Monday, July 27, 2009

Addition to an Ode to Yellow

I forgot a very important example of the wonder that yellow can be in my post yesterday.

Renee Zellweger wore this vintage yellow Jean Desses dress to the 2001 Oscars. This dress makes me swoon. I love, love Jean Desses. The draping, the pleats, the layers of chiffon. Funnily enough they are all elements that feature in my much adored and top secret wedding dress.

Jennifer Lopez has worn vintage Jean Desses on the red-carpet too. The 2006 Oscars was indeed a worthy year, and J Lo certainly upped her fashion credentials in this curve enhancing work of art.

Jean Desses, originally from Egypt, had a couture fashion house in Paris from the 1930's through to the 1960's. The man was a true virtuoso; I look at his gowns and am seriously baffled as to how they were even created.

In my dreams, when I am invited to the world's most fabulous party and given an unlimited budget to indulge my fashion fantasies, vintage Jean Desses would be seriously high on my list. Maybe something like this:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dress of the Week and an Ode to Yellow

Another lacklustre week in the celebrity style stakes, so I'm choosing to highlight SJP who, unfortunately, isn't seen out and about on the red-carpet so much these days (she does have newborn twin daughters).
Her dress is pretty but not overly memorable, so I'm selecting this image because I'm always so impressed with how well Sarah-Jessica pulls an outfit together. I find a lot of the celebs tend to completely replicate the runway styling of a piece, but SJP always makes a dress her own with fabulous accessories that are most definitely "her." This outing is no exception; her Miu Miu sandals are simply gorgeous. her jewellery adds something to the dress without overwhelming it, and her clutch is achingly cute. I love that she isn't afraid of colour.
I think her hubbie might need to rethink his hairstyle though ...
Thanks to Red Carpet Fashion Awards for the pic!

An honourable mention must go to American First Lady Michelle Obama who, while not strictly wearing a dress, looked ravishing this week in a canary yellow Michael Kors suit. Pink makes me feel peachy and pretty but yellow, when done right, seriously rocks my fashion world. One day I will find my own perfect yellow frock. Meanwhile, here are some reminders on how awesome yellow can be.

Michelle Williams was widely considered Best Dressed at the 2006 Oscars in this bright yellow Vera Wang gown.

The effortless beauty of Kate's lemon dress, of a few years back, has been burned into my fashion memory, never to be erased.

And my Cate B looked drop dead glamorous in Valentino when she collected her much deserved, long overdue Oscar in 2005. She still needs Best Actress though ... just saying ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Heart Etsy

Whoever invented Etsy deserves a medal and a bucket load of money because it truly is one of the BEST WEBSITES EVER.

I first discovered my beloved wedding dress (which has now had a few turns around the flat while my betrothed has been out. It feels like 'we' are having an affair), and logging on today to peruse bridal head wear, I was blown away by the quality and variety of handmade desirableness. In addition everything is so reasonably priced and the community of crafters and artists so welcoming.

If only I had the crafty touch like my mother, mother-in-law and my sister-in-law to be (whose craft book is due out in bookstores in November). Alas I'm completely uncoordinated; everything I create that requires nimble fingers turns out worse than amateur.
I shall have to content myself with enthusiastic appreciation of other's artistry.

Meanwhile check out The Honeycomb's shop on Etsy for a look at some inspiring headpieces perfect for weddings and summer garden parties (first example above).

Hems and Bustles has some very pretty bridal veils, headbands and fascinators too (second example).

My Mum has suggested I go for a headband with my wedding ensemble and I think that is a pretty sound idea. These are the kind of decisions I thoroughly enjoy making. Choosing a caterer is one I'm completely terrified off, probably because the quotes will induce panic in my heart, and my wallet. Party pies anyone?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some classic Jean to close the weekend ...

I've been away this weekend and have been remiss in my blogging and am thus storing up a lot of ideas I plan to unleash this week.

But right now I'm tired so I am heading off to bed and just posting a small item I came across this week; a sophisticated blog called Vintage Vogue which contains page after page of drool worthy images to inspire and delight. I even found two pics of my favourite 50's fashion model, the adorable Jean Patchett, which I had never seen before.

Enjoy and sweet dreams.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

January Jones turns Rock Chick

January Jones from Mad Men throws Betty Draper to the curb and works a more current rock chick look to stunning effect on the cover of the August issue of Interview.
The third season kicks off in the US next month and no doubt it will be an age before it is broadcast in Australia. I must know what will happen to Betty and Don next and, most importantly, what will they be wearing?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cool Links - Photographic Nostalgia

The Australian National Maritime Museum in my fair Sydney is hosting an exhibition called Exposed! The History of Swimwear at the moment. Entry is free and for history buffs and fashion fans alike it definitely sounds worth checking out. And for me, oh how I love swimwear! I still maintain we Aussies design swimwear better than anyone else in the world. As an example, here are some of the latest cossies from Hotel Bondi Swim ... how can you not love a gnome print ... so cute!

In far, far away London town there is an exhibition of British photographer Terry O'Neill's photographs. O'Neill's career peaked in the sixties and seventies and he is well-known for taking unconventionally candid portraits of celebrities. I read about the show at Queens of Vintage and here is a selection of some of his images (Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren and Jacqueline Bisset) that particularly caught my eye.

And speaking of fab photos and swimwear, my mate Michael pointed out this delightfully mood evoking photo gallery on The Daily Beast's blog called The Great American Summer. Combining three of my fancies - photographs of yesteryear, summer and America - I wish I could own some of these images. And how great are Ginger Rogers' pins?

Can you tell I'm suffering from the winter blues? Everything is better when the sun is shining and I can lie by the water in my cossie. My Nth QLD holiday is fast approaching ... Mission Beach here I come!

A very pretty Norma Jean Baker.

Humphrey and Lauren and sail-boat chic.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dior Haute Couture Joy

Playing it safe in the global recession, Galliano decided to delight antique dress fans like myself - and fans of pretty, feminine clothes in general - by taking inspiration from the golden age of Christian Dior in the late 40's til late 50's for the latest Dior Haute Couture collection. He even held the show inside the label's own house in Paris just like it would have been held at that time (think Funny Face or How to Marry a Millionaire).

Lagerfield went with B&W for his S/S Couture collection and I saw today that Elie Saab has gone completely white for his A/W, so I'm so pleased to see Galliano reveling in colour. The artistry, the cut, the details ... everything is making me swoon and I keep clicking on the slide show images over and over again to sate my hungry eyes. I've got to admit I'm not that fussed on the juxtaposition with the vintage inspired lingerie - the corsets and evening skirts are okay, but not so sure about the jackets and petticoats - but I appreciate that he is trying to mix things up a little.

Anyway, here is a selection of some of my favourites.

Fingers crossed I see something along the lines of this frock make an appearance at the Globe's or Oscars this year.

I'd love to see Marion in this.

Bubble skirts make me happy.

Marion would look great in this ... and Cate B as well.

And speaking of Cate did anyone else see that my bestie made a much longed for return to the public sphere this week, attending the Armani Prive show and supporting one of her real life besties (as opposed to desperate, sad unknown ones like me)? Obviously she looked flawless, but did you see who she was seated next to in the front row?

Megan Fox's posing would suggest that she honestly thinks she is Marilyn Monroe. My betrothed calls Megan out for too much plastic fantastic. I'm calling her out for seriously bad make-up and for thinking she deserves a seat beside one of the greatest actresses of our time.

Or maybe I'm just jealous.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vintage Sighting

I'm delighted that Emma Watson chose to wear vintage to what will undoubtedly be the night for her career wise in 2009; the London premiere of the new Harry Potter film. She wears the highly collectable Ossie Clark with effortless panache. The colours are so flattering to her skin tone and the plunge neckline gives the dress a sexy edge.
This girl is so so pretty I reckon give it a couple of years and she'll be a complete knockout, Natalie Portman styling. Perfect and age appropriate make-up too and - woo hoo - she isn't orange!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In celebration of Ceil Chapman

My wedding dress arrived in the post last Monday just as I was walking out the door to work. Obviously I swept aside all concerns about lateness to try it on, but my still sleepy fingers had great difficulty in doing the dress up. Keeping in mind that the woman of the 1950's who originally owned the dress would have been wearing quite different underwear to mine, I decided to go lingerie shopping in my quest to create the perfect fit.

The solution was a corset that nips in the waist and pads out and lifts the boobs. Now the dress fits perfectly and I managed to get it on and all done up on my own. Last Friday was definitely a celebratory day.

I am completely and utterly in love with my dress and am hesitant to store her at a friends place, as is practical, because I like the idea of being able to play dress up whenever the betrothed is missing.

In celebration of my new love affair I've compiled some photos of other dresses by the highly collectible Ceil Chapman, including one worn by Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Life Magazine. I hope my dress is going to make me feel like Marilyn for a day - only without the crushing self-doubt and addiction to prescription painkillers please.

Ceil was particularly known for her distinctive and flattering draping which hid a myriad of flaws while also enhancing a woman's figure.
And thank goodness for shape shifting underwear. There is definitely something to be said for wearing period relevant under-garments with your vintage. Is a comeback of the bullet bra as per Mad Men imminent?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Missing out on Frock of the Week by one day ...

Is another one of my imaginary BFF's, French actress Marion Cotillard in this fresh and utterly gorgeous pink Dior dress. She has paired the dress with Dorothy inspired red wedges, which I think take the outfit to a whole other level of awesomeness.
Sigh ... her look is perfection.
Marion is at the Paris premiere of Public Enemies, which is released here in Australia in a couple of weeks, and I can't wait to see it. Not only does it star two fine and easy on the eye actors (Johnny Depp and Christian Bale) and look like a fascinating story, it is sure to feature some inspired 30's clothing too.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Frock of the Week

It has been a slow week in terms of celebrity frock spotting so, lo and behold, the only one that has caught my eye is this vibrant pink number Diane wore to Berlin Fashion Week. This was at an Escada party so likely the dress is Escada too.

She matches the wall and still stands out. Well done Diane.