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!”

Heart of Haute Eden Floral Erika set – Perfect for summer!

Heart of Haute Erika set in Eden floral print

Summer school is over and I finally have some time to blog pose for oversaturated selfies! Because hot summer weather lasts forever until November here in my part of NorCal, I figured it was time to bust out some of my recent purchases.

I’ve been eyeing the black-background Eden floral pieces at Heart of Haute for months (coupon code available via the link!), but none of the options really spoke to me until I saw this two-piece  Erika set on sale at Pinup Girl Clothing. As far as I know, this was a special set sold only at PUG, but there are other pretty styles available in the same colorful, summery Eden print fabric. The Elizabeth dress and the Elaine dress are available now via Heart of Haute’s website. If you want a skirt and top set similar to the Erika, you can find the Delilah Gypsy skirt and Delilah halter top in a similar print with a blue background. Continue reading “Heart of Haute Eden Floral Erika set – Perfect for summer!”

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!

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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!”

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”

Beatnik Fashion: Not every member of the Beat Generation wore a beret!

Kim Novak in Bell Book and Candle: a beatnik stereotype

Recently, my friend Gailynne asked me to write an article for our costumers’ guild newsletter. She knows I love mid-century fashion, and she needed someone to write a piece on “beatnik” fashion for our “On the Road” event coming up in November. I thought it would be fun, so I jumped on it! I figured it would be a good way to learn more about the “Beat Generation” and the (old school) hipster culture that inspired – and was inspired by – it.

When most people hear the word “beatnik,” they probably imagine bored-looking bohemian gals in berets and guys in turtlenecks and weird little goatees. These stereotypes are rooted in truth, but like the term “beatnik” itself, they’re not really very representative of the movement defined by the “Beat Generation” nor the people inspired by its counterculture philosophy. The reality is that the intellectuals, artists, and anti-bourgeois iconoclasts of mid-twentieth century America dressed a lot like everyone else.

Legendary San Francisco columnist Herb Caen created the term “beatnik” in 1958, a portmanteau of “beat” and “Sputnik” (as in the Soviet satellite) that – in conjunction with a short report about freeloading hep cats helping themselves to booze at a magazine party – was meant to poke fun at common perceptions of the counterculture. Namely, that the group was full of lazy opportunists with far left political leanings. According to Caen, however, Beat Generation mainstay Jack Kerouac didn’t find it very amusing. “You’re putting us down and making us sound like jerks,” Kerouac apparently told him. “I hate it. Stop using it.”

I’ve linked the newsletter .pdf below if you’d like to read the whole article!

http://www.gbacg.org/newsletter-links/finery-issues/2014_SeptOct.pdf

Holiday cocktail style: Stop Staring! Twilight dress

The holidays are coming, and I’ve collected a trio of dresses that will work for just about any occasion the season might throw your way! The first is the Twilight dress by Alicia Estrada’s Stop Staring!, a ladylike vision in black stretch bengaline and a lace-like net illusion fabric. Stop Staring! is a great American-made vintage reproduction brand designed to fit and flatter a myriad of sizes and body types.

Stop Staring! Twilight Dress

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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.

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 “I Love Turquoise: Trashy Diva Maria and Deb dresses”