Like the Birdies Sing: DailySparkle’s Tiki Room felt circle skirt

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!

DailySparkle Tiki Room skirt
My DailySparkle Tiki Room skirt, featuring Jose the Tiki Bird. My top is the “Voodoo Vixen” by Deadly Dames. The wicker purse is by Pinup Couture.

Continue reading “Like the Birdies Sing: DailySparkle’s Tiki Room felt circle skirt”

Review: Silk chiffon “Follow Me” dress by Dita Von Teese

I like vintage chiffon. Not necessarily the poofy prom dress kind (although I’m pretty cool with that, too), but the elegant, grecian, pleated kind that comes from the late 1950s and early 1960s. I managed to find a beautiful specimen in lipstick red last year, but it sold before I could get my claws into it. Since, I’ve been unable to find anything quite right, vintage or reproduction. That is, until Dita Von Teese came out with her “Follow Me” cocktail dress in silk chiffon.

Kali in Dita Von Teese Follow Me Dress
Dita Von Teese Follow Me dress photographed by Miss Missy Photography.

Continue reading “Review: Silk chiffon “Follow Me” dress by Dita Von Teese”

The parade of Spring vintage continues with low-backed dresses!

Margaret Koehler vintage dress
Margaret Koehler vintage dress.

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.

Vintage chiffon cocktail dress
Vintage chiffon cocktail dress.

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.

Continue reading “The parade of Spring vintage continues with low-backed dresses!”

Spring Vintage: Pink with white polka dots and black Lurex!

Pink Vintage Finds
Vintage pink lucite confetti jewelry and polka dot dress.

Etsy vintage is kinda dangerous. There’s always something awesome lurking. Recently, I bought a pretty late-1950s or early-1960s pink dress with white polka-dots from one of my favorite sellers, Traven7, and a beautiful Rite-Fit Lurex evening dress with a taffeta circle skirt from Amanda at Butch Wax Vintage. Continue reading “Spring Vintage: Pink with white polka dots and black Lurex!”

February in Paris with Bernie Dexter

Bernie Dexter Paris dress - turquoise floral
Bernie Dexter Paris dress – turquoise floral

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!

Continue reading “February in Paris with Bernie Dexter”

Makeup on Monday: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Given last week’s Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick review, you’re going to think I’m some sort of Stila nut. I’m not, but I might be if my third (next) major Stila buy comes out a major winner!

Today I’m addressing liquid eyeliner, the bane of pretty much everyone’s existence and yet such a staple in every midcentury-loving gal’s makeup kit. You’ve all seen The Liquid Eyeliner Meme and lived it to some extent, yes?

The perils of liquid liner
The perils of liquid liner.

There are literally a ton of products to help you create a version of the look: real liquid liner that you put on with a slim brush, gel liners in a pot that you apply with an angled brush, and my personal favorite, the felt-tipped liquid liner pen. Since I like to do the flicky wing style liner from the late fifties and early sixties, I need a product that flows easily without dripping or bleeding off. I’ve also got to have a sharp applicator tip to help me create the clean wing points and a wide enough “brush” surface to make a strong line across the full width of the lid. I’ve tried a ton of liquid liner products and the only one that consistently delivers a uniform line with sharp definition is Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Black.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.

Yes, you must use a good eyelid primer for it to work precisely right, but that’s true of any eye makeup product. It also takes some time to get the “hang” of liquid liner. That said, I find the “felt-tip pen” style applicators are the easiest to approach. The pen tip on the Stila liner is the right size, shape, and substance to provide the line I like with the resistance and steady product delivery my spazzy hands need. Additionally, the color goes on opaque and evenly. Once dry, it doesn’t flake or smudge off. When it’s time to remove it, my Neutrogena makeup remover sheets + a little extra makeup remover work fine.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.

This one’s not cheap. It’s $20 per tube, but the results are worth it. The Stila liquid liner also comes in a ton of colors, so if you’re the type who likes to try pink, blue, green, and brown eyeliners, Stila has options for you. Like the lipstick from last week, you can find it at places like Sephora and Ulta.

Makeup on Monday: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

Not very original, but a feature that gets the point across. When it comes to makeup, there are certain products I rely on. While I’m in no way a professional, I feel like I should share the stuff that thrills me so others can benefit from my happy – and sometimes not-so-happy – experiences.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Beso.”

My current favorite is Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, a vibrant, heavily pigmented opaque lipstick that applies like a gloss. It’s got an almost gel-like consistency when it goes on, yet it dries quickly. Once dry, there’s very little transference and NO feathering, which is something your traditional oil/wax lipsticks do when they hit warm lip.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Beso.” Alternatively, Kali Looking Weird.

The colors are beautiful, especially for the vintage red lipstick fiends out there. Their flagship color is a true red shade called “Beso.” It’s similar to Besame Red and MAC’s Ruby Woo, but without the runny consistency of the Besame lipsticks or the drying effect of the MAC matte lipsticks.

I got mine in a limited edition Stila set presented by Sephora. The set is no longer available, but the single tubes are available at places like Sephora and Ulta for around $22 each.

Heywood Wakefield hoarder ahoy!

Yeah, that would be me. In the last two weeks I got two more (yes, these make three) vintage Heywood Wakefield M308G “step” side tables in the “Champagne” finish and the M320 “kneehole” desk in “Wheat.”

Heywood Wakefield Side Tables
Heywood Wakefield side/end tables.

I seriously love this side table model. If I could be a piece of furniture, this is what I’d be. steppy second level and the sweepy legs are quirky, yet graceful. The inward-upward taper created by the legs and the smaller upper step take a page straight out of classical Greek architecture. This is the freaking Parthenon of end tables.

While this particular style was only in production for about six years (1948-1953) and they don’t come cheap, there are enough M308Gs out there to populate your own modest-sized mid century furniture planet if you really wanted to. I got these from a knowledgeable collector who had a nice HeyWake buffet project in the hopper and didn’t have time or space to deal with them now.

Now for the desk and chair. I picked them up from a nice couple who needed to make room for their baby’s crib. The wife’s grandfather had purchased the set new, which made me a little sad to think that such a nifty piece was leaving its original family. That said, I will give it a very nice, loving home, so no one has to worry.

Heywood Wakefield Kneehole Desk
Heywood Wakefield kneehole desk.

Heywood Wakefield produced this iconic kneehole design from 1950-1965. Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky – the 20th century Russian-American industrial designer known for his streamlined, modernist style  – created it. What makes the desk extra-nifty is the very wide upper drawer. And the left-lower double-high bottom drawer, which makes it perfect for storing file folders. And the fully finished desk back. And…well, pretty much everything.

My plans for world domination through mid century birch furniture are becoming reality! Craigslist, I couldn’t do it without you!

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