Archive for the ‘Head wear’ Category

The Golden Age of Travel

Posted by Winifred on June 27th, 2014  •  No Comments »

Though we plead guilty to the sin of on flight yoga attire, we are nostalgic for the Golden Age of air travel, particularly in the 1950s and 60s. We love the idea of an in flight show of gloves, hats, heels and dresses and the sky high club aspect of an open bar and cigarettes. And we had such plans for a tour on the Orient Express, which though still offering select legs of the 7 country Paris-Istanbul trip, is no longer in service. What we imagined was a cross-country treasure hunt ending on Safari in Tanzania, all, of course, with Globe Trotter luggage, Sylvain Le Guen hand fans and Perrin gloves.

The truth is, the Golden Age was not all glamorous. The chairs were not so plush, no on-flight entertainment, though we much prefer to read, and despite our semi-annual indulgence of an outfit paired Fantasia, we would never manage a 6 hour flight in a cloud of cigarettes and ash. We came close to experiencing Golden Age air travel glamour however, on an Emirates Airlines Airbus 380 from New York to Dubai. The flight attendants immaculate in their suits and full make-up, round the clock meals plated and served with silverware, seats upholstered to true transatlantic levels of comfort and service the likes of which we are too young to have ever previously seen.

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We did not know that the Emirates Business Class bar scene though rivaling that of 1950s as a gathering spot and unparalleled service, evidently outdoes the 50s in unbridled debauchery and scandal…But we digress,

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Luxury travel now is no longer confined to just the jets but extends to airport lounges as well – Dubai’s filled with Chanel, Escada, and Gucci retail experiences among others. We dare say that air travel of the past is now just that. The past. The future is substantially more glamorous; Our air travel wardrobe is too…

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Images Via NY Times, Ralph Lauren, Socorpos, Fast Company, Pinterest

Posted in : Head wear, In an Ideal World..., On Style, Travel, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adrian

Posted by Winifred on June 25th, 2014  •  No Comments »

We’re having such a time reading about the work of interior designer Tony Duquette, his tutelage under Elsie de Wolfe, his many clients in Old Hollywood and his work with the costume designer Adrian. When Adrian left MGM to open his own Beverly Hills salon, it was Tony Duquette he turned to to create the interiors, advertising and displays.

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Adrian Salon Beverly Hills

 

With “amaze me” as his only directive,  Tony created dipped plaster elephants, plaster lace pagodas, plaster monkeys, bas reliefs and a scene of found objects. Only the artistry of Adrian’s gowns could withstand the dramatics of a Duquette staging. It was Adrian who created the look that would launch Jean Harlow as the original blonde bombshell. Harlow once said that without her hair color Hollywood would never know her name. We suspect those fitted silk gowns cut to accentuate always braless breasts and flow along every curve of her figure, also made her a star in films like Dinner at Eight and Hold Your Man.

We always did find her to have a funny looking face, and don’t much care for the extreme pencil thin eyebrows, even if it was the 1930s. We can’t imagine what her lover, William Powell faced first thing in the morning before they were painted on. Harlow surely slept in make-up…Nevertheless, we came to like her style and her attitude in films like Red Dust. But mostly we love her dresses. It’s what we adore about the 1930s. The decadence, the ultra feminine, the soft yet bold sexy. Though Adrian became better known for his stronger silhouettes created for Joan Crawford, particularly the padded shoulders, he knew how to tailor a dress to glorify any woman’s body and build character through costume.

Born Adrian Adolph Greenberg, the designer became known as Adrian during his career creating costumes for MGM film studios in the 1930s and 1940s. Adrian created costumes for over 200 films, many that we have loved. Dinner at Eight, The Great Ziegfeld, Grand Hotel, Marie Antoinette, Mata Hari, The Philadelphia Story, The Women.  Too many to name, but classic film lovers will not have missed his work.

We thought we would take a detour from our readings on Duquette and celebrate the glamour and design in film costumed by Adrian

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Greta GarboMata Hari , 1931

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Jean HarlowDinner at Eight, 1933

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Joan Crawford Grand Hotel,  1932

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Katherine Hepburn The Philadelphia Story, 1940

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Jeanette MacDonaldThe Firefly, 1937

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Norma ShearerMarie Antoinette, 1938

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Hedy LamarrThe Great Ziegfeld, 1936

Posted in : Classic Films, Head wear, On Style, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How we came to love the hat….

Posted by Winifred on April 28th, 2014  •  No Comments »

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It seems timely to go over what it means for a little girl to discover her first role model and how the very existence thereof forever informs her life…

We were probably 7, maybe 8. Born and raised in the Netherlands, we also lived in Spain and then spent several years in Suriname, where our parents were born. After Suriname, we returned to the Netherlands. It was still an innocent time, few outside influences, a culture of little television, few magazines and we were too young for peer pressure. No outside world telling you you weren’t good enough. In fact, in our house, being an outsider was what we celebrated. Our parents spoke Surinaams, we ate Surinaams, we adhered to our culture of respect for elders, family values, entertaining big and celebrating big. Oen mek presirie, always. Dutch culture was for us often a bit of a joke. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be Surinaams, even as we recognized the greater opportunities for education and earnings potential of Holland.

Then, already cocooned by our Surinaams family, we allowed one snippet of influence to come into our home. That snippet was our first glimpse of Miss Diana Ross on Dutch Television. At that time, it took quite a while for American imports to reach Europe. We had never heard of ‘Mahogany,’ and were too young to know the Supremes. So our first introduction to Miss Diana Ross was in the much later part of her career. There she was, thin, brown, with big eyes and big hair. She was beautiful, she was famous, she was glamorous, she was rich. She was a big star and everybody loved her. And she looked like us. And in that instant we were programmed. To be thin, brown, have big eyes and big hair was the ultimate in beauty, fame and possibilities. We would never want to be anything else, but what we were: the Surinaams version of that very image.

It seems so timely to share this now, as we notice how often attempts are made to shake that programming. Whether in the media, or sometimes closer to home. And we feel bad for the many people impacted, young girls especially. It reminds us how lucky we are to have received the gift of Miss Ross, but also of our parents. First, the gift of parents who gave us so solid a foundation and connection to our roots that in a time when the Netherlands was not so multicultural, we never questioned the richness of who we were. And second, that before society was able to work on us, in came Miss Ross to forever sear in our minds, an image of beauty, glamour, elegance and style that ’till this day continues to inform, inspire and guide us.

When asked how she manages the negativity of the press, Venus Williams responded that she had from her birth been brainwashed by parents who only told her she was amazing and could achieve anything she wanted. She has no ability to think anything else. We could not be more grateful for being brainwashed…

Vintage

Image Via Villagevoice

Posted in : Beauty Refined, Head wear, In an Ideal World..., We digress  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On Sunset Boulevard

Posted by Winifred on October 29th, 2013  •  No Comments »

Recently, we decided to, again, watch Sunset Boulevard, the 1950 classic film, considered the 12th best film in American history. This time, however, we gave it fresh eyes. Scanning for all the little things we may have overlooked or taken for granted in past viewings. It was satisfying to affirm why this has always been our favorite classic film and why we feel its magic everytime.

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Upon our recent viewing we also felt lucky. Sunset Boulevard was the classic film that launched us into the world that continues to fascinate and inform our refined style. It is a stunning commentary on the opportunism of Hollywood and the poison that fame can be. A message not only completely relevant to today but even essential. But Sunset Boulevard is stunning in its details. Transporting in a way that we feel few other, even excellent films are. It is to be savored, all senses at the ready.

First the early scenes of the cars driving down Sunset Boulevard, then the view of Norma Desmond’s 1920s Spanish colonial style home and the look of old Los Angeles that we love;

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Arches and sweeping hallways, framed spaces…

Diane Keaton House in AD

Diane Keaton House in AD

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Then comes Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, entering the picture in a leopard print turban, sunglasses, red lacquered nails (even in black and white, you see red), the stacks of bracelets on her wrists and oversize charms dangling from them taking us captive immediately. She delivers one of many great lines, “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small,” and you become small and she remains big through the entire film.

Echoes of this,

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surely set the stage for this,

Karolina kurkova met gala Rachel Zoe rose gold gown turban

Karolina Kurkova Met gala

And still inspires the bold look of this,

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There is the gold lame coat and chandelier necklace, casual dress in which Norma Desmond watches her own silent films.

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Dries van Noten, took note, the powerful punch of gold ruling his Spring runways,

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Only needing a bit of this,

Monique Pean

Monique Pean

There are beautiful touches to devour everywhere; Joe wearing a Vicuna hair coat, his gold cigarette case, the car rides they take in the Isotta Fraschini. There is the sley bed in Norma’s bedroom and the mirrored room divider, the tiled floors in the ball room, the seminal staircase and great lines delivered with the kind of theatrical flair consistent with the best of the silent movie screen.

Nancy Olson tells of being on set and watching the set designers crush pumice between their hands and blow the dust over the film set’s living room to create the feel of aging splendor – the home as well as the star herself. The eye cannot pick up the dust,

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but can sense the attention to detail that made absolutely every frame divine. This is a film that one slathers oneself in, marinates in, absorbing a richer experience than words can even describe. While the message may be bitter, the tale is decadent and sweet, current and of great style…

Images via film-grab, apartment therapy, citizens of fashion, broke snob, style

Posted in : Classic Films, Head wear, Jewelry, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Isabella Blow

Posted by Winifred on October 3rd, 2013  •  No Comments »

They could not be less alike. One a hollywood legend, graceful, quiet, a reclusive film star; the other an exuberant, over-the-top, highly visible, visionary promoter of talent. They were of different eras, different walks of life, of a different style. We watched Irene Dunne in ‘The Awful Truth,’ her hats big dramatic, commanding, and original statements,

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but worn with the effortlessness and nonchalance of a baseball cap. As if they were a mere coincidence or an afterthought. And we immediately thought of the one person who could pull off even bigger, more commanding creations. Not just a wearer of hats, Isabella Blow was the signature of the hat. She was self expression through hats.

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And as we look more closely, Isabella Blow and Irene Dunne shared not just an ability to own a theatrical hat, but they shared generosity, a commitment to ideas and causes they believed in and a spirit that for those who knew them, had impact and endured. Hats off to that…

Images via Buzzfeed

Posted in : Classic Films, Head wear, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Now a Veil

Posted by Winifred on September 9th, 2013  •  No Comments »

What we love about the veil is its sense of mystery, a way of being hidden, that at the same time reveals. While offering protective shade it draws one directly to the eye, highlights it. The veil is shy while also bold and disarming. We like the subtle hint of a veil,

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as well as the dramatic, powerful scene stealing veil,

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Tell us, how do you like your veil?

Images Via Harper’s Bazaar, Armani, Alexander McQueen, NiftyFifties

Posted in : Head wear  •  Tags: , , , , , , , ,