Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Swell Pin-Up

During WWII, many Hollywood leading ladies led recruitment and bond drives, entertained the troops, and even graciously posed for pin-up photos to bolster the morale of our fighting men.

Donna Reed 
Photo courtesy Blu-ray Forum
Donna Reed, best known for It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and The Donna Reed Show (1958-66), was a popular pin-up for many GIs. Her "girl-next-door" good looks and warm onstage personality contributed to her popularity. She took the time to personally answer letters from servicemen stationed overseas.

Photo courtesy The New York Times.
Miss Reed saved hundreds of letters from star-struck WWII servicemen. For nearly 65 years they were kept in a shoe box inside an old trunk long stored in the garage of her home in Beverly Hills. Discovered by her children in 2008, some of the letters were made public by her family in the 2009 New York Times article "Dear Donna: A Pinup So Swell She Kept GI Mail." Click HERE for the fascinating story.
Donna Reed
Photo courtesy Combatsim Forum


Thursday, May 18, 2017

1940's Suits from My Personal Collection



What started as a modest vintage hat collection soon expanded to other accessories, and....of course tailored suits and dresses. Here are three suits from my vintage closet.

Suit labeled Rosenthal, Chicago. A second label, sewn inside the lining of the jacket, reads Tailored by Irving Rosenthal for a specific client, dated 3/23/1946. Turban style hat labeled Lamson's, Toledo Ohio.

Sadly no label in this marvelous jacket. Hat is labeled Lilly Dache along with a Marshall Field's French Room Label.

A late 40's suit with double peplum and banding detail. Paired here with a black skirt. No label.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Originator, 1946


The Originator was a unique sketchbook of modern fashion trends and ideas. The monthly publication featured authentic designer sketches to illustrate style variations and creative applications for smart designs. Whether a new pocket, a beautiful neckline, or a basic silhouette, the Originator's unique feature was to show its ultimate use in various garments such as blouses, dresses, suits, and coats. During the 1940's and 50's, The Originator Publishing Company also sold an expensive, highly stylized line of sewing patterns similar to Modes Royale.

For your viewing enjoyment, the following scans are from the 1946 Summer and Fall issue.















Credits:
The Originator Publishing Company, New York, NY.
Blueprints of Fashion, Home Sewing Patterns of the 1950's by Wade Laboissonniere.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Traveling 1940's Style


Whether by train, boat, or plane...the women of the 1940's traveled in high style. Hats and gloves accessorized the impeccably tailored suits and dresses of the well-dressed traveler. So leave those jeans and sweats behind and join two of the stars of Monolithic Studios on a journey of style.

A smart suit ensemble worn by film star Gene Marshall.
The re-styled jacket, borrowed from J'Adore Gene Marshall, is paired with a black skirt from Sandra Stillwell. Her uniquely shaped, off-the-face, tweed hat from The Couture Touch is in the mood of the moment and complements her fabulous pompadour hairstyle. Scarf is from Mattel. Gloves are from Ashton Drake. Handbag is from Robert Tonner. Earrings and bracelet are from an unknown designer. Brooch is from Facets by Marcia

Director Ivy Jordan 
A sharply tailored suit shows it's soft side with touches of white and taupe. Hat and muff are from Mattel. Scarf and earrings are from The Couture Touch. Gloves and brooch are from Integrity. Suit is from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection.

A quartet of fabulous 1940's travel suits.
Photo courtesy Jelena Zivkovic @ Belgrade Photo History


Credits:
Gene Marshall appears courtesy Ashton Drake.
Moss Rose Ivy Jordan is from Integrity.
J'Adore Gene Marshall is a FDQ Exclusive from JamieShow.




Thursday, April 20, 2017

Utility Chic

From war-time London, 1940's.....

Autumn 1944
The interplay of seams, pockets, and pleats were the hallmark of the British utility suit during WWII. Wartime shortages and rationing gave rise to this functional yet stylish, well-cut, and well-made design. The tailored silhouette featured a longer length jacket with boxy square, padded shoulders and a slightly nipped-in waist paired with a shorter, just below-the-knee skirt.

A model checks out the new utility suit.
Photo by James Jarche for The Daily Herald. Courtesy Granny Chic Gal

Miss Gene Marshall
American film star Gene Marshall shows off her utility chic by pairing a striped linen skirt with the smartly tailored, fur-trimmed jacket from D.A.E. Originals' "Business Class" ensemble. Felt tilt topper and skirt are from The Couture Touch. Scarf is from Mattel. Purse is from PD Root. Shoes and gloves are from Integrity.

Gene Marshall

Spring suits in soft boucle wool, Spring 1942.

For the home seamstress, a sewing pattern for the new longer length tailored jacket and an alternative version with short sleeves, perfect for Spring.

A trio of war-time suits featured in the September 1941 issue of Vogue Pattern Book.

London, 1940's. Understated elegance against a backdrop of ruins.
Lee Miller photo courtesy Vintage Everyday

"Fashion is Indestructible"
Digby Morton suit. Cecil Beaton photo. London, 1941.

Credits:
Fashion in the Forties by Julian Robinson.
British Vogue, Autumn Forecast and Fabrics with Vogue Pattern Book supplement, September 1941.

Gene Marshall is the incomparable "Symphony in G" by Ashton Drake. Body by Integrity.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Ann Miller in her Easter bonnet, circa 1947.
Photo courtesy theeternalheadonist.com