Vintage Muse Modern Views: Red, White, and Blue

vintage independence day

Vintage Harper’s Bazaar cover || How come major mag’s don’t have these fantastic illustrations on their covers anymore? Graphic designers are so much more impressive than a celebrity’s face photo-shopped and professionally coiffed to perfection

1. Amaryllis Crochet Dress || keepin’ the 4th classy

2. Bow to Stern Scarf in Navy || around your neck or on your head

3. Polk Dot Bandeau || bandeaued bosoms: very Independence Day I’d say

4.  Ona: The Chelsea Bag|| you didn’t know that was a fully functional, compartmentalized camera bag did you? Yep. that’s the whole point.

– <3 A.

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Reel Women: Bonjour Tristesse-Spring Stylebook

bonjourtristessecollage

Anni Striped Buttondown | Sit Tight Body Firming Serum | Essie “In the Cabana”Boucle high-waisted Shorts | Loafers in Coral |

Bonjour Tristesse (“Hello Sadness”) is a fairly obscure novel written by Françoise Sagan in 1954 and adapted into a 1958 film version starring Deborah Kerr and David Niven. The rather depressing story follows a young girl abroad with her playboy father who bases his life on Oscar Wilde’s famous line: “Sin is the only note of vivid colour that persists in the modern world.” Of course, the consequences of his life-motto are vivid indeed…and, not in a good way. As foreshadowed by the title, the novel and the film end in tragedy and David Niven, the playboy father, learns that his view of life may bring instant gratification, but it also forces him into saying over and over, “bonjour tristesse.”

Despite all the sadness, a silver lining in the film version of the novel is Deborah Kerr’s adorable spring/summer style. She dresses comfortably without ever looking sloppy, and casual without ever looking lazy. I think her secret is pairing casual items with a tailored piece: putting shorts with a button-down, an easy, tailored shift-dress with a scarf instead of t-shirts and cut-offs. Even spending days at the beach, her hair is always pinned into submission and she never looks like she had an “I give up day.” Instead, though the film is rather dark, to Deborah Kerr you could definitely always say, “bonjour beauté!”

Bonjour tristesse images via lemonwade.com | filmposterarchive

– <3 A. 

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Stylin’ it “White Christmas”

white christmas irving berlin

December isn’t December, and Christmas isn’t Christmas without watching “White Christmas.” I’m always envious of how absolutely picture-perfect their holiday is: an adorable inn set in the woods of Vermont, snow, some Irving Berlin tunes, and hot milk and sandwiches eaten by an open fire.

Probably my favorite part of the movie though isn’t really Christmas-ey at all, it’s the Haynes sisters’ chic wardrobe: perfectly tailored and unfailingly classy, their sweater sets, pumps, gowns, and even robes just scream “feminine.”

white christmas haynes sisters

white christmas haynes sisters

Regardless of where you’re spending your Christmas, even if it’s not the ideal, snowy woods of the East Coast, you probably (or, rather, hopefully) have a few holiday parties on your calendar: perhaps a coffee date, a meet the parents night (eek!), the looming office-Christmas-bash, or an evening at the Nutcracker. If you’re fretting about what to wear, channel a little Haynes sisters this year and go for a modern view on some classic, feminine chic:

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1. J. Crew “Sara” dress | 2. Modcloth Tracy Reese Orchestral Arrangement Dress | 3. J. Crew “Heidi” gown

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4. Modcloth A Lady and a Collar Top | 5. Etched Stretch Bracelet | 6. Scalloped Teardrop Princess Earrings

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7. Rosemary Pumps in Wine | 8. Modcloth Back to classic Skirt | 9. Modcloth Lace Your Love Grosgrain Cardigan

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10. Modcloth Just Teal a Story Dress | 11. Over the Moon Heels | 12. Modcloth My own Rendition earrings in Mint

Shopping isn’t really one of my favorite things, but with a little vintage musing, it’s so much easier to brave the stores in search of a modern version of the picture-perfect image in my head. I think with a little help from the Haynes sisters, this year’s round of holiday meet-and-greets will be such a breeze, hope you’re inspired!

– <3 A. 

Dee-lightfully Sandra

Last night I was trying to dress for a date with a very special man. It wasn’t going so well. Still too warm for sweaters, but too chilly for a dress. Tights and boots entered my head but quickly fled again–too winter just yet I decided. Scarves are hard to eat dinner in, have you noticed? So those were out. Then there was the whole different issue of my hair (or, my arch-nemesis). The front right side of my hair delights in making me exasperated, grumpy, and thoroughly frustrated almost daily. Last night was no exception. Pin it back? I look twelve. Curl it? That looks overdone. Straighten it? That looks even worse. Cut it off? Hmmmm…..

In the midst of my closet chaos and hair meltdown, I thought of a woman who seemed to never have these disasters: the always charming, Sandra Dee.

The Muse: 

You may only know her as the innocent, girlish star of the 1959 movie version of Gidget, or as the inspiration for the mocking songLook at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” in the movie Grease, but beginning in the 1940s she made quite the name for herself first as a model and later as an actress and singer. Whatever your opinion of her, sickeningly sweet or classicly beautiful, you have to admit, the girl’s got style.

 

Sandra Dee

What I love most is that she dressed so simply: usually a plain sweater, often in a bright color, paired with some outrageous patterned pant. Or, a simple dress with a beautifully tailored coat. Her look is timeless and so easy.

A Modern View: 

These pants from J. Crew are oh-so-Sandra. They weren’t, of course, helping me last night while I tried on combination after failing combination of outfit, but in the future they might come in handy if I am lucky enough to add them to my closet.

Or this jacket from Modcloth could have solved my outfit-issue easily. What else does a coat like this need?

Another find from Modcloth, this little black dress with a twist. Classy and a little retro–but definitively modern:

While watching one of Sandra’s movies a couple of weeks ago, I was entranced by a hat she was wearing while sunbathing at the beach–the hat had built-in sunglasses and I wanted one so very badly:

Such a brilliant idea, and, apparently, Kate Spade thought so too. In her Spring 2012 collection, she offered this little nod to some retro chic:

For all our attempts to be fashion-forward with each passing year, it seems you never can beat a little vintage musing. For your next closet catastrophe, hopefully thinking of Sandra will give you an inspiration.

– <3 A.