Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hidden Treasure

Sometimes what's hidden beneath another piece of clothing turns out to be an unexpected treasure.  It could be a fabulous pair of shoes under a long gown or a beautifully tailored dress under a jacket or coat.

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This navy satin dress from Madame Alexander's Greta Garbo Grand Hotel ensemble is not often seen without its navy wool coat and matching cloche.  I decided to make it the standout piece by accenting it with a silk navy and black herringbone cape, black suede hat, and suede gloves, all from The Couture Touch.   The necklace and earrings are borrowed from Fringe Festival Ivy Jordan's evening ensemble.  The purse is original to the dress and the shoes are from Ashton Drake.  Moss Rose Ivy Jordan is my model/muse.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hollywood Stars and Sewing Patterns

At the height of film star Gene Marshall's popularity, Ashton Drake and Mel Odom partnered with Vogue Patterns to produce a line of sewing patterns exclusively for Gene and her rival Madra Lord.

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I found the original patten (Vogue 5317) illustrated in my copy of the Dec-Jan 1944-45 issue of Vogue Pattern Book.  The article was titled "Six Good Little Black Dresses".

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Gene is Traveling First Class in my color-blocked version of the pattern.  I re-positioned the bodice and yoke seaming and used 100% merino wool jersey.  The hat, jewelry, and gloves are from The Couture Touch.  The fur drape from PD Root.  Shoes from Ashton Drake.  The gloves are a new design based on an actual pair of 1940's gloves that I own.  My model/muse is Covent Garden Gene with her hair restyled.

Our love affair with movie stars is certainly not new and many companies including the home sewing industry capitalized on the public's fascination with these film icons.

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In the 1930's, Butterick obtained the exclusive rights to market patterns based on the clothing worn in specific films by well-known stars such as Katherine Hepburn.  These patterns were called Butterick "Starred Patterns".


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Hollywood Patterns (1932 - 1947) featured stars publicity photos on the cover of their pattern envelopes.  Carol Lombard, Claudette Colbert, and Katherine Hepburn were just a few A-list stars that were used.  These patterns were not exact copies of the stars' costumes as were the earlier Butterick "Starred Patterns".

In the late 1940's, the short-lived Companion Star Patterns (1947) featured costumes copied from the movie wardrobes of popular actresses such as Lucille Ball and Jane Wyman.

Resources:

If you're interested in sewing and/or vintage fashion, I highly recommend Wade Laboissonniere's books titled Blueprints of Fashion, Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940's and Blueprints of Fashion, Home Sewing Patterns of the 1950's.  They are excellent resources for the history of the home sewing industry as well as an archive of pattern envelope illustrations that document the fabulous styles of the 1940's and 1950's.

Hollywood Patterns are available to purchase at  So Vintage Patterns.  They have an amazing selection of original vintage sewing patterns from the 1900's - 1980's with emphasis on the 1940's and 1950's.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Barbie is Tres Chic in Bogue's Vogues

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Spa Getaway Barbie is looking tres chic in a new dress from Bogue's Vogues.  I just love this color combination. The two-piece outfit features an organdy blouse accented with a black bow in the same fabric as the ruched waistline of the skirt.  I added one of my own ooak hats to accent.  The gloves, bracelet, and shoes are from Mattel.  Purse from Integrity.   Bogue's Vogues Etsy Shop

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Here's a close-up of Spa Getaway Barbie sans her wig(s).  I don't know why, but I prefer the look of her molded hair.  I think she looks so sophisticated!  The picture on the table is a miniature replica of a Mel Odom illustration courtesy of Gigi's Dolls & Sherry's Teddy Bears in Chicago.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Hot Day in Hollywood, 1930 - 1950

Join me for a summer stroll through the decades with Hollywood stars Gene Marshall, Madra Lord, and Joan Crawford.  It's going to be a hot day in Hollywood folks.....

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Golden Riviera Madra Lord (Integrity) looks surreal in Tonner's delightful Tyler sweater (a la Schiaparelli) layered over her sleeveless white dress.  Shoes are also from the original outfit.  Purse from Integrity, bracelets from Tonner, gloves from Ashton Drake, and OOAK hat from The Couture Touch.

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Cinema Siren Joan Crawford is ready to lunch at the Press Club in Tonner's Brenda Starr "Press Club Luncheon" 1942 ensemble.  Earrings from PD Root.

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A restyled Simply Gene Marshall (Ashton Drake) is simply fabulous in D.A.E. Original's "Steppin Out", a delicious 1940's ensemble.  Love the dramatic hat and lace corsage accents.  The shoes and purse are borrowed from Tonner's Brenda Starr.

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Bronze Madra Lord from The Steppin' High Collection (Integrity) looks cool and fresh in "Spotted In The Park", a 1950's halter style dress.  Designed by Veronica Alvarado, Young Designer of America.

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Best Bet Gene Marshall (Ashton Drake) plays the 50's bombshell in the wiggle sheath from "Little Blessings" designed by Vince Nowell.  Atomic sunglasses from Integrity, shoes from Joe Tai, bracelet from Ashton Drake, lucite purse and cig holder from The Couture Touch.  Best Bet Gene has been wigged and her original body replaced with an articulated body from Integrity.

Set Credits:    Table and chair from Gene's Patio Set (Ashton Drake)
                      Accessories from A Hot Day in Hollywood Set (Ashton Drake)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Joan Crawford Selects A Chic 1930's Suit

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Tonner's Award Nights Joan Crawford from the Hollywood Ahoy Convention selects various pieces from Gene Marshall's wardrobe for a chic 1930's suit ensemble fit for a star. 

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The jacket is from Ashton Drake's Doing Her Part, Black linen shirt, velvet straight skirt, and purse from Bogue's Vogues, fabulous fur and hat from PD Root, gloves from The Couture Touch, cream ascot from Ashton Drake's Turbulance, cig holder from Ashton Drake's Anything But Nice.  Pin from unknown source.  Joan wears her own shoes.

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This photo of popular 1930's German actress, Martha Eggerth, was my inspiration for Joan's chic daytime ensemble. Eggerth emigrated to the United States due to the political situation in Germany.  She was highly successful in such Broadway hits as "The Merry Widow" and "Polonaise".  She also appeared in several films most notably with Gene Kelly and Judy Garland in "For Me and My Gal (1942).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The All Seasoned Suit

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Here is a suit that can span the seasons just by changing the accessories.  For Spring/Summer:  Shades of lilac complement Integrity's Town and Country taupe suit.  Floral tilt hat, lucite purse, and reversible gloves are from The Couture Touch, shoes from Joe Tai, bracelet from Facets by Marcia.  Gilty Girl Gene Marshall from Integrity is my model/muse.

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The jacket lining was my inspiration for the color of the accessories.  You can see a hint of the lilac and white dotted lining in this close-up shot.  I replaced the original jacket buttons with beading.

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The same suit, this time accessorized with a fur hat and muff from one of Ashton Drake's Hat Sets.  I reversed the gloves to the slightly deeper shade of pink, eliminated the bracelet and changed the earrings.  A perfect, soft look for Fall/Winter.

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Inspiration for Integrity's Town and Country ensemble?  Adele Simpson designed this suit that was featured in an ad for Juilliard's St. Regis 100% Virgin Wool suiting fabric.  Source:  Vogue, August 1, 1948 issue.

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Bond Street" Beauty

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During World War II, fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar were filled with patriotic advertisements.  This Yardley ad for their "Bond Street" perfume and beauty preparations is a great example.  Don't you just love that hat!

Lights on for Laughter - Lights on...soon...for reunions and romance!  Lights on for you....lovely as your dreams deserve....with "Bond Street" beauty preparations by Yardley to give you a head-start on the heavenly days ahead!   New world....new woman....with "Bond Street" perfume and beauty preparations by Yardley.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vintage-Inspired Spring Suits for Barbie

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This classic navy silk noil suit ensemble was designed by Charles L. Mo.  I purchased this chic dressed doll from Charles a few years back at a doll show.  He was one of the featured artists in Jim Faraone's first Fashion Doll Makeovers book, and a version of this ensemble was pictured along with some other gorgeous suits.  Charles designed vintage-inspired fashions with the 1959 to mid 1960's Barbie dolls in mind. 

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A reproducton Fashion Queen Barbie doll looks "bellissima" in this yummy silk suit ensemble from Bellissima Couture.  The lucite purse is from The Couture Touch.  Gloves and bracelet from Mattel.

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The same ensemble from Bellissima Couture paired with a floral hat from Hunter-Goldblatt.  Pin from Facets by Marcia, purse from The Couture Touch, gloves and bracelet from Mattel.  Model: Muffy Roberts Silkstone Barbie doll by Mattel.


Links:   Bellissima Couture

            Facets by Marcia

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Perfect for a day of sightseeing or window shopping, this luscious pink tweed suit is from the Haute Doll Exclusive "Weekend in New York" by D.A.E. Originals.  Model:  Suite Retreat Silkstone Barbie doll (wigged).

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Links:   D.A.E. Originals

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cabana Girls

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Actress Paulette Goddard wears a "dinner-in-cabana" costume designed by Hattie Carnegie perfect for those warm Florida nights.  Made of silk crepe and sequined embroidered.  A real shell clip with diamonds by Fulco Verdura accent the scarf.  Photo by Horst for Vogue, 1941. 

I was inspired to do my own photo shoot with another great actress, Miss Gene Marshall, wearing a similar costume from Ashton Drake.

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Love at First Sight Gene Marshall wears Shorts Story designed by Vince Nowell.  Her head scarf is from A Woman for All Seasons accented with a pearl and "diamond" pin from Mattel.   I substituted the original shoes for the wedge sandals from It Happened in Monterey.  Doll and fashions are from Ashton Drake. Table and statuette from Liz Cole/Retros.

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I was lucky to find a "pin" that perfectly accents the floral print on Gene's delightful costume.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

1930's Golden Riviera

Dateline New York:  A reliable source told me that film star Madra Lord is relaxing on the Riviera and will be returning home in style by way of a luxury ocean liner.


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Madra is looking tanned and relaxed for a day of sightseeing on the Riviera.  A white, quilted, satin coat is layered over pink satin capri pants and a white blouse with a cowl drape neckline.  These pieces are from the 2008 Golden Riviera Madra Lord Dressed Doll Gift Set from Integrity.  I wasn't a fan of the original hat so I made this little white hat from one of those sailor style hats available at craft stores.  The purse and bracelet are from other outfits.

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For those chilly nights aboard ship, the white satin coat does double duty over a black velvet bias gown.  The gown is from Tonner's Award Night convention ensemble and the hat is from Joan Crawford's Cinema Siren.  The lace gloves are from Integrity's Ooh La La Gene Marshall and the earrings are from Integrity's Heat Wave Violet Waters.  Cig holder from The Couture Touch.

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Here is a closer view of the beautifully detailed coat right down to the delicate covered buttons and fabulous wing collar. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stylist to the Dolls

One of my favorite ways to enjoy my dolls is to play fashion stylist.  I've organized the majority of my fashion doll ensembles as follows:  Jewelry, gloves, shoes, and purses are in plastic see-through, divided containers that can be stacked in my closet.  Closet organizer chests house hats and furs.  Clothing is separated into zip-lock bags and are stored in drawers with an inventory list as to what ensemble is in that drawer.  I keep a master on my computer so I can easily edit it as needed.  This system makes it easy to put together unique outfits for display or for a photo shoot.  One drawback to this system:  You want to sell the outfit later on and can't remember what goes with it!!!

Another favorite way to enjoy my dolls is to make hats for them.  There are many wonderful fashions available from a variety of manufacturers that simply do not include a hat.  That may be fine for contemporary clothing but hats....and gloves, etc. were an important part of the 1930's, 1940's, and the early 1950's.

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Here is an example of a cocktail suit that I felt needed a special hat.  City Sleeker, an Integrity W Club Zita Charles Dressed Doll Exclusive, is modeled by Deep Rose Madra Lord.  I designed the vintage floral cocktail hat just for this outfit.  The gloves are original to the ensemble.  The fabulous fur muff is from PD Root and the jewelry is an OOAK set I picked up from a doll show a few years back.

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I didn't design this hat for this particular suit, but I think it looks great with it.  This is a result of changing up one of my doll displays and coming up with a total new look for this Tonner Brenda Starr pinstriped suit.  The hat, gauntlet gloves, and jewelry are from The Couture Touch, fur drape from PD Root, and the portfolio is from Mattel.  Cig holder and telephone are from Ashton Drake. Table from Retros/Liz Cole.  My model/muse is a restyled Flame Madra Lord from Integrity.

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You can view all of my past OOAK hats and ensembles on my new Flickr Photostream.  The sets are organized by era.  The link is to the right under Gallery of Past Designs.