Cast a Spell

Over the weekend one of my friends celebrated her birthday, and she decided she wanted to have a 50s Harry Potter theme for us to spend a day at Universal Studios, which last year opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While I knew I could have easily opted for a 50s student look, when I heard a friend say she was going to dress up with a 50s Professor Umbridge inspired look, I decided to opt for a Professor McGonagall look, as she’s one of my favorites.

While Professor McGonagall has a few different looks throughout the Harry Potter films, she does wear the same ensemble in the first two films, and I believe is her most recognizable to be inspired by for my outfit. If you need a refresher or are unfamiliar, take a peek here.

Are you a fan of Harry Potter? It was certainly a defining moment in my adolescence! And continues to be something I re-read, re-watch, and am inspired by to this day.

Outfit
Hat (feathers added by me): Simply Vintage Boutique, Portland, Oregon
Jacket (which is part of a gown ensemble): Elsewhere Vintage, Orange, California
Top (which is actually a dress, though super short!): Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Pinup Girl Clothing
Brooch: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Tights and Harry Potter Charm Bracelet: Target
Shoes: Re-Mix

The Magic of the Movies

Back in March Patrick and I got passes to Universal Studios, and while I have been a handful of times between then and now with some of my friends, Patrick had only gone twice so far. So, over the weekend we went and I got dolled up in a vintage inspired Ravenclaw ensemble and we enjoyed a day at Universal Studios. I also took my first Harry Potter inspired parasol for a spin, which I made awhile ago real quick when some of my friends and I went on an extremely hot day.

I often insist on doing the Studio Tour every visit, as your route can change visit to visit depending on what is being shot on the backlot. During this visit we had an extensive spin around the Mexican Street, the western area of Six Points, and the European Village area. So below are loads of backlot photos!

Continue reading

Entering the Wizarding World

I realize that many of you come to my blog for my outfit posts. I never intended my blog to turn into a vintage fashion blog. Vintage fashion was a large part of it of course, but I also wanted to share other vintage things, like housewares, furniture, cars, and even locations. It slowly turned more into fashion because that is what was easy, and what I mostly did when in Portland, with a geeky con thrown in every so often. When I announced our move to California a little over a year ago, I mentioned that some things would be changing for the blog, and I would be sharing more unique places with you, making this blog less about fashion, and more about adventures. Today highlights this change greatly. Today isn’t really about anything vintage. And it’s about something that perhaps isn’t your cup of tea at all, and that’s fine. You are more than welcome to skip this entry. Because today, we’re entering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Since its massive success at Universal Studios Orlando, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has finally arrived at the original Universal Studios in Hollywood. And I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival! While the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is not slated to “officially open” until April 7th, Universal has been soft opening the new area for a few weeks now, but between my brother’s visit and our week in Palm Springs I was unable to visit until this last week and I was overjoyed!

So, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, get ready for a pretty picture heavy post!

Continue reading

Hollywood Costume Exhibition

Yesterday Patrick and I went to the Hollywood Costume Exhibition in LA. I really had no idea what I was getting into when we visited, I just saw that is boasted a great number of costumes, and the website showcased the first shot we see of Kate Winslet as Rose in Titanic, and I was sold! As I’ve been to a fair number of museums and special exhibits, I figured ahead of time that they would not allow photography inside, and I was correct in that assumption, though I was still saddened, especially when we began walking through. So you’ll just have to settle for what I wore to the exhibit.

As it was quite cool, and we even got rained on a bit, I was chose to wear the outfit I had intended to wear to the Blue Skies Disneyland meet-up. This hat is a favorite of mine, though it hardly gets the wearing it deserves as I don’t have very many pieces that match its ice blue tone, and I believe it has yet to even be seen on the blog, despite owning it for about a year I believe! Anyway, enough about my clothing, on to raving on the exhibit!

The exhibit showcases over 150 costumes from Hollywood’s early days, including one of Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp suits through very recent films such as American Hustle and The Hunger Games. Not only are these magnificent costumes on display, they are aided by information regarding their development including quotes from actors, directors and of course costume designers involved in the film. Filmed interviews with actors, directors and costume designers are also utilized, with some period interviews with people who are no longer with us, such as Edith Head. Additionally many of the costumes were displayed on mannequins befitting the characters who originally wore the costumes, in pose and props.

I’ll say this, it was a miracle I did not walk out of there in handcuffs as some of my all-time favorite costumes were on display. First my mouth dropped at the sign of Judy’s green and white number from Vertigo, an outfit I would wear on a daily basis in a heartbeat. Then I turned a corner to see Marion Ravenwood’s “Streets of Cairo” outfit from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the very same that I had spent countless hours on recreating. Initially I was terrified to step up to it, fearing that even though I had poured over many screencaps I would still come home loathing my creation. However, I will say I am still quite pleased with what I made, but not without wanting to add some details I observed upon close inspection of the real deal in order to create a more accurate cosplay. The Marion costume was also side by side with Willie’s gold and red opening act dress from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and one of Elsa’s suits from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as one of Indy’s famous ensembles. I then cast my eyes upon Satine’s pink and rhinestone covered number from Moulin Rouge! when she tells Christian “Let’s dance!” Then I saw a costume that made me grip Patrick’s arm so tight he told me I was hurting him. It was Lynn Bracken’s black velvet and white stain lined hooded coat from when she makes her first appearance in LA Confidential. I have been longing to make this coat for years now, but have held back, not happy with the fabric options I was finding in many of the stores, but one of these days, I will make a screen accurate version, although in the meantime I purchased this beauty (which has yet to make its debut on the streets of LA) to tide me over until I make my own.

Among other favorites on display were Darth Vader and Han Solo from Star Wars, Mary Poppins’ arrival outfit from Disney’s Mary Poppins, Tippi Hedren’s green outfit from The Birds, two outfits from Baz Luhrmann’s recent take on The Great Gatsby, including Gatsby’s pink suit, one of Johnny Depp’s costumes from Sweeney Todd and a Captain Jack Sparrow costume from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, several costumes from the various Elizabeth the First films that have been made over the years, Queen Guinevere’s intricate crochet and pumpkin seed gown from 1967’s Camelot, one of Faye Dunaway’s outfits from Bonnie & Clyde, and most notably Marilyn Monroe’s infamous white dress from The Seven Year Itch and Dorothy’s blue and white outfit as well as ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, among so many others.

On our way out I made sure to purchase a catalog of the exhibit, though in flipping through it is more like a history of costuming in film rather than really showcasing all of the costumes on display, but nevertheless I cannot wait to read it. Additionally, I purchased a copy that was signed by the curator of the exhibit, Deborah Nadoolman Landis, a costume designer whose credits include Raiders of the Lost Ark!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area before March 2nd, I can’t recommend the exhibition enough. You can learn more and purchase tickets on-line.

Outfit
Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Hat: Simply Vintage, Portland, Oregon
Belt: Nordstorm
Palm Tree Brooch: Living Threads, Portland, Oregon
Hollywood Charm Bracelet: Don’t remember!
Seamed Fishnets: Buffalo Exchange, I think…
Shoes: Miz Mooz
Purse: Christmas gift from my sister

Hollywood

Yesterday Patrick and I roamed around Hollywood for awhile.  Even without a car, we were able to make it to downtown LA via Metrolink, a commuter rail that connects much of southern California with Los Angeles’ Union Station.

Once at Union Station, we were able to take the subway on into Hollywood for a bit of sight seeing and shopping.

I was so happy to finally visit Zorro actor, Guy Williams’ star! Now if only he could get some recognition at Disneyland.

We stopped into a handful of vintage shops, and made a few purchases, but the shop I was most excited to visit was the What Katie Did shop.  While I’ve shopped on-line and own several of their bras, I had been really wanting to try on a few to really get a feel for how they fit.

The gal working was so pleasant and so knowledgeable! I highly recommend stopping in if you’re in the LA area, because there is a variety of bras and cuts that should truly be tried on.

And before heading back we stopped by one of my favorite houses of all time, the Sowden House.  Not only is it beautiful (designed by Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son), but it is also one of the suspected location of the murder of the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short, if you believe that George Hodel was responsible for the murder, that is.

Additionally, it has been in films, including one of my all time favorite films LA Confidential as well as The Aviator.  And, to top it all off, it’s freakin’ for sale! And no matter how much I begged Patrick, he wasn’t willing to cough up the $4.888 million to buy it. *sigh* I mean, come on, that’s not a bad price…right?

Tired feet and time kept us from doing more things, but I’m sure we’ll be back to LA at some point (although not on this trip) to explore more.

Back to Disneyland tomorrow!

Vintage Beauty: Face Shapes

Earlier I blogged about this fab 1947 beauty book I picked up.  I mentioned I would be sharing some of book’s tips and tricks, so are you ready for the first entry into the world of vintage beauty?

The following pages from Erin & Bud Westmore’s book Beauty, Glamour and Personality offer up images of the five face shapes, which include oval, round, square, oblong and triangular, followed by dos and don’ts for each! The last pages in this entry regard the use of rouge.  Click the images for larger, readable pictures.

 

  

  

  

So, what’s your face shape?

Next up, dos and don’ts regarding hair!

Vintage Beauty: Introduction

Awhile ago, I picked up this book at Powell’s downtown…

The cover grabbed my attention right away, and flipping through its pages provided both quality tips, as well as a few giggles.  The book was written by Ern and Bud Westmore, of the famous Westmore film make-up artists.  Their father, George Westmore, founded the first film make-up department in Hollywood in 1917.  His sons worked with the likes of Rudolph Valentino, and went on to work on such classics as Gone with the Wind, the 1931 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Universal’s Creature of the Black Lagoon.  The family has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well.

Beauty, Glamour, and Personality, written in 1947, reveals some of old Hollywood’s tips and tricks for creating that glamorous film star look.  Ern and Bud dedicated the book to their father, claiming it was he who was “the first to lay down the fundamental principles governing the application of make-up as a means of dramatizing the personality and enhancing a woman’s charm.”

I won’t be sharing each and every page with you, but a highlighted selection.  The first few pages include stories of how the brothers transformed everyday ladies into looking more glamorous and then there are a few pages that are simply far too outdated to be helpful.

Each entry will focus on something different…Face shapes, and their do’s and don’ts, including make-up and hair styles, eye make-up, “make-up for that nose”, lip make-up, skin tones, correct way of applying make-up, hands as a part of glamour, exercises, posture, and fashion tips.

Stay tuned!