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”

Sin in Linen: Bed, bath, and kitchen decor for the vintage enthusiast!

Not long ago I got a very pleasant note from the people who run Sin in Linen, a Seattle-based home textiles company inspired by vintage, pinup, rockabilly, punk, tattoo, gothic, and related aesthetics. Since 2004, owner Sandy Glaze has offered bedding, kitchen goods, and bathroom decor suiting a variety of alternative tastes.

Sin in Linen Atomic Dreams kitchen set

From their main line, you can choose sheet sets, duvet covers, curtains, baby bedding, aprons, oven mitts, and other useful home items in a variety of exclusive fabrics. They kindly sent me one of their signature kitchen aprons and an oven mitt and potholder set in the mid-century modern-inspired “Atomic Dreams” print, a fabric specially designed for them by artist Ragnar of Ragnarama.

Continue reading “Sin in Linen: Bed, bath, and kitchen decor for the vintage enthusiast!”

The WPIX Yule Log and classic Christmas music

Merry Christmas!

I’m a Christmas nut. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I freaking love everything about the season – the lights, the food, the festive mood, and maybe most of all, the amazing holiday music. My favorite Christmas tracks are nostalgic, particularly the ones from the 1950s through the early 1970s that remind me of my early childhood. This is why I love the original WPIX Yule Log, a Christmas Eve television tradition since 1966. Originally conceived by WPIX General Manager Fred Thrower to bring old-fashioned holiday hearth experiences to New Yorkers, the “classic” WPIX playlist – like the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom Main Street Christmas loops compiled by “voice of Disneyland” Jack Wagner – brings many of my absolute favorite Christmas recordings together in a single, quirky package.

Being a West Coaster and a child of the 1980s, my first TV Yule Log experience happened care of KOFY TV-20, the legendary independent station in the San Francisco Bay Area known for its crazy dog bumpers. I remember hours of Philadelphia Brass, but I’m fairly sure the playlist was similar to the following WPIX playlist, which features everyone from Percy Faith to David Rose:

Continue reading “The WPIX Yule Log and classic Christmas music”

Vintage Home: Ideas, linens, and holidays!

Corner of my bedroom.

So y’all know by now that I have a cute jack-in-the-box house from 1963. My goal is to decorate every room in as vintage a style as possible; not necessarily all-early ’60s, but in a way that blends the various eras my current furniture already represents.

My bedroom is 1930s-1960s, featuring my Yiayia Lois’ painted bedroom set from the late ’30s or early ’40s, my cousin’s 1960s white wicker shelves, my dad’s 1940s floor lamp, and a 1940s sewing machine table that I like to use as a night stand. My dining room features Lois’ late ’30s-early ’40s dining set, and my kitchen – which looks like it could’ve been constructed anytime from the late ’40s to the ’60s – showcases my Yiayia Sally’s wonderfully grotty old stencilled kitchen table from the 1940s. Continue reading “Vintage Home: Ideas, linens, and holidays!”

The ultimate retro lifestyle accessory: a home!

Mah howse! By Cindy.

So, nearly three months of house drama is over. I spent this afternoon at the title company signing papers for my adorable 1963 jack-in-the-box house, and I couldn’t be more proud!

Finally, my 1930s painted bedroom and dining sets, my lucite pineapple-shaped “grape” lamp, my goddess rain lamp, and my amazing new lucite grape swag lamp (birthday gift from my adorable parents, which you can see below!) can run wild and free in my swank new retro pad!

I’ll be working on decorating the place over the next few months, so stay tuned for more “housey” updates! Continue reading “The ultimate retro lifestyle accessory: a home!”

Save the SS United States!

Save the SSUS! Support the SS United States Conservancy!

Everyone who knows me well knows that I’m a huge midcentury transatlantic liner fan. The SS United States – America’s merchant marine flagship and star of Disney’s Bon Voyage – is my favorite. Sleek, fast, modern, and as space age as sea travel will ever get, this 1950s wondership needs your help! Be like me and sponsor a piece of the “Big U” via the SS United States Conservancy’s Save the SS United States campaign! I chose part of the “U” in the “UNITED STATES” on the starboard bow. 😀 Save the SS United States!