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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Spotted by Gail Carriger a Norman Norell Dress in How to Marry a Millionaire


So I spotted this dress in How to Marry a Millionaire (yes I recognize all the issues with this movie but I can't help but love it, mostly for the clothing). And then it showed up in one of the fashion blogs I follow and I was like, hey is that the SAME dress?

Spotted by Gail Carriger a Norman Norell Dress in How to Marry a Millionaire
Norman Norell, 1957  The Metropolitan Museum of Art Lauren Bacall

Spotted by Gail Carriger a Norman Norell Dress in How to Marry a Millionaire
Norman Norell, 1957  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Spotted by Gail Carriger a Norman Norell Dress in How to Marry a Millionaire
screen shot
As you can see the fit is not quite the same, perhaps he redesigned it for her and for the screen, or perhaps this is a knock off? Also the sleeves look shorter. I checked the net and couldn't find anything on this dress in this movie.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

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Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

So I reported recently about the loss of my brown fur stole, it ripped while I was down in Palo Alto.


Since I bought it for about $15 at  Bon Marche Thrift store several years ago and almost never wore it I'm not too upset. Although it was lovely and warm. I'm not certain what bread of fuzzy animal it started out as but whatever it was it died a very long time ago., probably 1950s.

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

I actually prefer fake fur if I'm buying new, it's easier to clean and maintain, and doesn't shed on everything. Aside from a gift of a proper critter mink, inherited from a friend of my mother's grandmother... I believe this stole was my last piece of real fur.

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

As you can probubly tell I tend not to get wrapped up (snort) in the fur debate, but I do live in the Bay Area, land of PC for the sake of it, and I don't want to be covered in paint so I don't even wear the fake ones that much. 

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

 Still, here's an ode to my little fur stole, some modern ways I might have worn it but didn't.

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

And some vintage fur looks.

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole


Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole
1944 Evening Cape  Charles James  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole
 1955  Norman Norell  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole
1960s  1stdibs.com


Fur in Victorian Times 


Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole
From Godeys Dec 1872

Something for Ivy

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole
1870  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Something for Felicity

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole
1871 Dolman  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Something for Prudence

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur Stole
1890s  The Goldstein Museum of Design

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

For my last Etiquette & Espionage event I wore a plaid dress over a blouse with Very Big Sleeves. 

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
Dress is from Buffalo Exchange on Haight Street for $25, it's not vintage and has a nice bit of stretch to it. It also has pockets at the front, or more correctly one big pouch style pocket. I sewed on the clock buttons to add a little extra interest. Gloves are vintage brown leather, gift. Shoes are by Soft, but they were a dark pink color I had died brown.

This particular outfit has some steampunk notes and since the event was listed as a "Steampunk Reception" I thought I should nod in that direction. Normally, I use this blouse (1970s I think) for my Victorian recreation outfits, but I happened upon the idea of putting it under this pencil dress when watching How to Marry a Millionaire (for the millionth time).

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Sorry I don't have a bigger screen shot. How to Marry a Millionaire is one of my favorite fashion movies of all time and I would like to own every outfit that each of the ladies wears. So good. Anyway where was I? Oh yes, plaid with steampunk touches.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
You can kind of see the hair band. It's a big brown satin bow I got at Ross for about $4. I sewed a brass octopus to the center and added a little puff of brown feathers out the back. I'm wearing a vintage costume jewelry gold 1920s earring and brooch set, gift from my mother.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Since it was a relatively cool day I paired the dress with a vintage fur wrap.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo AltoGail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Sadly the poor wrap ripped during the course of the day so it's gone off to Goodwill. It's pretty near impossible to repair fur and certainly more effort than I have time for. Especially as I've owned this one for three years and only worn it 2x. I picked up this wrap from Bon Marche Thrift Store for $15, so I'm not too upset about the loss. I'll do a little blog to morn its passing shortly.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
 1929 Ensemble  Louiseboulanger  The Museum at FIT

However, back to plaid. I've written on a number of occasions about my love affair with this fabric. I think it goes back to my goth roots. It's one of those patterns that bisects both the alternative scene and the tweed toffy country set. Tally ho the nightclub and all that.

It's funny but even though I have a whole lot of plaid already in my wardrobe it's something I gravitate to whenever I am out shopping. Plaid and and color red. I'm powerless to resist.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Hope you all have lovely plaid filled days!
Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
Plaid Punch Sept 1853

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.
Spotted by Gail Carriger a Norman Norell Dress in How to Marry a Millionaire  Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye Fur StoleGail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

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