Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Paris Adaptation

Gene Marshall
Mademoiselle Gene Marshall of Monolithic Studios wears a wine two-piece dress accented with brown satin piping designed by miniature couturier PD Root of "Maison PeDais". Complementing the chic ensemble is a dramatic, rich brown hat borrowed from Mattel's Publicity Tour Barbie doll, gloves from D.A.E. Originals, bracelet from Integrity, and earrings from The Couture Touch. The inspiration for Mme. Marshall's dress could very well have come from this Advance Import Adaptation pattern. These sewing patterns were based on trends and styles originating in Paris during the 1950's.
Advance #75

Advance sewing patterns were sold exclusively at JC Penney from 1933 until 1966. In 1948, Advance created a premium line of patterns called Advance Import Adaptation designed for the fashion-forward home sewer. Here are a few favorites courtesy

Advance #42 
Advance #61
Advance #51


Blueprints of Fashion, Home Sewing Patterns of the 1950's by Wade Laboissonniere.

Vintage Pattern Wiki

"Phoenix" Gene Marshall is from Mel Odom and JamieShow. Wig from Time of Doll

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Asian Inspiration

Anna May Wong, circa 1930's.
The exotic allure and fascination with the Far East have inspired fashion designers throughout the 20th Century. American couturier Valentina, who loved the clean lines of Asian design, was mad about the conical hats often referred to as coolie hats. Originating in Southeastern Asia, the simplistic style of the conical hat was primarily used as protection from the elements. This style hat is most often associated with beach wear, but it is also a chic look paired with a tailored dress or suit.

Valentina design, circa 1940's. Photo courtesy

A marvelous red "coolie" hat, circa 1954.
Photo courtesy Couture Allure

Sophisticated 1950's suit topped with a dashing "coolie" hat.
Photo courtesy

The traditional "coolie" hat was made of straw or bamboo; however sumptuous silks, luxurious velvet, brocades, and other fabrics have been used by fashion designers and milliners throughout the decades. Often these peaked, conical hats were left without adornment, but trimmings such as bows, beading, flowers, tassels, feathers, and embroidery were also used.

Beach wear, circa 1938.
Note the matching coolie hat with the edges trimmed with contrast binding.
Photo courtesy

How-to instructions for a cute beach hat from a circa 1940's newspaper.
Courtesy thewartimewoman

Miss Gene Marshall
Gene Marshall is a vision of fashionable allure in an Asian-inspired ensemble from the costume vault at Monolithic Studios. The jacket from Integrity's "Cherry Smash" (with added button detailing) is paired with a black skirt and red gloves, both from Robert Tonner. The delightful conical hat of black and white dotted silk faille trimmed with a contrast black binding and chin-strap completes the ensemble. The peaked shallow crown is topped with a circle of red ruched satin from the original "Cherry Smash" bandeau style hat. Jewels are from Ashton Drake. White Orchid Gene Marshall is from Mel Odom and JamieShow.

You can easily make your own Asian-Inspired "Coolie" Hat for Miss Marshall & Company just in time for Spring. Click HERE for instructions.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gene Marshall in Zoe

1950's Suit Style in Black and White.

Miss Gene Marshall
Zoe is a sophisticated 3-piece suit ensemble designed by Sandra Stillwell for her 2015 Bellissima, Italian Style! event. The impeccably cut and intricately detailed suit is made of black and silver metallic checked silk. A dramatic black felt platter hat trimmed in black velveteen, gloves, and marvelous black and silver shoes (not shown) were included. Blue Belle Gene Marshall, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Noir Style of Gene Marshall

The darling of Monolithic Studios, Miss Gene Marshall, is no stranger to playing a femme fatale. Her first screen appearance as a feisty gangster's moll in the 1944 film "Red Venus" was a huge success. For her role in "The Shanghai Affair" (1947), Miss Marshall pairs the jacket from Ashton Drake's The Perfect Gift with a black skirt from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection. Accessories include a fabulous turban, matching gloves, and jewelry from The Couture Touch. Fur is from miniature furrier PD Root, and belt from Integrity. White Orchid Gene Marshall is from Mel Odom and JamieShow.

Seductive and sultry, Miss Marshall wears a sleek, black wool crepe, cocktail sheath accented with a beaded collar for her role in "Pick Up on 47th Street" (1951). Embassy Luncheon was designed by Laura Meisner exclusively for Ashton Drake's Gene Marshall Collection. Fur is from Mattel. Earrings and cigarette holder are from The Couture Touch. Bracelet is from Facets by Marcia. Phoenix Gene Marshall is from Mel Odom and JamieShow.

More ladies of noir with incredible style.

Valerie Hobson, Shadows of the Underworld (1940).
Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce (1945).
Photo courtesy
Gale Sondergaard, Sherlock Holmes & the Spider Woman (1944).
Photo courtesy

Noir-inspired fashion ad from Lord & Taylor (1941).

Miss Marshall plays the merry widow in true noir style wearing her favorite suit from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection. Blouse is from Integrity, purse from Madame Alexander, hat from Ashton Drake, and fur from PD Root. Color-blocked suede gauntlet gloves are from The Couture Touch. Symphony in G Gene Marshall, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

And for those noir evenings.....
Lizabeth Scott (with Bogie), Dead Reckoning (1947).
Photo courtesy

Miss Marshall turns heads in the glamorous Ransom in Red gown designed exclusively for Gene by Tim Kennedy. Evening ensemble and Destiny Gene Marshall are all from Ashton Drake. Miss Marshall's hair has been styled by The Couture Touch.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lunch with Luciano

Wearing a sophisticated suit ensemble, American film diva Madra Lord arrived at the elegant St. George Hotel in Rome for lunch with famed Italian film director Luciano Emmer.  "Bellissima, my darling!"  Luciano exclaimed.

Miss Madra Lord
"Lunch with Luciano" features a beautifully detailed mustard and black checked, double-breasted jacket with tuxedo "tails"; slim black skirt, black gloves, and drop earrings. The original cream scarf is replaced with the lace blouse from Ashton Drake's "Hello Hollywood Hello" costume. A dramatic black feathered hat, "charm" bracelet (both from The Couture Touch), and black fur muff from Ashton Drake complete the stylish ensemble. And of course, every star needs a glamorous pair of sunglasses. (From Horsman's Vita Collection).

Photo courtesy Sandra Stillwell Presents....
Inspired by this circa 1950's suit ensemble from the House of Fontana, Sandra Stillwell created "Lunch with Luciano" exclusively for her 2015 Bellissima Italian Style!! event.

Photo courtesy
This versatile jacket style can go from daytime chic to evening elegance as illustrated on this circa 1940's Vogue Couturier Pattern envelope.

So after a successful lunch with Luciano....what better way to spend the remainder of the day?  Why shopping, of course!  


Black Widow Madra Lord (enhanced with an Integrity body) is from Ashton Drake.
Photography backdrops are from

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Sophisticated Shirtwaist

Impeccably Cut....Magnificently Accessorized.....

Madra Lord knows a thing or two about accessorizing! She pairs the phenomenal "Reading for Rossellini", a dotted shirtwaist-style dress from Sandra Stillwell's Bellissima, Italian Style! event, with the delightful hat and purse from Ashton Drake's "Lucky Stripe" costume. Gloves are from Integrity. "Spotted in Manhattan" Madra Lord is from Mel Odom and JamieShow.

Photo courtesy

The iconic shirtwaist was one of the most popular and successful dress styles in the 1950's. Originally called the "shirtmaker" dress, it was introduced and advertised by Best & Company in New York City in 1926. The shirtwaist is a two-piece dress, stitched together at the waistline. The traditional shirtwaist borrows details from a man's shirt, however there were many variations. Shirtwaist dresses were often made up in crisp fabrics such as cotton or silk, much like a men's shirt would be. The 50's version featured a full, billowy skirt with a wasp-like waist. Women found the style easy-to-wear and flattering to most figures. It easily went from the market at eight, to lunch with the girls at noon, to a bridge party at four with just a change of accessories.

A knitted shirtwaist from a pattern courtesy

Photo courtesy The Nifty Fifties.

Dovima on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, February 1952.
Photo courtesy D.Tarantula.

An early Fashion Royalty wears a classic yellow shirtwaist from Bogue's Vogues. 
Hat and purse are from Mattel. 

Photo courtesy

Color and Design in Apparel by Bernice Chambers. Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Sari Maritza, circa 1930's.
Photo courtesy Sheris-Musings.