Tag Archives Joan Crawford inspired look

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, it 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.

Joan knew from the early days of her career that there was more to being a movie star than just having a talent. She understood that creating a strong persona, an image if you like, could be achieved with the help of a costumier and who better to help her with achieving the goal than one of the biggest costume designers of the 1930s-1940s, known as Adrian, whom she later described as the greatest costume designer among all designers. And who could disagree with her statement, after all, the creative genius was not only responsible for designing costumes for some of Joan’s iconic films such as; Dancing Lady, Our Blushing Brides, Mannequin, The Bride Wore Red, Letty Lynton (The Letty Lynton white organdy dress was the most copied dress in the world in the 1930s!) to name just a few but he is also credited for the  famous wide-shoulder look, synonymous with Crawford even today. 

It’s a look that suits me really well (in fact the bigger the shoulder pads the better) and one of the main reasons why my wardrobe consists mainly of garments from the 1930s and 1940s.

Without further ado I present you with my Joan Crawford inspired look which consists of;

  • True 1940s cocktail dress, which I bought from XTABAY vintage shop on Etsy
  • Acne shoes
  • costume ring bought many moons ago in Paris

 

 

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford photographed by George Hurrell in 1936

 

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford inspired look

Joan Crawford inspired hair.

Joan Crawford in Adrian

Joan Crawford

vintage fashion blog

My Joan Crawford inspired look consists of true 1940s dress and Acne shoes. “You have to be self-reliant and strong to survive in this town. Otherwise you will be destroyed.”

Joan Crawford inspired look

I think that the most important thing a woman can have – next to talent, of course – is her hairdresser.” Joan Crawford

Vintage fashion blog

“I have always known what I wanted, and that was beauty… in every form.” Joan Crawford

1940s dress

Joan Crawford inspired look. “Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford look

Channeling my inner Joan Crawford in a beautiful 1930s inspired gown from 1683 Atelier.

 

 

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.

For a complete novice it would be advisable to start with something as straight-forward as pairing a dress, skirt or slacks from a contemporary designer with a piece of vintage jewellery or a bag. For those who feel a little bit more courageous, I would recommend buying a vintage dress, if you like dresses that is, which is suitable for your figure and pair it with contemporary shoes. In fact all my shoes are from contemporary designers; I’m utterly addicted to French Sole velvet slippers that go perfectly with all my 1940s suits and dresses. Also, I’m a huge fan of hosiery with bold prints which both Wolford and Chantal Thomass are a great choice for. Though you may feel that this will just look oddball, keep in mind that almost every designer that I can think of, takes inspiration from vintage and antique clothes, so matching them with the real deal shouldn’t be a problem.

Here are some further bullet point thoughts –

  • For those who are only just starting their adventure with vintage fashion, I would highly recommend investing in a skirt suit! I often wear 1940s and 1950s skirts with a contemporary blouse, or a 1940s jacket with modern jodhpurs for the very comfortable equestrian look. As I found out the hard way though, it doesn’t work for horse riding and if you thought what I’d mentioned before would make you look like an oddball, wait until you see the looks you’ll get riding through Richmond Park in London wearing this mix of modern and vintage.
  • The most important rule to remember is wear only what you feel comfortable in! I cannot stress this enough, as there is really no point in spending your hard earned money on a pretty but impractical collection which will spend it’s days as a wardrobe display.
  • You can never go wrong with a 1930s or 1940s coat no matter what you wear underneath. In fact some vintage coats are such a work of art that there is really no point in taking them off 🙂 
  • Try different things; mixing a vintage dress with a very contemporary belt or the other way around.

It might take you years before you are truly comfortable with finding what works and what doesn’t in mixing vintage fashion with contemporary designers but don’t get discouraged, you will get there eventually and please don’t forget that you are working on refining your personal style and at the end of the day you are the one who has to be happy with it!

I’m very fortunate to be friends with truly creative individuals and one of them is Sandell, a renowned stylist with the biggest private collections of 90s Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Moschino and Valentino that I’ve had the fortune of perusing. Imagine my happiness when she let me “move in” to her walk-in closet for a day and let me use some extraordinary pieces from her archives so that I can show you how to mix my vintage pieces with contemporary designers. 

 

Look1

In the picture taken by Gregory Michael King I’m wearing a true 1940s skirt paired with cropped top from 1683 Atelier and Lulu Guiness Lips clutch.

Vintage fashion with a modern twist

Mixing vintage fashion with contemporary designers can be a lot of fun! In the picture I’m wearing a true 1940s skirt paired with cropped top from 1683 Atelier and Lulu Guiness Lips clutch.

Look2 

1940s skirt with a top and stall from 1683 Atelier, Vivienne Westwood shoes and Wolford tights.

Vintage inspired look

Another example of mixing vintage fashion with contemporary designers. I paired my 1940s skirt with a top and stall from 1683 Atelier, Vivienne Westwood shoes and Wolford tight.

Look3

1950s woollen skirt pared with Crawfish blouse and clutch from 1683 Atelier, Wolford tights and Vivienne Westwood shoes.

1950s skirt, Wolford tights and Westwood shoes

Another example of mixing vintage fashion this time from 1950s with contemporary designers! In the picture I’m wearing a true 1950s woollen skirt pared with Crawfish blouse and clutch from 1683 Atelier, Wolford tights and Vivienne Westwood shoes.

Look4

velvet evening gown by 1683 Atelier paired with Vivienne Westwood shoes and Wolford tights.

Vintage fashion blogger

Stunning vintage inspired velvet evening gown by 1683 Atelier paired with Vivienne Westwood shoes and Wolford tights.

Look5

Vivienne Westwood 1940s inspired coat and shoes,  Moschino bag and Wolford tights.

Vintage Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood 1940s inspired coat and Moschino bag courtesy of Sandelsstyling who has the biggest collection of 90s Westwood, McQueen, Moschino, Chanel and the list goes on and on.

Moschino Millenium bag

The Devil is in the detail. Moschino milk carton bag.

Look6

Vintage inspired dress from 1683 Atelier paired with Vivienne Westwood shoes.

Vintage inspired look

Beautiful vintage inspired dress from 1683 Atelier paired with Vivienne Westwood shoes.

Look7

1950s jacket with a skirt from 1683 Atelier, Moschino bag and Wolford tights.

Vintage fashion blogger

Mixing vintage fashion with contemporary designers. For this look I paired a 1950s Handmacher jacket with a skirt from 1683 Atelier, Moschino bag and Wolford tights.

Look8

1930s inspired gown from 1683 Atelier.

Mixing vintage fashion with contemporary designers.Vintage fashion blogger

Channeling my innerJoan Crawford in  a beautiful 1930s inspired gown from 1683 Atelier.