Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm Not a Cat Lady, But a Lady with a Cat

You may or may not have seen the coverage of Girls and Their Cats, a really sweet photo project that is exactly what it sounds like. Photographer BriAnne Willis comes to your house, if you're a woman, and takes a picture of you with your cat. BriAnne is interested in the relationship a person can have with a cat, despite dog people arguing that cats just aren't that into you. My friend sent me a link to Girls and Their Cats a month or so ago and I had to sign up.

via Girls and Their Cats

Friday, July 24, 2015

"Every Woman Has A Beauty of Her Own": Studio Rezin (Part 2)

Last week, I shared a Q&A with boudoir photographer and fashion illustrator Michi Rezin. She's amazing, and if you can shoot with her, you absolutely should.

What's wonderful about Michi is she's both really open to working with your ideas. Elizabeth Taylor in her slip is "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is iconic, so I started there with my inspiration.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Go See: MoMA's "Mexico at Midnight"

Still from "La diosa arrodillada" (1947)
Last week, New York's Museum of Modern Art announced "Mexico at Midnight: Film Noir from Mexican Cinema's Golden Age". The series starts this Thursday and runs through July 29.

Mexican cinema's Golden Age has the pretty much the same timeline as Hollywood's, stretching from the mid-1930s to the early 1960s. It even had a studio system similar, and Mexican stars like Dolores del Rio and Lupe Velez found fame on both sides of the border. But of course, these films aren't just copies or translations of American films. MoMA says, "Even seasoned noir fans will be startled and thrilled by these selections, which treat sexual passion and murderous jealousy with a vigor unimaginable in contemporary Hollywood productions." This is pretty timely next to the Investigating Film Noir online class that TCM has launched in June.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Every Woman Has A Beauty of Her Own": Studio Rezin (Part 1)

In a world where everyone takes selfies, it becomes even more powerful to step in front of a photographer's lens. You can learn something about yourself, especially in a boudoir shoot. With the help of Michi Rezin, I realized once and for all that  a woman who has cartoon characters on her underwear can be sexy.
self-portrait of Michi from her Instagram. She is slaying.

"Pour le beaute feminine" is the tagline for Studio Rezin, based in Brooklyn, and it's perfect. For about a year and a half, this former fashion photographer has been capturing stunning burlesque performers on camera and helping ordinary women find some of the glamour themselves. The clothes and the makeup are important, of course, but what makes a photoshoot a special experience is the amount of attention. I've gotten to play around with a few photographers before but Michi is incredibly attentive and helpful when you're not quite sure if you've got it. And the results take your breath away. Michi's images from our shoot are so warm, rich and luxurious. I saw the photos and almost didn't believe I was seeing myself. For the really bold ladies, Michi will shoot you outdoors in lingerie (!) or in lush fetish-inspired sets.

I talked to Michi about her studio, her inspiration, and more.

Come back later this week for more on my shoot with Studio Rezin.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Does This Dress Make Me Look Insensitive?

I'm a great big nerd, and being interested in vintage clothing means spending time doing something I love--research. And I felt there was plenty of research to be done when, early in my time as a vintage collector, I was reading about something called a "squaw dress". I clutched my pearls at the name because in today's world that's deeply offensive. Perfectly fine for yesteryear, but not OK today.

I've written a little bit about patio dresses on the blog before, but I really dove into it (pulling up newspaper articles from 1955 and stuff) for my job's website last week. The vintage community is a large and diverse one, and I think we all kind of owe it to ourselves to know about the impact of the garments we're wearing, both then and now. Here's an abridged version below, about the amazing designer behind the original patio dress.

The author in one of her patio dresses 

...When I first started seeing and reading about squaw dresses, I stopped short. By no means am I ignorant of our country's history of violence and displacement against Native Americans, but to see that disparity so glibly called upon to describe a dress was nasty. A squaw dress is a one or two-piece dress created in the early 1940s for vacationers to wear in the resort towns of the southwest. They're cotton with colorful borders, trim, and rickrack and don't need a lot of care. A lady vacationing in the desert doesn't want to fuss with changing outfits too much; she needs something she can wear to the market and still look nice enough to receive guests. That dress, based on the "broomstick" dresses worn by Navajo women, is perfect as she gets back to nature, but she doesn't go so native that she'll forget cocktail hour.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What to Do for 4th of July in New York City

We're so close to the weekend, you guys. And if you want to celebrate your weekend with something vintage-y and maybe a little naked, here's your list.

Liberty Belle Extravaganza
If you want to the 4th in the biggest way possible, this is where you go. More than 40 performers two floors of Hudson Terrace. Bae Dandy Wellington is the emcee. Starts at 3pm and goes late.
$30 advance, $35 at the door, group rate available. More info