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

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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

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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
According to many hair stylists I’ve talked to,  freshly washed hair can be harder to style for those intricate vintage hairdos.  So, unless your have extremely oily tresses, it has been recommended that you do not wash and dry your hair the day of your shoot. Washing and drying the day before is better. And be sure not to use any styling products before hand.  Leave that to your stylist!

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 leastIt’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

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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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Get the Look!-Downton Abbey Dresses for the Bride and her Guests

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Summer is the perfect time to plan an outdoor Downton Abbey themed wedding, engagement party or bridal shower. The styles on the show portray the gentility of aristocratic ladies from the turn of the century into the 1920s.There is a definite aura surrounding these fashions, exuding that romantic, ladylike look of a bygone era.

You can certainly picture a bride and her guests strolling about on the lawn of a great estate or having high tea in a beautiful manicured garden while wearing these elegant dresses.

Whether you love the fashions from earlier seasons, which were Edwardian, or the more recent 1920s silhouettes, these styles are very appropriate for an outdoor affair with a classy Downton Abbey inspired high society theme.

Downton Abbey Edwardian fashion

Downton Abbey Edwardian fashion

Image source PBS

 

Downton Abbey 20s fashions

Downton Abbey 20s fashions

Below are styles we offer in Edwardian and 1920s looks.  Embroidered laces,  tulle and chiffon that are light and flowing, sure to keep you looking graceful and refined, no
matter how steamy it gets!

For more info on the dress below, go here!

Ivory embroidered tulle dress

Ivory embroidered tulle dress

Find these dresses here and here!

Downton Abbey inspired dresses

Downton Abbey inspired dresses available at Blue Velvet Vintage

Find this ivory and beige embroidered tulle dress here!

Ivory anf beige embroidered tulle 20s style dress

Ivory anf beige embroidered tulle 20s style dress

This ivory Edwardian style empire dress can be found here!

Ivory embroidered tulle Edwardian empire dress

Ivory embroidered tulle Edwardian empire dress

 

Of course, you need the right accessories to complete this early twentieth century look. Pair with parasols, white lace gloves, strands of pearls, t-strap heels and  cloche or wide brimmed straw hats festooned with flowers or bows and you’ll be styling in dreamy Downton Abbey fashion.

 

Have a glamorous day!

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Pajamas to the Beach? Ladies in the 1930s did it in style!

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That’s right!  According to Voguepedia  beach pajamas were introduced by Coco Chanel in 1922.  Starting out as wide legged trousers for ladies to wear while yachting,  they made a natural transition to resort wear for shoreside or cruises.  These beach outfits consisted of jumpsuits or full pants worn with short sleeved or halter tops, accompanied at times by a bolero or jacket. Women wore these over swimwear for strolling the promenade or boardwalk

At first only the most affluent women wore them to the beaches of the Riviera on holiday. But by the 1930s the style became more widespread.   Women in the United States eagerly adopted the trend after seeing their favorite screen stars wearing them on film. The style was revived in the 60s and 70s in what most of us would remember as “palazzo” pants.

This is a look I am totally smitten with and would love to get my hands on an original set of 30s beach pajamas. But they’re quite rare, so it’s literally like finding a needle in a haystack!  It’s a look that is both casual and very glamorous.  Nowadays they would be appropriate to wear most anywhere.   So if I can find some really fabulous rayon print fabric, perhaps I can have some custom made for me.  They are perfect for Florida. So the search is on!

 

Models in Palm Beach wearing beach pajamas

Models in Palm Beach wearing beach pajamas

 

Below two photos via Giant Pants of the 30s on Tumblr

 

Actress Ann Sothern wearing fabulous wide legged “pajama” pants

and halter top.

Actress Ann Sothern in beach outfit

Actress Ann Sothern in beach outfit

 

Oftentimes the pants were so full they almost looked like a long skirt.
This striped jumpsuit with the wide belt and striped edge hat is the epitome of classy, summer chic!!

 

Beach pajamas 1932

Beach pajamas 1932

Below photos via La Mode Pyjama

1930s Fashionable ladies  strutting their stuff on the Riviera.

Women in beach pajamas Cote D'Azure

Women in beach pajamas Cote D’Azur

Women in beach pajamas-Monte Carlo

Women in beach pajamas-Monte Carlo

This star studded beauty is my favorite!

1930s star print beach pajamas

1930s star print beach pajamas

 

So what do you think? Would you wear this style?

Have a glamorous day!

 

 

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