Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vintage Style and The Office…

Copyright Al Parker

How does one incorporate vintage into everyday life? As a ‘full-time’ retro gal, I dress head-to-toe 1940s-50s every day. During the week I work in an office, and I find that vintage style fits quite well in this setting. Granted, my office is on the more casual side, but I do think that vintage looks can be just as professional, if not more so, than modern trends. I tend to prefer simple day frocks and blouse and skirt ensembles over suits, given the laid-back environment, and pair these with heels or wedges, stockings (though I confess the blazing heat has inspired me to skip these as of late), and period jewelry. During the cooler months, wide-leg trousers paired with blouses or fitted sweaters, turn up in my wardrobe rotation, along with knit dresses and suits. I wear my hair in a variety of period styles as well: soft waves, victory rolls, simple updos. I find that dressing in vintage makes one stand out, and generally in a very good way—people always remember the woman who looks like she stepped out of the past!

Dress from Ballyhoo Vintage

A good friend of mine, who works in a slightly more conservative environment, found that as she began dressing more vintage on a period basis, her coworkers clamored to see her outfit each day. She follows a similar aesthetic to what I mentioned above, and feels that it fits right in and steps up one’s appearance in a very positive way(in this oh-so casual state, many people dress on the sloppy side these days.)

Suit from Wear It Again Sam Vintage

How do you incorporate your vintage sensibilities into your modern job? For those who work in ultra conservative settings, how do you adapt your style to suit?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Well, maybe just a little peek...

Photo Copyright 2009 Matt Carson

Here’s a sneak preview of the Scarlet blouse, soon to be released by Able Grable. It's made up in luscious satin with fantastic 30s detailing and will be available in black as well as other colors/prints. It paired up perfectly with a copper satin skirt from my own collection, and it also looks smashing worn with other fabrics and trousers too! There will be more photos and details to follow, including the next show-stopping design, so I do hope you check back very soon!


Monday, July 27, 2009

"Make Do and Mend" Goes to the Beach

I've always thought these outfits, creatively made from tablecloths, were incredibly adorable and a wonderful example of wartime frugality. So, imagine my delight when I found this lovely set on good 'ol eBay, made from the cutest Mexican novelty print tablecloth:

It arrived today and fits perfectly; I am oh so excited to wear it for a photoshoot!

Such a tease!

Yesterday I had a photo shoot with one of my favorite photographers, Matt Carson, and guess what we worked on? Why, the next two designs for Able Grable! I'll bet your itching to find out what they look like (and both are a treat), but for now I'll leave you with this little tidbit ;-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vintage Makeup -- A Few of My Favorite Things

Picture borrowed from the lovely Miss Matilda

I’ve been a makeup junkie for as long as I can remember. I think my slight obsession with cosmetics is due in part to the fact that I was not allowed to wear much makeup as a young teen—and when you are a pale blonde, makeup is a bit of must to prevent one from disappearing into the woodwork! Neither my mother nor my sisters ever wore much makeup either, so I am glad I discovered the wonders of brow pencil and mascara through trial and error, tee hee.

Over the years I have refined my tastes, and as I delved farther into the vintage lifestyle, I worked very hard at perfecting the styles of the 1940s-50s. There is something so elegant about perfectly sculpted brows and shockingly red lips, and the nuances to be found in the different looks are quite fun to explore.
The first red lipstick I bought was Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow, a color released in the 1950s and still available today. I was 19 and had recently discovered Marilyn Monroe when I came across a book of photos in a used bookstore. I thought she was so pretty, and something about her curled hair and innocent wide eyes sparked a new interest in style in me (I was not a fashion plate by any means as a teen, being more obsessed with horses and not in the least a follower of the crowd.) Since that fateful purchase, I have bought many a tube of red lipstick, and amassed a large collection of other products as well!

Anyway, I’ve rambled on a bit, so let me give you a list of my top ten makeup favorites :-)

1. Lip Ink in Red
Not a traditional lippie, this liquid lipstick is more of stain that lasts for ages without smearing, pulling a disappearing act, or transferring to your glass or beau! The Red shade is like MAC’s Ruby Woo (my favorite traditional lipstick.)

2. Maybelline Expert Eyes Brow Pencil in Blonde
I have used this brow pencil for many years—it’s an excellent product that has stood the test of time!

3. La Femme Blush-on Rouge in Pink Velvet
La Femme is a pro brand that is highly pigmented, and comes in a wide range of colors, many of them perfect for vintage looks. The best part is—it’ll only set you back about $3!

4. Joe Blasco Ultamatte Liner in Eddie Leonard
A fantastic cream cake liner that is nearly budge-proof. Eddie Leonard is a warm dark brown shade named after a shade of Max Factor Pan-cake used in the 1960s as eye shadow. An excellent color for fair blondes and redheads.

5. Cinema Secrets Kolinsky Brush in #2 Filbert
The perfect brush to apply liner, especially the Ultamattes. Allows you to apply the line as thin or thick as you like, with perfect definition. Can be used to smudge the line, too.

6. Shu Uemura Eye Shadow in M Beige 820
The perfect pale, neutral beige brow shade for platinum blonde. Makes a great contouring shade for the ultra pale too!

7. Clinique Champagne, Lucky Penny, and Rum Spice Shadows
I reach for these on a regular basis, and use them often in photo shoots.

8. Clinique Lash Power Mascara in Dark Chocolate
I have very sensitive eyes, and many mascaras make them water terribly. Lash Power is one of the few that doesn’t bother them, and because it is a tubing mascara, it doesn’t smudge or flake either. And, it comes in a great dark brown shade!

9. Graftobian High-Def Cream Foundation
Another pro product that comes in a huge range of shades at a very inexpensive price ($11 for a full-sized pot.) provides excellent coverage (can be built up or sheered out to your liking) and it photographs well too.

10. MAC Eye Shadow
I like MAC’s shadows a great deal as well—some of my favorite shades are Vapour, Malt, Naked Lunch, Haux, and Woodwinked. They have a great recycling program too—return six empty cases and receive a free lippie (or shadow or gloss at freestanding stores) of your choice!

Well, that’s all for now; I do hope you enjoy this entry and I welcome your comments and questions!

I took the plunge...

And created a blog! I’ve had so much fun reading others’ blogs I was inspired to create my own. I do hope you enjoy what I have to say!