Friday, August 7, 2009

My New Vintage Hot Spot

I love it when I find inexpensive vintage items in the most unlikely places and Stagecraft Studios on Alcatraz in Berkeley, CA is my new hot spot.

They specialize in costumes but if you take the time to dig through the madness, which most vintage lovers do, you can find some really unique pieces.

Here are a few that I found:

I believe this was a small and it was in good condition. The material is taffeta and notice the bubble full skirt. I don't remember how much it costs but I do remember it being worth the price.

This piece is so classic and it's in EXCELLENT condition. This was the last item I took a picture of before my camera ran out of juice, so I didn't get a close-up the amazing buttons. These lovelies alone make the item gorgeous.
Did you know that nice buttons can hike up a retail price?!

This cinched-waist, black'n white, iridescent sequin gown, with a satin chartreuse sash is so gorgeous, and must be seen in person to appreciate it.
If I remember correctly the sales associate told me they only rent this piece, but who knows for the right price, they may sell it. They seem negotiable on some items.

They also carry vintage accessories so don't miss the display case full of gloves, hats, etc in the back.

Now the last time I was there was July 31st, and all of these items were still there.

If you happen to swing by, I'd love to hear about what you find. They get new inventory frequently so don't be discouraged.

Veni, Vidi, Vintage!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Evan Rachel Wood knows vintage

I have been somewhat following the style of Evan Rachel Wood for a while, but now I am a HUGE fan. Her look for her interview on June 25th on ABC's The View was perfection! From her hair, to the make up, down to her dress and shoes...she nailed it!

Ladies, a word of caution; not everyone should wear a horizontal stripe. It draws the eye from side to side, and can make you appear wider than you really are. However, Rachel pulls it off beautifully in this piece by Lanvin from her Fall 2008 collection.
I don't really care for the hair, and she usually gets it right, but this was a miss. Fortunately, this dress is so chic it almost draws the eye away from the hair...almost.

These photos are from a spread in Wonderland Magazine. I love the dark red lip. It's so classic, and with the right shade can be worn by all skin tones.

By the way, the red lip has found its way back! For tips on the best shades, go to: Summer Makeup Trends — Look #1 Bright Lipstick.

Veni, Vidi, Vintage!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vintage and Retro swimwear: When bathing suits flattered almost any body type

Which high end designer comes to mind who has brought back the flattering silhouette of the sophisticated retro / vintage bathing suit...Norma Kamali of course!

Her swimwear collection comes directly from the era when suits flattered almost any body type. For those that lack, add ruffles and full ruching to either the front or back. This can give the illusion of a fuller bust or rounder backside. For those with, smooth out and increase support in the front, flatten the ruching or have no ruching at all in the back, and watch how it minimizes these areas.

However, like most fabulousity, the price points for these beauties can start at $350. So for the vintage vixen on a budget, I've collected a few goodies from collections that are easier on the clutch.


I can't write this post without acknowledging the collection of the 1950s "Queen of the Water", Esther Williams. This water lily lived in bathing suits, and has now put her life experience into a swimwear collection.
You'll notice on her site that a good portion of her collections are definitely for the more "seasoned woman" but I think the few I've posted (and there are more on the site and Mod Cloth) are age appropriate for a broader age range, and with price points starting at $79, they're also financially appropriate for a broader budget range.

Vamp Maillot, the halter 1pc in buttercup, and Signature Yacht Dot, the high waisted halter 2pc are from Jantzen, known for their swimwear line advertised by their famous Diving Girl logo. We retro and vintage buffs have all seen it, right? Anyway, the 1pc can be found at Macy's, Dillards, and a few other places for around $100, but the 2 pc has been a little harder to come by. Ebay and other online auctions may be the best place to start.
These are also by Jantzen and are sold at Laraines. Tell me you don't love these prints! I'd be shocked. The brown bandeau with floral print is only $78! The Monte Carlo Dot Vamp Maillot, $113.

I don't really agree with the choice of model for these suits but I do like the style, and I love when, Urban Outfitters gives a nod to vintage and retro. The Kimchi, $98, in new lily, definitely gives more curves to the model while the Lux Lamour, $69, in navy, eh, not so much. Put it on the a curvier figure and it will be amazing.

For those more inclined to Pin Up, this cherry collection from Pin Up Girl Clothing is probably more your bag. Transform yourself into Bettie Page at price points starting at $68, oh yeah!

I'd love to hear of your successes and frustrations in your search for the perfect vintage or retro swimsuit, and for those brave hearts, maybe send a photo or two.

Veni, Vidi, Vintage!