Friday, August 2, 2013

The Skinny: Lucky Star

In-house fashion models, known as "mannequins," became popular in the mid-1800s house of Charles Frederick Worth, but it wasn't until the 1940s that the mannequins started gaining reputations of their own. One of the most famous of these ladies was Lucie Daouphars, later famously nicknamed "Lucky."

She started out poor, a miserable, married teenager with a baby. Her husband left, and she went to work in a metal factory as a solderer. That could have been her life--a single mother, struggling in a factory job in a war-torn country. But, the fashion world offered a nugget of hope. Agnes Drecoll was in desperate need of a short-term mannequin, and Lucie was everything she could have hoped for. As someone who is gorgeous, ambitious, and who walks like a goddess, she gained fame and a type of freedom that most mannequins had never known before: the ability to freelance for different brands as her own reputation grew. Lucie worked her way up the Mt. Olympus of French fashion, from Hermes, to Jacques Fath, to Zeus himself--Christian Dior.

Lucky became Dior's muse. He once said "that to design a dress on Lucky was to be granted a constant source of inspiration." As he preferred to design clothing by draping fabric on live models, we can only imagine how many iconic Dior looks started out in a brainstorming session with Lucky. Le sigh....

Lucky and Dior; Here

She eventually quit modeling to start a rights group for other women in the mannequin profession. Sadly, she was diagnosed with a rapid-growing cancer in her early 40s. The pain kept her in bed most of the time, but she insisted on dressing and attending her birthday party. She died two days later.

The funeral was quite an event. It took place at the Church of St. Pierre de Chaillot in Paris, the same church that had hosted Dior's and Fath's funerals previously. The guests included dozens of models, seamstresses, and fashion delivery girls, as well as the bankers (and their wives)--the trendsetters of Paris fashion. Lucky was dressed in a red satin evening gown, embellished with jet and pearls, that Dior made for her as a parting gift when she resigned. It was a melancholy day, perhaps made more so for those who remembered the closing line from Lucky's book: "Fashion moves us because it dies so young."

*Information obtained from:,1648724

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On the Radar -- This post is for the dogs...

We've been talking about dogs a lot lately.  We did the Doxie Love post, as well as the 101 Dalmatians post.  And today, when looking around for ideas for this post, I found out that it's not just us.  Seems everybody is dog crazy right now.  The above portraits are by artist Lisa Bengtsson, and are available here.

Of course, I'm partial to dachshunds, but I love all kinds of dogs.  And I'm really in love with my doggie finds!  What do you think?

Madison Humphrey Dog Flock Wallpaper, here.
Pillow from Naked Decor on Etsy, here.
Lady and Two Dogs print from Crate and Barrel, here.
From Quatre Fleurs on Etsy, here.
Print by Janet Hill on Etsy, here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Junk Love Monday: Mermaids!

You know you secretly want to be one. Admit it. They get to swim, and have pretty hair, and have all sorts of pearly accessories. Occasionally, they read Vogue in a secret grotto, like Glynis Johns in Miranda (1948).

But, alas, mermaidishness is not possible for most of us, so we have to be content with owning mermaid-y stuffs.

Vintage mermaid decal; Etsy

Sometimes, they are on fabric. However, the interpretation may differ:

Vintage Little Mermaid cocktail napkin; Etsy

Vintage Swiss Air handkerchief; Etsy

I can't help it. That second one makes me laugh. Really, really hard. And yet, if I found that in a thrift store, it would definitely go home with me.

Of course, you could have mermaid accessories.

Vintage Hattie Carnegie brooch; Etsy

 I've seen plenty of Siam pieces, but never a blue and green Siamese MERMAID!!!!


 And this Soviet piece is pretty sweet:

Vintage mermaid pin; Etsy

I would definitely have a cup of cocoa in this cool cup:

Little Mermaid cup and saucer; Etsy

Perhaps with some plates of cookies on this fab set of mermaid placemats:

Vintage Arnold Designs placemats, Etsy.

And sardines are gross, but mermaid sardines are awesome!

1940s Mermaid sardine tin; Etsy