Category Archives: IntoVintageNovember2013

Festive Season Fashion


‘A dress, five inches above the knee, no hat, no gloves and no stockings? Well…!’ huffed a former Lady Mayoress of Melbourne, ‘if she wants to do that in London that’s her business, but it’s not done here!’
Words: Kim from Bowerbird Vintage

Audrey_Hepburn_esmorza_al_Tiffany's.bmp 1961

Of course this was Melbourne in 1965 when one of the world’s most famous and most beautiful models dared to wear a mini dress to the iconic Melbourne Cup race day. Jean Shrimpton’s outfit welcomed the sixties into stuffy Melbourne and the following season mini dresses were all the rage across Australia, accompanied by, we’re pleased to say, hats.

As Summer is almost here in Australia (some would argue it has been here for weeks now), the lead up to the festive season with parties and gatherings aplenty is the ideal time to check out the vintage millinery options. One reason for this is they’re so flattering and of course, completely original.

So while you’re thinking about that pre-Christmas cocktail dress, think how eye-catching your outfit will be when complemented with a vintage hat! How you wear your hat is just as important as the piece itself. It’s very chic to wear your hat at a jaunty angle and classic glamour is always a safe choice. A favourite style is the pillbox, often trimmed with eye-covering netting and vintage adornments.

Buying vintage also makes it possible to own a couture hat for less and it’s an investment you’ll make a return on time and again.

Promotional for Fiesta, 1947

Promotional for Fiesta, 1947

Vintage style hats and fascinators have made a huge comeback and Kim of Sydney’s own Bowerbird Vintage says this year it will be all about sixties glamour.

Echoes of Jean Shrimpton will be seen strolling the esplanades this summer in A-line shift dresses, waistless bag dresses and mini skirts. Flowing caftans in big, bold, beautiful prints will also be popular. And Kim reminds us that the perfect accessories are oversize sunglasses, fabulous Maryjane’s and of course the pillbox and wide-brimmed hats.

Esther Williams posing in a swimsuit 1939

Esther Williams posing in a swimsuit 1939

Sixties fashion fits in with summer holidays and Christmas celebrations so perfectly. Search out your own outfit in psychedelic colors, geometric prints, space age shimmer or funky over sized floral and you’ll find what was once such controversial fashion will attract all the right attention this season.

Be the style queen at your Christmas and holiday festivities!

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

— Coco Chanel

For some gorgeous complete vintage outfit options, visit Kylie’s website: Bowerbird Vintage

Images sourced from Creative Commons Wikimedia Commons

About Roller Derby

Since starting in Chicago, USA in 1935, roller derby has had a reputation for being rough, aggressive, colourful, and thoroughly entertaining!

Roller Derby competition from the 1950s.

Roller Derby competition from the 1950s: Wikimedia Commons

Once the sport had begun, professional roller derby quickly became popular; in 1940 more than five million spectators watched matches in about 50 cities across the USA. In the following decades it predominantly became a form of entertainment where the theatrical elements overshadowed the athleticism.


The sport declined in popularity in the 1970s, but was revived and reinvented in 2001 by a grassroots league in Austin, Texas. This revival focused on athleticism, community, sisterhood and sassiness. Although some sports entertainment qualities such as player pseudonyms and colorful uniforms were retained, scripted bouts with predetermined winners were abandoned. As word spread, amateur all-women roller derby leagues began to emerge across America and, soon after, all over the world.


Roller derby has enjoyed an explosion in popularity in recent years. There are now more than 1,250 leagues internationally (half of which are outside the USA) and Australia currently has roller derby leagues in all states, with more popping up every few months. With over 37,000 participants worldwide, roller derby is the fastest-growing female-focused amateur sport in the world, and is now under consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Check out the video above of a women’s Roller Derby competition from the 1950s – no helmets!


Beauty School Knockouts

In September this year at The Sydney Vintage & Retro Fair, we were fortunate to have several members of the Sydney Roller Derby League on hand to entertain visitors and introduce them to the world of roller derby. The lovely ‘Fiesty Cuffs’ also demonstrated some of the popular ‘moves’ on stage.

Members of Sydney’s Beauty School Knockouts Team are pictured at right. The girls rock a ‘vintage/rockabilly/punk’ fashion vibe, with 1950s waitress-style dresses set off by fishnet tights and argyle socks – a look that is popular with roller derby teams around the world.


Feisty Cuffs: Image by Kris Ezergilis

Feisty Cuffs: Image by Kris Ezergilis

At the Sydney fair we caught up with Feisty Cuffs and learned a bit more about why roller derby is such a big part of her life…

“I signed up to a ‘Learn to Skate’ class with Sydney Roller Derby League about four years ago, and they taught me how to skate. Now, I am Captain of the Screaming Assault Sirens and a member of the Assassins (our A grade representative team).

When I started derby, I became part of something so much bigger than myself, I got an instant family. There is nothing quite like it. And to be surrounded by so many strong women, it made me want more from myself, on and off the track.”


Sydney Roller Derby League

Sydney Roller Derby League. Image by Maja Baska.

The Sydney Roller Derby League was established in late 2007, and now has more than 90 members. They also had their first full competitive season in 2009. They are always looking to recruit new skaters, secure bigger venues and continue promoting the sport in the greater Sydney area. For more information about the how you can be involved in the 2014 competition as a competitor or spectator, go to:



For information on roller derby leagues around the country, visit:

Vegas Vintage Clocks

Famous Dice ClockVintage Las Vegas Baby! It was 1968 when ‘The Strip’ sparkled with casinos like Stardust and The Flamingo, when you could pull up at the opening of Circus Circus and have the valet park your black Cadillac Eldorado. Only in America right? Well not only did they give the world this incredible piece of historic flavour, it also gave us classic souvenirs like the Las Vegas Dice Clock.

Las Vegas still overwhelms us with gift shops throughout the many casinos, but back then these shops used to create and sell their own merchandise. Sin City produced some of the best well known classic souvenir designs like gambling chips, the ever famous ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign and memorabilia and of course the Las Vegas Dice Clock.

Souvenir shops were abundant inside the Casino centres


Whilst no one is certain who actually came up with the clock design, there’s a story told that in the 60’s Harold ‘Hal’ Miller, owner of the souvenir company Miller Novelty Co. challenged his son to come up with something new to capitalize on the booming souvenir market.


So with an old battery block motor, a few gold clock hands and some casino dice on the face, the Las Vegas Dice Clock prototype emerged.


Miller Snr reportedly sneered at the idea as something that would offend the customers, but his son believed in his product and took the clock out to sell the idea to various gift shop owners in Vegas casinos. Shortly after, these casinos were exchanging their misspent die for orders of the finished timepieces. Some of the purchasing deals of these die were allegedly made under the cover of darkness with employees of the casinos! Miller created an assembly line of people putting the clocks together to fulfil their growing orders.

Casino Sign Vintage Vegas


Vegas Dice Clock

All of Miller’s originals featured black or white 9” square backgrounds, with second hand red casino dice as the numbers on the clock and the hands made of gold leaf. Since the original clocks were made, a number of variations were produced using different coloured dice and marble coloured backgrounds.
By the early 70‘s there were a few companies manufacturing these clocks and it’s estimated that the dice clock hustle lasted from the 1960s right through to the 1980s with more than one million clocks sold.


The Las Vegas Dice Clock is a quirky piece of vintage that makes you smile and reflect on a time full of neon signs, colourful stage shows and lots of fun had by all. It’s a true collector’s piece.


Vegas, baby!


Anna is selling the Las Vegas Dice clock along with other quirky vintage and retro pieces on the Vintage & Retro website.

Images courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; Great Gatsby Book Cover image originally posted on Flickr by Allan Trotter.


Create Unique Vintage-Style Homewares

Creating unique and personal vintage-style homewares items doesn’t have to cost a lot. And if you WIN a copy of The Crafty Minx at Home, it will be even easier!

Crafty Minx at HomeKelly Doust is a self-confessed junk-junkie who can upcycle, recycle, repair or repaint almost any item she discovers at her local thrift shops, garage sales or flea markets. It gives an old item a new lease of life, while making good economic and environmental sustainability sense.

A Brand Ambassador for Vinnies, Kelly also hosts workshops and demonstrations for a variety of organisations, including the City of Sydney and its annual Garage Sale Trail initiative.

In her book, The Crafty Minx at Home, she shares her tips for sourcing and reinvigorating a vast range of vintage items and materials collected in flea markets, charity shops and auction houses, and how to display and use them around the home.

pages of Crafty Minx at Home2

This simple crafts and DIY vintage-style book is brimming with personality and offers a wealth of ideas for recycling tired vintage items.

Kelly Doust has shared her passion for vintage, sewing, crafting and reinventing in this book where readers will find out how to make and collect for a lifetime and longer whilst creating the treasured family heirlooms of tomorrow.

You can find out more about Kelly and her books on her fabulous blog,

pages of Crafty Minx at Home1

Yours to Win!
We have 3 copies of The Crafty Minx at Home to give away to three readers (hey, it’s Christmas!). Simply tell us in 50 words or less, what your favourite recycled or vintage style homewares piece is and why. Enter your answer in the comments box below.*

Kelly is also the author of Minxy Vintage  (how to customise and wear vintage clothing), The Crafty Minx, The Crafty Kid and A Life in Frocks – all available at major booksellers.

The Crafty MInx Crafty Kid
A Life in Frocks Minxy Vintage

Competition closes midnight Tuesday, December 10th and the winner will be contacted by email the following day. Good luck!

•    Terms & Conditions: Entry must be 50 words or less and written to the comments board on this post by midnight Tuesday December 10th. Your email address will automatically be recorded. Judging will take place at the offices of Expertise Events, Unit 4/1 Skyline Place, Frenchs Forest NSW at 10am Wednesday December 11th and the winner will be contacted by email. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding these terms & conditions. The prize will be posted once the winner has supplied name and postal address details. Chance plays no part in the competition process. The promoter is Expertise Events Pty Ltd, Unit 4/1 Skyline Place, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086 Australia. ABN 43 003 932 492. The contact number for the promoter, Expertise Events Pty Ltd, is +61 2 9452 7575. Open to Australian residents only.

Mid Century Mad Men Look


Want to achieve that Mid Century Mad Men Look but don’t know how? Here are Miss Chrissy’s tips, from the Lindy Charm School for Girls.

Gina_Lollobrigida_(1960s) wikimedia commons

Gina Lollobrigida early 1960s

If you have ever watched the television show Mad Men, you know how beautiful the women always look. The mid 1950s to the early 1960s era was a time of transition. The wholesome mindset of the early 50s was being taken over by the revolutionary attitude of the mid 60’s. Women began to show off their sexier sides while still holding on to most of their morally rigid ideals.


The Makeup:


With the introduction of shorter hairstyles, makeup increasingly emphasised the eyes. The doe-eyed look of mascara-outlined eyes with slightly elongated corners was accentuated by thickly pencilled eyebrows. The long slender necks of the fifties were enhanced by chiffon scarves or glamorous jewellery inspired by the nostalgia of the roaring twenties.

Studio_publicity_Marilyn_Monroe mid 1950s Wikimedia commons

  • Foundation: The first step in achieving the Mad Men look is to use a good foundation to create a really flawless canvas to work with, then applying a pressed powder so that you get a nice matte finish. I use Latona Foundation at the Charm School for a consistent photo finish.

Sophia Loren 1959

  • Blush: The look was all about pink cheeks, so brush a pinkish powder blush over the apples of your cheeks. For the perfect beguiling look, my favourite blush is the Lindy Charm School’s Essential Blusher.



  • Eye shadow: The next step is to shadow the whole lid with a nice light, creamy white base, then pick a pale blue, turquoise green or mauve (whatever works best for your outfit and eyes). Use the darker colour in the crease and blend to the outer eye area. Don’t overdo it and blend, blend, blend!
  • Eyeliner: This is the most important detail. The best type of eyeliner to get that defined strong look is a liquid eyeliner. The Lindy Charm School for Girls Essential Define Eyeliner is super for this. Lay the brush flat and draw a line along your top lash line making the line thicker at the end as you get towards the outer edge of the eye.


close up

  • Lashes: Apply mascara to the top lashes making sure to accentuate the outer edges.


  • Eyebrows: Use a brown eyebrow pencil to brush and fill the colour of your eyebrows to thicken and pronounce the arch. Darker, fuller eyebrows were the look of the decade. I recommend LCS Brown Eyebrow Pencil.

Elizabeth Taylor helped popularised the red lipstick

  • Lips: They said that full, ripe lovely lips and a sweet mouth characterised the truly feminine woman! Agree or not with this statement, lipstick does complete the look. Using the LCS Essential Perfect Pout Lip Liner and Lipstick Set, define the ‘V’ of the top lip with your lip liner, following the lip line to the inside corner of top lip. If you wish to create more of a pout, then go slightly above the natural lip line in the bow area of the lip. Do the same on the bottom lip and if you want to create a fuller bottom lip, running the line slightly under the natural line in the centre of the lip only is a nice touch. Use a lip brush to colour your lips in using the colours of the day – anything from deep red or bright pink for evening wear and softer pinks and corals for day wear.

Look out for Part 2: Hair and Fashion Signature Styles from these prosperous and vibrant years! in next month’s Into Vintage.


Images sourced from Creative Commons Wikimedia Commons and Lindy Charm School


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