Sunday, 22 April 2012

tarzan & jane: accessories for him and her

Looking at my jungle outfit, my friends and me got the idea to make some matching men's accessories. So I took out again the sewing machine and made a tie and handkerchief for him and a small clutch for me.

Ties are actually easy to do and don't take a long. I will probably do another one and provide you then with pattern and instructions!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

new fabric, new challenge!

I just picked up the fabric for my new project. It will be a denim jumpsuit made of a vintage sewing pattern from the early 1960s.

a new member of my "jungle fever" collection:
Jumpsuit "Ava"

Thursday, 12 April 2012

vintage living - the 40s and 50s

The 1940s and 50s are very different from each. Whereas the 40s were overshadowed by war, restriction and surviving fears, one could sense again the joy of life and a tendency towards luxury in the 50s.
While in the 40s many industries were forced to produce war related items even these difficulties led to new ideas as it forced designers to experiment with new materials and methods of production.

Case Study House 22, Villa Stahl, 1959-1960
Pierre Koenig
Especially during the late 40s, the life in countries which were not destroyed by the war went further and young designers wanted to create a new look of furniture, glass, ceramics and fabrics to satisfy the taste of the younger generation. The expansion of techniques and science led also to a globalism in style.

_architecture classics
If there is one specific playing field where one can witness these developments then it is probably the Case Study Houses in California, based on an idea by John Entenzas, publisher of the US-magazine Arts & Architecture. This sample houses were built by famous architects like Richard Neutra, Eero Saarinen, Craig Ellwood and Charles and Ray Eames.

Case Study House 22, Villa Stahl, 1959-1960
Pierre Koenig
My favorite is the Eames house which I have shown you already in the introduction. Charles Eames designed the house in close collaboration with Eero Saarinen, though during the building phase the design was changed to optimize the inner volume.The building is based on two squares one for living and one for working.

Case Study House 8, Villa Eames, 1945-49
Charles and Ray Eames
The house is based on prefabricated elements and should demonstrate the possibilities of building technology. Although it is a prototype, it shows a lot of the designer couples understanding of living and working.

Another great example is number 22 by Pierre Koenig. It is one of the most radical and reduced designs of the Case Study Houses. The L-shaped villa is situated on a rock in the Hollywood hills. Pierre Koenig achieved to frame the huge glass elements with ordinary steel elements and created a minimalistic glass box. Even the inside is just divided by few walls which create a floating experience of the room.

These light constructed buildings combined also fitting furniture and decoration with the architecture, because in most cases they were designed by the architects themselves. During the 50s especially in the US, designer and furniture companies started a successful collaboration like for example the designer couple Charles and Ray Eames with the furniture company Herman Miller. Their design includes several pieces of fibre glass and bended wood. Some of them still available these days.

La Chaise by Charles and Ray Eames 1948
Coconut Chair by George Nelson

But also in other design fields one can find real design classics as this era is known for their inventiveness. For example the Italian architect Gio Ponti created new forms for ceramics, glass and furniture and Scandinavian glass creations became famous thanks to studios like Iittala.
Iittala glass series by Aino Aalto
_fabrics and materials
Although the colors in the 50s became brighter again, the tendency in fabric collections tented towards just a few shades. There are different reasons. Whereas Europe was still suffering from restrictions, the American market found the reduced shades simply chic. Fabrics with unprinted background became popular and one leading textile designer was once again Ray Eames.

by Ray Eames

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Bye, bye winter! Here comes the spring look!

My first spring dress this year! I found it on my last trip to Oulu and liked it immediately. The pattern and the shape give it a 50s look but the blue is exactly the shades which can be seen everywhere now. And I think I need heels in the same shade and nail polish though I think the turquoise fits perfectly as well and is so 50s!

Monday, 9 April 2012

vintage living - the 20s and 30s

The 1920s and 30s had many influences, but one of the most famous world wide was the Art Déco which is inspired by an exhibition in Paris from 1925 called "Exposition Internationale des Art Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes". The style is not easy to define as it includes different ideas as: neoclassicism, constructivism, cubism, modernism and futurism.
At the beginning Art Déco interiors were very detailed and use precious materials and woods, but had already the tendency of being without any ornaments except for the natural pattern of the material. An idea already established in Jugendstil. Very distinctive pieces can be found from the French designer Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann. 

furniture by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann
Art-déco rooms became a trend during the 20s and a new profession was born, the interior designer and design magazines were establishing it even further. But the request for furniture had to be fed, which led to the need for industrializing the furniture production. The first factory produced furniture conquered the market, though the production was still so complicated that one could actually say they are hand-made.

The Modern Movement tried to find answers for this dilemma and the German Bauhaus, the Irish designer Eileen Gray and French architect and designer Le Corbusier, to name just a few creative minds of this time, created an own form language based on strong geometric forms and established the idea of good and cheap furniture for everyone.
During the 30s, these sharp forms became slowly softer and more natural forms could be found.

_architecture classics
But first we will have a look at the architecture classics of this period, the Barcelona Pavillon by Mies van der Rohe and the Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier amongst others are good examples for form, material and furniture as well.

Barcelona Pavillon 1929/ Villa Savoye 1931
Shapes and colors are simple and pure. Light and glass play an important role and the classical materials for the interior design are wood, steel, leather and glass, but one can still see the use of precious stones in the marble walls of the Barcelona Pavillon.

The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe is often seen in lobbies of hotels and companies, but also furniture classics by Eileen Gray and Bauhaus designer Marcel Breuer are even today very popular because of their timeless design. 


Eileen Gray's Bibendum chair, Marcel Breuer's Cesca chair, 
Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chair,  Marcel Breuer's Wassily chair

And especially here in Finland one name needs to be mentioned: architect and designer Alvar Aalto. The use of natural materials and organic forms are his innovation and the furniture of his company Artek is still known and used world wide.

Villa Mairea by Alvar Aalto
Talking of Alvar Aalto the famous Saoy vase comes to my mind. The usage of pressed glass made objects like the Savoy Vase and the Art Déco objects by René Lalique possible for the first time.The glass art and ceramics vary from floral or natural shapes to geometric ones. 

sketches of the Savoy Vase by Alvar Aalto
and a amber vase by René Lalique

And while having a closer look on the dining table one can find also inspiration from the Russian contructivism and VKhUTEMAS, a similar group like the German Bauhaus, as for example the work of Clarice Cliff has a similar design language.

                               Russian Constructivism
Bizarre cups by Clarice Cliff
_fabrics and textiles
Besides glass and ceramics also fabrics and textiles play an important role. According to the exhibition in Paris the tendency in fabrics went away from floral design to abstract, geometric forms. Walter Gropius, leader of Bauhaus in Germany (1919-28), decorated his office with a big carpet and wall textiles with abstract patterns. Later generations of Bauhaus students got famous for their textile design, as for example Anni Albers and Lena Bergner.

                    Anni Albers 
fabric design

Friday, 6 April 2012

my first own creation

Some of you might have followed me on my way to my first self-made pin-up dress and here it is now. Ready and waiting till the sun reaches us here in the North!

I wear it with fitting green nails and a make-up in orange shades as I have found this lovely vintage style earrings by MadebyMoe!

A perfect match!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cry Baby

For our latest movie night I stumbled across John Waters' movie "Cry Baby", I have seen this movie before at the age of 10 or 11 and believe me I didn't find it too funny. 22 years later, we had a good time watching the parody of 50s movies by Elvis and musical classics like grease.
John Waters has proven himself as America's avatar of bad taste and all things tacky, but he brought it to perfection in this movie, which shows also his passion for his beloved Baltimore of the late 1950's.
The cast is incredible, Johnny Depp, Iggy Pop, Traci Lords, Ricky Lake... (and no, I didn't know who Traci Lords is when I was 10!)
Johnny Depp stars as "Cry-Baby" Walker, a juvenile delinquent from the wrong side of the tracks who spends his time hanging around with his gang and singing evil rock n' roll music, a kind of life style feared by the other citizens. 

But oh so naturally, one of the good girls falls for him and the trouble begins. I won't tell you the whole story, you have to watch it yourself, but the movie is a homage to the 'white-trash culture' and a loving tribute to the great juvenile delinquent movies of the 50's and 60's.

I have posted a link to the trailer before, but if you like 50s pin-up style, have a look at the movie, you will love the outfits!

Besides, Johnny Depp as "Cry Baby" made it last year on the front of Dolce & Gabbana shirts!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Dsquared²'s high school prom

Actually I didn't want to talk about the coming autumn/winter collections yet, but the 60s high school glam by Dsquared² made me smile, especially as it started to snow here again!

The collection includes cropped jeans and trousers in candy colors , pencil skirts and mohair pullover, leather jackets and also elegant evening dresses.

The shapes are a modern interpretation of a very feminine 60s style and I like especially the small bow tie the girl is wearing, as it gives a nice spice to the boyish look and a hint of glamour.

But my all-time favorites are the pencil skirts, here elegantly combined with a short-sleeved pullover and long gloves or more rebellious with a leather jacket. These are the 60s as I like them!