I Love Turquoise: Trashy Diva Maria and Deb dresses

You know that color theory people throw out there – the one that involves gravitating toward colors that look good on you? Yeah, well, I like turquoise, and apparently, turquoise likes me. I’m also a big fan of Trashy Diva and cute mid century repro, so it was just a matter of time before the 1940s-inspired Deb dress in pastel turquoise faille and the Maria dress in turquoise floral were MINE MINE MINE (cue Daffy duck in “Ali Baba Bunny”).

Trashy Diva Maria dress in turquoise floral

Trashy Diva Maria dress in turquoise floral.

Since I missed out on the embroidered Maria last year, I’ve been pining for another shot at a pretty one, and boy is this turquoise floral print PRETTY. It’s a little greener in person, but it still photographs beautifully. The rich yellow, purples, and pinks really POP against it, and the rayon crepe has just enough texture to make the fabric feel really vintage. In fact, with the separate belt and decorative buttons down the front, this one looks like it’s straight out of the 1940s. I busted out the Remix Rita repro slingbacks and my Bakelite and the effect is pretty authentic. Continue reading

Like the Birdies Sing: DailySparkle’s Tiki Room felt circle skirt

If I’m anything, I’m an oldschool Disneyland nerd. I was born twelve years to the day after Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened in 1963, which I fully credit for my obsession with all things tiki, tropical, and Disney! So, when I saw DailySparkle’s adorable Jose the Tiki Bird-inspired felt circle skirt on Etsy, I knew I had to have it!

DailySparkle Tiki Room skirt

My DailySparkle Tiki Room skirt, featuring Jose the Tiki Bird. My top is the “Voodoo Vixen” by Deadly Dames. The wicker purse is by Pinup Couture.

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Summer Vintage OotD: A deadstock suntop and Mexican skirt

I just received a vintage 1950s suntop in deadstock condition, so naturally I had to wear it out right away. I wore it to tea with my philodendron-motif vintage Mexican skirt, huge lucite bracelets, and Vivien of Holloway 3-inch stretch belt!

Deadstock suntop and vintage Mexican skirt

Deadstock suntop and vintage Mexican skirt.

The top is made of a slightly-stretchy black poplin, with a ruched back and buttons down the front. The seams are all pinked (zigzag cut edges) to keep them from fraying. This was how they finished seams in the days before prolific serging. Until about 1964, seam sergers weren’t common.

Very cute, but also cool on hot days like today. Yeah, leave it to us to pay to drink hot liquids on a 100F+ day!

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Suddenly Last Summer: Style with Morningstar84 and Elizabeth Taylor

Liz Taylor original

Liz Taylor original.

Earlier this year, my friend Jasmine reviewed an Elizabeth Taylor-inspired sundress presented by retro fashion company 20th Century Foxy. Based in part on the gorgeous green circle dress worn by Taylor as Catherine Holly in the 1959 film classic Suddenly Last Summer, the piece inspired me to get my own version of the costume. Mine is by Esther of Morningstar84, the same talented seamstress who made my Mad Men-inspired Joan dress in blue linen.

Esther’s version is a faithful reproduction of the movie dress, right down to the skirt seaming. As a custom piece, the quality and fit are hard to match. The slightly-sweetheart bodice is fully structured and the belt is removable. I chose a kelly green linen, but a forest green twill – which is probably closer to the original – is also available. Continue reading

Summer Pinup: Lush Kittens “All Things Cute” Issue

I’m in Lush Kittens this month! Known for its fun themes and features, this pinup magazine is definitely worth a look! You can purchase the “All Things Cute” issue now, in digital or paper form.

Kali in Lush Kittens, by Miss Missy Photography

Kali in Lush Kittens, by Miss Missy Photography.

Here’s a preview of my layout, featuring the makeup, hair, and photography talents of Miss Missy Photography. I’m wearing my vintage brown label Alfred Shaheen dress. The tiki mug on the side table next to me originally came from Stockton’s famous Islander restaurant, a San Joaquin County tiki bar staple from 1963 to 1982. It was a Christmas gift from my awesome brother!

Review: Silk chiffon “Follow Me” dress by Dita Von Teese

I like vintage chiffon. Not necessarily the poofy prom dress kind (although I’m pretty cool with that, too), but the elegant, grecian, pleated kind that comes from the late 1950s and early 1960s. I managed to find a beautiful specimen in lipstick red last year, but it sold before I could get my claws into it. Since, I’ve been unable to find anything quite right, vintage or reproduction. That is, until Dita Von Teese came out with her “Follow Me” cocktail dress in silk chiffon.

Kali in Dita Von Teese Follow Me Dress

Dita Von Teese Follow Me dress photographed by Miss Missy Photography.

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“Makeup” on Monday: Dry shampoo?

I promised that “Makeup on Mondays” would be an occasional feature; sometimes I’ll post every week, sometimes I’ll go awhile before I find something worth posting about. And sometimes, the feature won’t be about makeup at all, but rather some other health or beauty-related product. This beautiful Memorial Day, I’m tackling an odd subject. A subject upon which I’ve been ambivalent for some time. That’s right, I’m bringing up dry shampoo.

Batiste dry shampoo

Batiste “Hint of Color” dry shampoo.

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Outfits of the Season: Retired Trashy Diva dresses

Trashy Diva Obi dress

Trashy Diva Obi dress.

I love Trashy Diva. I love Trashy Diva most of all when I can get the designs I want on sale. Usually, getting exactly what you want at a really amazing price means walking a very fine line. Sometimes, your size sells out before it hits the discount rack. Other times, a decent sale presents itself, but you wonder if you might save more money if you wait until Black Friday, or end-of-season clearance sales…and the same thing happens. Last year, I waited too long on two great Trashy Diva styles, and thought I’d never be able to find them in my size again. Turns out I was wrong! I was able to get the Obi dress in a beautiful orchid silk and the adorable gingham Norma Jean dress without having to buy secondhand. And, I got them both on GOOD sale!

Trashy Diva Norma Jean dress

Trashy Diva Norma Jean dress with bakelite jewelry.

Since I live in sunny California, I tend heavily toward sun dresses. Last Spring, Norma Jean was one of dozens of warm-weather pieces I wanted, but ended up back-burnering in favor of other dresses. By the time I had the cash to buy this black-and-white gingham beauty, it was sold out in my size…and ONLY my size. Talk about disappointment!

It never restocked, and soon it became pretty clear that the dress wouldn’t be back. Fast-forward to November, and Rowena of Edmonton (also known as Retroglam.com online) was advertising a fabulous Black Friday sale (with great shipping terms for U.S. customers). Turns out they had two great Pinup Couture Heidi dresses I was after (red rose and the Canada-exclusive black polka dot print) and…NORMA JEAN…IN MY SIZE. In fact, the only Norma Jean they had was in my size, so I took it as a sign. Continue reading