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Black Friday-Facts on America’s Infamous Shopping Day

Did you ever wonder how the term “Black Friday” came to describe the biggest retail shopping day of the year, the official start of the holiday gift buying season?  Well, if you have the courage to fight the unruly mob of bargain hunters this coming Friday, at least you’ll have some interesting facts to share with your fellow shoppers while standing in line.

holiday shoppers 1930

The way it was-Holiday shoppers 1930/Getty Images

So, after some extensive research on the “internets” here’s what I’ve discovered.  There are actually many stories attributed to the name and the tradition.

•It is rumored that when accountants used to keep manual ledgers, the figures would show in red for may retailers due to poor profits.  But once the shopping season started right after Thanksgiving, they started making money, hence the profits would be in the “Black”.

•Macy’s actually started the tradition of the shopping season right after Thanksgiving. In 1924 they held their first Thanksgiving Day Parade, which was essentially an advertisement to shop at, where else, but Macy’s.

•Supposedly in the  1950s factory workers referred to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday”  because so many people called in sick.  Though not sure if that was because they were shopping or just hungover!

•During the Great Depression retailers begged Franklin D. Roosevelt to move Thanksgiving to an earlier date so encourage earlier shopping and a longer buying season.  So two Thanksgivings were observed, the second one was know as “Franksgiving.”

•Originally “Black Friday” was the term used to describe the day in 1869 when falling gold prices caused a stock market panic.

• In the 1960s the police, cab and bus drivers in Philadelphia started to refer to the day  as “Black Friday” because of all the trouble they had with traffic jams because of the mobs of holiday shoppers.

• “Black Friday” also shares the same date as “Buy Nothing Day”, the international day of protest against over consumerism.

And here are some disturbing facts  about the former that makes me think the latter day is a better one to celebrate. Visit this article in NY Magazine to read more.

• 1998 a Michigan woman attacked a saleswoman because she rolled her eyes at her.

•2000 two women in Mississippi fought over a 39.95 scooter at a Walmart.

•2005 several people were trampled in big box stores.

•2006 nine people injured in California when mall drops gift certificates from ceiling.

•2008 Walmart employee is trampled to death.

All shopped out

All shopped out

So, I don’t know about you, but I think I’m going to avoid the whole shopping nightmare on Friday.  There is nothing I need to buy badly enough to put myself through that much stress and possible risk of injury. Not to mention it just plain saddens me to see how some people will behave toward others just to save a few bucks.   It should be a season for celebrating love and kindness for all and gratefulness for what you have instead of the holiday greed fest it is starting to become for many.   So, yeah, I’m going to be doing something fun instead!

Have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving:)

 

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Blue Velvet Vintage Haute for Halloween Pin-to-Win Contest

Blue Velvet Vintage Haute for Halloween Pin to Win Contest

Blue Velvet Vintage Haute for Halloween Pin to Win Contest

We’re pleased to announce today at Blue Velvet Vintage that we’re launching our Haute for Halloween Pin-to-Win Contest.

For Blue Velvet Vintage’s Pin-to-Win contest, we want to see you pin your best vintage costume inspired by a past or present vintage vixen, vamp, siren of the silver screen, classic classy dame, or mid-century muse. We’ll be giving away as prizes three gift certificates. First prize will be a 100 dollar gift certificate, second prize will be a 75 dollar gift certificate, and third will be a 50 dollar gift certificate. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, and adherence  to contest rules.

How can you enter your amazing, vintage costume to win a gift certificate? Enter Blue Velvet Vintage’s Haute for Halloween Pin-to-Win Contest by following us on Pinterest and creating your “Haute for Halloween” board with a short description of the character that inspired your vintage costume. Then pin a photo of the star who inspired your vintage style costume. Next pin at least four things from the Blue Velvet Vintage website that will be used in your costume and five other items from anywhere else to complete your classic, vintage look. Remember to tag all pins #hauteforhalloween and #bluevelvetvintage, too. Last, enter your board on our Facebook page…! Once you enter, you’ll also be given a chance to share with friends for additional entries.

All entries for our pin-to-win contest must be received by 12pm EST on Wednesday October 30, 2013. We’ll announce our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place gift certificate winners on October 31st before noon. We can’t wait to see your entries…! Now follow us on Pinterest and start pinning…

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Turner Classic Movies ‘Summer Under the Stars’

Bette Davis in The Letter (1940)

Bette Davis in The Letter (1940)

It’s that time again! Turner Classic Movies’ annual ‘Summer Under the Stars’ series begins today. Each day, for the month of August, TCM will play 24 hour tributes (uncut and commercial free!) to 31 different classic movie stars. Here’s a look at the line- up:

Thursday August 1 – Humphrey Bogart
Friday August 2 – Doris Day
Saturday August 3 – Alec Guinness
Sunday August 4 – Mary Boland
Monday August 5 – Charlton Heston
Tuesday August 6 – Joan Fontaine
Wednesday August 7 – Fred MacMurray
Thursday August 8 – Ramon Novarro
Friday August 9 – Steve McQueen
Saturday August 10 – Lana Turner
Sunday August 11 – Henry Fonda
Monday August 12 – Catherine Deneuve
Tuesday August 13 – Mickey Rooney
Wednesday August 14 – Bette Davis
Thursday August 15 – Gregory Peck
Friday August 16 – Ann Blyth
Saturday August 17 – Wallace Beery
Sunday August 18 – Natalie Wood
Monday August 19 – Randolph Scott
Tuesday August 20 – Hattie McDaniel
Wednesday August 21 – William Holden
Thursday August 22 – Maggie Smith
Friday August 23 – Elizabeth Taylor
Saturday August 24 – Charles Coburn
Sunday August 25 – Clark Gable
Monday August 26 – Jeanne Crain
Tuesday August 27 – Martin Balsam
Wednesday August 28 – Shirley Jones
Thursday August 29 – Glenda Farrell
Friday August 30 – Kirk Douglas
Saturday August 31 – Rex Harrison – See more at: http://www.thedramallama.net/2013/07/tcm-summer-under-stars-2013.html#sthash.fNYB7kmC.dpuf
Thursday August 1 – Humphrey Bogart
Friday August 2 – Doris Day
Saturday August 3 – Alec Guinness
Sunday August 4 – Mary Boland
Monday August 5 – Charlton Heston
Tuesday August 6 – Joan Fontaine
Wednesday August 7 – Fred MacMurray
Thursday August 8 – Ramon Novarro
Friday August 9 – Steve McQueen
Saturday August 10 – Lana Turner
Sunday August 11 – Henry Fonda
Monday August 12 – Catherine Deneuve
Tuesday August 13 – Mickey Rooney
Wednesday August 14 – Bette Davis
Thursday August 15 – Gregory Peck
Friday August 16 – Ann Blyth
Saturday August 17 – Wallace Beery
Sunday August 18 – Natalie Wood
Monday August 19 – Randolph Scott
Tuesday August 20 – Hattie McDaniel
Wednesday August 21 – William Holden
Thursday August 22 – Maggie Smith
Friday August 23 – Elizabeth Taylor
Saturday August 24 – Charles Coburn
Sunday August 25 – Clark Gable
Monday August 26 – Jeanne Crain
Tuesday August 27 – Martin Balsam
Wednesday August 28 – Shirley Jones
Thursday August 29 – Glenda Farrell
Friday August 30 – Kirk Douglas
Saturday August 31 – Rex Harrison – See more at: http://www.thedramallama.net/2013/07/tcm-summer-under-stars-2013.html#sthash.fNYB7kmC.dpuf
  • August 1: Humphrey Bogart
  • August 2: Doris Day
  • August 3: Alec Guinness
  • August 4: Mary Boland
  • August 5: Charlton Heston
  • August 6: Joan Fontaine
  • August 7: Fred MacMurray
  • August 8: Ramon Novarro
  • August 9: Steve McQueen
  • August 10: Lana Turner
  • August 11: Henry Fonda
  • August 12: Catherine Deneuve
  • August 13: Mickey Rooney
  • August 14: Bette Davis
  • August 15: Gregory Peck
  • August 16: Ann Blyth
  • August 17: Wallace Beery
  • August 18: Natalie Wood
  • August 19: Randolph Scott
  • August 20: Hattie McDaniels
  • August 21: William Holden
  • August 22: Maggie Smith
  • August 23: Elizabeth Taylor
  • August 24: Charles Coburn
  • August 25: Clark Gable
  • August 26: Jeanne Crain
  • August 27: Martin Balsam
  • August 28: Shirley Jones
  • August 29: Glenda Farrell
  • August 30: Kirk Douglas
  • August 31: Rex Harrison

You can check out the complete schedule of movies here. I’m especially looking forward to August 14 – Bette Davis and August 22 – Dowager Countess… Maggie Smith! Who are you going to tune into?

Have a glamorous day :-)

alison

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1920s Lawn Party and All that Jazz-Crane Estate, Ipswich Mass

This past Sunday I made my way up to the Crane Estate on Castle Hill in Ispwich, Mass to attend a 1920s Lawn Party put on by Boston Swing Central.  First let me say, this was, without a doubt, one of the most fun events I’ve ever attended. And I attend a lot of vintage themed events!

The venue was spectacular, being as it was held on the grounds of this historic seaside estate.  It was last owned by Richard Crane, Jr.,  whose father pretty much came up with the idea of indoor bathrooms with plumbing. And we all know how well that idea has gone over! So it’s no wonder they could afford such a grand piece of property for a summer home.  It was donated by the Crane family to the Trustees of Reservations, who maintains it till this day.

Crane Estate, Ipswich Mass.

Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich Mass.

Looking with your back to the building you see a rolling green promenade lined by statues. It ends at the ocean.

Crane Estate Grand Allee, promenade

Crane Estate Grand Allee.

So imagine this, the  fabulous Baby Soda jazz band playing, an outside dance floor, free Charleston lessons, some of the best vintage clothing vendors in New England, antique cars, picnicing, gorgeous, sunny weather, breathtaking views and lots of people in 1920s finery.   What’s not to like?

These lovely ladies were kind enough to pose for me in their 20s inspired attire.
Photo taken in what was once the “bachelors” quarters. A building separate from the main estate
that housed the single male guests. I guess back then, they thought keeping the  boys and girls separated
would prevent scandalous activity. Right, I’m sure that worked out for them!

Lovely ladies at the 20s lawn party

Lovely ladies at the 20s lawn party

These two couples looked so elegant in their 20s style summer fashions. They really did a great job of capturing
the Gatsby Era look.

Elegant couples in their 20s style fashions

Elegant couples in their 20s style fashions

And these two dapper gentlemen really had the whole Roaring Twenties Lawn Party thing going on in a big way!
They’ve got the martini glasses set out, vintage tablecloths and wooden folding lawn  chairs.
Seriously inspired me to have a picnic like this one of these days!

1920s dapper dudes

1920s dapper dudes

I wanted some of that pie!

1920s lawn party goodies

1920s lawn party goodies

And here are photos my DH took of me in my 1920s inspired outfit.
A Nataya dress worn with flower festooned straw cloche hat, pearl strands and bracelet, long gold chain and pearl necklace, and vintage gold metallic ankle strap shoes.

My 1920s lawn party outfit

My 1920s lawn party outfit

I am definitely planning on a trip back just to tour the inside of this spectacular estate and walk the grounds. They apparently have miles of trails you can hike. And I’m so hoping they repeat this party next summer. I’m already planning my outfit :-)

Have you ever been to a 1920s themed event?

theresa

 

 

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Elizabeth Taylor’s First Wedding Dress up for Auction!

Now’s your chance to get your hands on one of history’s most famous wedding dresses, providing you’ve got plenty of moola, of course!  On June 26th  Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding dress will be up for bid at Christie’s Pop Culture Auction.  Ms Taylor was  just 18 years old in 1950  when she wore the oyster silk satin wedding gown to marry her first husband,  Conrad Hilton . The beaded gown has a 15 yard satin train and supposedly took 15 people working full-time for three months to complete. It was designed by famous MGM costume designer Helen Rose – who was also also responsible for Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding gown.  Liz’s dress  is estimated to bring at least  $75,000+ at the auction!

 

The fine silk beaded gown will go up for auction on June 26.

Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding gown up for auction at Christies, June 26th.

Elizabeth Taylor at her wedding to Conrad Hilton in 1950.

Elizabeth Taylor at her wedding to Conrad Hilton in 1950.

And if the Taylor gown is a bit out of your reach, you can always try for the….

Dolce and Gabbana shoes worn by Madonna for a Herb Ritt photo shoot for her Girl Tour in 1993 are estimated to fetch from 4600-7800 usd.

Madonna's shoes up for auction at Christies

Madonna’s shoes up for auction at Christies

Or Audrey Hepburn’s Hermes Bag, circa 1964. Estimated to fetch a mere $3,128 – $4,692!

Audrey Hepburn's Hermes bag, 1964

Audrey Hepburn’s Hermes bag, 1964

This Pop Culture, Rock and Roll and Film auction also includes lots of memorabilia from the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Andy Warhol,  Led Zepplin, Elvis Presley,  Walt Disney, James Bond movies and much, much more. Definitely will be an exciting auction to watch!

Christie’s also has an online auction up ending today,  June 24,  for Couture Handbags and accessories – including some beautiful vintage pieces. Here’s a couple of my favorites that are on the block:

1. Chanel Spy Glass Necklace, c. 1970s 2. Chanel Black Satin and Leather Round Tassel Bag, c. 1986 3. Hermés Sable Lizard Kelly Bad, c. 1960s

1. Chanel Spy Glass Necklace, c. 1970s 2. Chanel Black Satin and Leather Round Tassel Bag, c. 1986 3. Hermés Sable Lizard Kelly Bad, c. 1960s

 

Which one would you bid on if you could?

 

alison

 

 

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Celebrate Armed Forces Day at Florida USO Show and Swing Dance

USO dance

1940s USP dance in St Petersburg Florida

If you live in Florida and want something really fun to do this weekend and support our military and their families, then hightail it on over to St. Petersburg for the  G.I. Jive, 1940s themed USO show and swing dance being held at the historic Coliseum ballroom.  The event kicks off Armed Forces Weekend with live music, swing dancing, prizes, vintage fashion contest and more.

coliseum ballroom

Inside the historic Coliseum ballroom in St. Petersburg Fl

The Coliseum ballroom was built in 1924, so has lots of character,  along with  a great oak dance floor. Perfect for showing off your swing outs, spins and swivals!  Just go to USO Tampa Bay Facebook Page or Swingang Tampa for more information. And don’t forget your 1940s style outfits!

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Swing In the New Year

swin in the new year

Swing in the New Year

It’s time again to celebrate the old and bring in the new.  And if you’re anywhere near St. Petersburg, Florida, there are still tickets available to the  Swingin’ the New Year Dance at the historic Coliseum Ballroom.   Built in 1924,  it’s a festive and romantic venue where you can lindy hop, jitterbug or charleston your way into 2011 with the world renowned Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band.

The ballroom is walking distance from the St. Petersburg waterfront, historic Pier, dozens of restaurants and all the festivities of St. Pete’s  First Night Celebration.  So lots to do there.  And  it’s even supposed to warm up by Friday, so you won’t get frostbite walking around downtown!

My husband and I attend this event every year.  It is definitely one of the most fun times we’ve ever had on New Year’s Eve.   There is also a vintage fashion photo shoot and contest.  So glamorous vintage attire is recommended!

If you don’t make it this year, then be sure to mark it on your calendar as the place to be on December 31, 2011.

St. Petersburg Coliseum Ballroom

St. Petersburg Coliseum Ballroom

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Julien’s Auction-Marilyn and Elvis Memorabilia

Want a chance to own Elvis Presley’s prescription bottles or an Emilio Pucci sweater worn by Marilyn Monroe?  Julien’s is holding a summer entertainment auction on  June 26th and 27th  at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.  Featuring over 700 items from various celebrities and productions,  it will be broadcast in live streaming video so online viewers will be able to watch and bid in real time.

Below is just a tiny sampling of the amazing entertainment memorabilia offered.  So this is bound to be one exciting auction to watch!

“Dr. Nick”, Elvis’s personal physician,  has consigned over 45 items. In case you don’t remember, Dr. Nick had originally been accused of over prescribing for “the King” leading to his untimely death.  Bidding is bound to be fast and furious for these items.

Elvis Presely prescription bottles

Autographed and framed picture of Elvis Presley

Autographed and framed picture of Elvis Presley-pre auction estimate $2000-4000

Elvis's tourmaline and diamond ring gifted to Dr. Nick after a concert. Estimate $20,000-$40,000

Elvis's tourmaline and diamond ring gifted to Dr. Nick after a concert. Estimate $20,000-$40,000

The Marilyn Monroe collection includes items from her personal and professional wardrobe and furniture from her Brentwood California home.

Just one of several of Marilyn's Pucci pieces up for bid

Just one of several of Marilyn's Pucci pieces up for bid

Black sequinned Ceil Chapman gown-Estimate $4000-6000

Black sequinned Ceil Chapman gown-Estimate $4000-6000

Ivory silk jersey Ceil Chapman dress-Estimate $10000-20000

Ivory silk jersey Ceil Chapman dress-Estimate $10000-20000

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Upcoming Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Auction

On June 14th Bonhams and Butterfields is holding an Entertainment Memorabilia Auction at 7601 W. Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.   Their online catalog is  fascinating, full of  autographed photos of Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Clark Gable and many other famous Hollywood stars, costumes from several movies and various other celebrity collectibles, like the handbag carried by Estelle Getty in the Golden Girls television series.

Their rock and roll memorabilia includes an impressive collection of  concert posters, including  Grateful Dead posters by Rick Griffin,  one of Chris Isaack’s guitars and the costumes worn in the Sargeant Pepper movie.

Below is just a small sampling of some of  the entertainment collectibles that will be up for bid.

Gown worn by Ethel Merman in "There's No Business Like Show Business"

1950s Gown worn by Ethel Merman in "There's No Business Like Show Business"

Autographed picture of Rita Hayworth

Autographed picture of Rita Hayworth

40s vintage dress worn by Veronica Lake in publicity stills

40s vintage dress worn by Veronica Lake in publicity stills

1950s vintage gown worn by Christine Aguilera

1950s vintage gown worn by Christine Aguilera

70s artwork for the Tramps "Disco Inferno" album cover

70s artwork for the Tramps "Disco Inferno" album cover

Costumes worn by members of the Jackson Five

1970s Costumes worn by members of the Jackson Five

For those not present day of the auction, there is phone and internet bidding available.   And even if you have no intention of trying to win anything, you should definitely check out their catalog. It’s a highly entertaining little trip down memory lane!

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Upcoming Charles Whitaker Auction

The Charles Whitaker spring auction, to be held May 1st and 2nd, will include property from several museums and private collections.   Vintage clothing, furs,  purses, beaded evening bags, and textiles from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Anna Pakradooni, a Philadelphia designer and retailer,   several lots of vintage store display fixtures,  late 19th and early 20th century French swatch/sample books and over 150 antique hair combs are just a sampling of the merchandise to be offered.

1.belle epoque gown 2. 30s gold lace dress 3. beaded strapless gown

1.belle epoque gown 2. 30s gold lace dress 3. beaded strapless evening gown

auction-dresses1

4.Pauline Trigere 70s dress 5. Madame Gres cocktail dress 6. Two 1970s Averardo Bessi dresses

Red alligator handbag and belt and sterling silver purse circa 1950

Red alligator handbag and belt and sterling silver purse circa 1950

Antique hair combs

Antique celluloid and tortoise shell hair combs

1940s miniature mannequins

I am seriously coveting these 1940s miniature mannequins!

Check out their online catalog for more collectible treasures you can bid on.

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