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Risqué Nose Art from WW2 Bombers (NSWF)

Risqué Nose Art from WW2 Bombers (NSWF)

Nose art on airplanes first became popular during WW1 when German airmen (or rather their ground-crews) started painting a mouth and teeth onto nose cones, rather like Moby Dick below. In fact a shark-face design is still painted on nose-cones of military aircraft today. During World War II the military didn’t allow nose-art, but was(…)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #7: Gene Tierney (1946)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #7: Gene Tierney (1946)

When Gene Tierney married costume designer Oleg Cassini in 1941 she was planning to wear this amazing lace dress, designed especially for her by her husband-to-be. Ultimately though they didn’t have time to get the dress made, as eloped to Las Vegas to get married to escape the disapproval of her family, who opposed her(…)

Back When Everybody Smoked…

Back When Everybody Smoked…

More and more smokers are becoming social pariahs. They have to stand on the street in the rain outside restaurants, bars, pubs and even their own cars (if their kids are inside). And while I don’t mind this, being a non-smoker, it does strike me as strange that in years gone by smoking was seen(…)

Scream Queens: Elsa Lanchester

Scream Queens: Elsa Lanchester

You might not recognize the name Elsa Lanchester, but you’ll definitely recognize her in her most famous role: as the Bride of Frankenstein.  Actually that film title always annoyed me, since Frankenstein was the scientist, not the monster, but anyhoo… Here she is looking spectacular: Born in 1902 Lanchester worked in theater and film for(…)

Bizarre 1950s Body Jewelry

Bizarre 1950s Body Jewelry

So, who knew there was a trend for body jewelry in the 50s?  These photos are from 1951 of ‘Cling’ jewelry, which presumably was somehow stuck to your skin rather than pierced into your skin!  Frankly I suspect these twinkling baubles would be uncomfortable, would probably fall off after a short time and also leave(…)

Happy Vintage New Year!

Happy Vintage New Year!

What better way to start off the new year by seeing how they celebrated in years gone by! These are some of my favourite vintage new year pin ups from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.  I love the Myrna Loy one – I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles to stay up till(…)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #6: Mia Farrow (1966)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #6: Mia Farrow (1966)

When 21-year-old Mia Farrow married Frank Sinatra (who was 50 at the time) in 1966 she wore an white skirt suit with a bow at the waist.  The boxy cropped jacket had sleeves which finished at the elbow and crystal buttons. Teamed with her famous pixie cut hair she was a truly modern 60s bride.(…)

1950s Wet Proof Paper Bikini..?

1950s Wet Proof Paper Bikini..?

Er, I can’t claim to tell you much about these photos except that they were labelled ‘wet proof paper’ 1953. I have to assume that the bikini and beachwear are made from ‘wet proof paper’. Why, or what that is, and whether it’s suitable material for swimwear I have no idea. Sorry! If you can(…)

Building Mount Rushmore, 1940

Building Mount Rushmore, 1940

I’ve often wondered how enormous monuments such as Mount Rushmore are created. Having said that, even having seen these photos I’m not sure how teams of people suspended in wooden crates chiselled perfect faces out of a mountainside, especially back in the 1920s. Building work took place from 1927 until 1941 with some 400 workers(…)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #5: Elizabeth Taylor (1964)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #5: Elizabeth Taylor (1964)

When Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton for the first time after a tumultuous affair on the set of Cleopatra she chose as her wedding gown a canary yellow chiffon dress. Designed by Cleopatra costume designer Irene Sharaff, Taylor paired the dress with hyacinths and lilies of the valley woven into her hair, which was plaited(…)

WW2 Fashion: Liquid Seamed Stockings

WW2 Fashion: Liquid Seamed Stockings

If you think you need a steady hand to apply eyeliner, then try drawing straight seams up the backs of your legs! During WW2 when stockings were in short supply women were encouraged to use liquid stockings instead, and to draw the seams using eyeliner (or to get a friend to do it for you!).(…)

Slenderizing Salons of the 1940s

Slenderizing Salons of the 1940s

You thought zumba and ashtanga yoga were torture enough in the pursuit of youth and fitness? Be grateful you didn’t live in the 1940s when young women were encouraged to visit slenderizing salons in the pursuit of perfection.  These photos show poor Pat Ogden being pummeled by a Wooden Barrel Massager and a Roaler Massager(…)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #4: Ava Gardner (1951)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #4: Ava Gardner (1951)

When Ava Gardner married Frank Sinatra after months of media speculation the world went wild. This was Gardner’s third marriage and she had long been branded a femme fatale by the press. Sinatra also came in for a lot of flack for leaving his wife Nancy for her, both by the Hollywood Establishment and the(…)

The First Ever Miss Universe Contest, 1952

The First Ever Miss Universe Contest, 1952

It was the lovely Armi Kuusela from Finland who won the first ever Miss Universe contest in 1952*, with Miss Hawaii, Miss Greece, Miss Hong Kong and Miss Germany in the runner up positions.  Interestingly Miss United Kingdom, Aileen P. Chase, who was a runner up in Miss World the previous year didn’t even make(…)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #3: Grace Kelly (1956)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #3: Grace Kelly (1956)

If you want to talk fairy tale weddings then Grace Kelly‘s wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco was the real deal.  One of the world’s biggest movie stars marrying a prince in a bonefide Royal wedding? You can’t beat that! Of course once she married into the Royal Family and became a princess she(…)

The Strange Lives of 1940s Hollywood Starlets

The Strange Lives of 1940s Hollywood Starlets

These publicity photos of young 1940s Hollywood starlets seem slightly odd to me. Sure, they all look beautiful and happy and like screen stars of the future, but there’s something reminiscent of the Playboy mansion about the photos! The pictures were taken at the home of publisher and media magnate William Randolph Hearst Sr (who(…)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #2: Audrey Hepburn (1969)

Iconic Wedding Dresses #2: Audrey Hepburn (1969)

Audrey Hepburn married twice, the second time in 1969 to Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti.  They married in Morges, Switzerland and she wore was a pale pink minidress with matching hood by favourite designer Hubert de Givenchy. Givenchy also designed some of Hepburn’s most iconic movie looks including her Sabrina dress, the amazing 1960s mod costumes(…)

10 Brilliant Retro Christmas Gifts

10 Brilliant Retro Christmas Gifts

If you’re like me, you love a bit of nostalgia at Christmas. Plus since everyone I have to buy for seems to already have everything they need it’s nice to indulge in a little retro fun!  I thought I’d share some of my favourites I’ve found whilst trying to find a Christmas gift for my(…)