Hollywood Glamour Fashion Exhibit-MOFA Boston- Part 2

Last week’s blog was Part 1 on my visit to the Hollywood Glamour Exhibit at the  Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, including photos of beautiful movie costumes, info on the famous designers who created them and the actresses who were lucky enough to wear these beautiful outfits. Today is my second installment of photos and facts on these iconic fashions from Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Travis Banton hostess gown worn by Marlene Dietrich

Travis Banton hostess gown worn by Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich in Desire (1936)

Marlene Dietrich in Desire (1936)

In 1936 Marlene Dietrich played a jewel thief in Paramount Pictures, Desire.  She steals a valuable strand of pearls named “tears of the mermaid.” Love that name!
Travis Banton, whose imagination and designing skills were directly responsible for the mystique of Ms. Dietrich’s character, incorporated chiffon, fur and feathers for probably the most glamorous hostess gown I think I’ve every seen!

Edith Head design for Betty Grable

Edith Head design for Betty Grable

Betty Grable in gold lame gown designed by Edith Head

Betty Grable in gold lame gown designed by Edith Head for This Way Please (1937)

I have to admit, I do love me some shimmer!  And shimmery fabrics, like the gold lamé  used in this fabulous halter gown, were used quite a bit during the early eras of cinema as the fabric translated beautifully on black and white film.  Edith Head designed this for Betty Grable in the movie This Way Please (1937). 

FUN FILM FASHION FACT- Aside from looking beautiful on screen, with the advent of  the  “Talkies” ,  soft, flowing fabrics like chiffon, lamé and satin were often used because they didn’t make any distracting noise that could be picked up by microphones.

Two piece outfit designed by Irene for Greer Garson

Two piece outfit designed by Irene for Greer Garson

Greer Garson in Julia Misbehaves (194*

Greer Garson in Julia Misbehaves (1948)

Above is Greer Garson in a photo from Julia Misbehaves (1948) wearing a blouse and skirt designed by Irene Lentz.  Usually referred to as just  Irene, she was a California fashion designer who ended up working for MGM in the 1940s after Gilbert Adrian left there.  She is known for her evening gowns and exquisite tailoring.  I absolutely love this two piece ensemble. Though it is not as formal as some of the other outfits in the exhibit, this is one I could totally envision myself wearing to a fancy cocktail party or dinner. That is if I were fortunate enough to to find something even remotely as lovely as this!  The embroidered design around the neckline and down front of the blouse along with the shimmery satin overskirt adds just the right amount of interest to take simple separates to a whole new level of glamour.

Schiaparelli gown for Mae West

Schiaparelli gown for Mae West

Mae West in Every Day's a Holiday (1938)

Mae West in Every Day’s a Holiday (1938)

Famous Paris couture designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, created this rich purple silk embroidered wool twill dress for Mae West in Every Day’s a Holiday (1938).  Set in the Gay Nineties the costumes from this movie inspired Ms Schiaparelli’s 1939 clothing line, which was sold in department stores. Even back then women wanted to wear celebrity fashion!

FUN FILM FASHION FACT-  Mae West’s curvaceous figure, which measured 35-25-35, was the inspiration for Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking” perfume bottle.

Mae West's custom platform shoes

Mae West’s custom platform shoes

And last, but not least, these fascinating platform shoes made of wood and leather, were specially designed for Mae West.  Because she was only 5 feet tall, these shoes within a shoe added another 8 1/2″ to her height.  Heck I thought the platform shoes I wore in the 70s were tall!   In all her movies she always had on long dresses, so all you could see were the silver shoes peeking out from beneath. Ingenious, yes?  I wonder if it took much practice for her to get used to walking in them.

Which oufit is your favorite?

Have a glamorous day!

 

Related posts:

Fabulous Old Hollywood Fashion at Museum of Fine Arts- Boston- Part 1

Hollywood Glamour exhibit at MOFA Boston

Hollywood Glamour exhibit at MOFA Boston

Back from a recent trip to New England where I was  very fortunate to catch the Hollywood Glamour  exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  On display were gowns designed by some of the early movie industry’s most famous costumers.  I can’t begin to describe how excited I was to be so close to such amazing creations, outfits that were actually worn by legendary actresses of the 20s, 30s and 40s.   And since cameras were allowed, I was able to take photos to share.   I’ve broken the post up into two parts since I got a little carried away with the picture taking.  So come back to see the rest of these beauties!

Travis Banton gown for Mary Ellis- Paris in Spring 1935

Travis Banton gown for Mary Ellis- Paris in Spring 1935

This lamé gown was front and center of the exhibit and was simply breathtaking in person.
Attributed to Travis Banton, who designed this for actress Mary Ellis in the movie
Paris in Spring (1935).

Mary Ellis-Paris in Spring 1935

Mary Ellis-Paris in Spring 1935

FUN FILM FASHION FACT - In the very early years of film, designers had to experiment with ways to make the costumes really stand out on black and white film.  And some designs were problematic for the camera, such as dresses heavily embellished with jewels. So often they used cold cream to dull the finish on stones so they would not cause camera glare.

Chanel 20s beaded dress

Chanel 20s beaded dress

 

Actress Ina Claire in Chanel dress-1926

Actress Ina Claire in Chanel dress-1926

Chanel designed for stage and screen. And in the early 1930s she created costumes for a few films at  Metro Goldwyn Mayer.  But according to the studio her design aesthetic of simple, elegant silhouettes didn’t translate well on the silver screen. So, though she is one of the most famous fashion designers of all time, her Hollywood costume design career was short lived.

Travis Banton dress for Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own (1932)

Travis Banton dress for Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own (1932)

Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own

Carole Lombard in No Man of Her Own

Another Travis Banton beauty.  This silk chiffon gown is completely embroidered with bugle beads and silver metallic thread.   The tiny beads created a luminous, shimmering effect on film.  Plunging necklines and backs were a hallmark of 1930s fashions, and the figure hugging silhouette could only look its best with no undergarments worn beneath.  Being as it was pre-code, racy dresses like this were still allowed on the screen.

Adrian black velvet gown designed for Greta Garbo in Inspiration  1930

Adrian black velvet gown designed for Greta Garbo in Inspiration 1930

Great Garbo publicity photo for Inspiration 1930

Great Garbo publicity photo for Inspiration 1930

This luxurious black silk velvet gown with bejewelled neckline that Greta Garbo is wearing was designed by the famous Gilbert Adrian for her role in Inspiration (1930). Adrian began dressing Garbo when he came to work for MGM in 1928.  The style of clothing he designed for Ms Garbo helped form her onscreen persona, which was often that of a mysterious, devastatingly alluring, femme fatale.

Gilbert Adrian gown for Jean Harlow in Bombshell (1933)

Gilbert Adrian gown for Jean Harlow in Bombshell (1933)

Jean Harlow in Bombshell

Jean Harlow in Bombshell

In the movie Bombshell Gilbert Adrian was going for a good girl/bad girl look for Jean Harlow.   Sensuous silk satin was used that would caress the actresse’s curves, a low neckline and plunging draped back combined with the flowers and multi tiered peplum is a wonderful contrast of sexy and sweet.

FUN FILM FASHION FACT- This is the gown Jean Harlow wore when she added her hand prints in the wet cement in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 1933.

Robert Kalloch deisgn for Noma Shearer in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

Robert Kalloch deisgn for Noma Shearer in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

Close up of evening jacket designed by Robert Kalloch

Close up of evening jacket designed by Robert Kalloch

Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor in Her Cardboard Lover (1942)

This stunning evening jacket, designed by Robert Kalloch for Norma Shearer to wear for Her Cardboard Lover (1942), is made of a rayon twill with silver metallic threads and embroidered with intricate bugle beads and sequins.   Robert Kalloch was not quite as well known as some of the other Hollywood designers like Adrian, Banton and Orry Kelly, but he did have an impressive career in fashion, which began  with him designing extravagant evening gowns for royalty, the social elite and costumes for stage actresses.  Eventually Columbia Pictures brought him to Hollywood to add some style and class to their films.  He also designed for MGM studios from 1941-43.

That’s all for now! Part 2 coming soon…..

Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell on Hollywood fashion history!

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A Birthday Tribute to Film Noir Legend, Jane Greer

Jane Greer

Jane Greer was born Bettejane Greer on Sept. 9 1924 in Washington DC and she came into this world destined for success.

Groomed from childhood to feel at home in the spotlight, she took  part in childhood beauty contests and talent shows. At 15 she was afflicted with Bell’s Palsy, which paralyzed one side of her face. But Jane worked tirelessly on facial exercises and was able to overcome her disability.  She was a very determined young lady! Left  high school in her senior year to sing in club bands,  continued to model and dreamed of a career in acting. At age 18  she was chosen to model the army’s new WAC uniform which was featured in Life Magazine. There she caught the eye of Howard Hughes. Hughes was captivated and had little trouble convincing the aspiring actress to come to Los Angeles. There her screen career began. Hughes was an unbalanced man, emboldened by wealth and driven by jealous obsession. When Greer made it clear to him that she intended to have a life of her own he retaliated both emotionally and professionally. Their struggle was bitter and it hindered her career but she was eventually able to sever the ties.

Despite the road blocks that Hughes threw her way, Jane Greer managed to become an accomplished actress. The 1940s brought us some of Hollywood’s most powerful female screen characters and none is more riveting than the part she played as Kathie Moffat in Out of the Past (1947).  In this acclaimed film noir, Greer masterfully reveals the cold dark heart of her character while the audience remains mesmerized by her beguiling beauty and poised demeanor. Greer was a dedicated professional who understood the nuances of facial expression. RKO promoted her as “the woman with the Mona Lisa smile.”

Jane Greer as Kathie Moffat Out of the Past (1947)

Jane Greer as Kathie Moffat- Out of the Past (1947)

Her Kathie was never over the top… a whisper of a smile as she worked her charms, soft beseeching eyes while she boldly lied and, most frightening of all, that cold glint of excitement just before she pulls the trigger. Pure genius! The camera loved her polished glamour. She had a drop dead figure that made everything she wore seem fit for a fashion magazine.  Edward Stevenson, Hollywood costume designer for films such as Citizen Cane, It’s a Wonderful Life and a favorite designer of Lucille Ball,  created Greer’s wardrobe for  Out of the Past and The Big Steal.

Her opening scene outfit for Out of the Past was elegant innocence… The cut of the dress skimmed the actresses form, modestly highlighting every curve.  It had a sweetheart decollete and youthful capped sleeves. She wore a matching portrait hat set back on the head. No hint of the lethal character to come. In The Big Steal (1949), Greer plays Joan Graham, a gutsy gal in pursuit of a thieving boyfriend. On the theater poster she wields a pistol, dressed in a bombshell halter gown which Stevenson designed to show off her pin up curves. Certainly not a dame to be messed with!

Jane Greer publcity photo-Out of the Past

Jane Greer publcity photo-Out of the Past

Jane Greer-The Big Steal (1949)

Jane Greer-The Big Steal (1949)

Greer is best known for her 1940s film characters. However her acting career, although not prolific, continued into the 90s. Outside of her profession she lead a full life. In 1942 she married Rudy Vallee but they divorced just one year later. In 1947 she married Edward Lasker. With him she had three sons. She found great joy in raising her children and later became dedicated to charity work. Time was kind to Ms. Greer, she remained a beauty all her days and will forever hold a place of honor in film noir.

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Birthday Tribute to Classy, Sassy Joan Blondell

Joan Blondell 1931

Joan Blondell 1931

Actress Joan Blondell was born on August 30, 1906 .  Coming from show business parents her stage career started when she was only 3 years old!  Her folks were successful vaudeville performers and Joan and her siblings got to tour the world.  A newspaper article from 1936 claimed every one of her first seven birthdays was spent in a different country.

After leaving her family vaudeville troupe, she ended up joining  a stock company,  entered a couple of beauty contests, joined the Ziegfeld Follies, got a part in the play Penny Arcade (1929) with James Cagney, which finally  led to her career in film when Warner Brothers bought the rights to the play, turning it into a movie called Sinner’s Holiday (1930) in which they contracted her and Cagney to play the lead roles. She ended up co-starring with Cagney in six films. They made such a  great wise cracking pair on screen!

Joan is crowned Miss Dallas in 1926 as Rosebud Blondell

Joan wins  Miss Dallas competition  in 1926 as Rosebud Blondell

Though Joan’s film career spanned many decades, she was in greatest demand in the 1930s.   One of the busiest actresses in Hollywood, she mostly played comedic supporting roles as the wise cracking, tough talking working girl pal to the lead actress or the sassy girlfriend of the lead actor.

She starred in over 50 movies including  Public Enemy (1931) Blonde Crazy (1931) Three on a Match (1932)Gold Diggers (1933) We’re in the Money (1935) Topper Returns (1941) Cry Havoc (1943) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) Nightmare Alley (1947) The Blue Veil (1951) in which she was nominated for an Academy Award.  She also had a successful stage career on Broadway.

Joan Blondell in shimmering gown

Joan Blondell in shimmering gown

Joan Blondell publicity photo 1930s

Joan Blondell publicity photo 1930s

Joan Blondell in black gown with velvet dots

Joan Blondell in black gown with velvet dots

Joan had always considered herself a tomboy, and not very interested in fashion.  But according to the 1936 newspaper article, when she started dating Dick Powell (whom she eventually married) she gained a new interest in clothing.

Lately (friends date the change identically with the time she began going with Dick Powell) Joan has shown an unusual interest in clothes and has become a joy to Warner Bros designer Orry Kelly for her new found ability to wear them smartly. Previously Joan could hardly be begged or brow beaten into showing up for fittings. “Oh you make it and I’ll wear it-you know what to do” she would say carelessly, then disappear for a couple of days trout fishing before a picture. But now all that has changed.  Joan’s personal wardrobe has taken on such smartness and beauty that her friends can hardly believe their eyes when Joan appears at a dance gowned in the latest mode, cleverly selected.

What a lucky lady to have Orry Kelly, the famous Hollywood costumer, designing outfits for  her movies and personal wardrobe!

Joan was one of those rare actresses who was completely unpretentious and didn’t let fame go to her head. I think this writer, quoted in the book Killer Tomatoes-Fifteen Tough Film Dames,   said it best in describing her~

Joan personifed everyone’s good friend on and off camera. Of all the stars I have interviewed ,wrote Charles Higham,  I have liked Joan Blondell the best. She is unique in my experience in being an actress who is devoid of ego, self congratulation and self pity, and would not dream of quoting a favorable review of herself.  She is down to earth, human and real. This is almost unheard of in saran-wrapped Hollywood. Her accessability, straightforwardness, and quick with a comeback attitude was her appeal and never diminished as she got older.

Truly a wonderful testament to a special lady!  Do you have a favorite Joan Blondell movie?

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How to Dress in Feminine 50s Style for a Late Summer Garden Wedding

50s garden party

50s garden party

Contemporary brides are increasingly being enticed by the late summer garden as a preferred venue for their special day. Emerald lawns, balmy breezes and classic blossoms create a dreamy sense of nostalgia and romance, the perfect setting for unapologetic feminine style if ever there was one. The fashions of the 1950s and early 60s, celebrated the glory of femininity and vintage dresses from that time offer an ideal choice for the alternative bride or her guests who are looking for a pretty, yet less formal look.

Swaying skirts and nipped in waists… lovely florals, exquisite details and pretty prints, all designed to make a woman feel her most beautiful. Today’s vintage market provides an array of captivating choices and a reputable vintage dealer should be able to make suitable suggestions and will help you with sizing and fit. They might advise you on the subject of appropriate undergarments. Dresses from the 50s and early 60s are made to show off the figure and can look even better with the help of good foundation garments. A petticoat is not necessary but it will create a lovely flair to the skirt, again, a seasoned dealer will help you to pick the best one for the cut of your dress.

Once you have found your perfect frock the right accessories will add polish and even a bit of fun to your look. Comely shoes are a must and so is the perfect little handbag. For shoes you can choose to highlight a matching color from the dress or stick with the basics like white, bone or black. When in doubt,  patent leather is a time honored, summer choice which can be worn with virtually any dress. You will want to coordinate a smart little vintage purse or clutch and for those of you who prefer bold you might even consider a summery straw  tote or shoulder bag. No need to match shoes to bag, unless of course, that is your preference.

Jewelry, hats and even scarves can add further signature to your look. If you are wearing a sleeveless dress, with open décolleté, then you might consider tying a long chiffon scarf around your throat and letting it drape down the back. Infuse a touch of sparkle to your ensemble with a pair of vintage crystal cluster clips or a dash of innocence with a delicate ear drop and you can never go wrong with pearls. Little lacey gloves, vintage sunglasses, a wide brim hat, a silk rose tucked behind the ear…so many different ways to tie in your own sense of expression. One final touch… for all of you sentimental romantics, tuck a dainty vintage hanky in your bag, to have at ready during the ceremony

So…in this day of casual attire…boho tops and jeans, t-shirts and shorts, capris, hoodies, flip flops… as opportunity to get ones girly-girl on keeps dwindling, it’s comforting to know that a grand exception remains. We will always have weddings, especially those lovely summer garden weddings where a woman can dress-up to her hearts content.

Below are some feminine 50s outfits put together for your summer garden wedding inspiration.

50s pointellist print sundress

50s pointellist print sundress

1950s pointellist print dress, 34 bust/26 waist,  ivory Mary Jane pumps, summery vintage shoulder bag and  dainty flower earrings.

1950s floral print Jerry Gilden dress

1950s floral print Jerry Gilden dress

1950s Jerry Gilden Dress, 36 bust 28 waist,  with dainty floral print, navy patent heels, vintage navy mesh purse and blue bead cluster clip earrings

1950s floral chiffon cape collar party dress

1950s floral chiffon cape collar party dress

1950s floral chiffon dress, 42 bust 33 waist,  with gathered shawl collar and open décolleté, little lace gloves, white Mary Jane pumps and aurora borealis cluster clip earrings.

Classic Dame brand 50s style apple green halter dress

Classic Dame brand 50s style apple green halter dress

 Classic Dame brand 50s style apple green cotton sateen halter dress ,  green rosette earrlngs, black cinch belt,  black  mesh clutch and black satin d’orsay pumps. The black accents lend an air of sophistication that would work beautifully for an early evening garden wedding. Dress available in sizes Small-XLarge

Have a glamorous day!

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How To Apply Red Lipstick That Stays Put

Lucille Ball with Red Lipstick

Lucille Ball with Red Lipstick

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wear red lipstick.  It’s an easy way to add instant retro glamour to any look and  perks up your complexion, especially if you’re fair skinned, like I am.

But it was through much trial and error over the years before I came up with my favorite way to apply it so that it stayed on.   Knowing how to apply properly, and what types of  red lipsticks work best, enables you to set out for a night of wining and dining without having to touch up constantly.

So here are some of my tips along with a few more from some other red lipstick wearing  gals.   You can experiment with which way works best for you.

Step 1- Foundation
I always start by applying some foundation to my lips.  You could also use a lip primer. That’s going to help create a base to which everything else will adhere.

Step 2- Lip Liner
I like to use a red lipliner pencil. You can use nude, but I find the red liner adds more depth to the red lipstick shade that will go over it.  First outline the lip, then completely fill it in with the lip pencil.  My favorite is the  Lip Liner  by Palladio.  It’s a retractable pencil, which I love, and has a nice creamy matte finish that stays in place, but is not too dry.

Step 3-  Lipstick Brush and Lipstick
A lipstick brush will give you much more control when applying your lipstick over your liner. With red lipstick you want to make sure you you have a defined lip line.  Using a brush helps immensely with this and it is perfect for shaping the lip outline as well, i.e. creating more of a pout.  I also opt for the retractable type so I can throw it in my purse.

As far as lipstick I have found that some types are much better for longevity than others.  Glosses and real creamy lipsticks are going to slide off at the first sip of a martini.   Lately the ones that work best for me are M.A.C. Lipsticks (Russian Red is a fav) and Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. My current fav is Fiery, a beautiful true red.

With the MAC Lipstick,  I apply with the brush,  blot a bit of powder on lips, then apply a second coat. With the Stila, since it has a wand applicator, I apply, then use lipstick brush to even out and define lip edges.  With either of these my red color stays on pretty much all day or night!  The Stila is especially amazing. I’ve gone out for a full dinner and a couple of glasses of wine and that color has not budged.  The MAC sometimes will need a little touchup.

More advice from other gals who know a thing or two about rocking a red lip!

From the lovely and stylish Jessica of the Chronically Vintage Blog 

Jessica Cangiano

Jessica Cangiano of the Chronically Vintage Blog

A smooth canvas is key, especially with bold and/or dark lip colours, and since I’m prone to very dry lips, I’ll usually take a dry toothbrush and gently exfoliate my lips before I start. Once the skin is silky (or at least not rough as sandpaper! ;), I trace the natural lines of my lip with either a red or clear lip liner (in the case of the latter, such as Revlon’s Color Stay) and then fill them all the way in, too. If I’m out of liner or think I’ll be eating/drinking a lot before I reply my lipstick next, I’ll sometimes swap the liner for a red (as close to my lipstick hue as possible) lip stain instead.Then, either straight from the tub or with a lipstick brush (I’m keen on Clinique’s, but there are tons of great ones out there at all different price points), I apply an even layer of red lipstick all over (my red of choice is Russian Red from MAC). I blot gentle with a Kleenex, apply a light second layer of red lipstick, then blot once more and am good to go.”

 

From the stunning Pin Up Model Amanda Lee

Amanda Lee aka The Jitterbug Doll

Amanda Lee aka The Jitterbug Doll

“My favorite lipstick is a product called Lipsense. It is a sort of lacquer that you apply, let dry, and then top with a gloss. It’s very long-wearing and comfortable to wear (I describe it as a lacquer, but it   doesn’t feel heavy or sticky at all), and I love not having to worry about my lipstick fading, smearing, or bleeding. I wear the color Blu Red–Christina Aguilera wears the same shade, in fact. I first heard about the product when I read an interview with her.

 For traditional lipstick, my two tips are to outline and fill your lips with a matching lipliner, and to blot your lips after applying the lipcolor. I usually apply a layer of color, blot, apply a second layer of color, and blot again. You can also lightly dust translucent powder on your lips (over a sheet of tissue) to help lock the color in place even more. My favorite traditional lipstick shades are Besame Red Hot Red and Besame American Beauty. Revlon also makes some lovely reds that have been around since the 1950s.”

From Dollie Deville, pin up model and darling doll of the Rockabilly Socialite Blog
Dollie the Rockabilly Socialite

Dollie the Rockabilly Socialite

“My favorite lipstick is Red Hot Red by Besame. I read that it was a recreation of the color Marilyn Monroe wore. It has a nice med red tone, not too blue and not too orange. My tip for making lipstick last is to apply a matching liner underneath. Line the lips and fill them in. Then lipstick over that. I like to over line the outer edges of my top lip in a very heart shape. I don’t like the top lip too pointy! Another good trick is to apply translucent loose powder over your lipstick to set it, then apply another coat over that. Your lipstick will last forever! “

 

Anyone else with helpful tips on keeping your red lipstick lasting please fee free to share!

Have a glamorous day !

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Crane Estate 1920s Style Picnic on the Lawn

Crane Estate 20s Lawn Party-2014

Crane Estate 20s Lawn Party-2014

So after my recent post on vintage picnics, I had a chance to put together one of my own!  Some friends and I recently attended the Second Annual 1920s Lawn Party at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Ma. The event is truly the “cat’s pajamas” with the majority of attendees dressed in clothing inspired by the Roaring Twenties.  It  is held by Boston Swing Central in partnership with the Trustees of Reservations.

They give free swing and Charleston lessons on the  great wooden dance floor set up at the foot of the stately mansion. And you get to dance to the tunes of the  Baby Soda  Jazz Band all day. There are a bunch of vendors selling all sorts of  clothing and accessories for the vintage lover.  Antique cars set up on the lawn offer great opportunities for fun photos,  A beautiful Italian garden is available for games of  croquet and badminton. And, most importantly, there are the picnics. Everyone sets up on the massive expanse of lawn to relax, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and channel their inner F. Scott and Zelda.

My 20s inspired outfit-Vintage Style Files

My 20s inspired outfit

This year I wore a lace handkerchief hem dress by Nataya, a style that we just happen to  sell at Blue Velvet Vintage!
T strap shoes are Chelsea Crew brand
Hat~thrifted for 1.99     Beaded bag 6.00~purchased at Brimfield Antique Flea Market

Classy dames at the 20s lawn party

Classy dames at the 20s Lawn Party

Vintage vendors

Great vintage shopping!

Beautiful dress at Tangerine Boutique's booth

Beautiful dress at Tangerine Boutique’s booth

More vintage goodies from Tangerine Boutique

More vintage goodies from Tangerine Boutique

Fellow Vintage Fashion Guild member, Melody Fortier, owner of Tangerine Boutique, had a fantastic booth set up with a stunning array of vintage finery.

My Blue Ribbon picnic spread

My Blue Ribbon picnic spread

As if the day wasn’t fun enough, I even won a blue ribbon for best picnic spread! How cool it that?  I was completely unaware that they even judged this sort of thing. So it was a pleasant surprise.

I had recently picked up a great plaid cotton fringed picnic blanket at the SOWA Vintage Market in Boston. (A must visit if you’re ever in the area).  It was only $24.00 and in perfect condition.  When I spotted it I knew it would be perfect for the lawn party.  The blanket inspired me to start looking for more items to put my picnic together.

So the hunt was on! At the Cambridge Antiques Market I spotted the coolest vintage cooler. Snagged that for $30.00 and the picnic basket for $15.00. The cooler will make a perfect ice bucket for storing wine or beer on my tiki bar back at home. The vintage fruit print tablecloth I actually travel with. When I’m on the road for a buying trip I like to take little things I can use to make all the hotel rooms I have to stay in look more homey. I know, it sounds a little crazy, but I love to  have vintage items around me no matter where I land and I think it adds a cheerful touch to your usual generic hotel chain room decor.

Anyway, I thrifted the rest of the items, which is always fun. Picked up vase, glasses, platters etc at Salvation Army.  Everything totalled less than $20.00.  So if you put your mind to it, you can really put together a nice little retro picnic without spending a fortune.  Heck, the food ended up costing more than all the accessories!

Am already looking forward to next years soiree.   And I’ll be on the lookout  for more picnic paraphenalia to add to my collection.

Sunset at Crane Estate

Sunset at Crane Estate

And though the day had been overcast, we were treated to a lovely sunset at the end of a lovely day!

 

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Top 10 Ways to Celebrate National Girlfriends Day

August 1st is National Girlfriends Day, a day to honor that special relationship we can only have with close women friends. Not sure who is responsible for creating this holiday,but I think it’s a great idea.  It gives  us the opportunity to reflect on how important our women friends are and to let them know how much they mean to us.  And, I don’t know about you, but I”m always up for a reason celebrate to something, especially if it involves good times and girlfriends!

Best girlfriends , when they see you acting  goofy, silly, sad, weird, crazy or  hysterical either join in with the fun or offer support when the going gets tough . They don’t judge.  They know you better than you know yourself.  This is a priceless treasure.

So I’ve put together a list of  my Top 10 ways you can celebrate National Girlfriends Day.  Just call up your BFF’s, tell them how much you love them and invite them to do something fun with you to celebrate their special day!

1. Get together for Cocktails at the Beach

Have cocktails on the beach

Have cocktails on the beach

 

2. Clothing Swap-Have all your girlfriends clean out their closets and bring over clothes they no longer wear. Have fun swapping outfits.

Clean out closets for clothing swap

Clean out closets for clothing swap

3. Shop thrift stores, flea markets and antique malls hunting for cool treasures.

Go thrifting and antique flea market shopping

Go thrifting and antique flea market shopping

4.Play vintage dress up and take pin up style photos of each other.

Take vintage pin up style pix of each other

Take vintage pin up style pix of each other

5. You’re never too old to have a pajama party with the girls!

Have a pajama party

Have a pajama party

6. Have an old fashioned tea party.

Have a tea party

Have a tea party

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7. Pack some food and drinks and go on a girls only picnic.

Girls only picnic

Girls only picnic

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8. Make popcorn, drink champagne or vodka and rent all episodes of Absolutely Fabulous.Spend the day cracking up over the craziest girl duo ever!

Watch Absolutely Fabulous reruns

Watch Absolutely Fabulous reruns

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9. Bike ride to a favorite cafe for lunch.

Bike to a favorite cafe for lunch

Bike to a favorite cafe for lunch

10. Go out dancing together!

Go out and dance!

Go out and dance!

And remember,

“A good friend is like a good bra: hard to find,  supportive, always lifts you up, makes you look better, never lets you down or leaves you hanging, and is always close to your heart.”

 

Have a glamorous day!

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How to Have an Old Fashioned Picnic

Picnic paraphernalia

Picnic paraphernalia

My mind has been on picnics lately as I’m planning to attend the Annual Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at the Crane Estate in Ipswich Ma.   And who doesn’t love an old fashioned picnic? Blankets or tablecloths spread out on the grass, baskets and coolers  full of delicious delicacies, comforting comfort food, refreshing libations and delectable desserts. All to be savored while gazing up at the  bright blue sky, finding shapes in passing clouds, listening to the breeze rustling through the trees or the relaxing sounds of  a babbling brook.   Just typing this makes me want to take a nap!

1920s picnic

1920s picnic

Anyway, you definitely need the proper accoutrements to capture the spirit of the “old fashioned” style picnic. So here’s a list of suggestions.

  • Checkered or vintage floral print tablecloth or plaid blanket.
  • Large straw picnic basket, preferably with lid.
  • Retro style cooler. You can get a cool cherry red one like the one below at World Market.
Retro red cooler

Retro red cooler

  • Keep it classy by bringing cloth napkins, real glassware, metal utensils and plates, either china or heavy duty plastic.
  • A glass mason jar to use as a vase to  put the pretty flowers in that you’re bound to pick!
  • Wearing a pretty vintage sundress or playsuit/romper is a must.

 

1950s picnic

1950s picnic

Then there’s the food and beverage.  I personally like to pack items that don’t need a lot of preparation on site.  and are just as delicious served cold.  So here is my classic picnic dream menu.

  • Buttermilk fried chicken. Recipe here.
  • Red potato salad with mayo. I put chopped fresh dill and crispy crumbled bacon in mine. Yummy!
  • Deviled eggs.  For a twist on this old favorite, add wasabi, avocado or horseradish. More recipes here.
  • Grilled ham and swiss sandwiches with arugula and red onions. Recipe here.
  • Watermelon and summer fruit salad. Add mint, lime juice and honey. And a splash of vodka if desired!
  • Tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella salad with balsamic dressing.
  • An array of cheeses. My favs are St. Andre, goat gouda and horseradish cheddar.
  • Assorted breads and crackers for the cheese.
  • Chocolate cupcakes, double fudge brownies, chocolate chip cookies. Detect a chocolate addiction here?
  • Chilled champagne, lemonade, a couple of kinds of craft beer, San Pellegrino water.

An “old fashioned” picnic can be a fun outdoor event  for a group of friends or family, with everyone dressing in period attire.

Or a romantic outing  just for two!

Picnic romance

Picnic romance

 

Do you have any vintage picnic suggestions?  Please share.

And have a glamorous day!

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Midnight Lace- The way to wow at your next special event

You need an outfit for an upcoming formal affair.

The mission~ Find something classy that exudes sex appeal in an understated, yet tantalizing way. Like something  Marilyn Monroe or Rita Hayworth would wear back in the day.  You want to show off your womanly figure, but not in a Kardashian kind of way, if you know what I mean. And you want to dazzle every male at the event!

Also, has to be easy on the wallet!

The solution~The gown below. Because you can’t go wrong with what I call the “Midnight Lace” classic glamour look.  The combination of black lace and a curve hugging silhouette evokes images of femininity, lingerie, the boudoir, everything that gets a man’s neurons firing at the speed of light.  Yet this evening dress does not  have a high slit that barely covers, nor is it cut too low at the neckline, which leaves plenty to the imagination. And if there is one thing that piques a guy’s interest it’s bit of mystery.

Just think about it, they’re born problem solvers.  After gazing at you in your devastatingly demure dress, they’ll be trying to figure out all night how to make the proper approach, all the while fantasizing about the treasure that lies beneath!  A technique burlesque dancers refer to  as “The Art of the Tease.”  Show just enough to make them want to see more. And it has worked for ions.

Curve hugging midnight lace over teal jersey evening gown

Curve hugging midnight lace over teal jersey evening gown

The gown has flattering ruching down the front, a pretty scalloped lace neckline that dips to a provocative V in back, hugs your curves to the lower thigh, then flares out beautifully below.  It has a seriously sensuous drape because of the jersey fabric beneath. As you saunter across the room (you should practice your sauntering before the party), the fabric undulating hypnotically as you walk is sure to have a mesmerizing effect!

1 Lace gown   $110.00  2. Gloves $28.99  3. Evening Bag $24.99 4. Heels  54.95  5. Earrings $10.99 6.Bracelet 29.99

But to really pull off a seductive classic glamour look, you also need the right accessories,  makeup and hair.  The proper heels,  long satin evening gloves,  glitzy vintage inspired rhinestone jewelry, red lipstick and wavy or curled hair  parted to the side will complete your tantalizing vintage look.

Marilyn in Black lace over red dress

Marilyn in Black lace over red dress

Image source

Rita Hayworth publicity photo

Rita Hayworth publicity photo

 

Have a glamorous day!

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