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Posts tagged ‘pin ups’

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.

Joan Diener, I Hardly Knew Ye

By , 5 June, 2009, 2 Comments

In the July 31, 1950 issue of Quick magazine, on page 67 in the “Quick Predicts” section, a brief prediction about Joan Diener accompanied by this small photo:

Joan Diener

Joan Diener

The quick prediction reads:

Young Star:

Joan Diener (r.), only 20, will step from TV to Hollywood, where MGM, RKO and Sam Goldwyn have been paging her. She’s had dramatic roles on most networks, recently scored as a night-club singer.

I wasn’t familiar with Diener at all; which makes sense because she was known primarily for her the theatrical performances (Kismet & Man of La Mancha) and we all know how I do try to avoid theatre performances.

However, somethings just don’t add up.

Like the fact that IMDB lists very few TV appearances by the singer/actress — and none of them before 1956 — six years after this blurb in Quick.

In her obit (Diener died in May, 2006), The Independent says:

Diener’s career was given a boost when, while playing a small role in Wolcott Gibbs’s comedy Season in the Sun (1950), she was spotted by a photographer for Life magazine, who placed photographs of her there, emphasising her décolletage. She later described the offers that followed as for the Jayne Mansfield-type part, and really that’s so foreign to me. I don’t do it well. If I’d had to work, I’d have taken them. But since I was married and wanted a family, I could afford to wait.

But that’s not entirely true (and The New York Times didn’t have it right either); Diener captured the Life cover on September 20, 1948, after she made her Broadway début in the revue Small Wonder (1948). (How bold of Quick to “predict” Diener a “young star” when she’d already made the cover of Life two years earlier!)

Diener On Cover Of Life September 20, 1948

Diener On Cover Of Life September 20, 1948

As for Diener’s offers for “the Jayne Mansfield-type part,” this certainly fits not only the tone of the 1950 clipping but after seeing the other photos published in the 1948 issue of Life, who can blame them for making such offers?

Hayes Gordon & Joan Diener, Life 1948

Hayes Gordon & Joan Diener, Life 1948

That three-and-a-half-octave range operatic trained singer made one heck of a sweater girl! (Must be the lungs lol)

Despite all the positive press & obvious Hollywood promotion, Diener didn’t make any films — she didn’t even get “her” roles in Kismet & Man of La Mancha when they were filmed. (Dolores Gray was in Kismet, and Sophia Loren was in Man of La Mancha.) So it’s no real wonder I didn’t know her…

But I sort of did.

Once I read this at Divas – The Site, I said to myself, “Oh, she was the one!”

Diener was famously thrown into a pool by Fernando Lamas during a 1953 dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, after throwing her arms around him, crying, “You look divine!”– in the middle of a huge feud between Lamas and his then-lover Lana Turner!

But then again, since neither Divas — The Site nor I can show you that old story… Maybe we’re wrong.

In 1953, Diener was getting married (to Albert Marre, who was her husband until her death). Not that it precludes a woman from hugging another man… In any case, Lamas probably threw many a woman into a pool (among other things). Jerk. But whether or not it was Joan Diener is another thing altogether.

So the one thing I thought I kinda knew about Joan Diener is probably nothing at all.

The Fabulous! Festival

By , 18 May, 2009, No Comment
Vintage Hane's Stockings Ad

Vintage Hane's Stockings Ad

For fashionistas who like to learn about fashions — old & new — I’m proud to share with you this month’s edition of the fabulous! festival. Hosting was fun!

Beauty:

Icy presents L’Oreal Infallible 16 Hours Lipstick Compact posted at Individual Chic.

Woman Tribune presents Piggy Paint Finally Makes Non-Toxic, Kid-Friendly Nail Polish a Reality posted at Woman Tribune.

Fashion:

Azrael Brown presents Three Gents In Snappy Hats posted at Infomercantile.

Deanna presents Smoking Hot Fashion: Recycled From Cigarette Butts posted at Kitsch Slapped.

Ed Biado presents Today’s most common fashion mistakes posted at Ed Biado at MST Life | Philippine Lifestyle News.

Ed Biado also presents Sunglasses at Ed Biado at MST Life | Philippine Lifestyle News.

Fabulously Broke presents 3 work environments to dress for posted at Fabulously Broke …in the City.

Pop Tart presents Tips On Darning Stockings & White Satin Blouses Yellowing? at Things Your Grandmother Knew.

Savings not shoes presents How to update your wardrobe after a major weight loss or gain posted at Savings not Shoes.

Personal Style:

Deanna presents The Answer To One Of Life’s Hardest Questions posted at Kitsch Slapped.

Icy presents A handbag of uniqueness, Part 1 & Part 2 at Individual Chic.

Pop Tart presents Kilgallen’s Boo-Boo posted at Kitschy Kitschy Coo.

Tali presents Mexican Pinups – A Cinco De Mayo Special- The Pinup Blog Way posted at The Pinup Blog.

Lastly…

This one may not entirely fit the theme, but I found Matt Curt’s Mafia Looking College Basketball Coaches (posted at NCAA Football 10 News) too clever not to include.

The next edition of the fabulous! festival will be hosted by Barry at 3stylelife.com on June 15 and the deadline for submissions is June 12th. You can submit your posts here.

Vintage stocking ad Found in Mom’s Basement.

Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties

By , 7 May, 2009, No Comment

Inside the pages of A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen, by Daniel Blum (mine is the 1972 printing), pretty photos of a young Gloria Swanson & Phyllis Haver as pin-up bathing beauties — wouldn’t these outfits make great summer outfits?!

Gloria Swanson In Swimsuit

Gloria Swanson In Swimsuit

Phyllis Haver In Swimsuit

Phyllis Haver In Swimsuit

Mack Sennet's Bathing Beauties, Swanson & Haver

Mack Sennet's Bathing Beauties, Swanson & Haver

From the book:

1917 Mack Sennett bathing beauties were pin-up girls for the doughboys of the First World War. Gloria Swanson, Marie Prevost, Phyllis Haver and Mary Thurman were Sennett bathing girls at this time. Roscoe Arbuckle, now more familiarly known as “Fatty” Arbuckle, left Sennett to make his own comedies at Paramount. With Arbuckle in this setup were two clever acrobatic comedians, Buster Keaton and Al St. John. Before the year was out, Sennett was making his Keystone comedies for Paramount. Charlie Murray, Ben Turpin, Louise Fazenda, Chester Conklin, and Teddy and Pepper, a dog and cat, were now the cheif Keystone comics.

Mack Sennett-Keystone Comedies Poster

Mack Sennett-Keystone Comedies Poster

Chester Conklin With Mack Sennet Bathing Beauties

Chester Conklin With Mack Sennet Bathing Beauties

Film Stars, 1917

Film Stars, 1917

Marie Prevost In Swimsuit

Marie Prevost In Swimsuit

PS Don’t forget to enter my The Get Fab-U-Lush Eyelashes Contest!

When Pyjamas Weren’t The Cat’s Pajamas… Or Were They?

By , 19 March, 2009, 5 Comments

When shopping for vintage fashions from the 1920s – 1930’s, it’s especially difficult to find women’s pajamas and pantsuits. You certainly can find advertisements, editorial fashion articles, and illustrations extolling such styles when paging through vintage magazines…

Vintage Pajama Illustration By A.K. MacDonald

Vintage Pajama Illustration By A.K. MacDonald

In fact, you see them so often it sets your heart to pitter-patter.

Vintage French Magazine Fashion Page Featuring Pyjamas (Yes, That's Louise Brooks, Second From Left!)

Vintage French Magazine Fashion Page Featuring Pyjamas (Yes, That's Louise Brooks, Second From Left!)

But finding such items available for sale is one of the toughest searches a vintage-loving fashionista can have.

Given that flappers were all about freedom, it’s easy to think that fashions with ‘male trouser bottoms’ — which offer more mobility and less worry about ‘upskirt’ issues — would have been all the rage, leaving you to find vintage pyjamas and pantsuits from those decades. But pants and pyjamas were not as popular a purchase as you’d imagine.

Vintage Pyjamas

Vintage Pyjamas

Some of the reason for such unpopular pants has to do with simple economics.

Most flappers, especially in terms of dress, were younger single women. As such, they would have had, in very general terms, less money to fund their wardrobe purchases. (And as most women knew how to work a needle and thread, rather any dress of the time could, in a pinch, be altered to suit a flapper’s style.) Often their living arrangements would limit their ability to entertain at home as well, meaning the lounging pajama was not only unnecessary, but ill-advised in mom and dad’s house where pajamas were tantamount to declaring a morality debate.

Cosy-Leg Pyjamas 1936

Cosy-Leg Pyjamas 1936

Older women who would have had more discretionary income to throw at the latest fashions would have also had, in general, positions which required them to join the stance against pants that their more traditional or conservative friends and family had. So they too eschewed the manly fashions, opting for the ‘more feminine’ skirts — with longer hemlines too.

Louuise Brooks Models Fashions

Louise Brooks Models Fashions

Pants also had the misfortune of being marketed at the wrong time, for once The Great Depression hit, fashion was a frivolity few could afford. It wasn’t the time for new trends.

But as we learned, for the flapper who could afford both her lifestyle and her fashions, showing off one’s legs was a serious priority… And pants were not seen as the way to a man’s umm…. heart.

You can argue that such pursuit to be chased is not feminism; but power is something you wield and that includes the power to attract a mate — should you want one for keeps or the moment. (And this debate regarding sex & power is one that Third Wave Feminists are still having.)

In any case, less purchases of pajamas and ensembles with pants during the 1920s and 1930s means less of these gorgeous & sophisticated vintage pajama styles are available for purchase today. Which means when you are lucky enough to find it, you’ll pay a pretty price for it. But you should happily do so, for you know-not when you’ll find it again…

Vintage Satin Lounging Pajamas

Vintage Satin Lounging Pajamas

Which brings us to the expression, “the cat’s pajamas” (or “the cat’s pygamas”).

Like “the bee’s knees,” the phrase means something or someone is the best, a charming desirable, splendid or stylish. Unlike the “bee’s knees,” the phrase has been traced to its origins. It was coined in the 20’s by Justin B. Smith, and made popular by cartoonist Tad Dorgan‘s use of the expression. While the word “cat” has a long history of association with women & their wiles, it not surprisingly resurfaced strongly in the roaring 20’s to refer to the unconventional flapper spirit. Combined with the word “pajamas”, for the new fashion trend, the expression captures both the inherent “female nature” as well as the new “masculine” path. Like feminine curves in the straight masculine lines of pajamas, a charming & stylish paradox is achieved. Voila!

The irony, of course, is that while flappers & their pajamas enjoyed a relatively short run at the time, the phrase continued…. From the unflappable flappers to the blushing pin ups to present day.

The Cat's Pajamas Pin Up

The Cat's Pajamas Pin Up

(Note: Thanks to A Slip of a Girl for showing me the pretty vintage illustrations by A. K. MacDonald!)

Give Yourself Some Wedgies!

By , 2 February, 2009, No Comment

Irma La Douce and I approve these vintage 1950’s green platform wedges with fruit adorned bows!

Vintage Jack Rogers Pin Up Shoes

Vintage Jack Rogers Pin Up Shoes

I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas (#4)

By , 24 December, 2008, No Comment

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house…

Well, creatures would be stirring (especially in his pajama bottoms!) if you wore a nightgown with a lace bodice like Ava Gardner…

Ava Gardner In White Nightgown

Ava Gardner In White Nightgown

I guess I should leave you alone right now — if not with your man, than at least alone with your thoughts. *wink*

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas (#2)

By , 22 December, 2008, No Comment

OK, this here’s a fur post — if you don’t like fur, don’t throw fake blood on my blog; just click away.

I personally don’t have any problem whatsoever with vintage furs; what’s done is done.  And as far as fur in general, well, I can’t afford anything other than vintage… But if I could… Well, I’m not opposed to certain furs from animals, like leather, which are used for more than just fur — like rabbit.

This isn’t technically an “all white” post if you are looking past the accessories, but who can argue with a Debbie Reynold’s holiday pin-up photo? The adorable muff, headpiece and trim are likely white rabbit fur.

Debbie Reynolds Holiday Pinup

Debbie Reynolds Holiday Pinup

Here the dreamy Carole Landis wears an equally dreamy white fur coat.

Carole Landis In White Fur

Carole Landis In White Fur