Category Archives: Viva Las Vegas

VLV16: The Wardrobe

Long-time readers are wondering why I haven’t yet posted anything about my wardrobe plans for the upcoming Viva Las Vegas rockabilly weekender. Year in and year out, every near-Spring I’m found with a pile of sewing projects and just a few pounds to lose in order to fit into that year’s fantastic dress…

But not this year. This year, I’m refusing to encumber myself. There’s too much kerfuffle in my life, and I don’t want to add to it further. No diets. No sewing.* No shopping.

Which is easy for me to say. I mean come on. I’m a vintage clothing vendor. It’s not “shopping” if I’m picking from my own inventory. Especially if I replace each item that I pull from Tiddleywink inventory with a vintage item from my personal collection. Right? ::bats eyelashes::

And one morning, I feel myself beginning to panic at my utter disregard for pre-pre-preplanning, and I start going through my racks. I pull out perhaps 15 dresses. Fit and “wow” factor narrow the options down to the requisite 4 day ensembles, 4 evening ensembles. I have to say, I’m excited by the options. This will be my best-dressed Viva yet, and that’s saying something.

The Boyfriend, who continually threatens to pack nothing more than jeans and an assortment of racing-related T-shirts, is caught up in my excitement and has started to consider items from his own vintage wardrobe (my heart is aflutter with hope that he’ll actually pack and wear some of it). He looks ever so swell when he gets decked out.

My shoe selection is currently at 10 pairs; I will narrow that down to 8—at the most—before Packing Day dependent on handbag options and Boyfriend’s opinion (he does have good taste, when pressed). My handbag collection’s newest addition, the Rialto that I wrote about recently, will not even make the trip due to fragile packing concerns. My polka-dot Toro paneled handbag will stay home because it simply doesn’t match anything I’m planning to wear. Maybe Next Yearâ„¢.

And so without further ado, a sneak peek at my VLV16 evening wear:

Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue

Silk. Rayon. Sequins. Taffeta. Chiffon. Eat your hearts out, kiddies. I mean, um, see you there!

_____________________________

*Full Disclosure: Today, I mended a pulled hem on a VLV wardrobe item. I will likely shorten the straps of one dress. The skirt I plan to wear to the car show I repaired a month ago, with no notion at that time of wearing it to Viva. The top I’ll wear with it was sewn by me, from a vintage pattern, but last year.

Leave a comment

Filed under collections, fashion, sewing, springtime, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

We Interrupt Your Regular Broadcast…

About the Dot Blouse: It’s still in progress. I write posts “live” as it were, and I don’t have a week’s worth lined up and ready to go. In true sew-along style, we would be sewing the blouse together. That is, until I got the flu and then started working 7 days a week. It will still happen, but there’s a delay while I try to fit in cooking, cleaning, and breathing.

On to more banal, personal stuff. I haven’t gone there in a while.

Selfie with a brand-new (and stinky) perm.

Selfie with a brand-new (and stinky) perm.

I got a perm. It’s not the pin-curl-set look I was secretly hoping the stylist could whip up, but at least my wash-and-wear hair doesn’t pouf and frizz as much now. This photo was taken the day of, so it’s not actually as curly as shown here. And while we may have come a long way, Baby, the process still stinks. Literally. It took 4 or 5 shampoos to finally clear the chemical stench from my hair. Yech.

Working. Ya. I’m still officially unofficial over at Prestige Estate Services, although I’ve been “freelancing” for them regularly since October. I should technically be an actual employee by now, but I like the freedom of scheduling days off to focus on design clients. It’s just that I haven’t been scheduling days off, so I wind up spending every “off” day working on design. While I love design and estate sales, I’m running myself ragged. I know this and whine about it, but I still do nothing to alleviate the stress, such as taking an extra day off from Prestige or saying “no” to a client. I have as of this moment very conveniently had 4 days off in a row from both jobs (a client is late getting me her files), and while my time has been filled with much-needed housecleaning, grocery shopping, dental work, and Tiddleywink Vintage administration, it still feels quite relaxing.

My office is set up in a corner of the basement tiki bar/lounge/shop photo studio/storage area, and the office percentage has become smaller and smaller until it’s gotten flat-out claustrophobic. The Boyfriend and I didn’t whip it fully back into shape this weekend, but we made a very good dent in the chaos. Having unearthed the backstock that has never made it into the shop, I am simultaneously overwhelmed and inspired. However, I’m trying to move some of this inventory into a booth at a local “antiques” mall. Space isn’t cheap, but it may be worth it if people can personally inspect the items before committing to a purchase!

The newest addition to my vintage handbag collection: a Lucite purse by Rialto. SCORE!

The newest addition to my vintage handbag collection: a Lucite purse by Rialto. SCORE!

On a separate-but-related subject, I’ve been buying my dentist a boat. While the work I need is deeply discounted through Direct Dental Plans of America, it’s still a lot of work. After today’s session in the dentist’s chair, I decided to stop in at the thrift store next door to look around. I didn’t even bother to take a shopping cart or basket in with me. Any interesting cookbooks? No. How about lamps? No. Sewing patterns? Nothing. Bathroom department, which I usually skip entirely but it’s right next to Sewing: that’s a nice vintage tissue box cover, but let me think about HOLY CRAP IS THAT A—YES IT IS—IT’S A LUCITE PURSE. IN THE BATHROOM DEPARTMENT. I glance furtively around. Does anyone else see this? Was someone trying to hide it over here? I look at the price tag. Nope, this wasn’t hidden. Whoever priced and shelved this must think it’s a cotton ball container or something. Quick check for cracks or chips (none) and to see if the latch works (yes) and I’m off like a shot to the cashier. The hinge is so shiny I think it may be a repro and then under the light at home I see “Original Rialto NY” and I can’t tell you how much I got it for because it was such a steal that I’m a bit embarrassed. And feel not entirely unlike I’d actually stolen it. Now that Viva is fewer than 8 weeks away, I really need to get cracking with the packing. And this purse, of course, will be a part of that.

Since this purse goes into my Pry It From My Cold, Dead Hands collection, it frees up a couple of other vintage white purses for me to relinquish to the shop. So there’s that. Maybe I’ll get some fresh product photography done after tomorrow’s dentist appointment (yes, another one) and meeting with the antiques mall manager! Woo!

1 Comment

Filed under day job, design, doctors and dentists, life-threatening clutter, shoes, shopping, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

Vegas, Baby!

My regular readers (that’s you) know that I have a fondness for the early heyday of glitzy, glamorous, kitschy, Las Vegas. Sure, I know there was massive crime and corruption, but OOOH, GLITTER AND STILETTO HEELS AND GUYS IN SUITS. You may not know that I also enjoy a good costume drama. Yes, I very much enjoy shows like Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, and of course Mad Men. So when I glimpsed an ad for a new show on CBS called “Vegas” and set in the early ’60s, I perked up and watched! Based on a true story? Check. Cowboys? Check. Gangsters? Check. From the writer of Goodfellas? Check. Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, and Carrie-Anne Moss? Check, check, and check. Accuracy and attention to detail?

The sets feature a 170-foot-long-block facade of Fremont Street as it appeared in 1960, with an assortment of Western-style casinos, a pawn shop and bingo hall. Electricians installed 500 transformers to power all the neon lights.

[Carey Meyer’s] teams also built a 15,000-square-foot fictional casino called The Savoy, equipped with vintage slot machines, Sputnik chandeliers, period roulette tables and a large awning that opens up to the Fremont Street set.

To make the street as authentic as possible, Meyer relied on old photographs of casinos such as the Golden Nugget and watched clips from famous Vegas movies including “Bugsy,” starring Warren Beatty; the 1960 film “Ocean’s Eleven” starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin; and the James Bond picture “Diamonds Are Forever,” which shot a car chase scene on Fremont.

Michael Chiklis, Kai Lennox, James Russo, Dennis Quaid and Jason O’Mara

Carrie-Anne Moss walks with Dennis Quaid on the set. ( Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times )

Dennis Quaid waits in front of the Golden Nugget. ( Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times )

Well, looks like I have a date with my TV on September 25th. And then…

Over the weekend, I get an unusually large order at Tiddleywink Vintage. Folks typically buy one or two things (although I do offer a discount code on multi-item purchases, and the shipping gets a better break, so ask me if you’re interested) and then come back later for another piece. One item at a time, slowly building up their collection. This order, while not huge, is not typical. I take a look at the shipping address, and HELLO, THIS IS FOR THE WARDROBE DEPARTMENT OF VEGAS! A show where they’re making a point of getting the details right! I am so honored to be recognized this way for accurately describing my listings, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get to see something of “mine” flash across the screen this fall.

5 Comments

Filed under amusement, fashion, shopping, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas 14 in pictures

I have gotten so bad at remembering to step out of the moment to take a picture! Click the image below for 130-ish photos taken over the course of the 4-day weekend, and a few very short video clips as well.

Leave a comment

Filed under fashion, friends, music, vacation, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

Dessert Ketchup

I have a dozen tasks to accomplish before biting the bullet and PACKING* for Viva, like, immediamente, but instead I’m going to share with you this potentially horrifying recipe which I read last night in a 1956 issue of True Story.

No. 4, Ketchup in Dessert**

Heat oven to 350° F. (moderate). Place 4 cups sliced tart apples in buttered shallow baking dish. Combine 1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup and 2 tbs. lemon juice. Spoon over apples. Mix 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/3 cup softened butter or margarine until crumbly. Spread over apples. Bake 40 min. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 6 to 8.

I’m really, truly hoping that one of my readers (ahem, that’s you) decides to make this. I’m curious. Like the way you’d drive past a car accident, sick to your stomach but looking anyway. That kind of curious.

_____________

*My garment bag has been “packed” for weeks, although dresses keep getting cycled in/out. It’s the bulky stuff (shoes, handbags, HBA) that needs organizing. I’m rully-rully hoping to get it all into my Big Red Suitcase this year, instead of my Gigantic Orange Suitcase.

**This recipe was part of a “name the dish” contest, with a grand prize of $5,000. I’m curious as to what the winning entry wound up calling it!

1 Comment

Filed under amusement, food, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

Thick and Tired

Over the summer, my life unexpectedly upheaved. (I know the syntax is incorrect. Poetic license.) The pain of events has diminished, but still lurks and pesters and sneaks up behind me and taunts and is generally very mean. I have progressed, however, from not being able to eat much at all, to apparently attempting to bury alive my sorrow with dairy products. I mean, really. Butter? Awesome stuff. I’ve been allowing myself to eat as much as I want of whatever makes me feel good.

But I don’t feel good. I’m bloated. My pants don’t fit. My lower back is starting to hurt. And I feel, generally, like poo.

I know that the “holiday” season isn’t yet over. I know that resolutions typically start on January 1st. But I’m sick and tired of feeling thick and tired. So I started today. I won’t be doing anything crazy, no cabbage-juice-and-bird-nest diets, but I am very much looking forward to being more conscious of what I eat, what I drink, and to feeling better. And to once again fitting into that spectacular dress that I bought just in case I go to Viva14.

Here’s to good health.

_____________________

EDITOR’S NOTE: Some very dear friends in Chicago sent me a gorgeous and meaningful teapot (see above) for Christmas. It will make the whole drinking-plenty-of-fluids thing that much more graceful, and will continue to remind me how lucky I am to know such cool people.

4 Comments

Filed under food, friends, holidays, Viva Las Vegas

What I wore to VLV13

Because I have friends who are unusually interested in the contents of my closet. Because those friends were unable to attend Viva this year. And because I received a number of lovely compliments regarding my wardrobe during the course of the weekend, and perhaps some of those people are coincidentally readers of my blog.

THURSDAY

Thursday’s dress is technically vintage, but a 1980-something repro (by Steppin’ Out) of an earlier style. The print is typical ’80s, though. The black patent handbag is “properly” vintage, although there is no brand mark. I originally bought it for the shop, but fell in love with the chevron and bow detail, which you unfortunately cannot see in this photo. Now I can’t seem to part with it. The shoes, by Miss Me, are thoroughly modern. The snood is from V-Male Detroit Vintage. This outfit and many that follow were worn with vintage RHT stockings by Queen Mary. I brought 4 sets of vintage stockings to VLV, but this one pair managed to get me through the whole weekend without a run, and I cherish them for it. Also because they fit, feel great, and have a nice, dark back seam.

Thursday evening’s dress is one of my all-time favorite vintage finds. Made by Sportlane Deb, the pale pink brocade bodice is decorated with rhinestones and pearl beads, and the dress has side-seam pockets. POCKETS. ::swoon:: I found it for a song in 2008 in the (gasp) Halloween section of a local thrift store. True, it has some popped stitches on one shoulder and a few small stains (which may very well come out with some OxyClean but I haven’t dared to try) but if anyone noticed them, they were polite enough to not say anything. The vintage Lucite purse is also studded with rhinestones, but the “privacy” hankie makes them difficult to see. I must find a better solution. The shoes, by Madden Girl, are silver slingbacks with Lucite heels.

FRIDAY

You may recognize Friday’s day dress from some of my previous posts. It was my first attempt at grading (and altering the silhouette of) a vintage pattern, and Nick likes to point out that, true to the 1940s motto of “make do or do without,” I made it from old bedsheets. Really cool, high thread count bedsheets, but bedsheets nonetheless. The crinoline is vintage, made by Cherie of California. The purse was purchased at Hobby Lobby, of all places. Belt by Accessories by Pearl (thrift store, probably ’80s) and the shoes are by Go Max. I bought them a few years ago on eBay, but it’s a brand apparently carried by K-Mart!

The evening ensemble consists of a dress I bought from Boss Vintage for an Oscars® party back in 2006 or 2007. Erin would remember which. Perhaps I should have taken this photo from behind, as the back of the dress has an eye-catching (and back-baring) slit, and the heels of the J. Reneé shoes are hand-painted and studded with topaz-colored rhinestones. The gold lamé purse is also vintage, and like the dress, unlabeled.

SATURDAY

Saturday’s car show dress is a modern cotton/spandex fabric construction by Moda International. I shortened the hem by four inches, and it still hits below my knees. The deep side slits are original to the dress (a gust of wind is displaying more leg than usual). The patch on the back is vintage, a gift from Nick who put the matching patch on one of his jackets. The sunglasses are by Ray-Ban, in a cat eye style called Lisbon (W0959). Be wary of vendors selling “vintage” Ray-Ban sunglasses: like this pair, some older styles are periodically brought back into production and may not actually be vintage. If the price is right and you don’t care how old they are, go for it. The shoes and belt are repeated from previous outfits. The cute fella is “Filthy” Rich, bass player for The Infamous Swanks. Photos by Nick, who borrowed a pro Canon from a friend.

The cheongsam was a thrilling find, as I’ve only before come across cheaply made exports. This vintage version is a beautiful heavyweight brocade, fully lined, and fits perfectly in the bust (just a little roomy in the waist). It came complete with a matching jacket, although it’s boxy and unflattering. I thought perhaps it was meant to be a male counterpart, but it has shoulder pads. If anyone has info to share about these, I’d appreciate it. The silver lamé-encased-in-Lucite box bag is of indeterminate age. From the exterior, it looks every bit the mid-century part. The interior, however, is lined in vinyl and has a Made In China tag. So go figure. The satin shoes are by Chinese Laundry.

SUNDAY

Sunday’s swimsuit is by Catalina, and to see it sans gold capri pants (by Euro Linea, probably early ’80s)  and bamboo-heeled shoes (by Foot Candy) you’ll have to watch the video posted at iCNN. I show up for a mere second at the beginning, but it’s only 2:12 so go ahead and watch the whole thing. The sunglasses are by… um… well, I bought them at… shoot. I’ve had them for so long, I just don’t remember. They’re modern repros, I know that much.

My evening dress was meant to be my day dress, but the sun was nearly down by the time I left the pool party. I found it at an estate sale, and although it’s distinctly too big on me, I love-love-love it. I took in what I could from the side seams, barring removing and reattaching the skirt, and trust the belt (thrift store, probably 1980s) to do the rest. The dress was missing its original shoulder ties, but a helpful clerk at Hobby Lobby fixed me up with the perfect shade of satin ribbon. The purse is vintage, no brand mark, and the shoes are Candies.

—————————
NOTE: If you’re a regular window shopper of my online store, you’ll recognize that (with the exception of Saturday) these photos were all taken IN MY HOME, rather than at Viva. This is because Nick does not have a camera, and I am still not comfortable handing mine to someone and saying, “Please, could you take a photo of me?” Because in my head, it is followed by a silently screaming “I THINK I AM SO AWESOME YES MY EGO IS HUUUUUGE.” Yeah, I have some confidence issues. Stop looking at me like that.

5 Comments

Filed under fashion, friends, sewing, vacation, vintage, Viva Las Vegas