The Betties

1. Bette Davis and those eyes.  She personifies the Golden Age of Hollywood.  In a world where men rule, Davis held her own as a strong, respected woman with real acting chops. She garnered ten Academy Award nominations, a feat that only four other actors have achieved.   She didn't need to rely on her looks to make it in Hollywood and she left behind a legacy of great films. All About Eve, Jezebel, The Little Foxes, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.  If you haven't seen a Bette Davis film, then shame on you! 

2. Betty Grable and those legs. Clueless Cher Horowitz said "She's a total Betty"...well that would be Betty Grable she's referring to...the pin up queen of WWII.  Her legs were famously insured in the 1940s for one million dollars, which is about 22 million today.  And she was 1/3 of the fabulous trio of ladies in How to Marry a Millionaire with Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe.  Does it get any hotter than that?!

3. Bettie Page and those bangs. The most famous pin up model of all time, she had a rocking body and wasn't afraid to push the boundaries of fetish kink, which was quite bold and empowering for a woman in the 1950s.  Like so many other young pretty girls, Bettie had hopes of becoming a famous actress. Lucky for us that never panned out and 60 years later, ladies all over the world are armed with scissors in hand to achieve the perfect Bettie Page bangs.

Davis, Grable, Page...The Betties. Supreme Diva, Screen Siren, Pin-up Queen, Glamour-puss, Sex Kitten...take no prisoners, awesome women!  Three legendary gals with a common name are forever immortalized in every vintage loving gals brain!


Paris in the 1920s

My heart aches for Paris.  I may be married to The Big Apple, but Paris is my secret lover. So I thought I'd revisit my beloved city of light and love through a time that is often thought to be one of the most enchanting periods in french history: Paris in the 1920s. 

It's a very romantic notion, what it must have been like to sit at a little cafe and listen to great American jazz or see Josephine Baker do a little fan dance, first hand. Free thinking Americans flocked to the banks of Paris, where a person's race, sex, AND sexual orientation were accepted facts of life. So many of our greatest American artist, were once considered ex-patriots, all having spent a considerable amount of time in Paris, feeding off each ones creativity.  To frequent the cafes of Montparnasse, you would likely run into Ernest Hemingway, Man Ray or Gertrude Stein...or the quintessential flapper du jour, Zelda Fitzgerald.

It was the roaring 20s! The age of prohibition; visible knee caps and collar bones; Ziegfeld Follies and the Charleston; Cole Porter and Louis Armstrong!  And if you were lucky enough to be an American in Paris, it became a world of Picasso and Dali; Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore; joie de vivre; Folies Bergère; Art Deco and Haute Couture; La Garconne...Mademoiselle Coco Chanel!!!

How lovely it must have been to be a modern woman in 1920s Paris.  Oh how it must have been.  Maybe if I click my heels three times...



Got my hands on the same Young Edwardian dress Janet is wearing on the 1977 Christmas episode of Three's Company.  Oh the joys of finding and validating vintage! ;-)


Putting Your Best Form Forward!

When choosing the perfect dress form, any fashion designer, costume designer or clothing retailer will tell you it is a painstaking process.  But truthfully there really isn't any one perfect dress form.  So okay, Wolf forms are pretty close to perfection, but not everyone can afford this particular brand and a lot of times you want a varietal of forms in addition to owning the highly covetable Wolf dress form. 

When it comes to designing, your dress form needs to be a professional, pinnable form with human measurements.  Anything less will ruin the integrity of your design.  But when it comes to retail and visual display, the type of dress form you use is totally up to you! But be aware, it is a part of your visual aesthetic...choosing how you display what you are selling is a huge part of the story you are trying to tell.


I must admit, I am obsessed with dress forms! My personal favorites are older model full body Wolf forms.  I love the hunt of finding the perfect one almost as much as I love finding vintage clothes.  However, since they can get pricey, my perfect dress form must also be affordable.  I will dig a discarded Wolf out of the garbage if I have to; and I have! Now I am the proud owner of a 1978 model! I once owned a 1963 model, but sadly I lost it in storage.  I will never put valuables in storage again; I even lost old family photos and tons of vintage.  I would rather be featured on an episode of hoarders than put anything in storage; but I digress.

Lately I’ve discovered how much I love body forms with articulating arms (body forms are meant for displaying clothes and not recommended for sewing).  Forms with articulating arms are pretty amazing! The look is so industrial/robotic/little wooden doll.  When you add articulating arms, they give the form a cool element of expression.  I also like the use of a detachable egghead when necessary for coats and hoods and such.  

I’m currently saving up for my dream dress forms, the aforementioned full body Wolf and a museum quality body form with articulating arms.  I’ve recently opened my etsy shop and I am using a half body form with wooden base.  These forms are strictly recommended for display purposes as measurements are completely unrealistic (think Barbie).  If you are a designer, don’t ever buy a body form, invest in a professional dress form from Wolf or Royal.  If you are simply looking for a great way to display clothing, go ahead and purchase a cheaper model body form, prices range from $50 – 200 dollars…plus body forms make clothing look great!

*please note said "trashed" form was found sitting on top of a dumpster full of discarded supplies from the set design and costume design departments at the Metropolitan Opera House, NOT a dumpster full of NYC's finest garbage! :)

L'Wren Scott Fall 2012

Some looks from L'Wren Scott's fall 2012 show. Yes, 'tis past season but still so good!