Saturday, June 28, 2014

Vera Vault

I know, I know.  I've completely fallen down on the job as far as the Vera Vault is concerned.  I mean, I haven't stopped getting new scarves, I just haven't been posting them.  We pulled out my bag of newest acquisitions, gathered over the past year, to photograph (finally!), and you know, I didn't remember buying that many...

Oh well, here's a few to start with today.  I thought they all look like they were made using a wax resist method of decoration. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On the Radar -- Latin Influence

We Blackbirds get inspiration from many places, and we recently watched "Anchors Aweigh" one night when it was on TCM.  (Hey -- if Gene Kelly is on the TV, we're going to watch it.  Unless it's "The Pirate." Then no, no, no!)  Now, I'm sure you know by now that we love us some color and pattern.  The more, the better!  And what I had never really paid attention to when watching this movie is the 1940s fascination with Mexico that runs throughout.  Kathryn Grayson's Aunt Susie character works as a singer at a Mexican restaurant, and the backdrop that the restaurant provides is full of amazing inspiration, from clothing to music to the village-like atmosphere outside the restaurant, which even has a little lonely senorita for Mr. Kelly to dance with around a fountain. 

When I decided to write this week's On the Radar (finally!), then, of course, I just had to talk about the resurgence of Mexican, Spanish and otherwise Latin print, patterns, and colors.  Designers pulled it out for Spring 2014, but it's not really going anywhere quite yet.  Here's a roundup of some of my favorites, new and vintage -- and I'd like to think Aunt Susie would approve of everything!

Nicolas Jebran, 2013-2014 Couture

Valentino resort, 2015
Valentino resort, 2015
Mara Hoffman, 2014

Embroidered tunic, from Living Textiles on Etsy, here

1940s jacket from Red Poppy Vintage Shop on Etsy, here.
1970s Purse from Sunday Girl Finds on Etsy, here.
1970s rug, from our shop, here.
1980s embroidered caftan, from our shop, here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Junk Love: Dior Drama

When the Blackbird girls go shopping for junk, we like to start out the day with a little fantasy element: In a perfect world, what would we find today? The answers usually involve fantastic mid-century furniture (signed of course), really good costume jewelry, and Robert Downey Jr. (oh please, like you didn't know this about us already). And then we close our eyes and chant vintage Dior, vintage Dior. Someday, there will probably be a rain dance of sorts, but our chances are still pretty terrible of actually finding any. But while we keep the dream alive, we like to spend a ridiculous percentage of our free time looking at photos of Dior dresses. Today's collection features dramatic skirts, starting with Dior's iconic scalloped ladies: Junon and Venus, both of which are in the collection of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dior "Venus" dress, Costume Institute

Richard Avedon's photo of "Junon"
"Junon" dress, Costume Institute

And a few variations on the scallop theme:

For drama of a different length:

A bit of basket weave: