web analytics

Posts tagged ‘Accessories’

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

Don’t Step On My Blue Suede Shoes — Or Purse!

By , 29 December, 2008, No Comment

Even if they are faux suede, these vintage high heels and matching handbag in a fabulous electric blue are too incredible for oafish dancing partners.

Vintage Electric Blue Shoes and Purse

Vintage Electric Blue Shoes and Purse

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

Will A Rose In Any Other Place Still Smell As Sweet?

By , 11 December, 2008, No Comment

Tired of reaching in your jewelry box for just the right piece with your little black dress?  How about simply wearing a rose?  Don’t worry — it won’t look like his boutioneer if you place it in your cleavage!

Marilyn Monroe With Rose

Marilyn Monroe With Rose

Ursula Andress Wearing A Rose

Ursula Andress Wearing A Rose

The Honorable Hat Of A Dishonored Lady

By , 10 December, 2008, No Comment

It may seem strange to only speak of a hat when the photo is of Hedy Lamarr…

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

But when you find an equally dramatic, high-fashion vintage hat as Hedy wore in Dishonored Lady, you’ve got to!

Dramatic 1940s Cartwheel Hat With Cut Outs

Dramatic 1940s Cartwheel Hat With Cut Outs

The hat was found at Dorothea’s Closet.

(Notice I said it was the perfect hat for a fashion look — I’m not even hinting at a suggestion that a hat will make you look as lovely as Lamarr *wink* No offense, but she was stunning!)

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.

Of Gloria Swanson & Gloves

By , 24 November, 2008, No Comment

A photo of Gloria Swanson taken after Sunset Boulevard as part of the film’s promotional buzz.

Gloria Swanson In Gloves

Gloria Swanson In Gloves

This 1950 article by photographer Philippe Halsman explains how Swanson arrived at his studio so nervous and exhausted that she even cried. In his scramble to help her (and get himself some salable photographs), he impulsively gave her the long black leather gloves as a prop. While these gloves weren’t magic all on their own, they did assist with the transformation. Halsman writes:

She wiggled her hands into them, pulled them high on her arms to where her strapless gown left off, and held out her hands for a self-inspection. Then, finally, the miracle happened. I don’t know how. Perhaps it amused her to see her long, white bare arms turn suddenly black.

She leaned over a high box resting her elbows on its surface and began to flirt with the camera, to play with her hands — half-hiding her face behind her spread, black fingers, like a pretty kitten suddenly bemused with the discovery of its own front paws. That quick, she looked twenty years younger. You could not tell she had been crying. Her arms moved in swift pattern, making wonderful black designs against her pale skin and the pale backdrop, and in perhaps ten minutes I had the photographs I had sought.

Such a breathless description! As wonderful as those glamorous photos!

Now I’m not saying that fashion alone can always provide such a transformation; but glamour sure has its own magical allure which can distract us, capture our own interest, as well as amaze and delight others.

These stunning black leather Italian opera length gloves — which go almost-to-the-shoulder! — have a silk lining and black leather covered buttons at wrist shown and are available at Leather Gloves Online.

Italian Black Leather Opera Gloves

Italian Black Leather Opera Gloves

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

Seduce Like The Millionairess With An Accessorized Corset

By , 5 November, 2008, 3 Comments

Some films really are only worthy of watching for the fashions.

One such film is The Millionairess (1960), where the scrumptious Sophia Loren, The Millionairess, spends the entire film trying to seduce the poor-but-dedicated Indian doctor, played by Peter Sellers. Difficult to image anyone not batting an eye at Loren batting her lashes, but that’s the role Sellers plays — even when Loren strips down to her lingerie in his office:

I’m not sure wearing black hose with a peach ensemble is recommended; but when the woman is Sophia Loren — and those black stockings are attached to the garters of a black corset — just who is going to complain?

Sophia Loren In "The Millionairess"

Sophia Loren In

The contrast of the sinful black corset and stockings paired with the lady-like white hat, pearl necklace and 6-button white kid gloves is what really drives the seduction by fashion — which is, you know, far more effective than simply being nude.

In this state of (un)dress Loren captures all that is feminine. Playing on the dramatic power of the black corset to demand attention, leaving things carefully covered to add the excitement of mystery, as well as demonstrating the demure “do not touch” attitude of a lady, she fully exploits the virgin-whore complex to unsteady poor lucky Sellers.

And you can too. Well, maybe you can’t knock Peter Sellers off his feet, but you can any other man if you follow Loren’s example.

Rather than dominating in the more typical or caricatured version of a “Domme”, such attire and accessories leaves the average man at a loss as for what to do next. You are in charge — and you can enjoy watching him squirm as he wonders just how — and if! — he should make his move…

Start with a stunning corset, preferably custom fit to your curves. (Real corsets are custom made to your measurements, and therefore require several weeks to create & be delivered; so now is the time to order your corset if you want to wear it for the holidays.) Then add the stockings and other accessories.

Opera gloves are my first choice — running over the elbow, leaving the focus on bare décolletage is enough to make anyone sigh. But there are many other lovely glove options.

Wrap the lusty luster of pearls about your throat, and, if you’re daring, top it all off with a lovely vintage hat. Don’t forget the dress! You have to peel yourself out of it; agonizingly slow, or with such perfunctory practicality that he’s completely puzzled. It’s your choice.

(Remember, you can leave your hat on! *wink* )