Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing in the New Year: Vintage Barbie Style

Well....A vintage reproduction anyway!  I think it's fitting to end the year with the doll that started my magnificent obsession of doll collecting and eventually, vintage fashion:  Barbie!    Ringing in the New Year in style is "Solo In The Spotlight" Barbie, an early Mattel vintage reproduction doll.  Her hair was re-rooted into an American Girl style (artist unknown).  May the New Year bring you peace, happiness, and a wealth of new dolls!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tis the Season!

To give!   To Celebrate!   To Enjoy!  

Happy Holidays

Queen of Hearts Gene Marshall in Bonnie & Blythe
Hat, gloves, & belt by The Couture Touch
Shoes from Integrity
Dress, fur, & jewelry from Ashton Drake

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Violet Waters Makes Her Holiday Entrance

Integrity's Heat Wave Violet Waters enjoys a Holiday cocktail in Gene Marshall's "Star Entrance" evening ensemble.  OOAK feathered headpiece from The Couture Touch,  jewelry from Tonner's Tyler Wentworth collection.  Violet's long locks have been restyled into a chignon.

I found this ad for Foreman Fabrics in my copy of the Dec/Jan 1944-45 issue of Vogue Pattern Book.  This chic rayon crepe day ensemble was designed by Nettie Rosenstein and utilizes the same bodice treatment as Gene's "Star Entrance" gown.  I love the beautiful draping of this long-sleeved version, and there are even matching gauntlet gloves!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Hats I Wished They Had Made

Accessories can do wonders to change the look of a costume, and hats can provide the ultimate drama to any ensemble.  Here are 3 examples utilizing costumes designed exclusively for The Gene Marshall Collection by Ashton Drake. 

"Paradise in Pink" was a faithful recreation of Marsha Hunt's 1946 wedding suit for the 2004 Annual Gene Hollywood Convention.  It is a simple yet stunning dusty pink wool crepe 2-piece suit with fabulous pink "fox" trim at the sleeves.

From "The Way We Wore" by Marsha Hunt
The original floral hat accented with layers of pink netting was designed by Sydney Guilaroff, Chief Hairstylist at MGM.

A striped toque accented with black marabou feathers gives this ensemble a dramatic turn.  The marcasite clips at the neckline were made from an old piece of jewelry.  Hat and jewelry from The Couture Touch.  Scarlet Temptress Madra Lord from Ashton Drake is my model/muse.

Courtesy of Ashton Drake
The ensemble for "Scarlet Temptress" Madra Lord was designed by Tim Kennedy and was an exact copy of a 1947 Christian Dior design.  The original cocktail hat was a ribbon rose and veiling.

Here's my take on this iconic design with a complete change of accessories.  The dramatic black suede hat and beaded "lucite" purse are from The Couture Touch,  jewelry and gloves from Ashton Drake,  the belt buckle is from a Barbie doll gown.  Integrity's "Flame" Madra Lord is my model/muse.

I never thought the original hat for "Press Conference" did the ensemble justice.  It was a braided headband accented with organza bows.  Recently I came across what may have been the inspiration for this mid 1940's 2-piece suit designed for Ashton Drake's Gene Marshall Collection by Dolly Cipolla.  It was accessorized with a turban style hat accented with flowers.  I decided to do a turban style but with a fur accent that matches the fur drape from PD Root.  The gauntlet gloves are borrowed from "Winged Inspiration" by Ashton Drake.  I added peach colored gems to dress up an Integrity goldtone cuff bracelet.  My model/muse is "Symphony in G" Gene Marshall from Ashton Drake.

This Rose Barrack Original from 1945 was done in pink and brown.  I just love this look!  Photo is courtesy of  my vintage   If you haven't visited this site, you are in for a treat.  You will be inspired by the best in mid-century classic fashion and photography.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Art Deco Hair: Those Fabulous Finger Waves of the 1930's

Myrna Loy

A finger wave is a method of setting the hair into a wave shape that was popular during the Art Deco period of the 1920's and 1930's.  Finger waves are similar in appearance to the Marcel wave.  The main difference is how the waves are achieved.  Finger waves are molded into S shaped undulations with the fingers and a comb while the hair is wet.  Usually a lotion is used to help hold the shape.  The Marcel wave is achieved with a heated curling iron and was named after the 19th Century French hairdresser, Francois Marcel, who invented the process in 1872.  It revolutionized the art of hairdressing for years to come.

Bette Davis

Many Hollywood movie stars wore the latest in finger wave styles which contributed to its wide appeal.  It was a popular alternative to the bobbed hairstyles of the flapper period (think Louise Brooks) as it gave a softer and stylish look to evening wear as well as day wear.

Finger wave hairstyles also worked particularly well with the small, close to the head, hat styles of the 1930's.  Skull caps were seen with evening ensembles, and the small brimmed slouch hat became the perfect daytime accessory.  They were often tilted to one side and brims were tilted up in the back to reveal the neatly curled waves.

I was thrilled when Integrity introduced 1930's Madra Lord in 2008 and later Zita Charles to their line-up, complete with those fabulous finger wave hairstyles!  Pictured above on the left is Evening Mist Zita Charles wearing Integrity's "Dangerous Curves" frock.   The OOAK hat and gloves are from The Couture Touch, pin from Facets by Marcia,  fur and bracelet from Ashton Drake.  On the right is C'est Moi Madra Lord wearing Robert Tonner's "Mad About the Hat" suit ensemble from the Joan Crawford Collection.

Silhouette of the 1930's Zita Charles poses in Ashton Drake's "Fascination", a Violet Water's Art Deco inspired evening gown. 

Gene Marshall is truly a "Cinema Siren" in Tonner's Joan Crawford Deco evening ensemble.  Earrings and bracelet from Ashton Drake, cigarette holder from The Couture Touch.