Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fur Glamour

Monolithic star, Miss Gene Marshall, poses for a publicity photo wearing Adrian's "A Woman of Means" jacket from the 1934 film Chained accessorized with dramatic fur.  The fabulous hat and shoulder accents are from Madame Alexander's "Houndstooth" Cissette.  Cigarette holder from The Couture Touch.  Jacket from Sandra Stillwell.  "Marceline" Gene Marshall is from Integrity.

My inspiration for this photo shoot were two Travis Banton costumes designed for Marlene Dietrich.

Scarlet Empress, 1934
Photo courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery

Desire, 1936
Travis Banton, chief costume designer for Paramount, was probably the most sought-after designer of his era and best known for shaping the style of such icons as Marlene Dietrich.  His designs were deceptively simple yet expertly cut, often on the bias, and enhanced with luxurious fabrics and extravagant decorations such as fur, feathers, and beading.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Time Travel, In Tweed

How do you change the look of a suit from one era to another?  Add a belt, a couple of buttons, and a longer length skirt; and you have now taken a circa 1948 suit back to the late 1930's.  Ashton Drake's "Travel In Tweed" suit ensemble originally designed for the Gene Marshall Collection by Lynne Day is a classic late 40's, early 50's suit style.  Simply by belting it and adding buttons to the pockets changes the dynamics.  I paired the jacket with the skirt from Madame Alexander's Aunt Amanda Fairchild suit. The fabric is identical.  A fabulous OOAK wool felt hat and fur jabot and the original cape complete the look. The gloves are from "Goodbye New York", and the shoes are from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection.  The train case is from "Travel In Tweed".

"Symphony in G" Gene Marshall looks smashing in the OOAK red wool felt hat and fur jabot from The Couture Touch.  The buttons were loosely sewn on the pocket flaps so they can easily be removed in order to return the jacket to it's original style.  Another tip is to bring the lapels closer together and secure with a straight pin.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dream Sequence Transformation

Madra Lord's costume "Dream Sequence", a black lace hooded gown from the 2007 Rare Deal Gene Marshall Convention is transformed into a striking tunic, circa 1936.  Underneath is the gold satin slip from The Jeweled Cat Madra.  Accessories include the black lace gauntlet gloves from Ooh La La, the belt from Madame Alexander's Betrayal gown, and gold strappy shoes from Robert Tonner (not shown).  To achieve the look, I removed the original black satin under dress and shortened the lace gown approximately 4.5 inches.  A matching lace flower adorns the shoulder.

A repainted "First Encounter" Madra Lord (artist unknown) is ready to make her grand entrance in the under dress from "Dream Sequence" paired with the long, sheer jacket from "Black Ribbon".  Black gloves and the hat from "Little Black Dress", all by Ashton Drake, complete the dramatic evening ensemble.

The Original "Dream Sequence" Madra Lord
Photo courtesy Lareba.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Pre-War Look for Spring 1940

The long line torso was unmistakably new for the Spring of 1940.  Sometimes seen in a deep tunic on a skirt or sometimes in a long jacket, tunic, or sweater.  Sometimes pockets are placed low on the hips to achieve the elongated look.  This silhouette is easy to wear as long as you watch your proportions.  The January 15, 1940 issue of Vogue predicted that women would want to wear it for day or evening.  The following four illustrations by Rene Bouet-Willaumez (RBW) demonstrate the many variations:

Hattie Carnegie tunic suit with bolero jacket trimmed with braid.

Left: Black crepe dinner suit with yellow fronted jacket trimmed with braid.  Right:  Mink trimmed tunic dress of blue-grey crepe.  Both Falkenstein.

Left:  White tweed coat with oversized pockets by Jay-Thorpe.  Right:  Hattie Carnegie tunic dress of blue silk crepe, white organdy blouse.

Left:  Beige Rodier Tweed Suit with gold buttons.  Right:  Military-blue suit with gold buttons.

Friday, January 11, 2013

"A Touch of Pink"

"On the Avenue" Gene Marshall wears my favorite color pairing:  black accented with a touch of pink.  "Le Petit Ensemble Noir" from Robert Tonner's Theatre de la Mode Collection is a recreation of a Marcel Dhorme design.  The black wool cocktail suit with fitted long basque jacket is accented with bands of black sequins and worn with a black wool straight skirt with inverted pleat.  The pink scarf is borrowed from "Moss Rose" Ivy Jordan, purse from "Suited for Fur", fur muff from "Sparkling Sepia"; all from Integrity.  OOAK mink tilt hat and suede gauntlet gloves are from The Couture Touch.

Gene's hat is made from recycled fur and accented with pink "chrysanthemums" from Mattel's BFMC "Lisette" evening gown.  The brooch is from an Integrity Fashion Royalty dress.

"A Touch of Black".  This time black becomes the accent to pink as modeled by Miss Madra Lord.

"Pool Pose" Madra Lord wears a sophisticated pink sheath from Diane on Whidbey Island accented with black accessories.  Dotted ascot and black felt hat are from The Couture Touch, shoes from "Suited for Fur", fur muff from "Dark Desire", jewelry from D.A.E. Originals, and gloves from Ashton Drake.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Color Inspiration: "Hot Pink" with cool grey

Illustration by Milena Pavlovic Barilli, 1939
Here's an intense new pink to link with cool grey (or other colors, too).  It's almost like watermelon, and it goes by the pretty sultry term "Hot Pink".  For daytime:  A Hot Pink hand-knitted cotton cord sweater is paired with a grey tweed coat.  The grey felt hat is accented with a pink insert.  For evening:  Germaine Monteil's grey chiffon dress is accessorized with Hot Pink gloves, slippers and jewels.  Germaine Monteil's new "Hot Pink" lipstick matches exactly.  All could be found at Bonwit Teller stores.  Source:  January 15, 1940 issue Vogue.

This fashion illustration is a wonderful example of the Surrealistic style that was embraced by Vogue throughout the early half of the Twentieth Century.  Surrealism is a cultural avant garde movement that began in the 1920's and is best known for its visual art style that featured an element of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Silkie Sophisticate

A New Year.......A New Outfit!  From the incomparable James Bogue of Bogue's Vogues, his classic shirtwaist dress in a delightful retro-inspired print.  If you sew, you know how hard it is to find prints that are perfectly scaled for dolls.  However this one is spot on; no pun intended.

Marie Therese from the BFMC accessorizes her chic shirtwaist with the hat from Mattel's "Breakfast at Tiffanys" (sans the white scarf).  Gloves,shoes and earrings are all from Mattel, cigarette holder from Integrity, bracelet from The Couture Touch, and fur stole from Hunter-Goldblatt Designs.