UPDATED! Pinup and Plus: Black Friday (Week) Sales!

But wait! There’s more! Edited on Wednesday, November 21 to add more sales!

Kiyonna’s Luna Lace dress, available in sizes 0x-5x (plus sizes 10-32).

For those who love clothing, shopping on the internet, and epic sales, Thanksgiving week is your dream come true! Here’s a smattering of online retailers offering excellent sales on plus and retro styles this week:

 

Link: Pinup Girl Style

There’s a new online community for fans of Pinup Couture, Deadly Dames, and Pinup Girl Clothing‘s other wonderful house brands! At Pinup Girl Style, members can share photos of themselves in PUG clothing, participate in discussions, read blogs by members of Team PUG and their guests, and swap or sell their PUG goods. Check it out!

Falling for Vertigo: 1950s Fashion and Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco

Kim Novak as "Madeleine" views the fictional "portrait of Carlotta" at the Legion of Honor's Gallery 6.

Yesterday was our Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild Falling for Vertigo: A Toast to Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco event. We had a wonderful time attending a guided tour of the Georgian portraiture at the Legion of Honor (an iconic Vertigo filming site), a nod to the fictional “portrait of Carlotta” that appeared in the film. Afterwards, we visited historic Fort Point, the location where “Madeleine” throws herself into San Francisco Bay, to explore the Civil War-era fort and behold the spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands. Our day ended with drinks and dinner at the Presidio Social Club (and for some of us, the Top of the Mark). Continue reading “Falling for Vertigo: 1950s Fashion and Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco”

Historic Costume: Greco-Roman Chiton and Lady Emma Hamilton’s Attitudes

Me! In Ionic chiton, performing one of Lady Emma Hamilton’s Attitudes (I forgot to take off my glasses!). In some printings of Friedrich Rehberg’s sketches engraved, this is called “Cleopatra Seduttrice.” It is probably based on artistic rendrings of Agrippina offering libations at the tomb of Germanicus (suggested by John Wilton-Ely and confirmed by me). There is a priestess statue from the macellum (marketplace) shrine in Pompeii that strongly informs this pose and in its restored state includes a libation bowl in one hand. It is sometimes referred to as Agrippina.

Because I love Greco-Roman antiquity, I needed to make myself a chiton. Because I’ve performed Lady Emma Hamilton’s famous, classically-inspired tableaux vivants twice in the last twelve years, I needed to make myself a chiton. Because chitons are awesome and I like them, I needed a chiton.

By this point in the blog post, you might be asking yourself, “What the heck is a chiton? Who is Lady Hamilton? And those “tableaux” thingies?” I know it sounds like a strange combination of ideas, but it’s honestly not as complicated as it seems. In fact, the chiton – a very simple women’s  (and men’s!) garment originating in ancient Greece and widely used as a basic dress or underdress for women in Roman eras – is extremely easy to make and wear. But I’ll get to that in a second.

Emma, My Inspiration

Rehberg’s drawing of Lady Emma’s “Cleopatra Seduttrice” attitude, likely influenced by both Roman and modern (as in, Renaissance onward) renderings of Agrippina (or others) offering libations to the gods.

First, the Lady Emma part of the explanation. Our English Regency society puts on various events dealing with events and culture from the late Georgian period of British history. In the course of preparations for a ball honoring the great naval hero Lord Horatio Nelson, I somehow got roped into playing a role. And not just any role; I would be recreating Lady Emma Hamilton’s famous “attitudes.” Lady Emma performed these silent tableaux from 1787 through the 1790s and into the early 19th century, sparking several high-profile imitations and influencing modern dance and other forms of performance art over a hundred years later. Now, this was 1999 and I was crazy busy trying to finish my last year of law school. The last thing I probably needed on my plate was a performance of some sort, but for Emma Hamilton I made an exception.

Restored priestess sculpture from the macellum (marketplace) shrine in Pompeii. Sometimes referred to as Agrippina, her pose is similar to Rehberg’s drawing of Emma.

Continue reading “Historic Costume: Greco-Roman Chiton and Lady Emma Hamilton’s Attitudes”

Edith Head: Star Costumer

Edith Head in the 1970s.

This piece was originally written for the Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild’s Finery newsletter, to introduce our Vertigo-themed costume event on February 11, 2012.

Despite her long studio career and a stunning cache of major awards (including a record-setting 8 Oscars, the most ever for a woman, and 35 Oscar nominations), costume designer Edith Head is a star whose name isn’t readily recognizable to most people. Her work, however, is instantly familiar to almost everyone. She’s the woman responsible for the iconic fashions appearing in mid century classics such as Roman Holiday, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Head spent 43 years at Paramount, worked 14 years at Universal, and collaborated on various projects for other studios over the years, aggregating a portfolio of work totaling several hundred movies. “I do so many films that I would only like to send you work that is outstanding, or of importance to your collection,” she wrote in 1967 to the Wisconsin Center for Theatre Research, in response to a request to create an “Edith Head Collection” at the University of Wisconsin.

Her diverse collection of designs includes everything from period fashions to fantasy creations. Though she downplayed cutting-edge contemporary fashion’s influences on her work (“What is shown in Paris today is a dead duck tomorrow” she once said), Head was also in many ways a fashion trend setter. The popular demand for sarong-style dresses in the late 1930s and 1940s, for example, grew out of Head’s iconic designs for Dorothy Lamour in The Jungle Princess (1936). Continue reading “Edith Head: Star Costumer”

Outfit of the Day: New Year’s Eve Fashion!

Grace Dress action shot!

So I thought I’d share my new favorite dress, which I happen to be wearing right now for New Year’s Eve festivities! It’s the Grace Dress from Laura Byrnes Black Label/Pinup Girl Clothing. Yes, I buy and wear a lot of Pinup Girl Clothing items. No, they aren’t paying me to pimp out their stuff. I just love their clothes!

Anyway, Grace features a well-constructed fitted bodice, a superfull circle skirt, and a really sumptuous red sateen fabric textured with a midcentury black flocked pattern. This one’s size xl, and it fits just right! More images after the jump…

Continue reading “Outfit of the Day: New Year’s Eve Fashion!”

Happy New Year: Updates and Bloggy-dos and an Outfit of the Week!

So a few months ago I set out a list of blogging goals. Like many ENFP personality types, I tend to be very long on ideas and very short on attention span and time. To make matters worse, this past semester was one of my all-time busiest work periods, a frustrating reality further exacerbated by a bunch of extra life demands (some fun, like period balls, some not-so-fun, like expensive car repairs) that required time and money. My 2012 New Years’ resolution is to spend more time on my websites – particularly this blog, as it is both a way for me to reduce my rambling ideas into tangible goals AND an impetus for following through on those goals so I can share the results with you!

Happy New Year! Pinup Couture Evelyn dress in green satin.

I’m still plugging away on my to-do list from this past fall, and  I’m logging my goal progress to keep me honest! But before I bring you in on that, a goodwill gesture to prove that I’m working on it – an Outfit of the Week!

This is my Christmas Eve ensemble: Evelyn dress in green satin with reversible black velvet shrug from Pinup Couture, new Dian Von Furstenburg frames, homemade hairflower, and black suede-and-patent heels from Sofft Shoes.

Seriously, this dress is ace: rich satin sheen and Christmas green color, super-cute ruched bodice with adorable black velvet bow, and tremendous fit. When it comes to the Pinup Girl Clothing house brands, I usually hover around xl-2x; this one’s a 2x. There’s extra room in the waist (My inch measurements are 44-33.5-49), but it’s not baggy or ill-fitting. And the length is perfect for my 5’8″+ frame.

So if you’re plus or curvy or simply looking for a kick-butt, retro-style, made-in-the-USA clothing company, give Pinup Girl Clothing a shot!

Okay, now on to the rest of it. Click the link below to come out on the other side of the jump…

Continue reading “Happy New Year: Updates and Bloggy-dos and an Outfit of the Week!”

Odds ‘n’ Ends!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Now that I’m almost done with my teaching semester, I can get back to the business of blogging. Kind of. I have some pretty outfits and new-old jewelry to show you. Stay tuned! 😀