I know it’s still early September, but Halloween’s definitely already in the air. For those of you itching to get into the holiday spirit, here is a curated collection of audio (mostly music, with some sound effects) and video to enjoy while you stay home to serve the trick-or-treaters!
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!
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!
This week, something new! A great review of a beautiful 20th Century Foxy brand dress by my friend Jasmine of Betty LeBonBon, purveyor of fine custom vintage-style skirts and much more! This dress reminds me so much of the beautiful green piece worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1959 film Suddenly Last Summer that I’m hoping to get one of my own. Thanks, Jasmine!
Broadly speaking Iâ€™m a prints lady â€“ I love my dresses with a quirky, unique print, or bold florals on unexpected base colours. You can let the print speak for your personality, and I find them quite easy to wear as the print will dictate how to accessorize and what colours to choose. Easy!
But I recently reached a point where my wardrobe was so print-saturated that I found myself longing for a few simple block colours â€“ if only so I could try out a few patterned shoes or ornate brooches. As much as I love a beautiful print, it can be hard to work a pair of printed shoes with a printed dress, or to choose a really fussy, ornate brooch as inevitably the detail will be lost against a printed dress.
I spotted the 20th Century Foxy â€˜Taylorâ€™ dress at Miskonduct Clothing. At first, the dress doesnâ€™t look like much â€“ a simple green dress with a matching belt and a full skirt. Normally I wouldnâ€™t even stop for a second look, but being a fair-skinned ginger Iâ€™d already decided I was looking for something green. And this dress was green. A good start! I was convinced it would go beautifully with simple accessories like gold or silver, perhaps even blue accents â€“ and it would play beautifully with a nice floral printed shoe (think Iron Fist or Irregular Choice), should I finally decide to invest. Sold!
Technology is awesome. This week, it’s particularly awesome because I learned that the British Library has used it to post a whole mess of nifty illustrations from beloved classic editions of Jane Austen’s novels to its Flikr stream.
Some of these Austen illustrations include Irish Illustrator Hugh Thomson’s famous line drawings for Macmillan’s 1896 edition of Emma, represented below by Mr. Knightley’s proposal.
For more from and about iconic illustrated Austen works, peruse the following:
- Strangegirl.com’s Emma illustrations – Art by Hugh Thomson, Charles E. Brock, Phillip Gough, and Fritz Kredel presented by The Emma Adaptations Pages. Cinthia Soria and Laurel Ann Nattress are primary contributors.
- Hugh Thomson’s illustrated Emma.
- Hugh Thomson at Wikipedia – Includes links to online editions of works he illustrated.
- Austen Illustrators Henry and Charles Brock – My friend Cinthia Soria’s in-depth article on the artist-brothers who brought Austen’s characters to life at the turn of the last century. Also see Cintha’s Jane Austen Castellano blog for great Austen coverage and analysis in Spanish.
- Solitary Elegance – Heather’s Austen site includes scans from Charles Brock’s Emma illustrations from 1909, as well as his art for Austen’s other five major novels.
- The History of England – 15-year-old Jane Austen’s tongue-in-cheek history of England, illustrated by her sister Cassandra. Accessible version here.
- Austen Illustrated – Deb Williams highlights Jane Austen’s various illustrators.
- Gorgeous Jane Austen Novel Illustrations From the Time Before Adaptations by Michelle Dean.
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. 😀
While gothabilly aesthetics have been strongly represented in the realms of retro and pinup fashion for some time, it takes something truly special to represent the rarified holiday quality of Halloween for this recovering goth girl. Halloween requires something more than black, or bats, or zombies, or skeletons. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes something Halloween as opposed to garden variety macabre, and indeed, there is no special formula. For me, it’s a know-it-when-I-see-it kind of thing.
Here are some new, pinup-friendly Halloween-themed pieces that scream Halloween to me…
Being back at work is a drag, but photo shoots aren’t. Earlier this year, I shot some fresh pinup pics in Los Angeles with photographer Angela Morales – one of my favorites! – and makeup and hair guru Angel Jagger.
This set’s got a sixties vibe going, with the jet-setting, uber-modern hotel surroundings and all. And even though I’m fully covered from armpit-to-thigh with a longline bra and high-waisted girdle, this is technically a lingerie shoot. Hah.
Anyway, it was fun and I think the pictures turned out great!