Friday, October 29, 2010

The Flying Flapper II

As always, our Hallowe'en plans are last minute and our costumes thrown together.  Last year, I was caught up in the buzz about Amelia Earhart, caused by the release of the movie, Amelia, and intended to go as Ms. E or some other aviatrix (like the Flying Flapper...whose nickname I wanted to steal, so I have), but I just couldn't get the costume together in time.  The gorgeous Miss Stephanie Valentine's aviation photoshoot soon followed and I knew I too had to let my inner lady pilot fly free at some point, though I freely admit Ms. V is by far the dishiest aviatrix wonder it landed her an amazing Pinup title. Anywhooo, since I recently scored a pair of vintage 1930s "breeches" (called jodhpurs by some) not too long ago, I decided that this is what I'm going to wear to the Hallowe'en party at the local tomorrow night. I don't own any vintage pilot goggles or headgear, etc, so I had to improvise the rest (yes, those are swim goggles and a toque with earflaps on my head ;)). My #1 resource on 20s-30s aviatrix fashion = The Painted Woman.  I'm not sure if I'll be back on the grid until Monday, so, just in case, I bid you Happy Hallowe'en!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Haunted House

FINALLY, a 30s Hallowe'en song and vid.  Boo!  Oh, Happy birthday, mom!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leafy Greens, Peter Pan, and the Case of the Magically Expanding Dress

Wow, I do believe in magic, I do, I do!  At a vintage fair last spring, I had bought an amazing 1930s dress; it had the most heartbreakingly beautiful leaf pattern on it and the most darling green trim with self ties at the neck.  Despite my love for this garment, when I took it home and tried it on, I found it far too tight in the bust, too short in length, and generally just not quite the right fit.  As some of you will recall, I put it up in my Etsy shop for a long while.  Then, as fall was coming nearer, I pulled it out of storage with the aim of willing this dress to fit me once and for all.  For some reason, when I put the dress on this second time, it seemed to fit a little better than it had before, perhaps because the crepe had been washed by the seller and was now starting to relax a bit, so I immediately pulled it out of the shop and hoarded it, though I still knew I would need a more powerful corselette or a serious bust flattening device if I was to wear it out and about for more than an hour or two.  Well, as I was looking through my closet in an effort to find something to wear this evening, I pulled this dress out once again.  I ended up discovering that the dress had been clumsily taken in at some point in its history, but the way the alterations had been done, the seamstress had simply stitched a wider seam allowance in the bust, waist, and hips, without actually trimming off any of the fabric and without ever removing the original stitching along the seams. As a result, after doing some stitch ripping for about a half hour, the dress is "magically" my exact size and ready to wear without restricting breathing or movement! I don't even need any Bridget Jones-esque giant "stomach holding in" knickers, etc.  My green "leaf" hat from Dear Golden not only matches the motif of the leaf pattern of the dress (and its color vaguely coordinates with that of the frock's palette), but it makes me feel a little like Peter Pan or Jack-er-Jill of the Magic Beanstock story, so thought I'd add it to the look. Magic!

Baroness von Vintage NOT GI JOE

Someone once asked me if my blog was inspired by the character of the Baroness in the GI Joe comics and movie.  Uh, NO!  Clearly, this is NOT what I'm going as for Hallowe'en....I prefer silk velvet and chiffon and rayon to uh, latex and pleather.  LOL!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Further to comments regarding the hassles of eBay noted in relation to my last post, I thought I would note that, over the past year, I have experienced some very unpleasant things as a vintage buyer on eBay (this does not include my amazing deal of a coat mentioned in the last post).  Here are a couple of vintage buying pet peeves that I, as a vintage seller, can assure you I will never inflict on my Etsy customers:

1) getting my beautiful vintage in old used plastic shopping or black garbage bags/musty newspaper/other stinky old bags or boxes. It's not THAT difficult to take a little pride in how your outgoing parcel is going to look to your customer.  Blech!

2) receiving purchases that have been absolutely doused with febreze, perfume, incense, or other scent due to the seller's failure to properly air out and/or clean the items before shipment.  If the item originally smelled like mothballs, spraying it with air freshener will not eradicate the smell you are trying to mask; the item will just end up smelling like mothballs AND air freshener (especially if the item has been shipped in a plastic bag, which it usually is).  Also, many of these products permanently damage or stain the item you are spritzing zealously, so smarten up!

Sorry...just had to get that out there.

Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians

There are some really interesting folks in my neighbourhood.  One particularly interesting fellow is a man named George, who lives at the end of my street.  George is in his late 80s; he is a former WWII pilot and he and his wife (who is also in her late 80s) have lived in that house at the end of the street since they were married in the early 1940s.  George likes to tell me how the land my house is on used to be a big tomato field.  One day this past summer, George stopped to talk for a particularly long conversation. We ended up chatting about wartime music and he told me how he, along with the local townsfolk, had once brought Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians to play in our sleepy little village (this was back in the 40s or 50s).  Long story short, I had never heard of Guy Lombardo (have YOU?), but now I'm sort of proud of the fact that there was a famous CANADIAN big band and it once played in our little piece of the map.  We are looking into seeing if George and his wife, along with some of our other neighbours, will be able to attend a Wartime music and dance night at a local aviation museum in November. If that pans out, you may hear more about George! In the mean-time, enjoy the sweet sounds of the Royal Canadians, with famous singer Kate Smith's vocals!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Busby Berkeley Dreams

I've probably posted and re-posted this video a million times, but it is a perennial obsession.  My last photo was trying to channel the deco outlandishness of a Ziegfeld Follies or Busby Berkeley number, but let's leave such pagentry to the professionals, shall we? Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Deco Dream Scene

The way I am able to let some of the vintage lovelies I unearth go into the Etsy shop: my deco bathroom renovation.  Teaser sneak peek at the bathtub, which has had its feet attached, but no plumbing yet (I essentially snuck into the almost finished room after work hours on Friday night, just to take some outlandish photos). Fingers crossed, all fixtures will be operational by tomorrow evening...if I suddenly stop blogging, it's because I have decided just to live in the bathroom. As usual, my hands are doing weird things...just imagine I am miming reaching to turn on the imaginary water tap.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Big Reveal, Part Two

As promised, here is a sneak peek inside those shopping bags from today's vintage hunting expedition.    Right now, I am inclined to hoard the first frock for myself. All the other items shown here will be going into my Etsy shop after they are cleaned and/or given special tender loving care. There's still more loveliness making its way into the shop over the next while. Stay tuned!

Late 1920s to Early 1930s Cornflower Blue Silk and Lace Dress
1930s Lavender Lace and Lilac Crepe Rayon Gown with amazing slitted arms
1930s Red and Beige Striped Skirt Suit (SO much like something Myrna Loy's character might have worn in 1937's Double Wedding).
1930s Rich Raspberry Silk Velvet Evening Coat

The Big Reveal, Part One

Okay, I'm baaaaaaack from my super top secret day!  The details:  I got up EARLY this morning to rush to a movie industry vintage sale after being invited to it by an acquaintance who is a prominent costumer in the film fact, he provided costuming for the Oscar award winning movie, Chicago, which is why I posted that "Hot Honey Rag" clip as a clue.  'Twas a pretty exciting morning.  Some scenes from the excursion...

Headed to the big city (Toronto).  Slow traffic allowed me to take photos of some pretty amazing buildings out of the passenger window.

On the movie studio lot!

Bird's Eye View of the Jungle (thanks to le baron for taking photos while I foraged for vintage)

For the first time ever, someone recognized me from my Etsy shop photos! This gal (a fellow Etsy vintage seller, actually, though I forgot to get her card) was SO sweet...and adorable (love her mah jong bracelets and dress!)

Although I didn't see it, as I was knee deep in vintage goodies for sale, there was a neat exhibit of the work of Canadian costumers, provided for movies like Resident Evil, and musicals like Rocky Horror Picture Show (side note: is anyone else as excited as I am about the GLEE Rocky Horror episode?!?!)

Hallowe'en costume idea?

I swear that sign says the dress at right was from a production of My Fair Lady? Whoa, that's a whole new approach to costuming Eliza!?

The costumes were great, but I was there on a mission...and let's just say I did not go home empty handed.  What's in the bags?  Stay tuned. I'll post a little peek shortly...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Saturday Secret

Oh me oh my! I am just *dying* to tell you all about a top secret event I just got a special invitation to, but if I did tell, it wouldn't be secret, would it?  All I can tell you now is that there's vintage involved, and there is a connection between this event and the clip below (in a round about way). Boy oh boy, this is suddenly shaping up to be quite an action-packed weekend!  I'm so excited about Saturday, I am ready to charleston.  What are YOU up to this weekend, lovelies??:

Better in Black and White

The black and white flooring has been installed in the bathroom (that's the floor in the collage background, but at an earlier pre-grouted stage), my new early 30s black celluloid hat with white and black pin has arrived (though a little flattened...silly postal person who squashed the box it was in!!), and I've got my absolute favourite early 30s black with white and black striped trim dress out of storage and ready for a night out on the town to celebrate the end of the renovation ordeal. I'd say things are better in black and white chez Baroness.  More pics of the room (slated to be finished by the weekend...if the renovation gods allow) are forthcoming...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Love is Not Enough

Oh, I see the blogger image uploader is down for a few hours, so my other post plans must be postponed (to those of you who have given me blog awards recently, THANK YOU.  I am up to my ears in home renovations and vintage for my shop right now, but will try to honour these awards more fully in the near future if possible!!!).  In the mean-time, I'll post something I had saved as a draft a while ago.  Since it appears Downtown Abbey is not available in Canada until next year, I've been trying to find time to watch When Love in Not Enough, starring Winona Ryder.  It apparently started out as a made-for-tv movie, but I saw it as a rental dvd at the local video store.  Have you seen it?  It's apparently about the story of Lois Wilson, the woman who, together with her husband, went on to found Alcoholics Anonymous.  From what I've seen online, the costumes are a 20s and 30s fashion lover's dream.  Ms. Ryder wears a cloche very well, I think.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

(Not So) Happy Day(s)

I was planning a more upbeat post, but had to take a moment to mark the passing of a tv icon:  as a kid, I watched the show Happy Days almost every afternoon after school.  I was SO sad to hear of the passing of Tom Bosley, who played Mr. Cunningham (a.k.a, Mr. C).  In memory, I bring you one of my favourite videos EVER: Weezer's "Buddy Holly," starring the cast of Happy Days.  A happy and spry Mr. C appears around 0:48.  I would have posted something more directly Happy Days related, but couldn't find much!  And time marches on...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Falling Leaves and a Cavalier Scarf

In a previous post, I mentioned my obsession with the costumes in the movie, Gosford Park.  There is one ensemble in particular that I have been in love with for YEARS.  Essentially, it involves a long sleeved sweater, a tweed skirt, and a neck scarf with a dog on it.  Here are some stills to illustrate:

Yesterday, I decided to whip up a scarf of my very own, using a square of fabric I folded in half and sewed into a triangle, an image of a tricolor Cavalier spaniel I found on the internet (which looks identical to my own pup) and some iron-on transfer printer paper bought from the local office supply store, which I used to transfer the image onto the scarf with. Today, I mimicked the rest of the Gosford outfit, with the aid of a vintage 80s sweater I had bought from Sally Jane Vintage and my Puttin' on the Ritz 30s style tweed skirt. It was actually a very lovely ensemble in which to take a leisurely Sunday ramble amidst the falling leaves.  Of course, the late 30s shoes in the images were not the ones I did my walking in....those were brought along for the post-ramble outfit post...though I did have to a brief bit of rock climbing for a photo op ;)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

College Song and Dance

Some popular collegiate songs and dances in the 1920s: The Varsity Drag; The Raccoon; Campus Capers

Rah Rah Rah

Further to my previous "Hawktoberfest" homecoming outfit post, here are some of my favourite collegiate-themed goodies to "pep" you up this lovely Saturday!
1920s-30s women's crested school blazer: Top Tottie

Vintage school pennant pillow cover: Far Ago and Long Away

1930s Fraternity Beanie: Vintage Foe

1930s college sports charm bracelet: Colorado Finds

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oktoberfest, Hawktoberfest: Gearing Up, Collegiate Style

Happy Friday!  Not sure what I'm going to be up to this weekend, though it is "Oktoberfest" in the village and "Hawktoberfest" at my husband's alma mater, which means football games.  If we're going to Oktoberfest, I had better get out my stretchy pants, as this means beer and bratwurst!  If I'm going to be spending time watching college football, I tried out what I would wear: probably something inspired by early 1930s casual/collegiate wear (see below for the images I drew from for the outfit). 

Outfit Details:
Beret: Jacob clothing
Sweater jacket: 1960s or 70s, was a gift from my grandmother years ago (oopsy forgot to button one button).
Neck scarf: thrifted 
Tweed Skirt: Puttin' on the Ritz
1930s oxfords: etsy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Technicolor (Evening) Dream Coats

Now, some real-life examples of the evening coats (or jackets) I so adore.

Rich ruched velvet sleeves = yum!  From CharlotteIona

Black and white, velvet and fur= beyond perfect.  From SwaneeGrace

Gorgeous fabric + Juliet sleeves (another of my obsessions)! From Faded Splendour

Velvet Capelet Jacket that is actually apparently a violet purple.  From NodtoModVintage

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wrap Up

30s day coats are so spectacular and glamourous that many of them would work well as evening coats.  Still, deco evening coats and wraps are in an elegant class all their own.

Between the Bars

Madeleine Peyroux's version of Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars" is one of my favourite Smith covers, though the original is perfect, of course.  Just found a decent youtube vid. for it, featuring photos of starlets.  Not a bad combination of the things I adore!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Self-Induced Ebay Torture: Coats

Good morning!  Time for some self-induced eBay torture.  Although out of my price and/or size ranges, the 30s coats below, spotted on eBay recently, are the stuff of deco dreams.  I've included some other sample coat images from 30s magazines that, in the case of the blue coats in the first two images, seem to illustrate styles of coats that are very comparable to the real-life garments!  Awesome!

Coat sold by Mill Street Vintage 

1930s coat (eBay)

black coat at right looks similar to the style of coat Lauren at Wearing History is currently sewing!!