Our Flapper Dresses at Pinups for Vets Roaring 20s Fundraiser

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Gina and Julia-Pinups for Vets

Gina and Julia-Pinups for Vets

Everyone here at Blue Velvet Vintage was very excited to be able to help out Pinups For Vets by providing Gina and Julia our white Marcelle beaded flapper dress and black fringed Brooksie dress to wear at their recent Roaring 20s Themed Burlesque Show and Fundraiser in Los Angeles. And as you can see from the above photo, they both look fabulous!

In case you’re not familiar with this amazing award winning organization, Pinups for Vets was started originally by Gina Elise back in 2006, when she decided she need to do something to help our troops.

Her grandfather had served during WWII and she came up with a great way  to honor his name. Loving the fashion and pin up art from the 40s, and how it boosted the morale of many soldiers, Gina set out to create a modern 40s inspired pinup calendar to sell and raise money, the proceeds of which go to VA and Military Hospitals across the US to help expand their healthcare programs.

Since then she has also traveled the country, personally delivering gifts to hospitalized veterans and working with other nonprofts groups to get care packages sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. The events Gina and her other caring pinups participate in also help raise funds to help our wounded warriors.

Pinups for Vets Roaring 20s fundraiser

Pinups for Vets Roaring 20s fundraiser

This video from ABC News explains it all and features highlights of the show!

We were honored to be able to participate in this, even if in a small way. These gals are involved in a very worthy cause.  So checkout their website, maybe even make a donation or buy a calendar!  It’s a great way to show support for our troops.

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5 Easy DIY Retro Valentine’s Day Craft Ideas

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Even though it’s easier to run out to a store and grab a card or decorations for celebrating Valentine’s Day, it’s so much more fun to make your own!  You get to express your creative side and make something unique that is sure to delight your loved ones. So I’ve rounded up five of my favorite vintage inspired DIY Valentine craft projects that are easy to make and will win everyone’s heart!

1. Heart Song Box

First off, hop on over to The Graphics Fairy.  She has tons of great vintage graphics for downloading to use in your Valentine’s Day crafts, along with tutorials and great examples from her readers.

One of my favorite tutorials is her Heart Song Valentine Box.  A beautiful way to present candy, cookies or whatever your heart desires!

Valentine Box DIY from the Graphics Fairy

Valentine Box DIY from the Graphics Fairy

2.  Mason Jar Valentine Centerpiece

Over on the Little Lucy Lu blog she shows you how to turn a collection of mason jars into a fab Valentine’s Day centerpiece.  This would look adorable on your table, a fireplace mantle or windowsill.

Valentine's day centerpiece from Little Lucy Lu

Valentine’s day centerpiece from Little Lucy Lu

3. Vintage Valentine Tray

Thrifted frame recycled and decorated with vintage valentine images makes for a fun project and adds a nice touch of retro flair to your home. Tutorial on Vintage Indie.

Valentine tray DIY from Vintage Indie

Valentine tray DIY from Vintage Indie

4. Downton Abbey Inspired Valentine Cards

Love, love, love this one!  Check out this tutorial on how to make pretty Valentine’s Day cards inspired by an episode of Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey inspired Valentine cards

Downton Abbey inspired Valentine cards DIY from Doodlecraft

5. Doily and Valentine Medallions

Bethany, aka “The Glamorous Housewife,” shows you how to make these fun medallions from doilies, vintage print papers and valentine cards.  So simple to make, you can whip up a bunch and string them all over for a whimsical romantic touch.

Valentine medallions DIY from The Glamorous Housewife

Valentine medallions DIY from The Glamorous Housewife

 

Happy crafting!

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Morgan and Joe’s Glam Halloween Wedding

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Morgan Nielsen Ellis

Morgan Nielsen Ellis looking gothicly gorgeous! Headpiece by Batcakes Couture

All of us at Blue Velvet Vintage absolutely love when a customer is kind enough to  send us photos of themselves at an event wearing an outfit they purchased from us.  Selling on the internet doesn’t give us tons of opportunity to meet our customers in person, never mind actually seeing them in action wearing our clothes!  So it is truly a treat when we get to see gals rocking our dresses and how they accessorized and styled their look.

Recently our customer, Morgan Nielsen, sent us photos of her wedding to her sweetheart Joe Ellis. And she had a Halloween themed wedding!  Now I think this was a brilliant idea, as I always wanted to be married on Halloween. It is my favorite holiday.  But the year I married, there were so many hurricanes in Florida in October, I had to move my wedding date up to December :(

Morgan and Joe Wedding

Morgan and Joe Wedding at haunted dairy plantation!  So cool!

Anyway,  I was really intrigued by Morgan’s choice of a gothic Old Hollywood Glamour look to go with her wedding theme. Like she says below, she was going for a “Rita Hayworth meets Morticia Addams vibe.”  How  cool and creative is that?  Plus I think non- traditional themed weddings are so much fun and a great option for having your wedding day reflect your own unique personality, interests, hobbies or lifestyle.

morgan nielsen 5

Morgan is a total doll for answering all my busybody questions about what led her to her wedding day choices. So read on to find out the details.

1. What  inspired the theme for your wedding?

We knew we wanted a huge party and less of a “wedding”. Basically, an excuse to get dressed up and drink a lot! We are both big horror fans and love Halloween. It made sense that it would be a perfect day to get married. And this way he would have no excuse to forget our anniversary! We choose a haunted dairy plantation as our venue and it was absolutely perfect for us. Our guests really enjoyed wandering around the property “hunting” for spooky things. We debated whether or not we wanted our guests in costume, but ultimately decided that we would leave the option to them. I come from a very large family with lots of kids so we wanted no only to engage our guests as much as possible, but to still let the children have fun. It proved to be the right choice, as everyone seemed to let loose a little more in costume.

morgan nielsen wedding 3

2.What made you decide to go non-traditional in your choice of dress?  Did anything (movie, book, era, etc) inspire your choice?

I’ve always known that I didn’t want to wear white on my wedding. I’ve never worn a lot of white in my day to day wardrobe and I wanted to feel as comfortable as possible. It was too concerned about staining and couldn’t bring myself to spend an ungodly amount on a dress I was only going to wear for a few hours. I choose instead, to look for something that fit my style, and leave more to budget elsewhere. I love old Hollywood glamour and the style of gowns from that era. I was going for a Rita Hayworth meets Morticia Addams type vibe. Besides, with a Halloween wedding, I knew I needed to step up my dress game!

morgan nielsen wedding 2

3.Do you dress in vintage or vintage inspired clothing on a regular basis?

I consider myself a “pinup in training”. I adore everything vintage and vintage inspired and dress as so when I have a night out. I am slowly building up my collection to more work appropriate pieces that provide more comfort and functionality for an office desk job and a two year old. I’m a bit on the curvier side, so I tend to lean more towards vintage repro since it can often times be difficult to find vintage pieces that will accommodate my measurements. 

morgan nielsen wedding

4. What were the reactions of your husband, family, friends and guests  toward your wedding dress choice?

I distinctly remember getting a few, “You can’t wear a BLACK dress” reactions. I think there was a lot of initial skepticism, but once the vision on the wedding came to light, it was obvious that this was the perfect choice for us. Since I ordered the dress from the site, I didn’t have the “traditional” dress hunting at bridal salons that a lot of girls do. Because of this and living in a different city than my family, most everyone did not see me in my dress until the day of the wedding! Everyone gushed about how much they loved this dress and how unique it was.

morgan nielsen 4

 

5. How did you find us?  Had you heard of us before?

Someone had posted a link to one of your dresses in one of the pinup communities when searching for their wedding gown. This prompted me to immediately check out your site. That’s one of the great things about being part of these communities is that you are introduced to brands you didn’t know about before as well as getting honest feedback from people that have worn the same styles you’re interested in. As soon as I saw my dress, I knew it was meant to be. 

 

So happy, we were able to contribute to Morgan’s special day by supplying her with her gown. And  I hope this post inspires more brides-to-be to consider a unique theme for their wedding.  Not only will it be a memorable day for you, but your guests will never forget it either!!!

All these gorgeous Photos were taken by Jennifer Crowder of Stretch Photos

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Book Review-The Glamorous World of Helen Rose

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The Glamorous World of Helen Rose

The Glamorous World of Helen Rose

A while back I wrote a blog post about Helen Rose, the famous Hollywood costume designer. In that post I mentioned she had written two books, one of them being The Glamorous World of Helen Rose, published in 1983, just two years before she died.

Recently, on one of my vintage treasure hunts, I actually found an autographed copy of this book in near perfect condition.  I was so excited, especially when I got home and found out these books sell for $80-$125.00. I only paid $12.00 for mine!!!

The book is written by Helen, herself, and is full of fantastic photos and fashion illustrations of her designs, including movie costumes, famous wedding gowns and dresses from her couture line.

And aside from the history of her career, from designing for showgirls at nightclub Chez Pierre, to the costumes for the Ice Follies, and then onto Hollywood, she also gives the  inside scoop on what it was like working at the  movie studios and dealing with directors, other designers,actors and actresses.  So lots of fun, interesting tibits here!

Below is just a small sampling of the type of images that are included in this truly special book.

Helen Rose fashion illustration for Mae West gown

Helen Rose fashion illustration for Mae West gown

According to Helen, her first big celebrity she designed for was Mae West.

Costume illustrations for Doris Day

Costume illustrations for Doris Day

Costumes for Doris Day in Love Me or Leave Me (1956)

Gown designed for Cyd Charisse

Gown designed for Cyd Charisse

There are several photos of beautiful costumes she designed  for Cyd Charisse.
This one from Unfinished Dance (1947).

Fashion sketch for Debbie Reynolds dress

Fashion sketch for Debbie Reynolds dress

Fashion sketch for Debbie Reynolds in the Tender Trap (1955)

Helen Rose Couture "Cat" dress

Helen Rose Couture “Cat” dress

 Helen Rose designed the white chiffon dress for Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’
then added a version to her collection due to popular demand.
Apparently back in the 50s they sold for 250.00 and sold in the hundreds!

 

Grecian gown, Helen Rose Couture

Grecian gown, Helen Rose Couture

Beautiful grecian style gown by Helen Rose, 1954.

There are also photos of her designs for Ziegfeld Follies (1944), High Society(1956) with the stunning Grace Kelly,  Merry Widow (1952) with Lana Turner , Designing Women (1957) with Lauren Bacall, her famous wedding dresses for Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Ann Blyth and so much more!

But another thing I love about this book is it is sprinkled throughout with her own fashion advice for women. As a matter of fact, the last chapter in the book is titled You Don’t Have to Be Beautiful to Be Beautiful and includes style tips for becoming a well groomed, well dressed lady.

Someone reading this book today might find some of her advice to be a little outdated (or possibly politically incorrect) when it comes to some of her opinions about women and body image. But I found the majority of her advice to be just as relevant today, as back then.

Take these gems, for instance.

How many times have you bought a suit or a dress on sale or on impulse, brought it home and then never wore it because you had nothing with which to accessorize it? To be well groomed, every outfit you own should be complete to give you that “tip to toe” look. The idea is not fill your closets to over flowing with clothes you seldom wear, but to always be neatly put together.”

You have only one body, you’ll never have another. Take good care of it. You will have to start to like and respect yourself if you want others to like and respect you. This isn’t conceit, it’s just good common sense.”

Take a little time to dress properly when you appear in public. When you step out of your house be proud of how you look. This has nothing to do with age or how much money you can spend on your wardrobe. Don’t go around looking like and “unmade bed!”

So, my recommendation, if you run across this book for less than 80.00 in great condition, then grab it. But it is certainly a collectible treasure, worth the current values if you are interested in vintage fashions,designers and fashion history.

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50% Off Clearance Sale at Blue Velvet Vintage

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Need a dress for an upcoming event, prom or wedding, but are strapped for cash after the holidays?  Then shop the Blue Velvet Vintage Clearance Sale to get 50% off on select vintage inspired gowns, cocktail dresses and shoes. We can help save you  a lot of money and you can help us make room for new stock coming in.  So it’s a win-win deal!

This is a sale we have only once a year where we sell off overstocked inventory at deeply discounted prices.  You get top quality merchandise, but at great savings, just so we can make more space in our warehouse.  So act fast, because once these styles are gone, they’re gone!

Below are just a few examples of the fab styles to choose from.

Burgundy jewel neck gown

Burgundy jewel neck gown

 You can buy this  beautiful burgundy gown for only $60.00!
Comes in black and champagne too.

Blue chiffon one shoulder gown

Draped Blue chiffon gown

Blue chiffon gown bodice

Blue chiffon gown bodice

 Midnight blue chiffon gown is stunning with its draping, ruching and rhinestones and beaded accents.
Only one size  8, 10, 12 left. A steal at only $79. 50!

Gold lace cocktail dress

Gold satin and cream  lace cocktail dress

Ivory crochet lace over pale gold satin cocktail dress with a sexy strapless sweetheart bodice.
Only one M, L and XL left. Get one now for only $55.00!

White tulle dress

White tulle dress

White tulle 50s inspired dress with sequined bodice.
Small-XL in limited quantities. Shop now get one for only $59.00!

To see the whole collection of sale items, click here

Happy shopping!.

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