Dapper Day at LACMA

Happy Monday, lovely readers!

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Last Friday was Dapper Day at LACMA. Usually I prefer to stay home on Fridays. I usually get very lazy with hair, makeup, and outfits on Fridays so staying home is a great option. Although I considered skipping this Dapper Day event, I’m so glad I went. After all, I couldn’t miss out on a museum trip, free jazz, and seeing so many dapper ladies and gents!

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Dapper Day at LACMA was a full day event with docent led tours of Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015, picnic on LACMA’s lawn, followed by a jazz concert featuring Sasha’s Bloc. Unfortunately due to work I wasn’t able to make it to the docent-led tours of the exhibition, but I did have the opportunity to view the exhibition on my own later.

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Reigning Men featured men’s fashion from the eighteenth century to contemporary times, challenging the notion that fashion is “feminine.” The exhibition displayed historical pieces of fashion, such as a smoking suit, and the contemporary designer’s work who was inspired by the garment. Designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, among others, were displayed alongside historical pieces pulled out of LACMA’s own collection.

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The exhibition was quite comprehensive and divided into multiple sections, such as East/West cross-cultural influences, Uniforms, and standards of beauty and fashion for men. I loved that I had the opportunity to view the evolution of men’s fashion, especially since there isn’t as much attention put on the history of menswear. I’ve included some memorable pieces from the exhibition here for you to enjoy!

For this Dapper Day, I decided to wear one of my favorite vintage pieces. The dress is from late 50s/60s and made of Italian silk dupioni. It’s such a beautiful cut and has small roses across the bodies. I absolutely fell in love with the dress as soon as I saw it.

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I paired the dress with my silver Bettie Page shoes that I got off a Zulily sale. I’ve ordered from Zulily twice now and both times it’s been very successful. Bettie Page shoes are one of the most comfortable brands I own. To be honest, I don’t have any accessories to match this dress, but I’m on the hunt for them! I’m just glad I had these silver shoes in my closet because they’re the only light colored shoes I own.

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I don’t have a purse to match the dress either, so I just took a black purse from Pinup Couture, although ideally I’d have held a lucite purse if I could afford one.

Although my mis-matched purse was on my mind and I was quite exhausted, I still had a wonderful time. Sasha’s Bloc was great and we got a chance to try a couple of drinks specifically for the event.

Outfit Details:
Dress: Vintage from Ghost Rabbits Vintage
Shoes: Bettie Page Shoes

 

 

Miracle Mile

Question: How many candy striped items can a girl have?
Answer:tumblr_m8z1jigDLv1r5pqmto1_500.gif

I wanted to blog about the Candy Striped harley dress the day I got in the mail but I thought I should wait a little so we avoid stripes overload. I realize I have a problem, but I just can’t help myself – I love stripes!

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The moment I saw the Harley dress I immediately though of Robert Irwin’s Miracle Mile on display at LACMA. The shades and sequence of colors are very similar of Miracle Mile are almost identical to the shades of the new candy striped harley dress.

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Robert Irwin, Miracle Mile, 2013-ongoing

Robert Irwin is a contemporary installation and light works artist known for his site-specific works, whose first exhibition of paintings was in LACMA in 1957. In Miracle Mile, Irwin has used 66 fluorescent tubes covered in colorful gels varying in shades. A single photograph cannot actually capture what Miracle Mile does to a viewer’s perception in person.

The artwork is situated in a hallway that connects Richard Serra’s Band and Chris Burden’s Metropolis II. On the opposing end is a large panoramic window right along Wilshire Blvd. (yes, Miracle Mile faces Miracle Mile). The artwork’s complexity stems from its relationship to its surroundings. However, without human and natural intervention, Miracle Mile would cease to exist. The artwork evolves every second of the day, just as shadows and lighting shift outside on Wilshire Blvd. The piece can never look the same because so many elements factor into the existence of the piece. In addition, the viewer’s perception and individual experience with the artwork deepens the complexity of the piece. Where the viewer stands, how they look, and what they choose to notice in the piece creates an experience that can never be duplicated.

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Miracle Mile Sign on Wilshire Blvd, circa 1940 

Not only can you view Miracle Mile when you’re in the gallery, you can also view it outside as you’re walking across the street, which completely changes the definition of how to view art in museums. Irwin’s choice to position his piece in a way that museum goers and the public can view also gets me to question standard definitions of museums. As a museum professional, my goal is to bring people to the museum. A visitors physical presence in the museum is significant because they chose to walk through those doors and view art. But Irwin’s choice of offering Miracle Mile a dual existence allows art to trickle into people’s peripheral vision, whether they are in the museum with the intention of viewing his piece or not.

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Pinup Girl Clothing’s [sort of] new candy striped Harley dress similarly plays with a viewer’s perception. The dress has beautifully vivid red, green, blue stripes of varying thicknesses. Initially, I thought they were on a white background, but upon further inspection, I noticed they’re actually a very soft shade of pink. The dress is stunning because just like Irwin’s Miracle Mile, the Harley dress changes according to the lighting and the viewer’s perception. As you can seen in the various images, the colors of the dress shift according to the lighting and where I’m standing.

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The dress comes with a red belt which is perfect, because I love wearing red. I put in a simple hair flower I got from the H&M in Lebanon and one of my favorite Bettie Page shoes. Bettie Page shoes are so stylish and comfortable, and the best part is there are frequent Zulily sales where you can find them for very cheap.

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I was initially hesitant about the bodice because I was worried it wouldn’t look good on my shoulders. I was definitely wrong! It’s super flattering and very comfortable to wear. Because you can’t wear a regular bra with the dress, the best option is strapless. I prefer to wear a longline strapless because I find it more comfortable than regular strapless bras, and I’m less anxious about going out in them.

 

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I’m also glad that all the new PUG dresses and skirts have pockets! It’s perfect for the modern girl who has a vintage heart.

Outfit Details:
Dress: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Bettie Page Shoes
Hair Accessory: H&M
Petticoat: Malco Modes

 

Still Life with Oranges

Life’s been a bit tough lately, so I decided to pause and just dedicate a whole entire day to having fun. I had a “fake birthday,” or, a “unbirthday.” It was an absolute thrill. I had the opportunity to enjoy the day with the same silly enthusiasm that I would if it were my birthday.

I decided to wear a cheerful outfit, so I opted for the oranges Jenny skirt and the dark green voodoo vixen top from Pinup Girl Clothing. I was particularly influenced by Paul Gauguin’s painting, Still Life with Oranges from 1881.

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Paul Gauguin was primarily known for his stunning use of color and as a key member of Symbolism and Synthesism. He’s also known for his paintings during his years in Tahiti and short period of time in Martinique. His style moved away from Impressionism, but in many of his early works were displayed in Impressionist exhibitions.

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Paul Gauguin, Still Life with Oranges, 1881. Oil on canvas.

Impressionism was a break the academic form of painting, and a rejection of lines, contours, and painting in the studio. Impressionists primarily painted en plein air, with visible brush strokes and brightly contrasting colors. While it is highly unlikely that Still Life with Oranges was painted outside of a studio, the visible strokes and the bright contrasting colors are elements of Impressionism and Guaguin’s early works. Impressionists looked at life in a completely different light, choosing to depict the candid moments, the immediacy, and colors of daily life. In a sense, I needed that Impressionist mentality on my “unbirthday.” I wanted to concentrate on the candid moments of life; I wanted to live in the immediacy of life, soak in all the fun and just let go.

In still life paintings, the aesthetic qualities of a painting take precedence over anything else, putting more attention on the details of items that usually are in the background of larger compositions with human subjects. Still life paintings, particularly from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, usually held religious or symbolic meanings and depicted fruits, vegetables, game, and manmade objects.

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Like many others, I missed out on purchasing this skirt the first time around so I waited patiently impatiently for its release…with pockets! Because of the orange border, I did not hem this skirt so I won’t ruin the print. I paired it with my white Cosette petticoat from Malco Modes for a little bit of volume. Since it’s so hot in Los Angeles currently, the Cosette is perfect as it is light and breathable, but still provides 2 layers of fullness.

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The skirt has a rich shade of green, bright orange, and a beautiful yellow. Strangely enough, I noticed that in photos the skirt’s colors look brighter than they are in person – almost neon. It must be the way that the camera picks up the colors, or the way that they lok on the pure white background of the skirt. I wanted my top to match the green leaves of the skirt (until PUG comes out with an orange colored peasant top), so I wore the dark green voodoo vixen top. I have this top in both a small and a medium. Medium is definitely a bit larger, but I wear it when I want to cross the straps from the front. When I want the straps crossed in the back, I go for my small VV tops.

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I also wore my favorite brooch which has an emerald green background and a gold cicada. Since the green almost perfectly matched the top, the gold cicada was more prominent, which was done intentionally.

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I matched with my soft pink wicker purse from Pinup Couture, which is possibly one of my favorite purses now. It is so spacious inside and the closure tab makes sure that the purse stays shut. It’s cute, compact, and very stylish. Although there isn’t any pink in my outfit to match my purse, I thought it was a good color to help break away from making my whole outfit too color coordinated.

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I also wore my vintage gold earrings from Armenia, white I estimate dates back to the 1960s. I usually don’t like the 2 chambered heart (I prefer anatomical hearts), but these earrings are  so beautiful and unique. I’m also glad I have such a special piece in my vintage collection, gifted to me by my grandmother.

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I’m glad I took the day and celebrated my “unbirthday,” particularly with this beautiful skirt. It was so necessary!

Outfit Details:
Shoes: Chelsea Crew from ModCloth
Earrings: VIntage
Literally everything else: Pinup Girl Clothing

Swimsuit Season!

It’s always fun in the sun until someone gets burned, right? Well unfortunately that someone was me on my recent trip to Palm Springs. I haven’t been sunburned in years so I didn’t realize that  it feels like my skin is covered by a layer of clay and is slowly cracking. Regardless, being in the sun and wearing swimsuits is still one of my favorite things.

This is a special blog post dedicated to my favorite category of clothing – swimwear! I have a constantly growing collection of vintage and reproduction swimwear. I can’t get enough.

For this trip, I decided to take 5 of my favorite swimsuits with me – 3 by Vintage Suits by Mary, one by Pinup Girl Clothing, and one by Esther Williams. I really wanted to take a couple of my vintage suits as well, but I thought I’ll just stick to reproduction pieces since I’ll be in the water most of the time.

I ended up wearing 4 out of the 5 swimsuits I took with me because I didn’t end up going in the pool on the last day of our mini vacation. Although I didn’t wear my bikini, I don’t have anything against bikinis – I love them! However, I just ended up gravitating more towards my one piece suits this trip.

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Nina Leen, Life Magazine, 1950

Any time I’m in a swimsuit, I always think of vintage photographs of fabulous girls relaxing at the beach, especially like Nina Leen’s beach fashion photographs for Life Magazine. Nina Leen is one of my favorite photographers and a pretty badass woman. She had a wonderful eye for fashion but also photographed circus life and animals. One of her goals was to publish a book about bats. She is definitely one of my favorite women in the history of art.

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The first suit I wore is one of my favorites because I got it on sale from the Pinup Girl website. I’ve had my eye on it forever but never bought it. Finally, it was on sale and although it was out of stock in my size, I took the risk and sized down. It still fit perfectly although it’s a bit tighter than I’d like it to be. Regardless, I’m so glad I finally have it in my possession. I absolutely love spiders and spiderwebs so this was the perfect suit for me!

I love a good mix of vintage, gothic, and swimwear and this piece has all that. It’s inspired by the 1960s Cole of California Scandal suit that had a mesh midriff.

Scandalous, indeed, but modest for us, millennials.

To match my swimsuit I wore my brand new 1922 Blood Red lipstick from Besame cosmetics. It is such a rich shade of red and I was so excited to wear it out.

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My second swimsuit is the one and only Queen of all swimwear, the Marilyn swimsuit by Pinup Girl Clothing.

It’s the most glamorous swimsuit I’ve ever owned in a luxurious burgundy color. The slight sparkle, gathered style, and cut makes the piece as glamorous as its namesake. It did come with detachable rhinestone brooches for the swimsuit straps but I honestly forgot to take them with me.

This was my first time wearing it in the water and not just to look fabulous. It looks just as gorgeous wet as it does dry. Naturally, it’s a lot darker when it’s wet.  It does take a long time to dry but that’s because there’s so much material. Mine took almost a full day to completely dry, but that’s why I was prepared with 5 swimsuits!

Just a random note: Pinup Girl Clothing even reposted my picture. Day. Made. 

My lipstick was American Doll Liquid Lipstick by Anastasia Beverly Hills. Its a true red lipstick that applies smoothly and stays on forever without bleeding. It’s her perfect for the pool or hot summer days when you’re too lazy to reapply lipstick!

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The ultimate 1940s inspired swimsuit! I couldn’t get pictures of this by the pool, so I just have a couple of me wearing it before we headed out to the pool. It’s another swimsuit by Vintage Suits by Mary. For this, I stuck to my regular size small and it was perfect – almost as if t was designed specifically for my body. I absolutely love it!

I absolutely love this suit and it got a lot of attention from the other ladies at the pool. I had a couple of girls ask me where I got it from. Kristen Dunst was actually sitting next to me at the pool when I had this piece on – so now I have a very special memory attached to this piece too! After I complimented her swimsuit, she complimented mine. Major achievement unlocked! I just wish I wasn’t so shy to tell her how much I love her work.

The swimsuit is gathered in the center with a little triangular cutout and a little tie bust. It’s pretty much the Renee dress of swimwear.

I wanted to go for my signature color, red, but it was sold out in my size. I never thought I’d wear this swimsuit color so I was hesitant about buying it. However, I thought I needed to add some color to my collection, and I am so glad I did. The back of this swimsuit gives me a lot of anxiety because it shows off so much of my back. If you remember in my last post, I mentioned I have a birthmark on my back that I’m really self conscious about. I had to overcome my fear and go out in it. Although I’m still not fully comfortable,  a couple of drinks helped calm my nerves.

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My lipstick of the day was Victory Red by Besame Cosmetics. It’s inspired by a 1940s shade of red so it’s perfect for my 1940s inspired swimsuit!

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Now, last, but definitely not the least (well…in regards to coverage it’s the least! 😉), I present to you the Scandalous suit by Vintage Suits by Mary. It is inspired by the Cole of California Scandal suit. It has a plunging V neckline with a mesh insert and a completely open back.

I fell in love with this look because of Yvonne Craig’s picture of her Scandal suit. Isn’t she just perfect?!


Seriously, this girl is #goals.

I sized down in this piece per recommendations and it fit perfectly. I was really worried about coverage because I’ve never worn something like this before. However it’s so comfortable and form fitting you can confidently strut your stuff without worrying about….accidents…if you know what I mean! The back, similar to the previous swimsuit, is completely open and it was a challenge for me because I had my hair tied up on top of an open back.


But ladies at the pool were fascinated by the piece itself and no one commented on my back. Which was a serious relief for me!


I wore a hair flower by Nancy’s Fancy Fruits because I didn’t want an empty pony tail.

I also wore my Leading Lady Red lipstick by Charlotte Olympia for Mac Cosmetics. The lipstick is a beautiful shade of red that stays on forever. I’m not kidding. FOR. EV. ER.


This was definitely one of my favorite vacations because I got to wear so many of my favorite swimsuits. I had to struggle and come to terms with my insecurities.

At the end of the day, I noticed insecurities are natural – especially around the pool. We all have insecurities that we try so hard to hide, even if we’re the only ones that are aware of our flaws. If we can confidently enjoy ourselves, it wouldn’t matter what others think of us – or our imperfections.

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Nina Leen, Life Magazine, 1950

Outfit Details:
Suit 1: Vintage Suits by Mary
Suit 2: Pinup Girl Clothing
Suit 3: Vintage Suits by Mary
Suit 4: Vintage Suits by Mary

Lipsticks:
Besame Cosmetics 1922 Blood Red
Anastasia Beverly Hills American Doll Liquid Lipstick
Besame Cosmetics 1941 Victory Red
Mac Cosmetics Charlotte Olympia Leading Lady Red

Accessories:
Hair Flower: Nancy’s Fancy Fruits from Audrey K Boutique
Sunglasses: Ted Baker
Flip Flops: Target

 

Museum Mondays: the MONA

Happy Monday, and Happy Independence Day, America!

Since its museum Monday and Independence Day, I had a special visit to the Museum of Neon Art to see some great pieces of American neon and commercial history + a rather fitting outfit!

On Friday, to mark the beginning of the July 4th weekend, I decided to debut the brand new Renee dress in royal blue and head out to the Museum of Neon Art at their new, permanent location in Glendale, CA.

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I paired my Renee dress with my white and red Cosette petticoats from Malco Modes for a surprise pop of patriotism, put on my royal blue headband from Doll Me Up, Inc, a pair of red flats and my trusty Kate Spade purse in red.

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I had received my Renee dress a couple of days earlier. I absolutely love how the Renee looks on everyone, but I was self conscious because I had to bare some skin   Initially, I wasn’t comfortable at all. But since my man loved the dress so much, he convinced me to keep it. Honestly, I don’t think he’s ever loved a dress as much as he loved the Renee. Not that I need a mans approval, but this was the first time he paid so much attention to a day dress I got.

The dress is made from a beautiful cotton sateen, so it provides a luxurious look with a comfortable feel. There’s no need for a bra because there’s ample amount of padding. Depending on how you style the dress, it can completely fit the theme you’re going for. This was perfect as anIndependence Day Weekend kick off dress!

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Ideally, I match my outfit to the theme of the museum or a specific artwork the museum carries. So since I’d rather be in a potato sack than a neon outfit, I thought my “All American” look would match the aura of the vintage American neon signs the museum carries.

The Museum of Neon Art was established in 1981 but since then has had multiple locations. Its current location, I believe, is permanent. It’s so exciting that Glendale finally has a museum of its own – with the exception of the Brand Library and Arts Center, there was a definite lack in the arts.

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The museum is rather small, but they have done a wonderful job of preserving and displaying vintage neon signs. In addition to the vintage signs, MONA also exhibited the photographs of Instagram artists who, through social media, are preserving the historically significant neon signs all across the world. The wonderful docent at the museum told me they will also be featuring works by contemporary neon artists in order to show the history as well as the contemporary interpretations of neon art. This is fascinating to me – they not only preserve museum signs physically, but they do so digitally through the help of other artists and neon sign geeks.

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During my visit, three employees were working on restoring two signs, both of which I immediate recognized. The first was the Lanz neon sign from the 1950s Beverly Hills store front, and the second was the 1958 Bowl sign from Holiday Bowl in Crenshaw. I was absolutely thrilled to see Lanz and Holiday Bowl being restored because they’re both such iconic signs!

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In addition,  they had the 1928 Eagle Rock Public Library Sign, the Zodiac Room, Dale’s, and Papoo’s Hot Dog from 1949. Also in their collection but not yet on display is the one and only Brown Derby restaurant sign from the early 1930s. I’ll definitely be returning to see that legendary sign once it’s up! Fun fact: the Cobb Salad was invented at the Brown Derby!

Museum of Neon Art is definitely a gem. I asked about educational programming, [a girl can’t resist] and they did mention that they will be having workshops where you’ll learn how to create your own neon art. That is brilliant and I can’t wait to sign up!

So have a happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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Outfit Details:
Dress: Pinup Girl Clothing
Petticoats: Malco Modes
Head Scarf: Doll Me Up, Inc
Shoes: Baldi Shoes
Purse: Kate Spade, NY

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