I love kitschy, tiki things and my favorite fashions are mid century designs inspired by Polynesian and Asian art. After falling in love with a pretty blue Alfred Shaheen last year, I recently obtained another, very different Shaheen style this month!
This one’s a strapless mid-1950s dress with a pleated shelf bust and full skirt. I’m not usually a fan of brown, but the fabric on this one is gorgeous! It’s a rich, cool brown Polynesian texture with gorgeous, creamy white blossoms. The pleated upper bodice is a nice, sharp white that contrasts nicely with the brown texture of the main dress.
I didn’t end up doing anything for New Year’s Eve, but I had plans. Even a nice dinner out deserves a special dress, and this time around I chose Trashy Diva’s new Lena dress. She’s a gorgeous 1950s halter dress with a circle skirt and very festive Swarovski-style crystals and glass beading on the bodice and halter straps. The dress was intended for the holiday season, but it’s actually rather seasonless and the color flatters many skin tones!
The bodice is beautifully pleated with a nice “shelf” detail that pulls up into the halter straps. For those who hate the neck-pulling that happens with many halters, this one’s worth trying. The bodice is very structured and form-fitting, which takes some of the pressure off the neck. The halter buttons at the back of the neck, too, which alleviates the pull that often occurs with halter ties.
I got the size 14, which fits a bit closer than the stated measurements on the Lena size chart. At 43-32-48″, the bodice fits perfectly without a bra.
Yeah, that would be me. In the last two weeks I got two more (yes, these make three) vintage Heywood Wakefield M308G “step” side tables in the “Champagne” finish and the M320 “kneehole” desk in “Wheat.”
I seriously love this side table model. If I could be a piece of furniture, this is what I’d be. steppy second level and the sweepy legs are quirky, yet graceful. The inward-upward taper created by the legs and the smaller upper step take a page straight out of classical Greek architecture. This is the freaking Parthenon of end tables.
While this particular style was only in production for about six years (1948-1953) and they don’t come cheap, there are enough M308Gs out there to populate your own modest-sized mid century furniture planet if you really wanted to. I got these from a knowledgeable collector who had a nice HeyWake buffet project in the hopper and didn’t have time or space to deal with them now.
Now for the desk and chair. I picked them up from a nice couple who needed to make room for their baby’s crib. The wife’s grandfather had purchased the set new, which made me a little sad to think that such a nifty piece was leaving its original family. That said, I will give it a very nice, loving home, so no one has to worry.
Heywood Wakefield produced this iconic kneehole design from 1950-1965. Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky – the 20th century Russian-American industrial designer known for his streamlined, modernist style – created it. What makes the desk extra-nifty is the very wide upper drawer. And the left-lower double-high bottom drawer, which makes it perfect for storing file folders. And the fully finished desk back. And…well, pretty much everything.
My plans for world domination through mid century birch furniture are becoming reality! Craigslist, I couldn’t do it without you!
Now that I’m back from the barfs, it’s time to share some of my Black Friday purchases from Pinup Girl Clothing and Trashy Diva!
My favorite of the lot is the Laura Byrnes Madeline dress in plaid taffeta, a dress I desperately wanted last fall but never got around to ordering. Since the piece didn’t drop until after the holidays, I didn’t have an immediate reason to buy it when it first came out. Another big reason for the delay is the cost. MSRP for this number is $200, and that’s not factoring in the additional $76 for the matching bolero (which is kind of necessary to complete the look). Throw in the fact that several of the gals who first purchased the dress back in January mentioned the odd fit provided by the elasticized side panels on the bodice and I was skeptical.
I promised pretty vintage inspired holiday party dresses, and now you’ll get them!
I recently purchased the beautiful Faye Floral Doll dress from Collectif on a nice sale. It’s a gorgeous black, full-skirted 1950s style with a built-in petticoat. The entire dress has an overlay made of a beautiful sheer mesh fabric, including the illusion-style sweetheart bodice. There are hand-cut, hand-applied lace flowers scattered on the skirt overlay. The same appliques line the bodice’s sweetheart edge.
With Collectif employee Julia’s kind assistance, I selected the size 14 (I’m 42-32/33-48″) and have no regrets!
Now that Thanksgiving is over and nighttime temperatures drops below 40 degrees Farenheit, it might as well be winter. That means it’s time for warm, vintage-style daywear and festive holiday frocks! This post is about the daytime stuff!
I picked up the Margie skirt in red and the Gretta top in coordinating red check, which you can see at left. I got my regular Heartbreaker size, XL (42-32/33-48″). As usual with Heartbreaker, the Gretta top arms run on the lean side and the waist is roomy. The Margie skirt waist is true to the stated size chart measurements.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There’s the food, the family, the official start of the Christmas season…and Black Friday sales. I celebrated with some fun vintage-inspired items from Pinup Girl Clothing and Kate Spade, several of which I was able to share on my brand new Instagram account.
Some friends of mine discovered this fun 1950s-inspired paper doll/dollmaker game at DollDivine! There are several fashion, accessory, makeup, and hair options to choose from, making the possible combinations nearly endless.
The pinup avatar I can up with actually resembles me, right down to the bangs, glasses, and platform sandals! I love the little Pomeranian dog friend, but I wish there were kitty options, too. 😀