I’ve meant to share these for a while, but everything seems to get in the way.
First, Trashy Diva’s 40s Dress in Olivine Floral, Doll Dress in Slap ‘n’ Tickle, and Honey Dress in Fuchsia stretch satin. I’ve had the 40s dress for nearly a year, but the others are new.
Love the fit of the Doll Dress, though the Honey is a wee bit big in the armscyes and waist. My current measurements are 44-32.5-48″, and I’m wearing size 16 in both (and size 18 in the 40s dress; the Olivine Floral version ran small).
Yesterday was our Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild Falling for Vertigo: A Toast to Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco event. We had a wonderful time attending a guided tour of the Georgian portraiture at the Legion of Honor (an iconic Vertigo filming site), a nod to the fictional “portrait of Carlotta” that appeared in the film. Afterwards, we visited historic Fort Point, the location where “Madeleine” throws herself into San Francisco Bay, to explore the Civil War-era fort and behold the spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands. Our day ended with drinks and dinner at the Presidio Social Club (and for some of us, the Top of the Mark). Continue reading “Falling for Vertigo: 1950s Fashion and Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco”
I recently purchased two barely worn Pinup Couture Laura Tops (size XL, in white and red) from a groovy fellow Pinup Girl Clothing fan. The price was right, their condition is excellent, and the tops seemed like a great way to solve my perpetual problem finding cute, casual tops right for wear with jeans and crops. While the Lauras are cute (love the heart buttons at the neckline), well-made, and comfortable, they aren’t quite what I was hoping for.
First, the tops are short. Whenever I sit or bend over, they pop right up around my waist, leaving my lower back skin exposed. This issue likely unresolvable by sizing up to the 2x, as both the XL and 2x are 24 inches long.
Second, the tops are not long/big enough in the chest area, as the underbust seam hovers just above my bra underwire. While it’s still comfortable and looks fine, this doesn’t bode well for people with truly large or round boobs (i.e., bigger and better boobs than mine, which are fairly average for a person of my height and size). My bust measures 43-44″ and usually takes a 36/38DD/DDD bra, which puts me squarely in the XL area (40-45″) according to the size chart.
Ironically, some Laura Top reviewers have mentioned that despite falling well within the bust range recommended by the size charts, they felt that their boobs did not adequately fill up the bodice space provided. While I wasn’t expecting this to happen to me, I wasn’t expecting to ride the upper end of plausible fit, either. :/
Third, the stretch jersey fabric clings. Maybe this would be less of a problem if I sized up, but the top is already big enough around the waist to give a practical, comfortable fit. I have loose skin on my midriff from major weight loss that peeks through no matter how thin I get, which makes me feel incredibly self-conscious (and is in fact one of the major reasons why I have issues finding fitted knit tops I feel comfortable wearing). Wearing the tops over Spanx or tucked into a high-waisted skirt solves this problem, but that kind of negates my whole reason for buying them in the first place; I wanted to wear them with jeans and crops!
Something else to consider is the darker colorways run a bit smaller than the lighter ones. In my case, the red fits a tad more snugly than the white. Additionally, the white fabric is somewhat sheer; the bodice is self-lined, but the lower part is not. Those who are looking for a bit more coverage in the boob area and more “disguise” in the midriff region may have better luck with the long-sleeved, surplice-bodiced Gia Top, which comes in the same fabric and some of the same colorways.
I’m still on the fence about what I will do with my Lauras. I may trade these up for the larger size and see how I fare, or I may keep them and use them as I can until I lose a bit more weight.
ETA: I ordered the black and pink Laura tops in the larger size (2x), and discovered that the extra fabric in the waist helped alleviate some of the showthrough!
At any rate, stay tuned for some new clothing posts and reviews! I’m anxiously awaiting an order of Hell Bunny dresses from UK-based online store Sirens & Starlets.
Before the 2009-2010 BBC Emma miniseries came out – and before I’d even started this blog – my friends Vic and Laurel Ann of Jane Austen Today kindly asked me to do a quick piece about costuming in the three previous major adaptations of the novel: the 1971 BBC tv miniseries starring Dorin Godwin, the 1996 Miramax theatrical release starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and the 1996-1997 A&E/ITV movie starring Kate Beckinsale.
Because I love Greco-Roman antiquity, I needed to make myself a chiton. Because I’ve performed Lady Emma Hamilton’s famous, classically-inspired tableaux vivants twice in the last twelve years, I needed to make myself a chiton. Because chitons are awesome and I like them, I needed a chiton.
By this point in the blog post, you might be asking yourself, “What the heck is a chiton? Who is Lady Hamilton? And those “tableaux” thingies?” I know it sounds like a strange combination of ideas, but it’s honestly not as complicated as it seems. In fact, the chiton – a very simple women’s (and men’s!) garment originating in ancient Greece and widely used as a basic dress or underdress for women in Roman eras – is extremely easy to make and wear. But I’ll get to that in a second.
Emma, My Inspiration
First, the Lady Emma part of the explanation. Our English Regency society puts on various events dealing with events and culture from the late Georgian period of British history. In the course of preparations for a ball honoring the great naval hero Lord Horatio Nelson, I somehow got roped into playing a role. And not just any role; I would be recreating Lady Emma Hamilton’s famous “attitudes.” Lady Emma performed these silent tableaux from 1787 through the 1790s and into the early 19th century, sparking several high-profile imitations and influencing modern dance and other forms of performance art over a hundred years later. Now, this was 1999 and I was crazy busy trying to finish my last year of law school. The last thing I probably needed on my plate was a performance of some sort, but for Emma Hamilton I made an exception.
Despite her long studio career and a stunning cache of major awards (including a record-setting 8 Oscars, the most ever for a woman, and 35 Oscar nominations), costume designer Edith Head is a star whose name isnâ€™t readily recognizable to most people. Her work, however, is instantly familiar to almost everyone. Sheâ€™s the woman responsible for the iconic fashions appearing in mid century classics such as Roman Holiday, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo, and Breakfast at Tiffanyâ€™s.
Head spent 43 years at Paramount, worked 14 years at Universal, and collaborated on various projects for other studios over the years, aggregating a portfolio of work totaling several hundred movies. â€œI do so many films that I would only like to send you work that is outstanding, or of importance to your collection,â€ she wrote in 1967 to the Wisconsin Center for Theatre Research, in response to a request to create an â€œEdith Head Collectionâ€ at the University of Wisconsin.
Her diverse collection of designs includes everything from period fashions to fantasy creations. Though she downplayed cutting-edge contemporary fashion’s influences on her work (â€œWhat is shown in Paris today is a dead duck tomorrowâ€ she once said), Head was also in many ways a fashion trend setter. The popular demand for sarong-style dresses in the late 1930s and 1940s, for example, grew out of Headâ€™s iconic designs for Dorothy Lamour in The Jungle Princess (1936). Continue reading “Edith Head: Star Costumer”