Saturday, December 31, 2011

at the movies

This is a photo of my grandmother with one of my dad's young friends, taken in the 1940s.  I love many things about this photo: the kid's bow tie, my grandmother's whole outfit, the pair of gloves or scarf that can be seen hanging from her handbag, that the photo was taken on the street in the evening, in front of the lights of a movie theater.  I assume that my grandmother is escorting the kids to the movies (where's my dad?  Taking the photo?).  She has something in her hand--perhaps movie tickets.

Andy and I have watched a lot of movies this holiday season, both at home and in the theater.  Here are some brief reviews for you.

*Hugo.  Awesome!  A great film to watch during the holidays, and you don't have to be a kid to enjoy it.  Beautifully filmed.  I posted a little about it here.  We watched in in 3-D.  I thought Scorsese utilized the 3-D to great effect.
*Sherlock Homes 2.  Meh.  Made me sleepy.  I didn't particularly care for the first one, either.
*Melancholia.  Gorgeous.  Disturbing.  Loved it.  Afterwards, Andy and I had strangers talk to each of us in the restrooms.  A woman asked me what I thought of the movie.  In the men's room, a guy told Andy, "Guess I won't be getting any tonight."  !?  They turned out to be a couple, and they followed us to the cocktail bar around the corner and then left almost as soon as they entered without ordering anything.
*The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Good.  But as expected, didn't add much to the Swedish-made original film, other than sexing up Mikael Blomkvist by casting Daniel Craig.
*Beginners.  This was a Netflix rental.  Pretty bad.  Considering the great cast (Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor, Melanie Laurent, an extremely cute terrier), I was disappointed.  Also--and this was my bad, since I picked it--a depressing choice for Christmas day.  I thought this was going to be quirky and heartwarming.  It was quirky.  (And I am not one of those people who likes "feel good" movies.  See: my positive review of Melancholia.)
*The Illusionist (L'Illusionniste).  Wonderful!  An animated film based on an unproduced script by Jacques Tati.  This was made by Sylvain Chomet, the same director who made The Triplets of Belleville, which is also delightful.  Absolutely gorgeous, and bonus: set in Edinburgh.

Happy new year to all!


Friday, December 30, 2011

new year, new clothes

Here's a wee shop preview--of items that will probably mostly arrive in the shop in the new year!

1950s horse and horseshoe suede pullover jacket.

1950s ocean blue shantung dress with wide collar and belt.

1950s floral print cardigan.

1980s dots and stripes dress with belt, by Kings Row.

1970s Harris Tweed fitted jacket, by John Stephen of London.

1950s plaid fringed kilt, by Aljean.

1950s mustard yellow crochet flower and rayon dress.

1950s black cape with scarlet lining, Travelcoats by Naman.

1970s Vera Neumann butterfly print tunic blouse.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The pairing of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn most likely brings to mind The Philadelphia Story (1940) or Bringing Up Baby (1938).  But Holiday (1938, directed by George Cukor) is possibly my favorite.  It's the story of Johnny (Grant), a self-made man who has proposed marriage to heiress Julia.  Johnny wants to quit working so he can travel and experience life.  Julia can't understand why he doesn't want to just make more money, but her sister, Linda (Hepburn), a fellow free spirit, understands Johnny completely.  You can imagine what happens next.

There are some lovely late 1930s fashions in the film.  A New Year's Eve/engagement party showcases some evening wear, but I really enjoy seeing the daily outfits and shoes (and wild hats) the sisters wear.

Linda is usually dressed a bit more simply and less flashy than Julia, though still always very elegantly.  I prefer Linda's black satin dress here.

Hepburn is dressed in a simple black gown for the party, but wears a necklace that sparkles more than anything I have ever seen captured on film.  I really think Cukor used some kind of special effect for the glittering jewels on this necklace.

I love this scene.  Ned (Lew Ayres), the sisters' hard-drinking, frustrated musician brother, marches in with champagne.  Ayres plays this role with the perfect mixture of humor and pathos.

Grant and Hepburn perform some fantastic tumbling moves in the film.


Friday, December 23, 2011

some things never change

I was looking at some old photos and realized that perhaps--like so many things--our sense of style is set at an early age.  For example, I still think I look best with bangs.

(See what I mean about the bangs?)  I still love plaid.

I can't say I wear a lot of animal prints these days, but I do love my leopard coat.  And still rock serious bedhead sometimes.

A yellow dress with floral applique?  Yeah, I'd still wear that.

The nautical look?  Absolutely!

A plaid poncho?  Sure.  And I appear to have inherited a penchant for nerd glasses from my parents.

A scratch and sniff pizza t-shirt?  Nah, probably won't do that again.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

shop update preview

Here's the fresh batch of lovely vintage, coming to the shop shortly.

1950s true blue chantilly lace party dress.

Wool plaid cape with fringe.

Mod 1960s grid print dress and matching coat.

Beaded flowers cardigan with rhinestones.

Koret of California olive glen plaid skirt suit, with attached scarf!

1950s blue corduroy inverted pleats skirt.

1960s folklore paisley print dress, by Butte Knit.

1980s cream Irish wool cable knit sweater, by LL Bean.

1940s nubby brown rayon blend dress with belt, by Eve Carver.

1950s houndstooth coat with giant buttons, by Skinner Chamberlain.

1960s bohemian silk taffeta dress with sash belt.

1960s ski sweater.

1940s pastoral print rayon dress with big buttons.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

fancy slankets for 1955

I promised you some more holiday snippets from the December 1955 Women's Home Companion.  This article is about festive yet comfortable outfits for Christmas day or for holiday evenings at home.  Apparently they did not have Slankets or Snuggies in the 1950s.

Hey, if Dad's going to wear a suit, the least you can do is put a skirt or pants...or velveteen pants, for the kiddos.

The Clare McCardell "nightshirt dress" on the left reminds me a little of a Japanese kimono and does indeed look comfortable enough for an evening in.  And the blue velveteen outfit and cardigan on the right are totally cute.

Matching golden paisley shirt and pants set by Reid and Reid.


Monday, December 19, 2011

film fashion: hugo

Andy and I saw Martin Scorsese's Hugo (in 3-D!) this weekend, and we really enjoyed it.  It's a charming film that is not just for children (something I was a bit worried about).  It's set in 1930s Paris, and naturally, I found myself obsessed with the look of one of the characters: Hugo's young friend, Isabelle.

I'm not sure what it is with me and the clothing young girls wore in the 1930s (see also my post about the film Cracks), but I love it and find it very inspiring.  Maybe it's because these girls (at least in the films) don't dress particularly childishly, but rather like young, if quirky, adults.  Anyway, Isabelle wears pretty much the same outfit througout the film: beret, striped sweater (boatneck, with buttons at the shoulder), plaid skirt, tweed jacket, and knee socks with brown boots.

I found some Isabelle-esque pieces on Etsy to recreate this look.  I might try it myself (well, sans kneesocks)--or at least I will make an effort to start wearing a beret again!

1. Harris tweed coat, from VintageChicago.
2. Brown ankle boots, from JLVintage.
3. Black Mr. John beret, from PoppycockVintage.
4. Tartan skirt by Ben Nevis, from CustardHeartVintage.
5. Handknit striped merino boatneck sweater, from corieangel.



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