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Archive for the ‘Vintage’ Category

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Lee Miller, war correspondent for Vogue, WWII.

… Lee has put herself together. She wears her new panne velvet* dress, peacock blue, tight through the hips and flaring out in graduated pleats that twirl around her legs as she walks. She worried before she arrived that it was too dressy, but now that she is here she doesn’t mind standing out. If there is one way to make herself feel better, it is by getting dressed up.

Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light (Little, Brown and Company).

* Panne velvet is velvet fabric with a particular finish that creates luster.

The Age of Light is a fictional account of Lee Miller’s time in Paris in the 1920s when she, an American former model and aspiring photographer, meets and starts a professional and personal relationship with Surrealist Man Ray.

I have read a lot about Lee Miller (1907-1977), who was a unique woman in her time and who led an interesting life of fashion and art, travel and war. She was hired by US Vogue magazine to photograph and write about what she was witnessing in Europe during WWII.  I must say that I prefer the non-fiction books on Miller. Although The Age of Light is well written, I found that I didn’t enjoy reading what Scharer thinks were Miller’s thoughts and feelings. It kind of spoils my own view of her. But I do like this quote.

I would recommend the biographies –  Lee Miller: A Life by Carolyn Burke and Lee Miller in Fashion by Becky E. Conekin.

 

 

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Gatsby Summer Afternoon at Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate.

Another Gatsby Summer Afternoon has come and gone. The 35th for the Art Deco Society of California and the very first for many attendees. This event is growing in popularity as more and more people want to experience the grace and elegance of the past.

Over 1000 enthusiasts gathered at the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate in Oakland for a picture perfect sunny day of dressing up, dancing, picnicking, and meeting other like-minded people.

As a picnic site judge I don’t have much time for snapping photos but I managed some and here they are. Enjoy!

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Winners of the Best Grand Picnic Site.

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Winners of the Best Petite Picnic Site. Fifteen-year-old Brendan dressed himself and his parents. He’s been collecting all things vintage for four years and is currently taking Charleston dance classes, hoping to enter a future Gatsby Summer Afternoon Charleston contest. For his picnic, he baked ginger bread using a 1934 recipe, which was Walt Disney’s favorite.

Congratulations to all the contest winners and to the ADSC for another successful year. It’s a lot of work to put on this event. Thank you Event Chair Diana Brito, Heather Ripley Former Chair and Advisor, Heidi Schave, ADSC President and Advisor, and Marie Riccobene, Former Chair and Advisor. Thank you also to the ADSC board members and the dozens and dozens of volunteers who make the day possible.

Save the date for the next Gatsby Summer Afternoon, September 13, 2020 (always the second Sunday in September).

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A costume for Princess Margaret played by Vanessa Kirby in The Crown.  Hand-embroidered and beaded floral appliques with the unexpected pockets. 

The exhibition examines costumes from public and private moments depicted in the show … People are clearly captivated by the coronation robes and regalia, and they have enjoyed the wedding dresses – replicas of both Princess Elizabeth’s and Princess Margaret’s. But our visitor’s survey indicates that Princess Margaret’s hand-painted and beaded gown with the pockets is a strong favorite. 

Kim Collison – exhibitions manager at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Delaware.

Ms. Collison is speaking to Victoria magazine of Costuming The Crown, the current exhibit on at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. On view are 40 costumes from the popular Netflix series, which fictionalizes the life of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

 

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Kit Cullinane at Salon 1757

It was a hot hot hot day on recent visit to my hair stylist Kit Cullinane at Salon 1757. But she was looking oh- so-cool in her bespoke dress.

When I asked Kit about her dress she told me it was one of the garments she had made while traveling in Vietnam last year. Knowing there would be ample opportunities to have clothing made, she brought with her a vintage shirtwaist dress which she had copied in rayon fabric at a shop called Su in Hoi An, Vietnam.

This is a thing in Vietnam – you can have clothing made to order. Suits, blouses, dresses, jackets, and in quick order too. Custom fit and good quality at reasonable prices.

Kit paired her dress with a brass chain belt that she found at a thrift store. She accessorized with a chunky bracelet and dangle earrings.

 

IMG_20190822_121029176I love the fabric design, which will transition nicely into fall. She can easily wear this in September and October, and as the weather starts to cool she can add a short jacket or sweater.

Thanks Kit, for the fashion story and for keeping my hair looking its best!

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Luxury accessories up for auction at Abell Auction.

 

As consumers consider what they buy, the idea of what’s sustainable (what isn’t harmful to the environment) is now on our check list. “Reduce, reuse, and recycle” has become a mantra, and according to the fashion resale website ThreadUP, there are more secondhand shoppers than ever before.

In keeping with this fashion movement, Abell Auction Co. located in Los Angeles is featuring a unique collection of vintage luxury accessories at its next auction set for September 10th, 2019. Todd Schireson, VP at Abell Auction, Co. was kind enough to answer some questions for OverDressedforLife.

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Todd Schireson

It seems how people shop is in the midst of a major shift, has the auction business been impacted? In what way? 

People are shopping and browsing sales more online these days. Because of the online marketplace, people tend to take shipping into account; large furniture being difficult to sell, while luxury goods, fine art, and jewelry is thriving.

Who is your (buying) client these days? 

We cater to dealers, designers, and decorators on the West Coast. Since the business has shifted more to online sales, we have buyers in every major city in the world.

What do you think it is that attracts a new audience to auctions? 

The idea of getting unique, vintage or historically important items is what brings people to auction.

In jewelry and accessories, what are your clients looking for? What brands? What kind of style? 

At Abell Auction, we have a wide range of consumers. The luxury items that tend to do well at auction are Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., Patek Philippe, Cartier, Harry Winston, Montblanc, etc. Styles in jewelry change quite often, whereas with purses, the classic Chanel flap bag will always be a popular trend.

You have a sale of luxury accessories coming up – please briefly describe what will be offered. 

The luxury auction coming up has a great collection of watches from Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, and Piaget. Handbags and other fashion items from Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Pierre Cardin, Gucci and fine appointments by Lalique, Daum, Cartier, and Buccellati.

What are you most excited about with this sale? 

Luxury auctions bring in a different customer base than those who typically attend fine art and antique auctions. With the new customer base, there is not only opportunity to show them a Birkin bag, but to also showcase the amazing collection of Pablo Picasso pottery, David Hockney prints, and amazing original mid-century furniture, etc.

Thank you, Todd. Click here for more information on Abell’s upcoming auction. (Preview September 4-6 & 9).

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I wore miniskirts when I was younger. We used to hide them in our bags before going out. And we wore bloomers underneath because we danced rock ‘n’ roll. Then we went from very short to very long, and one day when I was wearing one of those long skirts, my grandmother said to me: “Good lord, you look like a musty old granny!” That was the end of that. 

France’s First Lady, Brigitte Macron. Quote from Elle magazine, originally published in French Elle and translated from French.

That was the end of that all right. Almost every photo I found of Ms. Macron she was in a short dress. In the other photos she sported straight-leg jeans.

The hemline might be a bit short but otherwise, I think the look suits her and is appropriate for her position as First Lady.

At age 66 she is anything but a musty old granny!

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My grandmother and my mother, c.1933.

I remembered her pretty black coat of shinning silk brocade. The smooth black hair meticulously combed and dressed with sweet oil. The little white flower she wore at the nape of her neck. And there was that dainty high-collared blouse of cream-colored silk … with the black satin pants of three quarter length that stopped inches short of her trim little feet. 

Gene Sayre, pseudonym of Louise Brown Marshall, my grandmother.

This description is of Yatside, a youthful Chinese woman in 1930s China. It’s taken from a short story called You Goody For Me, which was written in 1939 and somewhat based on my grandmother’s experience living in China as a Navy captain’s wife.

Yes, my grandmother was a writer too. She penned several stories of her travel adventures and this one fictionalizes the day she met Yatside. Mrs. Albright (my grandmother) is holding an infant in her arms and just about to board a boat headed up the north coast and away from “war-stirred” Shanghai. Out of nowhere Yatside grabs her arm, points to the baby and says, “can do.” She is offering to work as a nanny and as it happens, that’s just what our protagonist needs. There begins a story of culture clashes, bonding, and finally, respect.

I can easily picture stylish Yatside – pretty and demure – and I’m willing to bet that the way she was dressed, as well as her manner, helped my grandmother make that split-second decision to take her on as a nanny.

IMG_20190816_172450668 (1)I feel very fortunate to have my grandmother’s stories, many are the original typed manuscripts. I’m learning a lot about not just her life, but also her conflicts, world view, how she treated people, and I’m getting a glimpse at some of her inner thoughts.

What a gift!

 

 

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