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”
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.
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.
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!
I’ve had my eye on Bernie Dexter‘s Paris dress for a while now. It’s a beautiful early 1960s-style sundress with a ruched bust panel and semi-circle skirt that comes in a variety of beautiful prints. I first admired the Paris in the pink blossom print – a springy cherry theme – but soon fell in love with the turquoise and rose fabric style as well.
In addition to their beauty, Bernie’s made-in-USA pieces are also high quality. They’re not cheap, which means I usually wait until they’re on some sort of sale. Luckily, I happened upon both of my favorite Paris fabricways on mark down this month! The pink blossom Paris was on clearance at BernieDexter.com while the turquoise floral was 20% off in the Unique Vintage Presidents’ Day sale. Since the beautiful Bernie Dexter Veronique dress in the blush cabbage rose print was on extra mark down at Unique Vintage, I picked it up too!
I didn’t end up doing anything for New Year’s Eve, but I had plans. Even a nice dinner out deserves a special dress, and this time around I chose Trashy Diva’s new Lena dress. She’s a gorgeous 1950s halter dress with a circle skirt and very festive Swarovski-style crystals and glass beading on the bodice and halter straps. The dress was intended for the holiday season, but it’s actually rather seasonless and the color flatters many skin tones!
The bodice is beautifully pleated with a nice “shelf” detail that pulls up into the halter straps. For those who hate the neck-pulling that happens with many halters, this one’s worth trying. The bodice is very structured and form-fitting, which takes some of the pressure off the neck. The halter buttons at the back of the neck, too, which alleviates the pull that often occurs with halter ties.
I got the size 14, which fits a bit closer than the stated measurements on the Lena size chart. At 43-32-48″, the bodice fits perfectly without a bra.