Point of fashion: A Smile and a Ribbon in my Hair
- Red ribbon
- Marie Antoinette heart on cheek
- 1Blouse – Paul & Joe
- Red bowtie – thrifted long ago
- Purple skirt – thrifted
- Purple flats – Melissa from my trip to Brazil
A smile is something special,
a ribbon is something rare,
So I’ll be special and I’ll be rare with a smile and a ribbon in my hair.
To be a girl they notice,
takes more than a fancy dress,
so I’ll be noticed because I’ll dress with a smile and a ribbon in my tresses…
- Navy ribbon in hair
- Yellow ribbons as earrings
- 1930s style yellow blouse with Peter Pan collar with white Scottie Dog print – F21
- Vintage Navy shorts (I replaced the anchor buttons with pink buttons)
- RemixVintage shoes
When I lived in the Pacific NW, I could buy Navy pants at almost every vintage store, but I’ve never seen any in the south!
Suggestions for wearing 13 button Navy Pants:
– Change out the standard issue buttons with colorful ones
– Cut them off and hem them into shorts
– Replace the back tie with a colorful ribbon
– They gather dust/lint, so be sure to have a lint roller handy
– The number one rule: Don’t wear your sailor pants out drinking. You will not make it in time if you are drunkenly fumbling with the buttons.
As always, sailor pants as shorts make for a perfect 1920s chorus girl look.
- 1950s navy blue tilt hat with velvet ribbon – from a junk store in Tonitown, Arkansas
- Dove earrings
- Vintage lace collar – bought from a boy who came into my toy store with a suitcase of goodies
- 1950s navy dress – I can’t even remember… I’ve had this dress for so long. I think I got it in northwest Arkansas
- Vintage sheer gloves with flower embroidery
- Remix vintage heels – Trashy Diva in NOLA
Today I got a lot of comments that I looked like a doll or like a mannequin. I suppose I have a knack for standing uncommonly still, and today I was letting myself just stare off into space while thinking of how to construct my Gadjo Disko/Halloween costume: deer antler headpiece! I have been mistaken for a mannequin in places where you usually don’t find mannequins… like the grocery store!
- Blue lace headband from Louise Black
- Blue dress with pleats and brown beads from Anthropologie via Buffalo Exchange
- Black socks and T Strap High Heels – Target
In this photo I’m standing in a doorway in the French Quarter of New Orleans – my friend Paul kept yelling “Beautify! Beautify!” while taking my picture so I kept smirking.
I had a lovely time in New Orleans. I left very early in the morning on Friday, right after the US shot at the moon. I had dreams all night that it was going to shoot back! I slept on and off during the bus ride through the sheets of rain and miles and miles of murky swamps.
- Red ribbon with fake poppy headband – made by me
- Seed pearl necklace – made by me
- 1940s lace gown with matching bolero
- Navy belt
- Seamed stockings with garter holding them up. The garter has little flapper faces hand painted on them.
- Navy shoes from Remixvintage via Trashy Diva in New Orleans
- Vintage Tapestry Bag
Here I am at my gallery opening of Deep.Down.Dirty, Female Sexuality in the South at Antenna Gallery, New Orleans. It was a successful show, and I’ve sold half of it so far! I have worn this dress on many different occasions, but it was so long that I had stepped on the lace while going up stairs many many times. I had planned on clipping around the flowers for a while, and I’m halfway pleased with the way it turned out. I still think it looks a little kinderwhore!
Me and Roxanne (from persephassa.com) at the opening of Inappropriate Covers at Brown University in April , 2009. I’m wearing the dress at full length here without the bolero. Look how cute Roxanne is!
The lovely Betty Amann – notice her very waxy eyelashes and downward sloping eyebrows!
When I was younger and not quite living as a full blown Vintage Vivant (that is, dressing in vintage styles every day) I used holidays such as my Birthday, New Year’s Eve and Halloween to dress in full vintage and emulate different glamor stars. Around this time of year, I would start mining different vintage fashion sites in search of 1920s flapper makeup tutorials. My favorite part of reading about vintage makeup is exploring the different tools and products that were used to achieve such theatrical looks. Unassuming items like kohl, petroleum jelly and rouge can send a face from a Plain Dora to Jazz Baby in a matter of deftly placed strokes of a brush. It’s all a matter of knowing where to paint!
The book shown above, Vintage Face: Period Looks from the 20s-50s, is fantastic – it’s a contemporary book but I believe it’s out of print. I find it very helpful that the materials/methods from the 1920s are juxtaposed with the current methods. Beseme Cosmetics, purveyors of vintage makeup, has some excellent video tutorials on how to apply blush, and cake mascara. Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces book also show flapper, gamine and Edith Piaf looks to emulate.
This video is from the Helena Rubenstein site and it’s quite amazing!
My favorite vintage product is cake mascara! I remember playing with my grandmother’s cake mascaras and eyeliners when I was a kid and using them to paint whiskers on my face like a kitten. It’s half wax, half pigment. You must dip the brush in water in order to activate the mascara. Paula Dorf Cosmetics and Lola Cosmetics both produce a cake mascara that I’ve tried. However, they are seldom sold in stores so your best bet is to find them online. Applying mascara with a little toothbrush seems daunting at first but it’s quite fun and more of a natural tint than real volume.
No matter how closely I follow a tutorial I feel as if my look is lacking something. Here I am last Halloween as a silent film star. Literally, I was a silent film star, I didn’t speak a word! I watched about 9 silent movies through the course of October and photographed all of the title cards in the films. I printed out the title cards and carried them around all night. I would shuffle them up and then answer people randomly with the cards. It was like Mad Libs starlette! I put these two photographs up for you to see the difference in the look from color to black and white. In the color photo, observe how my eyes are heavily made up but how they look more plain in the black and white photo. I was discouraged with this result because it seemed like the more I made myself up the less it transferred to “Starlette” in the black and white version.
The Break Through:
Left: Here I am in my room before the last “Party Like it’s 1929” party. I had just gotten my new iMac with built in camera the week before, and as I was doing my makeup I had a revelation: why not turn on photobooth and do my makeup in the sepia setting? I tried it, and the results were amazing. I felt that because I stripped down the colors I was really able to focus on the shadows and highlights.
Right: Here is Angel and me at the big event – aren’t we sweet?