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Posts Tagged ‘vintage fashion’

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Here’s my outfit for The World of Frida Kahlo opening reception. I decided it would have been kind of silly for me to try to copy Kahlo’s unique style. But I wanted to give her a nod so I did my own thing keeping her in mind.

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The skirt reminded me of Kahlo’s billowy dresses. It belonged to my grandmother and was made in Mexico, circa 1950s. I paired that with a simple cotton peasant style blouse. The purse is from the 1920s and my signature shoes are 1940s (look at the OverDresssedforLife logo). Flowers in the hair is classic Kahlo and I went with a single white one, which suits my face better than the flower headband. (Looks great on her though.) That belt has added just the right touch to so many outfits – it’s beaded and a gift from my sis-in-law (thanks Lori!), probably vintage. To add a little color around my neck I’m sporting a shell and turquoise necklace that I remember seeing on my mother back in the 1970s. I wore silver and turquoise rings and bracelets (also my mother’s) and those cat eye shades are new.

I really enjoyed shopping my own closet and creating this ensemble. I particularly got a kick out of using so many family pieces. For sure there is more of this outfit in my future. It’s comfortable and festive … perfect for a summer evening drinking sangria out on the deck.

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IMG_20180602_104927702_HDRMeet Lizzie! I spotted her sitting outside of Cake Cafe on Chartres Street in the Marigny neighborhood of NOLA. She looked effortlessly-chic while quietly enjoying the sunny afternoon under an umbrella.

Lizzie’s shirtwaist dress is feminine and flattering and yet also comfortable, making it ideal for hot weather. Note the vintage details: polka dot fabric print, ruched elbow-length sleeves, sweetheart neckline, and full skirt. All the styling is achieved with just the dress. Nothing else is needed – how easy is that?  (Added bonus are pockets. We do like our pockets.)

Lizzie is wearing some slightly oversized shades in a color that goes well with the red/cream colors of the dress. Her flats are an excellent choice with the hemline and keep the look casual but still fashionable.

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One more thing – chatting with Lizzie I mentioned her vintage vibe and it turns out that she works at Trashy Diva and naturally, this is a TD dress.

Thanks a bunch, Lizzie. You are a NOLA star.

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Me on the left and Jennifer Serr at The Sewing Room. (On the far right is a 1990s coat that Jennifer is altering into a 1930s silhouette.)

I first met Jennifer Serr several years ago at the Art Deco Society of California’s Gatsby Summer Afternoon. Jennifer and her mother caught my eye, sitting in their charming picnic site enjoying the day together. So I struck up a conversation and it turns out that Jennifer had created her dress out of a vintage tablecloth made of a lightweight embroidered silk. Further chatting revealed that she runs a sewing school in Alameda called The Sewing Room.

 

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Jennifer made this dress for Gatsby Summer Afternoon 2017.

Since then I have been following Jennifer on Instagram watching her whip together all kinds of fabulous vintage style fashions, many inspired by the popular television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Jennifer has been sewing since she was seven years old. “I loved clothes and my mom was single with a very limited budget,” she explains. “My grandfather funded my sewing, which empowered the new clothes desire and thus enabled me to create whatever I wanted.” She was, however, only allowed to keep going with the sewing if she maintained at least a 3.5 GPA in school. “I made sure that would happen.” Smart and creative!

Keeping up with her affection for clothes, Jennifer says she makes 90 percent of what she wears.

Learning those skills at an early age has served Jennifer well, at one time working for The Gap and now teaching kids. It’s been five years since she opened The Sewing Room where she has taught many a budding seamstress/designer the basics of sewing, pattern making, and beyond.

IMG_0997 (2)But The Sewing Room isn’t just about kids! Adults are also welcome for classes, workshops, and sewing camps. This summer, July 23-27 Jennifer is planning a special adult camp – a week of sewing and fashion. Here’s her description: Students will spend the week escaping their day-to-day life, delving into the exciting world of Fashion and Sewing. Over the course of the week, students will work on apparel projects as well as explore different aspects of the Sewing World – Textiles, Color, Garment Construction, Mood Boards and more!

Students bring their own projects to work on, there will be a special guest or two and on the final day of camp – lunch! A total immersion in all things fashion. Sounds like heaven to me.

Click here for more information on Sewing Camp for Adults. 

The Sewing Room 2434 Webb Ave., Alameda is open during class times and by appointment.

Thanks, Jennifer. I look forward to seeing your creation for the upcoming ADSC Preservation Ball. 

 

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10-Arjun-Bhasin-IndiaInk-articleInlineSarah Jessica Parker is obviously one of the most stylish people alive. But starting the show was tricky. We tried to ignore her other show entirely and create a new character with a new life. It was exciting for her to reinvent herself into a new person.

Arjun Bhasin, Indian stylist/costume designer.

In this quote (from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle) Mr. Bhasin is referring to his work with SJP on the new HBO series, Divorce.

In addition to the HBO project, the accomplished designer (Life of Pi, Love is Strange, Begin Again) recently costumed Berkeley Repertory’s production of Monsoon Wedding, which by the way has been extended twice and is now running through July 16.

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Sarah Jessica Parker as Frances in Divorce. Opaque tights worn with pumps was not uncommon in the the 1970s.

Back to costuming SJP. What a challenge!There’s a lot of high-stylin’ baggage from that other show – Sex and the City – with the use of big designer labels and major product placement. Bhasin’s approach to this new show was to shift away from all that and go vintage.

Inspired by 1970s divorce films, An Unmarried Woman and Kramer vs. Kramer he hit Etsy and vintage fairs looking for classic silhouettes and soft color palettes. Much of what Bhasin found were in larger sizes. But since he was drawn to the fabric patterns, he and his staff did a lot of altering and playing around with the original pieces to make them fit SJP in size and her character, Frances in mood.

Given that Frances works,  has two children, and is going thorough a (nasty) divorce, Bhasin thought “comfort clothes.” The look he’s created is one of simple elegance; Frances cares about her appearance but she’s not a clotheshorse. Her style is her own and she’s not inclined to follow trends. The hemlines are at the knee, the skirts are full, the dresses are feminine but not frilly. There’s not a lot of fuss – no hats (unless it’s cold), not much jewelry or multiple handbags. Bhasin says that he and SJP want to keep the accessories to a minimum. Frances is a woman who puts on a turquoise silver bracelet and leaves it on.

100716-sjp-divorcedI really like what Bhasin has done with Frances. He’s managed to costume a character with interest while NOT making it all about the clothes. I also appreciate that he reuses pieces, like the two coats Frances wears. Since the costumes are so interesting it’s great to see them more than once.

SJP is such a fashion draw that I imagine women will check out Divorce for the costumes, if nothing else. What I’m curious to see is if these vintage styles will influence street-syle and perhaps even future runways.

 

 

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That’s me sporting my custom-made shirtwaist dress by Theresa LaQuey. Photo: James Young

Throwback Thursday. Originally posted on June 23, 2011.

Last October I had a brilliant idea while strolling Fabric Row in Philadelphia. Why not buy some fabric to take home and have a couple of dresses made? What a perfect memento of my visit to Philly.

So that’s what I did. I perused the family run shop Maxie’s Daughter on South 4th Street and chose two cotton fabrics – one with a violet color print and the other a brown/orange print. I knew I wanted shirtwaist dresses I could wear with sandals in the spring/summer and with tights in the autumn.

The middle-aged salesladies with frosted updos and South Philly accents seemed more serious about the upcoming baseball playoffs than fabric. “We’re gonna beat you,” they teased. “OK,” I said. “I have no problem with that.”  Heck, I was a San Francisco visitor with absolutely no attachment to ballgames, I wasn’t going to argue with Phillies fans.

When I returned home, designer Theresa LaQuey sketched a retro shirtwaist dress with buttons down the front and a knee-length hem (very vintage nurses uniform). A few months later, voila … I had dresses that are well made and fit to a T.

Every time I wear them I think of my visit to Philly and those serious Phillies fans. Now, those are dresses with a story.

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Recognize this hat? It dates back to circa 1857 and was made by hatters Dunlap & Co. The patriotic paint job is thought to have been added in the 1930s. (Perhaps for an Uncle Sam costume?)

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Grateful Dead’s first album, 1967.

But it was Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead that made this chapeau famous. The story goes that he donned the hat one day for some photos taken at the old Spreckles Mansion. Those photos ended up on the band’s first album cover and after that the hat, for some unremembered reason, became known as The Captain Trips Hat.

Later, Garcia gave it to some friends who owned a boutique on Haight Street. In 2014 it was put up for auction with Christie’s.

What I like about The Captain Trips is the playful patriotism. Creative, fun, and anything but square.

Check back tomorrow for the next pic from The Summer of Love Experience.

 

 

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This is a suede coat in maroon from 1970. Suede was really popular back then, used for coats, vests, and handbags.

I love the color and the trim fit makes it super chic. The details are sharp – note the tucked shoulders and wide lapels in a contracting neutral color.

The coat is paired with what was called at the time, decorated denim. It was the done thing to piece together various denim swatches creating a new look. Beads, patches, and embroidery were also used. The pant leg hems are left raw, which is a trend happening today, as is decorated denim but we’re calling it embellished.

One of the aspects of fashion that I’m attracted to in this era is the use of vintage. There was a mixing up of styles from past decades including the 1920s, as we see here with the cloche hat. I like the creativity and uniqueness of combining modern with vintage.

Come back tomorrow for another favorite look from The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll.

 

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