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Archive for ‘1960s’

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.

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.

Platforms Raquel Welch Could Fathom

By , 13 January, 2009, No Comment

Super platforms that Raquel Welch would have worn as super sexy spy Fatham Harvill in Fathom — especially with that fabulous little red minidress — had she not been out-running bulls and stuff *wink*

Even if you’re not a dental hygienist-turned-skydiver turned spy, you can be super sexy mod in these 1970s red and blue suede platform shoes have a mod floral cut-out.

Red and Blue Suede Platform Shoes

Red and Blue Suede Platform Shoes

Red leather platforms with hand painted flowers on the vamp…

Retro Red Leather Platforms With Flowers

Retro Red Leather Platforms With Flowers

And the back of the heels too!

Retro Red Shoes with Floral Hand Painting On The Heels

Retro Red Shoes with Floral Hand Painting On The Heels

Maybe you’d like something a little more psychedelic? Well, you can’t get more psychedelic than these clear open-toe, studded wooden platform shoes with red patent leather ankle straps!

Retro Psychedelic Platform Shoes

Retro Psychedelic Platform Shoes

Along with the outta-sight space decals, there’s even a neon lips — like a kiss — on the front!

Retro Disco Platforms With Lip-Print Kiss

Retro Disco Platforms With Lip-Print Kiss

Leopard Print For Sex Kittens

By , 8 January, 2009, 3 Comments

Digging ’round for those non-existent photos of Ann-Margret, I found this photo of her with a leopard.

Ann Margret With Leopard

Ann Margret With Leopard

I thought how very much leopard print is so very vintage glam, suitable for all sex kittens — and since she’s just wearing that black catsuit (or, perhaps, a bodysuit and tights?), she’s just begging to be dressed — why not go shopping for leopard print?

First, the foundation garments: vintage Vanity Fair bra and half-slip set in leopard print.

Vintage Vanity Fair Foundation Garments

Vintage Vanity Fair Foundation Garments

An amazing 1930’s crepe suit-styled dress with faux leopard fur trim.

1930s Crepe Dress With Leopard Print Fake Fur Trim

1930s Crepe Dress With Leopard Print Fake Fur Trim

If you can find a place to wear it, how about this incredible 1940’s silk velvet leopard and golden silk chiffon hostess gown by Dorian?

1940's Leopard Print Hostess Gown

Vintage Leopard Print Hostess Gown

More retro than vintage? You’ll love this very mod 1960’s faux leopard fur trench coat!

Retro Mod 1960s Faux Fur Leopard Coat

Retro Mod 1960s Faux Fur Leopard Coat

Of course, when we dress, we must remember to undress… This black vintage Vanity Fair nightgown has a pretty leopard print bodice.

Vintage Vanity Fair Black and Leopard Print Gown

Vintage Vanity Fair Black and Leopard Print Gown

And underneath everything here (and anywhere), how about these Pussycat panties? They’re modern made by Cameo Intimates, but so cute you’ll want to slip them under your vintage fashions — and with those garters you can wear real stockings!

Leopard Print Panties With Garters

Leopard Print Panties With Garters

PS I’d like to express a word of caution regarding this post about selling your unwanted jewelry. While it’s true that gold is seeing record highs, I, like Val Ubell (cute pen name!), worry about the amount of vintage jewelry which will be lost. So please, think twice!

Shirt Tales: The Pleasure Seekers

By , 6 January, 2009, No Comment

Last night I was watching The Pleasure Seekers (1964 remake of 1954’s Three Coins In The Fountain, in which three women try to find wealthy husbands) on television and found myself thinking that Ann Margret was so sexy and stunning wearing men’s shirts that “women wearing men’s shirts” was the fashion find in the film. There’s just something so sexy about seeing (and being!) a woman casually wearing a man’s shirt — our curves sure make us look different in them. But this form of dress (or undress) certainly was new and risque for the 60’s.

Of course, if you love scarves, you’ll be thrilled most by them — these light bits of fabric are heavily worn in this film. In fact, fashion — and Ann-Margret singing — is about all you can really enjoy in this predictable film. But that’s enough for me!

I searched for hours & hours last night, and couldn’t find any photos of Ann in a man’s shirt other than these video clips — none of which have my favorite scene with Ann-Margret in wearing a chambray shirt, answering the phone. (Though I have put a call out to my peeps and we’ll see if any of them have an image in their stashes; if they share I will too)

Anyway, in all my searching I did a ton of great images of other women in shirts (men’s or women’s, crisp or rumpled) and I’ll be posting them this week.

Futuristic Blast From The Past

By , 1 January, 2009, No Comment

With a new year comes thoughts of the future — and futuristic fashions.

Jane Fonda as Barbarella

Jane Fonda as Barbarella

But you needn’t dress like Barbarella to get a fabulous mod fashion look.

Like Princess Leia’s metal bikini, such a costume is best left for sci-fi conventions — or the boudoir. *wink*

So instead, opt for more practical mod fashions which won’t get you booted out of the PTA, arrested, or just left with neat stuff in your closet that you complain you never have any place to wear. This lovely mod faux leather silver coat is super — and it’s a plus size (or, more accurately, at a size 15, an average size garment), so you needn’t have Jane Fonda’s figure either.

Silver Retro Faux Leather Coat

Silver Retro Faux Leather Coat

The ultra mod coat is sold by The Mad Fashionista, who specializes in plus size vintage fashions; she also has an hysterical blog.

Vintage Lingerie: The Foundation For Vintage Fashion

By , 18 December, 2008, No Comment

Vintage fashion lovers know the foundation to any vintage fashion is literally the foundation garments; you need bras, panties and other lingerie which can smoothly fit and shape beneath your clothing to help give the proper silhouette. And of course, it’s just much sexier lingerie.

Jenn In Cameo Intimates Hand Made Vintage Style Lingerie

Jenn In Cameo Intimates Hand Made Vintage Style Lingerie

Now A Slip of a Girl readers get an exclusive 20% discount on hand made, hand-tailored, vintage styled lingerie at Cameo Intimates. Just enter discount code “ASLIP20” at the checkout and you’ll save 20% off any purchase, including custom orders and their vintage garment repair & alteration services. There’s no minimum (but the 20% does exclude clearance items and some limited edition items).

This special coupon code is valid now through February 14th, 2009.

The model is wearing the Cameo ‘Hollywood’ Bullet Bra, Cameo Retro Panty, and Cameo Lace Up Garter Belt.

Don’t forget, when ordering, to get the padded tips for that real bullet bra zing! (Don’t worry, ma; we won’t poke anyone’s eyes out — unless they don’t have permission to be that close *wink*)

Vintage Inspired Hats

By , 17 December, 2008, No Comment

Bust magazine announced in their December/January ’09 issue that hats are back, saying in “Hats For Lasses: Craft Your Own Beau Chapeau”:

Headgear is back in a big way, especially fascinators (small headpieces often adorned with feathers), first popular in the early 20th century, and pillbox hats, a classy staple of the early 60’s.

Hats For Lasses Feature In Bust Magazine

Hats For Lasses Feature In Bust Magazine

And then they gave us easy & inexpensive to make instructions for making them — while I prefer actual vintage pieces, I totally recognize that there is always the need to make the perfect hat to complete your ensemble. So go for it!

Instructions For Making Vintage Looking Hats by Callie Watts

Instructions For Making Vintage Looking Hats by Callie Watts

The Knack (And How To Get It) In Romance & Fashion

By , 9 December, 2008, 5 Comments

The Knack… and How to Get It was a British film released in 1965 about the sexual revolution in swinging London-town, complete with a Greek chorus of disapproving members of society’s “older generation”. In the film, bookish teacher Colin (played by Michael Crawford) is frustrated by the womanizing ways of his housemate, Tolen (played by Ray Brooks).

The film opens with a series of mannequin-esque women in tight sweaters and short skirts, robotically waiting in line to get with Tolen.

The Mannequin Women In The Knack... And How To Get It

The Mannequin Women Of The Knack... And How To Get It

Shot in black & white, the mod fashions seem nearly as bland and dingy as an Ugly American imagines London to be. My first thoughts were that we’d shift to color after this initial footage, but the entire film is in black and white. This, along with admittedly few costume changes, leaves little to leap from the screen as far as the fashionista’s attentions go — so why review the film here?

Because in black and white the film is much more of a character study (perhaps this was a calculated move on the part of director Richard Lester, most known for his 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night; I’ll leave that for movie critics to debate), leaving what little eye-candy fashion there is to become iconic & symbolic. At least in this person’s mind.

As I said, the women who visit Tolen are darn-near replicas of one another. Same tight-fitting sweaters and short skirts on the same lithe frames — just their hairstyles set them apart. They become rather unidentifiable and even (surprisingly, for a feminist anyway) unremarkable — you just don’t really care for or about these women. For even as the supposedly sexually satisfied women (we never see a sex act) prepare to leave with their “gifts” from Tolen, they seem without pleasure. When he gives jewelry, there is a cold acceptance. Even when the women given the Green Shield Savings Stamps (the UK version of S&H Green Stamps) lick the stamps to place them in their books, there’s no heat. And you know how sexy women’s mouths and licking are usually made in such films.

Where you might expect the vapid, drugged, zombie state of women in lust writhing and purring over “the man with The Knack”, there is instead the the passionless, mechanical quality of women who all look alike. I can’t help but find parallels to women who blindly follow fashion trends.

In a case of he-doth-protest-too-much, Colin rants angrily about getting a new roommate in his house because he can’t focus with all the goings-on in the house — both the practical issues resulting from the long line of ladies who visit Tolen & the moral & misogynistic improprieties. He puts a sign up, hoping for a monk or a nice quiet girl, but instead, through a series of comical mishaps ends up with Tom (Donal Donnelly), a quirky young man who insists upon painting over everything brown (but really seems compelled to paint everything in sight white), as a new housemate. Just in time too, for Colin is about to go over to the dark side — give up on morals and love — and get lessons in “The Knack” from Tolen.

While the boys are getting things sorted out at home, there’s a sweet, young country girl, Nancy (played by the charming and fetching Rita Tushingham), arriving fresh off the train to London.

Nancy Arrives

Nancy Arrives

She’s completely unlike the other young women we’ve seen. While her clothes are certainly more mod than New Look, she expresses — in fashion and face — a freedom the mod mannequins do not. She’s not just “country” v. “city; she’s alive. This is best shown with her innocent face beneath that plaid newsboy cap.

As fellow passengers voice the societal concerns of the big city ruining the sweet young woman, Nancy enters the London train station and sits down in a photo booth, taking portraits of herself as a hip urbanite. Notice that Nancy has removed her hat — a hat which should be watched as symbolism in the entire film.

Waiting for the photos to come out of the machine, Nancy gets her first rude awakening to what the swinging city has in store. A couple, older man with younger blonde, walk up to the photo booth. The young woman steps inside, draws the curtain closed, and proceeds to rapidly hand her male companion pieces of her clothing — one by one, including bits of lingerie.

Stripping In The Photo Booth

Stripping In The Photo Booth

Until we can obviously understand that she is completely nude in the photo booth; we see bare (or perhaps stocking-covered) legs & her shoes beneath the curtain as she happily poses for the camera.

Nancy, en route to the YWCA, has several other big city lessons in store for herself; including a hilarious scene with a hoodwinking salesman inside a clothing shop. Once she enters she is instantly proffered a dress & pushed into a fitting room by a salesman who says:

I never thought I’d see so much purity of pattern. Absolute rightness. I must please you, and I think I can. Don’t fail me now, because I may never trust myself with a woman again, ever. Try it on. I’m sure, absolutely, I can please you. Show me. Wait for me.

Nancy Approached By Salesman

Nancy Approached By Salesman

The complete pitch is repeated word for word with the next woman who enters the shop — and overheard by Nancy, who mimics him. She still buys the dress — but instead of buying a new hat, keeps her (now) trademark cap.

Undeterred by the slick swinging city & its rude people, Nancy continues on eventually running into Colin and Tom at the junkyard. The young men are there as Colin has deduced his poor luck with the ladies is due to a too-small bed, and Tom has found him the perfect Edwardian iron bed in the junkyard. Tom sees a way to help the naïve and awkward Colin with girls by getting Nancy to come along home with them.

Using the guise of promising to help Nancy find her way to the YWCA if she helps them, the three roll, carry, and float the bed through the city back to the house. (At some point the bed is now white as if Tom had painted it along the way.)

Rolling Bed Through London

Rolling Bed Through London

Floating The Bed Home

Floating The Bed Home

In this part there’s plenty of humor, including when Nancy, perched on the bed as the boys lift it to carry it down significant stairs, says, “I’ve been picked up now, haven’t I?”

This clearly disturbs Colin — but things will only get worse once the three get back to the house and Tolen decides to show-up his housemates by putting the moves on Nancy.

Tolen Putting The Moves On Nancy

Tolen Putting The Moves On Nancy

Tolen believes women must be dominated (that is part of “The Knack”), and his aggression frightens her. Colin seems oblivious, but Tom tries to assist; however Tolen eventually seduces the her into leaving with him on his motorcycle. Tom convinces Colin that the two need to save the poor innocent girl from herself and Tolen and they set off to chase the couple on foot. What ensues includes a Benny Hill/Keystone Cops chase scene.

Tolen and Nancy lose them and duck into a park. There Tolen really puts the moves on Nancy. She nervously says “no”, then demands he leave her alone — mocking Tolen. But she takes things too far when she starts calling him “Mister Tight Pants”, distracting herself. The conflicting desires have her falling to the ground in a faint. This is where the boys come in, assuming the worst, that Nancy is dead.

Park Scene In The Knack

Park Scene In The Knack

As they argue, Nancy sits up and yells, “Rape.” Not once, not twice, but endlessly throughout the town, even once she starts to tell a cop but decided not to. (As a feminist, I have to say I was rather put-off by this at first — but eventually you just have to laugh at the absurdity, especially due to the length of this scene.) Nancy even goes door-to-door. She knocks and when the door is opened says just the one word, “Rape,” to which the housewife says, “Not today, thank you.”

Nancy arrives back at the house before the boys, strips and remains in Tolen’s room, still insisting she’s been raped.

Nancy Nude In Bed

Nancy Nude In Bed

Now Colin takes the lead and confronts her, telling her she’s not been raped. The combination of their individual positions and mutual insistence becomes an elixir or sorts, and now Nancy claims Colin was the one who raped her. This is so laughable to Tolen, that Colin’s ego is affected and he falters for a second. Even Nancy seems to be insulted by Tolen’s reaction, so she starts saying that Colin “raped me marvelous super!” Colin responds by saying that he could, he would — he’d like to but he didn’t. Eventually Nancy & Colin consummate the claims in Colin’s new big bed.

Nancy and Colin, A Couple

Nancy and Colin as a Couple

Everything is settled for the couple now; Nancy will be living there. But Tolen is now upset by such impropriety. He heads off to some sort of pre-scheduled meeting with a fellow womanizer named Rory — one he feels is not as good as he. He gets there and Rory’s women now fill the Albert Hall (“now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall”) — not merely preventing Tolen from entering, but even trampling him in their blind (cold) lust.

Tolen Trying To Get Into Albert Hall

Tolen Trying To Get Into Albert Hall

Tolen, a very changed man, now joins the chorus of disapproving society folk, while the rest go on and live happily ever after.

A very unusual and thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy about remaining true to yourself — with lots to think about in the regarding fashion too. It makes me want to go out and get a plaid newsboy cap.

Plaid 1960s Newsboy Cap

Plaid 1960s Newsboy Cap

PS I have to add that my heart was taken by the wonderfully mad, childlike (not childish), painting-everything-white, Tom. I wondered why he didn’t get the girl. At one point Tolen wonders too. Maybe he’s gay. “Are you a homosexual?” he says to Tom. Tom replies, “No. Thanks all the same.”

While it clears up one issue, I’m still wondering why Tom’s left single.

Hairdo Meets Hat

By , 20 November, 2008, 1 Comment

Wondering just how to wear your New Look hats — without having ‘hat hair’ or having your hair compete with your hat? Here are four pages from HairDo, published by Dell (May, 1961) describing just how to style your hair to frame your face and work with your lovely vintage hats. (Click each for a larger scan.)

Hairdo Meets Hat

Hairdo Meets Hat

Hairdo Meets Hat Page Two

Hairdo Meets Hat Page Two

Hairdo Meets Hat Page Three

Hairdo Meets Hat Page Three

Last Page Of When Hairdo Meets Hat

Last Page Of When Hairdo Meets Hat