So despite having a bought with stomach flu today, I got out and took some picture of one of the first dresses I designed. This is a 1930s style cobalt blue velvet gown with a full length dragon applique. This dress is based upon one worn by Anna May Wong in a early 1930s movie called “Limehouse Blues”, the original designer of the gown that inspired me was designed by famed costumer Travis Banton. The dress itself is based upon a 1937 pattern. I paired it with a beautiful wig I bought recently because I have been wanting to be a red head, but have not wanted yet to take the plunge from going from black to red. The wig reminded me of Rita Hayworth, so I can have hair like her without all the fuss.
So, there have been a lot of people lately who have been asking about my website. I am currently in the process of designing a sleek, easy to use website which will include my made to measure dresses (like the one in the picture), accessories like this spider brooch, turban and purse and jewelry mostly themed to go with my novelty dresses and fabric, which currently include moons, stars, spiders/spider webs, hearts and arrows, snakes etc.
If I didn’t have other commitments, the website would have been up much sooner ( I do actually have a website at Nicolettacarlone.com, but its terribly out of date with mediocre pictures). My fashion line unfortunately has NOT been my priority. I am currently working on a script that is in development, so the many, many rewrites required of me came to be first priority. In addition to that I am also writing a book that is a companion to the script. I started this fashion line simply because I thought it would be a way for me to be creative and something that would give me a little respite from the writing ( all though I do love that too)
Now that my website is truly underway, my goal is to make a website that grows and changes with my brand. What comes next is taking lots of really good clear photos of the product and setting everything up. I am a perfectionist in just about everything in my life, so the website might take a couple more weeks extra, but I promise it is worth the wait!
I’ll start this off by saying, I love vintage clothing and have been collecting ever since I was a teenager. Yet, now that I am in my 30s, I take a whole different look at collecting and buying that I did when I was in my 20s.
First off, one of the biggest changes is that I don’t wear vintage everyday or even every week, I even sometimes restrain from wearing it at vintage events. This is not because I have tired of vintage clothing less, its actually because I appreciate it more. I don’t wear it because I understand that its not just clothing, its little pieces of history. People can say “its just clothing, its meant to be worn.”
But the thing, its not “just clothing.” If you want something that is “just clothing” go get a dress from H&M.
Vintage clothing, especially pre-1950s is getting more rare, especially the pieces from my favorite decade, the 1930s. This is why I do not wear vintage everyday. These pieces are 80 years old and of course constant wear will eventually destroy a piece alot faster then you will destroy a modern piece of clothing. And once its destroyed, that’s it. Its not coming back. Its kind of like if you have a beautiful vintage car from the 1930s. Would it be your daily driver? Probably not. You would want to protect that car because there are just so many of them. Why should it not be the same for clothing? Of course these are my opinions, people can do what they want with the clothing they buy.
The other thing that has changed is that I am now incredibly picky with the clothing I buy. I abhor waste and excess. As a vintage collector, having tons and tons of vintage items really isn’t me, but it is for many people. I prefer to buy a vintage piece only if it is exceptional. It has to be unique, fit well and comfortable, if its not all those things, I’m not buying it. Because of this attitude I have, my vintage collection has been whittled down quite a bit, but what I am left with are pieces that I would NEVER NEVER sell and pieces that I will treasure forever.
The first time I really took a strong look at fashion was when I was 19 and entered fashion school. Before this, I had always loved fashion, but had always looked at it as a consumer, not so much as of designer. It was in fashion school that I also first really discovered vintage clothing and the history of it. and I first discovered my idol, Coco Chanel. The issue that I had in design class was that I had instead of looking forward, I was always looking back and all my designs looked like they had leapt off the pages of a 1930s or 1940s catalog. At the time, I adored Chanel’s genius. She had revolutionized woman’s wear, making it simple, chic and wearable. She had taken the over the top styles of the Victorian and Edwardian era and toned them down for the new modern woman who eventually became the flapper. Some of the styles she designed back many years ago still look very fresh and wearable.
It was not until my mid twenties that I discovered the woman that is really the inspiration behind my fashion line: Elsa Schiaparelli. Schiaparelli and Chanel lived during the sample time periods, but were really as different as different can be. While Chanel’s styles was chic, reserved and practical, Schiaparelli was wildly creative sometimes even bordering on crazy…but a good kind of crazy. While Chanel was making little black dresses, chic evening gowns and prim suits, Schiaparelli got her start in knitwear and then was busy making evening jackets with beetle buttons, hats in the shapes of shoes, evening gowns with lobsters and everything else in between. Chanel was self taught and started off in millinery. Schiaparelli was a protegee of famed designer Paul Poiret, who’s designs were equally as revolutionary as his protegee.
They two were known to be enemies during their lifetimes perhaps because they had such different ideas about fashion.
Despite Schiaparelli being a huge influence on my personal designs, I also do like to infuse them with a little Chanel practicality to be able to pay homage to these two geniuses who came before me.
A sneak peek at the first late 1930s style dress set I designed. This is burgundy with velvet accents including a removable bow. It can also be ordered without the velvet or with satin. It can be ordered in a variety of colors as well. The set consists of a short sleeve dress and full length princess swing coat. These are very rare to find on the vintage market so I wanted to design one for the vintage reproduction market as no reproduction line are doing them either. This pieces are polished looking while also being very comfortable.
As a designer, my goal with these pieces is to give my buyers mixed and matched vintage style basic but cute pieces that they can interchange to create different outfits. I think the burgundy coat would look smashing with the periwinkle dress I posted a could posts back.
1930s/40s coat: Playclothes, Burbank CA
Shoes: Remix “Anita”
1940s gloves: Etsy
1930s/40s fedora: Playclothes, Burbank. CA
1950s purse: Ebay
Emerald is my absolute favorite color and the 1930s and probably my favorite decade, so this coat and marries those two perfectly. The dress I am wearing is from my fashion line. It was based on a 1940s pattern with princes seams. It started life with 3/4 length sleeves, but I decided on the short sleeves since I think being petite they are more flattering on me. The dress itself is made to measure so customers can order whatever sleeve length they like best.
So, I have been pretty bad about writing in my blog lately. This is mostly due to my concentration on another more pressing writing project which is a script which is currently in pre-production and the book that goes with it. I actually took these photos back in September, but have failed to write about them until now.
One of my new year’s resolutions is to write in my blog as much as I can, so I want to be doing at least one or two blogging articles a week.
In this outfit, I am wearing a dress I designed for my fashion line. It is based on several dresses from the late 1930s/early 1940s. I consolidated some very common elements from dresses of this era which include puffed sleeves, pockets and bows. I have noticed a lack of dresses from this specific era currently on the market and a great demand for these styles, so I decided to fill in the gap!
I paired the dress with a pair of white peep toe shoes from Remix, and a late 1930s/early 1940s hat, a 1950s pair of soft kid skin gloves and a 1950s lucite hand bag by Wilardy.
Dress: 1940s style two dress designed by me, Nicolettacarlone.com
Hat: Little Shop Of Gorgeousness and Fripperies, LSGF.UK
1950s Red Faux Croc Purse: Paper Moon Vintage, Los Angeles (Los Feliz/Hollywood)
1930s/40s Heart and Arrows Brooch: Ebay
1940s/50s Suede/Kidskin gloves: Playclothes, Burbank, CA
1940s Style Peep Toe Sandals: Revamp Los Angeles “Anita”
I have not been able to post much lately since I have been getting over a bad bout of food poisoning and the after effects of it. I have had not had much energy to get out and get dress up in vintage.
Today’s outfit really puts me in mind of the Queen Of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland because of the hearts and red roses and all.
Red and black are one of my favorite combinations because they are so striking. I have designs a couple of these dresses shown above for my line, I keep making them because they are both smart looking and comfortable. They are based dresses from the early 1940s.
1940s style dress: My fashion line, Nicolettacarlone.com
1940s wimple hat: Paper Moon Vintage, Los Angeles
1950s chartreuse gloves
So this is one of my most favorite pieces I have designed yet far. It is based directly on a late 1930s style early 1940s style princess seam dress. It can be either made in cotton twill or rayon crepe. It is fully beaded and perfect for a special occasion where you really want to make a statement.
1930’s Style Dress set: Designed by me based on an original
Vintage style Purse: Hermes
Baby blue gloves: 1950s, Playclothes Vintage.
1940s style peep toes: Remix
This has to be one of my favorite things I have designed so far. It is based very much upon a dress set I saw on Ebay but that I missed because the auction ended at 5 am my time, the vintage dress also had a length of 27″ which is way too short for me.
The original dress was pink and black, I will probably do a version like that in the near future, but with this piece, I was really feeling the powder blue and black combo–this piece is made to measure and totally customizable, so you may so any color combo you like.