Saturday, 30 April 2011


I know I say that I love most of the movies I talk about, but Gilda from 1946 (actually filmed in -45) is definitely in my top ten list.

Friday, 29 April 2011

My birthday hair

I’m a child of April, so I celebrated my birthday recently. I was mightily pleased with my hair, but none of the pictures came out very clear, so I have been debating with myself if I should show them or not. Obviously I decided to inflict them on you anyway, so here it is, my birthday hair:

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A review on Retro Makeup: Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look

Today Retro Makeup: Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look by Lauren Rennells arrived. As it happened to be my day off this week I did not do all the household chores I had planned to do, but devoured the book instead.

The very short of it is that you need this book. If you have any interest in make-up and/or retro styles, then it is the book to have.

Here are the slightly longer reasons why:

Monday, 25 April 2011

The ideal movie star

In one of my books there is a little list on various movie stars and their height, measurements and, sometimes, weight. It’s always interesting to see how a beautiful body was perceived during different time periods. The ideal was a slim body, but the almost skeletal figure that you can sometimes see on our modern movie stars are nowhere to be seen. No overly athletic bodies either, or the emphasis on the bust that you can see in the fifties. Though the book is from 1946, many of the movie stars had they heyday in the 30’s, but I don’t think the ideals changed very dramatically. As it is a Swedish list, measurements are in centimeters and weight in kilograms.

I read blogs

I had a little Easter break, so this post that was planned for Friday, comes today. I hope you don’t mind. Kafferepet is a blog in Swedish, but all posts have a short summary in English, so please, take a look. Miriam is 20 years old and tries to live like she lived during the Golden Era. She looks lovely and there are lots of great photos to look at, even if you don’t understand the language. I’m very partial to her posts about Stockholm, the vintage way, like this post.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Born Yesterday

Born Yesterday was originally a show, well still is, and has also been filmed again in 1992 with Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. The movie I’m talking about is the one from 1950. Born Yesterday is a comedy with a rather Pygmalionesque plot. A brutish and somewhat shady millionaire (Broderick Crawford) arrives in Washington, ready to let his money make an imprint. He also brings his mistress Billie (Judy Holiday) a pretty, but shrill and vapid blonde. He soon finds her a bit embarrassing and hires a journalist (William Holden) to refine her. Of course she isn’t stupid, just uneducated and quickly gets a bit more refined than a shady millionaire really finds comfortable. Doesn’t matter, as Billie has fallen in love with her journalist and him in her.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The housedress

When I first started to toy with the idea of making a 1940’s wardrobe I dismissed the idea of making a house dress without really thinking about it. Then Evis pointed out that housedresses really are very practical to wear at home and I remembered all the pretty ones she has made, like this one, and I realized that my prejudices had got the better of me. You see, when I hear the word house dress I see a shapeless monstrosity in nylon that always seems to be a bit unwashed and slightly smelly. Something along the lines of this:

Thursday, 14 April 2011

I read blogs

I read Charlotte’s Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage. It is a lovely blog where you can read just about anything vintage. Gorgeous clothes on the very pretty Charlotte, for example. Lots of nice pictures period. It was not easy to pick a favourite post, but as I recently talked about the difficulties in finding the right shoes, I will point to Guide to vintage style shoes, Part 1 and Part 2. I can only applaud all the time and effort in not only finding gorgous period pictures of shoes, but also where you can find their modern twins!

Retro Makeup: Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look

I am pretty sure that I need this new book by Lauren Rennells. Like right now.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Current sewing projects

Despite talking about a lot of other things, I do work on my wardrobe. I sew diligently, but I also sew slowly, so it takes time. I’m currently working on this housedress from Decades of Style. So far I find the pattern a dream to work with. I had planned to make it in a black and white fabric, but it turned out to be a tad too short. As I didn’t want a forties mini-dress I returned to my stash and pulled out this fabric:

It’s really a late 18th century reproduction in a thin, but nice, cotton and I have had it for years. Somehow I never found the right gown for it, so now it will be a housedress instead.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A Song Is Born

I had a crush on Danny Kaye when I was a kid; he looked so kind and funny. A Song is Bornfrom 1948 is the only one I have seen again as an adult and I still like it a lot. I didn’t know, until I started to write this post that it is actually a remake of a Ball of Fire from 1941 with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck- I need to find that movie! As I understand it the plot is basically the same, but A Song Is Born is a musical, collecting a number of the times great musicians, like Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The perfect pair of rubber boots

I’m ridiculously pleased with my new spiffy rubber boots . I haven’t owned a pair in years, something I have missed, as it rains quite a lot in Sweden. But all the rubber boots I found where completely flat and I have a troublesome heel that doesn’t like flat shoes. However, as a pair of rubber boots are on my list for year one, I started to look around. Lo and behold, Viking makes rubber boots after a model from 1939. Could I possibly as for more? They are period. They are stylish. They have a 5 centimeter heel .

Friday, 8 April 2011

I read blogs

I read blogs. You read blogs. Well, at least you read this, don’t you? I read them for inspiration, to learn something or getting another point of view. The problem is finding them. Most of the blogs I read I know about because their writers have found me. Someone put my blog on their reading list, I go and look and find something new. Then I find blogs because someone talks about them and I get curious. Or I google for something and find an interesting blog that way. I blithely assume that you too like to find new blogs, so I thought that I every now and then, would highlight a blog I read and like. Hopefully you will find a new favourite that way. Also, I know how happy I get when my blog is mentioned elsewhere, so I hope I can make someone else happy that way.

The first blog I would like to highlight is Lina Sofia’s Spiffing Sporadics of a Vintage Girl . Lina Sofia is a fellow Swede, relocated to Britain and she writes about a number of vintage related topics, with a focus on the forties and fifties. Apart from being pretty and stylish, she also has a knack of finding truly inspirational pictures. One of my favourite posts is this one; Colour me 40’! , on popular colour and colour combinations.

There is only one thing weird with this blog- the amazing fact that not more people read it!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

When to wear what, part 2

Here is the second part on how to dress right for a special occasion. I think the rules for black tie and formal wear are pretty much the same today, but I have never been to an engagement party in my life. Perhaps that is typically Swedish, but none of my friends, nor I had one and I’m not even sure if banns of marriage happen nowadays. However, I don’t think wearing mourning is such a bad idea. Perhaps not full mourning, but a black band. One can be in a very fragile state after the loss of a loved one, and an indication of mourning could be quite handy.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

When to wear what, part 1

The oh so important knowledge of wearing the right clothes at their proper time. My go-to book, Alla kvinnors bok has a whole chapter on it, though they stress that for the woman living on her salary it may be next to impossible to have every item of clothes that she would need to be right on every occasion. However, the book often offer more than one option and say that if one know what may be needed for future occasions, then it will be easier to shop wisely. The advices are, as usual, aimed at the Swedish woman, both when it comes to respect the seasons as well as etiquette. However, most of the advice would probably have worked in most of the Western world at the time. In an effort to not be too long winded, I will post this in two parts.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Retroella, a vintage hairdresser

Last Thursday I had a haircut at Retroella, a vintage hairdresser in Stockholm. (I urge you to check the gallery for some lovely hairstyles!) When I first decided to get a middy cut last year i did what I guess most do. Armed myself with the diagram for a middy that floats around on the Net and tried to explain for the hairdresser what I wanted. I must say that he didn't do badly and was also quite enthusiastic, but when I heard of Retroella I knew I wanted to have my hair cut by someone who actually knew what a middy was.

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