Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I haven’t been as bloggy as I would have liked this year. Part of that is due to the fact that I just haven’t been feeling well. I’ve been dealing with chronic eustachian tube dysfunction since December of 2015 (it’s supposed to get better, and it has, but I’m not yet back to right). That means it’s been uncomfortable to exercise, which – coupled with the general anxiety that comes from weird ear sounds and bouts of temporary hearing loss (every time I get sick) – means I’ve also gained weight. So, you can see why I haven’t really been motivated to blog a lot of outfits lately.

All that said, I haven’t been completely out of it. I can say that I’ve been using that Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade pot I’d been wanting to try, and I’ve been enjoying it so far. I’ve also been trying some new hair products that I’ll be sharing with you guys in the new year.

I’ll also have some fun tiki-themed pinup photos (by Holly West!) to show you.

So. Even though I may not seem like I’m here, I am and I’d love to chat on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Those links are in the navbar to the left! Stop by and say hi, and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here’s hoping 2017 is better for all of us, in every way!

~ Kali 🙂

 

A new mid century-style sari dress for the new year!

Happy new year! I’ve resolved to spend more time blogging this year, so I’m starting with my New Year’s Eve outfit. After seeing a beautiful mid century-style sari dress by Jeannette Redhead of Redhead’s Vintage on the Ooh La La! Vintage Facebook group, I promptly ordered one.

Sari Dress

I’ve always loved the bright blue sari dress worn by Shirley MacLaine in the 1960 classic film Ocean’s Eleven, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have one of my own! While we couldn’t find a sari in quite the right blue color, Jeannette did discover several gorgeous color options for me. I picked a rich emerald green with gold accents and she got straight to work. Continue reading “A new mid century-style sari dress for the new year!”

Old Hollywood glamor pinup for the holidays!

Me by Missy

Last year, Missy of Miss Missy Photography and I put together some beautiful old Hollywood-inspired images. I’ve posted at least one already, but there are more that I’ve saved for a special occasion like this one. As the Christmas season is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d share these festive images.

We chose poses and lighting to emulate various movie star shoots from the 1930s and 1940s by Hollywood glamor photographer George Hurrell, which turned out rather well. I’m always happy with the inspiration and professionalism Missy brings to her work, as it shows in the finished products! More photos after the jump! Continue reading “Old Hollywood glamor pinup for the holidays!”

Fashion & Style Influences: Mary Blair at Pinup Girl Clothing

Mary Blair train border print skirt.

I always tell people that my basic style descends from a combination of Bettie Page (e.g. the bangs), film costume designer Edith Head (e.g. bangs, Mexican and gypsy skirts), and artist Mary Blair. It’s an odd mix, but it begins to make sense if you know me fairly well and think on it for a few moments. You may be aware that my signature hair accessory is a black grosgrain ribbon, something I picked up years ago from photos of Blair. I’m also a huge fan of the colors and shapes she incorporated into her artwork and designs for everything from Disney films and theme park attractions (It’s a Small World!) to advertisements to fashion.

Mary Blair at work, with pony tail and bangs.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when Pinup Girl Clothing announced that they would be adapting some of Blair’s (non-Disney, of course) art to fabrics for a special “Magic of Mary Blair” collection, but I ended up ordering and enjoying several of the pieces. Most items from the collection are existing Pinup Girl Clothing staple pieces, like the popular gathered Jenny skirt and Ella dress, that feature commercial illustrations by Blair. Some of the art comes from textile prints (like the parasols) and others from things like advertisements (e.g. the kittens). They are all constructed from PUG’s favorite cotton sateen fabrics, which look and wear well in casual settings. Continue reading “Fashion & Style Influences: Mary Blair at Pinup Girl Clothing”

Fox California Fashion: Classic movies and nifty vintage dresses

One of my favorite things to do in my hometown is wear vintage and reproduction outfits to see classic movies at the historic Fox California Theater, also known as the Bob Hope Theater.

Vintage Emma Domb at Fox Theater.

After a massive restoration conducted in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this gorgeous 1930 theater is a clean, bright, luminous connection to an earlier time. While you might see anyone from George Lopez to Tony Bennett headlining at the Fox, the best attractions are the ones that offer the visitor a connection to the theater’s roots as a mid 20th century movie palace – the monthly Friends of the Fox classic movie events featuring concerts on the 1928 Robert Morton theater organ!

Click for more Fox Theater and more outfit pictures!

Continue reading “Fox California Fashion: Classic movies and nifty vintage dresses”

In honor of the Oscars, fancy vintage gowns!

I don’t really watch the Academy Awards for the films, the artists, or even the fashion. I watch it for the excitement and the feeling of impending springtime it’s come to represent. It really is a show that brings more than the sum of its parts! In honor of the season, I’m bringing you some of my favorite fancy, mid century vintage gowns, all in spring pinks and greens.

Fancy Spring Gowns!
Green Emma Domb Dress

The first is a beautiful full-length gown by Emma Domb of California. This beautiful spring green tulle dress has beaded floral appliques on the skirt and bodice, making it fancy enough for a red carpet. Continue reading “In honor of the Oscars, fancy vintage gowns!”

Style influences: Piero Gherardi and Anita Ekberg, La Dolce Vita

Like most people, I get my style cues from so many different sources I can’t keep track of them all. More, I’m sure a huge proportion of my influences are so subliminal I couldn’t articulate them if I wanted to. That said, the spirit of self-exploration has taken hold and inspired me to try. So with that, I’m presenting my first style influences. Not the first in the chronological sense of my life, but the first I’m bringing to the blog: Piero Gherardi – art, set, and costume designer for many of Federico Fellini’s iconic films – and the luminous Anita Ekberg, one of the talented female stars of my favorite Fellini, La Dolce Vita (1960).

Sylvia’s Fountain Dress from La Dolce Vita at a Cinecitta exhibition on Fellini. Photo by Cassia Afini via Wikimedia.

Since Ekberg just passed away, she’s a logical first choice. The designs that she – and everyone else in La Dolce Vita – wore also happen to be some of my favorite clothes ever. Her strapless velvet gown from the famous Baths of Caracalla and Trevi Fountain scenes is legendary, but I’d love it even if it were 1/1,000,000th as famous as it is. With its sweetheart neckline, carefully-engineered bodice, and sweeping, diaphanous silk underlayers, it’s truly a dream dress. The way Ekberg whirls through the Caracalla scene, it’s almost like the dress has taken on a life of its own.

Sylvia dances at the Baths of Caracalla in La Dolce Vita.

My other favorite Ekberg ensemble from the film includes the off-shoulder, v-neck lace top her character, Sylvia, wears during the press suite scene soon after her arrival in Rome. It’s perfect – just the right balance of structure and femininity, balanced delicately on the pinnacle fulcrum of the best fashion era that ever was or will be – the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Sylvia’s lace top

It helps that Ekberg didn’t have a standard body. While not exactly plus, she had bigger curves than the average actress and looked amazing. This inspired me, as a girl who is nothing if not curvy.

 

The I. Magnin Bathroom LIVES: Department stores from San Francisco’s past

When I was in college in the mid-1990s, I shopped at I. Magnin on Union Square. I didn’t buy much – mostly makeup – but I had as good a time as anybody at this bay area institution. I was really thin then, so I could try on the Armani and Chanel and look good in it. More fun than anything, however, was the beautiful bones of the store.

I. Magnin main hall

The sleek marble facade and remaining post-deco interiors from 1948 gave the place an air of sophistication that a brand-new build – no matter how opulent – just couldn’t match. The downstairs “main hall” had several gorgeous painted glass murals by artist Max Ingrand and bronze balustrades reminiscent of a trans-Atlantic ocean liner. In fact, the main floor reminded me an awful lot of the Queen Elizabeth‘s interiors, barely a decade older.

Union Square
I. Magnin marble exterior

When Macy’s – I. Magnin’s parent company – closed the store in 1994, I was gutted. I managed to happen upon the fixture sale in early 1995 and purchased the only remaining piece of I. Magnin I could afford or logically use – a large white flag with the I. Magnin logo (which I still have).

I. Magnin bathroom

Years later, I found a beautiful 1940s vintage lace dress with I. Magnin labels and promptly fell on it. It got me thinking about the store and how much I missed it. Nowadays, everything from the original I. Magnin building, designed by Timothy Pflueger, has been overrun by the Macy’s next door and its boutique lessees downstairs. Well, almost everything. I did discover that one original 1948 interior space remains – a women’s bathroom.

Continue reading “The I. Magnin Bathroom LIVES: Department stores from San Francisco’s past”