23 posts categorized "Magazines"

And In This Corner...

Ok, I admit I feel a bit poorly about ranting on (and on, and on, and on....) about the whole eco-UNfriendly recycled vintage dress/gown controversy that I wrote about yesterday and a few weeks ago.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to read about a much more "friendly" and well executed vintage gown makeover in the May issue of Vogue.

Elettra Wiedemann Prabal Gurung Ingrid Bergman gown Costume Institue Gala Met Ball 2011 Vogue May 2011

Elettra Wiedemann is one very fortunate (and beautiful) young lady.  Daughter of the stunning Isabella Rossellini and granddaughter of the iconic screen beauty Ingrid Bergman, she found herself the heir of a trunk full of Ms. Bergman's evening dresses that had somehow been long forgotten (a vintage treasure hunters dream find!)   She humbly admits: "My family is so amazing, but it's also so overwhelming and overpowering...I'd felt honored to be part of my family but also not sure what accomplishments were mine and what accomplishments belonged to someone else bigger than me."  She also makes this insightful comment:  "It's interesting how clothes can connect you to a sentimentality that can be very complicated sometimes."  (I nod my head in silent agreement as I contemplate the part of my grandmothers wardrobe I've inherited...)

Ms. Wiedemann, in honor of her grandmother, has chosen to wear one of her gowns to the Costume Institute Gala (aka The Met Ball ) on the 2nd of May.  The gown she chose was created for Ms. Bergman by the postwar Roman couturiere Fernanda Gattinoni, who also created the costumes for Ms. Bergman in the 1952 film Europa '51.  Designer Prabal Gurung was called upon as the "cosmetic surgeon" for the dress, as there were a few issues with fit & fabric.  Both heir & designer agreed that it was important to maintain the integrity of the dress and to pay homage to it's original owner, which, being her grandmother, would be of utmost importance to any grateful heir of such beautiful pieces of the past.

"It's still the same dress," says Wiedemann, "but it feels a little bit sexier, more contemporary, and younger."

"The beauty of this dress," Gurung adds, "is it's history."

I think we have a winner.


(All quotes from May 2011 US Vogue p. 172 & 174)

xx ~ Michelle

Magazines & A Waiting Room

You may recall that awhile back I was moaning about being a bit disappointed by Vogue and other fashion magazines and that I had let my subscriptions run out.  Then I saw this amazing photo shoot and offered a public apology to Vogue and once again, I found myself filling out subscription forms like a woman obsessed.

I couldn't have timed it better.  With a record breaking snow fall winter here in the North East, they proved a welcome distraction with a hot cup of tea or a glass of wine to help get through the long winter we endured.

Marie Claire arrived yesterday, so I grabbed it off the table on the way out the door for an appointment.  As my daughter and I sat in the waiting room, I flipped through it casually, pointing out eye catching ads and tearing open the "sniffer" for euphoria by Calvin Klein (which is quite lovely, in case your wondering).

Then I turned the page and found this:

Livia Firth featured in Marie Claire May 2011 1
(Photo credit: May 2011 issue Marie Claire p.74 & 76)

Livia Firth gets a great plug as "The Queen of Green" in "Feel-Good Fashion".  I make a sound that comes out as a sigh tinged with just a bit of disgust. (In case you missed my previous post @ not-so friendly fashion you can find it here.) A conversation ensues between my 9 year old daugther and I.

"What's the problem?"
"Oh, nothing....well, remember the lady at the Oscars who had her dress made by cutting up those 11 lovely 1930s gowns?"
"Oh, Colin Firth's wife?  Yeah, I remember."
"Yes, her name is Livia Firth.  Well, she gets a great plug in this article about how eco-friendly and conscious she is.  Except that I don't think what she did with those dresses was very friendly at all."
"Hey, did you ever hear back from the designer?  What did he say?"
"His name is Gary Harvey.  Yes, he said that  "Just because you don't believe it doesn't make it untrue."   That may be so, but I still don't believe it."
"Cool.  But what's the big deal about THIS article?"
"Well, it's just that, I guess, I mean -- oh, I don't know!  Listen to what she says: "The story of a piece of clothing or an accessory is as important as how it looks."  What about the story those 11 dresses told?  What about their history?  Doesn't that matter?  Or the story is only important if it's a new story made from old stuff?  That's practically fashion plagiarism."
(Our eyes meet, she knows what plagiarism is.  She tilts her head to the side, her eyes widen and she looks up with raised brows.)
"Mom, please!" 
"I know, I know.  I can't help it...."

The nurse appears and calls our name.





xx ~ Michelle


Victoria beckham oct 09 elle clutch -censored 
(Elle October 2009 US Edition)

While I couldn't/wouldn't quite call this an "elegant" photograph in it's original state
(or tasteful, even, in my opinion~~as you can see our Vintage Censorship police were on it!!),
COULD say it about that fabulous little purse she's clutching in her right hand.  Look closer...

 Victoria beckham oct 09 elle clutch.jpg close up


Please allow me to introduce you to "Le Minaudiere".
 (this one happens to be by Judith Leiber)


~~~Min·au·dière *~~
A small ornamental case for a woman's cosmetics, jewelry, or personal items that is often carried as a handbag.

The Parisian firm Van Cleef & Arpels is credited with the introduction of the minaudière ~~ a vanity case that would come to be synonymous with the Art Deco period.
First created in 1930, it featured a compartmentalized interior & served as a multi~functional handbag, vanity case & purse.  They were commonly outfitted with mirrors, lipstick holders, powder compacts, and a place for a key, coins, or even cigarettes. 

(*You can click here to learn how to pronounce it if, like me, you only dream that you can speak French!)

As the fashionable accessory took off and became the latest "MUST HAVE" for high society ladies, many other houses began offering their interpretation of "Le Minaudière".  One such company, the D. Evans Case Co. of Massachusetts, began producing compacts in the 1920s and soon after began offering their own version of the minaudière for fashionable ladies of the day.





This lovely Art Deco Era Evans case is a perfect example of a Vintage Minaudière and it has just been put out on the floor of The Red Velvet Shoe...

While MANY fashionistas will have the "JL" version of the minaudière (for a mere $2,795.00 !!!)  just because it was on the cover of a fashion magazine...

  Only ONE will walk away with The Red Velvet Shoe's version of "Le Vintage Minaudière" ...and will still have enough cash to go out on the town and show it off!!






xx ~ Michelle


"Tommy Hilfiger’s alpha moment came in the early ’60s,
 when he started peddling bell-bottoms to
middle-class kids who were looking to
embrace the hippie spirit of the age.
Obsessed with the burgeoning American music scene,
in 1969 the 18-year-old opened his first store
—the People’s Place—
in his hometown of Elmira, New York,
before a slump in the economy forced him
to shutter its doors in 1976.
Humble beginnings for someone who now
runs a company worth more than $3 billion,
but through it all Hilfiger sure has put his
money where his mouth is when it comes to
his love of all things made in the USA."

(Elle Magazine October 6, 2009)


Being so obsessed with vintage fashion,
I was surprised I did not know this little bit
of very important information about Tommy Hilfiger. 
Did you? 
I've always loved his "look"  and this is probably why!

"This month, Hilfiger unveils his paean
 to fashion and pop culture with his new
Fifth Avenue flagship, a renovation of a
neoclassic building by iconic architects
McKim, Mead, and White."






 â€śEveryone has a lane,” Hilfiger says.
“Mine may be more appropriate now than it ever was.”

 To commemorate the Fall 2009 opening, the store will feature an exclusive product offering, upscale retail services, and a new global packaging debuting this fall with shopping bags and ancillary items made from 100% recycled materials. The highlighted product will include the Tommy Hilfiger Fifth Avenue Pink Collection, comprised of pink women’s outerwear, knitwear, dresses, scarves, gloves, watches, belts, and gifts such as journals and luggage tags as well as select pink men’s ties; additional men’s product will focus on plaids, ranging from a plaid trench coat to a classic pea coat. Retail services will offer a tailor, shoe shine, and iconic American snacks, in addition to varying monthly complimentary activities such as personal denim fittings, celebrity stylist appearances, monogramming and shopping nights.

(photo courtesy of rpulse.com )

Another wonderful story about not giving up on a dream!!

Congratulations, Mr. Hilfiger, for staying true to yours!



xx ~ Michelle


I wonder if I'm alone in feeling a bit let down by American "Glossies" as of late. . .I flip through them while waiting in the check out line and sort of feel, well, nothing.  I used to have all sorts of subscriptions and looked forward to them with great anticipation.  But one by one, I let them expire and now I just treat myself to one now and then when I find something that catches my eye.  It seems that a lot of the fashions have become so modernly outlandish that I just can't relate to them or feel inspired by them.  Where am I going to wear a shredded mini dress made out of a trash can liner that's been dipped in gold paint and covered with feathers & safety pins?  I live in a typical suburban town where getting dressed up to go out usually means a clean pair of khakis & a crisp white shirt with flats.  Even if I lived in SoHo or 5th Avenue, I don't think I would choose the shredded mini~~it's just not me. 

So I have been rather delighted to have found two magazines within the past two months that I actually felt the desire to splurge on~~and they were both issues of Vanity Fair.  As I'm quite sure you know, the September issue had an amazing spread based on Mad Men's Don & Betty Draper and the photographs were stunning.  I guess I have to admit that my adoration for "Vintage Fashion"  leaves me a bit "closed~minded" about some of what is considered "Modern Fashion".  So when a modern magazine features or achieves the look & feel of an issue that dates back 50 years~~my little heart goes pitter~patter!  This was one of those times!


 Being quite content with that glossy~fix, I had no intention of splurging on another magazine.  Until I walked into CVS and  saw my fashion icon JBKO on the cover of the October issue and, of course, had to have that issue as well.  This is one of my favorite photographs of her, and I believe it was JFK's favorite of her, as well.

So, two months in a row, Vanity Fair has delivered.  One of my favorite sections in the magazine is "FAN FARE" and the October issue has a great tribute to

Rovos Rail


"We have re~discovered the train.  We abandoned her for the convenience and speed
of the airplane and vowed never to look back.  But there's something relaxing about the
familiar, rhythmic sounds of the rails and looking out the window as the landscape whistles past you. 
The great train journey to somewhere special is about enjoying the trip as much as it is about arriving
at the destination."

~~DAISY FINER~Vanity Fair~October 2009

If, like me, you are a fan of old~world train travel, then treat yourself to this issue and enjoy!



xx ~ Michelle


I found this great video on You Tube this morning and thought I'd share some vintage clothing inspiration with you!  Don't forget to turn the "Victrola" at the bottom of the page down or off so you can hear this great audio.

Now put those sweats back in the bottom drawer and pick out something that will make you feel like a million!



xx ~ Michelle