Monday, January 31, 2011

Lulu's Vintage

In the Portland, Oregon world of vintage, and in the online world of vintage, it would be difficult not to know of Lulu. She just reached the 5th-year anniversary of her Lulu's Blog, and many of us in the online vintage community have benefitted from Lulu's posting of items she has chosen to highlight from our websites. Her annual Lulu's Vintage People's Choice Awards and her own top-ten list of sites have been wildly popular, generating an amazing list of the best vintage to be found on the web, along with a spirited competition for top honors. The Style Council, an every-so-often feature of Lulu's blog, gives readers insight into vintage lovers of all sorts.

Lulu now has a wonderful jewel box of a shop in Portland, located at 916 West Burnside Street, a very short walk from Portland's favorite place to submerge for a few hours, Powell's Books. I've been privileged to visit Lulu's Vintage on Burnside, and found the offerings beautifully chosen and presented…highly tempting! The proprietress is unfailingly helpful and kind to visitors.

Right now she has a splendid selection of handbags, scarves, plaids (including some wonderful Bonnie Cashin coats), fabrics, patterns, and menswear. I particularly loved some of her vintage cocktail dresses. I took home this very cool bright red Samsonite bag, the purpose of which I will bend from luggage to shoulder bag.

In addition to her own blog and store, Lulu keeps the world up to date on Portland's thriving vintage scene—not just clothing, but all vintage, including music and cinema—on her other blog, Shop Vintage Portland.

I'm glad to have gotten to know Lulu over the past couple years, and happy to share her she has done for so many others. Keep up the great work, Lulu!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Get the Look: The Thin Man, 1934

Nora, Asta and Nick

This week, the Vintage Fashion Guild featured members showing off their best Thin Man looks. As I wrote for this "Get the Look" feature,
Suave, witty, stylish and charming…if you haven’t yet met Nick and Nora Charles (inimitably created by William Powell and Myrna Loy) you must see The Thin Man movies. This week we pull from our 1930-40s collections to bring you our very best Nick and Nora looks.
Night and day, The Charles' looks were unmistakably elegant and fashionable.

If you really haven't met Nick and Nora Charles, and their wonder dog Asta, allow me to introduce you.

Without a doubt, the finest of the 6-part Thin Man series of movies is the original, dating from 1934. Based on the detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, the movie is a mystery and a comedy in equal parts...fueled by copious alcohol and wit. This video shows a few of the quintessential Nick and Nora scenes from the first two movies in the series.

It isn't easy finding 1930s clothing and accessories now, but leave it to VFG members (and their deep inventories) to provide examples:

Bernard Weatherill Formal Tailcoat Suit from Glad Rags & Curios, 30s Nouveau Print Wide Silk Tie from The Spectrum, detail from 30s Black Velvet Bias Cut Formal Dress Gown from Mags Rags, 1930s Black Sheer Silk Chiffon Butterfly Nightgown from Daisy Fairbanks, Early Eisenberg Dress Clip-Unsigned from Linn's Collection, 1930s Peep Toe Strap Shoes Black Leather Cut Outs from Bettes Bargains, Felt Flowers Tilt Hat by New York Creations from Rue de la Paix, 1930s Art Deco Men's Smoking Lounging Robe Dressing Gown from Poppy's Vintage Clothing, Late 1930s Dressing Gown or Hostess Dress from Bonnie & Clyde's Treasure Trove Vintage

I've got a few 30s items available this week, including a lace evening dress and jacket, a day dress and a hostess gown.

Among my eBay offerings this week

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dress Code at the MAC

A reflection of my own life?

Dress Code is a small but thoughtfully curated and visually beautiful display of over 200 years of women's clothing, and the relationship of that clothing to changing women's roles, on display through April 30, 2011 at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (the MAC) in Spokane. Issues of female beauty, personal identity, political power, and societal shifts are illustrated by clothing from the MAC's permanent collection.

Although the clothing itself is just the medium of the message, there are some splendid items on display, including an Empire-style dress worn to George Washington's inaugural celebration.

French silk brocade dress, remade in 1789 from a 1730 wedding dress imported from Paris

Dresses dating from ca. 1919 (the threshold of modernity) and 1924 (Egyptian influence)

Detail from a custom-made party dress, ca. 1914

Each of the items is described on panels, including interesting details about local women, stores, manufacturers and activities. The historic photos are a real highlight for me, bringing the clothing to life. There is interactivity, including the ability to try on a corset, and open up the doors of a "Peep Show" to reveal the undergarments used to shape fashionable women in 1890, 1920 and 2010.

Also at the museum right now is the exhibit Women's Votes, Women's Voices, illustrating with artifacts, interactive kiosks and oral histories, Washington women's campaign for suffrage. Washington was important in the national suffrage movement, being the 5th state to grant women the vote. Between Dress Code and Women's Votes, Women's Voices there is a Wall of Influential Women of the state, including clothing worn by these women.

I have always liked to ponder the meaning of what I wear, and I found it fascinating to experience the time line of women's history as seen through clothing.

Dress and suit dating from 1914

Dresses from 1932 to 1950...shaped by national emergencies

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Get in the groove

It’s a new year, and my new theme is up, because...

I get a kick out of you

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We did it!

With your generous help in purchasing items from benefiting this great cause, I was able to raise $448.08 for Conservation Northwest this month. I could not have done this without you!

Denisebrain has the best customers!!