Vintage Fashion Blog

How to wear leopard print!

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If someone told me a few years ago, that in their clairvoyant vision of my future they saw me wearing garments with leopard print, or any print for that matter, I would most likely come back with a malevolent response worthy of Dorothy Parker and members of the Algonquin Round Table. The reason for such a strong reaction to wearing anything that’s not black was that that the only other colour I would have ever considered was a darker shade of black. 

I have a very vague recollection of when exactly and why I opened up to wearing a variety of colours such as red, green, purple and even pink but I do remember the discovery and instant  love with leopard print, which was brought to me in a form of  Dolce and Gabbana lingerie. A brand new world of stepping out of my comfort zone gave me the courage of experimenting with clothes, not only undergarment,  I previously dismissed due to their patterns.

Christian Dior and the Parisian fashion icons from the Adam Leja collection

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Christian Dior is undoubtedly one of my favourite Haute Couture designers of the 1940s and 1950s. His spring collection of 1947 will forever be known as The New Look, a name attributed to Carmel Snow, the Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, as it was she who said at the end of Dior’s first collection “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!” Full skirts in sumptuous fabrics, perfectly tailored, fitted jackets creating the illusion of tiny wasp-like waist is definitely my ideal of beauty and female sensuality as well as sexuality. To me Dior’s creations from that era will always be synonymous with the perfect silhouette and immaculate workmanship so apparent in the tailoring of al his glorious designs. The opinion that was clearly shared by Australians as in the spring of 1948 David Jones, a department store in Sydney, organised a fashion parade of fifty Christian Dior creations, the first complete Dior collection to be shown outside Paris. So it comes as no surprise that 70 years later the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia hosted an exhibition entitled The House of Dior: Seventy Years Of Haute Couture.

1950s Handmacher suit

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1950s Handmacher suit To say that I have 1940s and 1950s skirt suits in abundance would be an understatement as it's my number one choice when buying vintage. I can never resist the immaculate tailoring that 1950s suits are so synonymous with and when it comes to a choice between the perfect vintage dress and equally perfect suit, I usually end-up purchasing the latter. ...

Xtabay vintage shop of the week!

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Those of you who read my last post entitled "Joan Crawford inspired look" are probably already familiar with Xtabay Vintage shop where I found the most perfect 1940s cocktail dress that I believe Crawford herself would have approved of! If however this is the first time you are hearing about this shop extraordinaire, may I present you now with the perfect ...

Joan Crawford inspired look

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Joan Crawford inspired look

Partaking in my pleasure for being a dissolute designer of lists, if I was to name only five of my favourite movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s, it would have to be without doubt or hesitation; Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich and of course the Queen Bee herself, Joan Crawford who I’ve taken ample inspiration from for my latest look which should not be confused with me trying to be a copycat but rather seen as an Ode to an actresses who I’ve been fascinated with since the age of seven.

The queen of the silver screen once famously said “I never go outside unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.” Always glamorous, known on and off the movie set for being a true perfectionist, with a distinctive style adorned and copied by fans all over the world. How powerful her influence on the public really was we learn from the August edition of Click magazine printed in 1938 “The greatest fashion influence in America, stylists now sadly admit, is the much-glamourized, much-imitated movie queen. What she wears is news, eagerly copied by girls all over country who want to look like Crawford or Loy. The most widely imitated star, Joan Crawford, started more girls wearing kerchiefs for hats.” Which almost ruined the $250,000,000 millinery business.

Mixing vintage fashion with contemporary designers

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Mixing vintage fashion with contemporary designers

More and more often, I’m being asked by readers for tricks on how to mix vintage pieces from the 1920s to 1950s with those of contemporary designers. The thinking behind this, being to avoid looking too costumy or like an extra from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking liked you’ve just stepped out from a scene, playing the part of a murderess in Miss Fisher, I would almost be willing to sell out Mr de Merteuil to medical experimentation for such a privileged opportunity, as I’d very much to be fighting crime in a 1920s couture gown along with the glamorous Miss Fisher. Back to the topic at hand however, the answer to the question is very simple, take one garment at a time.

The Value of Vintage Clothing: Demystifying Modern Cost of Vintage!

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The Value of Vintage Clothing: Demystifying the Modern Cost of Vintage! I’m neither a fashion historian nor a fashion journalist rather I’m a real aficionado of vintage fashion with a proclivity for conducting extensive research on the topic of fashion from 1930s-1950s. So let's just say I'm fashion journalist adjacent. Though I don't think that I would ever introduce myself to someone ...

Sultry Vintage shop of the week!

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Sultry Vintage shop of the week is one of those magical places where you will always find something that will be the perfect addition to your vintage wardrobe. Even if you already have two dozen 1940s day dresses or in my case velvet boleros, Lauren, the lady behind Sultry Vintage, constantly adds irresistible new pieces to her Etsy shop and you ...

Crush Vintage shop of the week!

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Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentleman! For my weekly Q&A in the Vintage Shop Of The Week section, which you can read more about  HERE! I present you with Crush Vintage, run by two friends whose mutual passion for vintage fashion led to the creation of a a shop filled with real treasures for savvy vintage shoppers like myself and ...

Vintage fashion blog – the reason behind mine

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Vintage fashion blog – the reason behind mine

A quick introduction to my new readers!

My name is Dominique de Merteuil and I’m the creator of It’s Beyond My Control, a vintage fashion blog that I started back in 2012. In the beginning and for the first 3 years, I have to admit, I lacked focus with the blog. I changed the entire outlook and direction in 2015 and that’s the year when all the pieces fell into place, finally made sense and I consider this to be the true ‘birth’ year of my vintage fashion blog with a modern twist.

Discover vintage inspired hats by Allginnedup!

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Vintage inspired hats! “If I was a woman, I would be dressed in the same thing for a month and just change my hat and gloves. Maybe my shoes too; yes, I see what you mean but, really, it’s jewels that change an outfit.” Manolo Blahnik Any lady or vintage vixen should not be seen without a hat and gloves (you can read about the ...

Gilda and Pearl – silk pyjamas for vintage vixens!

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“Movie star, oh movie star!” If I could get away with wearing silk pyjamas worthy of my 1930s and 40s film heroines (think Veronica Lake, Joan Crawford or Rita Hayworth) as daywear, I certainly would have no reservations in doing just that! After all, Coco Chanel herself was a huge fan of such attire and was often seen wearing her PJs ...