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Archive for July, 2009

Swingin’ Chicks Of The 60’s

By , 31 July, 2009, No Comment
Swingin' Chicks Of The 60's

Swingin' Chicks Of The 60's

Swingin’ Chicks of the 60s, by Chris Strodder with foreword by Angie Dickinson, is “a tribute to 101 of the decade’s defining women.” A large claim, but Chris Strodder really knows his ladies!

An over-sized paperback done more in a mod magazine style than a traditionally slick coffee table format, it’s full of beach girls, blonde beauties, Elvis girls, models, television stars, singers, American, British & international movie stars, as well as cartoon chicks.

You get photos (because some of the photos were from private collections many of them were new to me), information on each chick’s reason for fame, her style and a bio. I particularly liked the ‘Bonus Swingability’ sections which share little known facts, such as who was up for what roles and the information on official websites.

Swingin’ Chicks of the 60’s is as much of a thrill for those who remember these women as it is for those who are new to them.

Modern To Mix In – The Michelle Dress In Black

By , 30 July, 2009, No Comment

Via Shop It To Me I found out that this classic little black Michelle Dress is on sale for just $29.99.


Now all you need are some Hattie Carnegie gloves!

PS It also comes is pink & coral, if you should love the lines but already have a closet full of black.

Get To The Point: Insanely Glamorous Gloves

By , 29 July, 2009, No Comment

What insanely long gloves!

Model Wearing the Longest Gloves Designed by Hattie Carnegie Which Almost Cover the Shoulders

Model wears “the Longest Gloves Designed by Hattie Carnegie Which Almost Cover the Shoulders”. A- yeah. *wink*

And what insanely pointy gloves too! My husband asked if matching eye patches were sold to men who accompanied women wearing such pointy gloves! lol

Impractical? Yes. But who cares — if I found a pair, I’d sure-as-heck find places to show them off at. (And sure, hubby can mock me by wearing an eye patch; it won’t bother me)

If you aren’t familiar with Hattie Carnegie, check out her entry at the Fashion Encyclopedia where Madelyn Shaw says that “Carnegie’s place in fashion history was assured not because of her own designs, but because of her talent for choosing or refining the designs of others.”

Are Cracked Lucite Purses Worthless?

By , 29 July, 2009, 1 Comment

Continuing to help Kim with her vintage Lucite purse problems (oh, those are problems I’d love to have! lol), Kim wanted to know if any of the cracked purses had any value…

Obviously, conditions are a large part of the value of any vintage fashion &/or accessory or collectible in general, so whether there are modest signs of wear and tear or outright damages, the price will be affected negatively in proportion to the flaws. That said, I don’t think you can say that even cracked & chipped purses, or those otherwise deemed unusable, are valueless.

A lot will have to do with the rarity of the purse itself as well as the intentions of the buyer; there are other ways to use such vintage beauties.

Damaged vintage Lucite purses which cannot be repaired may have value as…

* Salvaged parts: Handles, metal hinges, etc. to repair other vintage purses.

* Entry level pieces for collectors: If the purse is fine to look at one one or more sides, beginning collectors or (like me) collectors with small budgets for buying may find a low price fine to pay to have such a pretty purse to display.

* Something else: I’ve seen some topless vintage purses in antique booths holding hankies to purchase; I’ve seen some on counter tops at vintage clothing stores holding pens etc. It made me think of ways to salvage such pretty old handbags myself and use them to hold & display items on my vanity, on my desk, etc.  I suppose very crafty girls could think of hundreds of ways to recycle vintage Lucite purses.  (I’d love to do a post just on this — but first I’ll have to find some cheap damaged old Lucite purses!)

* Nostalgia: Never ever underestimate the sense of nostalgia in vintage things… A damaged old purse may be exactly like grandma’s or one seen in childhood and it may be worth money to own & display it, just to relive &/or retell the stories behind it.

So I don’t think, unless the Lucite is shattered into fragments, that old plastic purses are ever valueless. But naturally, the degree of their damages will lower their prices (and on the internet, with shipping charges, even more so); so adjust your expectations.

But that’s my opinion — please chime in with yours!

Also, dear experts & fans of vintage Lucite handbags, Kim is looking for some help in identifying the maker of this lovely carved caramel colored one. (If you don’t have any suggestions, I’m sure you’ll enjoy just looking at it!)

Can You Identify The Maker?

Can You Identify The Maker?

Know Your Vintage Lucite Purses? Help Please!

By , 27 July, 2009, 5 Comments

Kim & her family are cleaning out her grandmother’s home and she brought home about 20 vintage plastic purses she believes are Lucite (along with about 50 other vintage and antique purses), and after spotting my guide to vintage Lucite purses, asked for some additional help.

Like I told Kim, I’m not an expert; I’ve possess far more “book learnin'” & information from other collectors about these pretty babies than actual purses, so while I’ll share what I know, I ask that those of you in the know please add your two cents.

(Since Kim has so many purses (lucky ducky!) and even more questions, I’ll be breaking these up into smaller, more specific posts — so if you love these vintage purses, &/or have knowledge to share, please keep checking back!)

First up, Kim wonders if any of us can help her identify the maker of this confetti Lucite purse with metal handles, “It isn’t marked anywhere and I’ve not seen anything close to it in all the pics I’ve looked at.”

Kims' Vintage Confetti Lucite Purse With Metal Handles

Kims' Vintage Confetti Lucite Purse With Metal Handles

Personally, I’m at a loss; there were quite a number of makers, and as I said in the guide, if the purses were marked, most of the tags have fallen of with age… If you have any help or suggestions, please share in the comments!

My Top 10 Road Trip Movies (They Might Surprise You!)

By , 26 July, 2009, No Comment

This week’s Monday Movie Meme is Cruisin’ — all about On The Road, so here’s a list of my Top 10 Road Trip Movies (in no particular order):

1) Thelma & Louise Also one of my favorite films period. (I’m a chick; so sue me.)

2) The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of The Desert I cry when I watch this movie — I laugh too, but the tears are what make me really love it.

3) Pee-wee’s Big Adventure Laugh til you wet your pants — then, if you’re old enough, laugh again thinking about all the years & changes between now & when you fist saw it. (If you can lol)

4) Planes, Trains and Automobiles The classic. (If you only want one road trip film, this is probably it.)

5) The Out-of-Towners Jack Lemmon & Sandy Dennis did it right. (Though Martin & Hawn’s remake was cute.)

6) Sideways Kinda girly meets artsy indie film.

7-9) The Mad Max films Best watched in order (the first one also makes me cry — and haunts me).

10) And of course I’d have to include Easy Rider.

Classic Come-Hither

By , 24 July, 2009, No Comment

There are few things as utterly glamorous than leopard print fashions.

Nina Leen Fashion Photo

Nina Leen Fashion Photo

We call such looks “classic” because ever since its debut, leopard print’s been incredibly popular.

Unlike it’s wild relatives (zebra print, faux snake, tiger and other big cats), which are fun, but can be loud, cheap & harsh, leopard has always managed to combine “wild” with a graceful, exotic class that’s both dramatic & seductive — more come-hither, than attention whore.

You might even have a difficult time guessing the year that Nina Leen took this photograph (1957) because leopard print really has never gone out of style; like red lips, it’s as glamorous as it gets.

Vintage Wardrobe Building With Accessories

By , 23 July, 2009, No Comment

When it comes to building a wardrobe — a real, honest-to-goodness working wardrobe — ladies used to insist on a few high quality dresses and then make the most of accessories.

Vintage Photo: Basic Dress & Accessories For Change

Vintage Photo: Basic Dress & Accessories For Change

There were collars (to go over & peep out from under), bows & belts, clips & jewelry, gloves & handbags… Matching & contrasting color combinations… So many styles & combinations, making one dress go from day to night & always seem new (or at least not the same old thing!)

When we made the switch to separates (tops & skirts, as opposed to one-piece dresses), we somehow became more dependent upon more garments rather than accessories. It’s rather a shame, both in terms of our budgets and our devotion to our wardrobes… You have to ask yourself how many times our modern garments actually are worn — or how much they are truly missed and need to be replaced. Having fewer dresses — but those you love — oh, that was not only more economical, but more about finding a dress that fit you well and that you loved.

And playing with the accessories is certainly a lot more fun than the Garanimals dressing we do today.

Photo, Basic Dress & Accessories For Change, by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, 1947.

“It happens every time, they all become blueberries.”

By , 22 July, 2009, 1 Comment

Remember in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory when Wonka’s showing off his new three-course dinner gum that’s flavored like tomato soup, roast beef and blueberry pie — and while he warns her not to chew it, Violet Beauregard does and she ends up looking like a giant blueberry?

Violet & Oompa-Loompas

Violet & Oompa-Loompas

Well, as a grown up woman with a sweet tooth of my own — and a love of vintage fashions — I dream of chewing such a gum and magically transform into wearing a dress like this full-skirted blue 50s chiffon novelty dress with fruit pattern:

Vintage 1950's Chiffon Novelty Print Full Skirt Dress

Vintage 1950's Chiffon Novelty Print Full Skirt Dress

The seller is confused by the “creative coloring” of the fruit, saying, “I have gone back and forth between peaches, lemons, limes, oranges, etc.” But I say why be confused? They are giant Wonka-esque blueberries! And I love it!

Vintage Novelty Fruit Pattern

Vintage Novelty Fruit Pattern

Stunning While Sunning

By , 22 July, 2009, No Comment

Remember when sunlight was simply something divine to sit in?

Elizabeth Taylor Sunning Her Stunning Self, 1955

Elizabeth Taylor Sunning Her Stunning Self, 1955

Tans aside (and certainly Liz was coveted for her pale skin), it not only felt fabulous but such natural lighting made for fantastic photographs. OK, having Liz’s looks, it was hard to take a bad photo, but still…

Now, even when you have slathered on a slew of sunblock, you’ll have a million people warning you of the damages of bathing in the rays of the sun. Just tell them you’re sunning your inner vintage Liz Taylor, and sunlight in a little moderation won’t kill you or anybody else.

Elizabeth Taylor Sunning Herself on the Set of Giant (1955); photograph by Sid Avery.