Friday, September 30, 2011

Nfu-Oh 51....Burgundy-fied

Do I really need to point out the magnificence of it all?

I thought I'd try Nfu-Oh 51 over something other than a dark purple. This was one coat of 51 over two coats of BB Couture Napa Valley Red.

Yum yum bubblegum.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A History on The Hawaiian Dress

I love vintage Hawaiian printed sarong dresses. LOVE them. Unfortunately they are out of my price range, but this doesn't stop me from looking at them every other day.

There are well-documented stores from the pre-World War II years of teenagers buying wonderful, finely printed Kabe crepe material, imported from Japan, in the dry-goods stores of downtown Honolulu. These young men had their mothers sew beautiful shirts from the fabric. That tradition of beautifully sewn printed shirts spread from the Asian dry-goods merchants and home-sewers to the tailors and makers of Hawai'i', creating a new style of colorful clothing.

This all took place in the late 1920s and early 1930s, at the same time that Hawai'i' was emerging as a paradise for tourists with the building of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu and the christening of the trio of magnificent cruise ships by Matson navigation, opening this majestic string of island to the world. Boatloads of visitors were charmed by hula dancers swaying to the rhythm of a lone 'ukulele, enchanted by Waikiki Beach boys riding the waves on their great wooden surfboards. For those who came from afar, nothing painted a more vivid picture of Hawai'i' than these bold shirts with their vibrant island.

The early Aloha shirts most often depicted ancient symbolic imagery of the Orient. Pine and plum tree prints represented long life, good fortune, and success. The images of a tiger symbolized strength and courage. Prints of bamboo denoted strength and flexibility. Early designs were also graced with traditional images of Mount Fuji, ornate temples, or peaceful landscapes.

It was not long before local artist began to design textiles that captivated the dreamy, romantic lifestyle of their island home. Early prints that were intended for home interiors soon made their way into clothing. Elsie Das designed beautiful botanical prints of native plants hibiscus, breadfruit, night-blooming cereus as well as a humorous pattern incorporating hula girls. Ethel Chun Lum designed shirts sold by her brother Ellery Chun at his store, King-Smith Clothiers. Ellery Chun was the first person to officially register the name "Aloha Shirt." Ether produced designs based on her first cruise to the mainland U.S., including flying fish seen from the deck of a Matson liner. According to Hawaiian fabric designer Elsie Das, a Japanese manufacturer once printed a set of her floral designs on heavy satini by mistake.

"These started a vogue in Hollywood. Ginger Rogers, Janet Gaynor and other stars bought bolts of the stuff and had it made into 'seductive gowns.' The result was an epidemic of Hawaiian designs, with hibiscus and ginger breaking out on table cloths, napkins and scarves all over the country." "Elsie Das, Artist Designer," an article by William Davenport in Paradise of the Pacific, p 9, 1963.

Garment manufacturers including Musa Shiya, Watamulls, Kamehameha, Kahala, Surfriders, Alfred Shaheen ( By 1950 Shaheen was printing, dyeing, and finishing his own fabric. By 1959, the year Hawaii became a state, he had more than 400 employees working for him and was grossing more than $4 million a year! ), Duke Kahanamoku and Branfleet (later know as Kahala), which initially produced Aloha shirts with Asian motifs in their humble factories in the mid-1930s, began to commission designs from local artists. Soon, visitors and locals alike were donning these wearable postcards awash with coconut trees, surfers, outrigger canoes, hula girls, and endless varieties of colorful tropical flowers, birds, and fish.

"Aloha shirts put Hawai'i' on the map," says renowned fabric designer John "King Keoni" Meigs. "The first thing people did when they arrived was to make a beeline for a department store to buy one."

Meigs was one of many flamboyant designers in the Gold Age of Aloha shirts, which ran from the 1930's to the 1950's. for inspiration, they shared the sunsets, beaches, flowers, and rainforests of Hawai'i'. They and their visionary colleagues - manufactures, artists, and retailers - formed the community that created this memorable art form.

Celebrities of the time - such as John Barrymore, Bing Crosby, and Elvis Presley - were widely photographed wearing the shirts. Duke Kahamamoku, Hawai'i's most beloved surfer and Olympic swimming champion, was the earliest and greatest promoter of the Aloha shirt. Duke even had his own line of shirts, which are widely coveted by collectors today.

Movie stars, crooners and politicians did a fine job of promoting Hawaiian clothing. Montgomery Cliff Burt Lancaster, Ernest Borgnine and Frank Sinatra all wore beautiful Hawaiian shirts in the movie From Here to Eternity. Ginger Rogers wore seductive satin gowns of Hawaiian designs while Bing Crosby sported his unique combination of Hawaiian shirt and porkpie hat. And Betty Grable did a promo pin-up shot wearing a gorgeous Hawaiian-style swimsuit in the 1940s.

A vintage Hawaiian sarong dress is an average of around $300-$400.   More depending on designer, print, whether or not it comes with a matching bolero and of course, condition. Hawaiian reproduction is much more affordable.   The Whirling Turban stands out as at the top of gorgeous Hawaiian reproduction.
Which one would I get?? HHmmmmmmmm...this style definitely, probably this fabric or something very close:

A bolero is a must for me, I hate my arms showing!
They also do Hawaiian wedding dresses. Bernie Dexter looks beautiful!

Please comment on any links or photos of you wearing Hawaiian...I would love to read or see!
The following dresses were available on Etsy at time of post and are among my lustable favourites.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

China Glaze Skyscraper

Just a quickie today.....I am spring cleaning!!! Don't drop dead everyone!!

This was 3 thin coats of China Glaze Skyscraper and finished with a coat of Seche QD.  Below picture is at night under artificial light.

Happy cleaning everyone!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recent Vintage Buys

Here a few lovelies I have had the fortune to win or purchase in the last few weeks. This doesn't represent EVERYTHING (Silly you!!) but an overall theme of what I have been searching for in readiness for Spring.

Gorgeous novelty printed skirts are always on my search lists but it's extremely hard to find one with my waist size.  This one is too small, but after moving the button, it's do-able.  The print is gorgeous and I'm a sucker for anything Spanish inpsired.

I have developed a little 'thing' for Art Deco boxes....especially the bakelite kind.  This is made from lucite and will look gorgeous holding my bobby pins.

A wonderful and large wooden 40's handpainted cherry brooch.  It looks FAB on one of my berets.  A bargain at only $10.

 I have had the fortune of winning several carved bakelite bangles recently for ridiculously cheap prices.  Bakelite anything is impossible to find in Australia and if you do, they want a small fortune for it. These 2 cost me $30 for both of them.

A 50's sharkskin dress. I also am a bit obsessed with sharkskin and it feels lovely against the skin...mind you, after petticoats, girdles and usually stockings, a lot of it doesn't actually TOUCH me!!

 A wonderful marbled brown lucite purse!  YAY!  I have been wanting a brown one for ages to match my Winter outfits.....pity Winter is now over.  This was a bargain at $50 including shipping to Australia.

Isn't he gorgeous?  And still on original card!  $3.00

This gorgeous raspberry colored shirtwaisted dress.  I am a little undecided on if I will keep it, long elbow sleeves make me look like an Oompaloompa usually....I'll have to model it and ask for opinions.

This one looks divine and I am so thrilled that I own it.  It's so damn PRETTY.

This 40's lace evening dress is super classy and makes me look super skinny!!  Because it is rather fitted, lots of undergarments are required to pull it off.  Now all I need it an evening out to warrant wearing it.......husband???

This cherries headscarf makes me look super cute!  I wear it if I have lots of errands to run on third or fourth wash days and my hair is looking a little skanky.  The hair gets rolled up and this baby tied on, and VOILA! super cute and funky vintage hair.  Just team with Freddie's overalls.  It *always* generates comments, I even had some guy walk into the sliding door at the supermarket cause he was too busy having a good look.  Miss 10 thought it was hilarious.

This red skarkskin suit is THE coolest thing I have possibly ever seen.  Too bad it doesn't fit The Sexiest Man On The Planet....his bulging muscles are way too big for this skinny style.  It's back on eBay if anyone if interested.

These cat eye glasses.....which are too small. They are also being resold. :( Buying vintage cat eye sunglasses is very hard!

Miss L Fire Hilo wedges in black. I also...cough, cough...have them in blue. They are just too cute, I had to. Plus, they were on sale.

All my surplus clothing is on eBay at the moment. This are items that have arrived and didn't fit, otherwise they wouldn't be on there.....I have very good taste. I ship worldwide, even to Nigeria! so please buy with confidence and help me replenish my bank balance!  All prices are at less than what I paid so grab a vintage bargain....I have already had one dealer buy a few bits to resell.

What are YOU guys buying??

Monday, September 26, 2011

Claire's Kelly Green

I have featured this color before, but when you have been blogging almost daily for nearly 2 tend to run out of nail polish!! Especially when you self impose a ban which stops you from buying new colors, UNLESS they are COMPLETELY different from what I already own.

This is 2 coats and it didn't look this patchy in real life! Damn Macro.

I stamped it with Kleancolor Metallic Green. Not the best job but it's glittery in real life. Finished with a coat of Seche QD.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

BB Couture Haul

I recently took advantage of a buy 4 get 1 free offer Overall Beauty had and ticked a few BB Couture off my list. I am a little disappointed with my choices, especially as I know that there are so many gorgeous BB's to choose from. But....maybe I'm also getting a little jaded? After all, how many polishes of the same colors do we really need?!!

Nightmare. My favourite of the 4. Look at it...Vampy, dark and glittery. This was 2 coats with a coat of Seche QD.

Fairy Blood. My second fave. A light, blood red with glitter. 2 coats with a coat of Seche QD.

Midnight Malibu. My least fave. Ugh, it's horrid. It's looks like a glorious dark purple in the bottle with teal glitter, but on the nail it just looks like a Navy Blue lumpy mess. And this is even with a thick coat of Seche QD!

Nike. Meh. I have seen this color look absolutely awesome in online swatches, but on me it was just average. 2 coats.

Ruby Ruin. A straight forward vampy dark burgundy red. Nothing new here. This was 2 coats and needed a third for complete streak free coverage.

I added a coat of La Rosa 24K Gold crackle. It looked pretty cool.

So, which BB's should I add to my list now? Anyone know of some good swatch pictures anywhere online?