Monthly Archives: February 2013

Katharine Hepburn – a woman of substance

With the 85th Academy Awards looming larger-than-life, the Into Vintage team found themselves debating the virtues of worthy winners.

Katharine_Hepburn_Publicity WikicommonsKatharine Hepburn’s name topped our list, not just because she is the most awarded actress of all time, but because she had the conviction to be true to herself and stand up for what she believed in, all of which put her at the forefront of equality and the feminist movement.

Throughout her celebrated career Hepburn was winner of four Academy Awards for Best Actress, and nominated a total of twelve times in this category. She remains the only female ever to have won this many Academy Awards.

Hepburn’s rather unconventional and extremely independent lifestyle helped to change the perceptions of 20th century women, so much so that she was named Top Female Hollywood Legend by the American Film Industry in 1999.

She was raised during the progressive era by wealthy parents who encouraged her to ‘speak out, sharpen her mind and engage with the world’. Hepburn exercised these traits with confidence until the tragic death of her brother Tom, who was found dead, hanging in his room in 1921. It took considerable time for her to overcome the debilitating depression that followed, until she once again found her headstrong and outspoken demeanour. These characteristics assisted her during her earlier acting forays while still a student.

It wasn’t long before she caught the attention of Hollywood and made her first film in 1932. Just one year later she won her first Academy Award for her part in Morning Glory! Her career was well on its way and she was publicly acknowledged for her beauty, eccentric wit and strength of purpose which was evident in all her roles.

While her unconventional behaviour included shunning the Hollywood publicity machine, ironically it also drew attention to her.

Katharine Hepburn was also conspicuous by her athletic nature, her refusal to wear make-up off-screen and her insistence on wearing trousers (slacks) well before it was acceptable, let alone fashionable for women to do so.

Other avant-garde behaviour included her brief marriage at a young age, later followed by a 27 year affair with co-star Spencer Tracey who remained married to his estranged wife throughout. Like all relationships, this one had its ups and downs, but Hepburn placed her career on hold while she nursed him in his final years until his death in 1967. She also refused to see the movie Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, despite winning a Best Actress Academy Award for it, because it was the last movie Tracey appeared in before his death.

It has been suggested that her unorthodox ways worked against her for a period in the early ‘30s when her career hit an all time low and she was branded ‘box office poison’. However in true Hepburn style, she took sole charge of her own comeback by managing the rights of and overseeing production of her role in the film The Philadelphia Story. And she never looked back.

At the age of 83 Hepburn didn’t let a progressive neurological disease get between her and her final screen appearance. She remained vocal and active almost through to the end. Katharine Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96.

Inspired? So are we! You can dress like a star with clothing, styling, hair & make-up tips all available at this year’s Love Vintage Shows.  Don’t miss out.

Image sources from top:
Wikicommons
Creative Commons, Public Domain
Creative Commons, Public Domain

Creative Commons, Public Domain

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Katharine Hepburn publicity still

 

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Katharine Hepburn performs in ‘Little Women’

 

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Katharine Hepburn in ‘Summertime’

 

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Guys… learn how to Pomp it up!

Hey boys, are you serious about looking good? Follow these tips from our very own Tony The Barber, and Jimmy at Layrite USA, and start channeling some serious celebrity cool!Tony The Barber

The Ultra, High and Tight Pomp, the Slickback, Full Back Pomp, the Johnson Boogie and the Hawleywoods Puff… these are just some of the more popular men’s hairstyles that veteran barber Tony Tavner-Corner (aka The Quiffmaster) creates for modern guys who love the classics.

Before styling with Tony

Before styling with Tony

Tony specializes in 50s and 60s styles, creating an ‘old school look’ that is so popular with fashionable guys at the moment. Check out the locks on David Beckham, Leonardo Di Caprio, Adam Levine…

“I started cutting hair in the UK 45 years ago”, said Tony. “I came out to Australia in 1982, working in Melbourne where I had two shops before moving to Queensland. My shop in Brisbane was bought by my apprentice after he became fully qualified, and now I travel to vintage and nostalgia events around the country spreading style!”

Looking slick... after styling with Tony

Slick…. after styling with Tony

“My number one tip to creating the hair style you want is to use the right product. I can’t go past Layrite Pomade. It goes in like a wax but washes out like a gel, it’s fantastic to work with, and is a specialty product made in the US by the world famous LA barber Hawleywoods.”

“You can also come and see me for the right cut and some styling tips at one of the many events I travel to, including the Love Vintage Shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The guys at Layrite have also created a series of You Tube videos so you can recreate the look at home.”

To purchase Layrite Deluxe Pomade, contact Tony at www.tcgreaze.com.au or catch him at the Love Vintage Shows.

 

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Hardcore Pawn heading Down Under

Hit TV reality show Hardcore Pawn has taken Australia by storm. We can’t wait to meet the stars, Les, Seth and Ashley Gold, at this year’s Love Vintage Shows.

Seth Gold - Hard Core Pawn

Seth Gold specialises in Sports, Musical instruments and Sports memorabilia in the family business ‘American Jewelry & Loan’

We caught up with Seth whose area of expertise in the family’s business lies in watches, musical instruments and music memorabilia.  Here’s what he revealed:

1.  So you are coming to Australia for the Love Vintage Shows. Have you been to Australia before? And what are you most looking forward to doing or seeing while you are here?

No – I’ve never been to Australia before.  I’m most excited to meet my ‘fans down under’ and see some kangaroos and the Sydney Opera House!

2.  And we’re excited about meeting you in the flesh! Tell us, how did the whole concept of a reality TV show come about for you guys?

I received a phone call from a producer wanting to come in and film for one day to see if there would be any interest.  I told him “No”.  Throughout the day I was talking to Les about it and he was all for it – he bugged Ashley and I until we relented. He kept saying “How big could it get?  Let’s just try it!”

3.  So has being a reality TV star changed life for you?

Not really, except that now people everywhere recognize me and I’m always getting stopped for photos.  It’s a cool feeling hearing people’s stories, and because of our celebrity status, we’ve been able to reach out to our community in a lot of ways.  For example, this year we’re hosting THAW (The Heat and Warmth Fund) for our local energy company to help raise money to pay the heating bill for families and senior citizens in need.  It’s really great to know that someone will have a warm night because of us.

team photo for web

It’s a family business run by Les Gold and his two children, Ashley and Seth.

4.  Many families have a love/hate relationship with each other but how do you feel about yours being exposed to the world?

I love my dad and sister very much, we’re a very close family. It’s great working with them but no one knows how to push your buttons like family.  That said, no one has your back like your family either.

5.  We see some crazy scenes on your TV show, is this just an average day for you?

I wish I could say that was just for the show, but it’s not. The cameras definitely intensify some encounters, but the wide variety of people that come through the door on any given day is one of the reasons our shop was picked.

6.  What is your personal area of expertise in the pawn business?

I went to a school for Business, so I’ve helped bring Les out of the ‘old school’ way of doing things. I also specialise in watches, musical instruments and sports /music memorabilia, so I often help out with purchasing deals on those lines of items.

7.  Do you collect anything yourself and what might pique your interest when you’re here for the Love Vintage show?

One of my favourite things to collect is sports memorabilia.  I don’t think I’ll find much of that at the show though, but I’m really excited about the different vintage jewellery pieces. I love that everything is for sale!

8.  What is the strangest, most unique item you have pawned?

We have had some really crazy items brought though the doors.  Some of the strangest include a fake eye, which he popped out right in front of me! We couldn’t buy it because they’re size and colour specific. We also had an alligator once that Les loved and didn’t want to resell and we still have some leftover gold fish that we used to feed it – they’re HUGE now!  The most unique item to date though has to be the Kevorkian Van we recently purchased. In the US, and especially in Michigan where he’s from, EVERYONE knows about Dr. Jack Kevorkian AKA Dr. Death and his Death Mobile, a 1968 VW Bus fitted with his “assisted suicide” equipment!  To get to purchase such an iconic item for the store was wild.

9.  In your years in the pawn business, have you ever come across any interesting Australian items? If so, what were they?

Actually I just bought two didgeridoo’s a few weeks ago.  The guy who sold them to me was amazed I even knew what they were!

10. What can people expect when they meet you at the Love Vintage Shows in 2013 and when are they?

I’ll be at Sydney Love Vintage on March 15-17, Les will be at the Brisbane show April 5-7 and Ashley is going to be sharing some stories at Melbourne’s show on May 17-19. I’m not sure what you can expect – but I can guarantee it will be a great time!

Visit the American Jewelry & Loan website for more information about the Golds and their show, Hardcore Pawn.

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Did someone say scandal?

No, it was just Australia’s hemlines during the ’40s. Miss Chrissy educates us on how a frugal decade influenced women’s fashion.

Make and Mend Sewing Room 1942 Image: Public Domain

Make and Mend Sewing Room 1942

WWII started only days after the 1939 couture fashion show in Paris. At that time hemlines hovered at about 15 inches (38 centimetres) from the ground and most skirts showed an A line silhouette. Wartime propaganda was relentless, insisting that every yard (.91 of a meter) saved would mean a quicker route to victory. By 1942 styles were manufactured using a minimum of resources. By 1943, even in Australia the full length gown, which was a staple in every woman’s wardrobe for nightly occasions, had all but disappeared. In fact it was outlawed in Australia as well as France.

Image: Qld State Library

Women would reuse material from their husband’s ‘time to replace’ suits

Australians knew all about rationing too. Food, fabric and the bare essentials were all insufficient for the demands of the day. They lived by their allocated ration coupons so making do and mending were a part of everyday life. Some families (even whole generations in fact) were rationed almost their entire life. Australia did its part and followed the trend of Europe and then America when it came to fashion. Everyone wore simple, practical clothes and yes the hemlines became shorter too, being raised to 18 Inches (46 centimetres) from the ground, not just because the fabric was scarce, but also because if you wore anything that was considered ‘too luxurious’, you risked looking as though you were not doing your bit for the war effort and were subsequently at risk of being scorned by other women.

‘Make do and mend’ became most women’s motto. Women had to think outside the square and reuse and remake what they could. (Let’s face it ladies, war or no war, women still liked mixing the wardrobe up a bit and having something new every now and then!) As they could not always wait for the next allocation of fabric ration coupons, they would re-use the material from their husband’s ‘time to replace’ suits, which may have become available because their husbands sadly didn’t return from war, or if they did, their pre-war suits were too large for them. They would unpick these suits and refashion them into a tailored, fitted jacket with wider shoulders and a matching A line skirt for themselves. This suit, although more on the masculine side than previous fashions, still cut a great shape, was durable and looked smart and is still very fashionable today. They also refashioned old dresses with the latest style collar, or added pockets in a contrasting fabric making it pop, turning it from shabby to chic! These changes heralded a whole new era of stylish fashion.

Ministry of Information Exhibitions 1943 Public Domain

Women setting up make-do-and-mend rooms during wartime.

However not everyone had the luxury of owning sewing machines and irons, so ‘common’ make-do-and-mend houses or rooms became available for women to get together to work on their garments. I can only imagine this would also have been a great social opportunity for them during what were extremely trying times.

It took some time for fashion to regenerate after the war, but life gradually got better and there was more food, more fashion and more riches. The beautiful designers started emerging with the likes of Dior in 1947 who introduced long luxurious skirts and beautiful dresses – such extravagant designs that used yards and yards of fabric were seen as POSITIVELY SCANDALOUS!

The women of the post-wartime truly did have smaller everything – waists, busts and feet – than we do today, but they also had a secret weapon in their armoury that gave them those beautiful silhouettes. Which bring us to Foundation Garments – brassieres, girdles, step-ins, petticoats and waist cinches. Did you know that the perfect hourglass figure is where the waist is 10 INCHES smaller than the bust and hips; for example 36 – 26 – 36? If you remember that all vintage frocks were made with foundation garments in mind, you can breathe easy when that gorgeous vintage dress seems a little too snug around the middle!

For me, I’m all for foundation garments!  Any minor discomfort is worth it if it creates the sculpted illusion of the perfect figure. If I know everything is in its place, I feel beautiful! The best compliment I ever received was from a dapper gent who said “Ma’am, may I say, you cut a great shape there”. Ladies it is not about size and weight, it is all about SHAPE.

Til next time…

Miss Chrissy runs the Lindy Charm School for Girls, offering workshops, EMCEE services, Hen’s Parties, Weddings and more.

Image sources from top:Public Domain
Qld State Library
Public Domain

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Share your memories and WIN!

Send in a funny, sentimental or quirky pre-1970 photo from your family album showing ‘people in a place’ and you could win a double pass to the Love Vintage Show of your choice – there are FIVE to be won!

Nan and Pop with Uncle George and Aunty Rita make a roadside stop while touring Victoria in 1954. Have tea pot, will travel!

Nan and Pop with Uncle George and Aunty Rita make a roadside stop while touring Victoria in 1954.
‘Have tea pot, will travel!’

Maybe Nan and Pop are at the beach in Bondi in the 1940s, or Mum and Dad are honeymooning in Hawaii in 1960… just tell us in 50 words or less who it is, where they are and what they are up to.

All pictures and captions will be posted in The Into Vintage Family Album  on the Love Vintage Show facebook page and the best five, as voted by the Into Vintage Team, will win a double pass to the Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane Love Vintage Show (winner’s choice).

Get your entries in by 5pm Friday, March 1 to be in the running to win!

  • Email your picture as an attachment (maximum size 2MB) to competition@intovintage.com.au. Include your full name, 50 word caption and contact phone number in the body of the email.
  • The winners will be announced in next month’s Into Vintage newsletter and the winning entries will also be featured on the blog.
  • Winners will be contacted by phone and email on Thursday, March 7, 2013.

NB. By entering the competition you acknowledge that your entry will be published and seen in the public domain.

And don’t forget to LIKE our facebook page so we can let you know when ‘The Family Album’ is ready for viewing…

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How to clean your antique lace

Hand-made lace is one of the most beautiful, treasured and delicate of fabrics – but what is the best way to clean it? We went to the experts for advice.

Making Lace

Lace being hand-made by a member of the Queensland Lace Guild

You may have collected or inherited a piece of hand-made, antique lace but you may be unsure how to clean and care for it. The members of the Queensland Lace Guild have produced a video and booklet to show how it’s done, and although it’s not a quick process, the time is justified when looking at the value (sentimental or otherwise) of your lace.

Below is an extract from Care of Antique Lace by the Queensland Lace Guild that outlines their cleaning method.

Requirements:
Vacuum cleaner
Hair dryer
Washing solution – water with natural-based detergents, eg washing soda or soap flakes
Distilled water
Washing tubs
Netting, sewing thread, needle, scissors, brass pins
Sheets of plastic
Sponge
Ether foam (do not use polystyrene)
Kettle or large pot to heat distilled water
Non-acetate blotting paper

Preparation:
A. Block – Take a piece of ether foam big enough to pin the piece of lace you are cleaning on to. Cover this in blotting paper. Then plastic. The block is now ready to use.
B. Lace – Take the lace to be cleaned and place it between two layers of netting, allowing the net to extend beyond and around the lace. Hand-stitch the net layers together so it will hold the lace firmly between (like a sandwich). If it is a large piece of lace, stitch between the holes of the lace but not through any threads. The idea is for the netting to hold the piece of lace firmly in place while you launder it.

Method:
1. Gently vacuum any excess dust off the lace.
2. Prepare your washing and rinsing tubs. One tub of washing solution and three (or more) tubs of clean, distilled rinse water. All distilled water must be tempered. (Tempered water is 2/3 cold to 1/3 hot).
3. Soak lace (which is encased in netting) in the washing solution; allow to stand for a short while.
4. Rub lace with the sponge. The net will protect the lace so you can rub quite hard to remove the dirt.
5. Once satisfied that all the dirt has been removed, lift the encased lace out of the solution and allow excess washing solution to drip off before placing into a tub of clean, tempered distilled water.
6. Pat and swirl the clean water through the lace. Repeat this method til you end up with clean water. Best to have at least three tubs of rinse water lined up (or however many it takes to rinse the lace fully).
7. Remove excess water by squeezing, but do not wring the lace.
8. Once you are satisfied the lace is clean remove the net. Lay the clean lace flat on the block (which was prepared beforehand). Using brass pins, pin the lace in place, making sure to pin through holes and not through any threads.
9. Once the lace is fully secure you may now use a hair dryer to dry the lace (on cool setting), or allow to air dry out of direct sunlight.
10. Store lace in fresh acetate-free paper, making sure you refresh the paper often.

The Queensland Lace Guild will be at the Brisbane Love Vintage Show (April 5-7). Come and watch the experts as they demonstrate lacemaking… and try it for yourself. The guild members are happy to share their knowledge and advice on making, identifying and caring for lace.

qldlace.orgThe Australian Lace Guild was incorporated in 1985 and operates nationally with branches in each state. The Queensland Branch has it’s own state committee which, among other things, operates a library, organises workshops and holds open general meetings.
The aim and objectives of the guild are:
 – To promote lacemaking as a craft throughout Australia
 – To bring together people interested in all forms of lace and lacemaking
 – To provide a forum for the exchange of information on lace and lacemaking
 – To establish and maintain standards of excellence in the craft of lacemaking in all forms
 – For personal and public education

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