Fourth of July Retro Party Inspiration


Mae West in "Belle of the Nineties" in 1934

Mae West in “Belle of the Nineties” in 1934

Independence Day is just around the corner so we have some inspiration for your Fourth of July BBQ or picnic!

Table Setting c. 1950s

July 4th Party Table Setting c. 1950s

Look at all those yummy choices! From mystery casseroles,  salads  and classic corn on the cob served on fab mid century platters and bowls. And of course, no retro picnic or BBQ would be complete without  a jello mold!
All looking quite mouth watering  presented so nicely on the classic red and white checkered tablecloth.

And ladies, don’t forget your white gloves and matching bags!

And remember to bring a dip!  This next one would surely be a hit at any bbq. . .cream cheese, A 1 and minced clams.

Ummmm, maybe not. But I love the hat!

A1 Recipe 1958

A1 Recipe 1958

Now that you’ve got some ideas for your menu – on to your attire:

When dressing for  your 4th of July barbeque or picnic, you should certainly go all out.

But  maybe not this “all out!”

Pin-up Model Jeanne Carmen c.1950s

Here’s Pin-up Model Jeanne Carmen grillin’ with “the girls”  c.1950s

I mean all out cute and classy!   Here are some options to  look your pretty, patriotic best  at your Independence Day celebration!

From left to right:


1. 1940s shirtdress  2. Vintage patriotic pin 3. Gingham halter dress3. Romper  4. Nautical bag   5. Navy heels

And you certainly can’t go wrong with classic navy and white polka dots with red accents!

1950s inspired dress, Classic Dame brand at Blue Velvet Vintage

50s style navy blue and white polka dot halter dress-Classic Dame brand at Blue Velvet Vintage

50s style navy blue and white polka dot halter dress-Classic Dame brand at Blue Velvet Vintage

Got any good party ideas for 4th of July?  Feel free to share!





Related posts:

Fabulous Find-Unique 1950s White Shaheen Sarong Dress

Collectors of vintage Hawaiiana and/or 1950s  clothing  are familiar with the master screenprinter and designer, Alfred Shaheen.  His earlier tropical fashions are coveted worldwide for their beautiful prints, distinctive design details and stylish silhouettes.  Recently I was fortunate to acquire this unique 50s white sarong dress by Shaheen  with a very cool contrasting border print.   From the fabulous bodice with his signature diagonal flap, halter strap and sexy wrap skirt with polynesian print hem,  I can certainly envision this dress worn for a casual beach wedding or even for a Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly wedding.   Just add fresh gardenias or white orchids to complete  the “tropical temptress” bridal look!


1950s Alfred Shaheen sarong dress

1950s Alfred Shaheen sarong dress

Shaheen polynesian print hem

Shaheen polynesian border print hem

Alfred shaheen dress bodice

Alfred shaheen dress bodice

White border print 1950s Alfred Shaheen dress

Alfred Shaheen dress-back view

If some lucky lady gets married in this beauty, I hope she sends me photos!

Have a glamorous day ;-)






Theresa Campbell

Related posts:

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?





Related posts:

Happy Birthday to to Jane Russell and Judy Holliday!

Jane Russell (June 21, 1921 - February 28 2011)

Jane Russell (June 21, 1921 – February 28, 2011)

One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s, Jane Russell, was born on this day, June 21 in 1921.  The voluptuous vixen was handpicked by Howard Hughes to star in the film The Outlaw.  It  took several years for the film to release nationwide because movie censors were determined to prevent the public from seeing her in a controversial cleavage revealing scene.  Howard Hughes actually designed a special ‘bra’ (made with steel rods – ouch!)for Russell to wear in the film because he felt the camera didn’t do her curves justice. Russell said the contraption was too uncomfortable and she actually wore her own bras stuffed with tissues in the film – never telling Hughes.

Russell and Monroe in Travilla gowns for 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'.

Russell and Monroe in Travilla gowns for ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’.

‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ came out in 1953 starring Marilyn Monroe alongside Russell. William Travilla, one of Marilyn’s favorite designers, who also designed Marilyn’s  famous pleated white cocktail dress from the subway grate shot,  worked on the costumes for the film also emphasizing Russell’s ‘best assets’. There are even twin peaks in Alaska that are named after her famous bustline!

Jane Russell in a plunging black evening gown.

Jane Russell in a plunging black hostess gown.

Today is also funny lady Judy Holliday’s birthday! Born the same year as Jane Russell, Holliday starred in many Broadway musicals and plays before breaking into the movies. Her role in the film version of ‘Born Yesterday‘ won her an Oscar in 1950. “You have to be smart to play a dumb blonde over and over again and keep the audience’s attention without extraordinary physical equipment, “ she said, on often being cast as the ‘ditzy blonde’ character. Woody Allen has called her, along with Diane Keaton, the best female comedians of all time.

Judy Holliday

Judy Holliday

Judy Holliday (June 21, 1921 - June 7, 1965)

Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday-1950

Judy Holliday in The Solid Gold Cadillac

Judy Holliday in The Solid Gold Cadillac-1956

The famous Hollywood costume designer, Jean Louis, who was once married to Loretta Young, designed Judy’s wardrobe for both of these  movies. He won an Academy Award in 1956 for best costume design in a black and white film, for The Solid Gold Cadillac.


Happy Birthday to two of Hollywood’s finest!




Related posts:

Style Tips-1920s Art Deco Wedding Fashions

Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, The Artist and the Great Gatsby have exposed  a whole new generation to the sophistication and glamour of the 1920s. So  it’s no surprise more and more brides are jumping on the bandwagon and planning high style art deco weddings.  Because  Roaring Twenties fashions have such a romantic, feminine flair, with their floaty handkerchief hems,  dropped waistlines, long strands of pearls, beaded details,  and statement making hair accessories and hats,  they are perfect to plan a wedding around! The look is so chic, and a great alternative for the bride who prefers not to go the big, pouffy, princess gown route.   Below are some photos and style tips  to inspire brides who are considering a vintage themed wedding based on the era of the flapper girl, the charleston and jazz music!

1920s wedding photo

1920s wedding photo

20s bride and groom

20s bride and groom

20s bride and groom

1920s bride, groom and beautiful bouquet

Note the use of wide brimmed floppy hats. Cloches were also popular.  And if a women wore a veil, the headpiece was often like a cap that covered the head and was embellished with flowers or beading.

Like this lovely one below available from Etsy seller, The Yellow Peony.

20s style bridal headpiece

1920s style bridal headpiece from the Yellow Peony

 For the proper bridal shoes to go with your 20s style wedding dress, Mary Janes or T Straps.

On left  ivory leather and suede Mary Janes by Rachel Simpson UK. Right  shimmery silver sequined T straps sold at Blue Velvet Vintage.

1920s style bridal shoes

1920s style bridal shoes

And if you want a 1920s look inspired by Carey Mulligan’s Daisy Buchanan character in the Great Gatsby,  we sell  lovely lace  handkerchief  hem dresses perfect for the deco  loving bride!

Lace Gatsby dresses

Lace Gatsby dresses

Have a glamorous day!










Related posts:

Customer Spotlight-Krista’s Rockabilly Vegas Wedding

Krista and * (and their fabulous 1955 Ford pick-up!)

Krista and Bob Louttit (and their fabulous 1955 Ford pick-up!)

Are you a rockin’ rockabilly gal planning a 50s themed wedding? Well here is some Viva Las Vegas wedding inspiration from our happy customer, Krista Louttit,  who told us  planning her 1950s rockabilly wedding to her handsome hubby Bob was easy. “It was a no brainer for a vintage inspired wedding, as that is pretty much us on a daily basis.”    I so love that they embrace this look all the time!

The couple have a serious passion for hot rods, all things tiki, Johnny Cash, and clearly, each other.   They had already scheduled a trip to attend Viva Las Vegas“the biggest rockabilly party in the the world” and decided that it would also be the perfect place to get hitched! Along with a handful of friends, the fun-loving couple tied the knot at Graceland Wedding Chapel, where celebs like Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Ray Cyrus have also held their weddings.

The groom rocked it out in a perfectly tailored sharkskin suit, while bridesmaids looked radiantly retro in classic 50s style dresses and matching (homemade by Krista herself!) rose rings and bouquets.  The royal blue outfits matched their extremely cool 1955 pickup truck!

The bride wore a stunning  ivory 1950s inspired  full circle dress with a flattering shelf bust  that she purchased from Blue Velvet Vintage, and accessorized it with a hair flower and a pair of great ankle strap peep toe platform heels. Her gorgeous retro hairdo and makeup completed the look nicely!  Krista said she first discovered her dress on pinterest – along with a few others – but kept finding herself going back to this one in particular.  She knew it was “the one”. 

After the ceremony the bridal party cruised down the strip to the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign for some great photos. The couple and their friends then headed to  dinner at Capo’s Italian Steakhouse  where the maid of honor and best maid surprised the newlyweds with the perfect Vegas themed wedding cake. And what better way to end a beautiful rockabilly wedding day but with cocktails at Frankie’s Tiki Bar. Sounds like these two had an amazing wedding day filled with friends, fun and a little bit of rock and roll!

Krista and her bridesmaids look positively smokin!

Krista and her bridesmaids look positively smokin!

The wedding party under the fabulous Las Vegas sign.

The wedding party under the fabulous Las Vegas sign.


Congrats Bob and Krista!


Related posts:

RIP Esther Williams – America’s Mermaid

Esther in a MGM promo photo for the 1946 film "The Ziegfeld Follies".

Esther Williams in a MGM promo photo for the 1946 film “The Ziegfeld Follies”.

America’s swimming sweetheart Esther Williams died Thursday, June 6,  2013 at 91 years old.  She will always be remembered for her grace, class, elegance and beauty.

Esther began her career as a competitive swimmer in her teens. She was slated to compete in the 1940 Olympics but the games were canceled due to World War II. At that time she was employed as a salesgirl at the I.Magnin department store when she received a call to interview for the job as Johnny Weissmuller’s swimming partner at  the Aquacade at the San Francisco World’s Fair.  That was the beginning of her swimming career.  After the fair closed she was discovered by MGM, where she became a big star known  for her leading roles  in “aquamusicals”, a movie genre designed exclusively to feature her swimming talents.

“It appeared as if I had invited the audience into the water with me, and it conveyed the sensation that being in there was absolutely delicious, ” she said.

Clark Gable was supposedly the first to call her a mermaid, and it caught on – she was affectionately known as “America’s Mermaid” . And  as America’s interest waned in “aquamusicals” Esther turned her talents to designing a line of swimsuits, which is still in business today. Check out her cute retro style swimsuits here.

Don’t miss the Esther Williams marathon in honor of the famous bathing beauty starting at 8pm on June 13th  on Turner Classic Movies!

Esther Williams in a 1953 promo for her film "Dangerous When Wet."

Esther Williams in a 1953 promo for her film “Dangerous When Wet.”

Esther Williams Americas Mermiad

Esther Williams-America’s Mermaid

Famous bathing beauty; Esther Williams

Famous bathing beauty; Esther Williams





Related posts:

Summer Fashion Inspirations from 1956

In the summer of 1956 the Ladies Home Journal featured  some lovely  fashions that I wanted to share in hopes of inspiring women to add a little more classic glamour to their summer wardrobe..  I’m in love with all of these as they’re so classy and ladylike.  The  two most popular styles were the fittest bodice, full skirt dress,  a silhouette that was still in vogue since Dior created  the “New Look” in the late 1940s, and the  fitted sheath dress, often with a matching coat.  As usual for 1950s fashions, the look was very polished, since women still dressed up most of the time, even for what we would consider casual outings today.  Gloves, purses, hats, jewelry often matched or at least complemented each other.

The fabulous little black dress pictured below, with its matching cropped jacket, was made of silk with a linen like weave by Ben Barrack. The article by Ruth Mary Packard states “ If you own this versatile wonder of a dress … you seldom face a crisis over what to wear. The fashion must be simple, understated – the background for your most ingenious ideas, and so adaptable that it can be turned to many hours and occasions. ”  

Ben Barrack was a dress maker  from the 50′s and 60′s who once said  “Our objective is to produce clothes that will sell year in and year out, and that is what we are doing.” Looks like he was successful because I would certainly snap this beauty up today!   The John Frederics hat  looks smashing with it, and red print bag by Ben Ingher adds a perfect touch of color.

1950s Ben Barrack Black Silk Dress and jacket

Black Silk Ben Barrack Dress and Jacket

And no 50s summer wardrobe would be complete without at least one pretty Jerry Gilden frock.  This one in a silk print  that comes with its own petticoat. And in blue and white,  a clean, cool, classic color combination for warm weather.

Blue print silk Jerry Gilden dress 1956

Blue print silk Jerry Gilden dress 1956

And let’s not forget about gingham!  A classic summertime look, this one by Alfred Green.  If you like this look, then check out our latest 50s style dresses with gingham checks, both in black and red.


Pink and white gingham dress by Alfred Green

1956 Gingham Dress by Alfred Green

This sleek, chic blue linen sheath dress by Henry Rosenfeld has a matching full length coat. Henry Rosenfeld was a dress manufacturer whose company made what he referred to as “Class market dresses at mass market prices.”  Upscale looking clothing at budget prices.  As a side note,  it is also rumored that he used to date Marilyn Monroe!

  The pretty flower wreath hat by John Frederics reminds me of the floral headbands that so on trend this season, and the white gloves and pearls dress up this outfit nicely.


Cornflower blue linen dress and coat by Henry Rosenfeld

1956 Linen Dress and Coat by Henry Rosenfeld

Another classic for summer, polka dots!  This sheath dress by Jean Campbell, worn with a crisp white rayon/linen bolero. And how about that  adorable white beret?

polka dot dress 1956

Black and white polka dot dress by Jean Campbell, 1956

A fabulous sundress like this navy and white paisley border print  by Doris Fein  would work for a day of  shopping and lunch with the girls or dinner at a waterfront cafe.

sundress doris fein 1956

Paisley border print sundress by Doris Fein, 1956

Which one is a look that you’d be inspired to try?





Related posts:

What do a Disney Princess and Amelia Earhart have in common?

Nothing, that’s what!  And when photographer Jaime C. Moore went looking for inspiration for her five-year-old daughter’s photo shoot she  found an overwhelming trend. “…no matter where I looked 95% of the “ideas” were the “How to’s” of how to dress your little girl like a Disney Princess.” And what girl doesn’t fantasize about being a princess?

But Jaime really preferred  to give her daughter a more inspiring, real life  female role model to look up to instead of a fictional character in a fairy tale.  So Jaime chose five famous women in history for her daughter to portray in her photos and the results were absolutely amazing!

” I wanted my daughter to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything,  so she can now have everything.”

What a fantastic idea! Young girls today need to be reminded that there is so much more to being a woman than how you look.  Your accomplishments play a much more important role. And these women certainly made a difference in the world, and in doing so, paved the road for all women today.

Here are a few of my favorite shots along  with inspirational quotes from these inspirational ladies!

"Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done." - Susan B. Anthony

“The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball, the further I am rolled the more I gain.”- Susan B. Anthony


"... now and then women should do for themselves what men have already done -- occasionally what men have not done -- thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action. " -Amelia Earhart

“The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune” -Amelia Earhart



“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” - Coco Chanel

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself” – Coco Chanel


Check out all of Jaime’s photos on her website – Jaime Moore Photography.

Thanks for visiting!


Related posts:

Travis Banton-Marlene Dietrich’s Favorite Designer

I love watching classic films, especially for the costumes.  Uber  glamorous evening gowns and elaborate costumes were a hallmark of the  Golden Era of Hollywood. And during the 20s, 30s and 40s some of the most exquisite of  the cinematic wardrobes were designed by Travis Banton, who dressed  actresses such as Mae West, Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Carmen Miranda and Rita Hayworth.  But is most known for the spectacular costumes created for Marlene Dietrich.

Banton originally worked at a couture house in New York where  Mary Pickford selected one of his dresses for her wedding to Douglas Fairbanks.  This bit of fame got him hired at Paramount pictures to design the costumes for the 1924 film “The Dressmaker from Paris.”   And an illustrious career in costume design began!

He was the chief designer at Paramount Studios until 1938 and afterwards worked for 20th Century Fox and Universal  as well. During his film career he designed costumes for more than 200 productions including Shanghai Express (1932), Cleopatra (1934), Angel (1937), That Night Rio (1942) and Cover Girl (1944)

He collaborated with  director Josef von Sternberg, cinematographer Lee Garmes and art director Hans Dreier to create a distinctively extravagant style known as  ‘Hollywood baroque’, which for the designer involved very elaborate figure hugging costumes heavily embellished with beading and feathers.

Rumor has it that during the filming of  Cecille B DeMille’s epic production, Cleopatra, Claudette Colbert refused to appear on the set because she didn’t like her costumes.  She demanded none other than Travis Banton, who on short notice, put together some of the most amazing costumes in film history.


Claudette Colbert in Cleopatra 1934

Claudette Colbert in Cleopatra (1934)

Banton created Mae West’s  signature curve-hugging look, with clingy fabrics,  lavish use of fur trim, beading and jewels. Travis Banton dreaded his first meeting with Ms. West because his uncle, who was a district attorney, was responsible for her being sentenced to jail for obscenity charges for writing and acting in the play ‘Sex”.   Though when the meeting finally took place, apparently she was very good natured about the incident and didn’t hold any grudges.


Mae West in Goin' to Town (1935)

Mae West in Goin’ to Town (1935)


He was responsible for creating and cultivating Marlene Dietrich’s distinctive look. From the book “Those Glorious Glamour Years” by Alfred Bailey, Edith Head was quoted as saying,

That was a story. Don’t forget Banton and Dietrich together built up almost a legend of an exotic, super high fashion look, which on another person would have looked ridiculous. She could get away with it. It was almost a signature, the feathers, the veils, the furs, the glitter, the glamour.”

Polka dots usually make an outfit more casual. But not when Marlene Dietrich wears them! Very chic and sophisticated look designed for Ms  Dietrich,  by Travis Banton.  Desire, 1936.

Marlene Dietrich Desire 1936

Marlene Dietrich appearing in Desire 1936. Banton designer.

On the costumes for the film  “The Scarlet Empress”  Travis Banton was quoted as saying.

“Miss Dietrich’s costumes in that picture represented perhaps the finest and most beautiful collections of clothes I’ve ever had the pleasure of designing. They were expressive of the period’s fashions, without being mere stereotyped copies of sketches found in books. Rather, I placed myself mentally in the position of a designer of the middle eighteenth century.”

Marlene Dietrich the scarlet empress

Marlene Dietrich as Catherine the Great in the Scarlet Empress 1934. Travis Banton design.

Unfortunately, like his fellow designer, Orry Kelly, his drinking problem eventually got the best of him and he had to leave the film industry. In 1956 he  returned to Hollywood one more time and collaborated with the Russian couturiere Marusia Toumanoff Sassi on the costumes of Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame.  Two years later he passed away at the  young age of 63.

His protege, Edith Head,  who replaced him at Paramount,  said of him. “Travis was a marvelous designer. Any talent I might have would have lain undiscovered if he hadn’t lighted the way for me. In my opinion, he was the greatest.”



Related posts: