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Archive for September, 2009

Take That, Ed Hardy!

By , 22 September, 2009, No Comment

I wish I could find an actual vintage sweater to show you that today’s tattoo inspired fashions aren’t really anything new, but once I saw this 1947 Life magazine photograph by Nina Leen, I sorta stopped looking — and started praying I could find this sweater for myself!

Model Wearing Sweater with Heart Pierced by Jeweled Dagger
Model Wearing Sweater with Heart Pierced by Jeweled Dagger

Iconic Film Fashion Lists

By , 17 September, 2009, No Comment

Turner Classic Movies teamed up with some fashion designers to create a list of the 15 best films with iconic and/or trend-setting fashion for the LA Times blog — and Kate Gabrielle of Silents And Talkies responded with a few picks of her own. Her comments about Marilyn really struck home for me:

I couldn’t really pick any single Marilyn Monroe film, but I thought that leaving her out of the LA Times list was a glaring error. Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly may be remembered more as style icons of the 1950’s, but for curvy girls like me, Marilyn Monroe is proof that we can carry off an outfit just as nicely as (or better than!) stick thin girls. Her wardrobe in How to Marry a Millionaire and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes may be my favorites.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is probably my Marilyn fashion film favorite — but How To Marry A Millionaire is a close second. But I can’t help but wonder why, yet again, the thinnest — even in beauty icons — are the ones recognized as fashion icons.

Circle Skirt Sale

By , 16 September, 2009, No Comment

Thanks to my Shop It To Me Sale Mail, I discovered Ralph Lauren has the Carmen Twill Circle Skirt on sale for just $29.99! I thought I should let you know — just in case you wanted to get a few of these circle skirts and spend the winter adorning them with appliques *wink*

Ralph Lauren Twill Circle Skirt

Ralph Lauren Twill Circle Skirt

Quick Beauty News, March, 1950

By , 15 September, 2009, No Comment

In the March 27, 1950 issue of Quick magazine, news about Max Factor’s latest invention:

Hand It To Max Factor

The cosmetic maker who invented pancake make-up scored another “first” with a new purse dispenser for hand-lotion ($1). This lipstick-sized container (l.) holds a week’s supply of lotion, released by a simple tap and refilled from the “World of Beauty,” another $1 container for the dressing table. (At cosmetic counters.)

Vintage Max Factor News

Vintage Max Factor News

This Post Is So Short, You Might Even Call It ‘Clipped’

By , 12 September, 2009, No Comment

I was surprised to find these at Amazon, so I just had to pop in & show you real quick: antique dress clip set, with genuine coral in the center of the flowers.

Victorian Floral Dress Clips

Victorian Floral Dress Clips

Has anyone else been finding vintage fashions at Amazon?

Modern Boots With Vintage Style

By , 10 September, 2009, 3 Comments

You might not appreciate everything about the “return of 1980’s fashions,” but I’m getting a huge kick out of the number of fabulous vintage inspired boots & booties available this Fall!

The Hannah ankle boot from Annie’s Shoes is about as practical as a classic vintage inspired bootie can be — quite a few color options too.

Hannah Ankle Boot

Hannah Ankle Boot

Fioni’s Mason Button Boot is a fab modern re-do of the classic side-button bootie (often called the “granny boot”) — love the feminine scalloped edge that’s mirrored in the button placement too.

Mason Button Boot

Mason Button Boot

Love, love, love the grand patent leather button on these grey suede Aerosoles Rolette boots with ruching.

Aerosoles Rolette Boot

Aerosoles Rolette Boot

The Corso Como Gianna Ankle Boot in black suede has an elegant close-to-the-ankle cuff accented with a dramatic bow.

Corso Como Gianna

Corso Como Gianna

If you really love cuffs and bows, check out Fioni’s Whitney Cuff Boot with layers of soft (faux) suede, a very over-sized cuff, and one unmistakable bow.

Whitney Cuff Boot

Whitney Cuff Boot

All of these are lovely, but I think my current favorite is this Chie Mihara boot by Nysataupe suede boots with flowers?! *swoon*

Chie Mihara Boot

Chie Mihara Boot

The Death of “New Look” Fashions & Other Fashion Predictions (1950)

By , 10 September, 2009, No Comment

This juicy fashion tidbit comes from the March 27, 1950 issue of Quick Magazine:

Hollywood designer Adrian, disregarding Pairs and N.Y., pronounced that there will be no drastic change in the daytime silhouette for the next 50 years, added that the death of the “New Look” proved that attempting to insinuate violent fashion changes in modern times is futile.

Adrian's Fashion Prediction, 1950

Adrian's Fashion Prediction, 1950

Adrian, costumer for Irving Berlin and Cecil B. DeMille productions as well as Valentino films, is said to have been “responsible for creating and refining the images of actresses such as Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Jean Harlow and his favorite, Greta Garbo” — but clearly he was off the mark with such sentiments & statements about the death of New Look fashions and “violent fashion changes” being futile in modern times.

From our lovely vantage point of having seen not only Adrian’s future but the very 50 years he spoke of become history, one cannot avoid questioning the story that is told of this designer… No matter how lovely his work was — and it was lovely, just look at the gowns in 1939’s The Women — you have to more critically look at the story here.

Adrian Gowns, The Women (1939)

Adrian Gowns, The Women (1939)

The story goes that Adrian, frustrated by WWII’s smaller film budgets and shifting values, took up his own fashion design label & shop where he could more freely & grandly express himself & his glamour ideals. Adrian, Ltd. was born:

When Adrian decided to leave the world of costume design in 1941 and open Adrian Ltd, he could have had no knowledge of how perfect his timing would prove to be. With the Nazi invasion of Paris in 1940, all contact with the French fashion industry halted. As nearly all American designers based their designs on those originating from Paris, the absence of information from France created a fashion vacuum. American designers stepped up to the plate, and soon began to create fashions based on an idealized American lifestyle. These new fashions were often casual, practical and made of durable fabrics. Both New York and Los Angeles fought for the title of “America’s Fashion Capitol.” The February 19, 1941 title of a Los Angeles Times article declared, “East and West Struggle for Fashion Dictatorship,” and suggested that Los Angeles would win the battle, ultimately becoming “more powerful in its sway over the civilized world than Paris ever thought of being.”

Adrian debuted his first collection for buyers in January of 1942 at the May Company department store in Los Angeles. Buyers were not particularly excited about this initial collection, so Adrian held another show in February of the same year. This show was a great success and Adrian was soon selling his designs in department stores throughout the country.

But as we, with all due respect (because I do love Adrian’s work!), look at the context here: one clearly sees an aging fashion designer struggling with changing times and fashions.

On one hand, we must admire Adrian for taking a stand for glamour by saying, “It was because of Garbo that I left M-G-M. In her last picture they wanted to make her a sweater girl, a real American type. I said, ‘When the glamour ends for Garbo, it also ends for me. She has created a type. If you destroy that illusion, you destroy her.’ When Garbo walked out of the studio, glamour went with her, and so did I.”

On the other, we have to recognize that Harlow & Garbo, these were not the forms and fashions — nor even the female ideal — of the 1940s & beyond.

Refusing to change his views, his fashion statements, Adrian was able to exploit his status as a famous Hollywood costumer to a (wealthy) public hungry for fashion — and if they wouldn’t readily accept it, he could afford to hold on & push it with such little competition. But New Look fashions continued until, approximately, the mid 1960’s, years after Adrian’s death in 1959 — and there sure were violent fashion changes after that. Perhaps those statements by Adrian from the 1950 magazine clipping sound more desperate than simply catty now; they do to me.

If all this sounds cynical or unkind, I don’t mean it to be; I’m simply pointing out that fashion is both a commerce & an ideal, both of which sit within the context of culture at a specific time — and must change as the culture/times change. You can manipulate, you can create, you can even exploit conditions such as limited competition; but you cannot stubbornly refuse to change and still go on forever.

I Got An Award, So It’s Here’s Linking To You, Kid Time!

By , 9 September, 2009, No Comment
Kreative Blogger Award

Kreative Blogger Award

Fuzzylizzie of Fuzzylizzie Vintage Clothing just gave me an award!

I believe I’m now supposed to select Seven Exceptional Blogs & tell you Seven Things I Love… But what I think I’ll do (and I don’t think it’s cheating!), is select the seven blogs and, for the “things I love” part, show you a specific post that illustrates why I love the blog I’ve named.

(You’ll likely also notice that there is some overlap between my list and Fuzzylizzy’s… I do believe that blog award rules, like fashion rules were meant to be broken — or at least altered to fit one’s needs *wink*)

Lulu’s Vintage: A great vintage fashion blog you probably already know about — and have been wondering why it’s been absent from my sidebar. All I can say in my defense is that sometimes my intentions are thwarted by my own actions; in this case, too busy reading & shopping to get myself over here and make a link. Shame on me? Yes, but it’s kind of Lulu’s fault for showing me such grand stuff! Like Lulu’s Vintage Awards.

Speaking of Lulu’s awards, this next blog/blogger continually wins them: Couture Allure. Sure her finds are stunning, but no matter what your life style, how little is in your piggy bank, you can dream and learn with lovely long posts that show you pretty photos and fill you with fashion facts.

Bobbins and Bombshells is a blog that found me — well, the blogger found this blog and posted a comment (Yup, that really works!) and ever since, I’ve been smitten with this vintage inspired creative kitten. It’s one part vintage fashion adoration, one part DIY, and one part newsy dish. (The blog is now on the sidebar.)

Tales From A Vintage Wardrobe (you might know it as The Red Velvet Shoe, but that’s really the owner’s vintage shop’s name) is another new discovery for me that’s so good, I’m adding it to my sidebar. The Romper Room post typifies what I’m lovin’ about this blog: lots of photos, things to think about — and she’s brave enough to model for photos she uses at the blog!

Kitsch Slapped: Not always about fashion, not always glamorous, not even always vintage — but totally worth a daily visit. If you love vintge & retro stuff, pop culture, and some occasional (feminist) ranting, you’ll love to be kitsch-slapped! I won’t even tell you what this Kitsch Slapped post is about — one should just be surprised with what they discover at Kitsch Slapped. *wink*

Jersey Girl (of Dandelion Vintage) is another blog that’s not always about vintage fashion — it’s more of a vintage lifestyle blog. But that isn’t a slight (it’s on the list, isn’t it?) because sometimes I just go there to get in the mood… The days I do, my pocketbook usually suffers for it, because I’ll be dreaming & twirling in my head & then need to find just the right skirt or accessory… Just like she does. *wink*

Speaking of getting in the mood… If you’re looking for ideas for films (which may put you in the mood for fashions), check out Vintage Meld — Cliff will show you a good time. Mainly ‘the meld’ is all about collecting Hollywood memorabilia, old magazines & other ephemera, but he does offer film reviews and information about films & stars of the past — including the occasional field trip, like to the Ava Gardner Museum!

One last bit of business before you go off & visit all the award winners… Please check your readers, bookmarks & blog sidebars to make sure you are linking to Here’s Looking Like You, Kid correctly. Many of you are still using the old URL and that doesn’t work anymore! Be sure you’ve got the proper one: http://heres-looking-like-you-kid.com/ Thanks!

Back To Fashion School

By , 7 September, 2009, 4 Comments

The trouble with girls & young women today is they just don’t know enough about fashion history.

Overheard at the mall (and no, dear daughter, I wasn’t listening to you & your friends; I heard this while waiting in the food court for you), a group of teens discussing the 80’s fashion comeback. They apparently, if my teen-to-adult translator was working right, were disappointed to find that stores weren’t selling “classic 80’s Madonna, like from her Desperately Seeking Susan days.”

Desperately Seeking 80s Madonna

Desperately Seeking 80s Madonna

“Where,” they snarkily commented, rather than asked, “are the short skirts, the wild boots?” — “That stuff was rad original and iconic!”

Clearly these girls didn’t know that Madonna had ripped-off — or borrowed — from Joan Crawford, so how could I tell them that pretty much everything from Madonna’s “rad original & iconic look” (save for the neon colors – ugh) was the vamp revamping past fashions?

Sure, they might have guessed that the “granny booties” were a version of antique boots or Victorian shoes — daringly paired with short skirts. But clearly they didn’t have a clue that this had been done before too. And with cuffed (decorated, even!), slouch, calf-height boots yet.

Movie Makers: Short Skirts & Boots (1919)

Movie Makers: Short Skirts & Boots (1919)

Even the disheveled hosiery can be traced back to someone else… Now that’s old school!

Marie Prevost with Stockings (One Over The Knee, The Other Rolled Below The Knee) And Cuffed Slouch Boots

Marie Prevost with Stockings (One Over The Knee, The Other Rolled Below The Knee) And Cuffed Slouch Boots (1918)

If those teenagers would have listened to the creepy old lady who rambled to them at the mall — or if they visited here and read this post — and got back to fashion schooled, can you imagine the “No way!”s? *wink*

If you’re in the mood for some boots inspired by 1980s Madonna, 1910s Marie Prevost, et all, check out Jimmy Choo’s ‘Jinx’ Cuff Boot & Jeffrey Campbell’s ‘Us’ Ankle Bootie.

Jimmy Choo's Black Cuffed (With Grommets) Boot

Jimmy Choo's Black Cuffed (With Grommets) Boot

Jeffery Campbell Black Studded Ankle Bootie

Jeffery Campbell Black Studded Ankle Bootie

Help For Creating 1950s Hair

By , 4 September, 2009, No Comment

At Flickr, signs and wonders has posted this lovely page from a 1953 self-published instruction manual on hair styling featuring instructions and photographs for creating a classic comb-out.

How To Create A 1950's Basic Hair Comb-Out

How To Create A 1950's Basic Hair Comb-Out