Tag Archive | 40′s

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Remembering Ingrid Bergman


Ingrid Bergman 8/29/15 - 8/29/82

Ingrid Bergman 8/29/15 – 8/29/82

Today marks the anniversary of Ingrid Bergman’s birth and death.  She was born in Sweden on August 29, 1915 and passed away 67 years – to the day -  after a battle with cancer.  During that time she had an acting career that spanned five decades and won her three Oscars, 2 Emmys and a Tony Award.  She was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1940′s.

I  loved her in Gaslight (1944) , where she played a woman being driven mad by her husband.  Some of us can surely relate to that :)  This was one of her Oscar-winning roles.

My other favorite role she played was Lisa Lund in the romantic WW2 drama, Casablanca (1942) which in my opinion,  is one of the greatest films of all time


Ingrid Berman in a publicity still for Casablanca

Ingrid Bergman in a publicity still for Casablanca (1942)

Perhaps the most iconic look of the film (along with Humphrey Bogart’s trench coat) were Ingrid’s smart and chic midi-skirt suits and wide brimmed hats.  And while the film doesn’t have any lavish ballgowns or over-the-top outfits,  the costumes,  designed by the great Orry-Kelly, are some of my favorites and a true reflection of some fabulous forties fashion.


Ingrid Bergman in a sheer belted dress for Casablanca. (1942)

Ingrid Bergman in a sheer leaf print dress for Casablanca. (1942)

This striped look is one of my all-time top movie outfits! Paired with that hat and those white shoes it is pure perfection!

Ingrid Bergman in stripes for a publicity photo. (Casablanca 1942)

Ingrid Bergman in stripes for a publicity photo.  (Casablanca 1942)

Ingrid was known for her pure and natural beauty – and this sleek white suit lets her good looks do the talking.

Ingrid Bergman in a white Orry-Kelly suit. (1942)

Ingrid Bergman in a white Orry-Kelly suit. (1942)

Ingrid also showcased some great Hitchcock heroine style in the film Notorious (1946),  with costumes by Edith Head.  This was the first film Head worked on with Hitchcock and the two went on to work on many films together.  “Every costume is indicated when he sends me the script,”  Head wrote in her memoir. “There is always a story reason behind his thinking, an effort to characterize.

Ingrid Bergman in an Edith Head design for the film Notorious. (1946)

Ingrid Bergman in an Edith Head design for the film Notorious. (1946)

And how about this next outfit . . . a zebra print crop top!  Who expected that in the 1940s? And little trivia if you haven’t seen the film – there’s an epic smooch scene between Bergman and Cary Grant that lasts over 2 minutes – totally scandalous for the forties!

Edith Head design for the Hitchcock film Notorious. 1946

Edith Head design for the Hitchcock film Notorious. 1946

And of course this androgynous look is just genius for Bergman’s spy character.

Ingrid Bergman in Notorious. 1946

Ingrid Bergman in Notorious. 1946

Ingrid Bergman was definitely one of the great style icons of the 1940s -  her film fashion went right along with the characters she played – strong and smart but still fabulously feminine and chic!

What’s your favorite Ingrid Bergman film?

Have a glamorous day!



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Peplum Trend-Now and Then

The definition of a peplum from the Oxford dictionary-”a short gathered or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s jacket, dress, or blouse to create a hanging frill or flounce” .   The description really doesn’t do it justice though because there are  a myriad of  configurations of this flirty style element.  And they all  take a garment to a whole new level of  femininity.   As evidenced by the spring and fall 2012 collections, many designers are resurrecting the peplum, which was very much in vogue back in the 1940s.   Of course I think this is actually one of those classic looks  that never really goes out of style.  It really flatters many figures by emphasizing the hourglass silhouette.

NOW -Here are some current looks from the runways.

Top left to right- Jason Wu, next two Alexander McQueen spring 2012
Bottom left to right- Zac Posen, next two Lanvin fall 2012

peplum 2012 designer collections

Peplum Trend in the 2012 designer collections

 THEN- And here are  what peplum fashions looked like  back in the 1940s

peplum dress  lucien lelong 47 vogue

Vogue 1947 Peplum dress by Lucien Lelong

Mollie Parnis peplum dress Vogue 1947

Mollie Parnis peplum dress Vogue 1947

peplum jacket Paris Collections 1946

1943 Peplum Jacket- Fashion illustration of Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vramant designs.

paris couture collections la femme chic 1942

1942 Fashion illustration of peplum dresses from the Paris couture collections

And here are a couple of  cute peplum blouses we recently added to the website.   Pair with a pencil skirt for a fabulous femme fatale 40s look!

Black polka dot peplum top

Black polka dot peplum top with sash

Blue chiffon wrap style peplum top

Blue chiffon wrap style peplum top

What do you think? Is the peplum look for you?


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Ladies Home Journal-June 1945 Summer Fashions

It’s the merry month of  June and I just happen to have a June 1945 issue of Ladies Home Journal in my possession. So I thought I’d do a few posts featuring some of the content in the magazine so you can see what the trends were  in  fashion, beauty, food and home decor  65 years ago, at a time when World War II was almost, but not quite over.

In 1945 clothing still reflected the rationing of fabrics due to the war effort.    So many styles tended to be on the more conservative side.   But luckily there was no shortage of fabulous accessories to keep women from glamming up their outfits.  There were eyecatching hats, elbow length gloves,  costume jewelry, unique handbags and even hairstyles that incorporated elaborate curls and rolls to spice up your look.

Here is a lovely, understated outfit consisting of a black crepe skirt with a black eyelet peplum blouse. Note the black mesh hat with the spray of daisies trailing down the side designed  by famous milliner,  Lilly Dache.

Model wearing Lilly Dache hat-June 1945

Model wearing Lilly Dache hat-June 1945

The American sportswear industry really took off  in the 1940s due to the fact that designers could no longer depend on Paris for their design inspiration coupled with the fabric rationing and the increasingly casual lifestyle of American women.  All the photos below feature chic, easy care casual  outfits for the summer of ’45.

These first two photos are of Mrs. Howard Hawks, wife of the famous Hollywood  producer. She’s wearing a  lovely halter dress and a stylish shirtwaist dress. Both in rayon jersey.  Mrs. Hawks ended up being named one of the 10 best dressed women of the year in 1947.  She is also responsible for launching Lauren Bacall’s movie career. Upon seeing her picture on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, she showed her husband who immediately flew Ms. Bacall to Hollywood and cast her opposite Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not.”   It’s obvious Mrs. Hawks had impeccable taste.

Mrs Howard Hawks wearing a halter dress-1945

Mrs Howard Hawks wearing a halter dress-1945

Mrs Howard Hawks in a striped shirtwaist dress-1945

Mrs Howard Hawks in a striped shirtwaist dress-1945

And for poolside and seaside women often wore playsuits with boy cut shorts or with skirts like the outfit below.  Isn’t this two piece black and white gingham bra top and swim skirt adorable?

Gingham two piece swimsuit-1945

Gingham two piece swimsuit-1945

Novelty prints on cotton and rayon were another way to add interest to sportswear. And with many servicemen coming back from the South Pacific with stories and souveniers,  anything with a tropical or Hawaiian motif became very popular.  Here is actress Ella Raines modelling a halter bra and sarong made from Hollywood pattern #1581.  I would wear this in a heartbeat!

Ella Raines wears tropical print halter top and sarong-1945

Ella Raines wears tropical print halter top and sarong-1945

Stay tuned for beauty 1945 Style!

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New Additions-Special Occasion Dresses

More retro glamorous  special occasion dresses have been added recently to the Blue Velvet Vintage site.   We want to make sure you’re the classiest dame ever at your upcoming holiday parties, proms and fancy dress balls!

Have a look at our latest beauties.  To see more recently added  evening gowns and party dresses be sure to visit our “What’s New” page.

Recently added special occasion dresses at Blue Velvet Vintage

Recently added special occasion dresses at Blue Velvet Vintage

1. Deco inspired midnight blue satin mermaid gown

2. Authentic 1950s vintage  strapless black lace party dress

3. Gold satin beaded, sequined vintage style mermaid gown

4. Mad Men style black cocktail suit with mink fur trim.

5. Elegant burgundy chiffon vintage style goddess gown

6.  40s style black chiffon glamour gown w/sarong style skirt

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The Playsuit-A hot retro look for summer

Playsuits, onesies, rompers, no matter what you choose to call them,  they are a hot retro look for summer.  So release your inner pinup and get yourself into one of these  sassy little outfits. They’re a more feminine and glamorous alternative to shorts and a tank top.

Below are photos of Dita Von Teese rocking this look. The nautical print is a vintage inspired style by Dolce and Gabbana. The red one looks like authentic vintage.  Of course, she looks absolutely fabulous in both.

dita-von-teese nautical playsuit

Check out the cherry necklace. That and the hat really pull the look together. Love  the sunglasses and shoes too!


Below are some vintage playsuits available on line.

For sale at Black Swan Vintage on Etsy-$60.00


60s vintage playsuit-size small

60s vintage playsuit-size small

The next two are for sale at Blue Velvet Vintage Clothing and Retro Fashion

The full shorts on this 40S/50s vintage playsuit gives the illusion of a skirt.

vintage pinup playsuit

Hot pink and white vintage playsuit-size large

50′s vintage playsuit in an unusual ethnic floral print.


1950s vintage playsuit-size small

1950s vintage playsuit-size small

To shop  vintage inspired and authentic vintage  playsuits click here!




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Baby, it’s cold outside! Time for a stylish vintage coat.

Ok, so it's only been 65 degrees here,  which may not seem that cold to most people. But after living in Florida for many years,  it feels absolutely frigid to me!  I know, I know. I'm a wimp.   Sometimes it actually even dips into the 40's down here.  And that's when I wish I had myself a fabulous vintage winter coat.  So I did some searching and here are the ones I'm fantasizing about wearing during the next cold snap. If I had one of these lovelies to keep me warm,  I might not mind those occasional drops in temperature.

This first one is from the late 40s/early 50s. Flattering "New Look" style in black wool with fantastic black velvet diamond appliques. From Couture Allure Vintage-  $300.00

Black coat

Love red and love leopard.  An unbeatable combination in this 60's 3/4 length coat from Dorothea's Closet -$155.00

Red coat

Glamorous 1970s cream color wool coat with fox collar, Lilli Rubin label- at auction on Ebay, but you can scoop it up for $249.00 with a "Buy it Now" – from Northstar Vintage

White lilli rubin coat

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Nataya dresses now at Blue Velvet Vintage

Am very excited to report that I've just added a lovely selection of dresses by Nataya to my website. I've always admired her feminine vintage inspired designs and am now very happy to be able to offer them to my customers.

Inga Nataya Bogomolny started designing clothing when she was 11 years old.  When her family moved to the United States from Uzbekistan, in 1990, she attended the LA County School for the Arts and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. After learning the fashion trade as a designer for Papillon, she started her own line in 1996.

Her clothing is often referred to as "wearable art"  because of the generous use of embroidery, beading and various other ornamentation incorporated into her outfits.  Inspiration comes from the Belle Epoque and Baroque periods, with a 20's, 30's or 40's flair.  Sensuous, bohemian, ethereal, romantic and glamorous are appropriate words to accurately describe her creations.

Below are a few of the styles I just added.  They certainly are enchanting alternatives for those seeking a less formal look for their prom or wedding.  And if you've got a fancy cocktail party to attend or a special date, these unique creations will definitely leave a lasting impression!  I can also special order other colors, sizes and styles.

From the Montmartre Doll collection- Beaded and embroidered black satin dress


20's Style ivory layered chiffon and crepe dress


Blue cotton slip dress with antique beige chiffon overlay


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Our vintage reproduction dress big hit at 40′s event

It's always exciting when customers email me about how happy they are with their purchases from my website, especially if they include details about a special occasion they wore an outfit for, compliments received, etc. But I'm doubly thrilled if they send pictures of themselves wearing what they bought. 

Two recent emails from a satisfied customer included all of the above, and made me so happy, I just had to share.  She purchased two of our vintage reproduction halter dresses for a 40s event that she and her husband were attending. Her first email after receiving the dresses said……

"I already received my order today!  The dresses are AWESOME!  I love the fabric
and the authentic style! THank YOU!
I will take pics of my husband and I
at our event and then email them onto you!"

And after their event, I received the following….

Our weekend was a huge success!  The dress I wore had an amazing
response! In fact, I won a costume contest in it!"

She also forwarded these unbelievably cool photos of herself and her husband at the event and gave me permission to post them on my site.  She's wearing our red, white and blue daisy print halter dress and looks absolutely adorable in it.

40s party 3 

40s party 2 

40s party 4

I know I don't speak just for myself when I say,  feedback like this for an online retailer makes all the hard work and long hours it takes to run our sites worthwhile.  The orders come in and we pack and ship them off,  very often never getting an opportunity to interact directly with the customer.  Though there are many advantages to having an ecommerce clothing business, you do miss that face to face interaction you get in a bricks and mortar store.  If you love fashion, then you can imagine how much fun it can be to help a customer put together an outfit for a special event! That's why letters and photos such as these are so appreciated and mean so much. It helps to personalize the online experience for us, and our customers.

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Good deals on vintage style Faryl Robin shoes

I know I've posted before about Faryl Robin. This designer makes some of the coolest vintage inspired shoes. Platforms, peeptoe and slingback styles that look absolutely smashing with 40's and 50's clothing.

Well I just discovered  6pm.com, a webite selling many of my favorite Faryl Robin styles and they're marked down 50%!  The reasonable prices make it too tempting to order just one pair.  Below is a small selection of the many styles offered at a discount on their site.

Faryl robin shoes

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Introducing our latest vintage reproduction dress

Just in time for summer, here's a peek at the latest vintage reproduction dress design we're offering at Blue Velvet Vintage. Created in five different prints, two tropical florals, a Hawaiian tiki travel print,  a pink and white polka dot and a cute retro daisy print.  We named it the "Coquette" because of it's adorably flirty style.  Inspired by sundresses from the 40s snd 50s, they've even got metal zippers just like authentic vintage dresses!

We were fortunate to have the lovely Miss Amanda Lee modelling the dresses for us.   Amanda is a pinup model who bears a striking resemblance to Betty Grable. Among her many talents, she's also an expert on 1940's vintage hair and makeup techniques. Check out her My Space Page to read more about her.


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