Wednesday, December 22, 2010

movie inspiration: Copacabana

Copacabana (1947) not only has Groucho Marx going for it, but Carmen Miranda's platform shoes are absolutely to die for. I have a tiny magazine clipped-pic stashed away somewhere of Carmen Miranda crouched amongst her private shoe collection and it is the kind of image that makes my heart beat a little faster. She was a very petite lady (4" platforms make her the same height as Groucho,) with a larger than life talent and the shoes to match. And they've got great chemistry together. And of course you know by now that 1947 is my favorite time for dresses. And shoes apparently too.
These are her everyday sneaking-into-hotels shoes

I love these plush shag upholstered Heywood Wakefield chairs at the Copa

Carmen's jewelry game is on. Every detail up to the glittered fruit headdress is perfect.

and down to these hefty carved wood jobbies

Love these little velvet numbers

Her costumes are all amazing. This one has flower baskets for sleeves

and exquisite 7" mirror chrome platforms.

You know I love detachable collars from this era. This set w matching cuffs will be easy to re-create

Chenille couch

I like this (I imagine midnight-blue) velvet dress w strass stars and velvet gauntlet gloves. It's got a straight full length skirt

Cowgirl boots

Satin slipper chair and quilted walls. Maybe in my next house...

My most favorite lbd in a long time. On Groucho you can see it from the front w the heart on it.

Unlike Doris Day movies, which I watch with liberal use of the fast-forward button, anything w either Groucho or Carmen is usually great all the way through. This one has abysmal reviews but this is exactly the kind of thing I go in for every time, well done or not. Sure they've both done way better movies, but really I love it all.. the worse the better even.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

watch this now

Just trust me dudes. I'm like 20 mins in and telling you to watch this now.
Pie in the Sky

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

movie inspiration: mid-40s

Fashion Model (1945) and Ruthless (1948)

Winter has finally set in, so I am hunkered down in serious movie-watching mode. Be prepared for more movie inspiration posts than usual. It's too dark and cold here to be very social past 6 PM for the next little while. And you know I love watching crap old movies and screencapping them so's you don't have to.
Neither of the movies in this post is great, but the wardrobes are some of my favorites. Fashion Model sounds like just the right animal - cute goofy comedy/murder mystery, plus fashion. It's not the absolute worst, but it ain't great. Watch Ellery Queen instead.
But I will be making all of these dresses, and the little ribbon flower hat too.

Ruthless is about a guy who's ruthless, go figure. Sydney Greenstreet is even in it, and he's really great, but still watch Written on the Wind instead.
Except Written on he Wind doesn't have this asymmetrical necklace/dress thing. It winds around her neck and down the bodice of the dress to a cluster at her hip. Couldn't get a full pic of it, but it's early enough in the movie you can see for yourself then move on to better things.

Great giant perma-pleat sleeves on her dressing gown. You can do this with a thrifted skirt I think.

love the lace ruffle along the bustier edge

and the jewelry in her hair

I think this is my favorite time-period for dresses. Also, gentlemen, can we bring back the pencil-thin mustachio please? Enough with the handlebars & Santa beards already.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I had a party at the house for the first time, for my birthday. Erin took pictures. You love this stuff, right?


Kim Carnes, Dr. John, Jethro Tull, Disco Duck, Deodato, Wendy Carlos, and lots of 20s/30s jazzy stuff, and Elton John (I Think i'm Going to Kill Myself is a lifetime favorite.) And someone else put on Dire Straits. I was psyched.

I finally remembered what this was - this is my "that is an ass-load of dip on the floor and maybe also my shoes" face.

Everyone brought liquor of course, but Erin upped it by bringing a punchbowl and all the fixins for a serious rum punch. We drank 2 bowls full.

That is the face of a man who wants a whiskey ball.

This is Hickey passed out cold on my couch w his eyes open. I feel that is a party seal of approval.
Happy Birthday to me.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

movie inspiration: Inspector Alleyn

Inspector Alleyn is one of my favorite detective series. Set in 1940s England - gentleman detective, fun leading lady, lots of drawing rooms and big black bakelite phones. And lovely period costumes

Seafoam green velvet

I used to have the pink taffeta version of the hideous green one on the left here.

Love the bust fin detail. Flocked black polkadots on taupe taffeta.

White rabbit on brocade or beads, I can't tell

How to mix plaids and stripes. She is the cutest.

I had planned to do a much longer post from this series but they are suddenly unavailable for instant viewing. More later..