Friday, January 30, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fashions in WC Fields Films

Despite his oft quoted dislike of dogs WC Fields remains one of my favorite film stars, and gets my vote for funniest comedienne ever.    I love all of his 1930s films and watch them every January in celebration of  his birthday.  Field's films, brilliant as they are, would not necessarily come to my mind when thinking of cinematic fashion.  Generally Fields plays an everyman sort, usually a hen pecked husband, with a fondness for drink, and often a sympathetic daughter.   As such his films do offer a wonderful glimpse  1930s fashions, there might not be any glamorous gowns, but his wives and daughters where the sorts of clothing that regular women would have worn.   As such I find myself drooling over many of the outfits in fields films, here are a few of my favorites.

The sweater and skirt set and bow trimmed dress below are worn by Joan Marsh as Pauline Bisbee, Field's Daughter in 1934's You're Telling Me!  The outfits, particularly the skirt and sweater, would have been common fare for any young women of the decade, but the platinum hair would have likely raised some eyebrows among the older generation:


You're Telling Me!  Actually has a more glamorous female character then most Field's films, Adrienne Ames who plays the Princess Lescaboura.  She wears elegant outfits like the fur trimmed one below throughout the film.    

In 1935 Field's made perhaps his most enduring film, It's A Gift, in which he played a hapless grocery store owner who inherits a large sum of money, buys an orange grove, and moves his dubious family to California.  This is my favorite Field's film, its side splittingly funny and the jokes, surprisingly contemporary and has some fantastic every day fashions.

His daughter Mildred, played by Jean Rouverol, wears the sort of clothes every day young ladies would have worn.   I particularly like this casual flower sprigged dress below:

It very much reminds me of a dress from Revamp vintage that I've been longing for:

One nice thing about It's A Gift is unlike a lot of films it also offers a glimpse of what an older women,  a middle aged house wife in the 1930s would have worn, Kathleen Howard play's Field's wife, Amelia Bisonette and wears a range of clothes form casual house dresses to more dress styles.

In the breakfast scene you can see Amelia's 30s style apron and house dress.

Etsy seller GreenBagginIt makes 1930s style reproduction aprons:

Or you can find the genuine article on Etsy too, this pink ruffled one from ZestVintage is particularly cute:

Later in the day when she goes to visit her husband at the store, she wears a tilt hat and a black floral dress:

For the wealthy Uncle Bean's funeral she wears a black crepe dress trimmed with a giant bow:

Etsy seller Vintage Dress Maker, makes a prices but beautiful 30s day dress that vaguely reminds me of a prettier version of both dresses:

Later in 1935 Field's made a very similar film, Man on the Flying Trapeze,  again with Kathleen Howard as his wife, in which he played a memory expert who attempts to take a day off to go to a boxing match and gets in a world of trouble.
Howard wears a nice dotted 30s day dress with a smaller bow:
and Mary Brian as his daughter wears a ruffled blouse and a cute straw boater.
I have one or two 1930s dress in my own closet that reminds me of the sorts of dresses worn in Field's films, they are my favorite dresses to wear because they are practical and comfortable for every day:

I just have to make sure I don't become a dreadful nag while wearing them!


Monday, January 26, 2015

A Bit of a Tantrum

Fry is growing so fast!  He got a new fleece hoodie from Deb of pug possessed and while I think he is happy to be warm, he did have a bit of a tantrum when we first tried it on:


Friday, January 23, 2015

Fridays with Fred-Vintage Style Icon Phyllis Astaire

Fred Astaire had a decades long career that famously defied initial Hollywood expectations, most Astaire fans have heard the story of the initial dismissive studio report generally quoted as "can't act, slightly bald, also dances." But Fred had another thing that lasted decades and defied Hollywood expectations, his marriage to Phyllis Potter which lasted from 1933 to her death in 1954.   Phyllis was a 25 year old socialite with a young son from a previous marriage when Fred met her.  However, she was not involved in the Hollywood scene and had little interest in dancing or movies and no desire to be in the media spotlight.   Despite of this, or perhaps because of it, Fred and Phyllis had a reportedly blissful marriage and Fred was devastated when she died at the age of 46 from lung cancer.   There aren't that many picture of Phyllis around, despite her famous husband she didn't necessarily seek the spotlight, but the ones there are show that like Fred, she had great style.   The images below are ones I could find on the internet of Phyllis looking lovely in understated fashions, she may not have been as stylish as her husband (or as in love with the camera), after all who could have been, but in every picture I've seen she embodies a comfortable, simple style, that suits her perfectly:
I love this dress and hat and the shoes!  A perfect combination, this is something I'd definitely wear


I like the socks and shoes combo here, and the cut of the skirt

I love the shape of the black hat she is wearing here

The above outfit is my favorite, the dots, the hat, the scarf, and how it compliments her husbands outfit.  This is one time Phyllis may have been as stylish as Fred

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Buy Yourself a New Hat

Its been a while since I've done a vintage style post so here we go.

Even though I dress in a vintage style most ever day, the majority of my clothes are vintage reproductions, meaning they are recently made clothes done in vintage style.  As nice as genuine vintage is, with its rarity and authenticity, there is a lot to say for reproductions, they are sturdier then authentic vintage, generally in  better shape, and with many manufacturers on sites like Etsy taking custom orders you can get something truly unique.  After the holidays I used some gift money I received to order two vintage reproduction hats.

The first hat is a 1920s or 30s style crochet bert, crochet was very popular during these decades

My hat is from Capitaine Crochet:

Its a really well made hat, nice and loose so you can pull it down over your ears.  Everywhere time I wear it I get asked where I got it.  You can find Capitaine Crochet on face book.  You  have to check frequently because the hats she lists sell very quickly.  Her page is also full of fantastic deco images and  she has amazing vintage style.

The second hat is from Lady Eve's Millinery on Etsy.  I've two other hats from this shop and I've worn them here and here.  Like all hats from Lady Eve's Millinery my new hat is made from a vintage block, meaning its an exact copy of a real vintage hat.   Its a wide brimmed 1940s straw hat:


with a tartan bow.

I kind of feel like there is something a little bit early 60s about it too:

It is really more of a summer hat and not suited to these frigid temperatures, but I couldn't resist wearing it around the house one day.  No matter where or when I wear a vintage style hat it always makes me smile. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fry's Welcome Home Apple Ginger Pupcakes

This weekend I wanted to make something special to celebrate Fry's coming into our home.  I wasn't really prepared though so I had to make do with the ingredients we had on hand.   We had just gotten our January Bark Box, a particularly good box this month!, and I decided to use the Max and Ruffy's  Blizzard Bites treats

as the flavor inspiration for the pupcakes.  These cookies are molasses and ginger flavored so I used those flavors and then I added apple sauce because apple was Norbert's favorite flavor.   The end result was pretty popular with all the retro rover pups, although Fry had a hard time eating the whole pup cake, we had to break it into tiny pieces. 

Fry's Welcome Home Pupcakes

3/4 cup oat flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch ginger
2 tbsp apple sauce
1  egg, beaten
1 tsp molasses
2 crumbles Blizzard Bits Treats
1 ounce cream cheese
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp molasses

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix in the egg, apple sauce, and molasses and fold in the crumbled treats.   Spoon into 6 greased mini muffin tins and bake 20 minutes.   Cool.

For the frosting mix together the cream cheese, yogurt and molasses and spread on the muffins.  Top each muffin with a treat.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Introducing Philip J. Fry

When a little over  a week ago we said goodbye to our beloved Norbert my husband and I knew we wanted to add another dog to our family.  We also knew we wanted it to a be a pug, of all the breeds they best match our life style and I knew a pug puppy would be a good fit in our home.   I had expected to have to wait a bit, but we found a Pug Dog Club of America breeder in Staten Island, the very same borough we found Norbert in 12 years ago, who had a male fawn puppy.  We drove out to see him and meet his parents.  I knew if we made the trip we would be bringing him home, and of course that is how it worked out.     He is the smallest pug I've seen, smaller at 15 weeks then Weasley was at 9.   The vet looked him over though and says he looks good which is a relief because he just has too  be healthy because his dad and I are already over the moon!  He is just what we needed to heal our broken hearts, this is perhaps the cuddliest puppy I have ever encountered.    We have named him Philip J. Fry.  If you ever watched show Futurama you may remember that Fry is a NYC pizza delivery boy who gets accidently frozen in the year 2000 and defrosts in the year 3000.   Here is a short you tube video of the character (don't expect to understand if you've never seen the show).

Anyway here is our little small Fry, like his namesake he seems like a very sweet and silly New Yorker.


Here's a video
We are determined to honor Norbert's memory by giving Fry the best life possible.  I can't wait until Spring when we can take Fry to all of Norbert's favorite places.  

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