Monday, December 27, 2010

Lindy Charm School For Girls's on again !!! The Lindy Charm School for Girls is coming to Victoria !! You dont want to miss either of these events - a wonderful chance to make new friends within the vintage cultural scene, to have a girls day out with lots of laughs and fun, and of course, the chance to learn new tips and tricks to create that glamerous, beautiful vintage look you long for !! Planning a hen's outing? Want to celebrate a milestone with your girlfriends? Want to spend some quality time with you Mum/Sister/Best Friend? This is the perfect opportunity !!! Get in early to secure you will be so glad you did !!!

The value of keeping things....

Some people are hoarders, houses piled high with everything from toilet rolls bought on sale 15 years ago to every newspaper from the last 10 years (I have actually heard of someone who did the toilet roll thing !!!!). Others are prolific neat freeks, minimalistic to the core, not keeping anything unless it has served it useful purpose within the last month.

Then there are those who, like me, enjoy keeping certain things as a historic record. People like me, who will treasure something for its sentimental value, but turf things that have worn out, have no provenience or sentimental value, and are not likely contribute to future historic records - like toilet paper !

While having an end of year clean up, I sat down with a couple of old editions of vogue from my early 20's and had a flick through them. I had kept these magazines as I felt they would be excellent historic records of my youth. How surprised was I as I flicked through them, to find vintage cultural inspiration dripping from the pages !! "There is nothing new under the sun" - Bible authority for you ! There, 15 years ago in 1995 were fashion shoots, advertisements, make up and hair that drew from vintage culture in a terrific way. Mind you, I only ever bought vogue when it carried some sort of vintage aspect in its pages!! But none the less, I was really enchanted to see how relevant to my lifestyle those pages still were. I am so glad I kept those magazines !!! I guess in 50 years time I will still enjoy flicking through them and being inspired !!

I thought I would share some of the fashion shoot and advertisements that grabbed me.....I hope you enjoy taking a wander back into the fashion of 15 years ago in the September edition of Vogue 1995.

And some shopping spreads from the same magazine - I am a real sucker for gingham in any form !!

And the advertisements that caught my eye, also from the same mag.  I adore the make up and hair of the brunette in the footwear advertisement.....seeing as my hair is this length at the moment, I think I might try and pull this look off !!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Hugs and Kisses all round !!!

I want to wish all of my regular (and not so regular !!) readers the very best of Christmases this year.
Christmas has always represented a beautiful high point for me, the climax of the year leading into the beginning of a fresh new one. A time with those I love most dearly, a time for expressing love to our treasured ones, a time for 'eating, drinking and being merry'.

Here is Australia, it is a beautiful time weatherwise as well with long, temperate evenings, and sparkling days full of beaches, lakes, swimming and picinicing. A perfect time for vintage dressing, vintage style eating, and lots and lots of Christmas hugs and kisses all round.

May your 2010 Christmas be significant for you in wonderful ways. May you treasure your moments with family, love them and your friends with all your being. May your celeberations be sincerely joyous. And may the love and gratitude in your heart for all that Christmas is to you - faith based or otherwise - fill you with abundant hope for the coming year, love to delight in and peace in your deepest soul.

My Christmas hugs and kisses to you all ! XOXO

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Movie of the month - November 2010 - Cat Ballou

Well, I am running a little behind with my movie review of the month, but here is November's movie, one of my very favourite comedy/westerns, the classic Cat Ballou.

There are a number of reasons why this movie is one of my fav's. The wonderful music of Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye that pops up throughout the film, the fabulous costuming (Jane Fonda's red dress near the end is utterly stunning !!), the rollicking storyline (so great to have a female heroine - I have always loved that aspect !!), and some captivating performances all round. (This film garnished a best actor Oscar for Lee Marvin in 1966).

Without a doubt, however, the thing that endeared this movie to me more than anything was the sparkling chemistry between Jane Fonda and Michael Callan.

The two youthful actors almost audibly crackle with that 'romantic spark' between them (feigned for the camera or otherwise !).

Now, I confess Jane is a stunning, and perfectly timed comic actress, but the credit of that lively connection surely rests in the twinkling eyes of Michael Callen as the roguish, energetic cattle rustler, Clay Boone.

Michael (below) has the most cheeky, flirtatious, arduous nature in Cat Ballou, brought to life with the lightest and electric physical energy of a dancer (which he is).

(See what I mean by the cheeky expression in his eyes, above, once he catches a glimpse of Jane Fonda's character, Catherine Ballou.)

The other hugely endearing character (at least, to the female audience in my mind !!!) is the adorable 'Uncle Jedd' played to utterly likable perfection by Duane Hickman (below). Constantly getting his love struck nephew (Callen) out of trouble by bluffing his way around as a sometimes inebriated old time Minister peddling religion, Hickman's performance is wonderful. Indeed, I remember watching this movie as a young girl and not being able to make up my mind just who I liked more - the cheeky Clay Boon, or the lovable Uncle Jedd.

But all in all, this classic 1965 movie is one to put on your 'Must watch before I die' list. Tremendous characters, great comic western storyline, perfect musical score, divine costuming, and some enthralling really cant go wrong.

4.5 Choc Tops

Monday, December 6, 2010

Living Dolls - Miss December 2010

Our beautiful Miss December  - let me introduce you to the adorable Vivian Von Dimples !

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

Vintage to me means that one of a kind treasure that had a whole life of it’s own before it’s come into yours.

What was it that first prompted your interest in vintage culture?

When I was younger my mother would take me shopping and she would point out the styles of clothing that would and wouldn’t suit our figure. It took a while of awkward (and often quite embarrassing) outfits till I found my own sense of style that I felt suited my shape and personality but it didn’t take me long at all to find my way into the op-shops to dig out something fun and special for a fraction of the price of things in departments stores. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was wearing tight fitting eighties dresses with huge shoulder pads and peplums.

What is your favourite era, and do you 'live it' every day? In what ways?

As much I adore the fun gaudiness of the 80’s I found out that all the things I loved about it came from eras before. After a brief affair with the 40’s the 50’s stole my heart and since then I haven’t looked back.

My daily outfit consist of a pencil skirt (I don’t enjoy wearing pants), a blouse and/or cardigan or a shirt waisted dress. I try to keep a clear 50’s hourglass silhouette in my every day attire.

Tell us about your favourite item of vintage clothing, kitchenalia, music, furniture or whatever !

My favourite item ever? Gosh, what a hard question. I think it must be my wardrobe. It can’t be any older then 70’s maybe not even that old but I love the chipped white painted wood finish and it’s fancy old fashioned lock and key. But the thing I love most about it is that it keeps all my most precious clothing safe.

Oh, and my bobby socks offcourse.

Can you share with us why vintage culture continues to hold such appeal for you?

The pull to vintage for me is the thrill of the hunt. I love the feeling when you find that perfect dress, 60 years old but fit like it was made for you. When you sachet out of the change room and whoever’s there, whether it’s your best friend or the woman behind the counter, gasp and starts gushing.

Do you have any tips for anyone starting out in the vintage scene?

Start with your base, get a good skirt and a couple of blouses then build up. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create the aesthetics to achieve that perfect look.

I also believe that it’s important to get the right undergarments. The right undergarments set the frame for a great looking outfit. I love my bustiers, bullet bras and girdles.

Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do. Tell us as much or as little as you like !!!!

Vivian V. Dimples is a 22 year old second year costume student studding in Perth West Australia. She is known for her adorable dimples, voluptuous curves and a generous pout. Vivian is a budding burlesque star and show stopper.

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

It’s cliché to say but Marilyn Monroe will always be such a great inspiration to me. Her vulnerability and innocence, in combination with an alluring beauty and sensuality made her a global sensation that will never be seen again.

Quote of the month - December 2010

Happiness is not so much in having as sharing.
 We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Channeling Elizabeth and Audrey....

In the interests of growing my short heavily bleached blonde locks a little longer, I have returned to my 'natural' brunette colouring. Try as I might I simply could not get my hair to grow much longer than Kim Novak without it looking 'ratty' and 'feral' whilst blonde. So, here am I, back to my old self - albeit with a much shorter 'do' than before (which I actually think is quite cute !!) - in a photo shoot for my dear friend Brooke........and trying my very best to invoke an Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor - ish look !! Kisses to you all, and a very wonderful thanksgiving. (I am giving thanks for the awsome blessing of mothers and sisters, fathers and brothers this year !!!) XXXXX

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Buildings galore....

I have recently moved to the quaint little riverside hamlet of Cohuna in Northern Victoria, and, apart from continually raiding the remarkable trash and treasure shop here (smile) I have also enjoyed day dreaming about the potential residing in a couple of empty architectural treasures...... here are some photos......what would you do with these darling buildings if money was no object.........

A dance studio?.....

An antique shop?..........

A 50's diner?......

A music studio?......

Ahhh, to dream is to make our everyday lives brim full of hope.....
Aside from the potential in my new little home town, I have also recently had a trip to Hobart, where I spotted the following beautiful art deco buildings. There were many more to be seen, but I was a bit slack with my camera I am afraid...........

And a couple of pretty scenes too.....what an adorable city Hobart is. I felt very much at home and at peace there - I highly recommend a sojourn there if you can !

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Corset love - an obsession with reducing my post baby waist.....

I dont profess to be anything like Dita Von Tease, although I admire her beauty and classic fashion sense immensely. For one thing, she is so very tiny where I am tall, for another, she hasn't had 3 kids in succession and her implanted boobs and floorless figure are fine testament to that - lucky (and hardworking) gal that she is !! Looking as brilliant as Dita does not come naturally though (hence my hardworking statement), as I am sure she would tell you herself. It takes discipline, forethought and a great deal of endurance....check out the photograph below....such a tiny waist is not attained without a good deal of 'waist training' in good old fashioned corsets.

As any fashion historian will tell you, back in 1946 Christian Dior introduced the "New Look" to a style hungry post war consumer market. To me, that look is classic, beautiful, full of eternal graceful appeal. Nipped in waists, hourglass figures we all flattered by Dior's tailored jacket and full skirts, and as the 1950's came along, sundresses, full skirted evening gowns, cocktail dresses, office wear and pencil skirts. Think Joan Holloway.

And so, to pull off a truly stunning vintage 1950's look, one must, I am afraid to tell all you modern gals, resort to undergarments that provide that nipped in waist and hour glass figure. But it is not all bad...infact, personally, I dont think it is bad at all ! I cant tell you how much I miss my natural 26inch waist since having children added an unbudgable inch to my middle for each child (grrrrrr !!!). The only way I can achieve it comfortably is with a little help from a corset, and although I only wear one every now and again if I am off to a particularly important 'do', it gives me that extra confidence just knowing that my belly is held in (smile) and my clothes are not straining at the seams ! It also has done wonders for my posture and (hopefully) my elegance too. I would wear one all the time if I were not chasing babies all day long !!!

So, I wanted to share with you my very small, but growing collection of corsets. This is the first time I have attempted to do my own 'self fashion shoot', and i have to confess it was a bit of a laugh.....I have ended up with carpet burnt knees from racing from the tripod to the pose on my brand new carpet (what a shame it's not carpet burn from that other very worthy means of attaining raw knees - smile, wink !).

The corset above is my first attempt at a waist cincher. It is made from pretty floral curtain material (for thickness and strength) and is lined and boned and laces up at the back. It can pull me in to a rather hideous looking 24-23inches, but needs assistance to achieve it - and who would want to anyhow, it just looks ludicrous on my 174cm frame and build. This corset looks lovely worn in a sort of peasant style over the top of a blouse like above. I had planned to wear it every day when I made it, but I soon discovered it was a total pain in the neck to have to get in and out of it as it laces up at the back.I always needed someone to help me, and that was totally unpractical for my lifestyle......what to do, what to do.......

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

Right away I got cracking on making a full corset as I wanted to hold in my post baby belly as well as reduce my waist. This one is wonderful as it has a steel busk in the front which is ideal for easily getting in and out of myself. It laces at the back, but once done up, I dont need to touch the lacing's and simply undo and do up via the busk. Unfortunately, this one was not laced properly initially so it kind of has a square look to it, rather than the beautiful curve I was after, and I did try wearing it every day for a while, which unfortunately bent the plastic 'boning' into a funny shape as my body retaliated. Lesson learnt - use steel boning if possible. I must get this one laced appropriately so I am comfortable wearing it out again, but otherwise, it has worked a treat - any volunteers for the relacing? (OK, now I am getting too cheeky !!)

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

In a Bridget Jones style attempt to hold everything in (albeit rather unattractively I must confess), I bought myself a girdle from the USA. (Girdle Bound - for everything in underwear!) I couldn't bare to show you the front of it (hideous!!) so I photographed it like this. It comes to just under the bra and goes down to mid thigh holding everything in to perfection, despite the complete unsexiness of the look !! I actually love this girdle because it draws my waist in to 27.5 - 28 inches without needing to be laced etc. It also holds in my baby belly brilliantly ! This is some truly heavy duty girdle material let me tell you !! And it is wonderfully comfortable to wear, I wear this one alot actually, and I know my friends will now be looking at me and wondering "Does she have that hideous thing on today????"

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

But I have now saved the best of my corsets till last. I recently got this little miracle worker in the post from my beautiful friend Miss Kim of the Lindy Charm School For Girls. The only way to describe the wonder this performs is to tell you that it effortlessly takes my waist from 29-30inches back to my post baby 26inch dream! As you can see by the photo, there is a bit too much flab lolloping over the top which tells me it is time to get into the toning exercises again !! (Smile!) This 'Dior' corset guarantees to reduce your waist by up to 4 inches and it is perfect for all those 50's style dresses that require the figure of Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. And you simply wont believe how very comfortable this is to wear as is an out and out winner - thankyou lovely Kim !!

Have a peek at these photos above and below (there's that dreaded flab again !!!) showing just how much the 'Dior' corset (waist cincher) can pull me in........

(Image removed as my tastes have changed and I no longer find this image of me worthwhile)

And now for a bit of final inspiration....who can possibly deny the beauty of a corset, particularly a Hollywood showgirl style one as seen in the pictures below? Frills and bows, lace and sequins - the stuff all little girls dream of ! Who doesn't want to be thought beautiful?

Above Allyn McLerie wowing the audience as Katie Brown in the film 'Calamity Jane'

Marilyn as the Saloon singer with a heart of gold in "River of no return'

The most famous corset lacing scene in all of history ( to me anyhow !!!) Scarlett O'Hara was supposed to have had a 16 inch waist according to the novel......get a tape measure and have a look at the size of a 16 inch waist, then tell me if you think a waist of that size is beautiful or not !! It makes a Barbie Doll look overweight !!!

Dita in a darling little outfit with that disarmingly small waist again.

The stunning gal's from Melbourne's Hi Ball Burlesque, driving the tremendous resurgence of showgirl/burlesque performance and thus, the wearing of gorgeous burlesque corsets such as these...... those outfits are so very dreamy ....sigh.....

And finally, have a peek at this snippet from Oprah of the woman with the worlds smallest waist....this is truly scarey....... thankyou Eddie for this one !

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