Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
But the shape of the heel is the tip off.....not 40s, but a 70s design based on 40s. The upshot there is they are a solid size 7 1/2! This gold pair I knew were 70s but hadn't sized them.....perfect 7! So both fit me, but if you saw my shoe collection you would understand my (reluctant) willingness to part with them.
Not sure how to work vintage shoes into your wardrobe, or looking for a way to make them a little edgier? Try anklet socks in wild prints, inspired by Anna Sui's use of them in her '08 Spring Collection runway show....
No one's more surprised that I like that than me.
Monday, January 28, 2008
See? People love it. Marcia Cross loves it, and as a sexy Desperate Housewife, we should all take a cue from her and embrace the empire waist gown with saucy applique at the decollatage.
Thats a great dress. The other flowery one....meh. But the empire? Fabulous!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
22 Sep 2006
Lost a Best Friend Today.
My charming, sweet puppy-cat Hobbes Asland passed away this morning at 15 years old. He was a gentleman among cats.....kind, calm & affectionate in ways not seen often in the feline realm. He loved water...so much so he would jump in the shower with me, or in the bathtub while it was still 1/4 full. He slept next to my head on my pillow every night (and as a large boy, often leaving me with a mean-ass crick in my neck for making room for him). He loved to drink water from a running faucet & was generous with kitty-licks & paw-touches. He was a divine, noble man.....my Hobbes (Bob, Hobgoblin, Hobnobber, Robert, Hobbinator). Its been a hell of a battle this last month but when you said it was time to go, despite my broken heart I knew I had to let you. Rest in peace, gentle tabby. I'll love you always. I'll still turn on the faucet for you. Ang
Its more than I want to go into to explain why the song Summer Wind by Sinatra ended up tied up in my memory of losing Hobbes, but it did, and in honor I added it to the playlist. And please click the image of Hobbes to learn more about the Iowa State Veterinary Hospital....and incredible place with a superb, compassionate and kind staff who were trendously kind to Hobbes and I when he was ill and when he passed away. Donate if you can. Miss you, Bob.
Lets discuss New Look. The "New Look" these sellers refer to was a revolution in fashion introduced in 1947 by Christian Dior as a return to femininity. The war was over, rationing of textiles had ended, the fashion world was back in full swing and women no longer struggling in a Rosie the Riveter role were ready to focus on their wardrobes. The straight skirts were replaced with billowing full skirts emphasizing a wasp-like, tapered waistline. It was an extreme look, and its peak lasted only into the very early 50s....while full skirts supported by crinolines stayed in vogue until the 60s, the extreme lines of the New Look softened. Dior's New Look circa 1947....
With that, lets look at Jean Harlow. Jean was born on March 3, 1911 and tragically passed away at a very young age on June 7 of 1937. 1937 being 10 years before Dior introduced the New Look. Harlow, aside from not even being ALIVE during the New Look Era, was known for her clingy, draping, bias cut evening gowns.....about as far removed from the concept of the New Look as one can get.
Marilyn. Undisputedly an icon when it comes to glamour, a bombshell, a classic pin-up. Its no wonder she and Harlow are invoked when it comes to describing vintage apparel and the images associated with it. Marilyn was one of the best dressed actresses in Hollywood in the 50's and 60's.....
But again, not typically seen in a full skirt with crinolines. Indeed, if one pays little attention to the subway grate scene in The Seven Year Itch, one could be lead to believe she's wearing a HUGE full skirt. But it was not, and it was not Marilyn's style to wear things that weren't fitted top to bottom, curve conscious and snug. Got a wiggle dress? Very Marilyn. But very much NOT New Look.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Viva Las Vegas, aka VLV, is coming up and whether you're going or not, few things are more fun to wear for summer events than a 50s dress! My personal favorite, this is a two piece (wear together or separately....halter with pencil skirt, skirt with cami) set creating the best rockabilly dress ever! Soft yellow lightly textured cotton with all over print of grey poodles sporting bright turquoise ribbon bows....halter bodice is studded with rhinestones!
Perky red sundress with ruched bodice and set in waist features a white atomic starburst print and huge full skirt....
More red....this piece has flame shaped appliques on red and white polka dot skirt, same flame shapes are cut out to create a sizzling neckline!
Certainly a look that goes hand-in-hand with the rockabilly lifestyle is the tiki girl look. Vintage Hawaiiana is much harder to find on the mainland than the 50s sundress! This 50s Hawaiian dress is as crisp and new as if it was never worn, a great size and by the renowned ALFRED SHAHEEN.....
Lastly, if the full skirt isn't for you and you want a little more va-va-voom, go for the wiggle dress! This sarong style 50s dress by NANI OF HAWAII adds a little sizzle to your summer wardrobe....fitted top to bottom, faux sarong style skirt and unique neckline....beautiful floral print of hibiscus in sunset hues...
No matter how cold it may be, summer is coming. Be ready to wear vintage year round!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I'm a faithful fan of GO FUG YOURSELF, and as I perused the recent fugs, spotted this ensemble on actress (?) Bijou Phillips. I reiterate. Not a dress, however, it IS vintage. There is no mistaking that color, that silk....definitely a vintage nightgown. Which leads me to this. If you're going to work the lingerie as clothing angle (a la Courtney Love circa 1992), pick something pretty!! On my website, brand new no less! 30s floral nightgown with blue ribbon accents....
Fabulous with a sweet little sweater and maybe some bright 40s heels. NOT fabulous with black tights and odd, white orthopedic looking shoes. No.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Belew also designed for such greats as the Jacksons, the Osmonds, Gloria Estefan and Ella Fitzgerald. His passing came one day before what would have been Elvis's 73rd birthday.
While few looks will ever achieve the man-sexy level the black leather suit did on Elvis, this rockabilly plaid 60s dinner jacket certainly offers its own version of stage-presence-chic. From DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE on eBay....the perfect jacket for rockabilly events such as the upcoming VIVA LAS VEGAS.....
Coolest label, ever.
A little bit young Elvis, a little bit Jerry Lee...a whole lotta rock n' roll style. Click pictures to get to listing.
And thanks, Jody, for alerting me to the loss of Bill Belew via her blog for the VINTAGE FASHION GUILD.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
clearly inspired by the Edwardian ruff....
And those kids thought they were doing something new.........
Friday, January 18, 2008
Each sweater had been designed, hand knitted and lovingly tucked away, still pinned at the plackets and folded neatly into boxes. Each sweater boasts Deena's custom made label, DEENA HAND KNITS. The sweaters appear to have been created in the late 60s to early 70s...and each one is unique, superbly created and as if brand new.
Available now on the website, click to see the collection. One of my favorites, clearly Chanel inspired in its black accented in shimmering gold and classic lines....
A swing cut jacket style sweater in bold red with primary colored flecks....
Don't miss the rest of the collection, more to come!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
While it feels as if I'm screaming into (the Arctic) wind, my goal this month is still to tout the value of the vintage separate. The skirt is perhaps one of the easiest ways to add some vintage edge to a wardrobe without commiting wholly to an entire "look". If your personality is a little quirky and outgoing, nothing better suited to it than a novelty print 50s skirt! Not at all necessary to pair with a crinoline as many sellers show online, these skirts look modern and fresh worn without and accented with a simple fitted tee or snug, slimming sweater to counter-balance the fullness of the skirt.
In an amazing collection shown on IMAGE EVENT by collector Cathy Gordon, this skirt epitomizes the kitsch and color found in a 50s circle skirt.
Cats too cute? Go for bold, dramatic color....a skirt perfect all year round worn with simple accessories and brightly colored flats. A superb poppy print by the coveted ASSOCIATED AMERICAN ARTISTS, this skirt is available now on eBay (click picture to get to listing by Cat's Pajamas) for less than you'll pay for an off the rack piece at the Gap....
Why buy vintage when you CAN go to the mall? Because everyone else can go to the mall, too. Don't blend into the crowd!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Because the co-founder of Juicy Couture stole my life. I spent YEARS as a teenager supporting John Taylor and Duran Duran with my allowance, dreaming of one day becoming a fashion designer and marrying John Taylor. SHE STOLE MY LIFE!!!!!
Saw DD a couple years ago, though, and John was hot.
No link to Juicy, on purpose. Insert cuss words here.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This Italian Mohair sweater at DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE is done with a 2 tone effect in shades of grey, has off-center placket and cool lucite buttons.
Hey, if they were cool enough for the king of grunge, they gotta be cool.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
This pattern seemed quite likely to be what the ensemble was based on, from GUY LAROCHE
Worn as a separate, with a tank or fitted blouse....skinny sweater....cami & jacket, any of the dramatic and elegant palazzo pants below make a serious fashion statement.
From SYDNEY'S VINTAGE CLOTHING (click picture to get to website), this pair mixes a warm colourway with a bold, graphic print....
From MAGS RAGS (click picture to get to website), a pair in perfect purple....
Also at MAG'S, these sweet floral palazzos with matching peasant blouse.....
So put your big pants on and add some drama to your vintage wardrobe!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Its a lovely issue, I highly recommend it (and not just because I'm in it!)
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Sexy, stylish and classic! Fantastic worn with a black pencil skirt and modern heels, skinny jeans, high waist trousers. Pop it with some brightly colored accessories and give it your own personal edge! Vintage separates are the perfect way to fill out your closet without breaking the bank.
Monday, January 07, 2008
After watching (albeit before and after, not during, the ending moments.....WHY have live auctions ending in the middle of the night Central Time??) some vintage designer pieces at auction over the weekend I decided to touch on a coat I'd had my eye on by Bonnie Cashin. From the (fantastically done) website the BONNIE CASHIN FOUNDATION a bit about Bonnie....
"One of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful American fashion designers of the twentieth-century, Bonnie Cashin (1908–2000) was revered for her intellectual, opinionated, and independent approach to ready-to-wear. She designed exclusively for herself and appealed to women who shared her nonconformist attitude, such as clients Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Mary Quant. She worked with companies ranging from Hermès to American Airlines, and was handpicked for projects as diverse as advising the Indian government on export design and launching Coach as a maker of women's accessories. Through her contagious passion for her work, she crafted a life full of storybook tales of discovery and madcap adventure and became a design icon.
A “nomad by nature,” Cashin grew up in a string of California cities, fascinated by the jostling of Asian and Latin American communities. She adored Chinatowns and fairy tales, and dreamt of becoming a dancer, a painter, or a writer. These early passions – for travel, “ethnic” exoticism, dancing, drawing, and storytelling – combined with her extraordinary design talents and modernist spirit to form a series of creative careers on both American coasts. Prior to her mid-century launch as a “name” on Seventh Avenue, Cashin’s credentials included, but were not limited to, a decade of designing costumes for New York’s “Roxyette” chorus girls, an under-cover assignment to design women’s uniforms for World War II, and a stint in Hollywood designing wardrobes for over sixty films at Twentieth Century-Fox."
Much more on the website, fascinating information and so SO much eye candy! What struck me as odd and totally irrelevant was the mention of both Marlene Dietrich AND the Rockettes, both of whom I have blogged about in the last 2 weeks since deciding to take writing more seriously. Kooky, that.
At any rate, this Bonnie Cashin coat was one of a pair recently auctioned by CLARS AUCTION GALLERY on eBay, and the winner is no doubt thrilled....
Both coats were iconic Cashin....modern, simple lines and an unexpected way of making a rather masculine suede appear quite feminine. I've recently aquired for sale my first Cashin, a bright orange-red leather box bag with her trademark striped fabric lining....available at DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE WEBSITE or locally in my shop....
More about Cashin at the eVintage Society's DESIGNER DATA BASE
Stylish suede! Lovely leathers! Grab a Cashin coat or bag and add some designer flair to your vintage wardrobe.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Hope was here in town for the Iowa Caucus to do a film on BARACK OBAMA, who most folks know by now did very well here!
All that aside, she was a delight to work with and (I think) thoroughly enjoyed the shop. If you see her in the future in New York, where she lives, wearing vintage it may be it came from Dorothea's Closet Vintage in Des Moines Iowa! More than anything, I wanted to share her website.....I've had a good look around it and am impressed and moved by her work. She's a wonderful person and infinitely talented. PLEASE go see her WEBSITE and do NOT miss her film short, "This is For Betsy Hall", an incredible homage to her mother addressing her mother's struggle with anorexia and bulemia. I personally was moved to tears....its clear she and her mother share a powerful bond. Hope is a delight and beyond talented. I am honored she spent time in my humble shop and wish her all my best in her endeavors.......
Friday, January 04, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I'd have liked to take a look at the candidates and their fashion choices but can find surprisingly little about who or what they prefer to wear. I was able to find that Hillary Clinton favors clean lines and classic tailoring and pieces from Donna Karan and St. John Knits, and that while John Edwards & Barack Obama both did photo shoots for Men's Vogue magazine, Hillary declined to do a cover for the women's version. Obama in Vogue HERE & HERE
Barack Obama, too, sports a classic look.....though his suits seem far better tailored to his physique than many of the other candidates. Its generally known that he shuns brightly colored ties for more subtle tones. Edwards is often seen without his suit jacket, a tact likely taken to give the candidate a "working man's" appearance. Bill Richardson's fashion sense is definitely affected by his time spent in the Southwest.....he's often seen, as Edwards, sans jacket but opts for a Western bolo tie rather than the traditional silks the other canditates sport. See Vogue magazine's spread on John Edwards HERE & HERE.
While the shop sits a mere block from Hillary's headquarters here in Des Moines and within a mile of the epicenter of the caucus day's events, the only ties I have so far to the election glitz and glamour comes from a photograph sent to me by a favorite customer, Carol, of herself in a wonderful R&K Orginals 50's dress with full skirt and pintucked detail from the website, seen at a campaign event with contender Barack Obama....
More thoughts on the candidates fashion choices IN THE WASHINGTON POST. I hadn't realized Huckabee lost 100 pounds or that the public's impression of Mitt Romney's hair is that it doesn't move! Interesting read. More on the caucus later!
Vintage leather skirt from DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE, peter pan collar shirt from TOPSHOP, shoes from VIECOUTURE and knit beanie from CLAIRE'S. Outfit created at POLYVORE.COM. A vintage piece that looks just as at home as the modern pieces its mixed with!
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
.............................Reality. Vintage dresses are hot. Worn on the red carpet by film stars, worn IN films by said film stars, spotted on socialites, fashion designers, the coolest chicks in school....the vintage dress is indeed a celeb in its own right. But what if you love vintage, but can rarely find the right color, fit, silhouette or size? What if you love the dress ever so, but have a lifestyle more suited to jeans and a tee shirt?
Thats where the vintage separate comes in! We'd be fooling ourselves to believe that the average woman of the 50s who indeed DID have a fine array of day, cocktail and evening dresses wore strictly dresses 24/7. Even in looking at patterns, many "dresses" are truly comprised of a skirt and blouse! The skirt is one of the easiest ways to add some vintage to your wardrobe without the fit issues of a dress and investing in a piece more versatile than one. Add a modern thin knit tee shirt to a boldly printed cotton 50s skirt.....a snug sweater to a 40s pencil skirt......a cami with a jersey knit 70s skirt.
Just listed on eBay by TRENDSETTERBLUE, this PIERRE CARDIN skirt....
A great designer piece, perfect with a fitted sweater.....simple lines with a decidedly modern yet vintage feel. From DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE, a skirt similar in style....handmade in yarnwork with faux fur trimmed hem....edgy and chic!
~Grab a funky print skirt and add some vintage to your wardrobe!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
........................All separates 20% off during the month of January at DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE. Blouses, sweaters, tops, skirts, pants, jeans.....30s through 80s! Email for invoice reflecting the sale price. Newly added items as recent as today....a post with images to come when Photobucket cooperates!
..........When I started selling vintage online 5 years ago, it was just as exciting to find a great 50s circle skirt or beaded cashmere cardigan as it was to find a killer 40's dress. They sold! And it made sense at that....certainly, the price point was betetr for the customer to invest in a separate over a dress. Add to that the versatility a blouse, sweater or skirt adds to a wardrobe as opposed to a single dress and the choice becomes obvious (if, indeed, a choice has to be made!). But as a rule, separates sold as well as dresses over the years.
Lately, the trend seems to be more toward dresses. I love a vintage dress, a vintage gown.....if I didn't, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing! But the lack of interest in separates confounds me. I've even found myself passing over the separates as I select items to take pictures of for the website in favor of dresses (a business decision, often, but the lack of enthusiasm for them seems to have rubbed off on me!).
But no more. Its ludicrous. This month kicks off a Season of Separates at Dorothea's Closet Vintage and in preparation for such an event, I have been steadily building up a selection of separates on the website, some of which are shown below. Click any of the pictures to get to the site and be sure to peruse each decade to find a page of separates.
A Season of Separates....ALL separates 20% off at Dorothea's Closet Vintage! Email to get revised invoicing or pay and email and I will refund the sale difference.
70's slinky jersey nylon beach scene body shirt....
60s super mod Trekkie meets stewardess top, available in blue too!...
Watch for more thoughts on vintage separates, inspirations for making them work in a vintage or modern wardrobe, links to great finds and more added to the site over the next few weeks!