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Princess Diana and her Fashion Legacy

10 Sep

Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana. I still to this day recall where I was when I heard the news. I guess this event was one of many of our generations “Kennedy assassination moments”. I was pregnant with my younger daughter, and we were at a family reunion in Dwight, KS over Labor Day Weekend. We stayed in my great-grandparent’s Victorian house and the bedroom we slept in was the master bedroom. It was Kansas, in the summer, there were only window units downstairs, and I’m 5 months pregnant. Sleeping was not a pleasant experience. I remember the smell of the house, the faded 50 year old wallpaper, and staring up at the countless number of flies that hung out on the 12 foot ceilings. I think there was maybe a floor fan to help move the air around, but when ceilings are 12 feet high, a 4 foot floor fan really doesn’t do much good.

Anyway, I remember hearing the news that Princess Diana had been killed and it seemed that all the events of the weekend stopped to watch the story unfold on TV. I had remembered watching the royal wedding (just to see the dress, of course) and wondered really what this beautiful 20 year old wanted to do with an ugly English Prince? I was only 8 years younger than she was, so to watch her style grow and evolve as she became more comfortable in her role as Princess was like watching an older cousin getting ready for prom and being anxious for the day when it would be my turn. Looking back, I’m a bit dismayed that she was in the prime of her fashion life in the 80s. Really, could there have been a more bizarre, extreme, loud, garish decade? But, she was able to take the best it had to offer, and give an entire generation of girls an example of class and dignity and style.

A look back at some of my favorite Princess Diana looks:

The wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel required more than 43 yards of silk and 10,000 pearl and mother of pearl sequins. It has a small 18K gold and diamond horseshoe sewn in to the dress for good luck.

1985 Silver lame Bruce Oldfield gown worn to a benefit fashion show. Bruce Oldfield was one of the rumored designers for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

1985, at a London movie premier, Diana wore this Catherine Walker strapless pleated floral dress. Walker was one of Diana’s favorite designers, designing over 1000 garments for the Princess. Diana is buried in a black dress designed by Walker. Most recently, Walker designed Kate Middleton’s dresses for her North American tour and also designed the dress her mother wore to the wedding.

Diana became ever more bold in her fashion choices. Here, in 1990, she wore a houndstooth suit in contrasting black, white and red with matching red and black spectator pumps for the christening of her niece. Notice also the lack of hosiery. In the royal family, this was surely a fashion faux pas!

Diana was always very deliberate in her fashion choices when visiting foreign countries. She made a point to look tailored and classy, but always gave some kind of nod to the culture or history of the country she was visiting. Here, in a 1992 visit to Egypt, she chose an ivory safari inspired linen suit.

In June of 1997, just months before her tragic death, she attended an auction at Christie’s of some of her dresses. She wore a simple white linen dress with Chanel accessories. Always classy, always the personification of grace and elegance. Makes you wonder what wonderful things she would have been doing today.

Images courtesy of vogue UK

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A Kalen Review: Schiaparelli and Prada

6 Jun

One of the destinations on our list this summer is NYC (well, really, when isn’t it?) to see the new exhibit at the Costume Institute at the MET. Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations opened May 10 with the annual Met Ball Gala. Considered to the be the ultimate Red Carpet event for the fashion industry, the Met Ball Gala brings out the who’s who of the fashion and entertainment world. We’ll talk more about the Gala in a later post, but for the moment I want to dive in a little deeper to the seemingly odd pairing of Schiaparelli and Prada.


Elsa Schiaparelli began her career in Paris in 1928 with a single item; a black sweater with a trompe d’oeil bow.

She opened her first workroom specializing in sport attire to be worn for golf, tennis, etc. In 1930, she added an atelier to design couture and evening wear and began the most successful decade of her career. Her clothing was very much influenced by the art of her day; Cubism in the early 30s with clean, architectural lines, and Surrealism in the later 30s with whimsical buttons, creative fabrics and abstract accessories (insect necklace, anyone?).

During the war, her atelier closed and the house reopened in 1945. Schiaparelli’s post war designs were still artistically influenced; they lacked the humor and novelty of her pre-war collections.

Miuccia Prada took over the family leather business in 1978. Becoming famous for nylon bags and backpacks in the 1980s, Prada launched their ready –to-wear collection in 1989.

While other designers in the late 80’s were designing lines that were short, sexy and flirty; Prada came on the scene showing clean lines, luxurious fabrics and basic colors and the fashion world took notice.

By the 1990’s, Prada was a leading force in the fashion world producing simple, classic styles in luxurious fabrics and neutral colors. In 1995, Miuccia Prada won the Designer of the Year award by the Council for Fashion Designers of America.

Today, Miuccia Prada is known as one of fashion’s most intellectual talents. She plays with fabrics and colors; pairing the opulent with the every day, and creating color schemes only she could dream up. Yet luxury and high quality continue to be the core of the brand.

So, two driven female designers breaking the mold and innovating fashion, one in the 1930’s and one in the 1990’s. Elsa and Miuccia were bound together by their love of opulent fabrics, clean lines and impeccable detailing. Creatively, their influences were vastly different. Elsa looked to the art of her time and was not afraid to take risks in quirkiness. Miuccia was driven by technology and manipulation of fabrics and sought to innovate while always maintaining her high standards. If you look at the images from the Met Museum website, it is uncanny how similar their styles were. There is no evidence that Miuccia was influenced by Schiaparelli, but undoubtedly, she was familiar with her. It is a conversation that I for one, would love to be a fly on the wall to witness. If you find yourself in NYC this summer, make a point to drag whoever it is that you are with to this exhibit. There are very few female designers past or present as influential in the fashion world as Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. If we are lucky enough to make it there ourselves, we’ll be sure to give a full report!

Mad Men Midseason Madness

9 May

I don’t know where it all went wrong, but I’m so glad it’s back to be right. Mad Men, that is. We are several episodes into the new season and I can finally say with confidence, Mad Men is actually GOOD again. Great even. I can’t get over how well written this season is, and how it actually keeps my attention, and doesn’t just drone on while I fold my laundry, or do a thousand other things around the house that never seem to get done. Mad Men is back, with a vengeance. I’m not sure what has changed: new writers? Jon Hamm directing? Perhaps it is the era we’ve found ourselves heading into, in the show. Whatever it is, it’s working, and if you aren’t watching it, you are missing out on something special.

The world became obsessed with Mad Men in the summer of 2007, and we continued to watch through every mistress, every cocktail, and every boring second we spent watching Pete’s life pass by. The first few years were something great, but still had its moments of drab. In the years just before the “quiet” writers’ strike, the show had become mundane, and I found myself just watching ’cause I always had. It’s like that show you watch on TV that would make a great movie, but then they drag it in to six seasons and suddenly there’s a polar bear on a remote island and you question whether or not the writers are sober, EVER, writing this crap. The style has always been there, the fascination with the past, and watching the events up to JFK’s assassination unfold were nostalgic and gripping to relive for some. But let’s be honest: Mad Men had become “old hat”. The outfits seemed to come in repeat. The arguments were the same. Roger still womanizing, Don still hating his life with Betty but somehow still making children, and Peggy, poor Peggy, always be a side character and not getting her fair share of spotlight. The highlight for most was Joan and her curvy attitude and bright hair. It definitely wasn’t Pete’s sweatiness that brought people back every week. Why does that guy always look so greasy??? Sure, Mad Men had it’s moments of excitement. I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time Roger had a heart attack with one of the twins and Don had to slap his face to remind him his wife’s name was Mona. I still snicker when I hear that one replay in my head. What is it about men and twins?

I recently heard someone say that they couldn’t watch Mad Men because of all the sexism. They said it really bothered them and they just couldn’t stand to watch it replay on TV. I should’ve told her to take a walk around. We do live in Texas after all. C’mon! You’re telling me the sexism, (which to me is few and far between, not to mention funny at times), on the show is too much for you to handle, but living in the deep south doesn’t bother you…at all? If anything I think Mad Men has been a beacon, a little light shed on how men and women settled into what they thought were their roles. My stone cold example lay in this past week’s episode. Don “let” Megan quit her job at the agency because she wanted to follow her dreams. If he were any kind of A-typical 60’s man, shouldn’t he have told her to take off her shoes and get in the kitchen? Instead he and her were working side by side, something which he thoroughly enjoyed. I do believe it broke his heart a little when she quit, but he also understood the importance of letting her follow HER dreams, and not just be in his. He didn’t want her ‘to wind up like Betty, or worse, her mother.’ While Don has his faults, I think he’s shown everyone that he appreciates having a woman in the office to challenge him. He does and always has with Peggy. He believed in her and gave her an opportunity when no one else would. She stands up to him and puts him in his place when he needs to be put there, which is often. Ok, I get it, all the women are secretaries, and they all wear dresses, and most aspire to be housewives. Isn’t this still something we see every day anyway? And something we definitely see a lot south of the Mason Dixon line. I’d have to say to each their own, and I’m no more ready to throw stones at a glass house than anyone else. Mad Men just brings certain era-appropriate issues to light. It throws these issues that were swept under the rug for years and puts them in your face, but in that classy, stylish kind of way. You know, like the back-handed compliment from a frenemy.

Something a little less serious, is the style to which Mad Men has always alluded. It’s officially the swinging sixties. And things are getting into full swing. Young women like Megan are chasing their dreams instead of succumbing to their husbands’ aspirations. Peggy is moving in with her boyfriend. Not to mention the colors and patterns are getting more and more vibrant! I don’t know what it is about the 60’s that makes me wanna get up and dance, but I’m pretty sure I was born in the wrong era. The sixties brought about shorter skirts, louder music, and the beginning of the free-love movement that the 70’s are utterly famous for. There is definitely a change in the air. Poor Don. His daughter Sally is about to be a child of the sixties. I see more drinking and grey hair in his future.

So Mad Men has finally gotten better. The stories are better. The characters are more fun and complex. The drug use is as blatant as the drinking. I have to say I’m excited for the 60’s. I’ve been told I have an old soul. Apparently, my soul loved the sixties, because I can’t help myself and I can’t get enough of them. Why is Mad Men so much better this time around? Is it just because they had more time to work on the storyline? Is it the era we are wandering into? Is it the deliberate care they are taking to build each character for you? Is it because Betty is heavier than her normal, unfair, perfectly thin body? Nah, that can’t be it. Maybe it’s the fact that Roger is back on the prowl and we know disaster is looming around the corner for that guy. Oh Roger, you       never disappoint. Whatever it is, it’s working and I am hooked again. And I’d bet another Pete affair that you’re hooked as well.

To Hair, and To Hair Not: From Vintage Classic to Just Plain AWFUL

1 May

Hair styles are one thing that go in and out of style before you even walk out the door the your latest hair appointment. I’ve seen it all. As someone who is particularly OCD about their hair, I find comfort in paying too much for a haircut in order to feel like I am

getting one that is quality. I am notorious for frequenting Toni and Guy. My friends laugh at me, but they always seem to compliment my hair. Hmmm. What do these two things have in common?


 I find it funny that a lot of women are turning to a vintage hair style and I thought I’d touch base on what that is actually considered. Having pin curls done for my wedding was quite the challenge. First of all, finding someone who knew what pin curls were, an accomplishment all in its own. Then, making sure this girl knew what to do so that the pin curls stayed in their proper place, while I busted a move on the dance floor to the Macarena…priceless.

The cut that I have seen come in and out of style, and seems to look good on everyone but me, is the Bob. January Jones made it quite the rage when she came donned the style in Mad Men, and everyone seemed to follow suit. Lets face it, nobody does a Bob better than Katie Holmes or Victoria Beckham. Of course if I had that kind of discipline, or lack of appetite, I’m

sure I’d look just as good. Unfortunately, I love cake. While the Bob has made a frequent comeback time and again, it wasn’t the 60’s housewife who made it popular. The Bob dates back all the way to the early 1920’s. After all, in all that Charleston-ing, you didn’t want a little hair getting in your way. My new favorite, the Bob and the Bangs. They could be an eighties grunge band, but instead they are an adorable pair that only look good on really skinny girls with thin faces (aka Posh and Joey). I find it makes my face look fat, and I tend to not like that look.I’ve seen the straight bang, the swept bang, the almost to the middle of my head bang. All adorable, but like I said, you have to look the part. Get it, part. Like in the part of your hair. I entertain myself, what can I say!


Oh the bang. I’ve had a love hate relationship with the bang. I love them, I hate them, I can’t live without them, but I’m on the 12 step, 12 month program where I am letting them grow out. It’s never easy to grow out your bangs, and by the time you do grow them out, they are back in style again and you concede to have them trimmed again. But getting bangs is like having that last drink of the night when you know it’s time to go home. You wind up blacking out and having to hear from a friend that your rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, was the best they’d seen in years, and has instantly become a YouTube sensation. Now Daniel Tosh is calling you to be on his web show and you realize you really can’t make it out there to do the show because you are in the middle of growing out your bangs. Damn the timing. There’s only one thing you regret more than that drink, and it was cutting your bangs to begin with. Can someone please explain to me why it takes your hair less than 6 months to grow 6-8 inches, but your bangs take a full year to completely recover. Isn’t it all hair to begin with?

Now here is something I commonly like to refer to as Pin-Up girl hair. A nice little curl in the front (ya know where your bangs are supposed to be) and a swept under curl in the back to show off your neck. It’s fun and cute and wildly popular with those hipster chics. (See previous blog if you are unsure if you fit the “Hipster” category). This looks good on just about anyone with curves. FINALLY! We have a cut for our own kind. The curvature of the hair style accentuates the curves of the body, and if it doesn’t, well, then you did it wrong. I once did this hair style for a friend who wanted to do a Pin-Up shoot with her a the drag-race girl. I don’t think I quite mastered it but, eh, that’s what Photoshop is for: to make you look like you knew what you were doing in the first place. (By the way, just kidding, this is NOT what Photoshop is for at all).

Lately on Mad Men, Roger’s wife, Jane, has been pulling out all the stops on her hair styles. I hate the look, personally, but I guess if you have that much free time and money, it doesn’t always guarantee that you have style as well. It’s what I kindly refer to as “I Dream of Jeanie” hair. You remember this look, if you grew up during the 80’s. We embellished the look with

the wall o’hair. Very simple: step one, pick up the front part of your hair and hold straight up; step two, spray with an entire bottle of hairspray; and complete. While Jane’s look was a lot less drastic than the famous 80’s wall bang, it still has the same principle. Take hair, put in top of head, making it hard to walk through low lying ceilings. You leave a little bit hanging off the back, that way it can sit comfortably on your right shoulder, or down your side. However, this is not a good look if there is any male under the age of 30 who still thinks it’s funny to pull girls hair. Watch out guys! These days you may get a handful of faux-hair inthat pull.

 

I love changing up my look with a new hairstyle every once in awhile. I unfortunately don’t have the face for a Bob and Bang, but I still love the style nonetheless. While I still hold that the I Dream of Jeanie looks good on no one, I’m sure it works for some. Sorry if this is your signature look. I’m sure you and Tony have a wonderful life together. Tell Endora I said hi…oh, wait, wrong hit 60’s sitcom. Good hair styles come and go, and go back again. I just hope the 90’s stay gone, and that wall o’hair 80’s bang don’t make a come back either. While the 90’s are not considered vintage yet…they will be one day. And if you survived the first go ’round of it, you know we don’t want to see those looks EVER again.

EdiTORIal

24 Apr

If you don’t know who Tori Spelling is, please tell me you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, or you were raised by wolves and they wouldn’t let you watch TV. Tori Spelling is the only daughter of television’s most famous and well known producer, the late Aaron Spelling. She was first seen on TV as the loveable and quirky Donna Martin on Beverly Hills 90210. If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s like I did, then we should be up to speed. Since then she’s become a regular made-for-tv-movie star, and has appeared in her own hit reality series, Tori and Dean, Inn Love, and Tori and Dean, Home Sweet Hollywood. She has written several books, all of which I’ve read, except for the latest, CelebraTori. She is a huge advocate for the gay community, and is working on her 4th child as we speak. If you don’t know her, then you probably don’t love her. If you do know her, how could you help but love her? This is the time of the year now where I will start to convince you to love all the people I love. First Lucy, now Tori!

Tori Spelling has definitely come full circle for me. At first glance, she was annoying, maybe seemed a little spoiled, or at least that’s the impression I got. Through no fault of her own, I might add. I went to one of those high school where if you didn’t drive a BMW or Lexus or Mercedes, you were a nobody. I didn’t drive a car at all. Hence, nobody. I grew up thinking all rich kids were the same, and Tori exuded rich to me. After all, if my dad were the infamous Aaron Spelling, creator of, well, just about every hit show since the 70’s, I’d dress the part too. I think it was about 2 or 3 years ago when I stumbled upon a tabloid article, saying how Tori Spelling and new husband, Dean McDermott were going to be starting a B & B. I just knew I had to see this for myself. Luckily, Oxygen was going to be airing the spectacle, and I was tuned in. I expected her to be the girl I went to high school with; bad with money, great with credit cards. Instead, she still wound up being bad with money, but loveable and funny to watch. She laughed at herself when she fell on her face. She had way too many animals, and did a great pregnancy waddle. She was then pregnant with baby numero uno, Liam. She made all the wrong choices, but let the whole world watch her do it. There’s something about someone who makes mistakes, but then laughs them off, as if to say, ‘Eh, at least I tried’. And tried she did. I wouldn’t call it an epic failure. I’ve thought of a million things I wanted to do, and never even attempted. I had to give her credit there.

A year passed before I revisited their new show, Home Sweet Hollywood. Now, two kids in the saddle and a third on the way, we followed them through their busy lives, and through the public spectacle that is living in Hollywood. Now, also, several businesses deep, Tori was expecting baby number three, but you would’ve thought nothing had changed. She was still as hard, if not harder, working than before, never slowing down. There is nothing that motivates me more than watching this woman work herself to death. I think this has to be the number one thing I admire about her. Her drive. Her ambition. Her motivation to find anything and everything she can do to make money for her family, but never give up spending time with them. She says in her second book, the reason they keep doing the reality show is not because they like putting everything out there to be watched and criticized, but because, simply, it gives them an income to spend time together and be a family more often than not. They take their kids everywhere, and embarrassment or not, they keep plugging along. She also comments on how most of the time she has full-time, live-in help. She gives props to the moms who do this everyday on their own, without help, and admits without the help of Patsy, their baby nurse, or other nannies she’s had in the past, she couldn’t imagine how she would survive. Humble, and honest. Two qualities I happen to like in a person.

Another reason for my Tori Lovefest, is her obsession with vintage and antiques. She recently took a friend shopping for an outfit while the friend was pregnant. She said the reason you shop vintage, is because it’s cheaper, it’s better quality, and it’s always in style. I love that she finds ways to be thrifty, even in Hollywood, but is always fashionable. She has a voice and a brand that people listen to, and instead of sporting the latest Prada bag around town, she’s treasure hunting for vintage finds, and scouring Round Top in an effort to find antiques for her LA store. She’s down in the trenches, getting her hands dirty. She’s mentioned in several of her books, that all she ever wanted to be was “normal”. She wasn’t sure what that was, but she’d seen what she thought it was on TV. She wanted to live in a neighborhood where your neighbors come over and borrow a cup of sugar. She wanted to her kids to be able to ride their bikes on the sidewalks where other kids played. She wanted a smaller house, where her family could huddle together on the couch to watch a movie. Having grown up the way she did, of course I could see how the grass looks greener. But again, growing up as she did, she now realizes all that is really a possibility. She is after all Tori Spelling, and that will never change.

I can’t help but love Tori for so many reasons. I admire her desire to have as many kids as her and Dean can, and the little ways she seeks out normalcy for her family. I admire her drive and ambition to work work work for everything she has. I love her style, and her obsession with vintage that could only match that of Kalen’s. I can’t help but watch her weekly on her reality show to see what new adventure she takes her husband on, and how her husband lovingly goes along with each and every crazy idea she presents. After all, that’s real love right there. Taking the risks your wife wants to take in order to make her happy, right? Well, maybe we could all learn a little something from them. Even if it only is to appreciate the little things, and always be fashionable.

I Love Lucy…and so should You!

17 Apr

There were very few people that made my grandpa laugh from the bottom of his stomach, so hard that it would send him into acoughing frenzy. John Candy was one of them for sure. But I’m pretty sure his favorite, and it wasn’t just because she was funny, was Lucille Ball. See, Pop had been in the army in the 40’s, right around the same time Miss Ball was a Pin-Up girl in the Army’s weeklies. She was an unconventional beauty, but lets face it, isn’t that the best kind? There’s nobody who can wear that shade of red better than her, and here is why I will ALWAYS Love Lucy…

Lucille Ball was born August 6, 1911. Even 100 years after her birth, people still gather in her honor as look-alikes to celebrate the awesomeness that was Lucy. I knew my husband was the perfect man for me when I came home one day to find him watching old reruns of I Love Lucy on our television at home. I have the fondest memories of sitting across the room from my grandpa, or nudging his elbow to sit on the arm rest of his recliner, and laughing with him while watching Lucy get herself into something else. Some people say the best part of that show was “Ricky” always misinterpreting or mispronouncing some word of the English language. Sure, that hand you a few giggles, but nothing was better than watching Lucy get herself in and out of each predicament, usually going to the good ole woman’s trick of crying incessantly in order to gain sympathy. I have to wonder, did women think that worked before she did it?

While my memories of Lucy all stem from reruns of I Love Lucy, some people remember her vibrant movie career, or her days as a model. I use the term “vibrant” very loosely here, as she was recognizably know as “Queen of the B’s”, because she started in so many “B movies”. Lots of people have made successful careers out of “B movies”. Lucy may have been one of the first. She, like one of my other favorite “B Movie” actresses, Tori Spelling, was maybe not the most wildly successful actress of her time, but she is one that is still relevant to this day, and even more memorable. Sure, she was no Garbo, but she had a quality that made everyone smile when they saw her. Personality is a big part of being admired, and being thought of as beautiful. While you couldn’t necessarily call her a fashion icon, I do believe her style that was portrayed through her TV series resonates even today with the younger generation. Who doesn’t love a good day dress, head scarf, and peep toes! She made being a house wife look chic.

She was highly influential for her time, and quite controversial too. When she married Cuban band leader, Desi Arnaz, she was six years his senior. She was also sited as being part of the Communist party, although Desi refuted this, saying ‘The only thing red about Lucy is her hair, and even that’s not real’. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Lucy was actually a BLONDE.

As if any of that wasn’t enough, she also divorced, quite publicly, in 1960. This was not something many people did during this time period, but for her, she knew it was right. Desi and Lucy’s relationship had turned tumultuous, with the great success of Desilu came great stress, which turned into a not so great drinking problem for Desi. It has been said that during one of their spats, Lucy put a gun to Desi’s head and pulled the trigger. When only a flame came out, he stepped up to the gun and lit his cigar. A once desperate to be together couple had taken a turn for the worse, and Lucy knew it was better for them to be apart than stay together. A brave woman she had to be to divorce a man in the sixties. No matter how disastrous their relationship had turned out, they still spoke very fondly of each other, and remained friends until Desi passed away in 1986. Maybe Lucy wanted to teach the women of her time a lesson here. Get out while you can still respect one another for your children.

I Love Lucy for so many reasons. I love that she was a bottle redhead. I mean, lets be honest, is there really any other kind. I also love that though she was a blonde, she still chose the route of something different, perhaps risky, and definitely unique. Her hair color was just the precedent for the way she lived her life. They say blondes have more fun. I’d have to disagree. Lucy lived her life to the fullest, took her success to a new peak, and made everyone fall in love with her along the way. She was the first reality TV star, in cooperating her life with Desi into a show that gave them a way to spend more time together, and share her life with the world. She was and is and always will be an icon for Hollywood success, an inspiration for women in a “man’s world”, and a legend of class and beauty that was one of a kind. There’s so many reason why I Love Lucy. And I think you’re crazy if you don’t!

SPOILER ALERT: Mad Men recap follows…

27 Mar

Well its been almost two years since we’ve been blessed with a Mad Men season premier. Last night they debuted their new season with a two hour long show, as if that would make up for its disappearance for so long! So the question remains, does Mad Men still have what it takes to reel us in, even after all this time? The jury is still out on this blogger’s opinion. Beware, spoiler alert coming! If you haven’t watched the new episode yet because you are harboring it on your DVR to share with a nice Pinot Noir, please do not continue reading. But please do come back and read after!


When we meet the Mad Men again, we see an older, hopefully wiser Sally. Her voice has changed, and the kids are obviouslyolder. Guessing from what happened prior, I would put us about a year from where they left off. Joan has had her baby, which we know is Roger’s, and so has Trudy, but hers is her husbands. No judgement, Joan, you know I love you, and your curves. Don has married Megan, and they have a lavish apartment in the city. From the the looks of it, Betty and Henry have moved out of Don’s house and into, what Don made a reference to , a very Adams’ Family style home. While Henry and Betty did not make an appearance in this first episode, I did see in what’s to come next week that they will be back in the picture. I had to wonder if Betty’s character was left out due to January Jones’ pregnancy, cutting it awfully close to production and what not.The temperature at Sterling Cooper Draper Price as certain taken a wee bit of a turn. Peggy is a much more confident woman, which is nice to see after all these years, extruding her “Don-ness” on the people around her, and not leaving the clients out of that mix as well. Megan has adopted a new job in what looked to be like Peggy’s first job with the firm. Jealousy definitely exists among the ranks, but nonetheless, she is the boss’ wife after all. Don, who always arrived late pre-Megan, still arrives late but it is heavily noted as the pair entire the building, being compared to royalty. Everyone has always known this is Don’s show. The clients come, for Don. Even the big bosses recognize they are merely there for the drinks.

What I found interesting is how each character did not progress in a different direction of their own willing, but adopted another characters persona. I heard it discussed on the radio this morning and I have to say I agree. Peggy is the new female “Don”. Pete is the new “Don”, but in the miserable, commuting husband kind of way. Saddled with a wife who doesn’t take care of herself as she used to, and a house in the ‘burbs. He comes home late, looking dreadfully bored and stuck. I smell an affair in the works for Pete again.

Back to Peggy. She is everything she always admired and hated about Don. She is confident, cocky, but says too much, one thing you could never say about Don. She is still with the liberal, underground journalist; an odd mix, the two of them, but definitely interesting. She dresses better, but still not the way Joan would like her to dress. She has definitely come full circle, but not into her own her, but more into Don’s own.

Joan is still gorgeous as ever, just maybe a little tired. New mothers have the look of sweet desperation that screams from across the room, HELP! However she is still Joan, and ready as ever to come back to work. This, I admire and get. She may be needed at home, but being needed by twenty grown men is so much more of a compliment than a drooling newborn. The fact that Roger greets her as if nothing has changed is a little heartwarming, and yet disheartening at the same time. Her eyes light up when he yells “There’s my baby”, but the light wains as she realizes he’s talking about her, and not the boy. Sad really. Another man in the firm has fathered a child with another woman in the office that he doesn’t admit. They’re batting two for two at ol’ SCDP.

So this brings us to Don. Oh, Don. Everyone just thinks you are so charming and handsome, it seriously makes me ill. Jon Hamm has got to be a jerk. I just can’t think of him any other way. He plays a jerk so well, and people telling him how handsome he is??? C’mon, can I get a EGO with a side of Hamm. So Don is married, again. Shocking, I know. However this marriage seems different. Is he a changed man? Is he just still in that honeymoon phase? Is he really happy or this just an act? I was convinced we were going to see a new Don, but then sorely disappointed after the jab he made at Megan over the party. After that, I thought, same old Don. When he came back to the house to apologize and further explain himself to her, it made me think of Don in a good light again. Maybe he has changed. He is definitely happier, and less uptight. Only time will tell, because if I know Don, the way we all know Don, it is only a matter of time before that ticking, time bomb of a insecure, confused orphaned boy goes off. People like that cannot ever enjoy their lives for too long. They find themselves destroying anything and everything in their path that makes up their lives, and that brings them an ounce of happiness. That Don is still in there. Unless we’ve got another Anna on our hands, in Megan, I don’t see the self destructive Don Draper wandering too far from home. It was however a shock to see that Don’s irritation about the party was about the people, and said nothing about the sexy little number Megan put on for every one there. Can I get a little hum of the now classic, Zou Bisou Bisou? Not to mention that every wife in the country is hitting the gym this week in order to be more confident while cleaning the house in their bra and underwear. I see your game, Megan, and I like it!

In the end was the season premier of Mad Men really worth the two hours it cost me? Probably not. It was definitely a slow build, but looks to be a promising season. I look forward to the twists and turn it always delivers, and having to rewind my DVR in order to catch what Pete just said because I was distracted by another amazing dress Joan will be wearing this season. Gotta love that 60’s fashion!

The Greatest Thing to Happen to Texas since….

13 Mar

We have been traveling the world, also know as Texas, searching for some incredibly unique finds in preparation for our show this weekend. We will be joining over 50 vintage dealers from all over the metroplex, dealers from online shops, and from other parts of the country in the Dallas Vintage Jewelry Show in Grapevine, March 16-17. Other vintage shops from DFW will be there as well, such as Zola’s, Vintage Martini, and Dolly Python.

The show itself is the first of its kind in Texas. One of the promoters is quoted as saying you can find everything “from Mad Men to Downton Abbey”. This sounds like a perfect excuse to duck out of work early on Friday and head over to Grapevine! Doors open at 3pm, but if you’re like me you can get in an hour earlier for $20 and beat the crowds. Not to mention, secure some of the best deals for yourself.

When our store does shows like this throughout the year, the first question is always what to take. We’ve hit the vintage lottery so much in the last few months that it’d be hard to not take everything! The 80’s Carolina Herrera dresses, the silk Malcolm Starr, our lot of vintage skin bags…who can choose? And our plethora of vintage cowboy boots, they get lonely without enough attention. But don’t fret! We won’t empty the store. You’ll still have plenty to play with in our store this weekend. We know that Easter is right around the corner, and scoring that one of kind, would hurl yourself over a pew if you had a twin at service that morning, Easter dress is top priority. No Easter is complete without a great vintage hat to match.

Pastels mean Spring, and while we hope that was the last cold front of the year, Spring is coming! Whether you come to the store in Fort Worth, or the show in Grapevine, we hope to see you this weekend, with some sunshine and good weather to keep us all in a better mood.

We have the pleasure of meeting some really cool people in the shop from time to time. On Friday we met a couple in town from Austin, escaping the SXSW craze. It was their first time to Fort Worth, so we got to chatting with them of course. He is an inventor, and vintage lover, and she is an adorable young lady who makes everything vintage look good. He is the creator of Vintage Vanities, a small, but soon to be large, company that hand makes pocket sized mirrors. He cuts the glass, crafts a copper material around the edges so they are smooth and never rough, and places a unique image in the other side. His images, he’s chosen carefully, hand picking each to his own taste. Some of the images include the graffiti artist Banksy, Duchamp’s Mona Lisa, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and many other classic images of vintage beauties like Bridget Bardot. Not to mention this pretty awesome David Bowie! Love the hair dude. He also has a line of 19th century images that would make you laugh, or blush, but are great to say the least. These we’ll have to let you discover yourself. His mirrors are carried in stores all over Austin, and are quickly catching on all over. When creativity and small business come together and meet success, that always makes us smile! Happy soggy Monday, vintage lovers!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vintage-Vanities/142526999094400

The Official 2012 Oscar Fashion Recap

27 Feb

This is again one of the moments when I appreciate being a woman. It may take a few extra hours of hard work, a couple wiggles into some Spanx, and mounds of makeup, but the women definitely have the upperhand when it comes to Oscar fashion. To me, every man looks alike in their penguin suit. It’s usually made by Armani, and there may be a few small differences, but it took them all of 5 minutes to get ready and walk out the door. So please, sit back in awe and appreciate all the hard work that goes into getting Oscar ready as Kalen and I give our thumbs up and thumbs down to this years Oscar red carpet looks!

First and foremost I have to say that I loved the way Octavia Spencer looked in her Tadashi Shoji gown. She has been such a great character actress over the years and for her to be nominated for an Oscar this year and pull it off looking as classy as she did, I just loved it. There was definitely a lot of white and nude on the runway. This is definitely a trend that emerged slowly last year but is coming out full force in 2012. Be careful with these neutrals though ladies, not everyone has the right skin type for it. And if all else fails, as Maya Rudolph said, Shapewear.

While I would normally have nothing but great things to say about Rooney Mara, I do have to say I didn’t like the look she wore at the Oscars. She is so different and unique looking that for her to go with such a simple, just kind of hung there, dress by Givenchy, I expected, or at least hoped for more. While Nina Garcia drooled over her look, I was unimpressed.

Sequins and beading were a definite staple, as well as the large cocktail ring, and side-swept hair. I have to say I love the “effortless” look direction that hairstyles are taking these days. If you’ve ever tried to do any of these styles at home, you know they are far from effortless. I think they fair on the side of stress free, while also looking purposeful.

We also saw many diamond chokers, including one that Michelle Williams wore that complimented her coral Louis Vuitton dress. She is such a style icon for me. Her pixie hair cut, her ivory skin, and her unique fashion choices that make her stand out from everyone else. She is an Oscar winner in my book. And just about everyone commented on her bow brooch. I’ve seen this done the right way and the wrong way. This was definitely done the right way, and once again she wowed us all. Kalen’s favorite was of course the hot pink alligator clutch. You know crazy we can get about the skins!

Now while I almost never agree with anything Cameron Diaz decides to put on her body, her Oscar dress by Gucci was a win for both me and Kalen. She definitely has the body to pull off a lot of things, but sometimes her age doesn’t quite approve. The gown fit her beautifully though, and the ruffled hem with ombre beading was a nice contrast to the sleek fitted bodice. Kalen would’ve loved to see a pop of color in her bag, but otherwise, we agree, a flawless look.

Gwenyth Paltrow in Tom Ford, always a red-headed stepchild in the fashion world. You either love her or hate her, and most people hate her. She caught a lot of flack for wearing what most people called a cape. One tweeter said ‘What is she a super hero’? I have to say ‘What are you blind?’ Where did that so-called cape tie around her neck and flow in the wind??? It was more of a long formal wrap, or shoulder cover thing (insert smart word here, because I obviously have no idea what to call it!) I thought it was elegant. It reminded me of something you might see in early 20th century fashion, when women covered there shoulders out of respect and class. It was simple and understated. We all know Gwenyth has a reputation for being rather snobby, but I think the risks she taken in her fashion, as well as singing at the last Oscars, makes her a little more likeable. She has a style, and she stays true to it. Who knows, maybe after this cape incident you like her even less. I happen to like her a little more.

It makes us giddy inside when celebrities choose to go vintage on the red carpet, especially the Oscar red carpet. Natalie Portman has that petite Audrey Hepburn look about her and while we think she looks amazing in anything, she rocked this 1954 Christian Dior Couture gown. 1954 was the start of the Golden Age of fashion in Paris: Dior, Givenchy, Balmain, and Balenciaga were creating bold new looks and it’s so amazing to see this look fit in so well in 2012.

While we may not all agree with who the Academy chose to give Best Actress, Best Picture, or Best Costume (HA!), we can all appreciate the most important part of award season…the fashion.

A Tribute to Mrs. O

13 Feb

Ending my month long run of vintage fashion favs, I could no longer hold in the urge to dish about the one and only, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Before she was Jackie O, or even Jackie K, she was Jackie Bouvier of Southampton, New York. After a world class education at Vasser and studying abroad in France, she returned to Washington D.C., to graduate from The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature. Following graduation she landed the job of “Inquiring Photographer” for the Washington Times-Herald. Being a New York born gal, she had a witty and fun personality that made it easy for her to do the job and pose those inquisitive questions that a pretty lady with a smile can only get away with asking. While her family ran in the same social circle as the Kennedys, it was this position that got her face to face with the future President of the United States. In one of her biographies, of which I own several, it was this interview where she and Jack had their first intimate encounter. Afterwards she told a friend that while she found him quite charming, she couldn’t see herself with a man like him. The representative, about to be senator, was undoubtedly being groomed to become President, and she didn’t know if she wanted to be that kind of wife. A wife that would stand behind a powerful man in his shadows always putting his needs above hers. Such a modern thought for a woman of her time. She did however decide to begin dating him, and their history began.

And so did the fashion legend that is Jackie. She was now the wife of the most notable man in the world. She had to dress the part. And always dressing the part of what most consider “a true lady”, she quickly set the precedent for how other women dressed, spoke, and carried themselves. Although pregnant during the voting year, she still made an effort to help him on his trail by answering letters, taping commercials for television, giving interviews, and writing a weekly column entitled, appropriately, “Campaign Wife”. People wanted to not only see him, they wanted to see and know her as well. It could be said that she was the extra push he needed to win him the election. I’d like to think so at least. Her style, posed and lady-like, but never stiff. She was not just likeable, she was loveable. You didn’t want to be her, but you wanted to be just like her. And many women tried their hardest.

With her Chanel suits and her pearls, her style couldn’t be mistaken. Some of her favorite designers included Giorgio Armani, Carolina Herrera, Lacoste, Pucci, Lilly Pulitzer, Valentino, of course, Chanel, and Kennedy family friend, Oleg Cassini,. While she frequented Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Ave, she also loved The Gap in her later years, and made wearing a T-Shirt and a pair of designer pants cool before anyone else did! (thank you savvy-women-magazine.com for that little tid-bit 😉

And while some think it was Nicole Richie or the Olsen twins who made the oversized sunglasses a fad, just take a look at some old
Jackie pics from the 60’s. Sorry Nic and Ash, you weren’t even born yet! Wearing pearls should’ve been invented by Jackie herself, because she wore them best. Some compare the current first lady’s style to that of Jackie O’s. You know a woman has become a style setter when simply using her name conjures up a specific look.

The list of why I love Jackie could go on forever. For me she not only represented the way a lady should look, but also taught us the way a lady should act. Always carrying herself with style and grace, even through the downfall of Camelot, and becoming a widow twice to two very powerful men. It’s said that after the assassination of her iconic husband John F. Kennedy, she refused to change out of her pink Chanel, blood-stained suit, because she wanted “…the world to see what they’ve done to Jack.” She held her husband’s blood soaked head in her lap as the motorcade sped away, and she stood beside his VP as he was sworn in on Air Force one. She was a woman to be reckoned with. Her courage and strength gives me chills to this day.

A woman of such stature and integrity could’ve done so many things, none of which would be of importance after she was gone. She chose the less traveled path, and devoted her life to charity and humanitarian work. LIFE magazine called the “America’s unofficial roving ambassador” for her many visits to war-torn countries and impoverished countries. But her work was completely devoted to overseas. She worked diligently to preserve history around the US, including Grand Central Terminal, Lafayette Square in D.C., and helped preserve many of the historic homes we still enjoy today in New York City.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in her sleep on May 19, 1994, just after ten at night. She had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January, and lost her battle after the cancer had spread. She is buried in Arlington Cemetery alongside Jack, their son Patrick, and their stillborn daughter Arabella, beside an eternal flame. Her soul, her style, and essence are remembered in every vintage Chanel, every strand of pearls, and every low-heel pump we find today. Jackie O lives on in every woman who savors integrity over notoriety. Thank you for teaching us what it means to live classy.

An amazing recount of her funeral and that unforgettable day can be read in full at:

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/24/news/24iht-subjackie.html