Tribute to Bunny Yeager-Pioneer Pin Up Photographer

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Bunny Yeager and camera

Bunny Yeager and camera

Anyone who is into the vintage pinup lifestyle or at least appreciates the art has probably heard of Bunny Yeager, the 1950s  pinup photographer who helped make Bettie Page famous.  Born Linnea Eleanor Yeager on March 13, 1929, she passed away last Sunday, May 25th, but was still shooting photos in her Miami studio and gallery right up to the end! This talented lady was and still remains an inspiration for all women who wish to enter a male dominated profession.  Before Ms. Yeager turned from model to photographer, the only people shooting pin up photos were men! But Bunny changed all that, and here’s how~

An article from the Miami Herald,  states that Bunny originally started out as a model herself, but always yearned to be behind the camera.  So she began classes at a vocational school in 1953.  The first class assignment was to go out and shoot anything they wanted and come back for a critique.  So Ms Yeager  picked Africa, USA , a cageless zoo in Boca Raton in which she shot her leopard bikini wearing pinup model friends amongst the wild cheetahs. Needless to say her assignment caused quite a stir and her instructor insisted she send the pictures off to magazines,  tout sweet! And that marked the beginning of her illustrious career as one of America’s most famous pinup photographers.  And the iconic photos of Bettie Page in the leopard print bikini that Bunny designed are some of the most famous pinup photos of all time!

Bunny Yeager and her models

Bunny Yeager and her models

More on Bunny’s Background~

  •  Yeager grew up a very shy girl in Braddock, Pennsylvania, but when her family moved to Miami, (at the age of 17) she jumped at the chance to re-invent herself.
  • She re-named herself Bunny (from Lana Turner’s character in the 1945 film “Weekend at the Waldorf”) and enrolled herself in modeling school.
  • In the 1940’s, she took to modeling with an eye to fame, doing both runway and photo shoots. Because she was very photogenic, beautiful, tall, and slender, Ms. Yeager was very sought after. Yeager would soon become one of the most photographed models in Miami.
  • In her 20s, Ms Yeager wanted to add to her portfolio and stopped modeling and enrolled in photography classes at a Miami trade school and began her career behind the camera. She practiced a lot by taking self-portraits.
  • As a woman photographer taking photos of other woman, mostly nudes and near-nudes, Yeager was able to bring a level of comfort and ease that male photographers could not achieve from their subjects. She gave women the confidence and encouragement to be natural and look beautiful without the goggling eyes of the male gaze.
  • Bunny met the raven-haired Bettie Page in 1954 and formed a friendship. Bunny took most of the photographs of her that year. Along with photographer Irving Klaw, Yeager played a role in helping to make Page famous, particularly with her photos in Playboy magazine.
  • Yeager remained a very celebrated photographer through the 50s and 60s.  Her photographs were frequently taken at exotic locales and done with creative compositions. Many times, Bunny would make her own swimsuits for the models to wear and create her own props as well.
  • She took the well-known still images of Ursula Andress on the beach in the 1962 James Bond film Dr. No, and discovered many other notable models.
  • In early 2010, the Warhol Museum held the first exhibition of Yeager’s work. Most of the photographs in the exhibit came from Bunny’s book “How I Photograph Myself” published by A.S. Barnes & Co. in 1964. She would go on to write over 30 books .
  • In November 2011, the Dezer Schauhalle[ in Miami, Florida hosted a retrospective exhibition of Yeager’s work. Included were some never before seen photos of various models including Bettie Page.
    Bunny looking pinup perfect!

    Bunny looking pinup perfect!

    Bunny Yeager and Bettie Page -Cheetah shoot

    Bunny Yeager and Bettie Page -Cheetah shoot

And I’ll leave you with some excellent advice from this talented and classy lady~

What a boring place the world would be if every woman looked the same as the next.  Make the most of what you have and enjoy being female.  Enjoy being you!”

 

Have a glamorous day!

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Summer Style Inspiration-Retro Sunglasses

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My collection of retro sunglasses

My collection of retro sunglasses

Summertime is the perfect time for trying a new, fun way to add some vintage glam to your outfits.  If you’re totally into dressing in 50s style, as I am, then cats eye sunglasses are the way to go. The above photo shows some of my favorites from my collection. Some are authentic vintage and some are reproductions and I love them all especially the ones with the rhinestones!  And even if you’re not totally into the whole vintage look, retro style shades are still a cool way to add a unique flair to any outfit.  You will be pleasantly surprised at how many people will come up and tell you how much they like your glasses when you switch to vintage style eyewear. Trust me on this!

And here are some photos of movie stars in their classic sunnies!  If these don’t inspire you to go out and get yourself a pair of retro sunglasses, then I don’t know what will!

Love, love, love the pair Shirley MacLaine is wearing here! So fun!

Shirley Maclaine in Cats Eye Sunglasses

Shirley MacLaine wearing 1950s cat eye sunglasses

Image source

The glamorous Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth wearing sunglasses 1952

Rita Hayworth-1952

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe-1956

Marilyn Monroe-1956

The ultimate in chic style~Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly looking effortlessly chic.

Grace Kelly looking effortlessly chic.

And for those of you who enjoy the Mod look!

Audrey Hepburn in mod sunglasses

Audrey Hepburn in mod sunglasses

Image source

Sophia Loren wearing mod sunglasses

Sophia Loren wearing mod sunglasses

And here are a few fab retro style sunglasses that will give your that Old Hollywood movie star look!

Fab Fendi sunglasses from LoveParisianChic on Ebay- $234.99

Fendi retro style sunglasses

Fendi retro style sunglasses

Tom Ford Tortoiseshell Cats Eye Sunglasses from Sole Eyewear-$194.00

Tortiseshell Cats eye sunglasses-Tom Ford

Tortiseshell Cats eye sunglasses-Tom Ford

Here are some stylish two tone cat eye glasses-  $99.00
From Decades Vintage

60s new/old stock sunglasses

60s new/old stock sunglasses

And if you really want to make a statement, these amazing authentic 1950s glasses may be just the ticket! $234.00
Available at Vintage50sEyewear

50s rhinestone starburst cat eye sunglasses

50s rhinestone starburst cat eye sunglasses

 

 

Of course the most flattering vintage style frames are the ones that are perfect for your face shape.  And if you want to know how determine your face shape and the style and color of sunglasses that are best for you, then check out this article from A Vintage Nerd’s blog. She’s got all the info you need to pick the right pair.

A GOOD TIP! If you wear prescription lenses and want to sport a cool pair of retro sunglasses (or even everyday glasses), try scouting flea markets, antique malls and online shops for vintage frames.  If they are in excellent condition, you can have your optometrist put your prescription lenses in them for a fraction of the cost of new retro frames that can easily run into the $400-500 range.  I’ve had this done with a couple of pairs and it worked beautifully!

Have a glamorous day!

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Navy and White Dresses- Classic Nautical Look for Summer

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Though navy blue is a classic year round color and a lovely alternative to basic black dresses, combine it with white and you’ve got yourself a nice nautical inspired look for summer.  Ever timeless, navy and white dresses, especially vintage or retro ones,  are a chic,  polished way to step out in style when the  warm weather hits. And adding red accents in the form of scarves, jewelry, shoes or bags is the classic way to  complete the look nicely!

Here are some of my favorite images of  navy and white dresses from the past to get you in the mood for nautical inspired summer dressing!

Ladylike navy summer fashions from the 1930s.

Navy and white nautical fashions-1930s

Navy and white nautical fashions-1930s

Image source

Adorable nautical dresses from the Sears and Roebuck 1941 catalog.

 

Navy and white dresses-1941

Navy and white dresses-1941

image source

Feminine 50s navy and white sailor inspired dresses

1950s navy and white nautical summer sundresses

1950s navy and white nautical summer sundresses

Image source

I don’t know about you, but I would be very happy to wear any of the navy and white vintage dresses pictured above!  Below are some outfits we put together that feature some of the dresses we have available if you’re craving the navy look this summer!

First up is a classic 50s sailor style swing dress.  Find it here!

1950s style sailor inspired swing dress

1950s style sailor inspired swing dress

Or, how about this sweet one of a kind,  authentic 1950s shirtwaister?  28″ waist.

11950s navy blue shirtwaist dress

1950s navy blue shirtwaist dress

Our Classic Dame brand 50s inspired navy and white polka dot halter dress.

Classic Dame navy white polka dot halter dress

Classic Dame navy white polka dot halter dress

 

Have a glamorous day!

 

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How to Dress for a 1920s Themed Wedding

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Vintage themed weddings are a hot trend.  And why not?  Picking a favorite decade to  plan your special day around adds a whole new element of fun to the celebration.  And recently, due to the popularity of shows like Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey and the movie remake of the Great Gatsby, the Roaring Twenties has been on the minds of many brides to be.

The 1920s represent an era of decadence, glamour and liberation for women.   Fashion design was influenced by Art Deco and surrealism, jazz music and the discovery of King Tut’s tomb,  which caused a major trend toward anything with Egyptian motifs.    Coco Chanel was the designer whose creations most influenced womens’ fashion in the 20s, including the loose fitting chemise dress worn with long necklaces, which became the hallmark of  “the flapper” look.  Ladies’ looks for evening involved lots of intricate beading, fringe, and sequins with bejewelled turbans, feathered headbands and other decorative hair ornaments.

So if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a formal or “after 5″  1920s themed wedding,  you certainly can’t run out to your nearest costume store and grab one of those flimsy polyester numbers with rows of fringe.   Au contrare!  An occasion like this calls for puttin’ on the glitz,  with elegance and class of course!   This isn’t the time for being wishy washy about your outfit.  For a 1920’s evening wedding event you’ll want to show up looking authentic roaring twenties glam, meaning dressed something like Lady Dudley below. (In case you don’t know who she is, read more about her character here)

Lady Dudley from Downton Abbey

Lady Dudley from Downton Abbey

Coco Chanel once said “A girl should be two things. Classy and fabulous.”  So here are my recommendations for looking classy and fabulous for a formal dress 20’s themed wedding.

•Straight, somewhat loose fitting sleeveless cocktail dress covered with elaborate beading and sequin designs, preferably in a geometric deco type pattern. Some element of fringe is always a plus!  Does not have to be too short! Most women in the 1920s did not wear really short dresses.
•Long strands of pearls or other beads, either worn singly or in layers.
•Opera length gloves. Add a glitzy bracelet on one wrist.
•For the hair, chose a beautiful head scarf or turban and pin a sparkly brooch on it, wear an elegant beaded headband, perhaps with some feathers, or go with a dressy cloche hat trimmed in satin, bows or flowers.
•Find yourself a pair of patterned or fishnet stockings that will match your dress. Hosiery with embroidered designs or rhinestone decorations will work too.  Some flappers even wore stockings with designs on the knees!
•Shoes should have a curved (Louis) heel and be T strap or Mary Jane style.
•Carry a small purse with beaded design and/or fringe.
•For makeup tips to complete your authentic 1920’s look see this article.

 

For more 1920s style inspiration, see our YouTube video slideshow of our exclusive collection of beaded flapper dresses that are very popular for 1920s Old Hollywood and Gatsby themed weddings.  We sell  accessories and shoes to go with them too!

 

Have a glamorous day!

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A Birthday Tribute to Mary Astor

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American actress, Mary Astor was born 106 years years ago today, May 4, 1906.  And though I’ve seen several  movies she has starred in, I never really knew much about this beautiful and talented woman.  So being as it is her birthday, I decided to do some research.

And here’s what I found out! Mary Astor had a very successful film career starting when she was only 15 , that spanned several decades. She had an overbearing, over controlling Dad who pushed her into show business so that he could financially benefit from Mary’s talents.Her  life was literally like a soap opera, rife with scandals, a seriously dysfunctional family, affairs, multiple divorces, health issues and alcoholism.

It’s quite amazing, with all the turmoil in her life, that she was able to play some of the most famous roles in film history and play them very well,  including the part of  femme fatale Brigid O’Shaughnessy   in the Maltese Falcon(1941) with Humphrey Bogart. And that same year winning best supporting actress for The Great Lie, a film she starred in with Bette Davis.   It’s truly a testament to her resilient personality that she could maintain such a high level of professionalism despite continual personal problems that would send most people right over the edge!

Mary Astor

Mary Astor May 4, 1906-Sept 25, 1987

Mary Astor in publicity photo for The Wise Guy (1926)

Actress Mary Astor

Source Self Styled Siren

Here’s Mary with John Barrymore in Beau Brummel(1924).  She was 17, he was 42 and married when they began their torrid affair during filming. He supposedly told her during her screen test “You’re so goddamned beautiful you make me feel faint!”  Now I ask you, what young and impressionable young lady could resist such a handsome  smooth talking superstar?  The poor girl didn’t stand a chance!

Mary Astor and John Barrymore Beau Brummel 1924

Mary Astor and John Barrymore Beau Brummel 1924

Here is Mary Astor as Barbara Willis, a prim and proper wife married to an engineer,  and Jean Harlow as a prostitute named Vantine in the movie Red Dust(1932).  Set on a rubber plantation in French Indochina, things really heat up when both women vie for the attentions of Dennis Carson,  the plantation owner played by Clark Gable.  Even though Barbara is married, once Dennis sends her husband  off into the jungle, he tosses Jean Harlow aside and ardently pursues Mrs. Willis, who is powerless to resist Mr. Gable’s advances. Things spiral out of control from there.  Love this film, great acting and gorgeous 1930s fashions designed by Gilbert Adrian.  IMO, any film with costumes by Adrian is definitely worth watching!

Mary Astor and Jean Harlow in Red Dust 1932

Mary Astor and Jean Harlow in Red Dust 1932

 

Mary Astor 1937

Mary Astor 1937

Source~A Certain Cinema

Below is Mary Astor in Dodsworth (1936)  Her gorgeous gown is very much in the iconic feminine silhouette of the 30s with its sheer full bias cut skirt and flutter sleeves worn over a silky curve hugging slip.  Ooo La La! I discovered Omar Kiam was  the costume designer for the movie. He designed for many Hollywood films, including Stella Dallas and Wuthering Heights, before heading to New York to design luxurious, sophisticated fashions for the Ben Reig label.

Mary Astor- Dodsworth (1936)

Mary Astor- Dodsworth (1936)

Image source~ AllPosters

One of the greatest detective stories of all time, The Maltese Falcon, starred Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade and Mary Astor as the devious dame named Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a.k.a.  Miss Wonderly. Love that name and love the movie!  Wardrobe was by the Oscar winning Hollywood designer, Orry Kelly, who also designed the costumes for Casablanca, Oklahoma, American in Paris, Les Girls and Some Like it Hot, along with hundreds of other films.

Mary Astor and Humphrey Bogart Maltese Falcon 1941

Mary Astor and Humphrey Bogart Maltese Falcon 1941

And here she is in The Great Lie (1941). She won an Oscar for her role as Sandra Kovak, a concert pianist who is pregnant by a man who ends up married to Bettie Davis’s character,  Maggie. After her husband’s plane is lost in South America, Maggie  pays Sandra at visit hoping to talk her into giving the child up to her when it it born in exchange for money.  It’s all I’m saying. You’ll have to watch it to see what happens! Gowns designed by Orry Kelly in this film too.

Mary Astor in The Great Lie 1941

Mary Astor in The Great Lie 1941

She also played Anna Smith, mother to Judy Garland (Esther) and her sisters and brother, in the musical Meet Me in St Louis,  (1944) another of my favorites films with great actors, songs and costumes..  Wardrobe designed by Irene Sharaff,  who also designed for  many other famous films, including the King and IWest Side StoryCleopatra, Hello Dolly and Funny Girl.

Mary Astor and Judy Garland Meet Me in St Lous

Mary Astor and Judy Garland Meet Me in St Lous

Prominent film critic turned director, Lindsay Anderson, said of Mary “When two or three who love the cinema are are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up and everyone agrees that she was an actress or special attraction whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played.”

A lovely testament to one of Hollywood’s finest actresses.

Have you had the pleasure of seeing any Mary Astor films? Which is your favorite?

“When two or three who love the cinema are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up, and everybody agrees that she was an actress or special attraction whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played.” —Director Lindsay Anderson – See more at: http://www.frontiersla.com/frontiers-blog/2014/03/01/mary-astor-a-special-attraction#sthash.i5vv6MjR.dpuf
“When two or three who love the cinema are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up, and everybody agrees that she was an actress or special attraction whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played.” —Director Lindsay Anderson – See more at: http://www.frontiersla.com/frontiers-blog/2014/03/01/mary-astor-a-special-attraction#sthash.i5vv6MjR.dpuf
“When two or three who love the cinema are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up, and everybody agrees that she was an actress or special attraction whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played.” —Director Lindsay Anderson – See more at: http://www.frontiersla.com/frontiers-blog/2014/03/01/mary-astor-a-special-attraction#sthash.i5vv6MjR.dpuf

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