Vintage

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Quite a lot if we believe the Hollywood Studios of the 30s and 40s!  There were only a handful of Classic Hollywood stars who kept their own names, including Jane Russell, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Grace Kelly. The majority of actors and actresses had their identities completely re-written. How many of these 20(…)

Myrna Loy

Myrna Loy

A 1930s publicity shot of Myrna Loy with typically high-arched eyebrows – isn’t she lovely?

Strictly Sketching Sunday

Strictly Sketching Sunday

I can’t tell you how nice it’s been today to have some free time to relax and do some sketching. I haven’t done any drawing for months, things have just been too busy, but I do enjoy it. I also find the costumes in Strictly Come Dancing really inspiring. Yes, they’re gaudy and covered in(…)

Thank the Lord for modern swimwear…

Thank the Lord for modern swimwear…

If I was having my photo taken in wet woolen swimwear I think I’d close my eyes too… I know we all reminisce about the gorgeousness of vintage swimwear, and how it’s all more stylish and more lovely than lycra, but I think even a pair of tiny budgie-smugglers would be more flattering than these(…)

A 1930s Chorus Girl Pyramid on the Beach

A 1930s Chorus Girl Pyramid on the Beach

Chorus girls from the Theatre Royal on Tamarama Beach, ca. 1938. Photographed by Sam Hood. I’ve never been tempted to do acrobatics on the beach but it seems to be a common theme for vintage seaside photos! Is it just me?

Marion Davies, a self-described “silly, giggly idiot”

Marion Davies, a self-described “silly, giggly idiot”

Marion Davies, Ziegfeld girl, Hollywood actress, self-described “silly, giggly idiot” and mistress to William Randolph Hearst, half length, seated, facing left; in Yolanda. Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston, 1924.

Marilyn and her biggest fan

Marilyn and her biggest fan

Marilyn Monroe and Groucho (I think?) Marx in 1949. The young Marilyn (and her wiggle) made a lasting impression on Marx during her first screen test for the movie Love Happy. Apparently it was all because of her walk! Love Happy is regarded as the worst Marx Brothers movie, but we’re still grateful that it(…)

Vintage Aquascutum for the teenage Princesses

Vintage Aquascutum for the teenage Princesses

Some vintage Aquascutum adverts from the 1940s along with a fascinating note from Buckingham Palace regarding articles ordered for the Queen, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret for their 1947 trip to South Africa. I wonder whether they wore any of these lovely items or whether everything was bespoke..? Either way I particularly like The ‘Ladies(…)

Evacuation day 2013

Evacuation day 2013

It’s my son’s school trip today. They’re learning about World War 2 in history at the moment and they’re off to have a WW2-themed day at Holdenby House where they’ll get to experience cooking with rations, bomb shelters and various other things which *may* give him nightmares. Having said that learning about the war is(…)

A gorgeous 1970s afro

A gorgeous 1970s afro

A student with fabulous 1970s hair at the Westinghouse Industrial Vocation School On Chicago’s West Side, May 1973. I wish I could see the rest of her outfit, the bit of her 70s print shirt that I can see looks gorgeous!

Woah, who’d be a lion tamer eh?

Woah, who’d be a lion tamer eh?

Wow, this photo raises lots of conflicting emotions in me (but I suspect that’s the sign that it’s a good photograph!). I have an enormous amount of admiration for this lady who must have nerves of steel, and I also feel sorry for the lions, who should never have been in captivity like this.  Similar to(…)

George Washington’s teeth

George Washington’s teeth

George Washington’s teeth which, contrary to popular myth, weren’t made of wood. He had various pairs, and the pair he had when he became president were made from hippo and elephant ivory with gold springs.  I’m not sure whether the pair above are those, but they certainly look about right don’t they?  Washington suffered from problems(…)

Daring ladies on swinging deckchairs, 1905

Daring ladies on swinging deckchairs, 1905

I love so many things about this photo. I love the swinging deckchairs, those huge and cumbersome hats (on the beach!) and the fact that you seem to be able to see bits of these ladies which would have been frowned upon in those days (I can see their ankles, their wrists and their petticoats(…)

The Art Deco Cleopatra

The Art Deco Cleopatra

In 1934 Cecil B. DeMille directed a movie version of Cleopatra which was every bit as sumptuous and decadent as the later movie of the same name starring Elizabeth Taylor.  This Cleopatra was dressed in opulent Art Deco style and Claudette Colbert who played the title role looked just wonderful. The costumes which were designed(…)