A Tribute to the Gibson Girl

With her wasp-waist, highly piled hair, perfectly pressed shirtwaist, and look of complete confidence, the Gibson Girl of the early 1900’s was truly a fashion icon.  So much so that she still inspires fashion today from lace details to loosely curled hair.  Named after the artist who made the look famous, the Gibson Girl is as much an ideal as she was a real person.  Therefore today’s post is all about the Gibson Girl and ways to channel her into your historical fashion wardrobe! 🙂

Links to featured items are in bold and below each image.

Let’s begin with the most famous Gibson Girl of all – Camille Clifford.  She was the European actress who won the Gibson Girl contest, and its not hard to see why!

Camille Clifford – The winner of the Gibson Girl Contest.  Learn more about her and see many lovely images by visiting the National Portrait Gallery.

Every proper Gibson Girl needs the proper shoe!  And these lovelies from the American Duchess are perfect!

“Gibson” Edwardian Shoes from American Duchess

The perfectly tailored and perfectly “blouse-y” shirtwaist was the hallmark of a Gibson Girl.  I mean, just take a look at these fabulous examples!

Wish to make a few of your own?  Here is a wonderful pattern – 

Edwardian Tucked Blouse from Past Patterns

Need nothing but pure visual inspiration?  I love this book which features a collection of all the Gibson Girl drawings done by Charles Dana Gibson.

The Gibson Girl and Her America: The Best Drawings of Charles Dana Gibson by Charles Dana Gibson – Available on Amazon

And once you have your outfit complete, top it all off with the perfect Gibson top knot!  The Seamstress of Avalon shows you how in this step by step tutorial – 

Gibson Girl Hair Tutorial by The Seamstress of Avalon

I hope you enjoyed this tribute to all things Gibson Girl!

 

 

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Three Unusual Portraits

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Sometimes, on my researching adventures, I come across paintings or photographs of individuals that stop my wandering eyes in an instant.  Whether it is something about their pose, or their outfit, or the fact that I feel like I can connect with their personality, images like the ones in today’s post just fascinate me.  

This first one features the wonderful giggliness of a young girl from the 1850’s! What a sweetheart!!!  And a wonderful example of children’s fashion.  

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This next painting I found to be a fantastic example of late 1700’s styling and fashion.  The smile, the gown, THAT HAT….its all absolutely beautiful!

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Portrait Of E. N. Arsenyeva
By Vladimir Borovikovsky, 1796

This last portrait (c. 1860) caught my eye as the riding gown this woman is wearing has the most amazing placement of tucks.  I can just envision her riding a horse with that long, flowy skirt fluttering behind her!

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Such beautiful examples of fashion, creativity, and personality!

I see images of individuals from various time periods everyday…hundreds of pictures, drawings, paintings….and yet, only a few cause me to stop and admire. I like to think that it is something from their spirit reaching out to me.  I also like to think that if these individuals were around today, I bet they would be close friends!

And then I also wonder, if in a hundred years or so, someone like myself will come across my picture.  Someone who has an interest in historical fashion and I wonder if they will think my picture, my outfit, my smile may be worthy of a second glance……. 🙂

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Edwardian Hairstyles

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Some hairstyles in history are complicated.  Some hairstyles in history make you very happy that you didn’t live during that time period (i.e.1830’s).  Some seem so impossible to recreate that the hair must be fake, while others will continue to find rebirths in modern decades.  But one particular look, it seems no matter who you ask, tends to be an all time favorite.  Which look am I talking about?  The Edwardian look of the 1900-1920’s.  From the Gibson Girl pouf, to the delicate waves of low buns, Edwardian women knew how to make their hair work for them.  And while curling irons were just becoming more commonly used, many relied on tried and true techniques of their mothers to complete these heavenly creations.

I have gathered a wonderful sampling of these looks to drool over…and maybe recreate for yourself! 🙂

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I simply adore these looks, and it was one of the reasons I decided to go with an Edwardian image for my blog logo.  Grecian in style, with a sprinkling of Regency, and a dash of something completely unique, the hairstyles of the early 1900’s will forever, at least in my opinion, be some of the most romantic ever created!

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The Lipstick of Summer: Coral

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I have exactly one tube of coral lipstick.  I wear it maybe once or twice a summer and only on occasions when I am feeling bold or adventurous.  I am not sure where the hesitation comes from, but I find coral to be a brighter color to wear than red.  Sometimes I feel the need to talk myself up to slathering on a layer….a problem I never have when it comes to wearing hot pink?

But apart from my own oddities, coral truly is the happiest of colors to wear during the summer months.  It speaks of sun, health, and (in my case) courage!  But just like many colors, not every shade of coral works on every skin shade.  You have to play around a bit to find that perfect blend which adds to your overall glow… not the other way around.

To help you on your search, I have found four lovely shades of coral in differing color tones, finishes, and prices!  I hope they encourage you (as they have me) to embrace this happy, “beachy” color!

Maybeline Coral Ambition   $8

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Maybeline Color Whisper – Coral Ambition

 

MAC Ablaze     $17

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MAC Ablaze Bright Apricot Cream Matte

Rich and Famous  Coral Lombard     $26

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Rich and Famous Coral Lombard

 

Besame Cosmetics  Carmine $22

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Carmine Lipstick

So go and let your lips match the wonderful summer fun around you!

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Pattern Ad


Is it a Match? 1910’s Jewelry and their Modern Counterparts

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How many times have you wanted something and just couldn’t have it?  If you are anything like me it has happened only about a million times.  And when you realize that you are one of those individuals that can trace some ancestry to a raccoon (as I too love shiny, sparkly things), than you may have to embrace a strategy I like to call “finding an alternative.”  If I can’t find it, I will try to make it.  If I can’t afford it, I will try to find a really good look alike.  And if I can’t have anything but the original, than I will save and wait patiently until I can.  The last option doesn’t happen all that often.

So when it comes to trying to find reproduction pieces, it can be rather tricky to locate an affordable and suitable option.  But with a little bit of time and energy, you too can make all your sparkly dreams come true.

So with that in mind, I decided I wanted to write a post on late Edwardian jewelry and some modern alternatives.  Edwardian fashion is such a wonderful dichotomy of simplicity with traces of its Victorian heritage, but not quite the art deco that will replace it.  So, I have found three of my most favorite examples of this simplistic style with some lovely adaptations that all seem to hover around the $35 mark.  So, if you love all things Downtown Abbey but can’t afford the real deal….than this post is for you!

To start with is a lovely young lady wearing a modesty brooch.  I found a stunning example through Overstock.

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Silver Brooch from Overstock  – $34

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This stunning necklace features a large medallion on a long black cord.  While difficult to find an exact replica, I believe I found one that is the essence of the style.

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Long Cord Necklace with Medallion from MarKi Jewelry  – $34

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I adore this necklace and love the dress that goes with it.  Sigh…..  The necklace I found features more beads than the original but I feel would be a perfect piece to wear with this dress.

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Three Strand Hampton Necklace from Shoptiques  – $38

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So whether you are looking to accessorize a 1910’s outfit, or simply to bring a little nostalgia into your modern life, these pieces would fit like a glove!

Happy Hunting!

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Did you know that Aimee’s Victorian Armoire Shop now features several instant downloadable patterns?  Click HERE to see the current options available.


A 1920’s Look at Sun Protection

sunWell, the sun is out and that means so are my legs which haven’t seen a UV ray in about six months.  While I am very excited to soak in all that lovely Vitamin D, I still need to be very cautious about how much of it my winterized skin is getting.  And even though we are still in a society that values a golden tan, getting it in a healthy way is very important.  Of course, this wasn’t always the case.  We have had a past with cultural traits that have valued a complexion which appeared to be as blemish and sun free as possible.  In fact I distinctly remember reading Little House on the Prairie as a young child and laughing at the scolding Laura received for not wearing her sun bonnet.

Of course, it was easier back in the 19th century to avoid too much sun simply by the length and layers of clothing that was worn.  However, once skirts became shorter and sleeves disappeared, sunburns became more common.  So how was sun protection shared and encouraged?  Well, I decided to take a little look back and find out!

First on my journey was researching past articles.  I found a fabulous one in a 1919 Good Housekeeping article entitle Health and Beauty by Nora Mullane.  An excerpt follows:

“It seems quite superfluous to urge upon women and girls the necessity for giving the most serious consideration to the care of the skin during the summer months when from exposure to wind and dust, the scorching sun and sea air, blemishes are sure to come if the skin is not properly protected, but much anxiety may be avoided by a little care and forethought.”

So how did one go about protecting one’s delicate outer coating?  Well, in the early days of sunscreen and skin creams, many brands worked to address this topic specifically:

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Hats and umbrellas, much more than today, were encourage and widely used as protection from the sun.  Although fashion in the latter half of the decade greatly reduced the size of the brim, the early 1920’s head coverings were wide brimmed and ready to protect!

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The same protection is also offered by the wider, more substantial parasols featured in the next two images

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Too help make the thought of wearing a summer hat more attractive and affordable, tutorials were often included in magazines to revamp old hats.  Here is one for adding a velvet band to the edge of a summer hat!

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While loving the sun is something that hasn’t seemed to dim with time, it is still something that (like many things) should be handle with moderation.

And women of the 1920’s, just like today, seemed to have understood just that!

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Finding and Creating Your Own Vintage Perfume Bottle

PErfume

I have an absolute love for small glass bottles, especially if they are full of wonderful smelling perfume.  However, I have noticed that, like many things, they just don’t make them like they used to.  Vintage perfume bottles were ornate, colorful, and, at least in my opinion, made you feel as elegant using as you did wearing the scent.  Just look at the following examples to see what I mean:

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I simply adore the green one!  Sigh…..  And while there are some absolutely stunning scents offered today, the bottles are not as feminine as the above examples.

However, there are many ways, and examples, to create your own elegant perfume bottle if you don’t mind not having a spray pump.   While it is difficult to find such ornate examples as shown above,  I have gathered a few of my favorite choices.  Many of them come with more than one bottle…perfect for makeup remover or body oil!

Simply click the link below each picture to purchase the bottles.

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Vintage Glass Bottles from Lights and Decor

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Clear Vintage Bottles from Luna Bazaar

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Small Perfume Bottles from Office Supply

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Vintage Cut Glass Perfume Bottle from Lo and Co Vintage

Of course, after you have found your perfect bottle, why not use a lovely vintage inspired label?  Simply print out and decoupage onto a bottle of your choice.

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Free Downloadable Images from Luna Girl 

Enjoy!

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Powdered Perfection

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In today’s post we are going to talk about all things face powder!  I have come to appreciate face powder more and more, however I don’t necessarily believe there is only one way to apply it.  I know some women that put it on after they complete their whole face, and others who put it on right after foundation.  I personally fall into the latter category.  Whichever way you apply it, the benefit it can offer to your makeup’s staying power is undeniable.

With face powered going on a century of popularity, I thought I would share a few fun advertisements for this makeup staple.

 

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I also love this 1940’s makeup tutorial which instructs powder application as the very last step!

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My current favorite face powder is this one by Revlon. I love that it is a translucent powered with a slight shimmer in it…and it is very affordable!

Revlon Photo Ready Powder

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However, once I finish my current compact of Revlon, I plan on trying this powder from Besame cosmetics!  I love everything about it, and they offer refills of the powder so you don’t have to keep purchasing the compact over and over again!

Besame Light Cashmere Powder Compact

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So whether you use a brush or puff, apply that powder and go face the day with much deserved confidence!

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