Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lovely lady lot

I have recently listed on eBay what I consider the wedding dress I'd have worn, had it been available to me at the appropriate moment. I love the timeless beauty of this dress, and the fact that it is the very palest shade of blush pink. It truly melts my heart.

Listing this dress gives me a quorum and I am ready to show items from this lovely lady. When she called me she said she was ready to let go of a few things, as she was about to get married. I came to her house only to find that her elliptical machine was partly blocking the door, with her on it.

The lady went to get her items, which date from the late 40s to early 50s and I felt a bit scrambled; her stories and history date her to an age of at least 85, but everything else about her belies this. I clearly remember thinking: She is unmistakably beautiful, and in love.

She had a most unusual late 40s Ceil Chapman gown:

A late 40s softest wool coat:

and a sweet 50s sundress with stripes of tiny rickrack:

Among the items she offered me was this Tula gown and jacket, given to her at the time of her 1952 wedding:

At my first visit she wasn't quite ready to part with her 1952 wedding dress, but pretty soon the call came, with her 2nd wedding (her first husband had passed away years before) pending:

Made by Cahill Ltd. of Beverly Hills, which I've come to find out was an exclusive and high-end wedding gown shop, the dress is made of silk shantung, with the extravagantly flaring skirt lined with stiffened gauze for body. There are more items from this lovely lady...but I'm not sure I'm ready to part yet.

I feel blessed by the women I meet to purchase their clothing, and have highlighted others in the past, such as You're a sight to see Mrs. Gordon, I love my vintage clothing sources, A tiny fraction of Mrs. Alexander's clothing, Another favorite source and The suitcase lot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

All you need is love

Well maybe a few other things too, but for one day anyway, love is all you need.

Happy Valentine's Day!

My collage of all-time great movie kisses (click for a closer view)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Billie Holiday, style icon

Style icon? Wait, what about music icon?

Obviously Lady Day is an immortal musician, one of the most distinctive artistic voices of the 20th century. But this week I have turned to her for the inspiration she gives me with her style.

This week, the Vintage Fashion Guild featured members showing off their best clothing and accessories worthy of Billie Holiday. As I wrote for this "Get the Look" feature,

The most enduring image of Billie Holiday dates from around 1940: At the microphone, in a beautiful gown, gardenias in her hair, head thrown back. Explore her style with 40s rayon prints, dramatic, stage-worthy evening clothing, striking and exotic jewelry...and of course, flowers.

Here are some of the gorgeous items the VFG members show:

I am trying to channel a more casual Billie with some 50s sundresses...and I couldn't resist trying out flowers in my hair.

All among my eBay offerings this week

If you want to try your hand at emulating the makeup of the 1940s Billie, I recommend the wonderful Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin, who was a genius at translating the looks of iconic beauties for modern day women.

Victoire Charles, makeup by Kevyn Aucoin

I can't leave the subject of Billie Holiday without presenting one of my favorite of her performances available online, with an incredible line up of some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time (Fine and Mellow, 1957). She was obviously a beautiful person both inside and out, with a musical presence that transcends time, and style to match.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Still fallin’ in love with vintage

Please visit my February theme, Fallin’ in Love (sound up).

I hope you will always plenty find plenty to love at denisebrain.com!