Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blossoming Hats

Turban by Madame Pauline

Vogue declared for Spring 1941:  Be prepared to wear floral hats this season.  They're fresh, optimistic, and men adore them.  These delightful toppers are perfect with furs, tweeds, tailored daywear, and dinner suits. And as a final tip, spritz perfume on those blossoms, just to make believe they live.

So enjoy the 1941 flower show...

A dramatic cluster of pansies adorn this blue silk satin and purple felt turban by Lilly Dache.

Three huge garnet roses top this purple silk jersey turban by Madame Pauline. The flower-toned gloves provide the perfect accent.

A bunch of violets on a flaring snood of blue silk satin by Lilly Dache.  Again note the matching gloves.

Brown violets on a yellow straw hat with lots of veiling by Walter Florell.

Credits: Vogue, January 15, 1941
             Photos by Rawlings

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dobbs Hats for Spring 1940

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Dobbs is a name synonymous with impeccable quality and classic styling.  They are legendary for their straw and felt hats for both men and women.  This illustration from the January 1940 issue of Vogue shows two Dobbs hats for Spring 1940.  A grey felt banded with red grosgrain on the left, and a cocoanut straw imported from Nassau on the right.  Illustration by Rene Bouet-Willaumez (1900-1979). 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1940's Day Suit

Click photo to enlarge
"What's she got you haven't got?"  How about a great red suit for Spring 1940!  A perennial favorite, red is passion, energy, beauty, and power. Wear red and you will definitely get noticed.  This photo is from an advertisement for Buick found in the January 1940 issue of Vogue magazine.  Sadly there were no credits given for the photo or for the wonderful ensemble.

Click photo to enlarge
Here is my favorite miniature diva in a similar red crepe 1940's suit from the Star Wardrobe Collection by Ashton Drake.  I narrowed the skirt a bit and added the asymmetrical epaulet detailing at the shoulder.  The hat was a doll show find, and the shoes are borrowed from Robert Tonner's Classic Portrait Joan Crawford.  The table and chair are from Ashton Drake.  My model/muse is a restyled Simply Platinum Gene Marshall from Ashton Drake.

Click photo to enlarge
From the delicate piping on the pockets to the velveteen fabric buttons, I love the intricate detailing on this classic jacket. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vintage Fashion Resource

In order to support their dealers, home sewing pattern companies published monthly booklets that highlighted their latest styles.  These wonderfully illustrated booklets were a free promotional give-away tool for retailers. They provide a glimpse of 20th Century fashions that were available at the time to the home sewer.  You can still find these booklets at flea markets, antique malls, and online.  Because they were printed on newsprint, they are often in delicate condition but are still an excellent resource for costume designers and collectors of vintage fashion.  The following scans of vintage sewing pattern booklets are from my personal collection. As always, click on the photos to enlarge.

McCall Style News
"Insist on a McCall Pattern - It's the short cut to Paris style."  Perfectly illustrating that point are 2 fabulous Fall suit ensembles from 1936 and 1938 respectively.

Prevue Simplicity Fashions
Both of these booklets are from December 1940 and 1941 respectively.  I love their use of vivid color and dramatic accessorizing.

Vogue Patterns
Published by Conde Nast, October 1939 for Marshall Field & Company in Oak Park, Illinois.  My favorite place to shop for the most fabulous fabrics was at Marshall Fields in Chicago.

New York Gold Seal Patterns
Young, flirty Spring styles from New York Patterns, March 1940 and February 1942 respectively.  New York Pattern Company was short-lived, approximately circa 1930 - early 1950's.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inspirations: Gene Artists

In 1995, Ashton Drake Galleries launched Mel Odom's new fashion doll, Gene Marshall.  I hesitated at first because of her larger size as I only collected Barbie dolls at the time.  But her Vargas-like features and fabulous vintage-inspired wardrobe hooked me. It wasn't long until I discovered some wonderful doll artists that were creating original, one-of-a-kind or limited edition fashions for Gene. In addition to designing for the Barbie doll, many of these artists began adding Gene to their repertoire.  The following are a few of my favorites from my personal collection.  As always, be sure to click each photo to enlarge.  Enjoy the fashion show.

This striking dress is called "Simply Boulevard" by D.A.E. Originals.  I don't know why I missed a lot of their earlier Gene fashions, but was lucky enough to snag this one from a fellow collector.  The hat is from Bogue's Vogues.  The jewelry, gloves, purse, and shoes are from Ashton Drake.  My muse is Ashton Drake's "Love Paris" Gene Marshall.  Click here for D.A.E. Orginal's website

A classic 1950's black silk cocktail sheath and matching hat by Bogue's Vogues.  Jewelry and gloves from Ashton Drake. Shoes by Joe Tai.  Modeled by Integrity's Zita Charles.  Click here for Bogue's Vogues Etsy shop

Another fabulous ensemble by Bogue's Vogues called "1953".  The jacket features Bogue's signature waist detailing.  The earrings, necklace, and gloves are from Ashton Drake.  The handbag and bracelet are from Integrity. Ashton Drake's "Best Bet" Gene Marshall with an Integrity articulated body and Monique wig is the model/muse.  (The original hat to this suit is shown in the first photo accessorizing the dress by D.A.E. Originals.)   Table by Liz Cole for Retros.  Click here for Retros' Etsy shop

I met PD Root at a local doll show a few years back and loved his tailored daywear looks for Gene.  And every girl has to have one of his genuine fur drapes.  This circa 1940's 2-piece ensemble is accented with one of those to die for furs.  My restyled Simply Gene by Ashton Drake is the lucky model.  PD Root's eBay User ID is nunner502000.

"Fond Farewell" was designed exclusively for the 2000 Gene Convention by Mark Middendorf.  This was from a centerpiece doll, limited edition of 55.  "Fond Farewell"  is a circa 1940's grey wool suit with matching fur wrap and black leather structured handbag.  I replaced the original hat with one of my own designs to better fit with my restyled "Ooh La La" Gene from Integrity.  Shoes are from Jennifer Sue.  Click here for Mark Middendorf's website

To end the fashion show, a spectacular evening ensemble by Michael Scott.  I love the alligator print fabric and the design of the jewelry.  The purse is ingeniously attached to the gloves. A perfect look for the sultry Violet Waters by Ashton Drake.  Click here for Michael Scott's website