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Rita Hayworth Inspired Glamour Gowns

One of my all time favorite classic films is You Were Never Lovelier (1942) starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth.  It has everything I love in a movie-music, dancing, comedy,  romance AND  glamorous fashions!   The costumes were designed by none other than Irene Lentz,  the legendary Hollywood designer.  And though I’ve seen this movie at least four times, I never tire of watching it, especially for the exquisite gowns Ms. Hayworth wears.  Beautiful evening  dresses with full,  flowing chiffon skirts, lace overlays, appliques, sequins and illusion netting. Watching her artfully glide across the dance floor in these stunning creations never ceases to put a smile on my face!

So when I began to source some new evening gown styles for the website I had these dresses on my mind. They are so romantic that I wanted to find styles that reminded me of that Old Hollywood feminine elegance of the 1940s that Rita Hayworth captured so well in the film.

Here are some publicity photos from the movie to illustrate the types of gowns Ms. Hayworth wore. Notice she is well covered, but there is always a little teasing hint of sheerness, a bare shoulder or back, a titillating glimpse of skin,  making for a very sexy, yet still very classy look.  These outfits certainly prove you don’t have to bare everything to look sensual and womanly.

Photos of Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire in You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

Photos of Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire in You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

So after some extensive searching I came up with this lovely selection of gowns below.  They’ve definitely got that classic glamour vibe that I so admire and think any of them would make you the star at any formal event, such as a prom or wedding. An occasion where “you were never lovelier” , just like Rita!

Rita Hayworth inspired gowns

Rita Hayworth inspired gowns

Click on links below for color images and more information!

1. Dusty pink chiffon gown  with silver embroidery, sequins and rhinestones.
2. Black chiffon gown with sequined lace overlaying a champagne satin bodice, black satin corset style waistband with rhinestone jewel accent.
3.  Elegant black gown with a full, silky skirt, mesh bodice covered in sequined, beaded lace appliques.
4. Strapless sweetheart bodice gown with gold embroidered design, rhinestones and beading, black chiffon over champagne full skirt.


Have a glamorous day!


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B Horror Movies Part 2-Ray Dennis Steckler

Ray Dennis Steckler’s  films have been referred to a “weird,  individualistic and radical”, which suited him just fine.   He  didn’t fit in with the Hollywood crowd because he didn’t want to be like anyone else. He wanted to be different.  And different he was!

His most famous trashy classic,  “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies”, was made in 1964 with a very low budget of $38,000.  Gee I would have never guessed.

Ray Streckler's Monster Musical-The Incredibly Strange Creatures

Ray Streckler's Monster Musical-The Incredibly Strange Creatures

Starring in his own film as Cash Flagg,  Steckler wanders into a carnival where he is  hypnotized by an evil gypsy fortune teller and turned into a murdering zombie, killing off unsuspecting show girls.  Don’t think that’s weird enough?  How about the gypsy keeps cages full of zombie men that she has disfigured with acid?  I don’t want to give away the ending, but it does involve a good old fashioned zombie rampage.  And who doesn’t like to watch one of those?   But during all the heinous hijinks Steckler manages to incorporate  song and  dance numbers, making this film the first monster musical every produced!

His glamorous leggy wife, Carol Brandt,  was his costar in many of his films.  Here she is in a scene from the “Strange Creatures”  movie.

Carol Brandt in The Incredibly Strange Creatures

Carol Brandt in The Incredibly Strange Creatures

This same move was also marketed under the name “Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary”.   Lines from the poster  claim that “monsters become real and crash out of the screen, invade audience and abduct girls from their seats.” But, being the low budget flick that it was, their lame attempt at scaring the audience involved  ushers with zombie masks running up and down the aisles.

Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary-Another name for the Incredibly Strange Creatures

Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary-Another name for the Incredibly Strange Creatures

And here’s a photo of the escaped zombies.

Zombie jamboree.

Stampeding Zombies

I recommend being under the influence of a mind altering substance when watching this film, or any of his others for that matter, some of which include “Rat Pfink and Boo Boo” (1965), “The Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters”(1966), “Sinthia, The Devil’s Doll” (1968) and “Blood Shack a.k.a. the Chooper”(1971). All can be purchased from Movies Unlimited for your viewing pleasure.

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B Horror Movies Part 1-H.G. Lewis

In honor of Halloween, the holiday that celebrates all things spooky, scary, wicked and weird, I’ve decided to showcase some of the legends of the B Horror film genre. Their campy cult classics, dripping with blood, beastly acting, bitchin’babes and bad special effects make great fodder for an at home wisecrack fest, a la “Mystery Science Theater.” Never mind their potential  for good costume ideas.

My first tribute is to Herschell Gordon Lewis, a.k.a. the “Godfather of Gore”, who was the originator of the “Splatter” film.

In the book “Incredibly Strange Films”, Jim Morton describes Lewis’s films as being “filled with grisly violence, black humor and morally indefensible, which is probably why they are so good.”

Below is a promotional poster and scene from his deliciously disgusting 1963 film, “Blood Feast”, about an Egyptian caterer who kills people and adds their body parts to his meals, as a sacrifice to the goddess he worships.

Blood Feast-Nothing so appalling in the annals of horror!

Blood Feast-Nothing so appalling in the annals of horror!

Sacrifice to Ishtar in Blood Feast.

Sacrifice to Ishtar in Blood Feast.

Another tasteless terror from Lewis’s “Blood Trilogy” is  2000 Maniacs(1964) .  Tourists show up in “Pleasant Valley” during the town’s Centennial Celebration and are forced by the townspeople to participate in twisted games leading to their gory deaths.

Redneck Rampage-2000 Maniacs quaint 100th anniversary celebration!

Redneck Rampage-2000 Maniacs quaint 100th anniversary celebration!

The third in his “Blood Trilogy” is aptly named “Color Me Blood Red” (1965).  A psychotic artist paints pictures with the blood of young women!

Color Me Blood Red paints a macabre picture of creative genius gone haywire!

"Color Me Blood Red" paints a macabre picture of artistic license gone haywire!

Because so many of his films depict women as victims at the hands of evil men, the following is a refreshing change.   “She Devils on Wheels” (1968) lets the girls have a chance to get even.  It’s all about the madcap misadventures of  the “Man-Eaters” , a bad ass gang of biker babes and their zany antics, which  include dragging guys behind their motorcycles until they look like hamburger meat, and beating decapitated bodies with tire chains.

Here’s a film quote from one of the merry maids of mayhem.  “`We don’t owe nobody nuthin’, and we don’t make no deals, we’re swingin’ chicks on motors, and we’re man-eaters on wheels!’”

She Devils on Wheels is "Girls Gone Wild" on estrogen overload!

She Devils on Wheels is "Girls Gone Wild" on estrogen overload!

Call me crazy, but I’m diggin’  those boots, white pants and  leopard vest.

To read more about Herschell Gordon Lewis or to purchase  DVDs, visit his website.

Stay tuned for a tribute to  Ray Dennis Steckler, the creative genius behind “Teenage Psycho meets Bloody Mary” and “The Incredible Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies”.  I’m sure your dying of suspense!

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Midnight Palace contest-your chance to win three classic movies

Movie contest
 Just discovered a contest being run by The Midnight Palace,  a fun and very informative website about the golden era of classic movies. They're giving  away sets of three famous film classics, Roman Holiday, Sunset Boulevard and Sabrina, all  being released in two disc special editions as part of Paramount's Centennial Collection.

The contest ends on December 4.  You need to answer the question "Which classic actress was known as the "Queen of tap dancing?"  They will choose three winners at random from all the correct submissions and each winner gets all three movies!
For more information go here

Midnight Palace is for lovers of classic Hollywood. Full of reviews, articles and interviews covering the movie industry from 1900-1955. There's even an online course in "film noir" and a forum for like minded enthusiasts of all things classic, whether it be film, radio, tv or fashion.

This website should have a warning label on the home page, as it's very addictive!

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A Visual Vintage Treat-Nicole Kidman’s period costumes for Australia

Picked up the latest issue of Vogue while on the road for my summer buying trip.  So I settled down in my hotel room anxious to peruse the spread of Nicole Kidman in Catherine Martin’s exquiste costumes designed for her latest film, Australia.  And  I was not disappointed.  It’s a magical combination of Annie Leibovitz photography and the beautiful Nicole wearing outfits by the woman who also designed the amazing costumes for “Moulin Rouge”.

The movie takes place in Australia in the 1940′s and involves a love affair between an aristocratic Englishwoman, played by Nicole, and the rugged, hunky Hugh Jackman.  I’ve included a clip below on the costume design for the film, where you get a chance to admire his tighfitting moleskins. Lord have mercy! The movie’s worth going to just to see him.

Anyway, onto the Vogue spread. Here’s the cover shot. This gown has already been recreated and is being sold at Bergdorf Goodman for $9800.00. Salvatore Ferragamo has also recreated a line of vintage style shoes from the movie.


I absolutely adore these costumes.  Ms.Martin’s designs captured Lady Sarah Ashley’s character so well. Even the safari outfit is ladylike and classy.

Kidman 1

Kidman 2

Kidman 3

Kidman 5

Couldn’t resist adding this one.  As if it wasn’t hot enough in the Australian outback already!

Kidman 4

Film clip on costume design for the movie.

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Watch Fred and Ginger Dancing and Romancing

Since it’s Valentine’s Day here’s a romantic video for your viewing pleasure.   It’s accompanied by a great Gershwin song, "They Can’t Take That Away From Me."  Naturally Ginger’s gowns are to die for and the dancing…..well, take a look!

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Spooktacular Vintage Themed Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays to celebrate, with endless ways to incorporate a vintage theme.  Here are a few party and decorating suggestions to help you get in the spirit!

Halloween Theme Parties

1. The Monster Mash-  Based on the 1962 song by Bobby "Boris" Pritchett and the Cryptkickers . Have all guests dress in classic horror attire, ghosts, ghouls, zombies, mad scientists, drac, frank, vampyra and other assorted creatures of the night. Play  oldies  like the "Purple People Eater", "Zombie Jamboree", "Werewolves of London" and "Black Majic Woman". More horror themed music can be found here. And lets not forget  the horrifically hilarious 1959  Halloween tunes of  Spike Jones .

2. Fright Night Prom-  Everyone has to dress in a prom outfit from their favorite era.  The more fashionably outrageous,  the better.  A king and queen have to be crowned and prizes given for the the trashiest, tackiest outfit. Guests who show up with their actual  prom picture  get a special prize,  as long as the photos are from the 1980′s or before.

3. Dead Legends-  All guests have to dress as famous dead people.   Ideas for couples,  Romeo and Juliet, Bonnie and Clyde, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio,  Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey.

You can check out the Vintage Halloween Store  for party decor and other fun stuff to buy.  Below are a few of the items I found there. Really cute charm bracelets, wine charms, lanterns and cute little picks for your baked treats, all with a vintage Halloween look.



Another great place for inspiration is the Halloween Museum . Not only do they have great decorating ideas, but they also sell collectible vintage Halloween costumes.

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Hairspray Wardrobe up for bids on Ebay right now!

New Line Cinema is holding a charity auction on Ebay right now,  offering up all the vintage style costumes worn by the cast of Hairspray, plus some assorted movie paraphernalia.  Proceeds from the sale are being donated to City Meals on Wheels and The Harry Holmberg Memorial Foundation.   

Here are just a few samples and current bids. And there are still four days left!

Unbelievably cute polka dot dress  worn by the character Amber Von Tussle, played by Brittany Snow. Current bid $242.50.


Red sequined dress  worn by John Travolta, as Edna Tumblad, Tracey’s mom. Bid is already $1125.00.


This pink sequined mini dress  worn by Nikki Blonskey, a.ka., Tracey, is currently $1000.00.


Can’t wait to see this movie. I loved the first Hairspray by John Waters in the 80s.  It’ll be interesting to see if this one can measure up to the original.  It will be especially interesting to see if John Travolta can top Divine’s performance.  From reading initial reviews, it doesn’t appear he can.

Anyway, even though the bidding for most of this stuff is probably going to go sky high, it’ll still be fun to watch the auction to see how it turns out. Of course, there’s always the Tracey Turnblad whoopee  cushion  currently a bargain at  only $46.00!

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