Tag Archive: vintage fashion

Roping Up Some Christmas Spirit

Knott’s Merry Farm is in full swing at Knott’s Berry Farm, and over the weekend a group of my gal pals (plus Patrick) and I went to enjoy all of the sights and shows. I’ve wanted a steer head jacket for years now, but they aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. The first one I […]

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Birthday Fiesta

Over the weekend one of my friend celebrated his birthday, and with his Mexican heritage he encouraged his friends to incorporate Mexican elements into their ensembles for a visit to Disneyland, and while I never really need an excuse to break out any Mexican influenced garments, I do love a good excuse! Outfit Peasant Top: […]

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Fall Dapper Day

Dapper Day, the twice annually event that both well dressed folks and Disney lovers look forward to every year, was last weekend. Last fall Dapper Day I wore a western ensemble with slacks, and I enjoyed that so much I decided to go with a similar outfit, and as the weather was quite cool, Patrick […]

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Cowgirl Coven

With the move, we’ve been unable to really do anything for Halloween at the house, which is a bummer, as I adore Halloween! So I’ve been trying to squeeze in visits to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm to enjoy their Halloween festivities as much as possible. Over the weekend we did just that with a […]

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Daisy Jean Brooch Review

Recently I was contacted by Daisy Jean Floral Designs to review new items from their stellar Halloween collection. Now, I’m always on the hunt for new Halloween themed jewelry, so I was super excited to take a look at their collection. I selected the “Witch’s Flight” brooch, and the “Winged Accomplice” brooch from the collection. […]

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Daisy Jean Brooch Review

Recently I was contacted by Daisy Jean Floral Designs to review new items from their stellar Halloween collection. Now, I’m always on the hunt for new Halloween themed jewelry, so I was super excited to take a look at their collection. I selected the “Witch’s Flight” brooch, and the “Winged Accomplice” brooch from the collection. […]

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Spooky Hillbilly Chic

We’re almost all moved into our new house, meaning we almost have all of our stuff over at the house! But we are far from settled! We’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to blog about an outfit I wore a week and a half ago! Normally I like to blog within three days […]

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Sleepy Hollow

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! This move went topsy turvy real fast due to the fire in the Anaheim Hills. I received a few concerned messages about our new home, which was sweet. What was funny is that our soon-to-be old apartment in Orange is actually closer to where the fire is, and […]

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The Sixth Annual Tiki Day

Sunday was the sixth annual Tiki Day in the Park at Disneyland. Like Dapper Day, Tiki Day is one of the unofficial theme days at Disneyland, and is a time for those who love tiki culture and Disney to come together. I’ve been feeling the Halloween vibes a lot lately and opted for a darker […]

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The Sixth Annual Tiki Day

Sunday was the sixth annual Tiki Day in the Park at Disneyland. Like Dapper Day, Tiki Day is one of the unofficial theme days at Disneyland, and is a time for those who love tiki culture and Disney to come together. I’ve been feeling the Halloween vibes a lot lately and opted for a darker […]

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Spooky Saturday

Saturday was the first day of “Spooky Farm” at Knott’s Berry Farm. Spooky Farm is Knott’s Berry Farm’s kid friendly event, happening every weekend during October, and it allows for kids to dress up and trick-or-treat within Ghost Town, take part in a costume contest, and more. For me, even though I can’t do any […]

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Wardrobe Shop Review

Recently I collaborated with Wardrobe Shop, an on-line retailer specializing in vintage inspired clothing, but with an emphasis on older decades, such as the late 1800s, the early 1900s, and the 1920s, an area I’ve been wanting to expand upon more in my wardrobe. Lately I’ve been feeling the whole 70s does Victorian, and putting […]

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What Would You Wear To A Party In 1940?

1932 design from Madeleine Vionnet: “When a woman smiles, her dress should smile too.” Wanna help me with some vintage fashion research? Go! You’re a young British woman in the late 1930s/early 1940s. At a party. Wearing a lovely dress. … Continue reading

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Country Rapunzel

Way back in April, during our road trip to Idaho, I scored a square dancing dress that was absolutely perfect for a Rapunzel Disneybound and I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to wear it. That perfect moment arrived when I was invited to a Disney couples themed Disneybound event! So Patrick, who doesn’t really […]

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Country Rapunzel

Way back in April, during our road trip to Idaho, I scored a square dancing dress that was absolutely perfect for a Rapunzel Disneybound and I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to wear it. That perfect moment arrived when I was invited to a Disney couples themed Disneybound event! So Patrick, who doesn’t really […]

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These Boots Were Made for Walkin’

Last weekend Knott’s Berry Farm’s interactive guest experience Ghost Town Alive came to a close. The summer event was like a three month long, family friendly version of Westworld, and I enjoyed getting super dressed up for visits. I originally had much grander outfits planned for visiting during the last couple of days, but humidity […]

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Monday Morning Inspiration/Timeless Fashion and Resources

Two weeks ago, I found out that the yoga studio in my neighborhood offers a weekly restorative yoga class. The first week, I had an excruciating headache. I hate when I get these headaches. They last for 48 hours, regardless of what I do, or what I tak…

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Cowgirl in Black

Before I get to the body of this post, I need to say a few things. For the last few days, I have had difficulty functioning. The current happenings in the United States are deplorable, disgusting, and heartbreaking. As of late, I feel as if my blog is very shallow and of little importance. Especially […]

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Old Trapper’s Lodge

Off the 101 lies Pierce College in Woodland Hills, and on its campus is a unique and downright bizarre sight, a collection of concrete sculptures depicting old west figures, along with a faux cemetery featuring rather colorful epitaphs. What is this exactly? Well, it’s the remains of Old Trapper’s Lodge. Built in 1941 by a […]

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Slue Foot Sue’s Golden Horseshoe

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending a Disneybound event put together by Dole Whip Dame. The theme? Disneyland itself! Attendees were encouraged to bound as attractions, restaurants, shops, and shows. Now the concept isn’t new to me, as I bounded as the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor last spring. This time I […]

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Zorro at D23

Over the weekend Patrick and I attended the D23 Expo, an event that happens every other year that is basically Comic Con, but just Disney, or rather Disney owned things, because Star Wars and Marvel are also represented. There are panels to watch, exhibits to see, celebrities to meet, and lots of shopping. Patrick and […]

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A Year of Fashion Illustration Classes

For the last school year, I’ve been taking fashion illustration classes at Canada College in Redwood City. This is the same community college where I took Pants Drafting & Construction, Bustier, Copying RTW, Intro to Theater Costuming, and Textiles. In fact, the professor for this class is the same as the textiles class, and she is basically everything I would’ve wanted to be in a different life: an illustrator, knowledgeable about the chemistry of textiles, and a teacher! And what a teacher — I haven’t taken a serious art class in more than fifteen years, when I took an introductory drawing class my senior year in high school because I dropped out of second semester AP Physics. That was all about shading and stippling techniques and I think I drew a pretty awesome pine cone, but that’s about all I remember. And before that class, the last time I picked up my paintbrush to do a serious painting was in eighth grade. Even then, I was pretty lost because my teacher’s instructions basically consisted of “get your paintbrush wet and then paint until it looks good.”

The one painting from that era that I don’t cringe at was copied from a calendar when I was in a horse phase. I don’t have any real pictures of it, but I found it in the background of this picture from Thanksgiving four years ago. My parents still have it hanging in their dining room, bless them. 

With that background, it was like an epiphany when our prof actually gave concrete instructions on how to proportion figures, illustrate different fabric types, and use various media effectively. As I told her on my last day of class, I feel like a whole new world has been unlocked for me (you know, because I needed more types of hobbies that involve a cabinet of supplies). No more staring enviously at other artists’ illustrations and wondering how they knew how to do that; now I can do it too! Er, kind of.

Last fall, after several weeks of drawing stick figures, blocked figures, various body parts, and types of fabric, our first assignment was to put all of it together to do a black and white drawing. I drew a 1920s-inspired figure wearing a beaded flapper-ish dress and holding a fox-fur stole. It’s funny, I was so pleased with it when I drew it, but looking back at it now I see so many mistakes!

Her right shoulder is too high and her pose looks a little awkward. 

The next assignment was to do a figure in sepia and/or monochromatic pastels, i.e. not a lot of color, but shading and texture as a focus. I went for a 1930s look, with a drapey bias-cut satin dress and huge fur coat. In contrast to my first assignment, I still love everything about this piece.

In the category of draw what you know, most of my figures read as Asian. 

The third assignment was an illustration using colored pencils, so we were supposed to choose nubbly and textured fabrics to render. I illustrated what was meant to be a boucle wool coat with tweedy trousers. This was my least favorite piece from first semester, which at the time I attributed to the medium, but it’s funny because I ended up using color pencil a lot during second semester. I think I just didn’t know what I was doing yet. Also I went overboard on the background. Or maybe I just didn’t like it because it wasn’t a vintage look?

I realized that the white hair made her look a lot like Ororo Munroe, so in a late night, last minute decision I added in the background, then hated it. I’ve gotten too used to being able to Ctrl+Z everything!

Our final project was a watercolor illustration, and I went with an Erte-inspired Art Nouveau figure. Despite a mistake on the shading of the draped folds on her dress, I still love how this one turned out, mostly because of the cheetah. This was the illustration that made me fall in love with watercolor as a medium; I realized I could actually control the moisture in order to get the color to do what I wanted, instead of letting the moisture control me. It’s amazing what a good teacher can help you achieve!

I debated whether or not to take Advanced Fashion Illustration during second semester, because I knew I was going to be super busy with prepping my AP students for exams, plus the inevitable exhaustion of pregnancy and the continued demands of caring for a toddler. I’m so glad I did it, though, because I was able to build on my momentum from first semester, and who knows when I’ll be able to take another class? It took two years for me to carve out time for myself to take these classes after having SHB, and he’s a fairly easy kid, so I figured I should do what I can while I still can.

We started the semester by drawing more “extreme” poses (read: more attitude) and working on profile and back views. This was my attempt at a Poiret-inspired cocoon coat (something I definitely want to make one day, if/when I find the perfect velvet fabric) from the back, using pastels and color pencils:

Backgrounds: not my strong suit. That tree is just sad. 

Then we experimented with timed drawings, where we used brush pens to quickly capture a figure’s style and movement. Unlike my previous pieces, these poses were based on fashion magazine photos since the limited time didn’t allow for coming up with and perfecting my own figure poses.

We also spent a class period playing around with acrylic paints in the Stipelman technique, where, according to our prof, you just smoosh paint around until it looks good. I somehow ended up painting a pink wedding dress. I don’t even like pink.

The first official assignment was to render four different types of fabric. I did a floral jacquard, an iridescent silk dupioni, a gold-flecked acrylic sweater knit, and a lovely ombre organza that had little colorful crinkles in it.

My silk dupioni rendering looks too dark because of how the light hit the fabric sample. Doing the jacquard was lots of fun though!

I seriously love this fabric; it’s hard to appreciate the gold flecks until you see it in person and the light hits it right. I’m really pleased with how I captured the fuzzy boucle-ish texture though. This outfit is based on the actual costume I created for our high school’s production of post-apocalyptic Antigone. One day I’ll get around to blogging those costumes…

My inspiration for this figure/outfit was a combination of Zac Posen’s 2016 Met gala gown for Claire Danes and the announcement of Noma Dumezweni’s casting as Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I had this lovely iridescent organza with periwinkle in it and I imagined what Hermione’s head-turning Yule Ball gown could’ve been. 

The next assignment was a fashion illustration portrait, where we were supposed to focus in on the face, which we hadn’t really done before, while still illustrating at least part of an outfit up close. I chose to illustrate Anna May Wong, whom I’ve blogged about before, in her iconic Travis Banton sequined dragon dress.

I based the pose on this photo. I love how the sequined dragon turned out, but got carried away when doing the fabric at the bust area and it makes the dress look much less fitted than it actually should be. Also her face got too slim and doesn’t look so much like Anna May Wong as it does my mom…

Then we spent several weeks working on an advertisement using a fashion figure; I really didn’t want to spend that much time working on a random fashion line, nor did I have a business I really wanted to promote, so I ended up making a propaganda piece instead, for International Women’s Day! I figured that I might as well advertise for something I actually care about, i.e. women’s rights, and not a perfume or handbag.

I really wanted to capture the feel of teens-era women’s suffrage posters, with the Art Nouveau-inspired font style and the vaguely military/heraldic imagery. I used an actual slogan from the women’s suffrage movement on the banner.  

Our final project was to put together a presentation board with the technical flats, specs (measurements), photographs, and illustration of an actual garment, as if we were trying to sell/manufacture it for RTW. I chose my Roaring Twenties dress, as I figured that it would involve relatively few measurements, and since I came up with the pattern on my own, I could say it was really MY garment that I was showing off.

Even though taking these classes made for a hectic year (hello, late night drawing, rushing home from work to drive across the bridge in time for class, and extended screen time for SHB while Mommy finishes up last minute cutting and mounting on the days assignments are due!), it was so worth it to be able to make beautiful art again. I remember being in college and having an Elfwood account (anyone remember that site?) and marveling at their artists of the day and being so blown away by the art of Stephanie Law and Anke Eissmann especially, and wondering if I would ever be able to draw anything that beautiful. I’ve still got a long way to go, but art like that feels achievable instead of impossible now.

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Independence Day

Without getting too political, the last couple days have been rough, culminating in yesterday, with Independence Day. I’ve been getting back in touch with my love of the American Revolution, and recently took a quick visit to the replica of Independence Hall at Knott’s Berry Farm. Some of you may recall my visit last July, […]

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Cacti Love

Last Friday Patrick and I went to Ladies’ and Gents’ Night Out on Magnolia in Burbank. The monthly event is like one big party, with food trucks, live music and lots of sales at the amazing shops along Magnolia. So I swung by some of my favorite shops, and then headed over to Pinup Girl Clothing‘s […]

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Jackalope Jamboree

Some of you may already know of my love of the mythical creature the jackalope, so it was no surprise when Erstwilder released a jackalope brooch I just had to get my hands on one! Now unlike so many of my vintage loving friends, I’m actually not the biggest fan of Erstwilder’s stuff, as I […]

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Orange Vintage Shopping Guide

Within even a short time of moving to California I was receiving e-mails of people planning visits to California and wanted to know where to shop. I have wanted to do a vintage shopping guide for awhile, but I wanted to really get my feet wet before offering one up. And now with over two years […]

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Yeehaw! Saturday at Knott’s

As mentioned in my last Knott’s Berry Farm post, lots of visits are planned this summer, because Ghost Town Alive is just too much fun. So over the weekend, Patrick and I went for the day. We’ve been having a bit of “June Gloom” recently, but I didn’t mind the mild weather, as it worked […]

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Petersen Automotive Museum

First off, I want to thank those of you who commented in my last post about what you wanted to see on the blog. It was so wonderful to get ideas from you, as well as receive support for the types of posts I already do. It’s your positive comments that really keep me going. […]

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The Return of Ghost Town Alive

Last summer, Knott’s Berry Farm did something that was nothing short of magical, and something I gushed about repeatedly here on the blog, Ghost Town Alive. If you were ever a fan of the original film Westworld, or have been caught up in HBO’s reimagining of the 1973 film, it’s easy to relate Ghost Town […]

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Survivor Soiree

Once again, it’s been a spell. Well, when I mentioned feeling better last time, enough to go out, I basically expelled all my energy and ended up right back at square one with my spring cold. But now I’m feeling much better! And just in time to celebrate a very special event! Five years ago […]

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