Monday, March 10, 2014

A Night in the 40s with The Black Pinafore

This past Saturday was the annual "A Night in the 40s" dance held at the CAF Museum out at Falcon Field. This USO-styled event is always a grand time, and this year I asked Debora of The Black Pinafore to make my frock for the dance. I always make an appearance as Betty Grable during this event, but like to wear something eye-catching for the rest of the evening. I came across a 1940s French fashion illustration of two stunning dresses, one with a red, white, and blue striped front, and the other with a dramatically low back, and immediately knew that a dress that combined the two designs would be the perfect look. Debora was happy to turn my design dream into reality, and the finished frock certainly did not disappoint!

The dress is made primarily from a vibrant royal blue fabric with the feel of a vintage rayon, and accented with red and white stripes. Each stripe ties and forms a peekaboo cutout; these peekaboo cutouts, along with the delightfully bare back, combine to make a dress perfect for a 1940s starlet!

As usual, Debora's work is simply amazing. I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the quality of her work; she finishes everything beautifully and does an impressive job of fitting the dress to the wearer's measurements from across the world. The dress needed only a few minor tweaks because of the open back; Chris of Vee Vin Tage took care of these finishing touches.

I paired the dress with my beloved white platforms by Johnson's Shoes, a WWII red Lucite heart necklace and matching earrings (the necklace is adorned with a naval insignia), and a carved Lucite bracelet.

Doug Monce of Atomic Age Pictures captured these images; as we were walking around, one of the museum staff members asked if we like to take some photos of me standing on the wing of a P-51 Mustang. Would I?  Of course! I will say that standing on the wing in tall platform shoes is a bit challenging, though not nearly as challenging as figuring out how to get down in the same heels!

Amanda Lee

Friday, February 14, 2014

Conversation Sweetheart

Well, I certainly took a long vacation from my blog!  I am back now though, with an exciting new ensemble to share with you!

Some time ago I talked with Vee Vin Tage about creating a custom 1940s bra and tap pants set, something that has been on my wish list for ages. They had a lovely pattern in their stash that spoke quite loudly to me, and upon seeing it I immediately went out in search of the perfect fabric. The project got placed on the back burner for a time though, as they worked on a few other projects for me. However, I knew I wanted something special for this year's Valentine's Day shoot with Atomic Age Pictures, and was thrilled when Vee Vin Tage was able to whip up this confectionery creation.

Here is the finished result--the fabric is a lovely aqua stretch satin, paired with an exquisite black lace (both found at Joann's.) If you are interested in having your own custom set made, don't hesitate to contact the sweet mother and daughter team at Vee Vin Tage!

Amanda Lee

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tempting Topper

I recently collaborated with Naomi of Arthelia's Attic on a sweet crocheted purse and turban set that will be listed shortly in her Etsy shop. Naomi makes top-notch snoods (the very best, in my opinion), but she also does an amazing job with her other creations too!  I had been wanting a red, white, and blue purse for awhile, and when I came across this 1940s pattern, I knew it would be perfect. And although I don't wear hats often, I couldn't resist having the matching turban made!

Naomi did a wonderful job, choosing just the right shades of yarn and adding a fun coordinating lining (a splashy patriotic star print.) I found a lot of carved Lucite zipper pulls on eBay, and had her add one to this purse.

This shoot was inspired by Hedy Lamarr--the photos were taken by the amazing Doug Monce, who always does an incredible job of capturing that old Hollywood look.

Amanda Lee 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pinks and Greens

I have been slowly building a collection of cheesecake military uniforms, and for this year's Rockabilly Rules event, I decided it was high time I joined the Army Air Corps. Vee Vin Tage made my 'pinks and greens' uniform, using chocolate and tan gabardine along with buttons from a WWII uniform and an 8th Air Force patch. After pairing my uniform with a vintage garrison cap and a pair of brown heels, I was ready for duty!

These photos were taken by Matt Carson at his studio--I hope you like them!

Amanda Lee

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Diner Girl

I am very excited to announce that my image is now gracing the side of the 5 & Diner food truck!  The photo was taken by Doug Monce of Atomic Age pictures and the pose/design was inspired by WWII nose art; Vee Vin Tage created the fabulous Diner Girl 'uniform.' Marketing just revealed a sneak preview of the finished artwork, and I couldn't wait to share it here!

Amanda Lee

Monday, August 12, 2013

One Mint Julep

Given the sweltering heat and humidity that Doug Monce and I endured at our shoot yesterday, I think a mint julep might have been wonderfully refreshing! Luckily, the sweet n' minty 1940s frock that Carla of Jitterbug Dress made for me is a refreshing delight all on its own!
I choose an early 40s Hollywood Pattern with a gathered skirt and puffed sleeves (I am always a sucker for those early 40s looks, and just can't get enough), and I think it turned out just swell made up in mint green cotton adorned with a fantastic novelty print of "threaded" ribbons and bows (from Gertie's Fine Fabrics.)
Carla is a skilled seamstress with a great eye for details—she made covered buttons for this style, overlocked the seams, and made coordinating shoulder pads, all details that I really love to see in reproduction clothing. The fit was spot on too! As I mentioned in my previous post, Carla recently opened up her online shop, Jitterbug Dress, and she is offering custom recreations from a wide variety of vintage patterns. She has an extensive collection of 1940s-60s styles—everything from dresses to pajamas and even maternity wear—or you can send her a special pattern of your own. Although she is based in Arizona, she is able to sew for customers worldwide—just send her your measurements and the fabric of your choosing. I highly recommend her work (and if you are local, she has top-notch alterations skills too), so if you see something you like on her site or have a certain outfit in mind, please drop her a line and tell her I sent you!
Amanda Lee