There is so much visually stimulating and emotionally fraught goodness in the original Valley of the Dolls movie that I hardly know where to begin. For those unfamiliar with the ’60s film, based on a best-selling book by Jacqueline Susann, it tracks the downfall of three young women whose lives revolve around cinema, the stage, relationships, and stardom. I’ve determined the three superlative aspects that truly define the film are style, scene, and sensation.
The atmosphere/mood, environments, and costume choices were all sources of inspiration for me. The clothes and interiors are timeless, simultaneously serving as a souvenir of the era, while the cinematography turned certain segments into pure art. It’s impossible to isolate scene from style or style from sensation, since they’re all interwoven to paint a portrayal of imperfection, self-destruction, and ostentatiousness. Because of this, I snapped every still I could to impart the perfection that this movie encapsulates.
The other day I expressed the aesthetic for my dream home: old Hollywood glamour with an industrial and rustic edge and French touches. Basically, anything that looks old, antique, vintage, European, luxe, and streamlined, but nothing too frilly. Pieces that look like they’ve seen it all, survived through dozens of owners’ lifetimes, and lived to tell the tale.
As I was fantasizing about what exactly this would look like, two websites seemed to materialize in front of my eyes: One Kings Lane and the Foundary. These curated home decor sales sites offer discounted prices on collections of handpicked items for a limited amount of time; all you have to do is sign up for a free membership to browse. And man, did I browse.
Out of the dozen or so sales that I sorted through, I found heaps of furnishings, art, lights, and decor that would fit perfectly into my ideal living space. They all look like pieces from an estate sale or flea market; possibly my favorite coffee table in the history of coffee tables is the one made out of an old door that looks a hundred years old. This haul consists of reclaimed wood, Belle Époque prints, gilded accessories, and a beautiful geometric mirror with a cool, unmistakable character.
If only I had a loft apartment with a forty-foot-high ceiling in Los Angeles and all the money in the world to spend… if only.
On my recent trips to Polk St., I purchased a few home items with my dream apartment in mind. The aesthetic that I would love to achieve for my own home is old Hollywood glamour with an industrial, rustic edge and French touches. Gold and mirrors and reclaimed wood and beautiful, unique art. Cue the color. Luxe and lived in. Refined, elegant, whimsical, current. The bracelet (which my boyfriend bought for me when we were at Belle Cose) is vintage and very ’40s. Its sleek shape, golden luster and protruding rhinestones are all very inspiring. I’ve also accumulated a few new glossies, a kick-ass new lip pencil, and a journal that washes nostalgia over me in waves.
A couple of weeks ago I visited a local antiques shop and found this baby, a September 1st, 1939 edition of Vogue (which coincides with the official date WWII started). At that point in time, Edna Woolman Chase was the EIC of American, British, and French Vogue. (And apparently back then American Vogue came out more than once a month!) In October 1895, Chase began at American Vogue in the mail room and worked her way up, not due to ambition, but because she sincerely enjoyed her job. By 1914 she was the editor-in-chief, and that year she made her largest contribution to the fashion sphere: she put on the first American fashion show. Paris couturiers were still dealing with the after-effects of WWI and had difficulty transporting their products across the Atlantic. Since most of Vogue’s editorial content was from France, Chase commissioned New York designers to create fashions for a show. The presentation and subsequent exposure gave American designers a prestige previously reserved for international attire.
The artist of the cover and the black and white illustrations is Carl Erickson. (He may also be the artist of the shoe page as well. The facing page was torn out from my copy, and with it perhaps the signature.) Erickson debuted his work in Vogue in 1916, and in 1925 became a regular contributor until the 1950s. He was renowned for his fashion illustrations, advertisement art, and society portraits, becoming a leading figure in his field. The fantastic color illustrations titled RBW, including the one directly above, are by Rene Bouet-Willaumez. Willaumez frequently submitted his work to the magazine in the ’30s and ’40s, often working side by side with Erickson.
Whenever I go to vintage or antique shops I always look for magazines. I’m mainly a collector of contemporary mags; I read them (99% of the time) and then use them for art/collages. But I love anything old, and being able to see fashion through the ages, as it was first presented, is so fascinating to me. I was so excited to find it—the only other older magazines I have are ’60s issues of LIFE—and I’ve scanned some pretty pages for all to see.