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Posts tagged ‘Fashion’

Win A Trip To New York During Fashion Week

By , 25 August, 2009, No Comment

Shopbob.com’s giving away a trip to New York during fashion week (travel included), a pair of invitations to the Erin Fetherston Fashion Show in New York, some spending cash and a spree at Shopbop.com.

Shopbob NY Fashion Week Sweeps

Shopbob NY Fashion Week Sweeps

The Grand Prize consists of a trip for 2 to New York, N.Y. Trip including round trip coach class air transportation for 2 to New York departing from the major airport nearest to Grand Prize winner’s home on September 11, 2009 and returning September 14, 2009; ground transportation between airport and hotel in New York; 3 nights’ standard hotel accommodations (double occupancy) at the Westin Hotel in Times Square or comparable accommodations; 2 $200 Visa Gift Cards ($400 total); 2 invitations to attend the Erin Fetherston Fashion Show in New York on September 13, 2009; a $1,000 Shopbop.com Gift Certificate (“GC”) for use on Shopbop.com.

The approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is $3,750.

Enter by signing up for their email list before 11:59:59 p.m. (CT) on August 27, 2009; limit one entry per e-mail address.

Stanwyck Dramatics

By , 20 August, 2009, No Comment

If you like the dramatic look of Barbara Stanwyck’s floral dress…

Stanwyck In Dramatic Floral Print

Stanwyck In Dramatic Floral Print

Look at this vintage draped crepe rayon dress in grey with yellow & white floral print. It’s pretty and appropriate for work as well as special occasions.

Vintage Floral Draped Rayon Dress

Vintage Floral Draped Rayon Dress

This vintage dress features a V neckline, side zipper, and weighted sash panels for dramatic draping.

Violetville Vintage Floral Dress

Violetville Vintage Floral Dress

Foiled Again?

By , 19 August, 2009, No Comment

“Foiled again” has a whole new meaning with this stunning vintage silver suit — make that two meanings… If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be wrapped in silver silk satin jacquard, you’ll want to be foiled that way again! But if you don’t buy it when you see it, you’ll be foiled in that bad way. Tsk tsk!

Vintage 40s Silver Silk Suit With Ruffled Skirt

Vintage 40s Silver Silk Suit With Ruffled Skirt

Vintage 101 With Cameron Silver In Marie Claire

By , 18 August, 2009, No Comment

Packaged along with my September issue of Marie Claire magazine was a special shopping supplement which included a “vintage 101” with Cameron Silver, owner of Decades, vintage boutiques in Los Angeles and London.

Cameron Silver's Vintage 101 Tips In Marie Claire

Cameron Silver's Vintage 101 Tips In Marie Claire

Favorite Quote: In response to “Why go vintage?” Silver starts his reply with, “The irony is that vintage is actually what all of the new stuff in stores is made to look like anyway.”

Boy, do I agree!

In fact, Silver & agree on many things, such as costume jewelry being the best way to “wet your feet” with vintage shopping, where to find vintage, and not to wear vintage from head-to-toe or it looks like a costume.

Yet Silver sort of annoys me when he says, “A tailor is more important than your shrink!” I think the reason so many fashion experts talk about tailors is that they think we all can afford them; but until there’s some sort of insurance that covers alterations that I can get through hubby’s work insurance… Well, hell, the mental health coverage for shrinks is slim enough; I won’t push my luck!

But I do wish the fashion folks wouldn’t keep acting as if we all can afford tailors, let alone have one on retainer.

PS Marie Claire loves Twolia too!

I Love Circle Skirts — But Not Sock Hops!

By , 17 August, 2009, 4 Comments
Vintage Velvet Circle Skirt

Vintage Velvet Circle Skirt

If you love & want to wear vintage circle skirts, like this 1950’s black & red velvet circle skirt, but you don’t want to be asked where the local sock-hop is, here are a few notes on making vintage circle skirts relevant today & not a costume on parade:

* The only bad thing about retro poodle skirts & vintage circle skirts is the very thing that makes them so fabulous — all that fabric. With so much fabric, you’ll be tempted to wear a crinoline to give circle skirts their due; otherwise, the patterns, appliques & details will be lost in the (however luminously sequined & beaded) folds. Yet wear a full crinoline most any place these days, and you’ll find yourself facing questions about sock hops and costume parties *sigh*

But remember, what truly separates the poodle skirt from a circle skirt is the volume of the crinolines &/or petticoats. You can wear vintage circle skirts with more subdued (traditionally slimmer, but proper lengthed) slips, for a softer look (and do lots of twirling, curtsying, and anything else to create interest in that beautiful skirt). You can do this — just look at Audrey Hepburn!

Audrey Hepburn Wearing A Circle Skirt In Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn Wearing A Circle Skirt In Roman Holiday

* If you love a circle skirt, but it’s the shorter, more square dance variety or otherwise requires a fluffy feminine crinoline, then save it for more formal occasions — or mix it in with more modern & casual pieces (tee-shirts, bolero jackets, really big & wide belts) for an 80’s re-do (we did this in the actual 1980’s too!)

* Look for longer length skirts, especially if you are tall &/or fuller-figured. Short full skirts, plumped with a crinoline or hanging in folds, will make you look plumper around the hips by bringing the eye “out” rather than in a line down. Plumper from skirts equals frumpier and out-dated, so avoid it.

* Do tuck your blouse or top into the waistband of the skirt. This emphasizes your waist, drawing the eye in and down, helping to create a generous hourglass figure.

* If your blouse is just a hair too short to remain tucked in, or it’s so bulky looking when tucked in that it’s a distracting mess, you can smooth it over the waist of the skirt and use a wider belt to “join” the ensemble as well as accent your waist. As a general rule, however, do not do this with tunics or other very long tops as the tunic or top will press the circle skirt down, causing a second “ripple” in the skirt, ruining the full skirt’s lines.

Melina Mercouri, Never on Sunday, 1960

Melina Mercouri, Never on Sunday, 1960

* Circle skirts are not yesteryear’s “broomstick skirts” or other long skirts designed to be layered with tunics, as mentioned above. So also avoid long or oversized jackets or blazers.

* Sweaters, both the traditional feminine cardigan & tight-fitting sweater girl varieties, can be worn with circle skirts. If the former, avoid bulky, over-sized, &/or long sweaters which will hide your waistline; if the latter, remember the rules for tops & blouses: tucked in or belted, please.

* Do not wear with socks & saddle shoes or tennis shoes; this makes the outfit look like the old bobby soxer costume. Instead, opt for flats (with or without hosiery), kitten heels (with stockings or pantyhose), or, for that retro 80’s style, with granny boots (as shown below on Pony from Pony & Pink) or lace-up ankle boots and brightly colored socks.

Pony Wearing Vintage Pink Circle Skirt

Pony Wearing Vintage Pink Circle Skirt

Even high heeled stilettos can, depending upon the material of the skirt, the occasion, and the shoe itself, can be an incredible combination for the fashionista who is willing to draw attention to herself.

Just remember that unless your fashion trademark is wearing saddle shoes, avoid the saddle shoe re-do.

* Mix in pieces & accessories from all time periods. A bold Bakelite brooch from the 40’s pinned to a classic white tee & 80’s booties; a 50’s pin up sweater, 80’s Madonna bangles, vintage patent leather peep-toe Mary Janes from the 60’s, and a cloche hat from the 30’s; whatever you’ve got in your closet, dear *wink* (Just like Doe Deer!)

Doe Deer Vintage Circle Skirt Ensemble

Doe Deer Vintage Circle Skirt Ensemble

Not Circle Skirting The Origins Of The Circle Skirt

By , 14 August, 2009, 4 Comments

The only thing more fun than vintage & retro novelty print dresses are circle skirts — you may know them as “poodle skirts,” even if the themes haven’t all gone to the dogs.

Vintage Red Poodle Skirt

Vintage Red Poodle Skirt

What you may not know is that the credit for the circle skirt, or at least its popularity, is attributed to one woman, Juli Lynne Charlot. A woman who described herself as “unable to sew” in an interview in a UP article, Girl Who Couldn’t Sew Booms Into Business With Circle Skirt, published in the Toledo Blade, February 25, 1953.

Five years before this article, in 1947, 25 year old Juli Lynne Charlot made a skirt to wear to a Los Angeles holiday party by cutting a big circle of felt with a hole in the middle to fit her own waist and appliqued “whimsical felt Christmas tress” to it to wear to a Los Angeles holiday party. According to that news article:

I cut it out of felt, because I didn’t know how to sew, and that was the only material I knew wide enough to cut a complete circle skirt without any seams.

(Also worth noting, I think, is Charlot’s description of her own appearance. As was the norm in newspapers, from fashion pieces to crime stories, the clothing, hairstyle & appearance of those featured in the stories were greatly detailed. In this case, the now 30 year old Charlot “counters” what the reporter sees with a visual description of her 25 year old self, saying she was “a big girl — I was just plain fat and frumpy when I made that first skirt.” Why is this worth noting? Well, for one it serves as a reminder to read old magazines and newspapers for clues to what was actually worn rather than trusting the ads; two, it suggests that circle skirts are flattering on any figure; and three, it shows Charlot as a rather self-deprecating woman — at least as a young designer.)

Anyway, just one week after the holiday party, Charlot sold her Christmas circle skirt because she needed the money. From there, demand grew. Charlot put herself in “designing school to learn how to sew” as well as managed to save enough money to start her own factory.

Juli Lynne Charlot Label

Juli Lynne Charlot Label

Charlot had orders, but her business struggled to pay the bills. “I can’t do arithmetic. Mother hocked her diamond ring three weeks in a row to help me meet the payroll,” she said in that 1953 interview. Charlot & her factory struggled until, the story goes, an unnamed New York dress manufacturer visited Charlot, found her in tears, and invested in Charlot’s factory, allowing the designer to more successfully continue to make her whimsical & constantly changing felt designs applied on felt (in winter) and poplin (in summer) skirts, like this stunning Parisian themed circle skirt.

Vintage Circle Skirt With French Theme By Juli Lynne Charlot

Vintage Circle Skirt With French Theme By Juli Lynne Charlot

Just one year prior to this 1953 newspaper article, Juli Lynne Charlot designs were so successful that one of them appeared in a national ad campaign for Maidenform bras.

I Dreamed I Went To The Races In My Maidenform Bra Ad (1952)

I Dreamed I Went To The Races In My Maidenform Bra Ad (1952)

Part of Maidenform’s famous & iconic “I Dreamed…” ad campaign, this 1952 ad shows a Juli Lynne Charlot race horse themed circle skirt on a model who has dreamed she was at the races.

In what can only be described by me as a “Holy Crap!” fashion moment, the skirt shown in the ad was available for sale at AntiqueDress.com.

Vintage Juli Lynne Charlot Circle Skirt

Vintage Juli Lynne Charlot Circle Skirt

Speaking with the lovely Deborah Burke, the owner of AntiqueDress.com, I confirmed that the iconic Juli Lynne Charlot horse racing circle skirt sold two years ago for $665. I can only imagine the delight of owing such a special skirt… It’s exactly this the sort of thing that keeps me searching for vintage fashions.

Come back, because I’ve got more to the story of circle skirts comin’ up next week!

Vintage Horse Racing Circle Skirt Featured In Maidenform Ad

Vintage Horse Racing Circle Skirt Featured In Maidenform Ad

Of All The Gin Joints… Femme Fatale Fitted Suits Walk Into My Life

By , 13 August, 2009, 5 Comments
Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce

When most people think of the fashions women wore in film noir, they think of the sultry, clingy, glamour girl gowns worn by torch singers. They are stunning — but me? I always think of the fabulous female forms in those fabulous fitted suits.

Maybe someone has done an accounting to see which sort of fashions appeared most often in film noir features… I don’t have any idea, myself.

But even if the glamour girl gowns out-number the fitted suits, the suits are more far more iconic to me.

The suits conveyed a sense of power on the part of the women — even if in their situations they were doomed and therefore powerless by definition.

And when they performed the simple act of removing their suit jacket, oh the sexual tension!

Casablanca

Casablanca

Every film noir script or pulp detective novel I ever wrote (yup, I’ve got folders full of ’em!), always featured a woman as powerful & wise as she was beautiful & jaded — and she always walked in wearing a fitted suit above those clicking high heeled shoes. And so, here’s a salute to the film noir femme fatale fitted suit!

1940’s fitted black suit by B. Altman & Co. Fifth Avenue New York:

Black Fitted Vintage Women's Suit

Black Fitted Vintage Women's Suit

A stunning vintage Adele Simpson suit with Ermin collar:

1940s Adele Simpson Suit With Ermin Collar

1940s Adele Simpson Suit With Ermin Collar

Pretty vintage lemon yellow gabardine suit:

Vintage Yellow Gabardine Suit

Vintage Yellow Gabardine Suit

A vintage rayon suit in a rainy grey color and deco detailing:

Vintage Femme Fatale Suit

Vintage Femme Fatale Suit

And this 1940’s women’s black suit jacket — with blue glass beading:

1940s Suit Jacket With Glass Beading

1940s Suit Jacket With Glass Beading

Rich In Stripes

By , 10 August, 2009, No Comment
Irene Rich, 1937

Irene Rich, 1937

When I spotted this vintage photograph of Irene Rich I thought two things — film & fashion. (What else?! lol)

My first thought was the film thought — and the usual thought I have regarding Irene Rich: How ironic that when the talkies came in and (despite her fine voice) the film studios lost interest in her, Rich rebounded with a lovely career in radio.

And my next thought was about fashion: Look how lovely all those small stripes are!

In the 1980’s there were lots of jersey ensembles; pants, “unstructured jackets,” and pants — including wide loose fitting pants like these. Perhaps, with this current 80’s revival, I can hope from someone to put an ensemble like this into production.

The Allure Of Vintage Satin Slips & Gowns

By , 6 August, 2009, No Comment

I know whenever anyone sees such dreamy, creamy, vintage satin slips & gowns as this, you’re supposed to remember Jean Harlow…

1930's Miss Elaine Satin Slip

1930's Miss Elaine Satin Slip

No offense to Harlow, but I also like to think of Joan Crawford — in the 1930s, before the dreaded code, she was peddled in the mags as quite the vamp too.

Pre-Code Joan Crawford

Pre-Code Joan Crawford

If You Love Film Noir & You Know It, Your T-Shirt Will Surely Show It

By , 6 August, 2009, No Comment

The I (Heart) Noir tee shirt:

I ♥ Noir T-shirt

I ♥ Noir T-shirt