Friday, September 30, 2011

Flighty Fun With Pan Am

There are weeks that slap you in the face with exhaustion and unexpected hits, and with that it's important to have a treat waiting for you at the end of it all to offer some relief. My treat was one that I saved on the DVR. All summer long I couldn't wait for the premiere of ABC's Pan Am because as a child my favorite Barbie had been a stewardess. I had this world map that I would place on my bedroom carpet and would fly my pink uniformed Barbie in her pink corvette (with homemade wings taped to the side doors) to all the exotic locals I dreamed of visiting myself. I would have been glued to my TV Sunday night if I hadn't desperately needed sleep. The need for sleep continued throughout the week, but fortunately I was finally rewarded with a relaxing evening with a new show about the supposedly complicated lives of four 1960's stewardesses. Maybe it was the wine that I drank while viewing or maybe I'm just simply obsessed with this era and travelling the world, but I thought the show was cheesy old fashioned fun.

The acting was on the weaker side, the storyline felt dated and lacked the clever lines and wit of AMC's award winning Mad Men (also set in the sixties), but he costuming and set design was exquisite. The sleek blue Pan Am stewardess uniforms with pillbox hats, wing pins, and vinyl travel bowling bags illustrate the crisp glamor of mid-century jet setting that is now clearly absent. Boarding a Southwest airplane now a days, flight attendants (no longer called stewardesses) don khaki shorts and polos. Free wing pins are no longer handed out, food is not served, peanuts are now carefully rationed, and passengers have traded in their elegant hats and gloves for sweats and flip flops. Flying is not the special event it once was. The air is no longer filled with alluring fashion and free bottles of champagne for requesting customers, but at least we have Pan Am inviting us into a bygone era that edges closer to fantasy than the reality of our own current flying experiences. I just might have to join the fantasy as I once did with my Barbie, and purchase one of those Pan Am bags for my next big trip. After all, who wants reality when "adventure calls?"

Pan Am
Airs Sundays 10pm pst on ABC
Starring Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, Karine Vanasse and Kelli Garner.

The original 1963 Pan Am crew for the first flight from New York to London.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vintage Tip Tuesday XII

It wasn't until the late nineties that "low rise" jeans came out and then the 2000's that "super low rise" surfaced. This denim and pant fit caused an entire population of women to show off their bum each and everytime they bent over...even an inch. Not only does this fit have the crack showing, but the love handles are well displayed as well. Even if a woman doesn't actually have lovehandles, the fit is made so that side fat appears. All this unflattery can easily be remedied, however, by going back to the elegant era of the high-waisted pant. A higher cut not only covers the entire behind and prevents any accidental peep shows, but also helps to hide a protruding stomach, narrows the hips and accentuates a small waist (especially if a belt is worn.) This was the way women wore their trousers for most of the 20th century. Starlets such as Katherine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, and Grace Kelly looked lady-like in trousers...neither too revealing nor frumpy.

If you take on my tip, be sure to go for a tapered, skinny, or wide pant leg, and be sure to wear form fitting and stylish tops. In order to pull this look off, the pants MUST fit well!!! No empire waist, baby doll, or unnecessary baggy tops either. Your vintage look--including the high-waisted bottoms--should look hip, not like a late eighties/early nineties mom.

Katherine Hepburn

Joan Crawford

Grace Kelly

Marilyn Monroe


One of my high-waisted pant looks from this summer.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspirational Icon Monday: Ali Macgraw

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" might be #13 in AFI's "100 most memorable movie quotes," but it drives me wild with infuriation. This 1970 film Love Story never felt very loving to me. Ali Macgraw's character Jenny was snarky and constantly made juvenile digs at Ryan O'Neal's Oliver...or "Preppy" as Jenny called him. I always found her love toward him selfish, and when she says this infamous line that people have repeated over and over as one of the most romantic lines of all times, I literally want to throw my hands up and scream, "love is all about saying you're sorry!!!!!! Love is about putting down your pride and recognizing when you've hurt that person whether you intended to or not!!!!! Love will always entail moments that require an "I'm sorry," but not feeling you need to say it because it's implied is just asking for a non-communicative dysfunctional relationship!!!!!" This line, from the 9th most popular love film of all time and biggest grossing movie of 1970, has produced some of the worst relationship advice out there.

My distaste for Love Story (from that line to Macgraw's snippy character to the horrible acting of all involved to the cheesy writing) did not leave me blind to the fashion Macgraw showed off in this movie. She blended the preppy collegiate look with the mod style that resulted in a clean colorful combo. When I first watched this film at my Mom's place a few years back, I became obsessed with Macgraw's tomato red tights. They brought such a punch to her outfits. It took a good two years for me to find and buy that same color, but every Fall since this find I've been sporting them as often as possible.

Love Story is not the only place Macgraw showed up with style, however. She was in several other movies including Goodbye Columbus (1969) and The Getaway (1972), and was on the arm and married for five years to the equally stylish Steve McQueen. Although her natural beauty and innate fashion sense made her a top idol of the seventies, the entertainment industry's brutality eventually left her to first seek drugs and alcohol and then a life outside of Hollywood. Sante Fe, New Mexico now gets the pleasure of experiencing this fashion icon, and her laid back persona couldn't be happier.

The red tights I fell in fashion love with.


My Ali Macgraw in Love Story look.