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Posts tagged ‘vintage fashion’

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*)

High-Fashion High-Five Friday

By , 12 December, 2008, No Comment

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.

Lounging With Hedy Lamarr In Two-Piece Sets

By , 8 December, 2008, No Comment

I can’t be the only one who sees these vintage floral lounging pajamas from the 1940’s and thinks of Hedy Lamarr…

Vintage Two-Piece Floral Lounging Pajamas

Vintage Two-Piece Floral Lounging Pajamas

I imagine it’s because of her 2-piece costumes in such films as White Cargo and Samson and Delilah, where her sensual and sinuous body was modestly covered but nevertheless created lust, that I think of her in such lounge attire… And then I want to do that myself *wink*

Hedy Lamarr in White Cargo

Hedy Lamarr in White Cargo

Certainly such lounging attire would suit Hedy to perfection. And certainly these sets are far more practical to wear than say a harem-esque outfit, right?

Hedy Lamarr Lounging and Seducing In Samson and Delilah

Hedy Lamarr Lounging and Seducing In Samson and Delilah

Also at Dorothea’s Closet, the same shop as the floral pajamas, this a-lure-ing two-piece vintage lounging set with a skirt.

Vintage Loung Set With Fishing Lures Has Me Hooked

Vintage Lounge Set With Fishing Lure Pattern Has Me Hooked

It drives me crazy with desire; but it’s not in my size. Poo. Such is the heartbreak of buying — or trying to buy — vintage fashions.

Vintage Velvet Jacket With Fur Trim

By , 6 December, 2008, No Comment

I just stumbled into this — it doesn’t remind me of any particular star or film, but I had to show it to you!

Vintage Blue Velvet Jacket With Fur Trim

Vintage Blue Velvet Jacket With Fur Trim

It’s from Vintage Pastelle’s vintage velvets — lots more stunning items there!

Here’s Looking Like You, Kid Mail Bag Q & A

By , 3 December, 2008, No Comment

A reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, asked, “Why do you focus so much on accessories?”

The simple answer is that accessories & jewelery are an easy way to change your look or imprint your own sense of style on any outfit. That’s a general fashion point — but when it comes to vintage accessories you really make a one of a kind statement.

The other reason relates to an email from Kathy, who along with making sure I said how much she “adores this blog!” asked, “Do you wear vintage all the time?”

If we include the accessories I’d have to say about 90% of my waking hours; but if we are talking about vintage clothes the answer is much less often… I’d say about 50% of my waking hours (90% of my sleeping hours — I adore vintage lingerie!). There are several reasons for my wearing vintage clothing less often.

One, I am a very picky err, “selective” shopper. I remember years ago (in the 80’s) I fell in love with the look of wearing blue and black together — but not just any blue, it had to be a bright, bold, royal blue. And I wanted it in either a dress blouse or a sweater vest. I had seen it in a fashion magazine and fell for it hard. I had the perfect black skirt (and jet black jewelery) but I wanted that royal blue top — a top which apparently only lived in my imagination, for despite the color combination being sold in the magazine (part of a feature on bold jewel tones) the color was not to be found. Unless it was in a patterned sweater, shirt, or, oddly enough, a suit. I spent three years searching for that perfect piece. (Eventually finding it in a sweater vest with pearl buttons I had to replace with black jet bead buttons salvaged from a vintage sweater with moth holes and an unraveling cuff.) After three years of searching, I was finally victorious — and yes, I wore it!

But I think you get the idea how particular (and obsessive!) I am… Right? So you can imagine how selective (and dedicated!) I am when I spot a vintage fashion I want in a photo or film.

Two, vintage clothing is indeed a rare find; it’s not like you’re going to find a round-rack full of any style in several colors and sizes like at the mall. Size being an issue most people think of, complain about, cry over (especially with a bust-line like mine!), there are other issues prohibiting fashionistas from finding vintage fashions.

Not much vintage clothing has survived, and even less of it in wearable conditions. Just like what you’ll find at rummage sales and used clothing sales of today’s fashions, most of what has survived in great conditions are garments which have been worn very little, leaving special occasion dresses to be the number one category of ‘finds’. Like prom dresses, these vintage special occasion fashions have less places in which they can be worn.

When more practical vintage fashions are found, there is a tendency for me to be a little reluctant to wear them too-too often. This not only because I knew how difficult (near impossible!) it will be to replace the item if I wear it out, stain or rip it, but because many vintage fashions require special care and laundering. Hand washing, spot cleaning, air drying &/or ironing take more time than throwing them into the washing machine & dryer with today’s fashions made of easier care fabrics. And many of today’s dry cleaners have no idea how (or indeed even the proper machines and solvents!) to work with vintage textiles. (Always, always ask a million questions of your dry cleaner before you hand your vintage fashions over to them — better you annoy them than they destroy your baby!)

Don’t get me wrong — vintage fashions are utterly & completely worth the trouble!

Not only are they styles not found today, not only are they lovely pieces of history which connect me to the past, but I find that applying such care and concern to clothing helps my budget too.

The limited selection of vintage fashions naturally limit the quantity I can buy — which when coupled with the honestly cheaper prices of vintage clothing versus new clothing prices keeps my check-out total lower. Plus, having to consider every vintage purchase I make in terms of practicality of wear and care has become such a habit that I apply the same considerations to modern made fashions. (That saves me money directly by not choosing an outrageously fussy fashion and indirectly from impulse buys just by slowing down my trip to the cashier!)

Shopping for vintage fashions has me much more appreciative of fashion in general; I really, really value what I have.

And I value the thrill of the hunt, the creativity. Together those two actions make me feel that while I didn’t literally create the garment I did create the outfit — an outfit no single other person has!

However, all of this means that there are days (or activities) for which I do not wear vintage clothing — but that’s only because I love it so much.

Have any questions for me? Feel free to email me at JaynieVanRoe@gmail.com.

Ride Bacall’s Shirttails

By , 24 November, 2008, No Comment

More of Lauren Bacall in To Have And Have Not; this time in vertical stripes.

Lauren Bacall In Striped Shirtdress

Lauren Bacall In Striped Shirtdress

Lauren Bacall In Stripes

Lauren Bacall In Stripes

While Lauren is wearing a shirtwaist dress, you can see how lovely a simple blouse with vertical stripes can be.

Simple Vertical Striped Blouse

Simple Vertical Striped Blouse

Pair it with pants or a pencil skirt, tucked in and belted properly is a must. You might also like to insert a pair of shoulder pads to help with the silhouette. Keep it simply elegant, crisp and classic by keeping the accessories to a minimum.

If you adore the shirtwaist look (and who doesn’t?) but not the stripes (it could happen!), here’s a vintage dress from the 1940’s in that style.

1940s Shirtwaist

1940s Shirtwaist

High-Five Fridays

By , 21 November, 2008, No Comment