Retro Looks in the Modern World: Amber

Bombshells: Jean Seberg

Jean Seberg went from Iowa to becoming the French New Wave's darling.  While she made movies in Hollywood as well, it is her portrayal of the cool girly-tomboy young American in her French movies that have always inspired me.

She acted from the years of 1957-1976. Her first movie was Otto Preminger's Saint Joan, where she played Joan of Arc. She died in 1979 of an overdose at the age of 40. 

She made the pixie cut chic, well before Mia Farrow. 

Her chicness was in her ability to shine without being over done. 

Capris, chunky knit sweaters, and flats. This was her uniform.

She was truly adorable!

If you haven't seen her in the New Wave classic,

Breathless

(1960), you simply must! 

Retro Looks In The Modern World: The New Mod

Retro Looks In The Modern World: Factory Girl

Bobbins: Leopard Print as a Neutral

Leopard print can often be thought of as a racy and tacky print. And there is a place for that! But it definitely has it's high fashion moments. It seems to be worn best when it is thought of as a neutral, or as just an accent. The Mid-Century wore leopard so very well! Here is some leopard print eye candy from the past!

1960's. Jackie. Full on print here and nothing classier.

1940's. Barbara Stanwyck. Sophistication.

1950's Christian Dior. Timeless.

1951. Sunny Harnett. Leopard with tweed. 

1950's. Ladies Home Journal. 


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xo,

Karen 

Retro Looks In The Modern World: Rockaway Beach

Bobbins: Heel Appeal

This time of year means party dresses and high heels which is not to be complete with out stockings! What a wonderful time of year! 

 I've recently been looking at vintage stocking ads and am enamored by the selection of different types of heels associated with the ever glamorous back seamed fully fashioned stockings. Before they had machines that could knit in the round (tubular) seamed stockings were all you had. While FFS still exist, they are becoming harder to produce as many of the original factories and hosiery mills have closed. Most modern designs are stitched on over the tubular stocking. 

Of course there are the classic style heels: 

 Cuban: Reinforced heel design ending in a square top. 

Havana: Same as the Cuban but wider. 

French, Point, or Pyramid: Ending in a tapered point. 

 Manhattan: Similar to the Cuban but ending in a point with an outline.

See below for some classic heels as well as some party essential fashion choices that were available!

Retro Looks In The Modern World: Ex Fan des Sixties

My Projects: Pattern Rub-Off Tutorial

Pattern rub-off skills can be quite handy! The idea here is not to copy but rather preserve a pattern of either something that fits you really well or something that is destroyed beyond repair. 

Last Summer, I made a pattern rub-off of one of my favorite pencil skirts. I love the fit of this skirt and was deeply disappointed when the brand didn't offer one in simple solid black. Really? Therefore, I decided to make one myself! I also made one in army green and am currently working on one in a lovely charcoal wool with herringbone stripes. 

 Finally, here is my tutorial. This pattern is really simple, and I suggest starting with a simple item like this from your closet. Let's get started, shall we?


1. Tools you will need:
* favorite item from your closet
*measuring tape
*muslin
*pins
*scissors
*pencil
*pattern paper
*tracing wheel (pictured below)
* Ruler (pictured below- hey I don't do tutorials very often!)

2. Find your center front and center back. Mark with a pin at both the top and bottom of the garment.
3. Put pin markers where darts end, or anything of interest. It could be area of shirring, or pleats.
4. Mark your muslin. In design school we used to have to pull the warp out. Now I mark with pencil. Dig that lead in the groove of the weave and mark your long grain. This will help you see that your fabric is straight. If it is crooked, block your fabric to get that grain line straight! 
5. Place that line on your muslin on your center front (or center back, center side etc.) and then start to define areas of interest, like this dart. Pin in the amount to keep your fabric flat. 

6. Number 5 is so important, I have repeated it for No. 6. Did you get that? This is what will shape your garment and a huge part of why this garment fits you so well. Go back and make sure your darts are perfect!
7. With your pencil mark those pins and mark the edges of your garment. Hence the term rub-off. You can use chalk as well. 
8. Everything marked? Make sure before you un-pin! Take your muslin and lie it on top of the pattern paper. Label your grain lines so you know what piece is what. They will all look the same! 
9. Time to mark your paper below with the tracing wheel. The teeth will make marks you can trace over. 

10. Look closely and you will see the teeth marks. Pencil over those marks but with your ruler and "true" them up.  They might be wavy, so you need to make sure you have straight lines with natural body curve. 
11. Mark your pattern pieces. Are you cutting 2 or 1 on the fold? Is it the center back, center front, side front? You will need to know this later.
12. True up your darts and add your half inch seam allowance, or 5/8" if you prefer. Also add notches, so when the pattern comes off your fabric later you will know what is what. 
13. Choose your fabric and lay out your pattern and cut out your new dream item! May be best to try a muslin version first and tweak your pattern if necessary. Especially if your project is much more complicated than a 2 piece pencil skirt pattern. 


Finished pencil skirt #2! Army green stretch cotton! Soon my closet (pictured behind me) will be full of these pencil skirts in many fabrications! 
Oh, and the peasant blouse I am wearing was handmade too, from a vintage pattern. More info on that here

Let me know if you have any questions and what patterns you make. 
 Good luck!

Retro Looks In The Modern World: Gatsby les Magnifiques

As much as the modern fashion world looks forward it also continually looks back in time. Here we explore Retro Looks in the Modern World. Elle France recreates The Great Gatsby in this extraordinary shoot! 

Models: Camille Rowe and Melanie Thierry 

Photographer: David Vasiljevic

Bombshells: Grace Kelly

It goes with out saying, that Grace Kelly would be on every Style Icon list. She was the epitome of simple, clean, effortless style. American sportswear mixed with Riviera glamour. She had it all, including a fairy tale life.

Her acting career spanned from 1950- 1956. Not a long career but one she had to give up when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco. She starred in 3 of my favorite Hitchcock movies; Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, and Dial M for Murder. 

She never took the "pin-up" route that so many of her actress peers took in the Fifties. She kept it cool, casual, and classy.

She died in 1982 at the age of 52. She suffered a stroke while driving in the Riviera. She lost control of her car and drove off the steep winding road. 

James Stewart said this at her funeral: 

"You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I'll miss her, we'll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace."


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xo,

Karen 

Retro Looks In The Modern World: 50's Scent

Bobbins: Tweed

When ever thoughts of  an ideal Autumn or Winter wardrobe come to mind, as they do this time of year, I gravitate toward tweeds. I love the texture, flecks of color, and sturdy warmth it provides. I also love the classic styling that always looks chic.

Dita Von Teese in vintage Dior. 

Classic Chanel. 1950's. 

Menswear inspired. Biba. 1960's/70's. 

Sears. 1950's. Yes! To each of those pencil skirts!

What fabric are you drawn to time and time again? What is your go to Autumn wardrobe staple?

All images found on Pinterest.

 

Retro Looks In The Modern World: My Generation

Bombshells: Sophia Loren

Sophia is a true bombshell, in the classic sense of the word. She's most known for her curves and those eyes but she also has sense of style that enhanced her god-given features. 

Born Sofia Scicolone in Italy in 1934, she started her career at the age of 14 when she entered a beauty pageant. She didn't win, but it did lead to acting lessons. She got bit parts here and there until the 1950's when she signed a 5 picture contract with Paramount that launched her international career. She then changed her name to Sophia Loren. 

She was the first woman to win a Best Actress Oscar in a foreign language film for the film

Two Women

in 1962. 

Here she is with Clark Gable in

It Started in Naples (1959).

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age." - Sophia Loren

Retro Looks In The Modern World: Chelsea Girl

As much as the modern fashion world looks forward it also continually looks back in time. Here we explore Retro Looks in the Modern World.

60's inspired looks for Fall graces the pages of the September issue of Vogue Australia. I love this look (and hair!) and am looking forward to cooler days when I can pull on my knee high boots! 

Model: Amanda Wellsh

Photographer: Sebastian Kim

via fashiongonerogue.com

Bombshells: Bunny Yeager

I've been wanting to feature Bunny Yeager on my Style Icon series for quite a while now. Upon hearing the sad news last night that she passed away in Florida at the age of 85, I set out to not waste any more time. 

Bunny was born Linnea Eleanor Yeager in Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Miami when she was 17. With her 5'9" frame, she quickly became a sought after model. 

Her interests didn't stop there. She soon went behind the camera. She loved to photograph nudes and women in bikinis that she would make herself. Being a woman and used to being on the other side of the camera, she made it easy for her subjects to pose. Bettie Page is her most famous model. She helped launch Bettie's career showing a softer side, than the bondage photos she had previously taken in New York. 

I really love her self portraits. Bunny is gorgeous and embodies the complete look of her photography. You get the feeling that it was a complete lifestyle. Her photos are not contrived. 

With her bleach blonde looks she is the epitome of 1950's beach style. 

Beyond her style, Bunny will always remain an inspiration. 


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xo,

Karen 

Bombshells: Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard is a true style icon. She could pull off casual looks just as well as complete silver screen glamour. A natural beauty, best known for her screwball comedies of the 1930s, she is still an inspiration.

A young Carole (born Jane Alice Peters) in the 1920's. Those eyes were made for black and white films.

Super stylish. I love this outfit. 

Stunning Old Hollywood glamour. You can see why she was the highest paid actress in her time. 

She is known for saying: “I’ve lived by a man’s code designed to fit a man’s world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman’s first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick.” 

The love's of their lives. I can't imagine a better looking couple! 

Clark Gable- swoon! 

Carole was tragically killed in a plane crash with her Mother in 1942 at the age of 33. Her and Clark were only married for 3 years. So sad. 

Her style inspiration and wonderful films will always live on. 


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xo,

Karen 

Bobbins: Rainwear

April showers are here! How did one stay stylish on a rainy day in the past? 

Let's have a look:

I really enjoy this shot of a 1920's puddle jumper! There's not much keeping these ladies dry and the men, well, they aren't so helpful!

In the 1940's tailored trenches and capes are a wardrobe staple. In some old movies, they are worn even when it's not raining. Natural fabrics like crepe de chine, oiled silk, cotton gabardine and tweed are the mainstays. Rubber is introduced for rainwear in the 30's so that pops up too. I will take the "Scott" cape-coat, please!

Stylish ladies in the 1950's. I love the green with the hood!

 And let's not forget accessories! I am not stylish with the umbrella. Honestly, I will use what ever I can get my hands on. Living in New York City, we lose them and gain them so fast. I never know where my umbrellas even come from. But these are nice...and safe in traffic!

I succumbed to the modern rain boot trend last year. It has been worth it, as my shoes I adore are preserved. However, these galoshes are the real way to go!

What do you wear in the rain?

Retro Looks In The Modern World: Pink Lady

As much as the modern fashion world looks forward it also continually looks back in time. Here we explore Retro Looks in the Modern World.

Soft pastels and vintage cars!

Numéro Russia creates a retro moody editorial for it's April issue that suggests the early rains of Spring with a yearning for warmer days. 

Model: Cora Emmanuel 

Photographer: Francesco Carrozzini

via: fashiongonerogue.com