Monday, January 31, 2011

A Fun Evening at the Pictures

Saturday, my beau took me to see Arsenic and Old Lace at the Redford Theatre. We decided to treat it like a fancier night out and got dressed up. I have been itching to wear this new sweater, which I scored at a local resale shop for a grand deal of $5. It had two holes in the back and I was able to repair them, although it was not as easy as had hoped it would be. They were only cuts (kinda like slits) but they weren't straight, making the mending process a bit difficult.

The photo above is me standing on the balcony at the Redford. The movie palace was build in 1927-1928 and the owners have restored it to all its old glory. I know the picture doesn't show much, but it sure it pretty inside!

Here you can see more detail of the sweater. It is beaded with faux pearls and yellow seed beads all along the collar and down the front on either side of the buttons and button holes. I don't own many items in yellow (my favorite color) and just had to get this and try to restore it, saving it from becoming part of the garbage mound. In the future, I would like to pair it with a grey dress, but until I find the right one, this black dress will have to do.

My beau is wearing a vintage 70s button down shirt I bought for him and a vintage sweater. I really love that he is into vintage just as much as I am, even if it is different eras of liking. I took the picture myself and kinda cut myself out, but I still think we look cute. ;)


P.S. I am only 13 more followers away from holding my 200th follower giveaway. I have some great stuff planned for it!! ;)

50s Beaded Sweater: Regeneration

50s Rayon Dress: Lost and Found Vintage

Belt: Kohls

50s Heels: eBay

Bakelite Bracelets: Were my Grandma's

Friday, January 28, 2011

Film Fashion Friday: Born to Kill (1947)

This has got to be one of the most fashionable film noirs of the late 40s. I had such a difficult time narrowing down what screen shots to put in this post. Honestly, every outfit in this film is FABULOUS. I watched Born to Kill (1947) for the first time last weekend, due to my Beau being on a huge Lawrence Tierney kick right now, and seriously could not wait until Friday to share it with you all.

The Players

Claire Trevor.....Helen Brent
Lawrence Tierney.....Sam Wild
Audrey Long.....Georgia Staples
Elisha Cook Jr. .....Mart Waterman

Gown designed by Edward Stevenson

Helen has finally gotten her divorce granted in Reno, when she witnesses the murder of a fellow Reno housemate. Although Helen could turn in Sam, she doesn't and there begins a wild and confusing attraction to this murderer. Sam follows Helen to her sister's home and meets her sister, Georgia and Helen's fiance. Soon Sam and Georgia are to be married, but will their marriage last. Will Helen's attraction to her sister's husband break up the marriage? Will the cops catch Sam for the murder he committed in Reno?

Fashion Review
I must admit, Edward Stevenson didn't ring a bell when I was watching the opening credits of this film, so I was greatly surprised at how well dressed this cast was. As I said at the beginning of the post, I really had a difficult time figuring out what outfits to include and which could be left out. I am not kidding when I say pretty much every shot of this film is extremely well costumed. There is such a diversity in the wealth of each character that we are able to see many spectrums of looks, from the lower class to the upper class, not to mention day to evening looks as well.

The accessories in this film are plentiful as they are amazing. The hats, shoes, and handbags really made this a grade A movie, from a fashion sense. Pay close attention to this while you are watching, especially the purse that matches Helen's suit in the first scene and the hat and scarf set right before she hops on the train.

Edward Stevenson was born in 1909 in Idaho. In 1922 he moved to Hollywood and met Andre-Ani and from him Stevenson learn the trade of fashion illustration. In 1925 Andre-Ani went to MGM and brought along Stevenson to be his sketch artist. After two short years under the guidance of Andre-Ani, Stevenson moved to FOX to be assistant designer. This was a short lived stint and a year later Stevenson moved to First National be be head designer. Around 1932, Stevenson opened his own shop and supplied costumes to studios sans contract. Again, this was short lived, as Stevenson was itching to get back to consistent film work. Stevenson return to his roots and took a sketch artist gig for Bernard Newman while working on Roberta (1934). When this film was completed, Stevenson was offered a contract at RKO which lasted for thirteen years. When Howard Hughes bought RKO in 1949, Stevenson moved back to FOX and stay there until 1951. After this, Stevenson worked extensively with Lucille Ball on both "I Love Lucy" and "Here's Lucy."
Fashion Grade: 10/10 (for scene after scene of fashion inspiration)

Born to Kill is available on DVD and through netflix and classicflix for rent.

Posh Frock Friday

Kate over at Scathingly Brillant hosts this weekly feature, or internet soiree rather. Everyone is welcome to join in. To see everyone else's fabulous outfits click HERE.

I love this dress and jacket set. I know it's more of a spring piece, but I just couldn't wait until then to wear it. What I love most about it besides the fabulous jacket that goes with it, is the pleats at the waist, which make it stand out a bit there. One of my readers, Amanda, sent it to me. I visited her and Brittany in St. Louis last April.

I am so excited for this weekend!! The local old movie palace near my home is showing Arsenic and Old Lace!! What are you all doing this weekend?


60s Dress& Jacket: A gift from Amanda

Shoes: eBay

Coro Jewelry Set: Grandma

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hollywood and Fashion: Mae West and Elsa Schiaparelli

Whenever I am doing a search for Schiaparelli items on both eBay and etsy, bottles of Shocking always seem to pop up. I really love the design of the bottle and thought my readers would enjoy learning more about the perfume, just as I did.

In my research, I came across several stories that all told pretty much the same tale. As legend has it, when Mae West was set to start working on her 1937 film, Every Day's A Holiday, she contracted Elsa Schiaparelli to make the gowns for the film. (See still below for a tiny look at the film's wardrobe. The film is only available on VHS and I have been since searching for a copy to be able to view these great designs!) West was dead set on having Schiaparelli make the gowns for the film, but Elsa refused to come to Hollywood for fittings. In order to solve this, West had a dress form of her body sent to Elsa. Upon first look of the form, Elsa is reported to have said "shocking." Apparently, this was her inspiration for her next perfume, which debuted in 1937. The bottle was designed to look like West's dress form and the name taken from Elsa's reaction to first seeing the form. Great story huh?

Although I really want to see this film, it will be hard to know if the gowns used in the film are the actual works of Schiaparelli or not. As the rest of the story goes, once the costumes arrived in Hollywood, they did not fit and I am not sure if they were let out and used in the film or not. There doesn't seem to be much information out there on the web. I am sure that the archives in L.A. have detailed records of this, but for now, it will just be left to mystery. Even though West wanted to continue to use Paris designers for her films to follow, she employed the help of Walter Plunkett instead, ultimately rescuing his dwindling career. Following his work on Gown with the Wind (1939), many producers refused to hire him, thinking his services would be too pricey. So, to avoid any further fitting problems on this film, West went with a U.S. designer. When Plunkett appeared for their first meeting, West greeted him absolutely naked and said "Walter, I'd like you to see what you're working with." What a woman!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Can I Take Your Order?

I have nicknamed this dress my waitress dress. I have always thought it has a bit of a uniform feel to it. All that's missing is a notepad and a pencil. ;)

This week has flown by so far! I haven't even gotten around to cleaning all my treasures from this past weekend. I picked up several pieces of vintage clothing -- some for me and some for my etsy, which I am planning on reopening. I found a few plus sized dresses this weekend, all with about a 50 inch waist. They are perfect for Springtime and once I get some pictures taken, be sure to check out the blog for a sneak peek before they head to the shop.


50s Dress and Bakelite Earrings: eBay

50s Heels: Ferndale D.I.Y.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trying to Stay Fashionable in the Snow

This is something that is not always easy to do here in Michigan and probably anywhere that it snows. Boots are a must and I find that I am not really liking how they look paired with my vintage dresses. Maybe I need some different boots.... Any suggestions? I've tried the rubber rain boots, but maybe I just never found the right pair, because these didn't strike my fancy either.

Anyways, over the weekend for a quick trip to the farmers market, I donned some knit leggings with a vintage dress (which you can't see underneath the coat) and made do with my Uggs. I kept warm, which is the important part.

I also have been so excited to share with you my new bag, a vintage Louis Vuitton Petit Noe. This is the smaller version of the Noe which was created in 1932 to carry champaign bottles, of all things! My bag is from the 70s, but the design hasn't changed much, if at all, since its birth. I find it so fascinating that women from the late 30s on have enjoyed this bag, making it work with looks of any decade.

How do you still attempt to dress fashionably when the weather won't behave?


60s Coat: Yard Sale

Knit Leggings and Gloves: JC Penny

Boots: Uggs

Friday, January 21, 2011

Film Fashion Friday: Two of a Kind (1951)

This week's pick comes from 1951 and is jam packed full of costume changes and dangerous women! If you like Lauren Bacall and have never heard of or seen a Lizabeth Scott film, this is a great one to start with. Scott was marketed as a "Lauren Bacall Type" and she even co-stared with Bogie! :) I also really like the interiors in this film. Such great eye candy all around.

The Players

Edmond O'Brien.....Michael "Lefty" Farrel
Lizabeth Scott.....Brandy Kirby
Terry Moore.....Kathy McIntyre
Alexander Knox.....Vincent Mailer
Griff Barnett.....William McIntyre

Gowns by Jean Louis

Brandy Kirby and crooked Lawyer Vincent Mailer plan to rob William and Maida McIntyre by producing a convincing double for their long-lost son. Brandy charms gambler Lefty Farrell into impersonating the missing son. Kathy, the McIntyre's niece, who likes Lefty, introduces him to the McIntyres who soon become convinced he is their son, but the old man refuses to change his will. Lefty balks at killing McIntyre and exposes Mailer's attempted swindle. Brandy and Lefty end up together as "two of a kind." (source)

Fashion Review
I knew when I popped this film into my dvd player that the combination of Lizabeth Scott and Jean Louis was going to be fabulous. The first ten minutes of the film supplied three costume changes and ranged from day suits to a more formal dinner dress. This dress, which is pictured in photo number 2, was simply amazing and it was really hard to get a good still of it. However, Scott wears it twice in the film, so you have many opportunities to get a good look at it during the film. Two of a Kind (1951) also has two or three scenes on the beach which feature some great swimwear, just in case you were thinking Spring! I just really enjoyed the versatility of all the different outfits throughout the entire film; which does a good job at showcases all sorts of styles from beachwear to casual to formal.

Jean Louis was born in Paris in 1907 and studied at the Arts Decoratifs. After school, he became a sketch artist at the couture house of Drecol in Paris. After a stint there, Louis headed over the pond to work for Hattie Carnegie and stay there for seven years. I am not sure if it was while he was working with Carnegie or directly after, but in 1944, Louis became head designer for Columbia Pictures. He worked there for fourteen years and in 1958 he moved to Universal. Louis also ran his own couture business, as was the trend of the time. After his contracts ran out, Louis still continued to supply clothing for films. He worked on his last film in 1973.

Fashion Grade: 8/10 (for many costume changes and wonderful evening gowns).

Two of a Kind is available on dvd on the Bad Girls of Film Noir Vol. 1 and is available for rent through both Netflix and ClassicFlix.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nasty Jello of the Month: January

January's recipe comes from McCall's October 1952 edition. In this edition, a series of "Take It Easy" cooking was featured and this recipe for Vegetable Salad Mold was part of the easy luncheon for four segment.

The idea of eating a vegetable jello is quite gross to me. And, even though I love veggies, they shouldn't be mixed with lemon jello. :)

What did you all find?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nasty Jello Reminder!!

Hi Readers!!

Just a little reminder that tomorrow is the first edition of Nasty Jello of the Month. Don't forget to stop by here and link your post! :) Also, the button is up. Feel free to add it to your sidebar. Let me know if anyone has any problems with their button linking to the posts.

Can't wait to see what others find!!


Let's Make a Deal

Image found here.

I am a HUGE classic film fan, which I am sure you've been able to gather from reading my blog. I am mildly obsessed with movies, hence my choice for my undergrad, and have been collecting rarer old movies for the past few years. In my quest for more additions, I have decided to solicit help through my blog. I know a few other bloggers have done this and it seems to work well.

Here's how it works: I will have a list posted that you will be able to view. This list will contain my collection, as well as films I am looking for. Even if you don't have a film that is on my lookout list, still feel free to email me. You never know, we might be able to work something out. Although my collection list will contain all of my movies, I will not be offering up movies that are available on dvd, unless they are in the public domain. The list is relatively small, however, it is my hope that in offering ups trades, I will be able to expand my collection. The list stops at 1979, so if you are looking for something after that year, just shoot me an email. To view the list, just click the button on the sidebar.

EDIT: Please note that I am still working on some formatting, so right now the only list that is up is of my collection. Hopefully in the next few days I can get everything up and running. :)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Nautical Kind of Day

Yesterday, I had the day off from class and was able to enjoy sometime relaxing. It was SO cold yesterday and I felt it was time for me to pull out my Navy pants. These are navy colored and are made out of heavy thick wool. I got these at a really cool estate/warehouse sale last winter. I found several pairs but I only picked up two. The other ones I got are black and made out of gaberdine and here the only gaberdine pair to speak of at the sale. I really love both pairs and would highly recommend this style!

Here's a close up of the necklace, which was also purchased at an estate sale. I just loved the theme and the detail of each bead. I also like that each of the different styles appear in all three colors.

Hope everyone is staying warm!


40s Navy Pants, 60s necklace, & 50s Blouse: Estate Sales

Flats and Cardigan: Target

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Little Snow Baby

The past three days have brought LOTS of snow to my parts of Michigan, making driving and dressing nicely a pain. One of the only things I enjoy about the snow is watching my doggie run around in it. She just loves being outside; it would figure that I would get an outdoorsy dog when I am not a huge fan....
I love it when she comes in and has snow all over her face!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Winter Dress

Last week, on a trip to the thrift with my beau, I came across this great double knit dress. It has a nylon zipper and unfinished seams, so I am dating it to the late 60s early 70s. I feel like the cut of it, which is hard to tell in the photo, also evokes this era. What made me fall in love with it, other than its incredibly low price of $3, was its softness and wonderful cut. Even though it's from a later time, I feel it echos back to the 50s, with its full skirt and cute collar. After I took these photos, I remember I had these awesome pair of red plaid heels that would have looked much better than the black ones..... oh well. I'll have to remember for next time.

This dress is SO warm and I am now on the hunt for more knit dresses like this. I have declared this my go to winter dress and know I will be wearing it many more times before all this snow and cold weather leave Michigan. (Just as a side note, my hair looks pretty bad in the photo, but it was the best one out of the set. The little girl I am a nanny for took the photos for me. For a 4 year old, I think she did a GREAT job!)

These are the scatter pins I paired with the dress. I got them a year or two ago and never seemed to find the right outfit to wear them with. I distinctly remember buying them because they reminded me of novelty print fabric of the 40s. :)

I also want to send a big thank you out to Midwest Mama and Eunice of Red Lips and Corsets for gifting me with the Stylish Blogger Award. I know the rules state that I am suppose to tag X amount of other bloggers, but I would like to direct my readers to check out a blog in my blog roll and/or the blogs that I follow that they may not have read before. Thanks again gals!!


P.S. Thank you to everyone who commented on the new look of my blog and the nasty jello of the month feature!!! You guys rock!!

Late 60s Dress: Salvation Army

Vintage Pins: Royal Oak Flea Market

50s Heels: Ferndale D.I.Y.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Out With the Old....

...And in with the new! I decided it was time for a little change here at my blog. I have had the same header since I created my blog three years ago and thought it could use some sprucing up.

I also have an announcement to make regarding the "Nasty Jello Recipe of the Month" series. I have decided that the third Thursday of every month will be "Nasty Jello Recipe of the Month" day. That means that for January, we will be posting on the 20th. I have created a button to put on your blog if you are participating and it will link to the posts here on my blog. I am also going to do a mister linky so that everyone can share their findings. This way, we will all have a place to congregate and will be able to find the recipes all in one place to share with everyone else. So gals, you have about a little over a week to find a recipe to share. :)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Livin' Vintage is Now Mobile!!

As the title suggests, Livin' Vintage is now mobile. This will make viewing this blog from mobile devices much easier. All you need to do is click the button to the right once you reach my blog on your mobile device and it will format my blog in a way that is much more conducive to mobile viewing.

I know I love to look at blogs while on the go and THIS WEBSITE makes creating a mobile set-up for your own blog so simple.

Hope you guys enjoy this as much as I do!! :)


Friday, January 7, 2011

Film Fashion Friday: Girl Missing (1933)

I've been on a huge 30s film kick lately, probably due to my big purchase from the Warner Archive. I can't even tell you how wonderful I think it is that these different studios are releasing many of their older, lesser known films on a made to order basis. I really feel this is one of the biggest things to happen for classic film lovers since the invention of home video. Anyways, the movie for this week, Girl Missing (1933), is a cute 30s flick with lots of costume changes featuring the early work of Orry-Kelly.

The Players

Glenda Farrell.....Kay Curtis
Ben Lyon.....Henry Gibson
Mary Brian.....June Dale
Peggy Shannon.....Daisy Bradford

Kay and June are two chorus girls down on their luck. On the trail to find some sort of an income, the two come across Henry Gibson who is about to marry their ex-chorus girl friend Daisy. When Daisy goes missing, the June and Kay know something is fishy and seek to help Henry; who, by the way, Kay has developed a crush on. Along the way, the girls run into trouble with the law and find that they may end up in jail for their attempts to help Henry. So how does it all end? Is Daisy found? Does she stay with Henry? Do Henry and Kay end up together?

Fashion Review
I have to admit, when I first put this film in the dvd player, I wasn't expecting much. The run time is short and the cast had a lot of B actors. The story sounded interesting so I gave it a chance, and boy am I glad I did. As soon as I saw Orry-Kelly's name on the credits I knew this was going to have a least one or two really good gowns in it. What followed was an incredible opening scene with the two girls dressed in their finest and this would set the trend for the remainder of the film.

There are several costume changes throughout the film, which for such a short running time was a huge surprise. The girls outfits range from evening wear to daytime casual, however all sport that lovely 30s style. Each outfit has been given a lot of attention to detail and the girls are accessorized well, with tons of hats, gloves, and jewelry to compliment each of their looks. I especially love the, what I am guessing is Bakelite, dress clips on Mary (left) above. You can purchase some similar ones HERE.

The gowns were designed by Orry-Kelly. Kelly was born in Australia at the turn of the 19th century. His first ambition was to be an actor and when this did not pan out, he began painting backdrop murals for night clubs. This lead to his coming to America to work for Fox and East Coast Studios to create title cards for silent films. On the side, Kelly starting designing costumes for Broadway and caught the eye of Ethel Barrymore and Katharine Hepburn. After a few failed attempts to run some night clubs, Kelly headed west and was introduced to the head of the wardrobe department at Warner Brothers by Cary Grant, an old friend. This began his career in Hollywood designing for the movies.

Kelly's career start at Warners is an interesting one. Since at the time Warners was not doing many period films, the costumes he designed for his female stars became major selling points of the films and were used in the marketing campaigns. For this reason, it is easy to see how much Kelly affected not only Hollywood costuming, but women's fashion in general. For this reason, I would highly recommend seeing this and many of his other films as well. All of the ones I have seen have always provided me with great vintage style inspiration, making me long for bias cuts and dresses with great drape.

Fashion Grade 10/10 (For Kelly's influence in the fashion world and for so many inspiring costume changes in only a little more than an hour running time).

Girl Missing (1933) is available on DVD through the Warner Archive and to rent through classicflix.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Book Review: Sew Retro by Judi Ketteler

A few weeks ago, while shopping at Jo Ann's, I came across this book and just had to have it. I finally got a chance to sit down and flip through it and thought I would give my two cents and review it for my blog. I want to start by saying I purchased this book and am in no way being paid to do this review. This is my own honest opinion. On to the review:

I really love the book, although I have a few qualms with it. The good stuff first: I love the images and the layout on the pages, which is fun and looks almost like a scrapbook. I also enjoyed reading about the history of home sewing and how it related to womanhood. There were also little spotlights on different important women in the sewing and crafting field. The only thing I really didn't care for was the projects. While most of them are beginner appropriate, I was kinda disappointed. I will admit, I DID NOT buy this book for the projects. I purchased this book for the great graphics and the information it provided about the history of home sewing. So, in those regards I am very satisfied with the book and my purchase.

The book itself is of great quality with thick pages and a comb binding, making it easy to open the book flat to view instructions for the projects. I also like that the book included the patterns for each of the projects. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves sewing and would like to learn a little bit about the history of home sewing from around the 1880s to now. The spotlight features are also really interesting and include popular figures such as Hattie Carnegie and Amy Butler.

So, my advice is to buy the book for the great graphics (which are REALLY well chosen and are great!!) and information and not for the projects, unless you are a novice when it comes to sewing, then these would be prefect for you!

I know I will be picking up this book to look at it often because the images are really cute and offer a lot of vintage eye candy. :)


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

As Found In: Washing Your Vintage Leather Gloves

Just in time for some mid winter weather cleaning, I thought this article would come in handy for us vintage gals who wear leather gloves in the winter to keep warm. I know that for myself, January is the time when my coats and gloves could use a good in-between season cleaning, especially because I live in a climate that is constantly changing from snowy to warm, which creates a lot of slush and occasionally mud. This was found in a 40s Woman's Home Companion.

Happy cleaning and enjoy!!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Blog Mission Statement

Happy New Year Readers!!!

I have decided that for 2011 I wanted to make a mission statement for my little blog to put my goals for this blog in print and to give my readers a forecast for upcoming features and the plans I have for the year.

I am planning to continue on with Film Fashion Fridays. I really enjoy preparing these posts and I love being able to share movie picks with my readers. As always, I love theme suggestions, really any suggestions for films for that matter.

The next feature I plan to incorporate this year is something my sweet beau came up with. A few weeks ago, after an afternoon at the local flea market I was looking through one of the vintage magazines I bought and came across a recipe for "a nasty jello." Both my beau and I were a bit shocked that someone would even consider making, let alone eating such a creation. A few moments later, my beau suggested that I turn this into a feature on my blog. I liked the idea so much that I have thumbed through all of my vintage magazines to find the most interesting and sometimes repulsing jello recipes. This will be a one a month feature and I am planning to open it up to readers to submit their findings. I am going to do a mister linkly at the end of the post to link up your posts if you wish to participate. So readers, get busy and find your most yucky jello recipes!!! ;)

On this quest for icky jello, I came across many interesting articles and patterns in my vintage magazines. I don't know how often these posts will be, but I am planning on sharing "As Found In" articles and patterns as I come across them. This is one of the reasons I love the internet and blogging so much, through this we are able to share our vintage with other lovers! How great!!

Blogging, Dressing, & Collecting Goals
The last few months of 2010 I got pretty lazy with blogging and with dressing nice. These are two things I really want to work on changing. I'm not much for resolutions, but I am taking advantage of a fresh year to set new goals for myself and my blog. I foresee a 2011 with a better dressed me and more blog posts!

I also see 2011 as a year for de-cluttering and organizing my vintage stuff and collections. I plan to weed through my collections and my vintage clothes and pass on things that no longer fit or are no longer my taste. Along with this, I want to continue on fine tuning my vintage buys and continuing to make purchases of greater quality over quantity.

Another thing I wish to do this year is zone in on my "vintage look." This is something the Vintage Baroness just posted about and has inspired me to do the same. She has some stellar style!!

Lastly, I want to finally hold that giveaway I promised so long ago. Hopefully this can be one goal I achieve sooner than later!! :)

I am so grateful for all my readers and followers. Thanks for reading!!!