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 

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 

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 

Bombshells: Tennis, Anyone?

I don't play, but I've always loved vintage tennis wear.  Tis the season for the US Open, so let's have a look at some highlights of the women's tennis costume from the last century. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

Not sure how these ladies maneuvered the court but they look lovely! Turn of the century. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

A tennis date in 1910. Takes courting to a new level. (haha?)

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

These flappers have all the right accessories. 1920's. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

I love this knit! I would wear it to work. Really. 1930's. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

Jean Harlow glowing. 1930's. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

Ginger Rogers. Adorable. You may notice that skirts lengths are getting shorter. 1940's.

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

Rita Hayworth in what we would now call a sundress. 1940's. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

Mid-Century model. Prints! A variation from the typical white. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

Short and mod! Very Courréges or Pierre Cardin. 1960's. 

Fashionable History Tennis, Anyone Bobbins And Bombshells

Too cute to sweat in. Fred Perry. 1960's. 

What look is your favorite? Can you imagine playing in any of these looks?

Images via pinterest.


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xo,

Karen 

Bombshells: 1960's Yé Yé Girls

In the 1960's, Yé Yé was a movement in France mostly based on youth and pop music being produced at the time. The term derived from "Yeah Yeah" and was a reaction to Mod in England and Rock 'n' Roll and Girl Groups popular in the States. Pulled by Svengali strings, most notably, from famed songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, several hits were produced. 

The popular Yé Yé girls of France were sexy in a naive way and most often sang songs of innocence with undertones of sexuality and even sadness. France was, after all, still recovering from the War and the youth had a very different reality than those in America. Yé Yé Girls have always been an inspiration to me. I love the music and the Nouvelle Vague movies from this time period in France. I love their style too! Unlike their American counterparts, think Motown, these girls have Gallic pouts and slightly disheveled hair with bangs. They were not overly styled. 

Françoise Hardy

That face! Françoise's career is still going strong. She is probably the most popular of the Yé Yé girls. Her style has often been imitated. 

francoise hardy, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
francoise hardy, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
francoise hardy, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells

Chantal Goya

Chantal is adorable! She also starred in Jean-Luc Goddard's

Masculin Féminin

which is full of great fashion and French ennui. 

chantal goya, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
chantal goya, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
chantal goya, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells

France Gall

France was 16 when her first single got airplay. 

France Gall, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
France Gall, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
France Gall, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells

Sylvie Vartan

Sylvie brought more rock 'n' roll to the genre and had a tougher sound than her peers. She even married French Rock Star, Johnny Hallyday. They were the "it" couple of the time. 

sylvie vartan, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
sylvie vartan, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells
sylvie vartan, ye ye girls, bobbins and bombshells

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xo,

Karen 

Bombshells: Iconic Bond Girls

James Bond just celebrated his 50th year in the movies. While I haven't seen them all, I am a big fan of Bond flicks. In celebration my inspiration this week is iconic Bond Girls, because, well, who wouldn't want to be one?

For this post, I gave myself the task of choosing 5, and ended up with 6. That means that I had to leave out several, several amazing ladies. But anyway.. here we go!

1. Honey Ryder played by Ursula Andress in Dr. No (1962). She set the standard. 

2. Sylvia Trench played by Eunice Gayson in From Russia with Love (1963) and Dr. No (1962)

.

3. Pussy Galore played byHonor Blackman in Goldfinger (1964)- The most classic Bond Girl name. 

4. Jill Masterson played by Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger (1964). Classic Bond scene with the gold paint. 

5. Jinx played by Halle Berry in Die Another Day (2002). She brought back the classic look. Honey Ryder would be proud. 

6. Severine played by Berenice Marlohe in Skyfall (2012). I couldn't help but include her. I think she will become one of the legends. 

Which Bond Girl is your favorite? 

Bombshells: Flapper Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford was destined and determined to be a star. To get herself noticed she became a Flapper along the likes of Clara Bow. She was signed to MGM in 1925 and started her career in silent movies. I love the Joan Crawford of the 1920's and 1930's. When we think of Joan Crawford, we think of a severe glamour of the 1940's, we think of Mommie Dearest. In her early career she was spirited, relaxed and very stylish!

A young Crawford with a blonde bob! 

Pencil thin brows. So glamorous! 

A quintessential Flapper! 

Those eyes! 

Even glamorous in relaxed American sportswear. 


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xo,

Karen 

Bombshells: Linda Darnell

Welcome to my new series; Style Icon! I will be featuring those whose style is a great inspiration to me both current and from the past. First up is 1940's screen star, Linda Darnell. She encompasses classic 1940's style and was so beautiful, I am surprised she is not more well known.

Born in Texas in 1923 she started modeling when she was 11. It wasn't long until she made her way to Hollywood. The movie Star Dust (1940) put her on the map. Two of my favorites are;  A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and Fallen Angel (1945). 

I love this whole look! Turban, crochet cardigan and those nails! 

Gorgeous!

Can I please look like this when I ride my bike?

Stunning

Chic! 


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xo,

Karen 

Bombshells: Lucille Ball as a Blonde? As a Brunette?

I love being a brunette. I love having dark hair. But I never feel that I can change hair color that easily or drastically. Models and actresses seem to be able to change on a whim and look great doing it! I recently found these amazing photos, on Pinterest, of Lucille Ball looking gorgeous as a 1930's blonde model, a 1940's Femme Fatale, and as the adorable 1950's red head we love! 

Which look is your favorite? Which hair color would you love to have? And wouldn't it be great to sport a new hair color every decade? 

 

Bombshells: Baby Face 1933

Once again the costumes designed by Orry-Kelly have made me gasp with delight while watching a film!

The Pre-Code Hollywood film Baby Face (1933) is a little gem of a film that raised a lot of eyebrows in the 30's. Barbara Stanwyck stars as down and out Lily Powers who soon discovers that she can use her sexuality to sleep her way to the top of the banking industry. A rags to riches story with a dark side...quintessential pre-code!

What I really loved about this film is the costumes. They play such an important role in guiding the viewer to the stages of her upwardly climb. They also provide us with a fantastic piece of history reflecting poverty, working class, and glitz in the heart of the Depression Era!

Lily Powers in a common day dress with her abusive father.

Lily as a mid-level employee at the bank.

Jealous and judgmental co-workers. I love the look on the blonde's face!

She's hit the big time!

She brought her friend Chico along for the ride and treats her well!

Watch the film for this dress alone! It is amazing!


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xo,

Karen 

Bobbins: Espadrilles

Espadrilles are classic. These lightweight shoes made from linen or canvas with a rope or braided jute sole come from Spain and have been worn since before the 13th Century! Traditional espadrilles are handmade from Alpargateros, like the lady pictured above. The production of espadrilles quickly spread during that time and also became popular in France. They were worn by everyone from peasants, to military soldiers, to Priests!

In the 1950's and 60's espadrilles became more than just affordable and practical, they became fashionable. Yves St. Laurent special ordered espadrilles to be made with a heel, something that had never been done before. They were an instant hit and the fashion world hasn't given up on them yet! Now espadrilles can be found in the traditional handmade from Spain version ( I just bought a pair of red ones the other day!) or from a variety of shoe designers in all sorts of shapes and reinterpretations. I also have a pair of wedge heel cherry print ones with red ribbon ankle laces that I bought at Macy's a few years ago! Either way they make a stylish and comfortable summer shoe!

Picasso wore them! Love the stripes!

JFK wore them with ankle ties!

And the lovely Grace Kelly wore them!


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xo,

Karen 

Bobbins: Label Love- Lilly Dache

Lilly Dache is a true fashion success story! Born in France in 1898, Lilly Dache moved to New York City at the age of 18. With some millinery skills under her belt she got a job as a milliner and started making turbans out of scraps of fabric. Her turbans were such a success, that by the age of 25 she opened up her own shop. She is pictured above trying on one of her eye-catching hats.

It didn't take long for Hollywood to notice her stylish and outrageous style. Her most famous clients were Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, and Loretta Young. Soon Dache extended her business to include dresses, gloves, and loungewear. She even had two fragrances called Drifting and Dashing. By 1937 she had her own building called The Lilly Dache Building which had two fitting rooms; a silver room for brunettes and a gold room for blondes! Ms. Dache could be heard coming down the hall by the bells on her leopard slippers! Oh how I wished I knew her! When she retired in 1968, her biggest fan, Loretta Young, bought her remaining 30 hats.

Above is a photograph of a Lilly Dache hat and veil by Alfred Eisenstaedt.


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xo,

Karen 

Bobbins: Label Love- Gossard

The gorgeous high quality lingerie from Gossard, we know today started in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. Henry Williamson Gossard founded the HW Gossard Co. in 1901 with the desire to produce top quality bras and corsets. By the 1920's Gossard was exporting goods to the UK and producing revolutionary designs like corsets that laced up in the front instead of the back.

In the 1930's Gossard relocates to the UK and becomes a British company where it is still in business today.

In the 1950's Gossard introduces lightweight girdles, and perma-lift bras. In the 60's the Wonderbra is introduced. With one hand on innovation and the other on the pulse of what women want, Gossard has become one of the top lingerie brands in the world.

Here is an example of an early 20th century corset. For modern lingerie visit the Gossard site.


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xo,

Karen 

Bobbins: Mary Quant

Mary Quant was one of the most prolific designers of the 1960's MOD and Chelsea Girl look. She popularized and made mini skirts, go-go boots, fashion tights, plastic PVC raincoats, and hot pants available to the masses.

She was famous for bold graphics, unusual color combinations, and the Vidal Sassoon 5 point bob hairdo.

The famous floral motif.

Her shop on King's Road, named Bazaar, was a hot spot in Swinging London. It not only featured her easy to wear afordable clothing, tights, boots, and make-up, but also must see window displays.

Jean Shrimpton modeling a Mary Quant dress.


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xo,

Karen 

Bobbins: Veils

I've always been fascinated with vintage hats with veils and the glamorous mysterious effect they have. . Certainly there are many religious origins to the veil, think Catholic Nuns and Muslim Burqas. There is also the wedding ritual where brides wear veils ( like the gorgeous one above) to represent their virginity, a tradition that still carries on with meaning or not. There is also the somewhat old fashioned use of black veils at funerals worn by widows and those in high mourning. But where does that leave us in the fashion world where wearing a veil is a choice not a societal standard?

Let's have a look:

In Victorian and Edwardian times, large veiled hats were popular to keep sun off of the face and dust out of your eyes while riding in an automobile. Practical and pragmatic.

Bette Davis in the 1940's. Veils are worn by glamorous women. They define a lady's space and separate them from the common woman.

In the 1950's a lady never went out without a hat and her gloves.

Veils attached to fancy cocktail hats were an option for formal occasions.

Another image from the 1950's when wearing fashion veils peaked.

Sophisticated, mysterious, refined, and very lady like.

Modern times. Veils make a come back for a glamorous night out. Drew Barrymore is stunning in her birdcage veil at the Grey Gardens premiere.


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xo,

Karen