Summer in December

fe0b433f199ddb52b3fd71bd083428ec b69a6fa33216ce8ebfe5bd846d61440e 3be8e11f38ee8d3f9114b507275c9748

It might be warmer in Los Angeles than in many parts of the country, but make no mistake, its cold here too ( that means below 65 degrees). Despite it being the day after Christmas, I felt compelled to grab this very early 1930s yellow feedsack dress out of my closet.  The reason that the fabric is referred to as feedsack has a whole history that dates back to the Great Depression. Companies would place feed in sacks made from color cotton fabrics. Women would then use these fabrics to make dresses and other garments. I paired it with a vintage pair of sunglasses from the 1940s, a cloche from the late 1920s/early 30s and a pair of “Anitas” by Remix which is one of my all time favorite reproduction shoes ( I have pretty much every color!)

Baby, Its Cold Outside

aa88d9a7642547b6ea72027d4a6c05c0 f270312469715fc358f0177bf27299bb ff32fe069a0e0301102d3d6549f9990a 20304b4d68a1e5f9e8ea5e1b60a5c7f7 cb3e1214cff4b0d5c963d20ddf33c8fb

So a vintage leopard print coat has been on my wishlist for a long time. This particular coat is from the 1940s and is made from what I believe to be Geoffery Cat which is a non-endangered small South American cat popular for coats during the 1940s. The coat has a lamb collar. This is a sort of piece I would only buy vintage since I don’t want to buy any new pieces of fur. The older pieces keep me warm during the (semi) cold months during Los Angeles especially when I go to vintage events, although I love this coat so much I would probably wear it everywhere since it is so warm. I actually got a great bargain on this coat. The seller listed it as rabbit fur and with a price of $22. Rabbit fur this coat is definitely not. Most of these coats in the condition of mine are generally $500+ if not MUCH more.

This is a particular instance when having a wide knowledge of vintage clothing can be a help. I recommend anyone who wants to become a serious collecter to do you reading and homework, because it can really pay off!

I paired it with a vintage style purse that my husband got me for my birthday last year, it is the same style that Grace Kelly once used. The dress is 1950s, as is the hat and the gloves. The peep toe shoes are from the 1940s. I added a picture below to show a picture of the shop in Albany New York where the coat was originally bought from:

23846541199_4d7a4ddb41_k

Christmas Dragon

15665429_10154829521867497_295309781926784456_n 15622341_10154829521852497_461864013187537247_n 15621932_10154829521842497_4391984074916486736_nWanted to share some photos of me out on the town in my “Pagoda” dress with a 1940s sable cape. These snapshots (taken with my phone, sorry for the quality!) were taken at my husband’s vintage nightclub, The Cicada Club which is in downtown Los Angeles. Cicada Club is a 1920s-1940s style super club where people can dress up to dine and dance. My husband, Maxwell Demille stands next to me in the middle photo.

Creating the Heart And Arrow Dress

The Heart and Arrows Dress that I designed based upon Gingers Roger’s dress in “Carefree” has been exceptionally popular so far, so has the Jezebel design with the dagger and the heart.

15622711_10154843382617497_2670011531719804954_n

This is another variation I am creating based upon a 1940s sweater worn by Loretta Young. I’m not sure who the designer of the sweater is; It definitely looked like one either designed or influenced by Los Angeles design Suse who created the Jezebel sweater.

Though I am still refining the design of the dress, I am very influenced by these sweet late 1930s frocks:

icm_fullxfull-107067108_rdpoly6e4f4kskgo0sw8

I particularly like the unique sleeves, the smocking on the shoulders and the unique sleeves. The empire waist is extremely flattering for women of many different body types. Of course, the dress I make (influenced by the blue and white frock at center) will be sans ribbons and with a more plain bodice to allow room for the heart and arrows.

The heart and arrows themselves will be fully beaded and perhaps a big bigger than the ones worn by Loretta Young. More on this dress to come!

 

Creating The “Bird Of Paradise” Dress

I came across this gorgeous dress on Pinterest a while ago and instantly fell in love. It’s a Cecil Chapman dress from the 1940s. By the time I had found it on Pinterest, it had long been sold like so many other beautiful dresses I find on there.

So I decided I would create one inspired by this for my fashion line.

0ba9a169a72b8f39207d9b92359e1f3d-1

images-5

c4d5e1fa8d1c4e5b8d7c737ab6fde53b-1

images-2

My version of this dress will be a midi/short length that will can be worn either for day wear or to a cocktail event. I have decided to keep the original colors in the beading, but am flirting with possibly making the dress in another color aside from black, just because I think the bird would really pop on a dress in a jewel tone, such as royal/cobalt blue or purple.

374e5c8fd1fcb6070d8caf6bcb833070

Also on the dress I will be using chainette fringe like on the 1940s Mainbocher dress above. This fringe which was very popular during the for dresses in the 1930s/40s. It was often found on peplums, sleeves and even pockets. I was thinking it would add a unique and exotic detail to this already beautiful dress.

The “Polly” Dress

b1c2f83a2a5a162b48f18864e999f58e

dedca54b1a27f0c42b32533ae70ff3fa
71b254c9bf9276e68aae59dbbab6bbc7

So here’s the completed “Polly” dress. I have posted my inspiration for this dress below which is a 1940s sweater. What first drew me to the design of the sweater was the colors more than anything, although I do love the parrots.  Whoever came up with this color combo 70+ years is a genius…I wish I had come up with it! This dress is made out of a soft cotton material which has a hint of stretch. It has a tie back at the waist to cinch in your waist and two very cute pockets. This dress is directly patterned after one from the 1930s so it has lots of authentic details. The dress has a center back zipper and a slight pouf at the shoulders.

For the picture I paired it with a pair of “Anita” shoes by Remix, a 1950s purse and 1940s/50s hat.

e4e5fea5c29e25139e6e8da5b94e2727-5

The “Starstruck” Dress

66cbfa7733f6d7fc63df095606002d2d 69a0163ae0f1076f4caffd51ba39cf7b 3d63cc2d0d019948d6732932eaed7f7d

edc03526a87dbf4adbcf1c70822613e7

This is a design like the previous one I posted about that took some time to perfect. Initially, this dress had 3/4 sleeves, but I felt as if short sleeves might be better for me personally because being barely 5’4 three quarter length sleeves are not as flattering on me as short. This dress is made to measure and customizable, so if you desire 3/4 or even long sleeves this dress can be made with those at no extra charge. Now that I come to think of it, this dress would really look stunning and dramatic with full-length sleeves.

This dress is made of crepe and is in the style of the mid-1940s. It has hand sewn star sequin appliques that are hand sewn onto the dress one by one.  The elegant peplum alone has over 20 stars! This dress has a center back zipper.

The Pagoda Gown

1e73d115157c6707dc8d95ecc1c3558618eba760ab2812f214f22a8c334d68fa0abbd3fb6d2707bf024d8869f9bd265b

So here is how they say my pièce de résistance…I have been working on the design of this gown for a good while, during that time it has gone through several different incarnations, but I am most happy with this…this also happens to be one of my favorite pieces I have designed so far.

This gown pays homage to the 1930s, and in particular to a gown worn by Anna May Wong in a film called “Limehouse Blues.” This dress is made from luxurious black satin. It is cut on the bias and has a short train with a multitude of fabric buttons all the way down.  The dress has a round neck and dramatic shoulders that were very popular in early to mid-1930s high fashion gowns by designers like Schiaparelli. The dragon made up of embroidery and sequins with a rhinestone eye. The gown has a concealed side zipper.

Dragons And Serpants

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted in this blog. I’ve been working hard to get everything together to launch my site as well as at my day job ( I’m a screen/fiction writer)

I will be photographing a whole slew of things tomorrow and should hopefully have the site up in the next week or two. I would have launched it earlier, but I’m a terrible perfectionist and so, wanted it to be nothing less than perfect.

I wanted to share an AMAZING applique that is going on an upcoming dress. It is one of two that will be going on a 1940s style dress. The dragon is completely hand sewn. Design inspiration comes from an original 1940s dress I own with a dragon and some beautiful silk Asian-inspired pajamas from the early 1930s.

unnamed-11

I am also including some other of my current inspirations for you to take a gander at.

564080cbadf5fbd24c0c20fa03da6360

19th century snake stockings.

 

ae9533694ea57cfef6bbea7f38ca942e

19th century snake stockings.

5ad6a70934769bbd01789e928fa8be6e

1940s Asian-inspired dragon dress.

The “Ginger” Dress

 unnamed-10

Want to share a picture of my the latest addition to my upcoming fashion collection which I hope to be launching in the next few days. This is a 1940s style dress made in black crepe. It has hand made beaded arrows and a sequin and beaded heart. It is based on a dress worn by Ginger Rodgers in the 1938 movie “Carefree”, the dress comes with a cloth covered belt. It can also be made in satin and cotton.