Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pretty Picture Post: From The Pages of Vogue

Hi Everyone,
I had a bunch of posts planned and then I got sick (nothing too major) and those plans kind of went out the door. I then saw how many page views there were and was just thrilled. Seriously thank you to everyone who shared my picture or the link on facebook. I hope you won't mind the self-promotion at the end. I have had a little trouble getting a facebook "Like" button to work.

This post is an accumulation of pinterest photos from Vogue magazines between 1956 and 1959. I love the warm browns, the white, grey, silver, orange and pink color palette from these shoots. The outfits in these pictures are not for one specific season. This is partially because I was too lazy to find images from one season. This is also partially because I figure August is a time when the temperature is all over the shop regardless of where you live. For those who are new here. The stars will take you to the image source.

I hope you enjoy these poised images of women dressed in classic outfits with accents in warm hues. Some of the more pink-toned outfits remind me of "Think Pink" from 'Funny Face' which I watched today while painting my nails. If you are not a fan of oranges or browns or even pink, I have saved some more images in other colours and will be posting some more soon. 

Also I don't know if you have noticed this, but my pretty picture posts are currently being posted under 'Musings' rather than 'Style'. This is because I originally had these posts filled with all sorts of images. I've decided to leave them where they are because the writing isn't really all about style like those posts usually are...

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If you enjoyed this post or any of the other posts on my blog please feel free to follow using Google Friend Connect (you should be able to do this if you have Google Plus. OR, please check out my Facebook page which always has fun images uploaded as well as links to here. 

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pretty Picture Post: The Sea, The Sand & The Swimsuit

Hello Everyone,
I have been getting into the vintage beach theme again with this new picture post. I can't wait till it warms up a little because I am hoping to actually go to the beach this year. I will probably just go by myself and read or something. I am a little wary of doing that because of safety reasons even though it's a small town. What can you say? I am a little paranoid...

I think some sand, sun and salt water might do wonders for all of my niggling skin problems and may even improve my mood a bit. Nature is a great medicine. I guess leaving the house also comes with the possibility that there will be new people to meet, not that I ever manage to come off sounding friendly when I or if I speak to them. 

I am so grateful for the existence of Pinterest because it allows us to see so many of the awesome vintage images out there. This post is pretty picture heavy, but I couldn't narrow it down. I love these monochrome snaps so much! I love the jumpsuits and the high-waisted bottoms. I love the full-piece suits and summer dresses. I love the bikinis and the sunglasses. I love the caps and hats. I love that these women wear their make-up and have their hair curled...

These pictures are so much fun :)

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As you can see these pictures are taken from decades spanning between 1910 and 1950. Times were obviously different especially in the earlier eras where there even used to be signs on the beach dictating that women were to be wearing bloomers. In the 1920s some women could be seen wearing hosiery and shoes at the beach, while in 1930 some of the jumpsuits and high waisted pants would see most women having their entire legs covered. Even the slightly more revealing high waisted bikinis of the forties and fifties were by far more modest than the little string bikinis we see today (both on the beaches and in snoop dog music videos).

I like the way that the vintage swimming costumes and  cover-ups tastefully showed off a woman's figure. I think if we could purchase swimsuits as modest as these (I have seen reproductions, but honestly many of these show a lot more cleavage and butt than the original swimmers did) more women would have the confidence to go swimming at the beach. 

Many patterns have been made available for the successful seamstress. I am not quite there with my sewing (Really I can hardly sew straight) so I have opted for a modest swimsuit with a ruffled skirt from a cheap online shop (Sizing is Chinese) and it's more "vintage appropriate" than "reproduction". It hasn't got here yet. I don't know I may model it when it arrives? I also finally found a teddies style jumpsuit which might be perfect for the beach also. I just hope it's not too see through... And knowing me if these things arrive and fit you may be witnessing me hauling quite a few different colours.

I could be thinking wishfully, but honestly I would like to see my self at the beach a lot more this year. Getting that much needed vitamin D and fresh salty air.

Don't these pictures just make you want to go to the beach?

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: Popular- A Memoir by Maya Van Wagenen

INFO:
Pages: 259
Genre: YA Non-fiction
Australian Release Date: 15 April 2014
Publisher: Penguin
Sent to me for review.
Price: $16.99

BLURB:
A true story
'School is the armpit of life - and my school is no exception.'
From hair-dos and girdles to pearls and posture, Maya does whatever Betty says - no matter how difficult or embarrassing.
When Maya Van Wagenen finds a 1950s Guide to Popularity she embarks on a unique social experiment: for one school year she follows the advice of its author, teen model Betty Cornell.
She's determined to see her experiment through, for better or worse.
MY THOUGHTS:
When this book came in the mail I was so pleased. The cover and the caption "Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek" are so ME. I guess it's kind of an understatement to say that I really was excited to crack this book open... I didn't really know what to expect, yet my expectations were naturally high. Was this book everything I hoped it would be?

The author's inscription(I hope that's the right term) reads "To all those who've sat alone at the edge of the playground. This book is for you". I'm sure every person must have felt this way at some point, some more than others. This definitely made me want to read the book more.

Because the book is a "true story" and is told through journal entries it's a little hard for me to review it. Sure there is writing style, the writer's outlook on things, the analysis about what it is to be "popular" and the positioning, but I can't review the plot or the characters, And non-fiction (no matter how interesting) is not usually something I read... This book is also probably a little younger than what I would usually read. On the press release it says "11yrs +" and the main character is turning thirteen in the story. (The author is now fifteen years old). This is such a great feat for such a young author!

I think what Maya did was awesome and took some guts. Turning your non-existent social life into an experiment like that... Wow. I especially liked that the self-help book she used for her experiment was from the 1950s. The vintage nerd in me thought that was absolutely awesome and I loved reading excerpts from Betty Cornell's book (I am seriously considering buying it now that it has been re-released). I'm sure all of the vintage gals following my facebook page may find this aspect of the 'Popular' to be super-duper cool too. It was really interesting to see how Maya interpreted the advice in Betty's book and also how that translated in the real world.

Maya is so honest in this book. It was like a real journal. Though it was well written and obviously a lot neater. I think Maya really captured the adolescent angst of a thirteen year old girl and that she was extremely brave publishing her private thoughts for the world to see. Ill-fitting undergarments, crushes, skin problems, bad hair days and body image issues are all included in 'Popular'. I think most girls/women can relate to this and will find some of Maya's own popularity tips to be quite charming and sometimes funny.

I thought it was really interesting to learn about Brownsville, Texas. I have never really thought about what life was like on the border of Mexico and how dangerous it would be. It was also interesting to learn about Maya's family and to see how she managed to follow the guide book on a low income.

The one thing I wasn't really happy about was the ending. Not so much what did or didn't happen, because it's not like Maya can choose that. I guess I just didn't really like the conclusion that she came to about popularity (or rather making friends). I'm not saying it isn't true, but I just wonder how much this was influenced by the environment and other circumstances (must not spoil events...).

Overall, I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. While I really enjoyed the book and read it really quickly it is not my favourite genre and it was one YA book that definitely felt young (almost too young- and I read YA all the time). I also wasn't in love with the ending. I know these are all things that Maya can't control so I feel bad for marking a book down based on these things. Especially seeing as Maya has done such a brave and awesome thing by writing this book and doing this whole experiment. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for something decent to read and especially those vintage enthusiasts that will know all to well what it is like to be wear a 1950s outfit in a 2012 world.

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie

Saturday, August 2, 2014

If We're Gonna Talk About Music: Regina Spektor

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In my second year of high school I discovered Regina Spektor through her 'On the Radio' film clip on Video Hits. Yes, for those Australians reading this you might remember VH with Fuzzy on Saturday (And Sunday) mornings. At the time there was a lot of quirky music making it's way into the Australian Charts and it was all music that I was extremely interested in listening to and buying. The likes of Feist, Kate Miller-Heidke, Little Birdy and Lisa Mitchell  all made it onto this music video show either shortly before/after the Regina Spektor clip did. While I have made an effort to keep up with these musicians and their newest CD releases, Regina Spektor is the one artist that has remained a constant favourite with me. 

Regina Spektor has definitely had a big influence on the way that I listen to music and choose new music to listen to. She definitely thinks out-of-the-box and I think it encourages her listeners to do the same. She reminds us that singing is a form of story telling and not just a way to express emotion (though there is plenty of that too). She creates interesting stories with curious characters and her amazing vocal range, And musical style is what makes it work. 

She has been the subject of many art assignments in high school and if I ever were to get a tattoo it would probably have Regina lyrics on it. I think she's really great and really inspiring, but obviously I try not to put her on a pedestal too high because musicians are musicians and they always dabble in social issues and politics when they are really probably not meant to.

Maybe you have heard of Regina Spektor before. Maybe you have heard her sing on the soundtrack of a movie and didn't know it was her. Maybe you have heard a contestant on a singing contest use a Regina song for an Audition. Regardless of whether or not you do know who she is or have heard her music, I hope you will enjoy this post  and hopefully check out some of her music.

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THINGS I LIKE ABOUT REGINA SPEKTOR:
  1. Whether or not you like her music, you have to admit that she has a tremendous voice. I know a lot of reviewers have actually complained that the songs she writes don't show off her vocal range as much as they would like. 
  2. She is a singer/songwriter. Most of the songs she has sung have been her own.
  3. She is not afraid to be different and has never changed to suit anyone. She's really not afraid! Some of her music is actually quite experimental and as much as I love the songs I am surprised that she ever ended up on VH (And I am grateful for the people that allowed this to happen!)
  4. She has multiple talents and she can multi-task well. Regina can play the piano, play the guitar and make some pretty interesting sounds with her mouth (not just singing!). She also plays 'Poor Little Rich Boy' live with one hand on the piano and the other hand drumming on a chair while she sings. 
  5. She has good taste in music. I think it's cool when musicians actually have an ear for music, because it says a lot about them. Regina Spektor not only has wide and varied influences (such as The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and Radiohead), but she has recorded duets with Ben Folds and The Strokes!
  6. Her Russian accent occasionally comes through when she is singing. 
  7. She does this thing that Wikipedia calls the Glottal Stop. Basically it's the pause that you make when you say "uh-oh" and it's not super common in the English Language. Regina uses this pause to make extra syllables in a word and it sounds pretty rad. It also makes it hard for people to copy her exactly.

Non- Music Related: I like that she keeps her clothes classy without deviating from her true style.


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SONGS I REALLY LIKE:
-'Ghost of a Corporate Future' because it's super catchy, a little bit silly and kind-of true.

-'On The Radio' because the lyrics still make me go WOW after all this time, And because it introduced me to Regina's music.

-'One More Time With Feeling' because it would have to be one of the most Inspiring songs.

-'The Party' because it's the sort of song you could play for any occasion. It's the sort of song you could use to describe a decent human being.

-'Small Town Moon' because again with the true lyrics and catchy catchy tunes.


SONGS I LIKE TO SING/PLAY:
(Again more great songs, obviously Regina does a better job than me, but these are so much fun)

-'Folding Chair' is a song I mentioned in my Summer/Sea themed playlist. Some might find the Dolphin sounds a little off-putting though.

-'Us' is the song from the beginning of the '500 Days of Summer' movie. I loved it before the movie came out and I still love it now. 

-'Braille' is a song that unfortunately came out before the Regina was slightly popular (for a while) and I think it's a shame more people didn't get a chance to hear it.

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MUSIC VIDEOS I LIKE:
-'Us' and 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' are both such fun music videos.

-'On the Radio' obviously.

-'How' because it's so dang pretty.

-'Dance Anthem of the 80's' Just because...

ALBUMS I LIKE:
(I own all of them. Even the ones you can only buy from CD Baby... )

-'Begin to Hope' is my absolute favourite album. It's probably the lease experimental so if you are unsure about buying a Regina album you should probably go with this one first.

-'Far' because the songs are awesome and the pic on the back of the album cover is awesome. 

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Overall, I hope you enjoyed this post! I haven't gotten too great a response for my music posts yet so I am not sure if you guys actually enjoy them or read them or anything. 

Your Favourite Blogger,
Natalie