Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Shoe dreams

I have said it before, but I will repeat myself- dance shoes are the vintage woman’s friend. Suitable models that are comfortable even when they heels are high. Dance Store sells some really nice Aris Allen models and I want too many of them. Taking a more practical view to what I actually need, then my list says a pair of black pumps and a pair of brown walking shoes. They are not cheap and you have to add the cost of having the re-soled, but they are not overly expensive either. There are certainly more expensive reproduction shoes out there.

These 1930s Black & Silver Faux Ostrich Heeled Oxfords will probably be mine as soon as I have decided if I think the silver add too much bling or is just an interesting detail.

You can get them in white and black too.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Pink Martini

Tea With the Vintage Baroness. brought my attention to Pink Martini last year and now I pass that attention on. Pink martini is a 13-man band with 16 years and four albums’ under their belt.

To quote them:
“Pink Martini draws inspiration from the romantic Hollywood musicals of the 1940s or ‘50s … with a more global perspective. We write a lot of songs … but we also champion songs like Ernesto Lecuona’s “Andalucia”or “Amado mio”from the Rita Hayworth film “Gilda”or “Kikuchiyo to mohshimasu (My name is Kikuchiyo)”made famous in the 1960s by the great Japanese group Hiroshi Wada & His Mahina Stars. In that sense we’re a bit like musical archeologists, digging through recordings and scores of years past and rediscovering beautiful songs.”

Monday, 19 March 2012

The practical suit

The suit was very much a staple in the wardrobe of women in the 40’s, as it had been in the decades before and after. You got married in a suit, you worked in a suit, and you shopped in a suit, travelled in it or took a country walk. It could be dressed up with a hat and jewelry, thus stretching the wardrobe for those on a meager budget. In short, it was a very practical combination of garments, the most common combination being a jacket and a skirt.

Coco Chanel in the 1940's.

A suit can also be in three pieces, with a matching coat. (Add a waistcoat and you get four...)

Of course, it doesn't have to be a jacket with a skirt to add up to a suit, it can be with a dress too, like this lovely design from 1951 by Mollie Parnis.

And, for a woman, a suit doesn't have to be made in the same fabric top to bottom, like this one by Balmain in 1949.

The most classic of suits. With small variations, this style can be found in most decades.

A more outrageous design that probably wasn't worn by the average woman. It's nice, though.

Grey and pink is a lovely combination.

But so is navy and grey.

And pink and black is a rather classic combination too.

New Look

Thursday, 15 March 2012

More famous women in trousers

Not much to say, really. Generally better photo quality and a more elegant flair than the photos of more ordinary women.

Marlene Dietrich, of course.

A braided updo

It’s very easy to fall into a trap of thinking that a special look is the only look for a certain period. Victory rolls is part of the forties look up to a point that one sometimes feel that every single woman sported them. That is not true, of course. My grandmother Greta never wore them, for example, she almost always wore her hair rather short and curly. After both Pimpinett and I mentioned the character Helga from Allo’ Allo’ in our posts about style icons, Kristina mentioned that she was thinking of getting some false hair to try to emulate her braided hairdo. That’s something I have been thinking about as well as that is a hairstyle that crops up here and there during the forties. At Beauty Is A Thing of the Past where I found this picture of it called “The Countess”, but I think Gretchen-braids is the most common name for it.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Ordinary women in trousers

This posted started with me looking at pictures of women in suits, thinking that I would have a section in that post with women in trouser suits. Then I thought that it would be better to make that into a post on its own, but when I started looking I realized that I would need to split it up. Ordinary women versus the movie stars. Women did wear trousers in the 30’s and 40’s, but they were worn for leisure wear. A Marlene Dietrich or Katherine Hepburn might have gotten away with trousers on all sorts of occasions, but for your average female, you wore them for sports, the beach or for lounging around in the home, not for formal occasions. In Sweden, which I’m sure held true for other countries as well, some workplaces and restaurants forbade women to use trousers well into the sixties. Not all women wore trousers either. My grandmother Greta, who you can see on the picture below, obviously wore trousers for a picnic in sometime in the late 30’s. She was a very fashion conscious girl and her roommate complained because she spent every penny that didn’t go to food and rent, on clothes. However, her mother who was born in the 1880’s could never get used to the idea to don a pair.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A brief sewing update

I got a bit behind on my regular sewing as I made a dress for Fraulein Frauke. I didn’t feel altogether pleased with the result and the camera went on strike, so no pictures of that. The club was as fun as usual though and I got the opportunity to say hello to some of my fellow vintage bloggers, Pimpinett, Elsa and Miss Meadows. But now I’m back to normal and trying to finish my yellow ensemble. It feels like very slow work, partly because I use French seams which is a bore to sew, even though the end result is worth it. It’s also three garments, not one, but now the skirt and the blouse only need some finishing touches. I still need to set in the sleeves and make the lapels on the bolero though.

Much to my dismay I have realized that you can find the reproduction patters from Vogue and Buttericks on Etsy. Very dangerous for my wallet, but so nice to find out of print patterns for good prices and definitely lower shipping costs! I just got these lovelies, a coat from 1946 and a suit from 1940.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Style icons

Kristina of Dahling It’s Vintagy made a post about style icons. It was a fun and interesting post to read and it got me thinking of the things that have influenced me. Quite interesting, to me at least, is that how many of the things that inspire and interest me today are things that got cemented in my childhood; the aesthetics of the first half of the 20th century and the 18the century and my love for fashion history, history and literature. It also turned into a very long post, so instead of trying to cover everything, I will just give you a few important highlights. In case you want to see more, then you can check out the Icon’s board at Pinterest.

This picture of Rita Hayworth from Salome was part of my mother’s collection of “filmisar”, small cards with pictures of various movie stars. I don’t have the card anymore and I’m sorry that I have never found the colour version of it as that was the one I had. I had no idea who Rita Hayworth was, but I found her so incredibly beautiful and to this day she is one of my favourite actresses ever.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

New green shoes

I’m a busy girl at the moment, frantically finishing my dress for Fraulein Frauke tonight. I have just noticed a mistake that I just won’t have time to fix… Hopefully it won’t show. So instead for a long and interesting post I will just show you my new shoes, the green Betsy from Miss L Fire.

Aren't they gorgeous! I have wanted a pair of green shoes forever!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Chanel No 5

I guess that there and no other perfume that has so many myths surrounding it, like Chanel No 5. Launched in 1921 it is still going strong, an eternal classic that everyone knows about. Funnily enough I have never met anyone who actually wears it. Perhaps it’s such an iconic perfume that people feel a bit afraid of it.

Top notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, neroli
Heart notes: Jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, orris, ylang-ylang
Base notes: Vetiver, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla, amber, civet, musk

Sunday, 4 March 2012

"New" black dress

Yesterday I went to a vintage sewing meet-up at Lillgull’s from Onedreamycloset. It was only me and Betty from Kalops och champagne who were able to attend, but it was really nice. As none of us had met outside the Net before we spent more time talking and getting to know each other than actually sewing, but it was fun and I’m sure we will do it again.

I also thought it was a good opportunity to wear my new dress. For once neither home-made nor a repro, but something vintage. It isn’t that easy to find vintage clothes that fit’s me, but a while ago Va-Voom Vintage talked about Vintage Curve, an Etsy shop that specialize in larger sizes and I found this one:

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