Summer’s almost over, so I’m working hard to clear my warm-weather posts from the blog queue. I promised a review of another wonderful custom reproduction by Esther of Morningstar84, this beautiful version of Marilyn Monroe’s eyelet halter dress from 1953.
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”).
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”
If I’m anything, I’m an oldschool Disneyland nerd. I was born twelve years to the day after Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened in 1963, which I fully credit for my obsession with all things tiki, tropical, and Disney! So, when I saw DailySparkle’s adorable Jose the Tiki Bird-inspired felt circle skirt on Etsy, I knew I had to have it!
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!
Earlier this year, my friend Jasmine reviewed an Elizabeth Taylor-inspired sundress presented by retro fashion company 20th Century Foxy. Based in part on the gorgeous green circle dress worn by Taylor as Catherine Holly in the 1959 film classic Suddenly Last Summer, the piece inspired me to get my own version of the costume. Mine is by Esther of Morningstar84, the same talented seamstress who made my Mad Men-inspired Joan dress in blue linen.
Esther’s version is a faithful reproduction of the movie dress, right down to the skirt seaming. As a custom piece, the quality and fit are hard to match. The slightly-sweetheart bodice is fully structured and the belt is removable. I chose a kelly green linen, but a forest green twill – which is probably closer to the original – is also available. Continue reading “Suddenly Last Summer: Style with Morningstar84 and Elizabeth Taylor”
I’m in Lush Kittens this month! Known for its fun themes and features, this pinup magazine is definitely worth a look! You can purchase the “All Things Cute” issue now, in digital or paper form.
Here’s a preview of my layout, featuring the makeup, hair, and photography talents of Miss Missy Photography. I’m wearing my vintage brown label Alfred Shaheen dress. The tiki mug on the side table next to me originally came from Stockton’s famous Islander restaurant, a San Joaquin County tiki bar staple from 1963 to 1982. It was a Christmas gift from my awesome brother!
I love Trashy Diva. I love Trashy Diva most of all when I can get the designs I want on sale. Usually, getting exactly what you want at a really amazing price means walking a very fine line. Sometimes, your size sells out before it hits the discount rack. Other times, a decent sale presents itself, but you wonder if you might save more money if you wait until Black Friday, or end-of-season clearance sales…and the same thing happens. Last year, I waited too long on two great Trashy Diva styles, and thought I’d never be able to find them in my size again. Turns out I was wrong! I was able to get the Obi dress in a beautiful orchid silk and the adorable gingham Norma Jean dress without having to buy secondhand. And, I got them both on GOOD sale!
Since I live in sunny California, I tend heavily toward sun dresses. Last Spring, Norma Jean was one of dozens of warm-weather pieces I wanted, but ended up back-burnering in favor of other dresses. By the time I had the cash to buy this black-and-white gingham beauty, it was sold out in my size…and ONLY my size. Talk about disappointment!
It never restocked, and soon it became pretty clear that the dress wouldn’t be back. Fast-forward to November, and Rowena of Edmonton (also known as Retroglam.com online) was advertising a fabulous Black Friday sale (with great shipping terms for U.S. customers). Turns out they had two great Pinup Couture Heidi dresses I was after (red rose and the Canada-exclusive black polka dot print) and…NORMA JEAN…IN MY SIZE. In fact, the only Norma Jean they had was in my size, so I took it as a sign. Continue reading “Outfits of the Season: Retired Trashy Diva dresses”
Now that the semester is almost over, I have a bit of time to catch up on the stuff that really matters in life. CLOTHES. I have several new vintage pieces (“new vintage”…there’s an oxymoron for ya) that I’ve previewed on Instacrap but never got around to properly sharing. The two I’m showing you here have one main thing in common: they’re both fairly low-backed, which means they can be tricky to wear.
The first is an amazingly well constructed custom piece that’s perfect for a garden tea circa the early 1960s. The people from whom I purchased this pretty blue and white dress dug up the provenance. Apparently, it came from Margaret Koehler, a tony ladies’ shop in Manhattan.
Certainly, this thing is well made. French seams, pinked edges, a built-in petticoat…every construction detail is couture, and the fit is extraordinary, right down to the scooped frock back (true frocks have buttons down the back).
Vintage fit tip: I wear longline strapless bras with scooped/low back fashions. In addition to accommodating the low-backed look, these keep your waist lump-free and won’t complicate the outfit with straps. I’m wearing the Dominique 6377 here, which is available many places, including Pinup Girl Clothing.