Friday, May 27, 2011

Designer Profile: Philip Hulitar

I saw this gorgeous cocktail frock pop up for sale over at Shrimpton Couture (some wise lady has already snapped it up) and it reminded me that I had intended on profiling Greek/American designer Philip Hulitar for quite some time. I don't think I've stumbled upon a piece of his that I haven't fallen a little bit in love with, and I think the proof here is in the hip swag and the blossoms (some of which have been appliqued onto the fabric).

According to the Vintage Fashion Guild Philip Hulitar was the custom designer of evening, wedding and maternity attire for Bergdorf Goodman from 1935. In 1949 he launched his own label and he was known for his sophisticated but sexy designs, which are highly collectible now. In 1964 he retired from fashion but still led a very public and full life as a building preservationist and patron of the arts. He passed away in 1992 and you can read more about him over at this New York Times obituary here.
I love his designs because they are pretty and colourful and glamorous without being too girly or frou frou. I think people should wear what they feel comfortable in regardless of age (except jeggings, which should NEVER be worn, EVER), but as I get older, I have noticed that my tastes change and that I don't feel comfortable in some of the particularly cutesy items that used to appeal.
I would desire, however, to wear any and all of these Philip Hulitar dresses.

This cocktail dress from Posh Girl Vintage has been sold to a lucky princess. I love the appliqued leaves and that pinky shade of mauve on the bodice.

And if I sold my car I might be able to buy these three frocks right now.
You can check them out for yourself over at Enoki World, Vintage Textile and Torso Vintages.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And speaking of Jackie ...

I thought I'd share my favourite photo of Jackie's glamorous younger sister Lee Radizwell. Sure, her wide-brimmed hat is lovely, but that cute pug on her lap is definitely her best accessory. She reminds me a bit of my own pug Elsie when she was younger (and before she had to have plastic surgery, poor baby). Look how happy she seems to be cuddling her gorgeous friend. The companionship of dogs really is one of life's great joys.
And my verdict on the Kennedy series so far? While it's not breaking any new ground, I'm finding it very entertaining. Katie Holmes is better than I thought she'd be, and she looks quite like Jackie. Greg Kinnear's similarity to JFK is quite eerie.

Did anyone else watch the first episode?

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I've just switched on the television to watch the new Kennedy mini-series with Greg Kinnear as Jack and Katie Holmes as Jackie. I've heard that Katie's performance isn't great, but that many of the other performances are good, and the styling is spot on. Wait to hear my thoughts, but in the meantime I thought it was as good a day as any to blog a few Jackie pics. What a life, hey?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Frocks That People Wore in Cannes That I Liked

Zoe Saldana in Armani Prive; Le Seydoux in Louis Vuitton; Sarah-Jessica Parker in Elie Saab; Milla Jovovich in custom-made Prada; Alexa Chung in vintage 60s Balenciaga; Fan Bing Bing in Oscar de la Renta and a custom-made evening gown from her own stylist (stunning!). What were some of your favourites from the Film Festival?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wishing Winter Away

Saturday nights are for friends but Friday nights are for me. I must be getting old. I was so exhausted last night that all I wanted to do was lie on the couch and look at pretty things, so I picked up the June issue of UK Vogue and gazed upon a season that now feels completely alien to me. As of about three weeks ago, it well and truly became scarf and coat weather here in Sydney.
Regular readers will know that I'm not a winter girl. I should be excited about wool coats and funky stockings and finding that perfect pair of boots, but instead I long for that feeling of warm air hitting bare skin. I love looking chic in just a swimsuit and sandals. I covet cotton dresses all year round. This gorgeous shoot from Josh Olins, featuring Brazilian model Raquel Zimmerman, really appeals. I love the colours of the shoes and clothes and the bright pink lippy against her deep tan. And I especially love the one-shouldered red DKNY swimsuit in the first shot. It reminds me of this vintage Bill Blass number from Posh Vintage which I've long lusted after.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Splendor in the Grass

No I'm not talking about the music festival or even the Wordsworth poem that this phrase was taken from, but rather the 1961 Elia Kazan film. I re watched it the other night after an absence of many years and while the heavy handedness of its message does date the film, it is still totally watchable, not least because of Natalie Wood's lovely performance as the heartbroken Deanie Loomis. Splendor in the Grass was also Warren Beatty's first film and while he does look very handsome, Natalie is positively luminous. Here are a few publicity shots from around that era - West Side Story was released in that same year - for you to enjoy.

The film has a great ending, where Deanie and Bud meet up again. Set in the late 1920s and early 30s, around the time of the stock market crash, I love Natalie in this white dress and hat. The perfect outfit to see that first love that dumped you again.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Planning For My Winter Wardrobe

I put my new winter coat on lay-by today (a beautiful shade of crimson) and now that the cold weather has hit Sydney with sudden and full force, I'm thinking about my wardrobe for the next three months. I need knit dresses, but I also crave comfy cable knit jumpers as per the one worn above by Tina from Violetville Vintage. What do people think of a cable knit jumper paired with a cute floral skirt (thanks Astaire Steps Vintage in Bendigo) and opaque tights? I think I may be onto something here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hooray for the Met Ball!

Hooray indeed as some seriously dramatic frocks finally hit the red-carpet this year. It is almost silly how excited I get about the Costume Institute Met Ball.
It's been an Alexander McQueen kind of week as the ball this year was ties to a Lee McQueen retrospective. This followed a frenzy over a certain Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress that someone may have donned last Friday (if you are remotely interested in my two cents worth, I thought it was a beautiful if relatively unexciting choice. Tom and Lorenzo have an interesting take over here.)
Meanwhile, here are my favourites rom the fashions night of nights.

Edgy: Saoirse Ronan in Rodarte is brave and beautiful.

Vintage: Nicole Richie looked gorgeous in a classic 1930s bias cut down while Ashley Olsen had me coveting voluminous sleeves in vintage Christian Dior.

One-of-a-kind glamour: Natalia Vodianova in Valentino haute couture (die) and Michelle Williams in a custom-made Miu Miu gown covered in bronze swallows. Michelle's hair and make-up are divine too. She may just be my favourite of the night.

Elegant sexiness: Emma Stone in Lanvin and Diane Kruger in Jason Wu. They both look immaculate from head-to-toe.

Bringing the pretty: Dakota Fanning in Valentino. When you are 17 you should be wearing dresses like this. I have a feeling some people might not like this, but I'm forever partial to floral appliques and tulle. It was very fairy princess ... in a garden.

Bringing the drama: Crystal Renn and Christina Ricci both delighted me in dark and deeply dramatic gowns courtesy of Zac Posen. It's these kind of Met moments I so look forward to.

And finally, SJP and Salma Hayek (who was one of the event hosts) saw fit to honour the late Lee McQueen. I thought that more guests would've mined the archives, but there is no doubt these two ladies did his genius proud.

Now bring on the red-carpets at Cannes I say.