Sunday, January 15, 2017

Celebrating the Holidays with Vivien of Holloway

Vivien of Holloway

It's easy to fall in love with vintage fashion, particularly the 1940's-1950's and the reason is simple. The designers seemed to want of all shapes, sizes, and ages to look and feel their best. The cuts were done in a way to flatter a women's figure, not distort it, hide it, or camouflage it. The women's curves were meant to be seen as a thing of beauty.

It is what seems to be missing from most modern fashion today. Today we have very unflattering low waisted jeans, skinny pants, tops cut too long, cut too short, and don't even get me started on the quality of fabric. None of it is flattering unless you have a specific type of figure so really modern fashion just wants to perpetuate that cookie cutter image. Granted, reproduction clothing can produce the same end result but its all in the way you accessorize and wear it. At least that's my opinion on the matter.

You all know by now I like to blend my fashion up; a dash of repro, a smidgen of vintage, and a pinch of modern to get my desired look. It works for me because it suits my aesthetics, my figure, my lifestyle. I also like it because it gives me more room to make a look my own. Vintage style doesn't always mean that the piece has to be vintage, but I think the aesthetic needs to be there if you are trying to achieve a vintage look. There are all sorts of vintage reproduction companies out there today. Some better than others.

Vivien of Holloway is the epitome of classic, well-made vintage reproduction clothing. During my trip to London this past Fall I had the pleasure of visiting the Vivien of Holloway shop. I plan to share my experiences on my trip on a later date but I can share this now, it was a beautiful experience.

Sandy, the manager at Vivien of Holloway took the time to help me select pieces that would compliment me and make me feel amazing. Honestly there isn't a lot of repro brands that make me feel like I am old Hollywood starlet but VOH did just that. With every piece I tried on I felt more and more beautiful. It's hard to explain but being in the shop and trying on the clothes was truly a magical moment for me. I felt dazzling.

One of the pieces that is now a part of my wardrobe is this one that you see HERE. I choose it for two reasons; I thought it would be perfect for the holiday season and because it was a style that I normally wouldn't gravitate to. The wonder of trying on reproduction clothing like this dress is that although you may not think style or pattern may suit you, but once you try it on its a whole other experience. I cannot recommend this practice enough. I know it is a challenge to be able to find a reproduction shop near you but if you can visit one, especially Vivien of Holloway, it will be amazing. I guarantee it.

Tips before you shop at Vivien of Holloway:

1. Go into it with an open mind. Don't let the thoughts of, "It won't fit me", or "I won't look good in it" cloud your mind.

2. Ignore the sizing you are accustomed to. VOH bases their sizing on vintage measurements so if you are a size 12 like I am you may end up wearing a size 18 or 20 dress.

3. Their dresses contain boning so no need to wear a bra. I was hesitant that my girls wouldn't look as good without wearing one but I think they did alright.

4. Allow yourself to embrace your beauty. Once that dress or blouse or skirt is on, look at yourself and notice how amazing you look because I promise you, you will look and feel incredible.

Celebrating the Holidays with this extraordinary Vivien of Holloway dress made this special time of the year extra special for me. I feel lucky to have been able to go to their shop and experience first hand the process of discovering the beauty of vintage reproduction clothing.

I'd like to thank everyone at VOH for the kindness and patience, especially Sandy who made me feel comfortable and at ease while selecting my pieces.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Remembering Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

She may not have been famous for beauty like Elizabeth Taylor or for her accolades like Katherine Hepburn but Debbie Reynolds was a survivor. There are so many ways we can live our life, we can be a victim or be a bully, but Debbie chose to live her life in a way that surpasses beauty and accolades.

When I say she was a survivor, I am saying that throughout her life when sh** hit the fan she could have ducked out and disappeared but instead she held her head up high and kept moving forward. Her tragedies and heartbreaks were very public and her taste in men as she would often say, "I happened to marry idiots ... I have very bad taste in men."

So she made her children and her career as a performer her life. She worked most of the year singing and performing and spent the rest of her time dedicated to her family, friends, and her hobbies. Thing is, no matter the challenge, whether it was hers or one of her children, she faced it head on. I think there's something that happens to someone when sh** hits the fan. You have to immediately decide if you are going to lay there like a lump on a log or rise above and sparkle like a star. Everyone is different, in my opinion Debbie Reynolds was one incredible lady.
Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds as we, the public knew her, will be sorely missed. She started in Hollywood at a time where she could rub shoulders with the likes of Fred Astaire, Clark Gable, and Ava Garner. She made lifelong friends with all sorts of actors and performers from the golden age of Hollywood. She completed her first film at nineteen years old and frankly I thought we would have more time with her. But I can see now that she gave us and her loved everything she had. Not only did she give the public an array of films to enjoy for a lifetime, but her performances, and her stories captured in three books. In her books she shares her life, her memories, and her amazing stories of old Hollywood that only someone who lived it could have truly shared.

For all those things I am grateful. Frankly, she just seemed to be one of those folks that was born a good egg. Debbie Reynolds, you were a very good egg indeed. Thank you.

A Vintage Nerd Supplementary Reading:


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

TCM Presents Big Screen Classic Events for 2017

TCM Film Series

TCM is doing it again! There is going to be another year choke full of classic films on the big screen. TCM started screening some classic films here and there a few years ago but last year was the first time they offered a whole year of screenings. This year's line up in incredible and eight of them will be celebrating anniversaries.

The neat thing about TCM's collaborator, Fathom Events is that they will also screen other various films here and there throughout the year such as Dirty Dancing. So I highly suggest that you keep looking at Fathom Events website and score those tickets when you can.

If you are interested in scored your tickets look no further than this site, Fathom Events.

TCM Big Screen Classic Films

Out of this list, which film would you love to see on the big screen? Which films would you love to see on the big screen one day?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

AVN Year in Review: 2016

A Vintage Nerd blog

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you are all doing well. I know 2016 was a doozy for many people and for people like me who love classic film, it really was a sad state of affairs to lose so many talented folks. But the fun part of a new year starting is the sense of starting over. It's almost like that feeling after you have really cleaned the house and just everything feel sparkly and full of promise.

Like many of you I am slowly beginning to process what my hopes and goals are for the new year. I plan to write them down in my trusty notebook once I have figured it out. I like having a few things to look forward to especially when you know there may be a few bumps in the road as life often sends our way.

I am aware that I haven't been as present here on A Vintage Nerd, not in the way I would have liked. This is what I can promise you. I will blog and share and inform and inspire as much as I am able to. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I want you to know that despite the challenges I face that I will continue to do so.

I will be continuing my various series that I have on my blog such as; Vintage New York, AVN Book Club, Links to Love,  A Picture Worth A Thousand Words, Cinema Spotlights, Pop Culture Tuesdays, Be Inspired, and more. If you'd like to see a few other things here on A Vintage Nerd  blog all you have to do is ask!

I  also have some exciting things coming up at A Vintage Nerd  for this new year! The first is that I brought back my Facebook page! You can go follow me HERE! I will also be collaborating with bloggers and companies as well. I think its always fun to work with others especially when there is a shared passion like vintage or simply just being creative.

Before I leave you, I'd like to share my favorite blog posts from 2016. Which did you enjoy the best? What are you looking for when you click on someone blog to read? And again, Happy New Year!


Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Vintage Nerd is a Contributor to Vintage Life Magazine!!

Vintage Life Magazine

I just wanted to share some incredible news and now that I see the cover I feel like its finally real! I am now a monthly contributor to Vintage Life Magazine!!! As some of you know I have been published in their magazine before but now you can get a little dash of vintage nerdiness every month in magazine form.

A Vintage Nerd blog will continue running as usual despite my writing responsibilities with Vintage Life Magazine. So don't fret! There is a lot more vintage nerdiness on it way!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

School Girl Fashions

School Girl Fashions

Today I strapped on new book bags on my children and placed them with their new teachers and had to walk away and say goodbye. Time passes and it doesn't get any easier. The school year is filled with lots of homework, waking up early, and ironing uniforms. Its bittersweet because every time you drop them off another year has passed.

The fun parts of a new school year are the newness of all the clothes and school supplies, the crispy breeze through your hair, the brown crunchy leaves at your feet, and the ability to finally wear your cardigans.

I went to Catholic school my whole life and my children attend Catholic school so uniforms and plaid go hand in hand when the school year begins. It got me to thinking about what kids wore years before and what my research showed me was the kids have been rocking peter pan collars, cardigans, and plaid for decades. Frankly, I love it. I think you will too.

Do school girl fashions make you giddy for marble notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils? There's something fresh about the beginning of a school year. I spent so many years in school that after a while September felt more like the start of a new year than New Year's itself. 

I also find uniforms and back to school fashions a precursor to the fall and in my book that's a great thing. I personally wish the fall lasted all year round than just the two months that we have it here in New York.

Do you like school girl fashions? If so, what is it that you like about it? If not, what don't you like about it?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pop Culture Tuesdays: Degrassi


While other kids grew up with cable television I was lucky to grow up with PBS, which stands for Public Broadcasting System. It was free and it came with standard channels. In Manhattan where I was born and spent my childhood, that channel was channel 13. There I experienced television shows like Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, Doctor Who, The Voyage of the Mimi, and another show called Degrassi Junior High.

Degrassi is known today by its revival with the series of the Next Generation but it all began in 1979. A production company called Playing With Time Inc. decided to create a show that would follow the lives of kids and address challenging topics such as death, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy.

The first show was The Kids of Degrassi Street (1979) and although many of the actors that were on this series turned up in Degrassi Junior High (1987-1989) and Degrassi High (1989-1991) they were not the same characters so it is not considered a precursor to the later shows.

What blew me away as preteen and teenager was for the first time being exposed to teen pregnancy. Most of us who watched Degrassi back in the 80's will never forget Spike and the moment she found out she was pregnant. I think Spike's character became pregnant at only 13 years old (by 14 she had Emma) so it was shocking.  But the way they handled her story line you couldn't help but learn a thing or two. It was powerful.

There were other story lines that can easily be applied to today which makes Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High so timeless. They address issues on sexual confusion, parental abuse and alcoholism, the effects of taking drugs, cancer, suicide, molestation, cheating, lying, young love, insecurities, and all sorts of peer pressures.

I learned so darn much from those episodes as a kid that I decided to take a look back and refresh my memory on them. I can tell you that it felt like I was walking through memory lane. There was a rawness and simplicity about the 70's and 80's that was gone once the 90's came and I miss often.

Degrassi is something special. I watching a few episodes of the latest two reincarnations (Next Generation and New Class) of the show and although it is too much like a soap opera for my taste I appreciate that the writers and producers are still addressing real problems among teens today.

I own all the cds to Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High (including their movie School's Out) and I will definitely  let my children view them when they are older. I think the best part of the show (aside from The Zit Remedy) is that watching it can open up a dialogue with your child. And frankly I think that is just incredibly awesome.

Degrassi Junior High
Degrassi Junior High
Zit Remedy

I am a sucker for cheese and not just the kind that comes from cows. I love the uber cheesiness of the 80's and Degrassi delivers. Better still it will teach you a little something about others and give you the appreciation in knowing that the teen angst years are far, far behind you.

A Vintage Nerd Supplementary Reading:

Four Decades of Degrassi-Interview with Stefan Brogren