Monday, May 23, 2016

A Star's Wardrobe Make-Over

Gene Marshall, circa 1940's
Miss Marshall's brown and cream herringbone suit from Ashton Drake's Star Wardrobe Collection gets a marvelous make-over by removing the original fur collar and cuffs to reveal a sleek silhouette, perfect for accessorizing. The mother-of-pearl buttons were replaced with a delightful Bakelite button accent at the waist. Underneath a cream linen dickey maintains the clean line of this fabulous Forties suit. Fur drape is from miniature furrier PD Root. Handbag and gloves are from Ashton Drake. The crochet pin "corsage", earrings, and hat are from The Couture Touch.

Zita Charles models the original suit ensemble......

Zita Charles

Gene Marshall tops her "new" suit with the re-shaped and re-styled hat
from Madra Lord's "Top This" costume.

Sometimes inspiration for a make-over can come from a failed project. After successfully dyeing my original "Croquet, Anyone?" ensemble a charcoal grey, I purchased a second costume in order to dye it another color. The dress dyed beautifully; the jacket not so well. 

Gene Marshall
So why not make something new from something old. In this case, ripping apart the old jacket and making a pattern for a new one. The result gives this version of "Croquet, Anyone?" a smart new look. Fur from PD Root, hat from Ashton Drake's "Fashion Plot" ensemble, and gauntlet gloves from The Couture Touch.

Gene Marshall
Miss Marshall updates this versatile jacket by pairing it with the pinstriped shirt from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection and a black skirt from Sandra Stillwell. Fur is from Integrity, Black suede gauntlet gloves and felt hat are from The Couture Touch. Handbag and bracelet are from Ashton Drake.

The original circa 1941 "Croquet, Anyone?" ensemble was designed by Lynne Day for Ashton Drake's Gene Marshall Collection.

Miss Marshall and Miss Charles appear courtesy Monolithic Studios.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lucky is the Lady

Miss Madra Lord, circa 1940's

While taking a break from filming in Monte Carlo, Monolithic Studios' diva Madra Lord tries her luck at a casino wearing Gene Marshall's "Lucky Stripe" dress and making it her own. The original striped panel was removed and a belt and floral accent were added to highlight the asymmetric pleating. Black suede gauntlet gloves, a marvelous slouch hat, and sumptuous fur add drama to this 1940's ensemble. Additional accessories include a beaded drawstring bag from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection, and necklace/earring set from Ashton Drake. Gloves, hat and bracelet are from The Couture Touch. Fur from Hunter-Goldblatt. Metropolitan Madra Lord is from Integrity.

The original "Lucky Stripe" afternoon ensemble was designed by Tim Kennedy for Ashton Drake's 1999 Gene Marshall Collection. It was based on this 1946 Lucien Lelong dinner dress illustration by Rene Gruau.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tour d'Argent Re-Imagined

Tour d'Argent
Photo courtesy D.A.E. Originals

D.A.E. Originals "Tour d'Argent" costume, from the 2005 Vivian & Monty Jet Set Romance Collection, is a faithful recreation of Christian Dior's 1947 "Mystere" black wool crepe coat. The late afternoon coat dress features a pleated green collar and matching skirt inset of iridescent satin organza.

Mystere coat by Christian Dior.
Photo by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Harper's Bazaar courtesy

Although I love the original design of Tour d'Argent, which I purchased on the secondary market, the pleated collar did not lay correctly. So you probably can guess where I'm going with this.....Tour d'Argent, re-imagined!

Miss Gene Marshall
Miss Marshall wears a re-styled Tour d'Argent, now re-imagined in redingote style. A redingote is a light-weight flared coat secured at the waist and took its inspiration from historical riding attire. The 1940's and 50's versions were often paired with a coordinating print dress.

1950's Dress with Redingote

1950's Redingote ensemble

1950's Redingote with collar

1940's Redingote courtesy

Credits for Miss Marshall's restyled costume:

Underneath Tour d'Argent is the skirt from Fashion Plot and blouse from Turbulence. Accessories include the purse from Lucky Stripe and gloves from Dark Desire. All Ashton Drake. Hat is from Sandra Stillwell. Layered bow accents are from various outfits. Everything's Coming Up Roses Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

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.