Love: A good fabric, a delightful print. I have found a name, a cartoon character – Miss Frizzle. Except I do not have a magic school bus, or a pet iguana on my shoulder. I am a high school English teacher with three cats, The Empurress Velvet, and the boys, the bards of meow who purr in iambic pentameter – William Shakespurr and Mister Edgar Allan Paw. One of my students asked me today if the print on my dress was sushi? The print is not sushi, it is Mary Blair’s kittens drinking from a bowl. Honestly, I wish I had gone down a size in this dress, but with a belt and a camisole it works. The belt it came with it didn’t have any grommets so I went instead with a wide buckled patton leather belt and an old Betsey Johsnon capped sleeve cropped sweater with little pom-pom ties at the top. Honestly, between the pom-poms and the kittens, good grief. However, on a Friday before a three day weekend I need pom poms and Mary Blair’s kittens. Shakespurr eyed the pom-poms when I got dressed. “Forget about it,” I told him. Though Velvet is the one who has been known to attack pom-poms: many years ago I had a poncho with the most adorable pom-poms, until…..
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.
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”
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.
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.
So you’re having a vintage-style wedding and you want some pretty mid century styles for your bridesmaids. If you want everyone to wear the exact same dress, it’s tricky to find a style that will fit everyone and comes in a color you like. If your choice is basic black, or red, you’ll be able to find something easily in one of the better-known pinup and retro lines. But if your wedding colors are a little more esoteric, you may have trouble.
I’ve found two popular styles that come in an array of colors that are perfect for bridesmaids: Pinup Couture’s Ava dress and the famous 1950s halter circle skirt dress by Vivien of Holloway. Both come in dressy satins, and the Vivien of Holloway halter dress comes in cottons and prints for a more casual day wedding.
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…