Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mad about those '60s Men!

The '60s have always held a place in the hearts of a lot of ladies; some because they lived them, and some because they did not. The former group like to reminesce and wonder where those fashions went that they loved so much way back when. The younger folks hunger for things that they've seen in magazines but are no longer readily available.

It's not uncommon to see a teenager scouring the fleas or local GoodWill for things from that era to spice up their wardrobe. Yes, it's true they may not favor poodle skirts, but everything else - from those poufy prom dresses to cashmere sweaters - are definitely fair game. While the former ladies look at a favored outfit put away in storage many years ago, and dream of how it would be if they could still get into those fashions, the youngsters contemplate what alterations they'll have to do to their newly found treasures to make them fit into their present day wardrobes!

Our television sets are helping to make the '60s phenomena grow. Well, specifically one particular show. Maybe you've heard of it - it's call Mad Men! If you haven't fallen victim to its charm, let me tell you about it.

Click on this picture to see these star's secret!
 You'll also want to click on each designer's picture
to really see their designs clearly!

It is a drama that began around 1959 that focuses on the employees of a Manhatten ad agency. Its creator, Matthew Weiner, who is also known for the Sopranos, has done everything possible to recreate a '60s world - including having the fashions created authentically. In fact, women love the clothes so much that many are asking costume designer, Janie Bryant, to create her own clothing line so the fashions of MM could be available to everyone who wants to buy them.

So where am I going with this - was this month's challenge to the shop owners of CDS to just design for the '60s crowd, or was it to design for the women of Mad Men? Well, it was a little bit of both. Garments were to be produced that reflected the taste of a popular performer of that era, or to produce something one of the ladies of MM might wear. And in my mind the results were both wonderful as well as informative; the fashions wonderful, and the trip back down memory lane was very imformative. So, sit back with your favorite cuppa and enjoy the show.  Be sure to click on the pictures to see the fashions more clearly, or click on the links to go to each shop for more details.

Anita Stoklosa of Anicetta's Fashions, Designer Drive

This entry was influenced by Doris Day, a popular singer and actress of the 50s and 60s; specifically her performance in the comical movie. Please Don't Eat the Daisies in 1960. She remains popular today, and in 2011 put out a new album, My Heart, at the age of 88. 

A Barbie Silkstone models this ensemble consisting of a cotton skirt and blouse that are accessorized with a headband, belt, and jewelry. The blouse features a collar trimmed with black lace. This would be a perfect outfit to wear when joining Ms. Day in a song.

Gayle Chavez, Oohlalaz, Couture Court

The Great Race with Natalie Wood was the influence for this floor-length gown. Natalie made many pictures including Gypsy and Splendor in the Grass, that made her a Hollywood icon. Unfortunately her life was cut short drastically by a boating accident.  The explanation of the "accident" on that boat leaves it unsure if she died accidentally or not.  Unfortunately, even though she worked since childhood and did many movies, that often overshadows all the great work she brought to the big screen.

This dress would be perfect for a stop over in Paris. One can just imagaine our model strolling down the street in this black, crushed taffeta and lace gown that laces up in the back. Flecks of black glass beading on shimmer tulle adorn this lined dress also. The only accessory necessary is a parasol to protect her from the drizzling night.

Karen Kolkman, Kolkman Kreations, Designer Drive

Karen's Sweet Sage was inspired by Sabrina of Bewitched, who some may remember was actually an actress named Elizabeth Montgomery. She was also notably famous for The Life of Lizzie Borden, but nothing ever surpassed the fame her little nose twitch brought her. May we long remember this funny lady who lost her battle with cancer in 1995.

Sweet Sage is a four piece outfit. The suit was made using the fabric's frayed edges from the roll ends. An unlined 3/4 sleeve jacket and long pencil skirt without fasteners are made of a cotton stretch fabric with stripes in light and dark sage green on an off white base. The long sleeve top is made out of a light sage knit that slides on, and needs no fasteners. The sleeves can be bunched up at the elbow for the 3/4 look often used in this fashion era.  Completing the look is a clutch purse with a hidden snap closure

Designer Drive

One of Mary's favorite tv shows growing up was Leave it to Beaver. Beaver’s mom, June Cleaver, was one of the most famous mothers in the history of tv.  June is the inspiration for this dress because she liked how June always wore a dress and a pearl necklace, and there was never a hair was out of place in her perfect hairdo.  Barbara Billingsley was the only actress to ever play this role on this long-running series, and it shadows the numerous movies and other tv appearances she did.  Barbara left this world peacefully at the age of 94 in 2010.

Mary's childhood Blonde Bubble Head Barbie with vintage pearl necklace would be the perfect model except she is missing the smile June always had. Mary drafted a 60’s dress pattern and selected a salesperson’s sample of high quality 100% cotton in a delicate vintage print for the fabric. The dress snaps at the waist, has tiny buttons, and a matching belt with working buckle. Good Afternoon Mrs. Cleaver! How about some milk and cookies?

Designer Drive

Mary Tyler Moore is representing her stint on The Dick Van Dyke Show as Laura Petrie because it aired in the '60s.  However, she is probably better known for the show named after herself that ran most of the '70s. MTM starred in movies and numerous television shows from1957 to the present, and has many Emmys and Golden Globe awards to prove it.  Known to most simply as Mary, she always had a bubbly personality and a clever way of delivering a line that endears her to many.

The bedding and pillows made for this presentation are a take off of a set decoration for the DVD Show shown in the background; this time interpreted on a full size bed. Bedding and pillows are made to order to fit any size bed for your dolls. The set shown is made from 100% cotton in a groovy polka dot with cotton polyester trim, cut on the bias.

We've only touched on a few of the many interesting characters and their clothing styles, but you can take your own personal journey into exploring '60s fashion by checking out websites like youtube, hulu or netflix (and their are others) who specialize in showing all kinds of old and new video. Get caught up in I Dream of Jeannie or That Girl once again - or for the very first time. You might swoon over the Drs. Kildare or Ben Casey or what their sweethearts wore; from Gunsmoke to Gilligan, they're all there - just waiting for you to discover!

And don't forget the movies. You're sure to enjoy Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra but search out The V.I.P.s for your fashion fix. Susan Hayward gives a stellar performance as Helen Lawson in Valley of the Dolls, and all the ladies in this movie are dressed devinely. All of Audrey Hepburn's movies are eye candy, and watching her as Holly Go Lightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's ought to be required watching for a true fashionista. There are many more, of course, just waiting for you on the internet - something else not available in the '60s!!

Now we'll turn our attention to Mad Men. Here again, there was only time enough to produce a few examples.  Mad Men is "poised to make Emmy history in September" according to the NY Times. And, yes we know we left out Elisabeth Moss for her gotta watch that performance of Peggy Olson and Jared Harris for his griping rendition of Lane Pryce - but who knew when we were putting this together??  I'm sure you'll enjoy the ladies we have showcased, though, and we've thrown in a little gentlemanly eye candy in the forms of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser). Again, here's another great interpretation of some of these characters provided by the CDS shop owners. You'll want to stay in your seats for this one, too!

Lori Lyon, Madeleine Rose Couture, Main Street

Rachel Katz is visiting Sterling Cooper in New York once again for the advertising launch of the newest collection, Marrakesh, that is in straight from Paris for her department store. Summer in New York can be so hot that she forgoes her lightweight coat and wears just the turquoise dupioni silk sheath dress from this collection while she shops on 5th Avenue. Rachel pulls out a cheetah print scarf to wrap around her head to keep her hair in place, as she speeds around in the convertible she's driving for this visit.

The featured turquoise dupioni fitted sheath has a deep scoop neckline, is fully lined in white silk and zips up the back. A Cheetah print scarf of chiffon matches a previous MRC gown, Acinonyx. Her metallic gold satchel was a find at the 2010 Spring Couture Collections, from a young girl who was visiting the shows. (Gold satchel is not included; it is from the CDDC Challenge Around the World in One Fashion.) The balance of the Marrakesh line will also be available at MRC by late July/early August.

  Elizabeth Fenton, Nasha's Doll Boutique, Designer Drive

Elizabeth's character is Betty Draper Francis, pre-fat season. She is now married to Henry Francis, an older man who is the public relations director for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and wants to wow him. She drew on her expertise from being a former model when she picked out this ensemble titled Emerald.

She is meeting her husband for cocktails in this luscious emerald green, two piece shantung suit. The knee length sheath dress features a low cut back, and is paired with a long sleeve, waist length jacket. They are both embellished with gold tone beading and are fully lined. The ensemble is completed with a matching hat and purse.

Pauline Lyngard, BW Designs, Main Street

Megan, Don Draper's second wife, is a fabulous new character to the Mad Men Series. Pauline could relate with her because she is French Canadian, and is more of a free spirit than most of the other characters. She envisioned her talking Don into a Visit to Montreal. True to Megan's artistic style, she also wanted her husband to match her so everyone would know they were together!

So, of course, "Visit to Montreal" became the title of this charming outfit. Pauline knew Megan would need a French inspired cotton print fabric for her couture sheath, matching hat and purse. To carry it all off well, Megan is a represented by a Silkstone Repaint done by Vin Trapani. Viva La Montreal!

Ina Murphey, La Petite Fashion Promenade, Main Street

At the wedding reception of Roger Sterling's daughter, Margaret, Pete and Trudy cause heads to turn, evoke the envy of other guests, and make quite a stir with a flawless exhibition of their fabulous dancing skills! In the scene, Trudy is wearing a sophisticated and trendy blue and green print silk dress and coordinating straw hat adorned with silk flowers. Trudy Campbell is the type of person who would not only want a fabulous outfit to wear to this event, she would need a knock out wardrobe for the entire social season!

This ensemble features a similar color palate as the original had, this time created in a fabulous marbled silk crepe fabric. The dress features a jewel neckline, knee length dirndl skirt with a rolled hem, and matching silk cummerbund. It has a center back closure of five snap-fasteners and is fully lined in ivory silk. The hat is made from matching fabric, and features a wide brim, accented with ivory silk flowers.  Ina was so inspired that she designed a collection of daytime and cocktail dresses especially for Mrs. Trudy Campbell and others with similar taste that can be seen in her shop.

Marcia Friend, Facets, Main Street

Dr. Faye Miller relaxes after a long day, and plots for the evening to come while drinking brandy from an elegant glass snifter. There is nothing like a woman scorned, and Dr. Faye is not pleased after being unexpectantly replaced by Megan for the attentions of Don Draper.  She wants to retaliate, but finds it more advisable to just sit here and enjoy the brandy, and act like she would advise her clients to act!

This brandy set from Facets includes 2 brandy snifters and a square decanter with removable lid. It is perfectly sized for your 16" fashion dolls. You can purchase the set of decanter and two glasses, or both the glasses and the decanter can be purchased separately. Please note: glasses and decanter are sold empty.

After one and a half years Mad Men returned to last season to record audiences, and while it's not all evocative of what life was like back in the day all the time, they certainly did get real with the outward accoutrements like clothes, cars, furniture, etc. For me it's definitely one to be watched for those of us who are in a '60s kind of mood, and after this introduction maybe those of you still unfamiliar will want to be a viewer, too. A reader made this comment to the NY Times article that I think sums up the last season cleverly...

Yes this season of MM was again exciting, It included:
A trip to Paris: $500 (1966-'67 dollars) + 1 Senior Copy writer,
Winning an account with Jaguar: An adulterous partner with 2% equity,
and.........Embezzling your Christmas bonus: Pryceless

That's all for our monthly presentation, and we'll be off the month of August stocking our stores, vacationing, and doing the things Summer affords. But we'll be back in September stronger than ever with a sweet presentation that will have you squealing Ooh la lah!! In the meantime you can always get your dolly fix at the Couture Doll Shop mall, and you can click on each shop's link to individually view their current offering, or join our FTK list, and there is an option to become a follower to this blog. However you get here, we look forward to seeing you again in September......or maybe we'll have a surprise for you in August - sign up and see! Chow, everyone!