Sunday, 28 February 2010


If there was a Nobel Prize for cocktails, then the inventor of the Sidecar deserves it.
There is, in fact some debate over the originator of this sour drink.
The Hollywood Cocktail Book cites Harry MacElhone of 'Harry's New York Bar' in Paris as the inventor, but also mentions Harry Craddock author of The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) as being a key player. "Robert" author of Cocktails: How To Mix Them adds further fuel to the fire by saying that it was introduced to London by Pat MacGarry bartender at 'Buck's Club'

2 Measures Brandy
1 Measure Cointreau
1 Measure Lemon Juice

Cocktails: How To Mix Them by 'Robert'

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake quickly and strain into a cocktail glass. You can sugar the rim of the glass if you find it too sour. Triple Sec or Grand Marnier can be used if you don't have Cointreau.
'Bernard' of 100 Cocktails also suggests a variation where the Cointreau is replaced by Gin

Friday, 26 February 2010

To Die For: 30s Evening Gowns

Norman Hartnell Winter 1937

Maggy Rouff Winter 1937

Jean Desses Late 1930s

Spectator Sports Winter 1938

Victor Stiebel Winter 1938

Nina Ricci Spring 1939

Chanel Summer 1939

Mnguin Summer 1939

Frederick Starke Autumn 1939

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Avengers: Two For One Offer

I've got a bit behind due to being away for a week so here are 2 episodes.

The Danger Makers 1966

Coat with pointed turn back cuffs and applied belt.

Deeply cut vee neck top with curaway arms, black hipster trousers.

A Touch Of Brimstone 1966

Peter Wyngarde as The Honorable John Cleverly Cartney

Perfect outfit to beg a donation for 'wayward girls'

Shift dress with folk-style embroidery.

'That' outfit, back laced boots, corset, panties and spike collar

Makeup for 'Queen of Sin'

Friday, 19 February 2010

Horrockses Fashions Revisited

My blog about the 40s designs of Horrockses Fashions has promted many favourable comments, including some from the author of this upcoming book.

As is usual when writing blogs (or anything for that matter) I found some more interesting pictures AFTER I had published. So here are some more pics from the 40s.

This is th only image I've found for the 46 collection, hoping there will be others in the book.

Advert from Spring 1949. Pamela Patience was 'the face' of Horrockses at this time, I can never think of her without being reminded of EM Delafield's Pamela Pringle character in The Provincial Lady novels, though I suspect Ms Pringle's housekeeping wasn't this good.

'That' dress again in an RF Delderfield play. He wrote 2 excellent novels about the 30s and 40s The Dreaming Suburb and The Avenue Goes to War.

The Horrockses book is out in May but you can pre-order it now, mine is already on order.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Apple Jack Cocktail

2 measures Calvados (Apple Jack Brandy)
1/2 measure Curacao (or Gomme syrup)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Half fill a mixing glass with crushed ice, add the ingredients and stir vigourously. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a cherry.
Triple Sec is a good Curacao to use as it isn't coloured.

100 Cocktails by Bernard.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Spring Hats and Shoes 1944

Spring 1944 was a particularly lean time for British shoppers. The preparations for D-Day meant that most manufacturing and imports were destined for the armed forces not civilians.

Picture Post Article March 1944 Page 1. Click for bigger picture.

Picture Post Article March 1944 Page 2. Click for bigger picture.

Hats, while not rationed had become very expensive and many were price-capped (sorry) to prevent exhorbitant profits.

Jacoll Stitched Beret with maximum price stamp.

Shoes were simply very hard to come by and Ursula Bloom the Agony Aunt of several middle class womens magazines quotes a story that shoppers had to have a ticket merely to join the queue at the shoe shop!

Low wedge by Lotus with golfing fringe. March 1944. Click for bigger picture.

Rayne Courts for Marshall & Snelgrove. March 1944. Click for bigger picture.

Wooden soled shoes were promoted throughout 1943 and 1944 but were not very popular.
In the north of the country wooden soled clogs were the garb of mill girls and were a marker of social class. Mill girls wanted leather soled shoes as a signifier of betterment and the middle classes would not wear them for similar social reasons. Others said the hinged sole let in the rain and that they were difficult to wear. Some magazines had tips on how to walk in them.

Clarks shoes with hinged wooden sole and fleece lining. February 1944. Click for bigger picture.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Avengers: Quick-Quick-Slow Death 1966

OK, so you wait half a season for a John Bates outfit to come along and three arrive together.

Black & White geometric coat target beret and Rayne shoes

Dress in negative

The famous foot fetish scene at Piedi's, shift dress with crochet
collar, leather shoulder bag and gloves.

Black shift with white stripes and cutaway armholes.

White shirt dress with glass buttons, white Rayne shoes.

White and silver (?) organza dance dress.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Randomness, Hedy & Me

Thankyou to the Vintage Baroness for tagging me, I haven't done this before so here goes....

1. I love many eras and genres of cinema, though you will no doubt have noticed that my preference is for 30s and 40s British and Hollywood movies. But last weekend I watched the Japanese film 'Kamikaze Girls' which was lots of fun and the first movie I have seen where the heroine is an expert embroideress.

2. I am an avid dress-maker. I find it impossible to buy dresses that fit properly as I am only 4'11".

3. I was once photographed a la Hedy Lamarr.

Hedy Lamarr by Peter Stackpole c1947

Miss Rayne by Silvercanvas Photography c1990

4. My second passion after old movies is my garden which is in the traditional English manner of roses, herbaceaous borders etc and I love taking photos of the plants.

5. My 'book of the month' is The Diary of A Provincial Lady by E M Delafield.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Beauty Through the Decades

I was discussing with a friend, the other day, the futility of Top 10 lists and favourite photos because our favourites are constantly changing as we discover new stuff.

Despite all that I decided to pick some favourites at this moment in time. What I noticed when scanning through my final choice about all these ladies is the symmetry of their faces.

1900s Gabrielle Ray Musical Comedy Star

1910s Lilian Gish

1920s Anna May Wong

1930s Kay Francis

1940s Patricia Roc

1950s Elizabeth Taylor

1960s Elsa Martinelli

1970s Catherine Deneuve

1980s Yasmin le Bon

1990s Nicole Kidman

2000s Karen Leblanc

Who knows who it will be next month.....