Category Archives: Vintage

Vintage Designer Spotlight: Hattie Carnegie

“Beauty is my Business!” Hattie Carnegie-1942

Hattie Carnegie 1951, Vogue

Hattie Carnegie 1951, Vogue

Hattie Carnegie (1889 -1956) was born in Vienna, Austria. Her name was Henrietta Kanengeiser. In 1900, she immigrated to the United States, and settled with her family in New York City. By the time she was 20 she had adopted “Carnegie” as her last name after Andrew Carnegie who was, at the time, the richest person in America. As a teenager Henrietta worked at Macy’s as a salesgirl, she became a student of women’s clothing and her job in the hat department earned her the nickname “Hattie.”

Hattie Carnegie Ad 1934

Hattie Carnegie Ad 1934

In 1909 Hattie opened her first shop with her friend, seamstress Rose Roth; Carnegie-Ladies Hatter. Initially Roth developed the dressmaking side of the business while Hattie focus on the hat design. In 1919 Carnegie bought Roth’s share of the business, taking over the clothing design. This was the beginning of Hattie Carnegie Inc. which would lead to a chain of exclusive boutiques across the United States and eventually an $8 million fashion empire.

Vogue 1958

Vogue 1958

Carnegie’s designs,whether it was hats, clothing, or jewelry, were coveted by Hollywood stars and celebrities including; Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Fontaine, Lucille Ball, and Joan Crawford. Carnegie had an inherent instinct for American women would desire. She flew to Paris on a regular basis to research the latest French fashion; returning home to adapt the look to meet American sensibilities.

Carnegie Ad - 1943

Carnegie Ad – 1943

Despite the depression of the 1930’s Carnegie’s business thrived as she continued to add more departments to her store; it was said that a lady could be dressed from “Hat to hem” at Hattie Carnegie. By the 1940s Carnegie’s store was actually a department store; it included a handbag department, where a customer could order a specific bag to match an outfit, the fur salon, a millinery department with a ready-to-wear hat section, a costume jewelry department, an antique furniture and glass department, a cosmetics department and ready-to-wear designs from other design houses.

By 1940, Carnegie’s operation was so large that it employed over 1000 workers. Most of them worked in the manufacturing of her ready-to-wear lines, but her custom shop continued to be the foundation of her business and reputation. Carnegie became known as a woman of taste, and she was so renowned that she was often featured in her own ads.

Gown

During the 1950s, Carnegie continued to make the types of clothes that women across the country had come to expect from her chic but conventional dresses and suits. She especially liked the little black dress, and was known for using a particular shade of blue; “Carnegie Blue.” She continued to make hats, accessories and jewelry. Carnegie also produced ballgowns at this time, often adapted from the French couturiers.

Carnegie Ad 1950's

Carnegie Ad 1950’s

Hattie Carnegie died in 1956. Although the business remained open after her death much of the desirability of the label lay in the woman herself and eventually the label lost its appeal. The Custom Salon was closed in 1965 with the company continuing to produce jewelry, hats and accessories until 1976 when the business closed for good. Hattie Carnegie’s jewelry is highly prized and collectible today.

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Via GrannysJewelryBox.com

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Vintage Movie Profile: Alfred Hitchcock

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 Alfred Hitchcock’s place among legendary film directors has long been secure due to a long line of classics stretching from gems like The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938), to the films that reigned Hollywood for the next 30 years; including Notorious ( 1946 ), Rear Window ( 1954 ), Psycho (1960) and The Birds ( 1963 ). He created stylish, beautifully constructed, and visually opulent films that masterfully showcased the period’s most alluring stars; including Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, and James Stewart. No filmmaker has paralleled his popularity and critical acclaim within their own lifetime.
39 Steps Poster

1935 “39 Steps” Poster

Born in London on August 13, 1899, Alfred Hitchcock worked for a short time in engineering before entering the film industry in 1920. Hitchcock studied engineering at St. Ignatius College in London and quickly obtained a job as a draftsman and advertising designer for the cable company Henley’s. It was while working at Henley’s that he began to write, submitting short articles for the in-house publication. From his very first piece, he employed themes of false accusations, conflicted emotions and twist endings with impressive skill. In 1920, Hitchcock entered the film industry with a full-time position at the Famous Players-Lasky Company designing title cards for silent films. Within a few years, he was working as an assistant director.
In 1925, Hitchcock directed his first film and began making the “thrillers” for which he became known the world over. His 1929 film Blackmail is said to be the first British “talkie.” In the 1930s, he directed such classic suspense films as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and The 39 Steps (1935). He left for Hollywood in 1939, where his first American film, Rebecca, won an Academy Award for best picture.
Rebecca 1940

Rebecca 1940

Hitchcock’s films during the 1940s were diverse, ranging from the romantic comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) to the courtroom drama The Paradine Case(1947) to the dark and disturbing film noir Shadow of a Doubt (1943).  Suspicion (1941) marked Hitchcock’s first film as both a producer as well as director. Although the film was set in England Hitchcock used the north coast of Santa Cruz, California, for the English coastline. This film was Cary Grant’s first picture with Hitchcock, and it is notable as one of the few times that Grant would be cast in a sinister role.

Suspicion 1941

Suspicion 1941

The 1950’s was an amazingly productive decade for Hitchcock. He made several films that would become minor classics including; Dial “M” for Murder (1954), Strangers on a Train (1954), and  To Catch a Thief (1955) He also made four  movies that are considered to be some of his best work: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), and North by Northwest (1959).

Rear Window 1954

Rear Window 1954

North by Northwest 1958

North by Northwest 1959

In 1960 Hitchcock created his best known film, Psycho. Psycho was a low budget film for Hitchcock with a budget of $800,000; it was shot in black-and-white on a sparse set. The unprecedented violence of the shower scene, the early death of the heroine, and the innocent lives snuffed out by a disturbed murderer became the defining hallmarks of Hitchcock’s new horror genre. Psycho was followed by The Birds (1963) and the romantic psychological drama Marnie (1964).

Psycho 1960

Psycho 1960

The Birds 1963

The Birds 1963

By the 1970’s Hitchcock’s career was winding down. Frenzy was released in 1972, a tale centered around a string of “Necktie Murders”. His final film was released in 1976 with Family Plot.

He received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 1979. One year later, on April 29, 1980, Hitchcock died peacefully in his sleep in Bel Air, California. He was survived by his lifetime partner, assistant director and closest collaborator, Alma Reville, also known as “Lady Hitchcock,” who died in 1982.
Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Vintage Style: Vidal Sassoon

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Vidal Sassoon was a revolutionary; he completely changed the relationship women have with their hair. Before Vidal Sassoon came on to the scene in the late 1950’s weekly hair appointments were mandatory in order to have your hair “set”. Nights were spent sleeping in uncomfortable curlers.

1940's Hair Slon

1940’s Hair Salon

Mr. Sassoon’s revolution was to emphasis the cut. He brought a modern eye to hair dressing that saw the hair cut as architecture. He designed and cut his clients’ hair into geometric shapes with sharp angles in order to complement the bone structure of their faces. These modern, short and striking styles embodied a new type of sexy. These styles were easy to care for and maintain establishing the wash-and-wear look.  This new style would go on to drive the revolution of youthful fashion that took over London,  America and the rest of the world in the 1960’s.

Classic Vidal Sassoon Cuts

Classic Vidal Sassoon Cuts

The original version of the quintessential Sassoon style was known as the five-point cut; a snug, sleek helmet with a W cut at the nape of the neck and a pointed spike in front of each ear. He went on to develop a range of geometrical bobs including The Box Bob, The Inverted Bob, the Long Bob and The Asymmetrical Bob. He also gave us the Pixie Cut which was showcased on Mia Farrow in the movie “Rosemary’s Baby”.

Inverted Bob on Nancy Quan

Inverted Bob on Nancy Quan

Mia Farrow being styled by Vidal Sassoon

Mia Farrow being styled by Vidal Sassoon

Mr. Sassoon became a pioneer in business as well by creating a line of hair products under his name. His shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products were famously sold trough a series of television commercials featuring  women with lustrous hair and the handsome and suave Mr. Sassoon at their side declaring, “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.” Sales reached more than $100 million annually before he sold the company in 1983.

"If you don't look good, we don't look good."

“If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

Vidal Sassoon continues to have a profound influence on hairstyles and hair dressers and his work will live on forever. His legacy includes, in addition to the haircuts, a full line of Vidal Sassoon products, his autobiography and a book; “Cutting Hair the Vidal Sassoon Way“.

Vidal Inspired Cuts on Rhianna

Vidal Inspired Cuts on Rhianna

Pixie Cut on Natalie Portman

Pixie Cut on Natalie Portman

Modern Bob 2013

Modern Bob 2013