Sunday, July 22, 2012

Love Knows No Bounds....

I love old wedding pictures, especially from the wartime era, when women wore a nice suit, got their hair done, and went off to take their vows.  There's something beautifully simple about those pictures, so this one caught my eye.  The picture, and story, are courtesy of Reminisce magazine.

As the story goes, Darrell and Louise had been together since Louise was 15.  Darrell joined the Marine Corps the day after Pearl Harbor, and went off to San Diego for training.  One day after that, Louise and a friend went to an amusement park in Chicago, where they met two sailors.  They had their pictures taken in one of those little photo booths, hung out for a while, then went their separate ways at the end of the day.

Well, fate plays tricks on us, and as fate would have it, the sailor who Louise was photographed was also stationed in San Diego.  It's a small world indeed, because the sailor ended up showing Darrell the photo of him and this "random" girl from the amusement park.  Darrell promptly went AWOL, and showed up on Louise's doorstep demanding an explanation, and telling her he wanted to get married.  Louise refused. 

Darrell turned himself in and was thrown into the brig, where he had his his head shaved and was fed nothing but bread and water.  After that, he was shipped to the Pacific, and ended up receiving a Purple Heart .  He married Louise on October 16.1944.  They were married 49 1/2 years before Darrell died in 1994.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Essence of Cool

I can't remember where I came across this particular photo, but I can't take my eyes off of it.  The model on the right is none other than Wilhelmina Cooper, of Wilhelmina Modelling Agency fame.  Girlfriend made herself some top coin as a model before going off to become an agent for models.  Her agency is still considered one of the top ones.

And so I came across this article about Willy.  Added to my list of things that don't surprise me is the fact that she starved herself thin, and she smoked like a chimney -- both are habits that models have had since Jesus came.  But I was shocked to read that Willy one was one of the heaviest models and.............wait for it...........SHE WORE A GIRDLE.

What. The. Heck.

Sounds like she thought of herself as one of the big girls.  And that is something that I'd be happy to call myself if I could just look as cool as this. 

And by the way, today is Diana Rigg's birthday.  She's another one who was annointed with the Essence of Cool.  And honey, ScarJo as an Avenger ain't got nothin' on Miss Emma Peel.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Surrey With a Vogue on Top

I've been listing some of the most fabulous fifties patterns I've ever seen, found in a box that I forgot I had.  There are Prominent Designer, Advance Import, Spadea, Vogues, and even a few Fashion Originators in there.  All in all, amazing stuff.  Because you know, a website is much more profitable if one say, lists things on it.

So imagine my excitement when I came across this little gem.  Cool, yes?  Notched scoop collar, ginormous pockets, and wow, that jacket.  I have no idea who Surrey is (or was) but this is one cool pattern.  And then I opened it up. 

Unused.  Cool.  Uncut.  Better.  Instructions.  Check.  I was seeing dollar signs while I was drooling, because something like this has a huge market.  Then I realized that the unused, uncut pattern inside was this one instead:

Nice pattern, but not the Surrey.  And this, dear readers, is the kind of thing that makes me sad. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wishful thinking

I do not know what year this is from, but I do know it's the kind of thing that drives me crazy.  I was counting pattern pieces tonight, and found a wonderful 50s wiggle dress pattern with a GREAT neckline:
Started counting pieces, and realized I had way too many.  Turns out that there is not only the dress pattern in there, but a pattern for a totally different jacket.  Problem is, it's an unprinted pattern, and the only indication of what that pattern actually is, is the handwritten labels like "front", "sleeve," etc.  No pattern number, no instructions.  And one of the pieces was the aforementioned homemade pattern piece, made from a piece of newspaper.  I saw the illustrations and it took my breath away.  I sure do wish I could see those swimsuits.  Or even just the full ad.  That's some kind of fabulous.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I have a thing for pearls.  Call it the preppy, proper, classic side of me, but I love them.  I've never had a set of real pearls, though the ex gave me a pearl and diamond necklace before our wedding.  The pearl fell off once.  I had it fixed.  The second time it fell off, I gave up.  Maybe it was a sign, I don't know.

In either event, I love this vintage Dutchess Pearls ad, from 1956.  It features Jean Patchett, who was Eileen Ford's first model to hit superstardom, and I think it's beautiful in its simplicity.  It was probably rather daring for its time, too.  Jean Patchett was well known in her day for her graceful, elegant photos (not unlike my idol, Dovima).  She was a regular feature in Vogue.  And yes, the beauty mark is real. 

The pearls, of course, are simulated, as we would never see hues of that color in nature, I'm sure.  The strings harken back to Coco Chanel, but updated to the cusp of a revolution -- it's pure housewife gone bad, a la Mrs. Robinson, yes?  Perhaps this alludes to the Dutchess of Windsor, who was something of a bad girl in her own right.  Either way, I love it.

Want to see more Jean Patchett loveliness?  Click here, to see her official website, which is full of beautiful photos from her modelling years.  Want to buy the ad?  Click here.