Faux fur from Helen Moore is the best Winter (and beyond) accessory for a vintage girl. And if you wonder who would wear faux fur in the Summer, wonder no more because I definitely would wear it regardless of the season. Their sumptuous and very 1930s looking Slim Vixen scarf being the perfect example, as it would make for an ideal addition to a vintage floor length evening gown. It would also look divine paired with a couture blouse with short sleeves and a longer 1940s skirt.
I’ve been dreaming about a 1930s kimono robe ever since I saw Marlene Dietrich wearing one in Shanghai Express. The 1931 visual masterpiece directed by Josef von Sternberg.
The breathtaking 1930s kimono robe you see me wearing in the pictures is one of my most cherished vintage pieces. It was a gift from Letia, the Queen of vintage kimonos herself, owner of Daggers and Dames, where you will find truly extraordinary vintage lingerie.
I remember opening the incredibly well-packed garment and immediately falling in love with the magnificent shade of teal. The kimono is made of silk crepe with floral lace panels throughout and what makes it really special for me, is that it’s adorned with hand-painted cranes. Very similar to the ones on Dietrich’s robes in the photographs above. It’s definitely the most dramatic dressing gown I’ve ever owned and it’s a piece I wouldn’t hesitate to wear on a red carpet.
When the DC Thomson publishing company approached me, asking if I would be interested in sharing some of the 1950s tips and cooking recipes they had published on their blog, I was intrigued to find out more about the book that the recipes had come from.
Winter is a harsh mistress, making icicles of us all and sadly the vintage girl is not the exception. With the temperature dropping rapidly and way below my cold-threshold, I need to take extreme measures to stay warm. Not an easy thing to do without compromising my vintage look.
How to dress vintage when it’s cold is a nagging question I’ve been trying to find an answer to, for the past few years and I believe I’ve finally got it!
It’s all fine and dandy to wear your favourite vintage suit or slacks underneath a lightweight coat if the temperature in Autumn and Winter is mild. When it gets to – 5ºC however and you have a very low tolerance to cold, the idea of swapping your stylish boots for a pair of UGGs sounds better and better the colder it gets.
Staying warm without compromising vintage style can be rather tricky, but I have few ideas which might help my fellow vintage ladies. [Scroll down the page to find out more!]
How to dress vintage when it’s cold. In the picture, I’m wearing a 1940s wool houndstooth tweed skirt suit paired with a vintage purse, Lea Wolford tights and Megumi-O sunglasses.
Autumn is without a doubt my favourite time of the year. It’s the most vintage friendly season, as long as it’s not raining that is, when I can wear a 1950s skirt suit, like the Handmacher beauty in the picture below, or a dress, without the need of having to cover it with a coat.
"Old age ain't no place for sissies.”
Beautiful Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve
I heard someone say once that the 'beast' known as Hollywood forgives everything from a small indiscretion, to a huge scandal even a month at a Betty Ford clinic but not birthdays. This resonates so well with a quote attributed to the great Miss Bette ...
Establishing the year in which a particular vintage garment was made, can be a very tricky and daunting task, especially when there are no tags attached, as is the case with a lot of garments made in the 1930s-1950s which were often handmade or the tags did not survive the wear and tear of time. Some of my most valuable 1940s suits were clearly made to measure by a seamstress and judging by the fabrics used, as well as the incredible craft that went into making them, the clients were undoubtedly very well to do.
As much as the topic of the history of vintage clothes is a never-ending learning curve for me, there are certain ways by which I’m able to identify and date most but not all of my collected pieces. I’ve been asked many times by readers to write a post about that very topic and I hope my tips will be useful!
Beautiful porcelain cameo earrings and pendant by POPORCELAIN.
What are vintage girls dreams made of? That’s a question capable of opening a potential Pandora’s Box of answers, as all vintage girls are surely made different, we pride ourselves on our individuality and yet we covet so many of the same things. Now don’t play coy, I think you all know what I mean ladies, in a word it’s called ‘Etsy’. Aside from the good fight, when I’m not favouriting items on Etsy, I can often be found going full Magpie, scavenging through antique markets in search of yet another piece to add to my growing collection. Accessories are always top of the list and at the top of that list would be antique cameo brooches which apart from their beauty, hold a dark secret in that their origins can be traced, according to the famed English Egyptologist and Orientalist Sir Wallis Budge, to a talisman on which ancient spells were carved.
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 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
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. ...