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Archive for ‘Books’

The Here’s Linking To You, Kid Vintage Glamour Link Round Up

By , 8 December, 2011, No Comment

Check out the Bobbed-Hair Bimbos! Too charming!

Visit Hollywood homes at Christmas time, 1946.

Since vintage fashion lovers are familiar with auctions, check out this auction story from 1877.

Foundation garments, especially bras, are the foundation of any wardrobe, so check out A Slip Of A Girl‘s contest where she’s giving away five signed copies of bra fit expert Ali Cudby‘s book.  You know Barbara Stanwyck was a believer in finding a proper bra fit!

Barbara Stanwyck: Discreet But Visible Bra Beneath Sheer Blouse

Beauty & Hair Tips From The 60s and 70s

By , 19 November, 2011, No Comment

Hair and makeup artist Lexi DeRock has a book helping you get the looks: Decades of Style: A Step-by-Step Hair & Makeup Guide – 60s & 70s. Plus, now through Thanksgiving, she’s giving away one copy a day! She’s also giving 50% off and free shipping to the first 50 people who ask for it!

Decades of Style

Film Options Are Like Predictions: Made, But Not Always Fruitful

By , 2 September, 2009, No Comment

Also in those 1949 Quick predictions, a prediction that puzzles me…

Front-Page Movie: One of the 1950’s most exciting films will be made from Bob Sylvester’s yet-to-be-published novel, Second Oldest Profession. Four studios are bidding for it — a shocker about a reporter who rises to editor.

The novel was published, as titled, by Robert Sylvester in 1950 — and, according to what I could see in journalism chatter, the book included the ethical dilemma of “an advice columnist who gets actively involved with reader.” The paperback, at least, sensationalized the newsman’s novel with a bawdy cover and tag line: “Hard Men and Soft Women in the World’s Roughest Business.”

Just the sort of romantic film fodder you could envision from vintage Hollywood, right? But what happened to the film…

There’s evidence that 20th Century-Fox bought the rights to Sylvester’s book in the April 4th, 1950 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

And in the April 1, 1950 issue of Boxoffice (under Four Literary Purchases Recorded for the Week, page 30), there’s this brief but detailed report:

To 20th Century-Fox went “The Second Oldest Profession,” a novel by Robert Sylvester and concerned with the newspaper business. With Otto Preminger assigned to produce – and – direct, the vehicle is being shaped as a starring subject for Gregory Peck when he returns to the U.S. from his current British assignment, Warners’ “Captain Horatio Hornblower”

Boxoffice, April 1, 1950

Boxoffice, April 1, 1950

But I’ve never heard of a film titled The Second Oldest Profession — and even if 20th Century-Fox would have opted to skip the promotional favor of a recognizable title, I can’t find any film by either Preminger or Peck which fits the bill… Even Robert Sylvester’s IMDB record is bereft of any mention of The Second Oldest Profession.

So, for all the fanfare & the bidding war, I guess the film was never made? If you know otherwise, I’d love to hear from you — otherwise it’s just one more prediction Quick seems to have gotten wrong.

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.

What Makes Your Life Colorful?

By , 10 June, 2009, No Comment

What makes your life colorful? Maybelline New York and More magazine want to hear your story!

Maybe you’ve started your own business based on a personal passion, or you’re a community leader who everyone looks up to. Perhaps you dedicate your time and energy to a cause, or use art as a means of creative expression. Tell us how you exude confidence, optimism and personality while balancing a variety of roles – at home or at work – all with grace, flair and style!

Three Grand-Prize winners will:

* Star in a Maybelline New York “Colorful Life” short film

* Take a fabulous, all-expenses paid trip with a guest to New York City

* Receive a Maybelline New York Makeover by a professional make-up artist

* Meet Candace Bushnell, best-selling author of Sex and the City, at her Webisode Premiere Party and appear in a “behind-the-scenes” webisode

Ten runners-up will also be selected. Each of them will receive signed copies of each of the three newest paperback novels from Candace Bushnell (Lipstick Jungle, Trading Up, and One Fifth Avenue) and a year’s supply of Maybelline New York Color Sensational lipcolor (4 shades).

Women can enter the nationwide contest today by logging on to www.Maybelline.com/ColorfulLife and following the instructions to upload a photo & an essay of 200 words or less about “what makes your life colorful.”

The contest ends June 30, 2009. Winners will be selected by Meredith Publications and Maybelline New York.

Collecting Vintage Vanity Items

By , 14 May, 2009, 3 Comments

I don’t own a lot of books on vintage fashions & collectibles because I’m not as much into price guides as I am the beauty & history of the items themselves. But from time to time I do buy them…

Vintage Compacts & Beauty Accessories by Lynell Schwartz

Vintage Compacts & Beauty Accessories by Lynell Schwartz

One of my favorites is Vintage Compacts & Beauty Accessories by Lynell Schwartz.

A large hardcover with at least one photo on each of the 190+ pages, the book covers vintage vanity items, cosmetics & other beauty items (found in ladies’ purses etc.) such as compacts, powder puffs, powder boxes, patters, carry-alls, vanity cases, and lots more.

Along with seeing pretty vintage glamour items that you might never otherwise see (outside of a museum or a private collection), the reason I love this guide book is that it provides information on the history of cosmetics — including information & historical photographs from:

* yesteryear’s stores
* advertising and retail displays found in the old stores
* vintage cosmetic companies (including manufacturing plants)
* vintage publications (magazines, catalogs)
* vintage advertisements

So along with the pretty color photographs of individual objects, you get plenty of context (including black & white photographs) for the items themselves as well as the collectible categories they are in and the culture & time period they are from.

Even if you can’t afford another collection — or the prices such beauties fetch, you’ll enjoy seeing & learning about what once was.

Throw A Party To Celebrate The Oscars

By , 9 February, 2009, No Comment

Having an Oscar party? Plum Party has lots of cool party supplies with a Hollywood theme, from paper plates and napkins with the iconic searchlights to vintage style pop corn boxes.

Hollywood Paper Party Supplies

Hollywood Paper Party Supplies

I love these chocolates that look like rolls of film!

Film Canister Chocolates

Film Canister Chocolates

And what diva wouldn’t want these fabulous napkin rings that look like giant diamond rings?

Faux Diamond Ring Napkin Rings

Faux Diamond Ring Napkin Rings

Of course, then you’re going to have to go with cloth napkins — but they have those too. Do you prefer gold or silver?

You can even give out your own golden statues.

Star Awards

Star Awards

To give out awards, you’ll need some games. Here’s a couple of party games from a vintage copy of The Cokesbury Party Book (1932).

The first is a game played by couples at a party — it’s pretty silly, and you divas may not like a messy face, but it’s bound to be fun. It’s called The Make-Up Game:

Choose two or more couples. The boys are given a box which contains a red cord, with which to tie the girl’s hands behind her. The box also contains make-up materials — rouge, lip stick, eyebrow pencil, powder, etc. The boys are told to make up the girls like Mary Pickford, Coleen Moore, Nancy Carroll, or some other popular actresses. Judges pick the winners.

Depending upon your guest list, you may need to update your popular actress list a bit. *wink*

This next ideas are from a themed costume party called a “Celebrities Party”.

We all admire famous people, so for one evening let’s each select a famous American person and dress ourselves like that one and come to a party where there will be nothing except celebrities. Have the guests come dressed as some famous American. It would be well to allow a wide range of choice as to character, permitting the characters to delve into past history as well as present history. The screen, stage, sports of all kinds, aviation, religion, politics, and music should all have their representatives at the gathering.

1. Invitation. — A suggested invitation is given below:

If your name is not in Who’s Who,
You can be great just the same.
Come dressed like a celebrity, any will do,
If he’s in American Hall of Fame.
Come out to Smith’s on Friday night
And act the part you dress.
We’ll live in the past and present both,
And have a good time? — Well, I guess!

It is then suggested that a list of possible celebrities should be sent with the invitation. Celebrities of The Past are listed; these are mainly from political history. Then the Celebrities Of The Present are listed, which includes, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore etc. (It is interesting to note that the following: “Inasmuch as there is a shortage of women characters, it might be well to suggest that some of the girls dress as Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, Mrs. Abe Lincoln.” For all my “love of vintage,” I am so glad I wasn’t alive in such sexist times!)

An Opening Mixer is suggested, called Who’s Who:

Of course everyone will want to know “Who’s Who.” As each guest enters pin a paper bearing a number on him. Supply each one with a paper and pencil and ask him to write down the numbers and name of the celebrity represented by the guest. After all have had ample time to guess, the leader should read a correct list. As the leader calls the number, the guest should be asked to rise and should be introduced to the others by name of the person represented as well as by the rightful name, so that all will feel that they have been rightfully introduced to each other.

A prize should be given to the person having the longest list of celebrities. A picture of one of our outstanding citizens might be given as a prize.

If the guests do not come in costume, when they have all assembled the leader should seat them and pin on the back of each one the name of a famous American. When all the names have been pinned on, they try to learn who they are by asking questions which must in every case be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” They can ask the question if they like, “Am I president Hoover?” and if answered in the affirmative, they can take off the name and pin it in front, and it is to be worn the rest of the evening.

Next is a game called Impersonation.

Have the impersonation which are given below written on slips of paper and put in a box. The leader draws them out one by one; and if she draws the number seven, she starts counting at the head of the line of guests to seven. The person who is number seven must then do the impersonation indicated. In every case she starts from the same person, counting from that person to the number which is on the slip of paper.

I’ve just selected a few of the 21 listed, to give you an idea.

Betsy Ross making the flag.
Charlie Chaplin making a movie.
Tom Mix on horseback.
Charles Lindbergh making love to Anne Lindbergh.
Clara Bow flirting.

(The Lindbergh one really cracks me up!)

Like the first suggestion, you may need to update as necessary to fit your guests’ knowledge of history & film, and/or to fit the Hollywood theme. But modified or not, it certainly won’t be the same-old Oscar party!

Try Breakfast At Tiffany’s To Inspire Your Good Nights!

By , 5 February, 2009, No Comment

Breakfast At Tiffany’s is one of my all-time favorite films. Sure, you’ve got a good argument for racism with Mickey Rooney playing Mr. Yunioshi. Yes, the movie is vastly different from the book (spoiler: there’s no romance between Holly Golightly and Paul “Fred” Varjak, but a deep friendship, in the novella by Truman Capote — there can’t be, Paul’s gay). And, naturally enough, once you learn that Marilyn Monroe was considered for the part that Audrey Hepburn so superbly played, you can’t help but wonder just how that would have changed so many things… And not just in the film either.

Capote wanted Monroe to Play Holly

But say all you want, Breakfast At Tiffany’s is a delight.

Great fashion, trashy parties with the swank & swagger of the ‘it’ people in your crowd, the complete independence to live as individually (& even unorthodoxly) as you can — isn’t that just what your 20’s are supposed to be?

My first apartment was inspired by Holly Golightly — not just the film posters on the walls and the orange tabby cat, but we also awoke to the muffled ringing of a phone stored in a suitcase so as not to harshly wake us. (I also had several luxurious sleep masks; but blindfolded nights and midnight baby cries are dangerous combination, so the masks are what you’ll now find tucked away in my suitcases — waiting for ‘someday’.)

Audrey as Holly Golightly wearing sleep mask

Audrey as Holly Golightly wearing sleep mask

I suppose I ought to discuss the terrific vintage fashions in the film… But those fashions are so iconic that I’m under the impression that you all know the fashions & how to emulate the look by now — it’s nearly ‘old hat’. *wink* (If not, please let me know and I’ll work up a post about that.)

Instead, what I’d like to do is show you some gorgeous proof of the inspirational power of Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Hopeless, a couture lingerie company owned and operated by Australian sisters Gabrielle and Dominique Adamidis, has an entire line of lingerie inspired by Breakfast At Tiffany’s. And it’s stunning! There’s the Holly Bustier & Briefs; the Cat Garter Belt; the Yunioshi Bustier, Garter Belt & Briefs; the Sally Halter Bra– even a Trawler Apron!

Stunning lingerie inspired by Breakfast at Tiffanys

Stunning lingerie inspired by Breakfast at Tiffanys

Hopeless vintage inspired lingerie

Hopeless vintage inspired lingerie

Sexy little Trawler Apron

Sexy little Trawler Apron

Like true designer creations, they are “inspired by”, not rip-offs, and they have real vintage appeal — with a modern appeal. I’m sure Holly would have loved these stunning pieces.

Holly Golightly inspired lingerie

Holly Golightly inspired lingerie

Black silk lingerie by Hopeless

Black silk lingerie by Hopeless

The one piece that puzzles me a bit is the stunning Fred Bra. Is that named for Holly’s brother Fred — or does it refer to Holly’s nickname for Paul?

Hopeless Lingerie Fred Bra

Hopeless Lingerie Fred Bra

Hmmmm… Maybe it only matters to a film buff. Anyway, they are just stunning enough to keep you from getting in the buff too quickly.

Did I mention these Hopeless lingerie pieces are stunning? *wink*

The Black & White Of The Feud

By , 1 December, 2008, No Comment

Just so there’s no misunderstanding or underestimating the power of color…

In The Great Movie Stars: The Golden Years, by David Shipman (1970), the author writes of the great feud between Raquel Welch and Mae West which began on the set of Myra Breckenridge:

Raquel Welch had the title role, but Mae West had top billing. Apparently Miss Welch was no more pleased about this than about the clause in Miss West’s contract which gave her the exclusive right to wear black or white. Indeed there seems to have been dissension on all sides.

Raquel Welch and Mae West

Raquel Welch and Mae West

According to Jill Watts in her biography of West (suitably titled Mae West: An Icon in Black and White), this costuming decision was blessed by Edith Head:

At Head’s urging, West’s contract had specified that when she shared scenes with other characters, she was to appear exclusively in black and tgowns. The savvy designer knew that the black-and-white contrast would make West stand out on the screen.

Something to think about with all those holiday photos and videos, hmm?

No One Messes With A Femme Fatale’s Purse

By , 27 November, 2008, 1 Comment

In this photo from the 50’s, Marie Windsor carries a clear Lucite purse — which means you can see everything inside it!

Marie Windsor With See-Thru Lucite Box Purse

Marie Windsor With See-Thru Lucite Box Purse

I don’t think I’d be brave enough to do that; would you? But I guess when you’re The Marie Windsor, no one is going to even think of doing anything nasty.

Photo of Windsor (with Jack Hupp) from Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir, by Eddie Muller; a fabulous book