Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Mountain of Vintage Magazines

Sometimes opportunity knocks when you're least expecting it! This past week I stumbled onto an opportunity to buy a huge lot of vintage fashion magazines from the 40's, 50's and 60's, mostly Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.

I had to spend an enormous chunk of money (for me) so it's got my stomach all done up in knots right now, but the magazines are so incredible! They were stored, lovingly preserved, in an attic for all these years and they're almost all in pristine condition. I'm sure they'll provide lots of great blog material in the months to come, but right now here's just a little taste.
This one's available in my Etsy store right now!
Click here!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bang Bang!

Bangs, or as my U.K. friends (and apparently the rest of the world) call them, "fringe" are having a moment lately, but they have been popular off and on at many times in the past. They are a great way to give your hairstyle a vintagey feel with out always having to do a big 'ol wet set, which for a pin-straight-haired gal like me is a great thing. Here's a tour of some fabulous and iconic bangs through the ages:

Louise Brooks, with her gamine bob. This hairstyle has become so iconic and representative of  the roaring 20's. Louise and her friend, fellow starlet Colleen Moore, both cut their hair into this "Dutch Boy" bob and started a huge trend.

Barbara Stanwyck, around the time Double Indemnity (what a great movie) was made. Such a beautiful style with the soft curls spilling around her shoulders. I've had the really short bangs like this before, and I think they're pretty hard to pull off! They look fantastic on some people...on me, not so much!

The ever-lovely Bettie Page, of course. Her bangs have become synonymous with vintage style. The interesting thing to me is that when you look at the bajillions of pix of Bettie, her bangs are generally pretty close to her eyebrows. When you see people with "Bettie Bangs" today they are often quite a bit shorter, more like Barbara Stanwyk's.

I love Bettie's smile...she always looked like she was having so much fun ;-)

Adorable Audrey. Look at those eyebrows! They're like two big black caterpillars marching across her forehead, and yet the total effect is pure gorgeousness. Her bangs show off her eyes in such a beautiful and striking way. Did you know that Audrey's given name was Audrey Ruston? Just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Such a beautiful face and a beautiful soul   *sigh*

 Brigitte Bardot lookin' sexy as usual. So messy, so gorgeous...I love the bump! I know she probably has a fall in there somewhere...I hope...

The late 60's bangs are the easiest to wear, I think, for most people. They are softer and more forgiving than the hard-line straight-across bangs. They don't need trimming as often, either!

I know I'm leaving out so many greats...Jane Birkin, Stevie Nicks! Anna Wintour...hehe, just kidding :-)

I'm loving Brigitte here the most right now...I think I'll let my bangs grow a bit and bust out the teasing brush and the dry shampoo!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Estate Sale Haul and Behind The Scenes

This past Saturday morning, like many Saturday mornings, I went to an estate sale.

Many of you may wonder where people who sell vintage clothes get their stock, and one source that I use a great deal are estate case you aren't familiar, an estate sale is a sale held by a private, professional company  of the entire contents of a person's home, including their furniture, clothing, housewares, and everything else down to the cleaning products under the sink (not kidding) and the potted plants in the backyard. Most of the time, this person has passed away, and the estate sale company is hired by the family to help. Sometimes families attempt to do this themselves. Sometimes the person has not passed away, but has just moved to another home such as a relative's or residential care facility (this is technically called a "living" estate sale). Many people get estate sales confused with  regular old garage or yard sales and boy oh boy, they are definitely not the same!!

These sales get started very early in the morning and, here in L.A., there is usually a huge line (sometimes 100 people or more) by 8:00am. The first person in the door gets the best stuff so many people (myself included) get there at the crack of dawn to stake out a spot in line. I sometimes wait for 2 hours or more, in the cold, sitting on someone's porch or driveway. It can actually be kind of fun to talk to the other people in line...frequently they are other dealers like me, and every dealer has their specialty. There's the record dude, the sterling silver guy, the old musical instrument man, the young guy who looks for vintage toys...I love it when there are mostly men 'cause then I know I'll have the ladies clothes to myself! This rarely happens, though...usually there are a handful of other gals and we all stand around sizing each other up :-)

Things sometimes get rough! A lot of people make their living this way so they are dead serious. Dead serious enough that at a recent sale there was a big fight and someone threatened to get a gun, and the police were called! Crazy, huh? Thankfully I skipped that one:-)

Well, it's a rather cutthroat bit of business, and getting up in the dark at 4:30 a.m. is never fun, but the early bird truly does get the worm. Check out some of my "worms"! Hehe!

just part of my "haul" including some gorgeous bags
 Look for some of these finds to show up in my Etsy shop very soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Fun Outing: The L.A. Vintage Fashion Expo

Last weekend I spent one fabulous day at the LA Vintage Fashion Expo. This is a show they have here in L.A. about three times a year (they also have it up in San Francisco) and I go pretty much every time!
It's held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The entire place is packed with wall-to-wall vintage of every type. There are vendors who specialize (Edwardian/Victorian, high-end designer, rockabilly) and those who sell a little bit of everything. It's a vintage lover's dream! It costs 8 bucks to get in, but sometimes you can get a 2$ off coupon at their website:
A lot of the same vendors show up every time (with new stuff), but there are also a scattering of new ones to keep it interesting.

Some of the vendors are really snooty!  I've learned to avoid those and go right to the nice's so much nicer to shop when the seller is nice too, don't you think?
The owner of this booth was super-friendly...he's from a suburb of Dallas and had a ton of amazing dresses. His prices were reasonable (unlike some of the vendors) and best of all his tags list the measurements of the garments which is so helpful! This show does have dressing rooms, but it's really a time-saver if you know your measurements. That way you know if you're even in the ballpark :-)
I really liked this 50's green sundress...alas, too small for me.

The next-door booth belonged to his mom, who had this ah-maze-ing circle skirt with an image of the Grand Canyon on it..LOVE!

She pointed out a great tip: if the waist on a skirt like this is too small for you, a tailor can easily take the waistband off, extend it, drop it down, and voila! Larger waist!

I usually don't have much money to spend, but I always find a couple of things. Here's what I bought this time:
I love novelty bags and this one is so unique..I've never seen one just like it. With the butterfly and flowers against the crisp white, it's too cute...I can't wait to use it when the weather warms up a bit!

Another thing I love is Aloha wear, and I scored this cutie:
This type of sleeveless women's shirt, with it's Mandarin collar, close fit through the torso, and side slits at the hem is called a Tea Timer. They frequently were sold with matching cropped pants. They are a bit hard to find, and the earlier ones from the 40's can be very pricey.

I'll be going to the Vintage Fashion Expo again, later in the year, so I'll do another post later with more pix and tips!