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Semi-Daily eBay | Trashy Diva 100% Silk Obi Dress October 24, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Semi-Daily eBay, Vintage.
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It is me selling this item guys! I am totally skint at the moment and rasing cash selling off some of my more wonderful items of clothing – and those that I don’t fit into!

This dress is from US vintage inspired designer Trashy Diva, whose clothes I have lusted after for years. I finally gave in a bought this $195 Obi dress (Design Obi2), 1940’s inspired, in a size XS (it was all they had left!). Somewhat predictably it really didn’t fit me – but I wish it did. Consequently it has never ever been worn! The 100% silk fabric is exquisite, and the pattern/shape are both gorgeous!

It is currently up for sale for £9.99, so go grab a bargain!

Trashy Diva Obi Dress for Sale

Trashy Diva Obi Dress for Sale

The Pattern

The Pattern

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Make me a… 1940’s Wartime Woman October 15, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Makeup/Cosmetics, Vintage.
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The third in my series helping modern girls to wear the fashions of their ancestors, this week I address the changeable period of time that was the war-torn 1940’s. These will contain clothes (both vintage, vintage inspired and direct repro), makeup and more, to help you achieve that distinctly vintage fashion style!

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This week I tackle the smart suits and working woman’s styles that characterise that most austere and determined part of history.

 The war had a dramatic effect on the women of the war in the 1940’s, plunging housewives into working roles for the first time in modern history. My own grandmother was a wartime worker, and never quite got over the disappointment of having to go back to the home once the men returned to their jobs. Because of this the need for practicality over high fashion was dramatically apparent, and women often wore suitable trousers and dungarees in preference to the suits and dresses that are used more often to represent this era. Consequently these are what I will show you now, suitable as they are for modern day wear.

 

1940's fashion denim trousers

1940's fashion denim trousers

The trousers are great fun, with a high waist and wide bold legs. I think that curvy girls with bigger hips can wear them just as well as the willowy type, mainly due to the fact that they were designed to be comfy and easy to wear. Vivien of Holloway produced these incredibly cute denim trousers, whilst if dungarees are your thing (much harder to wear in my opinion!) then try these from Freddie’s of Pinewood. Personally I think inspired looks are better for this, as you can look 1940’s whilst still getting to wear modern measurements for differently proportioned women.

1940's Fashion inspired dungarees

1940's Fashion inspired dungarees

 If you love the gorgeous dresses and suits of the 1940’s (and let’s face it, who doesn’t) then you are probably fed up of me going on about the wonderous trousers and funky vintage dunagrees. The suits and dresses, I must admit, are where you can really go all out and enjoy the look, cinched waist and all. For dresses try Swirls and pretty work wear, any online vintage shop will stock a beautiful example! Whilst the look was still designed for waspish beauties, curvy girls need to concentrate on excellent tailoring, spending a bit more to make the sexy look right. Think Christina Hendricks in Madmen (I know it is 1960’s, but the tailoring point stands across eras!) and you can understand that curvy shapes do work brilliantly for suited looks!

Beautifully Curvy Christina Hendricks

Beautifully Curvy Christina Hendricks

Keep the skirt length long to the knees to make the look 1940’s, and have a little fun with gently padded shoulders. Personally I would dream of a truly vintage suit, but inspired looks are available all over the interwebs and can often give a brilliantly modern twist on the general 1940’s look. The colour range out there is great, so why not try rocking this dramatic orange look if you want to add an 80’s on trend vibe, or keep it sophisticated and office friendly in tan. eBay is teaming with these! Having fun with a suit and adding some vintage feeling can really update your outfit, especially if you throw in a modern scarf or a totally noughties pair of heels!

1904's fashion vintage orange suit

1904's fashion vintage orange suit

1940's fashion vintage tan suit

1940's fashion vintage tan suit

If you really want to act like you live in the 40’s try being creative and making your own accessories with scraps you have lying around the house. After all, make do and mend was hot stuff at the time, and fabrics were rationed. If you are feeling a little lazy, however, try silver (gold was hard to get hold of in the war), along with paste gems, delicate chains and the occasion flower/bird motif.
 
Finally, you have to work the 1940’s makeup look. A little more accessible than the 1930’s, this makeup went for feminine bright lip colours and simply “unadorned” skin. Powders and soft shades were used, whilst the eyebrows were well defined/sculpted and the cheeks had a healthy rosy glow. I love this era as the makeup isn’t complicated but is beautifully effective. Try Fleur’s wonderful tutorials to see how to work fake bangs and curls to the best of their ability – trust me, she is an expert!

Part 1: Understanding Vintage Fashion August 31, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Vintage.
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Vintage fashion has become quite the trend recently. Wearing beautiful clothes from the first time they came in fashion is both a social and economic statement, and of course one that often means your look and clothes are more unique than anyone around you. My wardrobe is packed with vintage items, and I avidly read the blogs of vintage fashion sellers and beautiful vintage experts who live the truly vintage life from day to day.

Whilst many people are committed to wearing “true” vintage, I am happy to combine the then with the now, and enjoy exploring the combinations of eras that can result in an off-the-wall and interesting vintage looks, the likes of which won’t have been seen before. However, whilst I am not a religious vintage follower, I do think it is worthwhile knowing a little about the eras that you are emulating to understand the thoughts and beliefs that inspired such iconic styles.

So why is it worth paying attention to the history of the clothes you are wearing? After all, they are “just clothes”, and although they are old and pre-worn it is not necessarily obvious why you should care. And let me just say that I don’t believe you “have” to understand their origins to appreciate their vintage beauty, their master craftsmanship and even to admire the people from whence they came. A little knowledge, however, always makes me feel closer and more personally involved with my vintage clothes, and for me it is the complex history and backstories of an era that make my vintage wardrobe all the more special.

Let’s a have a quick sum up of some of the most popular vintage clothing eras and a tiny overview of the history that bred these clothes and chose these fabrics! Half today, and half another day!

1920's fashion flapper feather boa

First off, I am going to start with the 1920’s. This era produced the beautiful beaded “flapper” gowns we know and love today – astonishing detailed marvels with straight lines and lots of glitter. Accentuated with feathers and an old fashioned equivalent of the scull-cap, this is an era of art deco beauty, independent women and amazing parties. The women’s rights movement saw women beginning the long journey towards equality, and witnessed women wearing trousers and comfy clothes as opposed the sculpted crafted looks that had proceeded it. Even more remarkable, women began to cut their hair short and wear the early mini-dresses above the knee.

1930's bias cut dress fashion

Come the 1930’s the great depression and general difficulties of life dictated that the carefree and dramatic styles of the 1920’s become more conservative and traditional. Longer skirts, cloche hats and elegant high-waisted skirts became the domain of the day-to-day woman far more than the risque stylings and intentions of the decade before. In the evenings, however, women grew to love two brand new styles, the bias cut that emphasised the hips and brought back the womanly shape, and the halterneck that was seen for the first time in chiffon or lace evenings gowns. Interestingly, women in the day time began moving both in feminine directions and more butch styling, with emphasised shoulders and broadness prided alongside womanly curves.

1940's suit fashion nicole kidman

Post-war 1940’s fashion saw a whole new kind of style again. Wartime rationing and general depression inspired make-do-and-mend intentions, and women often made their clothes at home from whatever materials were available. Times were hard and fabrics less than luxurious, generally taking on muted colour schemes and severe tailoring. With women working for perhaps the first time in roles that the country depended on, functional conservative items were de rigour, with smart sensible shoes and understated curves. 1940’s suits with their nipped in waists and delightful cuts are some of the best women’s suits ever made, although they suit the super skinny like Nicole Kidman best!

1950's fashion full skirted dress and parasols

Interestingly, 1950’s vintage fashions saw quite a dramatic change in the silhouette of women’s fashions and body shapes. Discarding the straightup and down wide shouldered suits, the 1950’s instead opted for full figured hourglass shapes, with round hips and tiny waists. Permed hair, wide swing skirts and elegant housewife halternecks were impressively popular, seeming to emphasise a well fed nation rather than the war-torn nation for the 1940’s. Rock and roll became wildly popular and women were sent back to the home, as men returned to the jobs women had been covering. A time of dancing and jiving, the 50’s had a surprising amount of repression and stress for women’s lives.

Read Part 2, 1960’s to the present day!