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Stay Cool in Vintage Style

Rediscover a forgotten but much-loved fashion accessory – the hand fan!
It’s one of the most stylish ways to stay cool for summer.

The Hand Fan

Words and pictures: Julijana Joseph

It’s great to see the hand fan fashionable again! Recently some of the most stylish fashionistas have been seen out and about with a hand fan. Katy Perry, Naomi Campbell, Karl Lagerfeld (the King of the hand fan) Julianne Moore, Dita Von Teese and even Camilla, Duchess of Cornwell have all been seen with a hand fan. The fashion label Louis Vuitton even released a limited edition hand fan last year.


Did you know the hand fan has a language all its own? The hand fan has been used as a fashion accessory by women and men all over the world for thousands of years, dating back to 3000BC in Egypt. It has been reported by some that two fans were found in King Tut’s tomb! In the 1700-1800s, women used fans to communicate with men. This was known as ‘Fanology’ or ‘Language of the Fan’.


Men even purchased books to interpret these silent messages, a few of which are:

– Covering your face with a hand fan suggests, ‘I love you’.
–  Running your hands through the ribs of your fan suggests, ‘I want to talk to you’.
–  Slowly fanning yourself – ‘Don’t waste my time, I don’t care’.


language of the fan 2 language of the fan (1) Dont waste my time
Covering of your face with a hand fan suggests, ‘I love you’ Running your hands through the ribs of your fan suggests, ‘I want to talk to you’.
Slowly fanning yourself suggests, ‘Don’t waste my time, I don’t care’.

From the 1920s to the 1950s the hand fan was very popular as an essential accessory at outdoor and indoor occasions and social gatherings. Feathered fans were a favourite with burlesque dancers and are still used in places like Moulin Rouge in Paris. The fans added mystery and glamour to any show. Movies such as The Great Gatsby also show fashionable women flirting with the use of hand fans.Kel with the Frances edit
For the past few decades the hand fan seemed to have been overlooked, but there is now a wonderful resurgence for this beautiful and practical accessory. People from all over the world are now collecting these beautiful pieces of memorabilia. And there are also a number of hand fan museums around the world in major cities like London, California, Tokyo and Paris!

Picture1 edit

It was a hot summer’s day at an outdoor event in Sydney, Australia when Julijana Trifunovic realised a hand fan is a truly essential accessory for Australian women. In an effort to combat the heat, she grabbed a nearby magazine to fan herself and wondered what stylish fan options might be available in the shops.


Her research revealed there was little available at the good quality designer end of the market, so she spent the following months researching manufacturers and developing a quality range.


“Australia’s climate, combined with our active outdoor lifestyle means we are often in need of something to cool us down; whether it’s at a barbecue, picnic, garden party or other social or formal event,” said Julijana.  “It may be at the races or watching tennis or cricket – even indoors at a concert or church – where that little breeze provided by a hand fan makes us just a little bit more comfortable.”


We have to agree it adds a touch of glamour, allowing us to look stylish and elegant in even the hottest weather.


If you would like to see Julijana’s range, visit her website:



Words and pictures: Julijana Joseph

Optim-eyes Your Vintage Look

Audrey_Hepburn_esmorza_al_Tiffany's.bmp wikimedia

Long before the word ‘fashion’ even existed – in fact in prehistoric and historic times – the Inuit people wore flattened walrus ivory ‘glasses’(although there was no glass) with narrow slits cut across the middle to block the harmful reflected rays of the sun. In 12th century China, smoke tinting was the first means of darkening eyeglasses and Chinese judges routinely wore smoke-coloured quartz lenses to conceal their eyes while questioning witnesses. This way they were able to hide their evaluation of the evidence until the trial’s conclusion.


Fast forward to 1929 when Sam Foster, founder of Foster Grant, sold the first pair of Foster Grant sunglasses on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. By 1930 inexpensive, mass-produced sunglasses were all the rage in America, particularly among movie stars and celebrities. Twenty million sunglasses were subsequently sold across the States in 1937 but it was estimated only a quarter of wearers actually needed them for eye protection.

Picture5 landscape

However the styles didn’t change much from the early twentieth century until the late 1940s. While fashion was at the height of its evolution, sunglasses remained for the most part utilitarian; round, small, metal rimmed and simple.

Designed and introduced for the military in 1936, Bausch & Lomb’s Aviator sunglasses gained popularity with young people in the late 1960s and continues to enjoy worldwide acceptance to this day. Purely at a fashion level, these sunglasses are often made in mirrored, coloured and wrap-around styles.

James Dean and Roy Orbison popularised the Ray-Ban Wayfarer which adopted a more lightweight, plastic-framed design with the trapezoidal lenses wider at the top than the bottom.

The 1950s and ‘60s saw the emergence of the cats-eye style followed by the larger round frame, as famously worn by Jackie Onassis. Audrey Hepburn also popularised the oversized look and John Lennon symbolised the smaller, thin framed, round shaped glasses sometimes incorporating a blue lens.



Early 1930s and 1940s shape


The style for the early twentieth century. The small, round and fine framed sunglasses finish off this authentic 1920s look.


‘In the Know’ coordinate beautifully with this fun 30s/40s inspired ensemble

Photog Kalus Franke 1969W ikimedia commons

Aviator style

Berlin, Freibad Pankow, Bademeister

Berlin, Freibad Pankow, Bademeister


Cateye variant

1950s-1960s-black-cateye-vintage-retro-sunglasses-cat1019-bk-1_grande Catch a Thief

Classic Cateye 1950s 1960s


John Waters Cannes

photo_1_copy_3_grande Catch a Thief 60s

Circa 1960s

Audrey_Hepburn_Tiffany's_2 wikimedia

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn

1950s-1960s-black-vintage-retro-sunglasses-cat1028-bk-1_large Catch a Thief 60s

1950s & 60s oversized black frames


Oversized frame square shaped

All these vintage styles retain their popularity to this day and more than ever, sunglasses hold their own on the fashion stage.

So most of us know what vintage era we absolutely love, but there’s another consideration – the shape of our face. Do you know what frames best suit your face?

Here are our handy tips for various face shapes:

  • Oval shape – works with most frame shapes but better to err on the smaller sized frames, ones that are ideally no wider than the broadest part of your face, particularly if you have small facial features.
  • Round shape – are best complemented by rectangular shaped frames to contrast with the soft curves of your face. We recommend avoiding frames that are too circular or oval in shape.
  • Square shape – can take the cats-eye style well. Round or oval frames also work well, softening the angular facial shape.
  • Heart shape – can take many styles but it’s best to steer clear of frames that are top heavy or heavily decorated across the top. Cats-eye frames can work well on heart shaped faces, and rimless styles could also be considered.


For a multitude of styles to try, get along to The Sydney Vintage & Retro Fair, Friday to Sunday, September 27 – 29 at Sydney’s Australian Technology park in Eveleigh and check out Catch a Thief’s range of replica vintage sunglasses.

Image credits: Catch a Thief-Tessa Rickard, Audrey Hepburn-Wikimedia Commons movie publicity shots, Wikimedia-Klaus Franke 1969 for Ray Bans, Wikimedia-Bundesarchiv Bild, Wikimedia-John Waters publicity pic.




A Vintage Shoot

Vintage is never out of fashion and this is so true with photography. The style and glamour of bygone eras are just as desirable today as they were 50 and 60 years ago. There’s something appealing about the idea of transforming the girl next door into a celluloid siren and there’s arguably nothing more alluring than a woman in a swimsuit.


Who can forget the iconic number one pin-up of World War II by photographer Frank Powolny of actress Betty Grable smiling coyly over her shoulder in swimsuit and pumps? Betty’s studio, Twentieth Century Fox, provided five million copies of this picture to distribute to troops and famously insured her legs at one million dollars each – a lot of money in 1940!


The classic inspiring pin-up, boudoir and glamour photos that we want to replicate and emulate are definitely not images you can snap on your mobile device. To achieve polished and sophisticated results you need time, creativity and professional skill and equipment. So how does a vintage photo shoot happen?

Sydney vintage swimwear designer Kylie van Wanrooy teamed up with photographer Lily Zdilar and model Fiona Hamilton, aka Foxtrot India, for a day of fun in the sun to shoot the latest Beyond the Sea swimwear lookbook. Kylie was originally influenced by the images on Heinz Villiger Darling Cards when she began designing her vintage inspired range of fun and flattering swimwear for the curvy girl (sizes 12-20). She wanted to try something new to show off her graphic and colourful 2013-2014 collection. Lily suggested she could add more of a story and personality to the images by shooting both on location and in the studio, then after a few test shots a location was agreed upon, weather and tide charts consulted and the shoot date set.

Heinz Villiger Darling Cards


Shooting on location is like writing a story in your imagination. Kylie and Lily visualised how the swimsuits on hangers would look on a model on the beach rather than on a mannequin on a white background. They agreed on a theme that would reflect ‘real’ women with curves looking happy, comfortable and beautiful in classic and timeless Beyond the Sea swimwear palette of stripes, spots, floral prints and lace.

Stripe Halter and Boyleg Pant

Spot Red underwire bikini top & Spot Red belt pant



What is both inspiring and challenging about shooting on location is that the story on the day can change and head off in new and unexpected directions. The day started with everyone loaded up with props, equipment, a dodgy clothes rack that kept getting stuck in footpath cracks and a huge inflatable tube that needed to be blown up. The morning chill was far from encouraging but Fiona soldiered on, armed with her red lipstick, sunny smile and a few goose bumps. Kylie improvised a change room and minutes later Fiona was striking a pose that transformed her into a 1950s beach bunny. A quick change, touch up and new hat, sandals or hair accessory became the chapter breaks in the photo story. Sand, splinters and rocky terrain were no obstacles for the vintage aficionado team. When the sun came out blazing so did the reflectors, scrims and sunscreen. Fiona never complained, not even when she had to tip toe through mud or paddle out to the pontoon on an inflatable tube that had no sense of direction! Getting back to shore was a lengthy and amusing grand finale to the day’s shoot.




Beyond the Sea Swimwear is offering one lucky reader a personal vintage photo shoot! All the details are on their facebook page. This amazing prize includes a one hour shoot and five high res images. For the swimwear, visit Beyond the Sea.

For photography enquiries visit Lily’s website.

Image credit: Betty Grable image is public domain and sourced from Wikimedia Commons


Memorable Holidays by Rail

Share your favourite train holiday memory (or great grandma, mum, dad, nan or pop’s) and you could win two tickets to The Vintage & Retro Fair!


The Australian Technology Park, venue for The Vintage & Retro Fair this month, is the site once occupied by the Eveleigh Railway yards. These heritage listed buildings were constructed back in the 1880s and are some of the best examples of railway workshops showing off their rich history while elegantly combining its contemporary purpose as a creative hub for the community to experience trends in artistry, events, education and performances.

Entering this venue is likely to bring back holiday memories and stories from a bygone era – when a rail trip was a significant feature of the family’s annual holiday – for better or for worse!
With affordable flights and comfortable, modern air-conditioned cars and coaches making up today’s preferred mode of holiday transport, it would be wonderful to hear your stories from decades past that include a memorable train journey.

Platform_2,_Weston-super-Mare_railway_station Chris McKenna Pacific_parlour_car photo donielle wikimedia commons


There are three double passes to The Vintage & Retro Fair at Australian Technology Park, September 27 – 29, for the most entertaining train travel stories!
In 100 words or less, share your train story in the comments field below.


Competition closes midday Wednesday, September 25 and the winner will be contacted by email that afternoon. Good luck!

Nora Finds Style

Nora Finds is a Sydney-based vintage stylist and blogger. Her favourite fashion eras are the 40’s and 50’s. She has been snapped by Harper’s Bazaar Australia, Vogue Germany, and her styling has featured in Photo Vogue and Fashionising to mention a few. Nora will be styling for the Vintage & Retro Fair catwalk parade in Sydney on September 27 – 29.


Nora Finds 1We have shared this space with Nora and some of her fab frocks!

“Hello! My name is Nora and I’m a vintage stylist. My love of all things vintage is a combination of my passion for history and my love of dressing-up. My favourite era has to be the 1940s and ‘50’s but there’s nothing like channelling a bit of Anna May Wong in ‘20’s ensembles every now and then. As stylist for the upcoming Vintage & Retro Fair fashion parades, I am excited about being able to show you some of my favourite vintage pieces here as we gear up for the Fair and the warmer weather.

When I’m putting together a vintage outfit I generally apply five rules:

  1. First start with a statement piece: a beautiful vintage dress or a printed circle skirt;
  2. Play with colors: vintage outfits are all about layering so have fun and include colors (2 or 3 different ones);
  3. Accessories are a must. When wearing vintage, consider a fascinator or a hat, plus a beaded bag;
  4. Finish with a red lipstick. Red lips are the epitome of vintage makeup and a great way to brighten up your face;
  5. And finally, as Mademoiselle Chanel said “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory”.
Nora Finds 2 Nora Finds 3 Nora Finds 4
Tartan has to be one of the most popular patterns in history. I have a few tartan pieces in my vintage wardrobe and just love this wool dress for winter. I paired it with my black velvet bolero when it gets extra chilly. Don’t be afraid to wear your vintage with modern pieces – wearing vintage is about having fun. For example, I wear my 1950s bed jacket as a top and pair it with high waisted denim. Break the rules and have fun. Vintage day dresses are my favorite pieces. This 1940s salmon dress is made of lightweight cotton, perfect for my day-to-day. The color is complimented by the sweet round collars and faux hip pockets.

I am really excited about the Fair – roaming from one stall to another, admiring all the visitors in their best vintage attire and having all that vintage glory in one place. Have you heard about the Best Dressed competition? It will be held on Friday night so I hope you’ve got your outfit sorted.

What’s particularly special about the Vintage & Retro Fair is the fact that it showcases apparel as well as furniture and homewares and there’s even some workshops and stunning displays. Of course this just means there really is something for everyone!

Nora Finds 10

As a stylist I mostly focus on vintage clothing and how to wear it. My favourite vintage pieces would have to be cotton dresses and novelty skirts. I believe in building your vintage wardrobe by starting with the basics. While I really love beautiful vintage prom dresses, I know it is more important to buy every day pieces and vintage separates to mix and match. Sometimes this means buying reproduction pieces to cover all your basics. I hope the following series of pictures paints a thousand words for you! I truly look forward to seeing you at the Fair!”

Nora 5 Nora 6 Nora 8
Vintage cardigans are perfect for layering in between seasons. Invest in a versatile piece – something in basic colors with little details – to match various pieces in your wardrobe. That way, you will get a lot of wear out of them. Vintage dresses come in many different hemlines and fullness. The cinched waist look was very popular in the 50s, but there are tricks to create the hourglass figure. Wear belts and petticoats to create the Dior New Look, but you can also invest in cinchers or corsets. Vintage separates are not as popular as dresses, but I think they are underrated. Vintage skirts are extremely beautiful and perfect with simple tops, while a vintage sweater top is perfect for that Bettie Page outfit. You can often find separates for bargain prices, too!

Nora will be styling the fashion parades at The Vintage & Retro Fair, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 – 29 PLUS don’t miss the Best Dressed competition on Friday evening, September 27.

See more of Nora’s vintage observations at NORAFINDS


A bit of nip ‘n’ tuck

Fashion designers are often quoted saying “don’t be afraid to show off your shape” but where we often come unstuck is not actually knowing what works on our own shape.

Words by Chrissy KeepenceNip n Tuck


Chrissy from The Lindy Charm School for Girls tells us how we can go from just wearing an outfit to carrying that perfectly fitted outfit.

First let’s review our options when choosing our outfit:


Lovita Petal

  1. Handmade to fit – Couture
    This is awesome if you can afford it but doing your whole wardrobe this way is very expensive.
  2. Vintage style
    Outfits in this genre are not always readily available in your shape/size/style so a lot of time can be invested in hunting for the right fit that is also affordable. There’s also the issue of the condition of the stock on hand. However in my opinion, this is still the best – you just have to work a bit harder for it.
  3. Off the Rack
    If you find a clothing label you like you can fashion some nice retro/vintage inspired outfits around it. But you might experience a poor fit from some items – watch that they don’t hang on you. Remember, you need to carry them.

So this is how I approach it. When I am looking for new off-the-rack outfits, the price tag is not the price in my head. I always add $20 to $30 for my seamstress because 80% of the time I will be taking that outfit straight to her! She will nip and tuck in a few key places and voilà! It now fits my shape so I can carry it rather than just wear it!  Exactly where the nipping and tucking takes place is going to vary from one body shape to the next, but the areas I generally address are:

  • For pants – at the small of the back where I sway.  Most jeans, and trousers I find off the rack today have this gaping problem at the small of the back region. I just don’t understand it as I hear many women complaining about this same ill-fitting area;
  • For pencil skirts – the side hip/upper thigh area plus darts in the front hip section;
  • For frocks – the shoulders, small of back and sometimes even a dart under the breasts.

red hat 960 edit b

B&A2 edit

Tambo Shoot

Of course you can have it all nipped and tucked in all the right areas but if your foundation garments are missing or not working, then you can still be setting yourself up for an epic fail. Today’s fabrics (especially off-the-rack) are very unforgiving, so there are two types of foundation garments that we at The Lindy Charm School like to encourage ladies to get acquainted with:

  1. Well made and functional power meshed cinches, step-ins or girdles – either original vintage pieces as found at Fossil Vintage or some of the leading brands such as Rago.
  2. Smoothing wear – generally commercially marketed as ‘shape wear’ but due to the fabrics they use, rather than shaping you they smooth the bumps and ripples. This is, of course, equally important especially with modern fabrics.

I also encourage you to wear a really nice slip under frocks so the material doesn’t ride up when you walk. Original nylons or silks are great but steer clear of today’s cheap slips! They’re usually made from a cheap synthetic fabric with lots of static causing them to ride up.

As with everything beauty related, it starts from the inside and you work outwards from there. The same goes for undergarments to outer garments.

April Tambo
So build on the foundations and enjoy the journey.

Chrissy and The Lindy Charm School team will be demonstrating this and other tips at Sydney’s Vintage & Retro Fair.  They will also be offering vintage styling makeovers in vintage vixen, Pin-Up gal or classic Hollywood looks.

The Vintage & Retro Fair, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, September 27 – 29.


Image credits:  Brooke Orchard Photography, Waist Cinch pic by Kate D Photography
Hair, Makeup and Styling by The Lindy Charm School For Girls



Cold Cream for Beauty

If you’re looking for a vintage beauty regime, it doesn’t get much more historic than Cold Cream.

old advert (28) commons
Chrissy from The Lindy Charm School for Girls takes a look at the history of the most famous Vanishing Beauty Cream there is and how you can make your own at home today.


Ponds Cold Cream Promo

Print Advertisement 1910

Cold Cream has been around a lot longer than you probably imagined. It was formulated by a Greek physician named Galen in the 2nd century. His formulation consisted of one part melted white wax added to three parts olive oil. To add a scent to this cream, he steeped rose buds in the oil. He then blended in as much water as he could and voilà… cold cream!

The formulation has changed a little since Galen’s experiments, but its core essence of a moisturising cleanser has stayed with us – and for good reason. This splendid concoction has the unique ability to deep cleanse whilst nourishing the skin, which has seen it remain a firm favourite all over the world.


Cold cream was a real hit in the 1940s when women liberally used it all over their bodies to achieve all-round glowing skin. But more to the point, in times of austerity it was an affordable luxury for everyone.

Have you met ’Peter and Polly Ponds’? They are funny little characters that were invented to sell Ponds Cold Creams in magazine campaigns in the 1920’s to everyday people. Sample sachets were also placed in every magazine. In fact commercial cosmetics are still using the same advertising campaign today with their free giveaways.

Ponds Vanishing Cream pres ad 1917

Ponds Vanishing Cream press ad 1917

Vanishing Cream press ad

Lady Maureen Cooper endorses Vanishing Cream 1949

Here are some home remedies you can make yourself:

These recipes come from a Swedish beauty book from 1946, Skönhet by Vivan Huber.

Cold cream – Classic recipe
250 gm Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/ester)
25 gm White beeswax
250 gm Olive oil
150 gm Rose water
2 drops of Rose or Lavender oil
7 pinches of Borax

Mix oil, wax and spermaceti and heat it slowly under constant stirring. Let it cool a little and mix the borax with the rose water with a silver spoon. Add that to the cream and continue to stir until it is cold. Then add the rose or lavender oil.

Lemon cold cream
250 gm Almond oil
14 gm White beeswax
14 gm Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
250 gm Rose water
5 pinches of Borax
50 drops of lemon juice or essence

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Almond cold cream
5 gm Borax
300 gm Water (Distilled)
100 gm White beeswax
100 gm Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
200 gm Almond Oil
300 gm Lanolin
30 drops of Rose oil

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Salicylic cold cream
For irritated skin
5 gm Salicylic acid
15 gm Glycerol
150 gm Water (Distilled)
100 gm White beeswax
100 gm Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
500 gm Lanolin
10 drops of Bergamot oil
10 drops of Orange flower oil

Heat wax, spermaceti and lanolin while stirring and add a mixture of borax, water and glycerol. Stir until the creme is frothy and then add bergamot and orange flower oil.

Nourishing cold cream
Spermaceti (Jojoba oil/esters)
Olive oil
9 drops of Bergamot oil

Made in the same way as Cold cream.

Muscle oil
Not a cold cream, but this oil is an excellent complement. It is used to ward off wrinkles around eyes, mouth and forehead.
20 gm Castor oil
10 gm of Almond oil
8 drops of Rose oil

Pour all ingredients in a bottle and shake until well mixed. Keep in a cool place.


Note:  Home-made beauty products lack preserving components and don’t last as long as the cosmetic products you buy, so it’s a good idea to keep them in the fridge. When preparing them, be mindful of contamination. Sterilise your containers first and make sure you wear gloves or use a utensil when mixing.

Do you have any cold cream formulas passed down by the women in your family?


For more beauty tips and fashion tricks, visit The Lindy Charm School for Girls at the Sydney Vintage Fair, September 27 – 29, 2013


Images sourced from: Flickr:Jussi Nesster; Creative Commons: Wikimedia Commons



Esther Williams – Million Dollar Mermaid


Esther Williams once estimated she had swum more than 1,250 miles for the cameras in an aqua-movie musical career with MGM that spanned more than ten years.
Chrissy from The Lindy Charm School for Girls recalls her introduction into Esther Williams’ world:


Pin-Up photo for Yank, The Army Weekly magazine, 1945

Pin-Up photo for Yank, The Army Weekly magazine, 1945

I happened upon a quaint little book exchange store a few years ago and the first book to catch my eye was in the bargains bin (later I reflected on the tragic misplacement of such a book). I instantly recognised the unmistakable gold lamé bathing suit and the stunning beauty wearing it as none other than one of my favourite original Pin Up Gals, Miss Esther Williams, aka The Million Dollar Mermaid. Indeed a happy day and that book was now mine.

On the first page, the first heading I read was “Esther Williams, Cary Grant and LSD”. I could not put it down. Do yourself a favour and buy the book. It’s a great read with lots of history and insight into the lives of the glamorous MGM stars and their leading men!

“Esther Williams had one contribution to make to movies — her magnificent athletic body,” the film critic Pauline Kael wrote.

Esther Williams was born August 8th, 1922 in LA and died June 6th, 2013 at 91 years of age. It would seem swimming really is good for you!

Originally training for the Olympics, these dreams were pushed aside when Hitler’s march on Europe forced the cancellation of the 1940 Olympics. She had to settle for joining Billy Rose’s San Francisco Aquacade where the combination of her stunning looks and water ballet prowess caught the eye of MGM Talent Scouts. A star was about to be born. Even though she did not possess any acting, singing or dancing experience, she was signed by them and went on for the next eleven years swimming her way through no less than 18 movies, mostly shot in Studio 30 which housed a purpose-built swimming pool just for her.

“Clark Gable was the first to have called me a mermaid”. – Esther.

Promotional for Fiesta, 1947

Promotional for Fiesta, 1947

Performing in that 25ft-deep pool, which the swimmers nicknamed Pneumonia Alley, Ms Williams ruptured her eardrums seven times and nearly died when filming the climactic 50ft dive in Million Dollar Mermaid. She nearly broke her neck and spent half a year in a body cast. That’s dedication to your craft!

Asked once who her favourite leading man was, Esther Williams offered a simple and unsurprising response: “The water”.

I always wondered how she managed to keep her glamorous looks under water. Apparently MGM covered the star in a thick cream makeup and lathered her hair in baby oil and Vaseline. She remarked in her biography that by the time she came out of hair and makeup she was as waterproof as a mallard.

Esther Williams posing in a swimsuit 1939

Esther Williams posing in a swimsuit 1939

What I believe makes Esther a stand-out are her natural attributes such as:

•    Her winning smile – you should never leave home without it. It does help to have the perfect All-American-Smile though.
•    Esther’s hair was quite voluminous and seems to have had a natural wave which gave her those effortless styles. Even so, I’m sure she almost certainly used a setting lotion such as The Essential Setting Lotion by The Lindy Charm School for Girls. Esther would have also routinely pin-curled her hair once or twice a week to get, and keep that wave full and manageable.
•    Her eyebrows are quite possibly the nicest shape I have ever seen, perfectly arched and not too thin, creating a lovely wide open shape to her eyes. I am a fan of limited eye makeup if you have striking eyebrows. A little cheek stain and lipstick is all you need and this worked for Ms Williams too. Simple yet striking.
•    Of course having a stunningly fit figure due to her swimming regime helped, combined with the most amazing costumes. But as Alex Perry, women’s fashion designer says, “you can couture any garment to make a woman’s body appear smaller and give any figure shape. It’s all in the nip and tuck”.

Actresses from this era had the best designers in the business nipping and tucking their every need, but I do believe the design and construction of the garments back in this time created a more flattering, feminine look as a matter of course – definitely much more than the fashion of today does.

Vale Esther Williams is an Inspiration Immortal.

Images sourced from Creative Commons Wikimedia Commons


Vintage Poster Passion

Vintage Posters Only owner Sam Johnson discovered his interest in vintage posters while living in Paris in the early 1990s.

Bally Kick by Bernard Villemot

Bally Kick by Bernard Villemot

On seeing the vintage posters that adorned the walls of Parisian cafes, restaurants and shops, ‘The Poster King’ or P.K., as he’s known, started his own collection which soon grew into a gallery of works that can now be viewed at his Melbourne shop front or through his website.

Every poster is a work of art and has a story to tell, from the artist who created it, to the product it is selling. So what’s so special about Vintage Posters? Most importantly, these are the original posters, meaning they are from the original print runs. The posters reflect a particular moment in time and essentially document our history. Take a look into the collection at Vintage Posters Only and you will be instantly transported to Paris in the 1930’s sipping on Bitter Camparis, or fast forward to the ‘70’s where you will find yourself lacing up your Bally flats.
The Poster King’s collection is unlike any other with an array of categories to select from. From advertisements for bicycles to shoes, wine to a Joan Miro art exhibition, Moulin Rouge girls to television sets – everything you can think of and more.

Vintage posters are great for decorating any space and are a guaranteed talking point in your home or at your place of business. Given there is such a wide range of images, art styles and themes to choose from, it is possible to find your perfect vintage poster.

Bitter Campari by Cappiello

Bitter Campari by Cappiello

Picasso Musee Granet by Picasso

Picasso Musee Granet by Picasso

Bally Blonde by Bernard Villemot

Bally Blonde by Bernard Villemot

Corsets Le Furet by Roger Perot

Corsets Le Furet by Roger Perot

Printemps by Author Unknown

Printemps by Author Unknown

Fashion Exhib by Artist Unknown

Fashion Exhib by Artist Unknown

Vins Camp Romain by L Gadoud

Vins Camp Romain by L Gadoud

Australia Kangaroo by Eileen Mayo

Australia Kangaroo by Eileen Mayo

Louis Vuitton Classic by Razzia

Louis Vuitton Classic by Razzia

You can contact Sam by email or during business hours on 03 9500 2505



Yellow for Inspiration

Daffodil Day is officially Friday August 23rd across Australia. It represents hope for a cancer-free future and raises funds for cancer research, patient support and prevention programs with just a little help from us all – simply visit the Daffodil Day website to find out more.




The yellow daffodil is such a bright, happy colour – uplifting and illuminating, it offers hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun! Yellow loves a challenge and is the colour of the networker, talker or communicator.  Yellow made a huge fashion appearance in the ‘50’s and 70’s, in art deco jewellery and other pieces in the 1920s, furnishings and interior design colour schemes in the 1950s and ‘60’s and glassware in various hues throughout the decades.
Which of these items brighten your wardrobe, home, or your day in general?


1 Vintage dress by Bower Bird Vintage
2 Reversible necklace by Recycology
3 Antique lace by Pitt Trading
4 Swimwear by Sirens Swimwear
5 Swimwear by Beyond the Sea Swimwear
6 Hat & Jug by The Vintage Advantage
7 Party dress by The Vintage Drawer
8 Marimekko Cushion by Kiitos
9 Homewares by That Retro Piece


Find these items* and more at The Vintage Fair, September 27-29, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, Sydney


* Kiitos will not be an exhibitor at The Vintage Fair