Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pillbox, Pearls & Pantsuit || 1930's at Drake Hotel

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Whenever I break from my late 40's/50's pencil dresses, my 2nd choice for drawing beauty and aesthetic is always the 1930's and early 40's.  Today's look was influenced by this decade of silky pantsuits, and actually the era in which pillbox hats were introduced.  White Purls just entered my life and filled me with inspiration... pillbox hats have always been one of my favorite of the classic styles, and designer Myriam utilizes her passion for vintage by meticulously crafting each of her stunning creations.  She uses only the finest silk, wool, and yarn while each piece arrives in her own adorable hat box.  My handmade Vintage Ivory Pillbox Hat is made of soft cotton silk blend yarn and strewn with dozens of perfectly placed feminine pearls.  Delving into the pillbox's 1930's origins, I drew inspiration from mid-late 30's bombshells such as Ginger Rogers in Follow the Fleet and Betty Grable in The Gay Divorcee.  While Miss Winny's Le Palais Pantsuit is not currently available, she has some gorgeous alternatives here.  As the pillbox remained popular throughout the next few decades, I can't wait to try out different vintage variations with my versatile White Purls masterpiece.... and just in time for the best hat seasons of all, Fall and Winter!

Note: I don't smoke, the cigarettes & vintage case are props.

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Pillbox Hat :: White Purls
Pantsuit :: Le Palais Vintage
Pearls & Cigarette Case :: Vintage
Gloves :: Light in the Box
Bag :: Tatyana via Pollypop

Monday, August 24, 2015

Powder Blue || Zoe Vine London At Famous Public Hotel

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Established in 1938, Chicago's Pump Room was the place to be seen for high profile socialites and movie stars throughout hollywood's golden age.  Jayne Mansfield, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, and Bogie and Bacall were just a few of the stars to frequent this glamorous Gold Coast dining hall.  Pump Room is housed within historic Public Hotel, where the entrance and lobby were also seen in one of my favorite movies, Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest with handsome Cary Grant and blonde siren Eva Marie Saint.  

Swanky Public Hotel proved a perfect place to stop in for an after-dining coffee in my powder blue Zoe Vine Eliza Dress.  Eliza is the perfect 50's bombshell date dress as she is classy yet sultry, all in one!  Her stretch is very forgiving so you can even feel comfort coupled with glamour.  Zoe Vine is a London-based vintage-inspired brand, with an aesthetic of Marilyn's curves and Audrey's air of sophistication... a combination I couldn't love more.

I paired this silky dress with my own self-designed baby blue heels, created with Shoes of Prey.  If you aren't familiar with Shoes of Prey, you are truly missing out... as I most definitely was.  Using their 3D designer format, you can create your own pair of shoes - anything you dream up!  As I know many of my readers can relate, it is difficult to find a unique shoe design with the kind of beauty and detail that vintage eras produced.  So often I feel that designers in modernity are consistently creating the same exact shoe with little variation, filling the shelves of department stores with very similar trendy and commercial aesthetics.  In past eras, shoes were more feminine and often had more intricate details.  This is how I would describe the design I created: feminine, dainty, glamorous, original, polished, and posh.  

Hope you enjoy a taste of 50's glamour in Chicago history... Cheers!

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Dress :: Zoe Vine
Shoes :: Custom at Shoes of Prey
Bag :: Tatyana at Pollypop
Feather Fascinator :: Vintage Box 1947
Gloves :: Light in the Box

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fashion at the Races || Guest Judge at Arlington International Million Day


When Fashion at the Races founder Bri Mott asked me to be a guest judge on the panel for this Arlington International Million Day Fashion Contest, I could not have been more honored.  With my  love for vintage style and historical traditions, I was beyond excited to experience FATR's day of Equestrian culture and classic fashion!  In lieu of my usual Corset Friday post, today is a special recap in photos of this glamorous day.  The fashion competition and toast to our stylish winners took place at the elegant Champagne Tent, and then proceeded to the race track where we announced our 'best dressed' to the audience.  The excitement of being surrounded by stunning thoroughbreds, famed international jockeys, and attendees in beautiful hats... it certainly brought to life a feeling of the past.

I wanted to revel in this nostalgic occasion, so I chose a classic feminine silhouette accompanied by plenty of feathers and frills!  Stealing the show in part, was my exquisite custom fascinator by incredibly talented Milli Starr.  I have never owned a head adornment quite so beautiful, and each detail was hand-placed by Laura, the bespoke milliner of Milli Starr.  It was crafted of sinimay base with honeycomb veiling overlay, and blocked & stitched chenille-dotted veiling.  Cascading upward are gorgeous Victorian feathers, softly resembling the wings of a bird... and then it is all topped off with a chic pom pom accent in front.  Laura uses old world couture methods, applying the intense training she acquired from her Certificate in Millinery from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.  She combines her bespoke skills with her Museum Studies of costume and textiles to create brilliant and original designs.  Milli Starr's bespoke methods and application of years of traditional training are factors that are dear to my own heart... and intensified even further my respect and admiration.

I highly recommend commissioning a hat, and be sure to take a look at her gorgeous work here!  Also visit Fashion at the Races to be inspired by a world of style in the equestrian world.

Photographer :: LymanDMV Photography
Hat :: custom by Milli Starr
Dress :: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes :: Similar


the contest... 


congratulating our winners in front of the audience...


Some of my own photos at the entrance to Arlington International...

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