It’s a Sympathy Vote.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by factorygirl82

Phew it has been a while since I’ve written! Part of it had to do with being uber busy, being ill again, holiday craziness, and then just writers block. But enough about me. Hope you all had a great holiday season. This month, as it is steadily approaching I’ve decided to write about the Oscars!

I was a film student and have always been a big film buff. The Academy Awards were and still kind are one of my favorite things to watch. I think as I’ve gotten older they have become less fun. I watch them mainly for the pretty dresses at this point because pretty much anyone that’s really deserving of winning never wins. It’s a rarity that the picture I want to win, wins. I used to always try to see as many of the contenders as possible, so I could make a fair decision. I took it seriously! Not so much anymore. Going to the movies has gotten expensive, a lot of times it annoys me more than I have fun, there’s always that idiot whose phone either rings or they must absolutely check their text message because they are sooooooo important they can’t not be in contact with the outside world for a whole two hours. I digress.  I’ve decided to write about a few of my favorite films that were nominated for best picture and didn’t win but should have if the Oscars weren’t just an ego stroke. To quote trainspotting

“Despite the Academy Award?”

“That means fuck all its a sympathy vote!”

Trainspotting is one of my favorite movies and books of all time. It’s the only one on this list of films that wasn’t nominated for best picture but should have been! It came out when I was 13 or 14 I was in my major anglophile phase, still am but I would say that was the peak of it. I saw it with my mothers approval. I think she approved it because she knew after seeing it I would most definitely not be touching heroin any time soon, let alone ever. Trainspotting is a great adaptation of the book, it has a kick ass soundtrack, great cinematography (I wrote a paper on this for a film class, stupid teacher gave me a C because he didn’t like the film), and an awesome cast. The Scottish accent can be tricky at times especially with Begbie but you’ll get the hang of it after a few minutes. In the book there’s actually a glossary in the back. Uber helpful. If you’ve been living under a rock since 1993 I recommend you watch this asap.

As you obviously know by now vintage is kind of my thing. I’m a huge film noir fan. This movie, again, an adaptation is so great. It captures the film noir feel perfectly but instead of being black and white it’s in color. This was when Russel Crow was actually cool and a good actor. When Kim Bassinger came out of retirement and hit it out of the park with her portrayal of the Veronica Lake lookalike. The costumes, set design, acting, and plot in this film are excellently done. I think the reason this lost out was because it was up against Titanic. Which in my opinion is one of the crappiest written films of all time. Sure the special effects are intense and amazing but the plot and the dialog horrible! I can’t believe people fell for this crap. I mean how many times do the characters have to say each others names? It’s almost 3 hours in if after 30 minutes we don’t remember who the main characters are or their names obviously there’s something wrong.

Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite films of all time. I saw it instead of going to my High School graduation. Definitely time better spent. Moulin Rouge was either a you love it or you  hate it type of film. I definitely love it. I love Baz Luhrman. Again the costumes, the music, the set design, the acting all amazing. Ewan McGregor rocks as does Nicole Kidman who saw that coming them as Hollywood Musical Stars? Now this lost out to A Beautiful Mind. Which was good, I saw once don’t care if I ever see it again. Moulin Rouge I watch repeatedly and it inspires me every time I see it. This was where the Oscars definitely played it safe going with a Beautiful Mind over the innovative film that did change modern cinema. If it wasn’t for the success of Moulin Rouge would Chicago have gotten made? Nope.

The Aviator. What an amazing film! I had just finished a Howard Hughes biography and Leo got him spot on. Cate Blanchett was stunning as Katherine Hepburn I did not see her pulling that off but she did, again this has a vintage thing, so you can understand why I lean toward these films. The sets, costumes, and just in general feel of the film was fantastic. The only thing that drove me a little nuts was the casting of Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow. I love Gwen as you all know but her as Jean Harlow? She needs to gain about 30lbs to even come close to looking like her. This lost to Million Dollar Baby which I never saw. I think they just wanted to drag out the Martin Scorsese losing streak until he a did a bad movie then let him win for that one as a general this is for all your amazing films. Sorry  I’m not a fan of the Departed. I know I’m one of the few.

Last year the Academy Awards were a total joke. The Social Network should have won. I know most of you saw it especially anyone that is on facebook which in this day and age is rarity to not be on it. Again great direction, acting (minus JT again sorry not a fan of his acting), and a great script. I think this lost out because it’s too relevant. The Academy doesn’t like pop culture too much, they would rather be thought of as dramatic, elegant, or just plain stuffy. The Social Network is like Pop Art give it 30 years and it will get it’s own special award.

Well there ya have it some of the films I think are worthy of best picture but never got the Oscar. We shall see what gets nominated this year I will probably only have seen two possible contenders. My Week with Marilyn and this weekend I’m seeing the Artist. Which I’m sure I will love but there’s no way in hell it would win a best picture Oscar it’s too unique.


Halloween, Halloween!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2011 by factorygirl82

Last year for my Halloween blog I wrote about my some of my favorite scary movies. I was hoping I’d have more to add to the list this year but really there’s not been anything to amazing. Insidious was the only one, it was very good. See it if you haven’t already.  So this year as it’s close to my heart and business I decided to write about costumes. Specifically handmade/put together costumes.

So as we know by now I’m a small business owner. A vintage clothing store owner to be exact. Halloween is one of my biggest times of the year. Unfortunately in the past couple of years my business has been hit, by the dreaded pop up Halloween shop. There are now three within about a mile of my business. Thanks guys. Now I don’t like these things because yes they take away from business but also they ruin the best part of Halloween…… Making your costume!

This is a friend of mine dressed up last year as Carmen San Diego. Awesome idea! Also costume bought at a thrift store! Cheap and not really gonna run into anyone with the same outfit.  The photo above that is me as the runner up for Miss Detroit 1958, I killed myself because I lost. I tend to like the bloody and macabre costumes. This year my boyfriend and I are going as John Dillinger after he was shot and I shall be the lady in red. Where are we finding our costumes? My shop, thrift stores, and home.

Friends of  mine as Tinker Bell and the Fifth Element. The Tinker Bell costume was made by her mother and the Fifth Element made at home and then had the suspenders made by a company. Again super original! Cheap! As a kid I would start planning my Halloween costume months in advance. I still do because it’s soooo much fun! I remember my mom taking my sister and I to Vogue fabrics in Evanston. We would pick out fabrics, go through pattern books, and in general just have a blast. My sister has an awesome Wonder Woman costume that she put together when she was about twenty. It’s better than any store bought one I’ve seen. All it required was card board, gold fabric, some glue, and again a trip to the thrift store. My favorite was the felt poodle skirt when I was a 1950s girl. Only mine didn’t have a poodle on it. It had a record. I loved that costume. I still have all of it. Circle skirt simple thing to make and again not gonna run into someone else with the same outfit.

Another friend of mine as the little boy from the movie “Up” Hilarious costume, especially this picture. I don’t understand not wanting to make your costume. It’s so fun! It doesn’t take that long and for girls that like to do the slut thing you can still be slutty without buying the “naughty cop” outfit. How sick am I of seeing that? I did the somewhat slutty costume two years ago.

Here I am as a cigarette girl. The dress was super short and low cut. I was wearing a massive push up bra. But put it together myself. You wont find this outfit in a Halloween store. I made my Parliament tray, bought three packs of cigs glued them to the tray, the rest were empty, and through out the night sold a cig for a buck. A great costume!

This is one of my favorite group costumes ever! A couple years ago when Beyonce “All the Single Ladies” was huge three girlfriends of mine did all the single Zombies. Hilarious! Original! Again not sold in stores.

My cousin and I as Mad Magazines Spy Vs. Spy. Not sold in stores. The funny thing with this one was we had to make our bomb and dynamite.  When we asked people at a Halloween store if they had a fake bomb or fake dynamite they looked at us like we asked them for a live baby.  Seriously of all the things for Halloween and fake TNT weirds you out? Again why they are lame not an ounce of originality in those places or a sense of humour.

I know planning a Halloween costume can be time consuming but seriously take an hour out of your week. If you’re having trouble with an easy idea or even a complex one stop by my shop I’ve got a list of great ideas. Also making your own costumes supports small business like me! Good Karma points, who doesn’t love a few extra Karma points? You’ll find if you go to most vintage stores to shop for costumes if they don’t have what you are looking for they can direct you to someone who does. I love Halloween. I can’t wait to have my Lady in Red costume put together. I can’t wait to hear all the original idea’s and help you guys put your outfits together!

Happy Halloween!


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2011 by factorygirl82

Last night I watched Toy Story 3. I hadn’t seen it before. I definitely cried at the end. It got me thinking though about my favorite toy as a child. I still have him. He’s still my favorite, we’ve been through a lot together.  I decided to write a bit about him. I was inspired by Toy Story 3 but also I feel like everyone I know has that one toy that they’ve had forever and just can’t part with it. My sister has Baby Woolite (a stuffed lamb), my Dad a Teddy bear he’s had since the age of five, my Mom floppy puppy ( a puppy that is well very floppy due to lack of stuffing after many years of love).  Me? Tigger.

Now my Tigger is not a disney Tigger but a 1920s Steiff tiger. This is what Tigger looked like when I got him when I was seven.

My Tigger is the big Papa tiger. Now a little history of how Tigger came into my life and what he looks like now after years of love.

Growing up my sister was given my Mom’s Steiff leopard with green glow in the dark eyes. I loved that toy. Let me emphasize I LOVED it. His name was Baby Green Eyes. I would beg, plead, cry and beg some more to play with Baby Green Eyes. To have him sleep in my bed. My sister was pretty cool and sometimes she would let me but the majority of the time he lived with her.

So when I was seven years old for my birthday I got the best present ever. It was a good year in general, American Girl stuff, Roger Rabbit stuff, and then Tigger! If I had a scanner I would show you the picture of me holding Tigger absolutely thrilled to have a Steiff of my very own. Now mine was a tiger as opposed to a leopard. That’s because the tiger is my totem animal. That is a whole other story for a whole other blog. But Tigger was from the 1920s. He had green glass glow in the dark eyes and was stuffed with saw dust. He still kind of is.

Tigger went everywhere with me. He still kind of does. Not in a creepy I take a stuffed animal everywhere I go, but when I travel I like to bring him. He looooves traveling.  Tigger came with on all three trips to London. On the firs trip home I had him in my carry on bag with his little head sticking out. As I went through security, the girl pulled me over for a random check. She turned to a co-worker and said “Is this random enough for them?” In my head I thought hey! Tigger is vicious. But this was the year after 9/11 so probably not my best idea to get into it with security. On my second trip home from London, I was putting him through the x-ray and the security guy asked me if it belonged to my kid. My response “Um No. I’m twenty” And my last trip back from the U.K I sat next to a very nice woman and her two sons who were probably about 9-12 she laughed as I set Tigger on my lap. She told me both of her son’s have stuffed animals they travel with too. Tigger has been to NYC, California, Missouri, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Indiana, and Wisconsin. He’s a pretty well traveled tiger.

This is Tigger now. Remember this is 22 years later. He was in mint condition when I got him but remember he’s also almost a hundred years old now.

Tigger has been loved. Most of his mohair has rubbed off. He’s been patched more times than  I count. When I was little I didn’t know how to sew and I was too impatient to wait for my mom to fix every little rip that happened to him. So I would use band aids. He’s got a 1996 Olympic band aid on his tail. When his ears would fall off I would kind of stick them back on then to secure them I would wrap ace bandages around his head. He could still see of course.

Tigger has been through a lot with me. There was lots of playing, traveling, snuggling, and taking care of me. I think no matter where I end up in the world he will come with me.

So that’s just a little blog of my favorite toy growing up. Hopefully you’ll read it and think of your favorite toy and even better you’ll go pick him up and give him or her a hug! I’m a big kid at heart.

Hats! Hats! Hats!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by factorygirl82

I love hats. Especially vintage hats. I have a vast collection. I actually had to narrow down my collection a bit because there were so many I wasn’t wearing. If a really cool hat comes into the store it is always hard for me to resist. I’m talking about real pieces of art hats. Not baseball caps, not the Britney fedora, and not the newsboy hat. I’m talking milliners. I decided to write a blog on my love of hats because I just got an abundance of them at the shop. I bought some very cool late 1940s and 1950s womens hats and then some fabulous early 1960s mens hats. If you don’t wear hats don’t be shy read on to find out how to rock a vintage hat! You’ll feel fabulous trust me.

My favorite style of hat for women is the late 1930s early 1940s. This is a picture from the movie “His Girl Friday” She’s got some amazing hats. I want them all. I like that back in the day you never left the house without hat. That hats were not only functional but beautiful!

A lot of people today don’t think they can wear hats, news flash…. You can! You just aren’t use to seeing yourself in a hat and you think that all hats sit way down on your head. They do not. It was in the 1920s that hat’s for women sat all the way down on the head. This style became popular again in the 1960s as well.  Most vintage hats perch. Women generally wore their hair fluffy and curly. The last thing you would want when you took your hat off was hat hair. Hence hat pins! Ingrid Bergman is wearing a female version of the fedora in Casablanca. If you notice it’s perching. So if you go into a vintage store, remember that your head is actually not as big as you think. The hat just perches!

That’s Twiggy in a 1960s cloche. This is the kind of hat that sits down on your ears and gives you hat hair. Now in the 1920s hat hair wasn’t so much an issue because hair was very flat and short. You either had the straight Louise Brooks bob or the flat finger wave both styles look great with a cloche. Longer hair can be tricky with the cloche because that’s wear hat hair occurs and a true cloche looks strange perched.

The first hat I ever bought was a Jackie O style pillbox. I think I was about 11 and it was in Michigan. This was the beginning of the great hat collection. The pillbox is a great style. It’s becoming popular again due to Mad Men. The thing that I like about the pillbox is it looks super cute on the crown of the head but also looks great pushed forward like how the British Royals wear the fascinators. Pushed forward toward the side it also can be a faux 1930s or 1940s hat.

This is a 1930s but as I said above the pillbox can be worn forward to mimic this style.

This is one of my favorite style of hats the large floppy hat! It’s a bit impractical but something about it just makes you feel like a movie star. This style can perch or be worn like a cloche. It’s great for the sun and is the popular style for the Kentucky Derby.  What I love about the floppy hat is like Marilyn it can be worn very glamorous or like Bridget Bardot it’s great for the beach!

Now onto Men’s hats. I looooove a guy in a hat. Men you need to wear hats more. And again I’m not talking about a baseball hat. I’m talking a fedora! A porkpie! A trilby! Trilby is the short brimmed fedora and I just learned this so it is my new favorite term. Even the cowboy hat if worn like James Dean.

I grew up in a house hold where if we were going to a fancy dinner my dad would put on his suit, leather trench coat, and fedora. His best friend did the same thing. It’s called style guys. Get some. I think if you ask most girls a guy in a good suit and a fitted hat makes them swoon. I know it does for me.

Now like with women’s hats men’s hats do not sit all the way down. They perch! But men don’t get the luxury of hat pins so it needs to feel a bit secure but not smooshed down. The fedora and the trilby perch. The porkpie can perch or be worn a little pulled down. The motorcycle a la Brando is worn down.

An example of the Trilby. Worn slightly perched. Don Draper. Swoon worthy.

The motorcycle cap worn lower. Still swoon worthy!

So that’s my ode to hats and how to wear them. Here’s a photograph of me in a hat I won for wearing a fabulous hat at a high tea, then this hat also won me free booze for a royal wedding event!

Bad Boys why are they sooo good?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2011 by factorygirl82

If you recall in Feb around Valentines Day I wrote a blog on my being a dysfunctional romantic. This has not changed. I still very much am. Although my thing for emotionally unavailable bad boys that are brown has changed slightly, only slightly. I am dating someone, shocking I know! And he’s pretty much a bad boy. Don’t worry he treats me very well. He’s just kind of a bad ass in general. A tall, burly, full tattoo sleeved, motorcycle riding, slicked back hair, in a band, kinda boy. Basically parents hide your daughters type deal but not, because again treats me well. And my Dad loves him. Go figure?  People seem to think we look very good together. We get that a lot when we go out. We compliment each other well. Recently a friend of mine met him. As he pulled away on his bike she turns and says “He’s like Johnny Depp in Cry Baby” I guess this makes me Allison Vernon-Williams.  So this got me thinking on a few films with bad boys and why they are so appealing?

Let’s start with the obvious one. Cry Baby!

The John Waters classic. I love this movie. Johnny Depp is smoking hot in it as is Traci Lords. I wanted her entire wardrobe. I wanted him. I guess he would be categorized as the sensitive bad boy. Or is that kind of a general bad boy trait? I think that may be the difference between a bad boy and just a jerk. The bad boy like Johnny Depp in Cry Baby was born into the life and didn’t really have a choice. The “has to do what he has to do” to survive type. How is that not appealing to a gal! If you are thinking I’m nuts at this moment just remind yourself, she’s a dysfunctional romantic.

The true rebel without a cause. James Dean. One can not discuss bad boys with out thinking of James Dean.  He pretty much created the bad boy motto of “Live fast, Die young, and Leave a good looking corpse” Rebel without a Cause is a great movie. He truly is a rebel without a cause, because honestly his parents are pretty chill. He’s just misunderstood. The misunderstood brooding bad boy is also a classic. Especially when they are ridiculously well dressed and good looking like James Dean. The misunderstood bad boy has mystery, is intriguing, and usually highly intelligent.

Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. The Anti-Society bad boy. Again I think this is a general trait to bad boys but the fact that Luke was on a chain gang for busting parking meters kinda ups his cred. The Anti-Society Take a Stand bad boy is very passionate about their cause. That is always attractive.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed there is a smoking hot theme with the bad boys of cinema. This is not always true to bad boys in real life, but it definitely helps reel a girl in. Oh and smoking in general no bad boy is complete without a cig hanging from their mouth.

Lastly the most dangerous kind of bad boy that there is the sociopath. I love  Heathers. Christian Slater was my first crush. While all my other tween friends were crushing on Jordan from the New Kids on the Block I was crushing on Christian Slater from Heathers. See? Dysfunctional. The sociopath (again it helps if they are smoking hot like Christian) so intriguing, so challenging, so crazy, what girl doesn’t like a good challenge when it comes to dating?

So what is it about the bad boy that make us good girls go bad? I could get into a whole psychological stand point on this but I think I just want to keep this light and fluffy.  To me pretty much everything discussed above is appealing. But girls keep this one thing in mind a true bad boy will treat his lady well even if he is a rebel outlaw. There is a difference between a jerk face whose just a jerk and a bad boy.

Aloha Hawaii!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 22, 2011 by factorygirl82

I’m obsessed with Hawaiian dresses and rayon Hawaiian shirts. I’ve never actually been to Hawaii but I watched Lost and Hawaii 5-0 (the new one it rocks don’t hate) My sister and I are planning a sis out trip soon and I’m very excited for it. But I have a small collection of vintage Hawaiian dresses. I love them. I love the sarong ones, I love the full skirt ones.  There is something so bright and happy about vintage Hawaiian wear. Newer Hawaiian shirts are kinda cheesy but the ones from the 1940s and 1950s are beautiful pieces of art.

Just a cute vintage Hawaii advertisement I found.

This is a 1940s Rayon Hawaiian shirt that I was lucky enough to find while I was out thrifting. It looks like it’s never been worn. It has cute wooden buttons. The colors are positively stunning. I’m definitely addicted to Hawaiian shirts for men, now I don’t know if I would ever date someone that wore one but I do like to look at them.

This is a newer example of a great Hawaiian dress from a classic designer. Hilo Hattie. I love the colors and the ruffles. On the right person this dress would be a stunning summer evening dress.

Just a little short blog today.  Summer is slowly creeping into Chicago so I thought I’d talk about some of my favorite summer wear. The two photos are items available in my brick and mortar shop and on the etsy website.

So check them out if you like along with some other classic Hawaiian and Tikki garments.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by factorygirl82

So I’ve recently been reading a biography on Louise Brooks.  You may not know her name or maybe you do and that makes you ridiculously cool in my book. But you definitely know her face.

Recognize her? I thought you might. I don’t remember the first time I learned about Louise Brooks.  I was introduced to silent films as a young girl by my mother.  I’ve seen mainly Charlie Chaplin films and then Broken Blossom with Lillian Gish. I think the first Louise Brooks film I saw was Pandora’s Box which is her most famous film. She definitely is one of those film stars that just has something about her. Her look is iconic even to this day.  Almost a hundred years after she made her Cleopatra bob famous Lady Gaga has it in one of her music videos.

Sorry I know it’s not the best picture of it but if you watch the Alejandro music video there is no mistaking where the inspiration for the hair style came from.

I’ve always thought Louise was cool to look at. She is beautiful and photographs amazingly. But after reading her biography I really became a fan of her as a person. Louise was from the Mid West and moved away from home at 16 to be a Denishaw dancer. She was the ultimate flapper. She liked to drink and smoke but let’s face in the 1920s who didn’t! She was also not apologetic for who she was ever. She was stubborn and arrogant but one of those people who had ever reason to be arrogant. She was an amazing dancer. She stumbled into film on accident.  She never really cared about money or fame it just happened to her. Louise was one of those lucky accidental stars. She was very smart and as we would say today has no filter when it came to how she spoke. She never thought she was a good actress and the reason she didn’t go into “talkies” wasn’t as the studios said because she didn’t have a good voice it was as she put it “I wasn’t an actress”

Louise was a strong independent woman. She never thought you needed a man to be happy and she preferred to have fun and make her own way in the world. I admire that. So if you get a chance check out her films or read about her.  Her own writings are always very funny and insightful. All in all I aspire to have Louise’s fierce, funny, independent attitude in me.

Thanks for reading! As always check out my etsy shop. And major apologies for writing how I talk!