Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shoes by Aris Allen

Are you one of us gals totally infatuated with 1930s & 1940s vintage shoes - but find it hard to find them in your shoe size? Well, here comes the next best thing! I recently came across these Aris Allen shoes at DanceStore, which are exact repros of vintage shoes and they certainly look to be pretty authentic looking! They come in a variety of sizes AND the prices aren't bad! Now, these are swing dance shoes so I'm not exactly sure how well they hold up in everyday use - but perhaps some of you know?

Now, to be able to decide which pair to get... They're all oh! so very gorgeous, aren't they?

Aris Allen Black & Silver 1930s Heeled Oxford Swing Shoes

Aris Allen Black 1940s Velvet and Mesh Mary Jane

Aris Allen White Satin 1930s T-Strap - Suede Sole

Aris Allen Women's Red Peep-Toe Mary Jane

Film costumes: Cracks (2009)

I finally had the chance to see Jordan Scott's Cracks (2009), a film that I had been eagerly awaiting since I first saw photos of Eva Green on the set of the film, wearing those stunning 1930s looks. Here's the synopsis for the film, for those of you who have not seen it:

Cracks stars Eva Green as the mesmerizing Miss G, a liberating force in a staid but idyllic British boarding school. The story follows a clique of six girls whose dynamic is thrown off kilter by the arrival of a beautiful new Spanish student Fiamma. The hazy summer days by the lake provide the perfect setting for Fiamma's wild and intriguing tales of her travels in India with her father. Miss G is captivated but it's not long before ripples appear on the surface and the cracks beneath emerge in the relationship between teacher and pupil.

I had high expectations for the film and it certainly did not disappoint. Firstly, the costumes by Alison Byrne are truly jaw-dropping; it has been quite a while since I've seen such amazing period styling in a contemporary film! If like me you've fallen in love with the costumes by Byrne, I suggest you check out this interesting interview with her for more insight into the costumes of Cracks. I also loved the details of the sets and the gorgeous filming locations, which made me reminisce Scotland, my home of four years. I also thought the storyline and especially the dynamics between the characters were very intriguing and the film has such a fresh take on a story set in the 30s. Lastly, the performances by Eva Green and Juno Temple especially are very compelling - the performances alone make me wonder why the film never received proper release! I urge you to seek out Cracks! It is definitely worth a look, especially if you appreciate 1930s style.

I'll leave you with a picspammy of my favorite outfits worn by Eva Green's character Miss G. I'd like one of each ensemble, please! Also, I'll have to apologize for the low quality of these images, which don't really do the film justice... But hopefully you'll still get something out of them.

Lastly, here's a better look at my very favorite Miss G number. You can really see all of the amazing details in the high quality photo. I think this look is pure perfection! Have a look at the 1930s manicure too!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Film costumes: City Lights (1931)

I was watching Charles Chaplin's stunning masterpiece City Lights (1931) this weekend and couldn't help but constantly gasp over the stunning costumes worn by the extras. I was especially impressed by the ones in the daytime street scenes - so many gorgeous hats, dresses and shoes!

I just had to share some screencaptures of these wonderful late 1920s / early 1930s daytime looks. Actually, if you look closely, you'll see many of the same dresses re-appear, even in different scenes. Perhaps Charlie loved the dresses so much that he wanted to make sure people noticed them? Well, I sure did. Hee!

The one above is, perhaps, my favorite look in the film. This is what I call chic!

I love these two girls and, yes, I'm such a sucker for a pretty Peter Pan collar!

Virginia Cherrill is wonderful in the film as the blind flower girl. She's very beautiful too, and I love her hair.

In the end Virginia too gets a darling dress with gorgeous lace collar and sleeve detailing to wear.

All together now: "Awwww!"

Speaking of City Lights... To celebrate Tampere Film Festival's 40th anniversary, the film was recently screened at Tampere Hall and was accompanied live by Tampere Chamber. Over 1400 classic film fans attended the screening. I'm truly heartbroken that I missed this grand event but at least it was for a good cause as I was myself working hard at the festival. It must have been amazing, though, to see a film not only accompanied live but also shared with such a huge audience, reminescent of the way the silents actually were seen back in the day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Confessions of a Dress-a-holic

Long time, no blog! I've been insanely busy at work this month but my internship is coming to an end soon, which means more sewing, more classic films, more blogging, and more photos. Meanwhile, I thought I'd post a few photos of the gorgeous finds I've been lucky enough to snag as of recent.

1930s day dress via fabgabs

I am overjoyed to have found this amazingly adorable 1930s dress! If you're a plus-sized vintage enthusiast like me, you know how incredibly difficult it is to find 1930s dresses in larger sizes - let alone for a decent price! 1930s is my favorite era and I've never before actually had a dress that is 1930s vintage. So, yes, I'm very happy about this dress.

1950s day dress via fabgabs

Another beautiful daytime dress from fabgabs. I fell in love with the color, the collar detail and the hip pockets. I've been after a beautiful day dress and am glad I found the perfect one.

1950s dress via CapriciousTraveler

I could hardly believe it when I came across this dress. It is a green silk dress with autumn-y leaf print by Meera Brooke. I love the bow collar detail, which unfortunately doesn't show too well in this photo. It is in deadstock condition with the original tags still attached. Cost of the dress? Less than $50. I am still in awe. This lovely number has quickly become one of my favorites. All I can say is a big THANK YOU to CapriciousTraveler!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Florence and the Machine @ Tavastia - March 3, 2010

On Wednesday, March 3rd, I attended a Florence and the Machine gig at Tavastia in Helsinki.

To be honest, I haven't been very excited about music since my all time favorite band Sleater-Kinney broke up in 2006... Until Florence and the Machine came along, that is! I immediately fell in love with Florence Welch's powerful vocals and charismatic stage presence. Her voice is right up there with Corin Tucker of S-K and Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane in my book. The debut album "Lungs" by Florence and the Machine came out last summer on the day I graduated from university. It has been on constant play for me ever since and I never seem to tire of it, which I think is saying quite a lot for a debut album. Plus, it strongly takes me back to Scotland and reminds me of my university years and last summer so it means a lot to me.

The strange thing is that I never had the chance to see Florence perform whilst living in the UK so my first time of seeing her live was in Finland. I had heard amazing things about her shows so my expectations were high, and yet I was somehow left breathless of just how brilliant she was! Florence's vocals sounded even better live and her voice held out perfectly throughout the show. Her voice truly is incredible - what an enormous gift she has been given! You got the sense that Florence ripped out her heart and gave it her all. And yet, she was able to perfectly balance out the more raw and melancholy songs with the more straight-forward rock'n'roll ones like "Kiss with a Fist". For the record, I prefer said melancholy songs on her album but even the ones I'm not such a fan of totally worked for me live.

We were lucky enough to be standing on the very front row in front of the stage. The gig was sold out but since the venue is quite small, it was still a nice and intimate show. The energy was exhilarating in front of the stage; everyone was singing, jumping and having a blast! Florence herself seemed so lovely. She wore a gorgeous green number and was barefoot. She told us that she had been to UFF, a second hand shop, earlier the day and bought a cape. Florence also said that the crowd had lovely hair and that it consisted of more redheads that she'd seen before. She was very excited about it and ahe asked us redheads to raise our hands. Yes, I felt very proud to be a redhead at that moment, hee!

My favorite song live was "Drumming Song". I love it on the album but holy wow, was it brilliant live! The energy was quite something! I happened to find a little video of the song on YouTube.

Here's the setlist of the gig, in case anyone's interested:

"Kiss with a Fist"
"My Boy Builds Coffins"
"Hurricane Drunk"
"Between Two Lungs"
"Drumming Song"
"Cosmic Love"
"You've Got the Love"

"Dog Days Are Over"
"Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)"

For the record, I've now made it my mission to see Florence live as many times as possible. Thankfully she's coming back to Finland in July... I'll so be there!

I wore by Captain Flare dress by Bettie Page Clothing to the show.

I'll leave you with the video of the performance that made me fall in love with Florence and the Machine.