Category — Fashion History

Hedy Lamarr – Brains and Beauty

hedy lamarr

Today is Hedy Lamarr‘s 101th birthday. Very rarely do you meet a woman quite like her. A beautiful woman, a celebrated film actress, and an inventor. And like important stuff. Stuff we use today! The principles of her work in the 1940s are now being used in WiFi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology. And we thought Amal Clooney was all that!

She was married six times. And there’s no wonder – a woman like Hedy would intimidate most men. I doubt they could appreciate her awesomeness.

Even Google is celebrating her today with a truly delightful animated clip. Check out Google’s Google Doodle.

November 9, 2015   No Comments

Vintage Barbie Has a Better Life Than YOU


vintage barbie pictures

Ok, I have to admit. Most of my Barbies ended up with some horrific makeovers. Hair cut with Crayola scissors created some interesting avant garde hairstyles. My markers made Barbie look like she was a MAC cosmetics model. But of course I always wished I could live in the glamorous world that Barbie lived in.

Photographer David Parise captures the wonderous Barbie world in his photos featuring Barbie and crew living the glam life in Miami. I especially love Barbie and gal pal lounging by the pool smoking ciggies. And if you’re missing Mad Men, Barbie’s swinging cocktail party can take care of your withdrawal symptoms.


via: Huffington Post

May 20, 2015   2 Comments

High Fashion Vintage Paper Dolls

When I was a kid, I loved playing with dolls – Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kids, you name it. One Christmas I received a strange gift – a flat doll made of paper. My eight year old brain thought it was a coloring book until I saw the little tabs on the paper clothing.

vintage Paper dolls by Dover publishing

So when Dover Publications asked me if i would be interested in reviewing their Vintage Fashion paper doll collection, I squealed! Because while the 8 year old in me would have been happy with a Barbie knock off paper doll, the designer crazy grown up in me wants to play with some Chanel and Dior. The level of artistry of these paper dolls and their glamorous flat outfits are truly stunning. They are more like fashion plates than paper dolls.

Chanel Fashion Review Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney, Dover Publishing

vintage Paper dolls by Dover publishing. Greta Garbo, Golden Age of Hollywood

And the details! Greta Garbo’s gown is covered in copper glitter.


I can’t wait to order more paper doll books for my nieces (and by nieces I mean myself). Hopefully I can influence them to love the beauty of classic fashion as an art form. Because these paper dolls are truly works of art!

If you would like to order some collectible fashion paper dolls of your own, you can get an exclusive Debutante Clothing discount of 25% off on your order! This discount is good until August 16, 2014. Or click on the ad in the right hand column.

July 29, 2014   4 Comments

The History of Shapewear


Ever wonder why some vintage dresses are so so hard to wear? It seems amazing how teeny women’s waists were in the past. Have we changed all that much. NO! The secret to getting that Joan Holloway hourglass figure, even back in the 1960s? Shapewear!

Check out this wonderful infographic on the history of shapewear and you’ll see that wearing vintage doesn’t take the perfect body. It takes a bit of magical underwear!

History of Shapewear - Infographic
Find your best fitting shapewear at Herroom.


April 17, 2013   1 Comment

Lovely Monday-1940s Fitness

Well it’s been a while since I have posted. My life has experienced many changes. Some the worst, some for the best. One change is my motivation towards exercising. I know I know, such a cliche for the new year. But I actually made no resolutions for 2012, other than to do things and participate in activities that make me happy. And research shows that exercise is a natural mood booster. A more vain reason for my new healthy lifestyle is that I need to get bikini ready for a fab trip with my friend Dawn an island off Belize in March!

We are going to be glamorous jetsetters and enjoy a luxury vacay  – another mood booster!

Today’s Lovely Monday image made me smile. Who EVER looks that cute while standing on the scale. I’m curious what recipes were published in this book. Think they were Atkins like?


Enjoy your Monday!


image source: The Painted Woman


January 30, 2012   4 Comments

Vintage Books | Want To Learn About Vintage? Read These Books!


Forbes online (who knew they had a style section?) recently interviewed two of the biggest names in vintage fashion – Kerry Taylor of Kerry Taylor Auctions and Doris Raymond of The Way We Wore. The vintage mavens give us an insider’s view on the best books to read if you want to learn about wearing, selling, or collecting vintage fashion.

I don’t want to copy and paste, so I’ll just give you links and list the ones I own and agree with, as well as give you my personal favorite books that are in my resource library right now!

Happy reading!

Kerry Taylor’s vintage books picks

Doris Raymond’s vintage books picks

My picks:
I agree with Kerry Taylor on The Couture Accessory, by Caroline Rennolds Milbank. It’s a beautifully photographed book all about the little accouterments that make us look at a runway show beyond the garments.

Doris Raymond and I have similar taste in vintage fashion books. I agree with Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century Kyoto Costume Institute. I was lucky enough to find it on sale at Barnes and Noble. But do yourself a favor – invest in this two book set. it gives a breadth of information on important looks in the last three centuries.

New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style by Caroline Rennolds Milbank – this book does an excellent job of covering some of the most important American designers. You can find it used at a great price.

And here are some more to consider:

Costume Jewelry for Haute Couture by Florence Müller – a stunning collection of haute couture jewelry with a brief history on the makers of the exquisite pieces for Chanel, YSL and Pierre Cardin.

The Seductive Shoe and Forties Fashion: From Siren Suits To The New Look by Jonathan Walford – Jonathan knows his stuff. Jonathan, a fashion historian, curator, and private collector, was the founding curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Both these books go beyond pretty pictures and really give you a historian’s perspective on these impressive collections.

20th Century Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook and The Complete Fashion Sourcebook 1920s-1980s by John Peacock – while most fashion history books have gorgeous color or black and white photography, Peacock’s books are all illustrated with typical garments of the decade, broken down by purpose of wear (day, evening, bridal, underwear, accessories, etc.) and further categorized in 2-3 year spans. If you ever wanted to know if a dress was from 1940 versus 1943, these books would help you determine that! I really love that these books also feature menswear and clothing that normal people wore during the period. Not everyone wore haute couture and the chances of you stumbling across such a rare piece are slim, unless of course you are Kerry or Doris.

photo: The Princess Blog via

October 28, 2010   2 Comments

Vintage Inspiring | Glamour & Travel

vintage model traveling

I have this fantasy travel wardrobe that usually consists of light gabardine and wool blends from the 1940s, an exquisite pair of slacks, and a perfectly square leather train case. It’s probably not unlike your fantasy travel wardrobe. Travel used to be yet another occasion to dress, like dinner, or drinks. This picture really inspired me because this woman looks so casual and comfortable, but still put together. Beats a raggedy track suit any day!

photo: by gone fashion

June 10, 2010   2 Comments

Vintage TV | American Woman at the Met

If you live any where near NYC, you have to check out the American Woman exhibit.

American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity is the first Costume Institute exhibition drawn from the newly established Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Met. It explores developing perceptions of the modern American woman from 1890 to 1940 and how they have affected the way American women are seen today. Focusing on archetypes of American femininity through dress, the exhibition reveals how the American woman initiated style revolutions that mirrored her social, political, and sexual emancipation. “Gibson Girls,” “Bohemians,” and “Screen Sirens,” among others, helped lay the foundation for today’s American woman.

I am not a museum studies expert by any stretch of the imagination, but after attending the Betsey Bloomingdale exhibit at FIDM last year, I grew a tremendous appreciation for the art of textile and costume display. The “wigs” of this exhibit are stunning!

If anyone has attended the exhibit or plans to attend, and you are interested in writing a review for it here, I’d love to hear about it! Email me!

May 27, 2010   3 Comments

Vintage Links | The Week in Vintage

photo: pulpwoman

Go vintage clothing shopping with designer Philip Lim [Tales of Endearment]

Work clothes brand, Dickies, creates a 1930s inspired capsule collection (my husband will love this!) [WWD]

The best flea markets in France [Guardian] features a vintage Pierre Cardin necklace from Garland Collects to celebrate the release of Cardin’s autobiography Pierre
Cardin, 60 Years of Innovation

Halston documentary Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston premiering at Tribeca Film Festival. You can see a clip at T Magazine. []

April 30, 2010   No Comments

Vintage TV | Vintage Fashion Auctioneer Karen Augusta On Elizabeth Hawes

If you’ve ever read the Washington D.C. based fashion blog, Fashion Is Spinach, you’ve probably wondered where on Earth the unique name came from. Elizabeth Hawes was a little known fashion designer that was well ahead of her time. Vintage expert Karen Augusta shares her Elizabeth Hawes treasures and her personal connection to the designer. Enjoy!

P.S. If anyone owns a copy of Hawes’ book, Fashion Is Spinach, I’d love to hear your opinion on it! I love vintage style guides.

April 20, 2010   3 Comments

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