A Gatsby Summer Afternoon

On a warm, sunny day in September, Pat and I headed out to a picnic. But this picnic wasn’t just any old picnic; it was a step into the Gatsby-era world.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The Art Deco Society of California (which I previously mentioned in a post about their Deco Ball) hosts a “Gatsby Summer Afternoon” every year at the end of the summer season, at the historic Dunsmuir Hellmann estate in Oakland. The dress code calls for 1920s and 1930s day attire for men and women, and period-appropriate accoutrements… right down to real glasses and porcelain, wicker baskets – and even a gramophone or two!

Pat decked out in menswear to evoke the deco era.

Pat decked out in menswear to evoke the deco era.

A working gramophone at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

A working gramophone at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

And in keeping with my usual style, I decided against the straight silhouettes of the 1920s in favor of the somewhat more body conscious style of the 1930s. But finding a proper ’30s day dress isn’t easy, so I bought a vintage pattern and sewed one up myself!

My 1930s dress pattern (photo taken when I was working on the muslin mock-up).

My 1930s dress pattern (photo taken when I was working on the muslin mock-up).

The end result: decked out in a 1930s day dress.

The end result: decked out in a 1930s day dress.

Prepping for this event was almost as fun as the event itself… but nothing quite beats dancing outside on a beautiful day!

Dancing at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

Dancing at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

For those of you in the Bay Area, I heartily recommend checking out the Art Deco Society! In addition to this event and their annual ball, they host walking tours of art deco buildings and publish information about related events put on by other organizations.

What I wore:
Dress: made by me from a vintage 1930s Simplicity pattern
Hat: ModCloth
Bracelet: vintage deco-era silver bracelet
Clutch: a gift from my husband

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

Additional photos available on Flickr, here.


Scarlet and Sky

One of my favorite color combos is vivid red and light blue. So in celebration of a gorgeous, warm San Francisco day, I threw together a fun outfit featuring that combo — but to be honest, I wasn’t planning on taking outfit photos.

Until I ended up with this fantastic hairpiece that just happened to match.

Outfit and hairpiece.

I won it at the ModCloth Post Holiday Party, in a silent auction benefitting the Milo Foundation. The hairpiece was made by Mini, the Design Manager at ModCloth and also the mastermind behind Design by Mini. I didn’t realize I’d be getting it the day I wore this outfit, but I guess some things are just meant to be. :)

Close-up of Mini’s hairpiece.

And then when Santina and I went out to take photos, we happened across an old-school, sky-blue Mercedes-Benz.

I need to start buying cars to match my outfit. ;)

Kinda awesome, isn’t it? (If it had a convertible roof, it’d be perfect!)

(Rocky, however, is less impressed.)

And blue seemed to be the color of the day, because we also found a cool aqua-hued bike chained to a bench.

Alas, bikes to match my outfits are *somewhat* more in my price-range.

So, it wasn’t my original plan to take outfit photos (since the main components of this outfit have been featured in other posts), but I was pretty happy that the fascinator convinced me otherwise. :)

Hairpiece: Handcrafted by Mini of Design by Mini
Shirt: TARDamask by Rosemary Travale, via Threadless
Skirt: Essential Elegance Skirt, Moon Collection via www.modcloth.com
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via www.modcloth.com
Necklace: Big Wheels Necklace, Monserat de Lucca via www.modcloth.com
Bracelet: Chain Mail Bangle via www.modcloth.com
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via www.ruelala.com

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina

1950s Shark Attack

Didn’t I tell you that I adore 1950s dresses? I love how flattering they are, particularly their cinched waists. This dress is actually an original vintage dress from the 1950s, which means I occasionally have to repair seams. In fact, I had to do a quick sewing job this morning – turns out that thread weakens after 60+ years. But it’s worth it – this dress has an awesome sharkskin fabric, and really, who could resist wide collars like these? So very I Love Lucy.

Teal and red is such a fantastic color combination, and I love how the red detail at the color makes it so easy to pair red accessories with this dress.

The shoes are Re-Mix d’Orsay heels from ModCloth. They’re beautifully made with fabulous retro styling. More 1940s than 1950s, but there’s nothing wrong with mixing fashion eras!

A year or two ago, I finally got up my nerve to try cat eyeliner. It’s not so difficult once you get the hang of it. I found a pin on Pinterest that shows an easy technique, here.

Fascinator: Fashion Fractal Hat by Ophelie Hats, via ModCloth
Dress: vintage 1950s sharkskin dress
Shoes: D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heel by Re-Mix, via ModCloth

Curtains: Flora and Fauna and Fabulous Curtain, via ModCloth

Photos by me!