Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Night in the 40s Big Band Dance


Doug Monce of Atomic Age Pictures just posted a number of photos from the Night in the 40s dance, and I thought I’d share them with you along with a mini recap of the event, plus a little plug for the amazing V Vintage!

I’ve been attending this USO-themed dance as Betty Grable for the past few years, as her famous "peek-a-boo" pose is the nose art on the CAF's B-17 “The Sentimental Journey”--the other guests always get a big kick out of Betty's appearance. The dance is always a fun event, with many people dressing in 40s-style (quite a few attendees are turned out in authentic uniforms and daywear, and there are a number of WWII vets who show up in their uniforms as well). A big band plays everyone's favorite standards, and there is a costume and dance contest as well--all in all it's a very fun event. This year, the museum decided to try something new—they offered a limited number of reserved seating tickets in the “O-Club” section, and the $100 price (regular tickets are $35) included your meal and a photo with Betty. I invited my dear friend Rose (of Matilda’s Closet) to be my guest, and the two of us got to sit right up front. Unfortunately I didn't get to spend much time with Rose, but she said she had a great time dancing and chatting with the other attendees.




Much of my evening was spent mingling with guests, and I met some lovely people this year (I meet so many interesting people at this show--this is one of the reasons I love going so much!) One cute gentleman, who served during WWII, was so excited to have his picture taken with me—he told me he was planning on sending it in to a Navy magazine. I met a group of people from SoCal who were members of the Skylark Flying Club, which has been around since the 1950s. I even met a gentleman who was visiting from the UK!

My dress was a custom design by V Vintage, based on these photos of Betty Grable on display at the CAF museum. I’d love to know the history behind the photos, as they’ve not turned up during any search for Betty. I suspect that a soldier at the base she visited took the photos, and a relative of this person found the photos and donated them to the museum—I’d love to hear more about their history! At any rate, doesn’t Betty look amazing? Her dress is so unusual and has a wonderful, effortless style; to me, such a design is the height of WWII style. Since the photo is black and white, I imagined her frock to be a buttercream yellow, accented with bright red tropical flower appliqués. After some searching, I found the perfect linen-look fabric, and settled on a Hawaiian-print linen fabric for the appliquéd flowers. V Vintage did an utterly amazing job of recreating this frock; I received many comments about it, and many people thought the flowers were hand painted. Now, V Vintage is planning on offering this style of dress for sale, so if you’d like one for your own please be sure to drop them a line! I can’t recommend her work enough—I’ve been thrilled with everything she’s created for me.






Well, that's the recap for this year's dance--hope to see you next year!

xoxo,
Amanda Lee







16 comments:

  1. Sounds like such a great night. I wish there were enough interested/dedicated people here to do something like this! And that dress! Wowee.
    -Andi x

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  2. It really is a neat event! Too bad there isn't something similar where you are, maybe someday they'll put something together :-)

    Isn't it a killer style? Betty sure had great taste!

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  3. That dress is incredible - both the original and your version - V Vintage did a great job!

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

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  4. I'm sure you were the attraction of the night!;)

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  5. Oh wow! Amanda that dress is AMAZING! What a nice event, I'd love to have been there!

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  6. You look beautiful, the event sounds wonderful, love the dress, but I gotta say: the first thing I noticed is that in every photo you have the most perfect Barbie hands! You are very polished.

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  7. How fun! You look stunning doll! Have a great day honey!

    Did you hear my good news yesterday? Kori xoxo

    http://www.blondeepisodes.com/2011/03/wordless-wednesday-and-great-news.html

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  8. Thank you again for such nice comments, I really appreciate them!

    That's fabulous news, Kori--congrats to you!

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  9. Gorgeoussssss!!!!!!! I love it! You are always so stunning! I just found out there is a USO Dance every November at the Canadian Warplane Museum, which is minutes from here. I'm going to have to go next year. I know that it will pale in comparison to your event, though...cause we won't have YOU!

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  10. Looks like great fun - would love to attend one of these. The dress looks wonderful and the choice of colors, too.

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  11. Wow! What a cool event! You look fabulous. That dress is gorgeous. I love the cutouts. and I love the Betty-esque vintage bathing suit. Lovely.

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  12. That was one sweet event! You looked adorable, the dress is such a good replica. And the bathing suit, wowzers! You've an enviable waist, miss.

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  13. omg!! i dont think I've ever seen some one as pretty as you!! your dress is simply amazing!!

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  14. can anyone attend these? I mean, is it open to everyone who can afford the ticket price?

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  15. Thanks again for the sweet words!

    Tom--yes, this event is open to the public, you can purchase tickets through their Web site. The dance is always held the Saturday after St. Patrick's Day.

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