Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Retro Retrospective

Miuccia Prada has been setting trends since the early 90s so when she sent mid century influenced designs down the runway this year, the whole fashion world went a little retro mad. The result was one fashion editorial after another referencing the 50s in particular - some better than others - and here are selections from three that I particularly liked but haven't got around to posting earlier.
Lara Stone looked breathtaking - and a little Veronica Lake like - in the September issue of US Vogue, photographed by Mert & Marcus. This spread makes me want to go out and buy a cable knit sweater.

The September issue of Aussie Vogue was all retro fantastic too, with this very pretty cover shoot by Nicole Bentley with Catherine McNeil modelling by the side of my beloved Sydney harbour. I love the use of genuine vintage jewellery in the balcony shot + that's a vintage frock Catherine is wearing in the photo on the lawn too.

I've long been lusting after an antique pink phone at the Sydney Antiques Centre not dissimilar to the phone used in this Vogue Nippon shoot by Solve Sundsbo. The luggage, the chairs and oh, the clothes, aren't bad too. I especially love the ribbon tie peep toes in the last photo.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Wouldn't this gorgeous 1950s frock from SweetMoonlightShop make the perfect outfit for a warm Aussie Christmas?

And wouldn't I just love for my life, for the rest of my 9 DAYS OFF WORK, to resemble this vintage coke commercial? Okay, maybe minus the coke, because after all I can't drink it and if I could I'd have to spend hours running up and down the beach to burn off the calories. I will be running over my holidays, but hopefully at dusk after spending the daylight hours chilling on a beach towel with a thick novel.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frock of the Week: The FLOTUS in Vintage

The US First Lady Michelle Obama has set vintage lover's hearts a flutter by stepping out in - shock, horror - a vintage Norman Norell for a Christmas concert in Washington. I love the flattering square neckline and the full tulle skirt and I love also that Michelle continues to support American designers, past or present.
Norman Norell worked with another great American designer Hattie Carnegie until 1940 when he stared his own label Traina Norell, which eventually became Norman Norell in 1960.
I've posted about a couple of other celebs in vintage Norell before: Marisa Tomei in Traina Norell and Kristin Davis in a Norman Norell at one of the SATC 2 functions. Kristin's golden sheath dress is one of Norell's most celebrated styles, but according to the Vintage Fashion Guild he was also known for the waist less chemise, pussy-bows, precision tailoring and the use of the finest fabrics.
I love keeping up with Michelle's style over at Mrs O and I hope that this isn't a one and only occurrence. For the fun of it, lets pick which great American designer Obama should wear next. Oleg Cassini, James Galanos, vintage Oscar de la Renta?

PS Apparently Michelle bought her dress from New York Vintage. Lots of pretty pictures over there!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Model I Missed

It seems when I compiled my great models of the 1950s post I missed one. Tom Palumbo, the photographer subject of my last post (whom I just discovered passed away in 2008), was for a time married to the timelessly lovely Anne St Marie. Her look reminds me a little bit of Linda Evangelista's, her poise of Angelica Huston.
Palumbo's Flickr stream has a set devoted to his photographs of Anne and they are really breathtaking. Some of the images are so contemporary in their composition that they could belong to any decade.

I've tried to puzzle out a little bit more about Anne St Marie, but there's barely any information regarding her. She was Palumbo's muse and mother to his son, but apparently she had a love affair with fashion photographer turned movie director Jerry Schatzberg too. Schatzberg has said that Anne was also one of his favourite models - its not hard to see why - and that taped conversations he made with her, when she was undergoing a breakdown (there is some murmurings of issues with drugs and alcohol) were the inspiration behind his film Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970) starring Faye Dunaway.

I've never seen the film but it sounds intriguing; a once famous model recalls her glittering career as her world begins to shatter. Apparently it is one of Faye's best performances. Inspiration, of course, by no means implies reality (I really enjoyed The Social Network, but I'm sure great liberties were taken with the truth, whatever that may be), so I'd love to hear more about this beautiful lady, if anyone knows.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Some pretty for the weekend ...

Tom Palumbo was a leading fashion photographer in the 1950s and 1960s, working largely for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. To me these were the golden years of fashion photography, and here are just a few pretty and summery examples of why.
You can check out Palumbo's Flickr stream for more examples of his beautiful work.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Still fixated, still gorgeous ...

I love when I discover a new store on Etsy with lovely frocks for me to drool over. In this case Sweet Moonlight Shop, which has 50s Mexican dresses (so hot right now), mod minis, 40s and 50s wiggle dresses and circle skirts galore, most particularly caught my eye because of their fantastic collection of vintage Hawaiian and Tiki frocks. Check out the Kamehameha (1, 2 & 3) and Alfred Shaheen (4, 5 & 6) dresses they've got on offer at the moment, and which I would snap up in a second if money fell from the sky into my lap and the husband suddenly transported me to Oahu or back to Fiji ...

Okay, okay, back down to earth from fantasy land. I've also got to include this no brand name Hawaiian stunner because of my love of bright covers. It's like psychedelia meets snazzy beach BBQ. Now there can't be anything wrong with that.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Apricot Crush

I spied this lovely retro styled fashion shoot (gosh they are everywhere these days) over at Fashion Gone Rogue. From the Turkish edition of Marie Claire I've got no idea which international designer is responsible for this detailed and devilishly pretty apricot dress, but I fell for it immediately. Can anyone help me out here?
Love the earrings too, and the luxe room, but in terms of beauty trends I'll be glad when the no eyebrow look goes out of style. Surely Mother Nature gave us eyebrows for a reason?
Photographer is Tamer Yilmaz.

Monday, November 29, 2010

When in Melbourne

I'm sad that it has been a week since my last post, but I've been busy travelling and working, working and travelling. At the moment I'm in Melbourne, hunkered down in my hotel room, hiding from the unseasonably chilly weather. Apart from its changeable weather (and fabulous lane ways) Melbourne is famous for its Spring Racing Carnival and the gorgeous fashions are definitely worth a look see (I think I've posted before that it's a little sad, really, that I'm not a fan of horse racing as apart from anything it is a great excuse to wear real life outfits. And hats). This year the winner of the Myer Fashions on the Field comp at Oaks Day was young Queenslander Jaydee Paino in a reconstructed vintage frock that she bought online from the US for only $18 (!) And yes, that is a horsey print.
The tide has definitely turned towards vintage loving ladies. Just check out models Jess Hart, Georgia Jagger and Jerry Hall in their very retro inspired outfits at the same event. Georgia and Jerry both look ravishing in Vivienne Westwood and Jess' red suit looks like something right out of Jane Sterling from Mad Men's closet.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Movie Love: British glamour

I'm sure all you vintage fans have seen the gorgeous Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day before, but I enjoyed an encore performance after raiding my Mum's extensive DVD collection on Sunday, and I thought my blog friends wouldn't mind an encore either.
This delightful film recalls the screwball romantic comedies of the 1930s, with Amy Adams (Delysia Lafosse) resembling Marilyn Monroe in her performance, and Ginger Rogers in her appearance. The late 1930s costumes are divine.

Oh, and I seriously love, love, love Delysia's luxurious London apartment. Can some hotel out there please replicate this room for me?

Here are some gorgeous 1930s evening gowns - courtesy of The Frock - that wouldn't look out of place on the dance floor at smarmy Nick's nightclub.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Am seriously loving ...

this Vogue Italia cover from last month. Very retro looking but with a modern twist (great shorts!), you can't really go wrong with Mariacarla Boscono, oodles of red and a beautiful Armani couture jacket.
So refreshing to see a cover of a fashion magazine where you can actually see a complete outfit. It still is meant to be all about the clothes, right? I definitely took a second glance at this cover as opposed to all the heavily photo shopped smiley celebrity ones that usually line the racks at my local newsagent.
Do you like too? It was shot by Steven Meisel.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A little pot of gold ...

I'm not the world's greatest thrifter; my attention span tends to wane after I've been through one box of bits and bobs, and I tend to need encouragement to keep going. Thankfully my friend Lee acted as both mentor and lucky charm last weekend whilst we were on one of our regular jaunts around Bondi. A young actress - about to head over to LA to try her luck - was selling all her worldly goods by the side of the road and after ploughing through mountains of clothes, my eyes spotted this very cute 1960s trapeze style sundress. Lo and behold the label said Horrockses (!) and even better the former owner was only asking $5. Oh, and it fit.
The label reads 'Horrockses by Taffs of Sydney' so I assume it is a licensed product, made outside of the labels heyday of the 40s and 50s. Can anyone shed any light on the store Taffs?
This is me wearing my new purchase at one of my favourite beach cafes yesterday. Hooray for summer.

Chanel, Chanel ...

Apologies for my complete and total absence this week. I've been busy travelling around the countryside with Di Morrissey (currently the number 1 bestselling author in the country, woo hoo!), and have barely had time to breathe, let alone blog.
My friend Jane, before she scooted over to New York for a holiday, lucky lady, gave me a copy of Justine Picardie's gorgeous new biography of Coco Chanel. After a slew of films and other books, you'd think everything that could be said about Ms Chanel would've been already, but critics are calling Picardie's tome the definitive biography. As I've been flying so much, I haven't got stuck into the lovely hard back yet, but I have looked at the gorgeous images, and I was particularly enamoured of this lovely lady - Marie-Helene Arnaud - who was one of Chanel's favourite models around the time she made her comeback after the war.

For even more Chanel love - and plenty of other designers and home dressmakers too - Charlotte Smith (the owner of the fabulous Darnell Collection) has just released her follow-up to Dreaming of Dior: Dreaming of Chanel. Grant Cowan again provides the beautiful illustrations and with the volume of vintage in Smith's collection, I doubt she'll ever run out of stories to tell. You can check out her blog here.

Both books are published by HarperCollins.