Monday, January 30, 2012

A Study in Scarlet

An ode to two of my favourite things: this 1930s scarlet red knit top and the new BBC Sherlock Holmes series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.  Without these things, winter would scarcely be bearable.  I should note that I ADORE the late 30s/early 40s red shoes I'm wearing in this post, but they are just a smidge too snug, so they will be going into my etsy shop shortly.  

1930s knit top: Garb Oh Vintage
1930s style skirt: Nudeedudee
1930s/40s shoes: Gadabout Vintage

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Close Up on Coats, One

With the chilly winter weather swirling outside, it's inevitable that we Canadian gals sometimes put as much thought into our outerwear as our indoor outfits! To this end, some 30s catalogue images of coats, some not unlike my 'new' pretty, worn in the last post (and likely to appear in future blog posts :)).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Galoshes Galore

Boy, have I been getting a lot of wear out of my vintage galoshes this winter.  Looking back on ads for galoshes from the 20s, I'm not sure which I love more: the overbooties themselves or the advertisements!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sonja Henie: Cutie Pie on Ice

Now that winter-like temperatures have actually hit here in Canada, I am eager to lace up my blades and hit the outdoor ice skating rink soon.  What to wear? Looking to 30s skating sweetie Sonja Henie for some cuteness cues (click photos for image sources).

Wearable Vintage Fashion Book Pre-Order

So, I'm pretty excited to announce that the book I'm featured in as a 20s/30s vintage fashion enthusiast, Wearable Vintage Fashion, by Jo Waterhouse and Clare Bridge, is now available for pre-order on Amazon!  I am thrilled and honoured that I was asked to be a part of this text, which promises to be a fascinating read for those of us who seek to integrate vintage fashion into our everyday lives. Visit HERE for more info on the book and a few page mock-ups or go straight to Amazon to pre-order!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Beautiful Brevities, Part Two: 1930s

Ah, the 30s...when gowns often looked like lingerie and lingerie was so beautiful it could (almost) be worn out of the boudoir.  Case in point, I just LOVE this 30s peach & ecru lace silk bias-cut night-gown I added to the shop.  Somehow, I think Harlow would approve :)

1930s peach silk night-gown

Friday, January 13, 2012

Beautiful 'Brevities' Part One: 1920s

Since Valentine's Day is but a month away and I have been adding some fun vintage boudoir goodies to the shop, thought I do a post or two showcasing these beautiful 'brevities' (a term I borrowed from here).  First up, a peek at a newly listed 1920s pale pink silk step-in, accompanied by a sweetly saucy 1920s video showing one in action. Not sure what a 'step-in' is? Check out Dear Golden's post devoted to this garment.

Source: Maudelynn

Backwards, Baby

Since today is Friday the 13th, a day known amongst the superstitious as one during which things have a tendency to go sideways or backwards, as the case may be, I thought I would share a little blooper I noticed in relation to a Jean Harlow gown which I had had the pleasure of seeing in person when I had visited the Hollywood Museum in L.A. back in November.  The short of it is that, recently, I came upon a photo of Harlow in the fur sleeved velvet gown and noticed something which the curators of the Harlow exhibit apparently had not: the gown was worn by Harlow with the v in front, not in back!  As further evidence, by sheer coincidence, I found a newsreel clip of Harlow in that very same gown (see below).  To add insult to injury, as I was composing this post, I noticed there is yet another photo of Harlow in the gown displayed right in front of the actual gown in the Museum (see my photo just below).  Clearly, the curators are displaying Baby's gown backwards.  Oops?


To be fair, 30s gowns can sometimes be tricky in relation to determining which is the front and which is the back, often due to the fact that it was quite common to have a gown dip lower in the back and inset goring that modern wearers might want emphasizing the rear were designed to highlight the hips and so forth.  How to avoid such glitches? 

  1. Look for any bust darts. This will tell you which side is meant to face front; 
  2. Look for side closures (in my experience, button/snap/hook/zip plackets typically sit on the left side waist of garments from the 30s); 
  3. Lay the gown flat or put it over a dress form if you have one and see if you see a difference in hem length (often the back hem will dip lower).        
Sometimes, none of these clues will be there. In such cases, what's a gal to do? Try it on both ways and wear it how you want!!  Btw, if any other 30s lovers have tips or tricks on this topic, I'd love to hear 'em!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roberta (Revisited)

In anticipation of the upcoming "Tea with the Vintage Baroness," I was planning to do a little post about 1930s afternoon dresses and I may still do, if time permits.  In the mean-time, some of you may find The Painted Woman's post informative and illustrative of possible tea table garb.  I also thought I'd re-post a video clip from my absolute favourite 30s fashion-centred films: 1935's Roberta.  Yes, Fred and Ginger are as swoon-worthy as ever in this flick, but it's the Bernard Newman-designed CLOTHING that keeps me hitting pause, rewind.

Check out the Suits, Hats, & Coats:

Drool-worthy Dresses Night and Day, with lots of stripes and bows

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fashions of 1934

I've been asked before what inspires my vintage style; while I love to pore over 30s magazines the way many modern women devour Cosmo, I will admit I particularly love to go back over 1930s fashion moments in the movies.  One of my perennial favourite fashion-centred films is the aptly named movie, Fashions of 1934.  While it's rather frothy in style and content, I do love that this is a movie that deals (albeit in a rather screwball manner) with a problem still prevalent in the modern age: idea this case, design theft in the form of fast fashion makers producing cheap unauthorized knockoffs of designer originals.  Without giving too much away, one of my favourite scenes in the film involves William Powell's con artist character employing a hidden camera inside a cane to snap pics of Parisian original fashion designs with the aim of using them to produce cheaper knockoffs.  Anyway, some of the fashion is simply SWOONSVILLE! Emily of Livin' Vintage screencapped some of the other Orry-Kiely designs appearing in this movie :).  On the subject of plagiarism, I think Vintage Vixen's recent blog post about citing online sources of images, ideas, and texts is an important little discussion (not only because I've come across images of myself or from my blog/flickr/shop used without my permission or without attribution).  At the same time, I'll admit to sometimes not being as meticulous about source citation as I should be, so, one of my resolutions is to be more vigilant about clearly and properly crediting and linking to sources appearing on my blog that are not my own (Bette Davis stills are from here, btw!).

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Vintage Year

2011: A year filled with personal introspection, transition, revitalization, relocation, re-direction, and now retrospection!  Outfit-wise, a peek back at my year in vintage.


30s Schia inspired snowsuit

30s Persian Lamb jacket +  30s plaid scarf & 30s knitted skirt and crocheted cap, outside Whitehern House, Hamilton, ON (scarf, skirt from Top Tottie)

30s plaid scarf again (this time with matching cap), at the Bronte Creek Maple Syrup festival


30s flutter sleeved dress and green re-mix shoes for St. Patrick's Day Social at my dance school

30s pale blue gown + capelet set at Casa Loma Big Band Dance Night

30s knit/crochet-wear (hat, flutter sleeved top) + 30s skirt and shoes for the spring cherry blossom season


30s navy & white dress at Palais Royale (also wore this for the ADSLA Cocktails in Historic Places in L.A. in Nov)

Punchy 30s floral dress from Dorothea's Closet Vintage for the Niagara New Vintage Wine Fest

Ethereal 20s chiffon floral dress + straw cloche for Spadina House's 20s Garden Party

My summer go to ensemble: 30s peasant blouse, 30s style skirt by nudeedudee

Feigning Deauville in the early 30s with Nudeedudee striped top and wide legged trousers from Heyday

More 30s resortwear: cute gingham 30s beach pajamas

Faked a 20s bathing belle bathing suit to go with real 20s bathing shoes 


Amazing 30s crocheted dress

Glammed up for the Queen Mary Cocktail PJ Party with Trashy Diva evening jacket and repro 30s lounging pjs from Time Machine Vintage

30s sailor collared floral organdy day dress

Cocktail sparkle with my gorgeous friend Patricia Lynn of Lady By Choice (I'm shown here in a 20s Schiaparelli-inspired black velvet illusion bow dress which I'm actually selling along!)

MORE 30s knitwear, worn whilst enjoying the "Roaring 20s" shoe exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto

Once again living it up in L.A.; 30s cotton floral dress from Denise Brain

Back to winter with my fave 30s Persian lamb jacket + skirt set, accessorized with 30s dickie, 30s hat, and 30s galoshes.

Looking forward to more adventures in vintage for 2012. Stay tuned!!!