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

Image source

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

Girls only picnic

Girls only picnic

Image source

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

Image source

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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Top Ten Tips for your First Pin up Photo Session

Amanda Lee pin up model poses for Blue Velvet Vintage shoot. Photography by Doug Monce of  Atomic Age Pictures

Amanda Lee pin up model poses for Blue Velvet Vintage shoot. Photography by Doug Monce of Atomic Age Pictures

At Blue Velvet Vintage we often utilize photographers, models, makeup and hair stylists for our vintage style web images and advertisitng. And a while ago I also did a post about my very first pinup shoot and how, after my initial self consciousness, I was able to relax and have fun.  Because of my own  experience with this personally, and in business, I thought I’d offer up my Top Ten Tips for your First Pinup Shoot to help anyone considering this fun way to have a day of pampering and end up with fabulous photos of yourself as well!  There’s no doubt that part of what can make the experience less stressful is being well prepared.   Following these tips will definitely help things go more smoothly on the day of your shoot.

1. Research
Before you call and make an appointment, start looking for inspiring images in books, magazines and online.  Whether it’s classic movie stars or famous  pin up and burlesque beauties of the past,  this research will help you narrow down your choices and give you some great ideas for hair, makeup and wardrobe.

2. Communicate
When you do book your appointment it’s a good idea to let your photographer know what sort of theme you are envisioning for your shoot, i.e. Old Hollywood Glamour, sexy 50s housewife, 1920s vamp,  40s swimsuit pinup a la Betty Grable, etc.  Send her any digital images you’ve saved so she’ll know what look you’re going for. Also, whether you want to shoot outdoors or indoors.  That way she can make suggestions about backgrounds, props and best time of day for lighting,  if shooting outside. Also, ask if they provide wardrobe and/or accessories. But most studios will also let you bring your own outfit.

Most of the time hair and makeup, and sometimes a stylist,  is included in the price, but ask just to be sure.

3.Practice
Once you’ve done your research, start trying out poses and facial expressions in your mirror at home.  Practice  the ones you like best repeatedly until you feel comfortable with them. You can even try and enlist a friend to take some quick shots to see how you look.  It’s tough to try and just wing it when you get there. Though a good photographer can direct you, it always makes things easier if you already got a few poses down pat.

4.Under Garments
If you are bringing your own clothing, make sure to try on your outfit with all the appropriate undergarments, including shapewear, to make sure everything will look the way you want it to!  If the studio is providing your wardrobe, ask the stylist or photographer what type of underwear or support garments you should bring.

5.Hair
Don’t wash your hair for at least a day or two before. Believe it or not , freshly washed hair is harder to style.

6.Legs
Unless stockings are already part of your outfit,  you may want to bring very sheer to waist pantyhose if you don’t have flawless skin on your legs.  If you have any spider veins, bruises, etc, the sheer hosiery will help cover them up and there will be less photo editing required post shoot. And whatever you do, don’t get a spray tan thinking they’ll cover up imperfections. That orange tinged look does not translate well with a vintage glamour look.

7.Skin
Make sure to drink plenty of water and moisturize after every shower. You want your skin to look as glowing as possible. And be sure to show up with a completely bare face so the makeup artist has a clean canvas to work with.

8.Hands and Feet
Get a manicure and pedicure a day or two before your session.  For an authentic vintage look red is the classic color of choice.  Your feet should look buffed and beautiful,  especially if your shots include showing them off!

9. Rest
Get plenty of sleep.  Go to bed early night before so you’ll look rested.  A late night that includes lots of partying will prevent you from looking your best and will make it more challenging for the makeup person who will have to cover up those dark circles under your eyes!

10. Relax
And last, but not least-It’s easy to feel pressured because a photo shoot is an investment and you want everything to be perfect. So if you’re feeling super anxious or self conscious try deep yoga breathing or even have a glass of wine if you need to loosen up a bit. Just remember, it’s supposed to be fun!

 

Any helpful tips to add?  Let me know!

 

Have a glamorous day!

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Happy 98th Birthday to Olivia De Havilland

Olivia De Havilland

Olivia De Havilland

Today is the 98th birthday of Olivia DeHavilland,  a living legend from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.  With an acting career spanning 50 years, I’ll bet she has some amazing stories to tell!  This is the lucky lady who got to star opposite the dashing Errol Flynn in many movies, including The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood.  Apparently they had a major crush on each other, but according to Oliva “He never had his wicked way with me.”  Such a wasted opportunity!!!

Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1916, Oliva moved to Saratoga NY with her actress mother, Lillian, and sister Joan after her parents split up.  She was discovered by director Max Rheinhardt when he saw her acting the part of Hernia in a school play of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.  So impressed he was, that he ended up casting her in the stage and film version, which led to a seven year contract with Warner Brothers.

In 1939 Warner Brothers lent her to David Selznick to play the character of Melanie Hamilton in “Gone With the Wind. ” She was nominated for best supporting actress, but lost out to her co-star, Hattie McDaniel.

She was disappointed that she didn’t win, but not as disappointed as when she lost the best actress Oscar for her role in “Hold Back the Dawn” in 1941.  That same year  her sister, Joan Fontaine, won the Best Actress Oscar for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion..”  Olivia and her sister always had a strained relationship filled with jealousy. Their lifelong feud was notorious in Hollywood.  Allegedly Olivia resented Joan taking the slightest bit of  the limelight away from her. And her mother always favored Olivia, actually telling Joan she couldn’t pursue an acting career using the De Havilland name. That’s how she ended up with Fontaine, instead.  I think it’s sad that the two sisters could not get along and be happy for each other’s success.  I wonder if she thinks back on it now and has any regrets.

Beside the aformentioned films, Ms. DeHavilland  also starred in over 50 other movies, including The Snake Pit (1948),  To Each His Own(1946) and the Heiress (1949) , the last two winning her Best Actress Oscars.

Olivia was picky about her parts and turned down many scripts, causing her to be put on suspension many times by the Warner Brothers studio .She resented the fact that the studios “owned” their actors and added the extra time of these suspensions onto the end of their already long seven year contracts, preventing them from pursuing better roles elsewhere.   So she sued them in a California court and won!  And in a landmark case that became known as the “De Havilland decision” her efforts forever changed the working conditions of actors and took the unlimited power away from the big Hollywood studios.

Here she is in a gown from “Gone with the Wind”, designed by costumer Walter Plunkett,  known as Hollywood’s foremost authority on period dress

Olivia De Havilland in Walter Plunkett gown for Gone with the Wind

Olivia De Havilland in Walter Plunkett gown for Gone with the Wind

She accepted her first Best Actress Oscar in this gown designed by Ann Lowe.
Ann Lowe is also the woman who designed Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress.

Oliva De Havilland in Ann Lowe gown

Oliva De Havilland in Ann Lowe gown

And her second Best Actress Oscar in a gown by Orry Kelly

Oliva De Havilland in Orry Kelly gown

Oliva De Havilland in Orry Kelly gown

And one don’t usually think pin up when thinking of Olivia De Havilland.
But here she is wearing a fabulous swimsuit looking pin up perfect!

Olivia DeHavilland pin up photo

Olivia DeHavilland pin up photo

Image source

So Happy, Happy Birthday to Ms. DeHavilland, one of the most beautiful and talented entertainers of the twentieth century!

Have a glamorous day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources IMBD, Hollywood Reporter, Daily Mail UK, TCM

 

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