We’re starting a fun new project – creating a mini-wardrobe for a woman who is a docent at a local historical site, Hearst Castle.

Myrna Loy in When Ladies Meet - 1934

Myrna Loy in When Ladies Meet – 1934

The docents wear 30s attire and our docent prefers the early to mid period, when the clothing was flowing, elegant and feminine. I like that the period also mixed in harder lines with interesting seams, buttoned bits and unique necklines. Our docent has requested up to four outfits – a day dress or two, an evening dress and pajamas (PJs weren’t just for sleeping – they were for lounging, as they can be today, and beach-wear). We’ve added one very important item – a corset or girdle. More on the specific garments later.

I’ve always loved the elegance of the 30s gowns. The sleek, body hugging lines of a bias cut, the low backs and the glowing fabrics. At the top of my fabulous fashion list are Myrna Loy (If you’ve never seen The Thin Man, I highly recommend it. Myrna was as smart and sassy as she was fashionable. She made the difficult role of straight-man look effortless, including the occasional bit of physical comedy) and Ginger Rogers (who, rather famously, “did everything he [Fred Astaire] could do, but backwards and in heels” – I wish I could remember who said that). Even their day-wear in films was elegant, as the clothing of our docent should be. They are portraying the guests of Mr. Hearst and could be anyone from a starlet to the wife of someone who worked at Mr. Hearst’s magazine.

So where do you go if you want some accurate reproduction 1930s clothing? It turns out that is a very good question.

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Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013 Runway

At first glance I thought I was seeing an orange and gold sort of Sari fabric dress. While that is an interesting idea, what I now think this is, is a beautiful and delicate lace with either white or gold fabric beneath (I can’t tell which with the lighting). After watching the video of his Spring 2013 runway show here, (more…)

Today was a day of delightfully odd “fashions”. I can’t help but share:

Runway fashion is often about high concept pieces that are later tamed and translated to tamed (no alliteration intended) down to reasonable, every-day-wear garments. I can’t imagine how this would translate…

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See the entire post and more images @ Laughing Squid

And here’s an odd, long rise pant for women that was available for sale, but is sold out. (more…)

This is the first in a series of posts that will highlight wonderful designs, designers and aesthetics that we Rogues find inspiring.

One could argue that, to simply recreate a time period in clothing and accessory is unimaginative (which is one reason the Rogues love all the possibilities of Steampunk!). If you’re talking about the world of cutting edge fashion, you may be right, but if you’re talking about historical costume, that is the ultimate goal, and it’s not easy to pull off. In fashion you’re looking to give a nod or catch the flavor of an aesthetic in your own designs. In costume, you may be looking to recreate a historical period with modern materials and your success lies not only in good planing and execution, but in the details that give the look authenticity.

Lena Hosceck is Austrian fashion designer who creates a period look, while making it accessible for modern tastes.

My favorite photos of her designs take the aesthetic to the fullest measure with perfect settings, details and poses. These are a few of my favorites (I’m afraid I don’t have specific attribution for these photos, but I believe they are magazine shots of her Fall 2010 collection):

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It was someone’s bright idea to get married in Las Vegas in July. And then, to make it irresistible to the Rogues (as if we weren’t already excited), they made it themed – 40s/50s.

The ensuing costume is an original design based on a 1937 Butterick dress, floral patterns of the era and a 1990s Vogue skirt pattern, both altered with some ad-libbing in the middle. I ended up using a stretch pinstripe fabric for the body of the dress and a Kaufman fabric for the bodice and skirt flounce, with a coordinating fabric to line the inside of the large brimmed hat. I’m sorry I don’t have images of the original hat. It had a deeper crown and was completely floppy. I added wire to the brim, cut down the crown and pleated the lining fabric into it. I also made a coordinating clutch purse for me and a tie for my husband.

Despite the heat, the wedding was awesome! And yes, it was Elvis themed. Note the Elvis glasses. I even found out how to make hair setting solution like they would have used at the time. It worked well, but didn’t hold up to the heat.

   

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