage Gilbert Adrian Suit

Makeup is most decidedly not done all in the same color. Whatever color you dress in, wear makeup that flatters you and doesn’t blend ‘you’ into the outfit; fashion is about showcasing you, not having people say, “Look at the lump of green coming down the street!” Green eyeshadow? Perhaps. But lips and nails painted red are not only more attractive and seductive than green shades, but red lips and fingertips are contrasting accents to Shirley’s beauty.

Red Contrasts Green

Red Contrasts Green

Even when Irma is not wearing come-hither red, she wears peaches and creme makeup to accentuate her peaches and creme complexion.

Intimate Beauty Moment with Irma La Douce

Intimate Beauty Moment with Irma La Douce

When creating a signature color, it helps to be seen wearing the color everyday — but should that bore you, you can remind others with small touches of your signature color (ribbons, jewelry, and other accessories) in your other outfits. And even if you do not wish to limit yourself and your wardrobe to a single signature color, you can adopt such tricks to create a single outfit. Any special vintage piece can be the starting point to your own retro Parisian street chic.

Party Like It’s 1949

By , 27 January, 2009, No Comment

And whirl into the 50’s with this absolutely stunning vintage blue taffeta party dress by Ann Kauffman from Couture Allure.

Vintage Ann Kauffman Dress

Vintage Ann Kauffman Dress

Vintage That’s Not For The Birds

By , 26 January, 2009, 1 Comment

Here’s a nifty vintage two-piece set that’s so Tippi Hedren —

Tippi Hedren in The Birds

Tippi Hedren in The Birds

But it’s certainly not for the birds! *wink*

Nifty Two-Piece Herringbone Suit

Nifty Two-Piece Herringbone Suit

This is a Tippy Hedren set. Part dippy sexpot, part smart sophistication with elegant details and a no-nonsense suiting fabric. Tightly-shaped top. Pencil skirt. Flirty wiggle-waggle of coins at the hips.

Textile is a bird’s-eye plaid — black, bone, and primary-red. Blouson tailoring details include a high neck, elbow-length dolman sleeves with gusseting, deep dart-shaping and the bust, and a skinny, cinched-in waistband. Bodice buttons closed at the back. The skirt has a nipped-in waist and slender shape — it’s lined at the back.

Know what else isn’t for the birds? Vintage Roadshow links!  Here’s this week’s edition:

Couture Allure offers a full week look at the style of Jacqueline Kennedy, including her inauguration fashion.

Debutante Clothing strikes a pose in her vintage plaid pencil skirt.

Freudian Slips Vintage showcases new year vintage dresses.

Glamoursplash looks at vintage swimwear in advertising.

iKonic Vintage does Vintage Cheap But Chic and asks for more Pleats Please.

Vintage 50’s Glamour: The Eyes Have It!

By , 23 January, 2009, No Comment

A great glamour look of 50’s was called the Parisian ‘Doe Eye.’ This makeup look, which put the focus on the eyes, was as new & exciting in the 1950’s as lipstick was in the 1920’s. To a large extent the ‘winged’ look is still with us today, but the 50’s version was a bit more natural looking.

The Doe Eyed Look Of Sophia Loren

The Doe Eyed Look Of Sophia Loren

To give your eyes this ‘winged’ yet natural look, shown here on Sophia Loren, follow these steps.

Step One: Using a light shadow in a neutral brown or grey, shadow the lids lightly from lashes to brows

Step Two: Apply a slightly darker shade to the crease, and blend the shadow up & out toward temples.

Step Three: Next we apply black eye liner to the eyelid. Apply liner in one straight line, keeping the liner as close to the base of your lashes as possible, starting at the innermost corner, drawing it towards the outer corner, where you fan the liner upwards & out (toward the temple).

Step Four: Lightly line the lower lashes from the outer 1/4 to meet the line on the upper corner, still in one unbroken line, keeping the eye liner as close to the base of your lashes as possible.

Step Five: Very gently blend the liner — think ‘soft’, not a heavy smudged look! For better eye liner staying power, you can use the tip of an eyeshadow applicator lightly dipped into the darker shade of eyeshadow and softly trace over the eyeliner.

Last Step: Finish with several coats of mascara.

A variation on the doe-eye look is the cat eye, exhibited here by Audrey Hepburn.

The Cat Eyed Look Of Audrey Hepburn

The Cat Eyed Look Of Audrey Hepburn

This look, often worn with pale lipstick shades to further emphasize the eyes, is also called the ‘Bohemian’ look of the 50’s.

The application changes are few:

* Use the black liner all around the eye, still staying as close to the lash line as you can, and gently soften it so you do not have a harsh line. Think Holly Golightly! *wink*

* Concentrate the application of mascara on the outer edges of the eyes.

Katharine Hepburn Style

By , 22 January, 2009, 6 Comments

Tuesday’s prime-time viewing on TCM featured Katharine Hepburn films. If I had to pick one film which exemplifies The Great Kate to me, it would be The Philadelphia Story (1940).

The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story

The film is as complicated, quirky, and human as my vision of the great actress. I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot, because seeing it for the first time is something so special (though additional viewings do allow you to see additional sublime facets you may have missed before), so instead I will cheat and let Lisa Kudrow (via an article by Johanna Schneller, published on the passing of Hepburn) tell you about The Philadelphia Story:

To her, the ultimate Katharine movie is The Philadelphia Story, “because it’s so confusing. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think or who I’m supposed to root for,” Kudrow told me. “The father is away with his mistress, his wife doesn’t discuss it. It falls to the daughter [Hepburn] to address it – and somehow she’s the spoiled, selfish one! Her father’s complaint is, ‘As a man gets older, he likes to look into a young woman’s eyes, to remember that youth is still his. Usually a man gets that kind of solace from his daughter.’ But his daughter is difficult, so he gets to have a mistress? What the hell kind of argument is that?”

As for Cary Grant’s character, Kudrow continues, “he was a drunk! He had a drinking problem! But she’s a bitch because she wouldn’t stand by him?” And yet, she is the hero of the film. Only Kate could pull that off.

If Kate’s character in the film is complicated, it likely has nothing on the actress herself off-screen.

For someone so direct and forthcoming, Kate was rather protective of her private life — yet her independence and practicality are well documented. Her progressive upbringing included lessons from her family in activism, education in human sexuality & birth control, belief in women’s rights, a formal education resulting in a Bachelor of the Arts degree in History and Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College, but a deep confidence. Unapologetically, the young woman not only divorced, and admitted to lovers, but she had things to say about marriage — things which many deem unkind, but which I see as blunt, yet honest (and oft witty) observations:

“It’s bloody impractical. ‘To love, honor, and obey.’ If it weren’t, you wouldn’t have to sign a contract.”

“If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.”

“Only when a woman decides not to have children, can a woman live like a man. That’s what I’ve done.”

“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it – I would have made a terrible mother.”

“To be loved is very demoralizing. Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.”

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.”

You might not agree with Hepburn, but you certainly can’t doubt her sincerity or call her a hypocrite; especially with regard to the last two quotes. For 25 years she and Spencer Tracy carried on a deep love affair, despite his marriage. Although the whole world knew of their relationship, the couple never appeared in public out of deference to Mrs. Tracy.

Of their relationship, Hepburn had this to say:

In her book “Me,” she revealed how, at the age of 33, she discovered what “I love you” “really means.” She called her life with Tracy “absolute bliss.” “I loved Spencer Tracy,” she wrote. “He and his interests and his demands came first….I really liked him – deep down – and I wanted him to be happy.” The night he died, in 1967, she called his family, and his wife, Louise, came over. “She was in a peculiar spot,” Miss Hepburn wrote. “She could never bear to admit failure. Now he was dead. And he would never come back. She had dreamed – hoped – imagined that he would….She just could not settle for the fact that her marriage had been a failure.” Miss Hepburn also addressed Tracy in the book: “You were still married to Louise….You couldn’t leave her if she didn’t want to be left.”

Whenever people speak of Katharine Hepburn, they invariably mention her style of dress. “She wore pants all the time!” they cry. Some, including the detractors, credit her with bringing pants into vogue for women:

During her college years at Bryn Mawr, Hepburn lived a wild party life. Her penchant to break conventions was already apparent in her unorthodox dress: baggy men’s trousers, oversized sweaters and men’s shirts, shocking even for the extravagant tastes of the “roaring ‘20s.”

…“With stout resolve,” reports a fashion book, “she almost single-handedly broke down the dress code for women” by insisting on wearing men’s trousers on set and off, everywhere and all the time. Her style was so informal and untraditional that she never, even after becoming a star, owned a dress or skirt of her own. One of her many awards came from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in1986 – in recognition of her role as non-conformist in modern fashion.

I cannot find the “fashion book” apparently quoted from (nor is it properly credited in the article), but if such a quote exists I would think that both the author and Hepburn herself would agree that Dietrich and Garbo had a great deal to do with the females adopting the fashion of men’s trousers. Certainly Garbo & Dietrich paved the way for pants and so much more. As Hepburn said in an interview with NBC, “I just had good timing. The times fit me: Pants came in, low heels came in, the terrible woman came in, who spoke her mind.”

Casual Hepburn

Casual Hepburn

But perhaps what makes Hepburn’s wearing of pants so shocking to so many is that Dietrich and Garbo were known (at least throughout Hollywood, where such secrets were guarded in order to prevent box office issues) to be bisexual (if not lesbian), while Hepburn was a known, practicing (perhaps too much!) heterosexual; her sexual femininity was not in question.

But Hepburn’s love of pants was very much a part of her adventurous and practical nature, as this story from Sarah Standing’s childhood illustrates:

Like a child, she had an instant disrespect for formality. I don’t think that, in the 30-plus years I knew her, I ever saw her wear a dress off-screen. “Shoot! How can you possibly explore in a dress?” she would ask. At eight, I was a tomboy, not caring what I wore so long as I could get it dirty, and I was amazed I had met a grown-up who thought exactly like me.

Of her preference for wearing pants, Hepburn had this to say, “I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.” With a life as complicated as Hepburn’s, it’s no small wonder she’d prefer such a fashion look. It’s simple, classic, functional — and as uncompromising as the icon herself.

The Practical & Adventurous Style of Kate

The Practical and Functional Style of Kate

Busy women today would be wise to build a wardrobe like Katharine Hepburn.

Hepburn’s style was defined by tailored and crisp pieces: high-waisted and wide-legged trousers and loose fitting button-down shirt-styled blouses. Sometimes she wore a simple knit top or sweater. If you get solid pieces in one color palette or coordinating shades, you’ll never have to worry about finding something that matches.

1940s High-Waist Pants Pattern

1940s High-Waist Pants Pattern

When the occasion or weather warranted it, Hepburn added a classic blazer, or put on a menswear coat or jacket.

1940s Pants and Jacket Pattern

1940s Pants and Jacket Pattern

Hepburn would keep accessories to a minimum: simple jewelry pieces, bold but clean belts, & comfortable yet stylish loafers.

Katherine Hepburn Style

Katherine Hepburn Style

And always — but always — keep the hair shining and the skin glowing. Her makeup and hair was always just a few steps above natural, at once emphasizing the beautiful contours of her face and making her seem real and solid. But above all, it was the textures of her hair and face which seemed to beckon to be touched.

The Textures of Katharine Hepburn

The Textures of Katherine Hepburn

Turbans You Don’t Tie On

By , 21 January, 2009, No Comment

If you don’t want to wear real turbans, why not try jewelry with turban themes?

This vintage silver tone fur clip has a face carved into the green Bakelite with jeweled turban it’s signed Sandor.

Vintage Fur Clip

Vintage Fur Clip

This vintage set has a pair of ceramic pink turbaned ladies earrings & matching pin; pieces are signed Louise Berri.

Vintage Pink Turbaned Ladies Jewelry Set

Vintage Pink Turbaned Ladies Jewelry Set

Vintage Roadshow #2

By , 20 January, 2009, No Comment

This week on The Vintage Roadshow:

Couture Allure shows how to recycle a vintage coat.

Debutante Clothing digs through the vintage Vogue archives and finds wisdom on handkerchiefs and reputations.

Market Publique gives you an inside look at their Listing Page.

iKonic Vintage visits the swinging 60’s with the first fashion video starring Peggy Moffitt wearing Rudi Gernreich.

Wrap Your Mind Around Wearing Turbans

By , 19 January, 2009, No Comment

Few things say “vintage glamour” the way turbans do.

Gloria Swanson Wearing A Turban

Gloria Swanson Wearing A Turban

We don’t see turbans often today, which is rather surprising because they are practical — especially in winter and on bad hair days. Look how cute Solanah is in her pink velvet turban!

Solanah Wearing A Pink Velvet Turban

Solanah Wearing A Pink Velvet Turban

A fun 50’s floral turban with blue bow.

1950s Printed Turban

1950s Printed Turban

A turban-inspired sculpted metallic 1930s hat with gold tone metal buttons down front.

1930s Metallic Turban Inspired Hat

1930s Metallic Turban Inspired Hat

If you can crochet, there are even vintage turban patterns — I love this striped one!

Vintage Turban Crochet Pattern

Vintage Turban Crochet Pattern