Thursday, August 25, 2011
This installment of 'The Dressing Room Series' is dedicated to Queen of Heartz, an LA based clothing line created in 2001 by vintage enthusiast Letty Tennant. Queen of Heartz sets themselves apart through use of 'fine fabrics, and perfection of construction-both important to obtain a true vintage look'.
In browsing through the easy-to-navigate website, I noticed that the majority of the dresses and separates are in the style of the 1940's and 1950's, with a few 1930's touches thrown into the mix. The company also offers a lovely selection of wedding dresses and swimwear. Shipping is available worldwide, though what you pay will be dependent on order total and location.
Pricing is standard of high quality vintage inspired clothing, dresses ranging from 80.00 to 200.00, depending on style and availability. Prices are indicative of quality and to this I can personally attest. All of the dresses I received were extraordinarily well made, constructed of high grade fabrics.
Dress #1, The 'Ruca', is a a 40's style cocktail dress featuring a wide surplice neckline and cris-cross panels at the hips. There is also a lovely sequin applique at the shoulder that accentuates the neckline and the stretch satin fabric. The fit is conservative but body-conscious. I did not notice that there was a significant amount of stretch in the material, however, so make sure to check the measurements before ordering. I feel that the fit is very flattering, especially since the panels at the hips draw attention to the waistline. On the model, the panels do lay much flatter than they do on my own body type, therefore this could be a drawback for someone who is more conscious of their mid-section. It retails for 120.00 and is available in several shades.
Dress #2 is the Rosa, a sexier 'wiggle-style' dress constructed of stretch satin as well, and available in a variety of colors. The one I received was a lovely shade of ivory that would be very flattering to deeper skin tones. It is cut with a much slimmer fit than the Ruca, but features a gorgeous gathered bust and rosette detail that will enhance a smaller chest area.
The pockets at the waist are an interesting architectural detail but again, may draw attention to the waistline in a way that may be off-putting to some. While the fit is not as conservative as The Ruca, it is undeniably a beautiful dress, retailing at 144.00.
Dress # 3, 'The Holiday', is a great option for dancing dolls. It features a full swing skirt with no skimping on the fabric and a lovely rosette detail at the slightly dropped waistline. The stretch cotton sateen is a comfortable choice, providing a breathability that will withstand even extreme climates. The neckline is a modest draped halter style with a winged accent at the bust. I found that the sizing was again accurate, although the bust does seem to press down a little and could cause some concern to those who aren't blessed in that department. The dropped waist also causes a few fit issues for me since I am by nature short-waisted...but this is something that could easily be altered and would be worthwhile for such a timeless piece. The dress definitely would benefit through use of a crinoline, to further accentuate the waist. It retails for a sale price of 120.00, currently.
Queen of Heartz is an excellent option for vintage inspired fashion that isn't run-of-the-mill. The garments are very well crafted and well planned, providing a great wardrobe option for vintage enthusiasts and classic style alike. So click on that purty little link on the right, in my Sponsor column, and shop around the site for a while!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Starring: Bette Davis, Ann Baxter, George Sanders
Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Another of my top ten favorite films, 'All About Eve' is the quintessential 'show business' film. If you are a fan of stage or screen, this timeless look into the lives of the 'players' will always prove to be a great piece of entertainment.
Synopsis: Margo Channing (Bette Davis)is a renowned stage actress, revered for her great commitment to her craft. One evening, Margo is introduced to Eve- a starry eyed fan of her work who has seen every performance of her current play, 'Aged in Wood'. Eve's charming personality and infatuation with the stage make her a beloved addition to Margo's circle of friends...for a time. Acid-tongued columnist Addison DeWitt soon sees something in Eve that the others do not...determination and driving ambition. By the time the people to whom Eve has attached herself become aware of her goals, the damage has been done.
The Film: One of the most successful things about this film is Mankiewicz's 'stage-like' direction. It retains the appeal of a live production while still giving us gorgeous black and white cinematography and stunning camera-work. The subtle nuances of the character development are increasingly apparent as the film progresses, inviting us into Eve's world and Margo's confusion. The dialogue is unequaled, possibly the best ever written. It is both witty and profound; candid and coy. Never once does the story lag or the execution of it disappoint.
The Players: I make no secret of the fact that I feel this is the 'dream cast'. It is an absolutely perfect juxtaposition of attitudes and skills that cannot possibly be conveyed by simple delivery of the brilliant lines. Standout is of course Davis...and this is her crowning achievement, in my opinion. Her Margo is a flawed but powerful heroine, a lady you'd feel honored to know-but in whose presence you'd feel inadequate. Her troubled heart is evident throughout the film, and yet her tough exterior makes her seem even more human.
Playing a very slim 'second-fiddle' to Davis' scenery chewing broad is George Sanders as Addison DeWitt- the cynical theater critic whose admiration of Margo's talent is in conflict with his obvious attraction to Eve. In the latter, he sees a feminine counterpart...someone who shares his passion and tenacity. From the opening narration, his honeyed voice inevitably pulls you into the drama at hand.
Supporting parts are also immaculately played, from Celeste Holm's loyal wife and friend to Gary Merrill as Margo's masculine support team and Thelma Ritter as her shrewdly perceptive maid. Marilyn Monroe also makes a memorable big screen debut as Miss Caswell, a flighty model who is trying to break into acting- using Addison as her means to an end.
Final Thoughts: There are not many dialogue driven films that can retain my interest after multiple viewings, like this one. It is by far the most successful film of its kind and is a 'must see' for anyone who is interested in theater and the lives of those who have chosen the stage as their career.
My rating: 10/10
Style Score: 9/10
Make sure to check out the 'extras' during the party and restaurant scenes for great glimpses of early 50's styling. Monroe has also never looked lovelier. Her 'audition' costume and styling is my favorite of the film.
Friday, August 19, 2011
In an ardent desire to prevent damage to my hair, I have significantly cut down on the amount of heat I use in styling. Whenever I can, I let my hair dry naturally before setting it, and for curls-I tend to opt for a 'wet set' over a heated one. Therefore, a good setting lotion is a must.
You who have been following my Youtube channel for a while, may remember my Lottabody Setting Lotion Review that I did around the time of my Starlet Series.
The one problem I had with Lottabody was that it tended to leave my hair sort of 'crunchy' unless I diluted the heck out of it. Then the staying power seemed somewhat compromised. A gal from Australia (sorry, I forget her name) alerted me to Motions on the Fedora Lounge and I am forever indebted. It's a wonderful product!
'Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion' is a mousse-type setting lotion for wet sets that can be found in the Ethnic sections of most drugstores, here in the States. It has a clean, non-descript scent. When I'm doing a dry, heated set I tend to use my Layrite Grooming Spray to prep my hair before drying and curling it. When I am utilizing a wet set, I usually prep my hair with setting lotion before allowing it to air dry or blowing it dry. THEN I use plain water to re-moisten the hair before I pin curl or roll. If I'm going for a curlier 'do', then I will prep the hair w/ Motions first, and then roll straight from damp hair. Try both ways and see which suits you best!
The result for me is hair soft to the touch that holds curl nearly twice as long.