Vintage Lady of the Week: DORIS DAY

I adore Doris Day. Her spunky characters never ceased to amuse me, and I love her voice. I have to be honest, I once spent an entire summer, after watching “Romance on the High Seas”, belting out “Put ’em in a Box, Tie ’em with a Ribbon and Throw ’em in the Deep Blue Sea” over and over and over again. I’m not sure that my neighbors were too thrilled with this, but maybe they welcomed a break from my waaaaaaaaaaaay flat-and-sharp rendition of “Phantom of the Opera” songs (I sing while I work, partially to humor the green monster, Jack, and partially because I just love to sing.)

Jack demands more singing!!!

Jack demands more singing!!!

The story of how Doris Day  ended up in Hollywood is both heart warming and comical, much like many of her movies. She was originally a singer with a band. In 1947, she did an audition for “Romance on the High Seas”.  According to an interview I heard, when she got the call telling her she had been cast, she thought it was a joke set up by her manager! The role of Georgia led to a 20 year career in Hollywood, during which she made 39 movies. Now there is a woman who kept herself busy! I can appreciate that. 🙂

When I first saw “Romance on the High Seas”, I fell in love with her wardrobe, her voice, and pretty much everything else about her.  But enough about that! Here are my top wardrobe picks !

First up is her zany “Matahari”-esque costume from “The Glass Bottom Boat” (1966). It was a toss up between this one and her orange mermaid outfit. Both of them are over the top, colorful, and hilarious. While I’m not exactly dying to make a reproduction of this, it never ceases to put a smile on my face! 🙂

The Glass Bottom Boat (1960)

Second is definitely the blue dress from “Romance on the High Seas” (1948). The bead work is stunning, and it fits her like a glove. If you watch the movie carefully, you may notice that she seems to move from her hips, and her torso seems to sway, a fraction of a minute behind the rest of her body. This sometimes happens with a rigid internal structure, like a corset, or lots of boning. It would have helped provide support (let’s face it, sleeveless bodices sometimes need more than wardrobe tape to stay up), and also shaping, for that beautiful silhouette she had. Also, I am IN LOVE with that little shoulder cape!

Doris Day 1

 

I’m starting to notice that many of my favorite costumes for Doris Day are blue. She just looks fabulous in blue! This is third on my list, a wonderful gown from “Love Me or Leave Me” (1955). I love formal gowns from times gone by, the beading, the layering in the skirts… the cunning use of high slits that do not scream “I”M A TRAMP!!!!”. Of all the blues I’ve seen her in, I think this shade looks the best. She almost looks like her skin is made of porcelain!

DD love me or leave me 1955

Fourth up is one of the first costumes she wore in “Please, Don’t Eat the Daisies” (1960). The dress itself is simple enough, but that great big flower on the front makes it a show stopper. Or a conversation starter. I  think maybe I like the idea of this dress, combining an eye-catching adornment with something sleek, to keep it from being boring.

DD Please Don't Eat the Daisies

 

Well, that’s all. What do you think of them? What costumes of hers do you like?

 

 

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I’m NOT Scared (I will Now Hide Under the Blankets WEre the Monsters Can’t See Me)

So really this is just some tech week shots for the show on Tuesday. The school I work for (Delaware County Community College) is putting on GODSPELL. The cast are all students in the acting program, and we have the smallest crew the world has ever seen working on a musical…

A skeleton crew, as it were.

Anyway, enough blah blah blah. Here are some pics I shot between changes with my lil iPod. Sorry for the crap quality.

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This is our wonderful goth Ida. You wouldn’t know it but she’s got blonde hair that is longer than Rapunzel’s. no, I didn’t make her cut it. We got a wig.

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This is the opening costume for our prep. Don’t worry, her costume change is much more fabulous!!

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This is Jesus. The character, I mean

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The first costume for our tomboy Jasmine.
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Our sports fanatic

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The flower child

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The artsy girl

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And the second costume for our goth. I know goths everywhere are eye twitching, since she has become a raver.

Oh! To clarify, I don’t remember the actual character names… But it was decided that the characters should all be stereotypes you find on college campuses!

Full make up and final costumes on Wednesday!!!

Some Girls Buy Clothes, I Buy Cloths

Most people go on shopping sprees and they buy clothing. And jewelry. And shoes. And electronic gadgets.

Not me.

When I go on shopping sprees, I buy fabric, and beads, and embroidery thread. I mean, why shell out hundreds of dollars on clothes made in a sweat shop in china, when I can make it at home, and fill the sleepless nights?

So today, I dragged my mother to Joann Fabrics. It’s no G Street Fabrics, but it fills all my basic requirements, and I get some banging discounts, because I moonlight at a school as a costume designer… Or am I moonlighting as a fashion designer/anthropology student, while working as a costume designer? I’ll let you work that one out.

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I figured after putting my costume shop back together, with massive help from the show director and a stage craft student, I deserved some congratulatory shopping.

So anyway, Joann Fabrics.

In one hour, I came up with a 20 yard bolt of muslin, so I can start sewing my projects, and some decent sky blue crepe for the finished product if the robe.

And some bright red silk to finish out a tap pants order.

And odds and ends to get started on my inventory for First Friday (which is approaching like a rider of the apocalypse…)

And a HOARDE of stone beads and pretty sparkly crystal beads, just because I have the tendencies of a magpie and am attracted to shiny objects.

Oh, and some embroidery floss because I always wanted to teach myself to embroider.

And I only spent a dime over 100$, because I’m aces with sale shopping!!! Definitely a great way to round out a VERY busy day.

I think I’m going to sit in front of my stash and drink some cocoa now, I’m beat!!!

The Fine Art of Frolicking

There is something magical about a full skirt with a flouncy petticoat underneath it. It evokes the fairy tale princess, dreams of Cinderella and Prince Charming, and the delicate femininity of the 1950’s fashions.

I have been working on a 1950’s style dress for this Sunday, and, as luck would have it, unearthed a black net petticoat from the maelstrom that is my costume shop. I pressed it, tried it on, and swirled through the shop in a tee-shirt, beat up jeans, my petticoat and sandals, like a little girl at the holidays.

Having finally finished my dress (by finished I mean that it’s not held together with pins, and has a functioning zipper, but still requires hemming and a few fitting alterations), I was determined to try it on with the petticoat underneath.

The result was fantastic. it added just the right amount of body to the skirt, and gave a wonderful twirly effect when I turned around to show my patient mother. I jumped up and down, and swirled the skirt.

“That’s not how you frolic!” my mother admonished.  “Stop looking down at the skirt! Stand up straight! Now you can frolic!”

I followed her directions, and frolic, I did, through the living room, and the dining room. And then, having entirely too much fun, I careened into a table in the kitchen and knocked over a bowl full of fruit.

The moral of this story is that as much fun as it is to prance and dance around in a full petticoat and skirt, it is important to keep one’s surroundings in mind. you must be graceful and princess-like… and princesses DO NOT slam into tables! 🙂 Also, remember that a full skirt can knock things off coffee tables… like your coffee mugs! BEWARE,  and, most importantly, have fun!! 🙂