Sunday, January 30, 2011

The late 1940s in Film (then)

Fashion change in the late 40s, after war rationing was over, so comparing early 40s swing dresses to late 40s New Look is like comparing apples and oranges. And who better than Bette Davis to watch when you want to see some examples of period fashion? She was amazing, and June Bride is a fun one to watch.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Madonna of the Screen

I came across this beautiful picture of actress Alice Joyce, and it intrigued me. She is beautiful, isn't she? They called her the Madonna of the Screen, and her photos reflect that. She also had the unusual distinction of leaving movies not once, but twice, in order to raise her children, and still coming back and having a successful career. That's almost unheard of for women in film today.

The photo, left, is from 1913 - the year she won a poll for most popular film actress - and I love it. Check out her website here to see more beautiful photos of her.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The wartime 1940s in film (now)

When it comes to the wartime 40s in modern film, there is no other than The Notebook. It shows junior dresses, fabulous suits, a wedding dress, and a swimsuit that is just adorable. The story is sweet, too.

Oh yeah, and it has Ryan Gosling, who I love.

Watch it and do like I do - wish for the wardrobe to be delivered to your front door.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The wartime 1940s in film (then)

There is no other film that depicts the 40s better than "The Women," and just about any vintage fashion lover will tell you that. The costumes are by the amazing Gilbert Adrian, and let me tell you, they are fabulous.

You can skip the Meg Ryan version from what? 2008? It doesn't deserve to share the name with the original. You may, on the other hand, watch this one repeatedly.

The End.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 1930s in film (now)

Here are my two favorite modern movies, featuring 30s clothing. Here's why:
1. O Brother, Where Art Thou features TONS of menswear, which is not always prominently displayed in film. You see everything from the jail uniforms to fancier suits. You won't see much women's wear till near the end, but it's there -- be patient -- and it's daywear, which you also don't see too often. Film tends to lean toward showing the fancier wares of the 30s, so it's refreshing to see the daily stuff. The movie is just plain hilarious, and that my alternate husband is the star. Don't put it on mute though -- the script is hysterical! ("Do not. seek. the treasure.") If you've not seen it, your assignment is to watch it. Now.

2. Atonement. ::sigh:: I've posted about this movie before, I believe, and it is still one of my ultimate favorites. The costuming is to. die. for. You will see just about everything 30s in this one: evening gowns, sundresses, nurse uniforms, military uniforms, children's clothing, swimwear, you name it. The green dress is, of course, iconic, though it is, as I've mentioned before, two pieces, not just one. But my favorite dress is the one Kiera wears in the drawing room scene when her brother first arrives home. Watch this one. Many times. But wear a bib. It will bring out the drool

Monday, January 24, 2011

The 1930s in film (then)

The Oscar nominations are going to be announced tomorrow, so I thought we'd spend some time talking about movies. By the way, Colin Firth WILL win the Oscar this year, and you should see The King's Speech. Immediately. And Helena Bonham Carter plays the Queen Mother, and has wonderful clothes, of course. But I digress.

I was thinking about movies that are representative of their era, fashion-wise, and wanted to start with Vogues of 1938. This is not a well known movie. It's not even that great, but it does show up on TCM from time to time, and the clothing is to die for. There are multiple fashion shows in it, including a bridal show. You can watch it with the TV on mute and still enjoy every minute of it. I think I've even done that, to be honest. It's a beautiful movie.

Tomorrow, my favorite modern renditions of the 1930s.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Watch your step!

Now, how much fun does THIS look like? A customer of mine recently had a link to this website in her email, so I had to check it out. Turns out the site is for a group called Watch Your Step, who book vintage dance performances around the Boulder, Colorado area. They do all sorts of dances from the ragtime era on, and perform in full period costume.

The joy on their faces is obvious. Check out their scrapbook for lots more photos and a video. Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Always the bridesmaid....

This is a fascinating pattern envelope to me. Two ladies, fashionably dressed, with major differences. If I was her sister, I'd be pretty peeved at the lady on the left. Look at her stylish dress, when compared with the woman on the right.

CRAZY wonderful hat, cuter gloves -- what length is that? They are longer than your typical short gloves, but I don't know if there is a name for that length. And the print on that dress? Spectacular.

Lady on the right looks stylish, but to me, there is no comparison. She speaks "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" to me. She definitely needs to take some style lessons from her sister.

Let's speculate about their shoes. If I were the girl on the left, I'd have red peeptoe pumps. On the right, it's probably something black, but navy would be better.

From 1947.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dear God,

Could you please make me ONE IOTA as fabulous at my age as Carmen is at the age of 76?

I can't say it better than the guys at TLo, who have not only posted a wonderful salute to her, but a gorgeous gallery of her photos.

Enjoy. Click here and bow in her presence.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And so it grows.....

Now this one is REALLY interesting. Reading the description, it sounds like it's either/or: either you can wear it and just look stylish, OR you can wear it as a maternity dress, because it's adjustable like that.

How cool is that? Sadly, it's sold, but a great example of 1930s maternity-wear.

Haven't been able to track down a 1920s maternity style yet, so if someone has one, leave a comment and I'll post it tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What the turn of the century mama would wear

Lovely, isn't it? This is a pre-1910 maternity tea gown, and I just think it's gorgeous. I love everything about it, and would wear it even without a baby bump. I'd like it in several colors, too, please.

The only problem for me would be the sleeves, which I would constantly be dipping into my chicken velvet soup. I'm perplexed about shoes, however. I'm curious to see what shoes a lady-in-waiting would wear with this. Ideas?

I had thought about posting a turn of the century 2000s maternity dress to compare with this one, but decided it would just be too depressing. Let's just gaze upon this one for a while.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More with the mommy-wear

The last post showed a maternity dress that didn't look maternity, and a couple of people wondered whether it was, indeed for mommy-to-be.

Yes, it was.

Remember, in yesteryear, ladies sewed a lot of their own clothing. People didn't have the more extensive wardrobes that we have today, as evidenced by my own house: built in 1930, the closets are TINY. Frugality also meant that they needed multi-purpose clothes. They didn't have the same access to stores that we had, and transportation was different. This pattern is from 1942, in the height of fabric rationing, so embellishments were done with darts and gathers instead of buttons and frippery.

Hence, the maternity wear you saw last time, as well as this time: adjustable dresses that could be wrapped or tied, adjusting according to need. I even had a maternity corset once that came, complete in box, with instructions on how to adjust the laces for each month of the pregnancy. It was fascinating to look at.

Tomorrow, I will post a photo of a 1910s maternity dress, just for basis of comparison. It's interesting to see how maternity clothing has evolved.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The unfairness of life........

is that, in 1945, this was a maternity dress. Sure beats those tight belly tops of today, doesn't it?