Monday, August 30, 2010

La Baronne D'Anthropologie, Part Two

One of my everyday fall staple items is knitted sweater coats.  I have a rich berry colored one that was my grandmother's in the 1960s that I have almost worn to tatters.  I am sure La Baronne D'Anthropologie would note their comparability to 30s knitted swagger coats and snap a couple of these lovelies from the Anthropologie shop (as exorbitantly priced as they are).  I suspect she would be drawn towards the plaid patterning in the first one and the goldenrod colour of the second (a hue that is both strikingly modern and yet versions of this color seem to have been popular in the 30s and onward). To keep up with her posh cousin, the Baroness Von Vintage would be up late nights secretly knitting her own knockoffs, using pattern books depicting the latest Parisian styles.

Side note: sweater coats are great for achieving a late 20s/early 30s country look (idea when paired with a tailored shirt, tie, jodhpurs, knee boots).  A similar late 30s/early 40s version of this look is the Land Girl uniform

Sunday, August 29, 2010

La Baronne D'Anthropologie, Part One

You are acquainted with Baroness Von Vintage.  Time to meet her cousin, La Baronne D'Anthropologie.  ;)  Seriously, though, I've pored over the goodies on the Anthropologie site and selected the items that I think a 1930s Baroness of robust financial means, transported to the 21st century, would purchase as part of an outlandish spree.

  Outfit #1:  Modern Day Lady of the Manor theme (a la Gosford Park)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

20s Argyle Legwear Look

On one of my many internet excursions, I came across this amazing 1920s illustration depicting a stylish set of sporty gals wearing the most fabulous argyle-y plaid stockings.  By coincidence, I spotted some tights on the Anthropologie website that are close enough in style that one could get a similar look.  (Side note: can you believe I have NEVER been inside an Anthropologie shop and this was my first visit to their website? Yep, tis true! My excuse: this company has not been in Canada all that long).  Anyway, what do you think of this legwear look?  Adorable or horrible? Note that brown with yellow and yellow with brown, a chic 30s combination, was clearly au courant in the 20s as well!  Goodnight, lovelies!

Pretties for Pettigrew

I had planned to keep my main blog and my Etsy shop blog separate, so as not to barrage non-shopping bloggers with my shop wares, but I couldn't resist posting the Gatsby dress selection and now this post here as well. Yes, I'm a temptress. Feel free to look away ;)

I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking the costumes in the 2008 movie Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day are just absolutely dreamy.  Well, it has come to my mind that at least three frocks in my Etsy shop are Pettigrew Perfect.   Specifically, the late 30s midnight blue velvet dress shown below is a ringer for the one Miss Guinevere P. wears in the climactic lounge scene of the film; the middle blue chiffon evening gown and jacket set would be divine on Pettigrew's charge, Delicia LaFosse (though I believe it is mid-30s, whereas the film is late 30s, the color and style would look heavenly on her); the third exquisite black with white soutache trim frock would look dazzling on Miss P., though I think the chic shop owner who gives Miss P. her high fashion makeover would keep it for herself.  All these Pettigrew Pretties are for sale in my Etsy shop.  Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Look Like an Egyptian

Hurrah! My first fashion history article, "Look Like an Egyptian," which I contributed to the Silicon Web Costumers' Guild's e-journal, The Virtual Costumer, is now available for download

Gatsby Garb

Okay, if I haven't scared you off the Gatsby Picnic with my previous post, here are some items from my Etsy shop that I think seem to fit the "How to Gatsby" criteria listed on the Art Deco Society of California's website. (My shoes are all wrong, though...and they're not for sale anyway). Now you just will need to find a hat, gloves, purse, and jewelry.

1920s Two Piece Silk Dress

Early 1930s Sheer Dress with attached Capelet collar

Early 1930s Ruffle Sleeved Floral Sheer Organdy Dress

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baronial Blunders and the Bliss of Blogging

One of the MANY things I love about vintage fashion blogging is that I am constantly learning new things.  In this past year and a bit that I've been blogging, I've learned SO much about myself, about photography, and about translating textual and visual examples of vintage style into real life.  One of the things I've learned about myself:  I'm certainly not perfect and not shy about admitting when I blunder.  What joy would there be in denying there is always room for improvement!?  Another thing I've learned: when I am passionate about something, I am incredibly tenacious and tireless in my effort to constantly improve and learn more!

Example of something I've learned through blogging: several months ago I bought a lovely hat which a vendor had told me was from the early 1930s.  I had seen similar hats in my 1930-31 books and magazines, so I felt it was a reasonably accurate dating.  However, when I first had encountered the hat, it had been placed on a hat form with the low brim in front, making it look more like an eyebrow-hiding flapper chapeau.  Still, trusting her judgment, I took it home and resolved to try it on with my various vintage dresses.

Image Source
Silly gal that I am, I even did an outfit post involving this hat and a more mid-30s dress.  Even though my instinct was telling me something was a bit off about the way I was wearing it and/or the dress I was wearing it with, I had fun with the post and enjoyed the resulting photos enough to post them for all to see.  Today, I was organizing my hat collection and happened to look inside this hat for some reason.  I noticed that there was a seam that seemed to indicate the true front and back of the hat were in completely different locations from what I had been told and from how I had worn it.  Oopsy!!

Now, the non-purists among us would say "who cares?" and the fearless "try-er-on-er" in me says, "Hm! Interesting! Never knew that! Oh well! Live and learn!" HOWEVER, after poring over the elaborate rules and regulations set forth by the hosts of the annual Gatsby Picnic on their website, I thought I would mention this story because, apparently, had I sallied forth in the above ensemble to such an event, wearing an early 30s hat on backwards (gasp!) and with a mid-30s dress (double gasp!), I would surely have been refused entry to the festivities.  Possible textual proof, from the Art Deco Society of California's "How to Gatsby" fashion and accessories pages:  "1931 Sears Roebuck Catalog - This illustration is a 1931 dress and what looks like a 20s hat. There was a brief transition between the flat figure of the 20s and the tailored 30s where you could wear a cloche (or cloche-ish) hat with the 30s silhouette. You may never wear a 30s hat with a 20s dress; the look didn't phase out that way."    NEVER?  Um, okay, fashion police.  Sorry about that. Well, at least I didn't actually ever do a 30s hat with a 20s dress and in the case of my early 30s hat-mid 30s dress post, I could claim mild ignorance, but you get the idea.  Some people are fussier than others about this kind of stuff.  Personally, I have always found the 30s so fascinating and frustratingly difficult to mimick because rather drastic changes occur in almost each year of that decade.  Anyway, I guess one of the morals of this story might be that if you are attending the Gatsby event, make sure to do your fashion homework or there MAY be fashion fusspots ready to accost you!! You think I'm kidding, don't you?  :) One thing is for certain, you may find yourself being "classed" into one of the listed groups "beginner, intermediate, or Deco Diva," so if you want to be a "Deco Diva," be sure to check your ensemble before you Charleston your way out the door (disclaimer: I've never been to this event, so I am being cheeky here and going solely by the tone of the web info).

There you have it.  For all my baronial aspirations, I fear this faux aristocrat still has MUCH MUCH more to learn about the sartorial rules of yesteryore!  Hey, that's okay! Right?  Below is a photo of the hat that I believe is now worn the right way forward and with a more appropriate type of dress.  I say appropriate because the capelet-ed dress I had worn it with was not only from the mid-30s, but it was more of a sporty spectator style frock, better worn with a MID-30s swagger type hat, whereas this early 30s straw hat seems better suited for wear with a similarly summer-y EARLY 30s dress like the one below.  Whew... now if I could just get better at taking indoor photos....and if I could figure out WHY the fonts keep changing in this post.  GA!

Outfit Details:
Early 1930s brown straw hat: Christie's Antique Fair
Early 1930s sheer cotton dress: eBay
1960s Etienne Aigner shoes: etsy

Fabulous Fudge-y Fall Foliage Frocks

Clearly, rich dark fudge-y chocolate brown rayon dresses were very much a la mode in the 30s.  I love the fall foliage-themed patterns and dramatic neckline details (such as bows) that were often paired with them.  Examples for sale on Etsy right now (excuse me as I twice give my shop a little shameless plug..well, sorta.  The first dress I bought from Fab Gabs for myself but it has never quite fit me properly so now it's in my shop).
1930s Bishop Sleeve Dress, Adeline's Attic Vintage
1930s Acorn Dress, Fab Gabs Vintage
1930s Fall Foliage Crepe Rayon Dress, Adeline's Attic Vintage

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

30s Fashion Show

The dress and suit from the last post look like they fell out of a 30s fashion show not unlike the one in this lovely video (though the vid. shows spring and summer)! PS: I first saw this on Porcelina's lovely blog.

The Ultimate Baronial Frocks

Okay, my 60s detour was fun, but who am I kidding?  These days it is truly frocks like these, from Wearing History's stellar shop, that take me to vintage baroness clothing heaven.  My inner 30s clotheshorse is gutted but my pocketbook is grateful that these absolutely amazing items don't fit, although I'm half tempted to buy 'em just to display as the kind of art I could stare at and drool over forever.  If any of you buys these, dear bloggers, you must PROMISE to post pictures of yourself wearing them or cherishing them (with care, of course)!!!  SWOON!!!! Okay, I really do need to stop procrastinating... though all I can think of is how I can get me some of these in my size.  Hehe.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shine On Harvest Moon

A Little Rust-y

Speaking of Etsy shop, Kickshaw, I am absolutely besotted with the gorgeous rust colored dress and gown recently listed in their shop! If the baronial hips were just that little bit smaller and the wallet just a little fuller, these would be coming chez moi ;)

Oh, Chapeaux!

Aren't these the most darling hat patterns you've ever seen?  Available from Wearing History on Etsy! The sample hats made by Lauren, the talented woman behind the Wearing History shop and patterns, are simply fabulous.  I can't help but think of Norma Shearer when I see these designs.  I can only hope the chapeaux I attempt to make this winter using these patterns will look as lovely!

Self-Induced Etsy Torture

GAAAA...why do I do this to myself?? This 1930s blouse is too too amazing and too too small, but I can't stop staring at it.  Thankfully, as I was composing this post, someone reserved it, thereby helping to ensure I don't accidentally click buy when it will not ever ever fit.  Happy Monday, all!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ivy League

I don't miss school. I really don't.  I do, however, miss the beauty of ivy-covered buildings, the sense of possibility embodied by rows and rows of unread books, new scribblers, and carefully sharpened pencils, the pleasures of preparing the first day of school outfit.   Yes, the IDEA of academic life will always be a siren song to me, though I still have no plans to go back to teaching or learning in a formal scholarly way.  Playing school in the backyard against the backdrop of the unruly ivy growing on my fence with fallen crabapples underfoot was pretty darn fun ;) Speaking of siren songs, I acquired this 30s deco plaid dress for my shop but it seems to want to stay with least for now.  More goodies will be added soon, though, including more than one 30s dress (can't hoard 'em all).

1930s Deco Plaid Dress


Real Ruby Fashions

If I were going to design a Ruby Keeler-inspired line, I would definitely have put more ruffles, bows, hats, and graphic printed blouses in there.  In short, everything must be "DARLING," Dahhhhling.  The piece-de-resistance would HAVE to be pair of tap shorts.  Maybe some little tapper mary jane shoes with bows on them.  Ruby, show us how it's done...

How about a chic, tailored blouse?

Ruby's deco blazer is pretty snazzy.  Her pal's capelet coat and hat are too ADORABLE.

C'mon shoe designers...give us THESE goods

This bow blouse is the quintessential "Ruby" look in my humble opinion!

Ohhh, yeah...a plaid blouse like this would definitely be in my collection, too

EEps.  YES YES YES (this looks like the dress from my previous post...maybe I'd use it as the template for a Ruby gown with plaid detailing....TOTALLY Ms. Keeler).

The grand finale outfit

Footnote: I had no idea until recently that Ruby Keeler was Canadian!! Hurrah!