The vintage fashion trend keeps gaining momentum, inspired by several movies and the Mad Men television series. Regular and high-end vintage fashion stores have been around for a long time, and are doing good business. The scarcity of clothing appropriate for today's sizes, however, has been a challenge. But now local designers and small-scale clothing manufacturers are making new vintage-look fashions in a variety of sizes. Classic films from the 1930s through the 1950s can serve as constant inspiration, and the movie star icons of that era can serve up vintage either hot or iced.
Ava Gardner is shown above in the mid-1950s. With Ava's dark bobbed hair and her hour-glass figure she was the perfect model for the styles of the 1950s. Several colors suited Ava but she looked especially smashing in red. This gown's ruffled bodice is accentuated by her small corseted waist.
Deborah Kerr is shown above in a halter-topped circle-skirt for the film From Here to Eternity, 1953. Kerr usually played the cool and reserved English beauty in Hollywood movies. In From Here to Eternity she played an unfulfilled wife sparked by her lover Burt Lancaster. The dress above plays with the forms of the circle with its inter-twined circle decoration.
Donna Reed also played against type in From Here to Eternity, taking on the part of a call-girl. Her role of the tough-tender love interest of Montgomery Clift suited her well. This beautiful black halter-top gown with split skirt was designed by costume designer Jean Louis.
Sophia Loren was all over the screen in the 1950s. Here she is shown in That Kind of Woman, 1959, with costumes by Edith Head. Loren too had the perfect look and figure for the fashions of the fifties. The cheerful use of polka dots in this simple dress was perfect. Dots can always be in style, whether in the 1950s or now ( see my post I See Spots ).
Elizabeth Taylor was another iconic beauty from the 1950s and 60s. Helen Rose designed the perfect dress for her in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The Grecian draped, decollete white silk chiffon cocktail dress was such a smash that Rose started her own line of clothing featuring the Cat dress. Although the late Helen Rose no longer has a fashion line, the Cat dress is still in demand, and only vintage copies are available.
The blondes rule the next few images, with Kim Novak leading the pack in a form-fitted white ribbed sweater. Though it may be too warm now to think of sweaters, the variety of looks achievable through sweaters should always be considered. See my post Sweater Girls
Gloria Grahame was a sweet-looking and sexy vixen that got pegged for a lot of hard-luck film noir roles. But she also starred in such films as Oklahoma and The Greatest Show on Earth. Here she is shown circa 1946 in a fetching outfit of black shorts and gingham blouse.
The classic bohemian look is always in style. Marian Marsh is shown above wearing a beret and short-sleeved blouse, accessorized with a belt and scarf. She was posing for the film, Crime and Punishment, 1935.
Shirley Jones never seemed to play any naughty roles - she was always the girl everyone loved. She was unforgettable in Carousel, Oklahoma,The Music Man, and The Courtship of Edie's Father, with many later roles on TV. She is shown above in the mid-sixties in a pretty floral dress of pink carnations and green leaves.
The old Hollywood movie fan magazines always used to emphasize looking at the various movie stars to see which one was "your type" when it came to finding fashion inspiration. Perhaps these stars can still provide inspiration for vintage fashion.
In the L.A area, vintage is being re-created by Stop Staring and Queen of Heartz, while many cities have their own vintage resale shops or even "at-home shop" options. And even Banana Republic is joining in with a Mad Men inspired line designed by the show's costume designer Jane Bryant.