My Early 1900s Vintage Car Show Adventure

This past weekend I was very lucky to be able to attend an amazing event called “The Old Car Festival” at the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village in Detroit Michigan area. I attended this event with my family and met up with some vintage friends from the Toronto area as well, so it was a great little group that went.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Musuem

Image courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

All I can say about this event is this…YOU MUST GO NEXT YEAR! No seriously if you live in Michigan, Ontario, or can drive or fly then you must go! I had so much fun and I did not even do half of what my friends did who attended the whole weekend.

First up there were early 1900 vintage cars..everywhere like as far as the eye could see and ranged in age from the early 1900’s right up to the early 1930’s.

1902 vintage car

That handle in the middle is how you drove the car. I prefer a steering wheel I think

Old Fashion Car Show-Greenfield Village

Old Fashion Car Show-Greenfield Village

Yours truly looking sooo not early 1900s 🙂

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean Villafuerte

My FAVORITE CAR of all time from the show! Pierce Arrow!

A Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars and tycoons. Most of the royalty of the world had at least one Pierce-Arrow in its collection. So dreamy…..

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Old car festival-Henry ford museum

There were so many cars there, that there was major street congestion as well! Traffic jam 1910 style!

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

If driving a car was not your style, you could have also rode a vintage bike. I love these ladies such style.

Old Car Festival Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

It’s a Bike Gang! How does one ride a bike like that??

Old Car Festival Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean Villafuerte

There was also a couple of vintage trains that you could have taken a trip around the park on. Next year I’m doing this!

Vintage Train-Greenfield Village

After all that car, bike and train viewing one is bound to get hungry and the village had lots of options but the best one by far was the Eagle Tavern. A real tavern from the 1800’s that was moved to the village many years ago.

Eagle Tavern-Greenfield Village

Greenfield Village-Henry Ford Museum

The family waiting to be called in for lunch-Eclectic bunch they are 🙂

You ate by candle light, sat in old wood chairs (ohhh my bum), were served by waiters and waitress in period dress and even had your name called to your table by the town crier.

Greenfield Village-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

The coolest part of my lunch experience (beyond the delish food) was the Greenfield village beer with my name on it!

Greenfield Village Beer-Old Liz

Hey that’s me! Who are you calling old?

After we ate, we went and saw some lovely singers, sing songs from the 1920s. My favorite was the “Irving Berlin” melody.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Then we wandered around some more and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the festival.

Greenfield village-carousel

Took a ride on the Carousal

Greenfield Village

Enjoying the pretty views

We also admired the fashions that were in attendance. There was some dapper men (aka my friend Dean).

Old Car festival-Henry ford museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

How wonderful are these men? and Dean of course 🙂

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Musem

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

The other Dapper Canadian man on this trip, Geoffrey Holmes.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean

A favorite of mine…the cutest vintage sailor boys….ever!

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

There were also gorgeous ladies as well like my beautiful friend Amanda.

Her dress was made by her mother (I believe) and is just wonderful and I adore it on her.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Then we all managed to find each other for a lovely vintage group photo (excuse my 40s wear, I really have nothing 1920s).

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

After all the picture-taking it was time to find a spot for the Big Band dance and the parade of vintage cars with their gas lights on.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

It was truly magical and then we got to dance to this amazing band! The beautiful woman in the pink had the most gorgeous voice.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Then we danced as the cars drove by.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

A great shot of Dean and I making magic on the dance floor..aka the road.

Liz Clothing Note: I’m wearing a vintage 1940s day dress that I recently purchased from “The Best Vintage Clothing” online store. I adore this dress so much. It also has buttons down the back.

OLd Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

I got to dance with all the men! Lucky me 🙂 Geoff and I cutting a rug as they used to say back in the day.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean Villafuerte

Lastly all good things must come to an end with fireworks.

Old Far Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

And then we went home tired but happy 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my little post on my fantastic adventure this weekend and hopefully if you live near by, you can join us next year!

I will now leave you with a great video that Geoff created of the weekend (near the end you can catch me swing dancing).

Liz 🙂

 

My Vintage Christmas Wish List

I’m only a couple of days away from my non vintage vacation to Vietnam and I’m getting very excited to see such a different culture than “small town Toronto” lol 🙂 But before I go I must do my annual “vintage wish list” that I use to just do on my own but now that I have a blog I can share it with you! The list is just basically all the things that I love that is for sale right now (regardless of price) that I really really wish I could have.

wish list

1. Bakelite Scotty Dogs-Ever since I got married to my Scottish husband I have somehow become OBSESSED with obtaining this dog in Bakelite form.

For Sale on Etsy-One Mans Junque $213.25

Bakelite Scotty Dogs

1940s Vintage Suit-I just LOVE the pockets so much.

For Sale on Etsy-Rococo Vintage $463.69

1940s vintage suit

1950s Lucite Purse. Like this gorgeous Rialto “Bleeding Hearts” purse.

For Sale on Etsy-Paris Antiques $158.47

lucite purse

1950’s Vintage Dress-Black Corduroy. I love the letters on the bottom of the dress.

For Sale on Etsy-Fab Gabs $148.73

1950s vintage dress

Vintage Celluloid and early plastic cherries. So cool!

For Sale on Etsy-The Plastic Fever $136.70

vintage celluloid necklace

A 1950s Alfred Shaheen dress. Love the pattern, the colour, the…Everything!

For sale on Etsy- Rock this Joint $234.00

Alfred Shaheen

Bakelite Bracelet that has some sort of design on it (all mine are beautiful but plain)

For sale on Etsy -Bakelite Cache $262.00

Bakelite bracelet

Lastly I would love to have a Jonathan Logan dress (see my love affair post here). The one below would be perfect for Viva.

For sale on Etsy -Wanderlust Couture $119.00

Jonathan Logan

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What is on your vintage Christmas wish list?

Liz 🙂

Edith Head-Costume Designer Extraordinaire!“

“A designer is only as good as the star who wears her clothes”-Edith Head-

Today’s opening of Google lead me to squeal in excitement as I saw that the Google Doodle was dedicated to one of my favorite costume designers… “Edith Head“. High Five Google!

Edith Head

Lets take a look at some of the amazing designs this 8 time Academy Award winning designer created during her very long career in Hollywood.

Side note: Edith was actually nominated for 35 Academy Awards including every year from 1948 to 1966. WOW! (Ten Things you should know about Edith Head)

The Designer herself-Edith

Edith head

Grace Kelly-“To Catch a Thief”

Grace Kelly-Edith Head

Grace Kelly-Oscar dress 1955

Grace Kelly Edith Head dress

Mary Martin-in Love Thy Neighbor

Mary Martin

Dress for the 1944 movie “Here Come the Waves

Edith head design

Barbara Stanwyck, in a suit by Edith Head for the 1940 film “Remember the Night”.

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck in “Ball of Fire”, 1941

Barbara Stanwyck-Edith Head

Bettie Davis in “All about Eve”

All about Eve

Madeleine Carroll

Madeleine Carroll

Elizabeth Taylor in Negligee for the movie “Elephant Walk”-1954

elizabeth-taylor-edith-head

Love what you have seen? Want some style tips for Edith herself? Then pick up her book “How to Dress for Success” from 1967.

“You can do anything you want in life if you dress for it,” -Edith Head-

How to dress for Success

Thank you for stopping by and sharing in my love of Edith Head designs with me. These images are really only a small portion of the giant collection of clothes she created. I encourage you to do your own research to discover her designs and maybe you will find some new favorites in the process. If you do, I would LOVE to see what you have found.

Liz 🙂

1940s/50s House Dresses- Must haves for your vintage collection

I have started to notice a trend in my Etsy “favorites” my eBay watch lists and even my closet, I love 1950s (and 40s) House Dresses. My current collection is small (3 to be exact) but I would love to add more as they are fun and versatile and some of them are downright stylish. For example regarding being versatile, today I’m currently wearing my newest find from Cabaret Vintage with a cardigan, belt, ballet flats and simple jewellery. When I leave work today I’m going to put my hair up, scrap the cardigan, add a brooch to the dress and kitten heels and off I go for my evening out. SEE..Versatile!

Here is the dress. Cute pocket at the top and one at the hip and I just love the sleeve with the pleat in it..too cute! The original tag says it’s a “Berkshire dress” but I have not been able to find any info on this line. If you know anything please let me know, as I’m very curious on its original origins.

1950's housedress

(hehehe like my pink flamingo phone case that made an appearance here? lol)

House Dresses are also great for Swing dancing as the fabric is usually very easy to clean and due to the room they have, they won’t rip or tear like some of my precious vintage dresses could do. The dress below was my first House Dress I purchased (the fabric is coins) and I’m wearing it a Jazz street fest where I was doing a bunch of dancing. No rips to be had 🙂

1950's housedress

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Now lets learn a little bit more about the House Dress (because that is one of the fun things about vintage clothing, learning about its history).

History of the House Dress (taken from Wikipedia)

A house dress is a type of simple dress worn informally in the mornings at home for household chores or for quick errands. The term first originated in the late nineteenth century to describe at-home garments designed for maximum practicality and usually made from washable fabrics. It is directly descended from the Mother Hubbard dress.  Such dresses were a necessary part of the housewife’s wardrobe in the early twentieth century and could be widely purchased through mail-order catalogues.

Although an informal garment, the house dress, particularly during the 1950s, was intended to be stylish and feminine as well as serviceable. The concept of attractive house dresses was popularised in the late 1910s by Nell Donnelly Reed, who established her house dress company in 1919. The company, renamed Nelly Don after Reed’s retirement, quickly became one of the most successful American clothing manufacturers of the 20th century. Some designers became known for house dress designs, such as Claire McCardell, whose 1942 ‘popover’ wrap dress was equally wearable as a house dress, a dressing-gown, a beach cover-up or even a party dress. The house dress version of McCardell’s popover came with a matching oven glove.

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Here is the “Popover” wrap dress with oven glove. How Stylish and beautiful is this dress?

Clair McCardell Popover dress

Image courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sally Kirkland, in All-American: A Sportwear Tradition, reported that McCardell’s “Popover” dress “sold in the thousands (its low price [$6.95] and was classified as a ‘utility garment’.  In utility achieved with ingenuity, McCardell found a synergy. The modern woman could both be chic and do the cooking (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History).

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Now lets explore some wonderful Vintage House Dress Images that just might convince you to put one on and bake a pie tonight 🙂

The Pattern on this is awesome! I would be taking this one home with me if I could squeeze back into my “pre wedding” weight but that is not the case so it gets to go to another happy customer.

1950's house dress

Dress from Etsy from Seller “BackinVogue

The colour and the appliqued flowers are wonderful on this dress and I just love the asymmetrical design.

1950's house dress

Dress from Etsy from Seller “ForeverSexy

This design below is another 1950’s design and it is fantastic AND the best part… you can actually have this recreated by Etsy Seller “Time Machine Vintage“.

Note: She recently did my two piece 1940’s honeymoon outfit and did an outstanding job. So if you love this dress, go and get it made 🙂

1950's house dress

Ohhhhhh….how lovely! I wonder what the “8-Page Etiquette Supplement” said too?

1950's Housedress

Below is a 1940’s House Dress Pattern. As you can see they are much simpler compared to the 1950’s versions but I still think very very pretty.

1940's House Dress

Now THIS is a 1940’s House Dress I would give anything to own! The bows are absolutely delightful!

1940's House Dress

Pattern for sale on Etsy from Seller “Paneenjerez

For more really great House Dress Patterns then jump on over to the blogger “Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing“. She has a wonderful post on House Dresses as well.

Lastly, to close one of my favorite blogs “Miss Turnstiles” did a post on her 1940’s House Dress and it’s a work of art that you really must see. Check it out here.

Happy House Dress shopping!

Liz 🙂

Summer Summer Summer is…HERE!!!

HAPPY START OF SUMMER EVERYONE!!!

Finally winter is behind us, spring is gone and the hot lazy days of summer have officially started. As a Canadian who lives in the cold more then the hot I LOVE Summer time (Hotter the better in my books). So break out the BBQ, the beach blanket, a good book and some sangria and let the summer time fun begin 🙂

1950's summer

Beverly Hills Hotel Sand and Pool Club  history

1950s swimsuits

1950's summer

Hello boys 🙂

1950's summer men

Grease

Enjoy!

Liz 🙂

Deanna Durbin-A Canadian Born, 1940’s Movie Star

It was with sad news today that I read that Deanna Durbin has passed away at age 91.

Now some of you might be asking…..Who is Deanna Durbin?

This is Deanna Durbin-Movie star and later years wife and mother.

Deanna 1

Deanna was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada  (Yay Canada!) December 4, 1921 and her real name is actually “Edna Mae Durbin”. At the age of one she moved with her family to Hollywood where as she got a bit older it became very obvious that she had a talent for singing. Many lessons later she was discovered by an MGM casting director looking for someone to portray the opera star Ernestine Schumann-Heink as a child. At the age of 13 she signed with MGM and was placed in a one reel short called “Every Sunday” with a newly signed singer as well, Judy Garland. Deanna sang classical music while Judy sang Swing.

Here is the collaboration from the short.

This short from what I have read was actually an extended screen test for the two girls as MGM was unsure if they wanted two females singers on their roaster. They both passed with flying colours but by the time that this decision was made to keep Deanna her contract option had elapsed. MGM lost her to Universal Studios who placed her in her first feature-length movie in 1936 “Three Smart Girls“.  The huge success of this movie apparently saved Universal from Bankruptcy and ushered in an eight-year era of successful Deanna Musicals.

Many of her movies had the same kind of theme “Depression fairy tales in which Ms. Durbin won over or defeated silly rich people with the help of butlers, cooks and chauffeurs, who often risked their jobs to aid her”. Her characters also tended to find a way to help the struggling grown-ups in her life.

By 1946, Deanna had starred in 17 movies and her salary of $323,477 from Universal made her the second-highest-paid woman in America, just $5,000 behind Bette Davis. Wow!

Deanna 3

Deanna 2

Durbin eventually tried to assume a more sophisticated movie persona in such vehicles as the World War II story of refugee children from China, The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943), directed in part by Jean Renoir, the film noir Christmas Holiday (1944), directed by Robert Siodmak, and the whodunit Lady on a Train (1945), but her substantial fan base preferred her in light musical confections (Wikipedia).

By 1948, Deanna would eventually retire (after a total of 21 movies) and marry her third husband Charles David (At age 19 she married to her first husband and it lasted two years, she then married her second husband in 1945 and divorced followed in 1949, they had one daughter together).  Deanna then retired to a French Farmhouse where she lived a life out of the spotlight till her death a few days ago.

Why such an early retirement?

Durbin made it known that she did not like the Hollywood studio system. She emphasized that she never identified herself with the public image that the media created around her. She spoke of the Deanna “persona” in the third person, and considered the film character Deanna Durbin a by-product of her youth and not her true self  (Private letter to the film historian and critic William K. Everson in the late 1970s).

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So this was Deanna Durbin, a very talented actress who decided that a “normal life” was her real destiny. As a fan of her movies I have to say that I sure am glad that she did grace us with her presence on the screen and left us with a large library of 21 movies and even a record with Decca Records for us to enjoy for many more years.

Here are some more pictures of the beautiful and talented Deanna Durbin.

Deanna 5

deanna_durbin

Look at those shoes! EEK!!!

Deanna 4

Deanna on her First Wedding at the age of 19. The dress is gorgeous!

Deanna wedding

Now go out and enjoy a Deanna Durbin movie tonight 🙂

Bomb Girls the TV show has been in my closet

Yup you read that right, Bomb Girls the TV Show has been in my closet to copy a vintage dress I own. Okay…maybe they did not go into my closet lol but a Vintage dress I purchased 2 years ago (at VIVA) did appear on the show a couple of week ago.

Here is the dress that Betty is wearing, up front and center.

betty dress bomb girls

Now here is my dress.

liz bomb girl dress

TWINS!

I have no idea if the Bomb Girl dress is vintage or a reproduction but it’s kind of cool to see a vintage dress I own on one of my favorite TV shows. Clearly the stylist and I have the same taste in 1940’s clothes 🙂

Going to keep my eyes peeled to see if something else I own makes it onto the show lol

Liz 🙂