Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Looks to Love

I'm completely in love with this editorial for the April issue of Numero magazine. From Argentinian photography duo Luciana Val and Franco Musso, these images are a vision of 1960s inspired loveliness. A little bit Audrey, a little bit Natalie Wood, a touch Belle Du Jour, with some Hitchcock thrown in for good measure. And the make-up and hair is flawless. Can someone create a ponytail for me that is that pretty and perfect?

Mesmerised by the styling and gorgeous use of light in these pics, I sought out other work by these Val and Musso and discovered a whole thread on The Fashion Spot. Their use of light and shadow is consistently beautiful and most of the spreads have a vintage sensibility. Here are a few more examples from Harper's Bazaar and Numero. I particularly love that their models always look like ladies, as per the top models of the 50s and 60s. No zoned out, disheveled and half naked waifs here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Resort Wear Reality

When I approach a holiday I tend to spend the weeks in the lead up envisaging my wardrobe, and it looks something like these classic Louise Dahl-Wolfe Harper's Bazaar covers; effortlessly chic and curiously well coordinated, down to the colour of my nails matching my fashionable brolly. The problem is I don't yet own a beach umbrella, and while I dream and plan and dream, I usually delay the actual packing until about 5 minutes before I leave. This means my holiday wardrobe tends to be a hodge podge of the wearable and not so wearable, and I forget something vital.

In the end though it isn't what you wear when you are there, but how the place makes you feel and the company you keep, and my budget beach side honeymoon on the NSW north coast had the best company, perfect weather and views and waves to die for. So who cares that I didn't brush my hair for five days or wear a smidgen of make-up. I had a lovely, lovely time.

So here is what I actually wore. All my frocks are vintage.

PS The mini windmills are in a place called The Clog Barn which has recreations of classic Dutch places of interest. This was the Kinderdijk. As a half Dutchie I insisted the hubbie take me to this rather odd tourist attraction so that I could stock up on Dutch treats. Yum yum.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What I Won

I never win any real competitions (I'm not counting winning my own Oscars tipping comp or beating my hubby at Scrabble), so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have won a double pass to the new Renee Zellweger flick My One and Only courtesy of Nicole over at Circa Vintage and Hopscotch films. Seeing as the 1950s is my favourite era fashion wise, I'm always excited to see a new film set in the period and styled to perfection. And by all reports My One and Only is just such a film.

Inspired by executive producer George Hamilton's own boyhood (yes, he of the deep orange tan and killer smile), My One and Only is a road movie starring Renee as the glamorous mother who leaves her cheating ex and travels across the us with her two sons in search of a new man. Apparently it is reminiscent of classic 50s screwball comedies, and though this movie was released in the US some time ago to little fan fare (it doesn't feature vampires or monster machines after all), it does have a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes plus Margaret just gave it a great rap on ABC TVs At the Movies.

But more importantly for my followers, Renee is looking divine. She seems to be an actress that people either love or hate, and I confess I'm in the love camp. She was perfect as Bridget Jones and was the shining light in the very wooden adaptation of literary masterpiece Cold Mountain. And she seems to suit period pictures to a tee. Just watch Leatherheads, Miss Potter, Cinderella Man or Down With Love for proof.

Has anyone seen it? Thoughts?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wedding Happy Snaps

As a precursor to the main event (i.e. the professional pics), here are a few happy snaps from yesterday care of my beautiful bridesmaid Rebecca. Doesn't she look stunning? And my beloved husband scrubbed up pretty well too.
I had a hectic, emotionally overwhelming and ultimately joyous day, with some very, very hot weather. I'll give a full rundown when I'm back from my country beach side honeymoon. I've got a stack of books and a beach towel ... bliss.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Frock of the Week: An Ode to Plaid

I was really excited when I saw these photos of Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts over at Red Carpet Fashion Awards. Her Vivienne Westwood plaid party frock is so absolutely awesome, that I'm sure I haven't hankered after a designer item this much in ages. I must admit that I know nothing about Girls Aloud as a group ... I don't think they are on the radar here in Australia, or maybe I'm just missing out because I don't listen to commercial radio ... but whenever I see photos of this pale red-haired beauty, I'm always impressed by her style. I wish I could get my hair to look like that!

This frock reminds me of a similar gorgeous pastel plaid one that I recently spotted at the Sydney Antique Centre. It wasn't cheap so in the interests of my wallet I didn't try it on, but you know a dress is special when you remember all its details weeks later.

This plaid prettiness has inspired me to trawl the inter webs on the hunt for other party variations on plaid prints, and here are a couple of lovelies I spotted on Etsy.

From Lady in Waiting, this 50s dress has its original tags.

From Bad Girl Vintage.

And this one I found on Ebay and, even though it is way out of my current price range, I couldn't resist posting. From June.The.First this is a 60s Geoffrey Beene dress in sweet shades of pink, lilac and spearmint. LOVE.
Apologies for my lack of posting of late. Wedding madness is in full flight. Only two sleeps to go!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An Affair to Remember

I'm wasn't feeling that flash today so I spent the day on the couch, working a little bit, and watching a little bit. My film of choice was the classic love story An Affair to Remember, which has actually been filmed three times. The first was under the title Love Affair in 1939 with Irene Dunn and Charles Boyer, and most recently there was a version with Warren Beatty and Annette Benning filmed in 1994, but it is the 1957 version starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr which has stood the test of time.

Watching it today I was struck by how beautiful and chic Deborah Kerr is in this film. She was 36 when it was released and she appears womanly, sophisticated and radiant. Her costumes are all kinds of late 50s gorgeousness - the beige and orange evening gown at top and the orange opera coat at bottom are faves - and a little bit of detective work led me to Hollywood costume designer and wardrobe director Charles Le Maire.

Charles Le Maire won four Oscars for his work in costumes and was responsible for the looks on memorable classics like Three Coins in a Fountain, How to Marry a Millionaire (who can forget the famous fashion modelling scene?) and The Long Hot Summer. Although when it comes to the latter, I think putting Paul Newman in virtually nothing at all was just about the best costuming decision made.

A little black vintage dress

I know every woman is meant to own at least one little black dress, but since my rejection of black around 10 years ago - after wearing it to death in the late 90s, when it was almost the only colour you could buy - I have not had a go to little black dress in my closet. Despite my admiration for Audrey, I've never particularly followed her style tenets; there is no crisp white shirt or ballet flats lurking in my wardrobe either.
But yesterday as I ran around the city frantically finishing off wedding errands, I stopped into the monthly Vanity Fair Vintage Market for half an hour, and I was dared to try on this rather flash LBD. Lo and behold it fit and I loved it and when I got home I found it looked rather nifty with my wedding shoes.

Dress: vintage from Coco Repose
Purse: thrifted, gift from my almost mother-in-law
Shoes: Wittner
Bracelets: Sugared Vintage

Sugared Vintage is a brand new jewellery business started by a couple of Sydney lasses who were proudly displaying their wares at the market yesterday. They are importing some gorgeous new jewellery lines from the US, but their collection of new/old vintage Lucite bangles, earrings and more are simply gorgeous. The perfect way to add a pop of colour to any outfit, here are a few of the lovelies I found on their website.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nine More Sleeps

And its my wedding day! I promise that in a couple more weeks I'll no longer have weddings on the brain. But in the meantime here are a few inspiring images and a trip down memory lane.

Jean Seberg; Joanna Woodward & Paul Newman; Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride; Ava Gardner & Frank Sinatra; Audrey Hepburn & Mel Ferrer; and Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Road Less Travelled

Now that the Oscar's pics are beamed around the world within seconds and the celebs are styled by professionals within an inch, red carpet dressing has actually become more fraught than ever. People decry that the result is super safe dressing, but when actresses do pick something a little left of centre, they often have imaginary rocks thrown at them.
Last night, however, the panel at my wee Oscars party were most excited by the sartorial turn from non-star and three time Oscar winner Sandy Powell. Sandy - who won the Best Costume category for Young Victoria - demonstrated her fashion credentials by taking the road less travelled, and the results were gorgeous. Snaps to her for eschewing diamonds in favour of colourful bangles and a chignon in favour of a beret. And I've got no idea who created her divine dress, but the Art Deco style pattern and colours were enthralling.

But now to my faves among the stars ...

Carey Mulligan was an edgy glamour girl in a jewel encrusted Prada.

Maggie pulled off bold colour and prints with aplomb in Dries Van Noten.

Rachel McAdams was so, so pretty in Elie Saab. The print was large but the colour muted, and the crossover strapless bodice was really flattering on her petite frame.

And Avatar star Zoe Saldana has divided the universe in her 2010 Givenchy gown. Some say that it was a pouffy mess but whenever the camera was on her I couldn't avert my eyes. I think she looked beautiful.

Nicole Richie went for sophisticated 70s style glam in Reem Acra ... so refreshing to see someone not wearing a strapless gown.

And while, disappointingly, there were no showstopping vintage numbers on the carpet, I did notice that vintage lover Marisa Tomei opted for an early 80s Halston for the Vanity Fair after party. This look is sublime on her.

It was funny to hear how often my little panel disagreed on frocks last night. What were your favourites?