Thursday, June 26, 2014

shop preview: pink flowers, red polka dots, birch tree pants, and Wonder Woman

Pink carnations, red and white polka dots, filet lace, modern lines, birch tree pants, and Wonder Woman!  You'll find all of these and more in this week's shop preview.  All items arriving in the shop starting today.

1950s Pink Carnations print cotton piqué dress.

1973 Wonder Woman t-shirt.

1950s black cotton dress with crochet mesh and cutwork bodice.

1950s pink on black atomic flower print Brentwood cotton dress for Penney's.

1970s birch tree print pants.

1960s purple and pink tulip and gladiolus print dress.

1960s modern print trapeze dress.

1960s pale sage green pintucks blouse, New Era by Peter Pan.

1960s floral print dress with scarf collar by Lynda Lou.

1950s chrysanthemum print polished cotton long tunic top or lounge jacket with frog closures, by Paulette Chicago.

1950s two piece nautical blouse and skirt set.

1960s woven folkloric skirt.

1960s reversible gingham dress with giant daisy eyelets and scalloped hem.

1960s Art School Confidential abstract print dress by Simplicity Frock.

1960s pink and yellow floral print top by Lady Palmland Miami.

1970s Gypsy Feather print dress.

1950s red polka dot dress with bows on the shoulders and lace trim.

1950s Bodleian print cotton blouse.

1960s embroidered and filet lace-trimmed linen sheath dress by R&K originals.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I'm not sure why it took me so long to watch Intermezzo.  Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Howard are two of my favorite actors.  I didn't love it as much as I love other films they've each made--it's a love story, and a bit on the soapy side--but it was still worth watching.  Howard plays a famous concert violinist who falls in love with his daughter's piano teacher, played by Bergman. The movie came out in 1939 and was Bergman's first American film.  (She had already starred, three years earlier, in the original Swedish language version of the film, playing the same role.)

Bergman's wardrobe in this film is by Irene (a.k.a. Irene Lentz).  She is not as famous today as Edith Head or Adrian, but during Hollywood's golden age she was well-known as a designer of both elegant dresses and sophisticated, well-tailored, California style women's wear.  (She is possibly best remembered for the "scandalous" shorts and cropped top worn by Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice.)  

I love the dress Bergman is wearing here:  the large, contrasting collar, military style buttons and cinched-in waist with wide belt.  Bergman is so young and sweet-looking; this dress gives her piano teacher character a bit of gravitas.

Gratuitous tuxedo shot of Leslie Howard.

Bergman in a light colored pinafore style dress that emphasizes her youth. . . 

. . . especially when contrasted with the darker, more sophisticated-looking dress worn here by Edna Best, who plays Howard's wife.

This is, I think, one of just two evening gowns worn by Bergman in the film.  Notice again the belt and large buckle detail at the waist.

Despite its soapy ending, Intermezzo is worth watching for Bergman and Howard, and for the lovely music in the film.  Additionally, the cinematography is gorgeous.  I will always be a sucker for a lamplit foggy evening in a European city.  And there is just a hint at the terrible times to come for Europe during this scene when Howard says something to Bergman about "the time when Vienna was a happy city."

I have a small obsession with bar and restaurant scenes in 1930s and 1940s films.

Okay, back to the clothes.  My favorite outfits, of course, were those worn by Bergman when she and Howard are on holiday.  My screenshots aren't the greatest, but I love the skirts, pants and casual slingbacks she wears.

Those pockets!

This--the pants, the belt, the scarf/tie--is my favorite!  And those stripes on Howard are awfully cute.  It's interesting how here--just when they are at the pinnacle of happiness, which is about to disappear--Bergman looks so powerful and in control.  And Howard looks a bit like a little boy.

Some serious 1930s pouf action on those sleeves.  Bergman has decided she must let Howard go.  To say goodbye (although he doesn't yet know it's goodbye), she wears, arguably, the most romantic-looking outfit of the film.

The fabric those sleeves are made from really is gorgeous.  I think it's lace (click on the pic to see it bigger).  I love the echo here of their previous scene in the train station, where they were supposed to say goodbye and didn't.  Now they are saying goodbye for good. . . though Howard doesn't know it yet.


Monday, June 23, 2014

vintage saved!

If you wear vintage clothing, you've no doubt experienced "the bleeder"--the beautiful dress or blouse that hits the water and bleeds dye that doesn't rinse out, but instead stains the rest of the garment.  I've experienced a few of these heartbreaks.  But I'd yet to find a way to save a garment that had bled in this manner.  I've had the above pretty dress since last summer.  It's a gorgeous 1950s printed piqué cotton and I was hesitant to deal with it because I knew it would be a bleeder.  I finally got brave two weeks ago and dipped it quickly in cold water and white vinegar.  (I have read on the internets conflicting information about vinegar helping to set dye.)  I set it out in the sun to dry, and as you can see from the photo above, it had bled pretty heavily.

This was one bleeder too many, and I decided to go to the experts--fellow vintage sellers and lovers on Instagram--and they did not let me down.  It was suggested that I put the dress back in cold water and change the water frequently.  I did this, and after some time (overnight) I saw what I thought was a lessening of the dye bleed.  Color catching sheets (Shout makes them; there may be other brands) were also suggested.  I put a pair of these in the water overnight two nights in a row.  The first night they had turned pretty pink; they were paler pink the second time.  They were certainly sucking up some dye, but whether they were removing the dye that had bled I couldn't be sure.  It was hard to tell with the dress soaking wet.

Finally, a couple people also suggested Synthrapol, a detergent with the specific purpose of removing excess dyes.  We couldn't find it in stores locally, so I ordered some (along with some Retayne, which sets dyes on cotton, to use after the Synthrapol) from Dharma Trading Co.  It took a week to arrive, and in the meantime, I kept the dress sitting in cold water which I changed once a day.  The Synthrapol directions have you wash the garment in hot water in the washing machine, which made me a bit nervous (I was fearful the hot water would cause the dye to run even more). . . but I needn't have been.  Look how the dress came out!

All the bleed is gone!  Even a couple minor stains on the dress were removed in this process.  It's not a miracle, but after having so many dye bleeds ruin garments, it feels a bit like one.  I'll probably be listing this lovely dress this week.

I have to thank the following bloggers, sellers and vintage lovers who shared their knowledge with me:  Pretty Little World Vintage, The Vintage Traveler, Two Old Beans, Jenny N Design, Love Charles, and Sabrosa Vintage.  This dress is saved because of you!


Friday, June 20, 2014

shop accessories preview: bags, 1940s oxfords and bow ties

Here is a small shop accessories preview:  tapestry bags, some 1940s oxfords, and bow ties.  The first bag is already in the shop; everything else is arriving shortly.

1940s Butterflies and Blooms large needlepoint tapestry bag by Christine Custom Bags (in the shop!).

1960s floral tapestry bag by Town & Country.

1940s taupe leather oxfords with triangular cut-outs.

1960s pink and gray striped silk adjustable length bow tie.

1960s gold paisley silk adjustable length bow tie.

1950s Dots and Dashes clip-on bow tie.

Sorry, guys and gals.  It looks like Pickles will be keeping this plaid bow tie!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

shop preview: bright poppies, antique crochet lace, and a lighthouse skirt

This week's shop preview is just bursting with bright colors and fantastic prints!  The first several items are already in the shop--you can go directly to them by clicking the description link--and the rest are arriving shortly.

1950s Wedgwood blue embroidered dress and top set, by Henry-Lee.

1950s pink peony print blouse, by Shapely Classic.

1960s bright floral print dress, by Alex Colman.

1940s rose pink linen dress with rhinestone flowers.

1960s orange and blue plaid shorts.

1950s white embroidered dress with bow belt, by Carol Rodgers.

1960s red and pink rose print cotton sleeveless blouse.

1960s PHUKET print linen dress.



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