February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Happy leap day! What a great way to start the month of March with a little extra "leap" in your step. Who better to look to, than Richard Avedon, the iconic photographer who took fashion shoots to whole new leaps and bounds. 

Take the extra day to do something you never seem to have the time to do. It will be another four years before you get the chance again!

February 28, 2012

Shades of grey

Grey is my favorite color when it comes to design and daily dressing, but its a color that doesn't get a whole lotta love. Where others see cold and sterile, I see soothing and versatile. Jackie Astier's apartment in this months Elle Decor really seals the deal with my love for grey. 

 I basically end up wearing grey in some form everyday. My go to staples are Wolford anthricite tights, Vince thermals and flannel flats. 

What do you think? Love it or leave it when it comes to grey?

A small selection of merchandise from Bea Hive Vintage is now available at Hampton Antique Galleries, in Stamford, CT. If your in the area check it out!

1980s Valentino bright pink grosgrain clutch

1990s Chanel black CC sunglasses

Roberto Cavalli beige lizard skin evening bag with enamel snake bracelet handle

1980's YSL heavy cut glass clip on earrings, available in clear and magenta
Manolo Blahnik black satin and crystal bow slingbacks, sz 41

February 27, 2012

Lots o' Dots

 Natalie Portman's vintage Dior seemed to garner mixed reviews. When discussing the looks with a friend over coffee, her initial reaction was "ick, yuck, polka dots! So not right for the Oscars". Today its all about embellishments or dip dye, ruching, clashing colors or interesting silhouettes when it comes to evening wear, but not so long ago, it was all about classic, clean cut, pretty gowns.  

Polka dots were the height of fashion, especially in the fifties. Couture houses such as Dior, Balmain, and Balenciaga produced exquisitely crafted gowns in various dotty patterns.

Christian Dior and Christobal Balenciaga were considered the fiercest rivals on the Paris fashion scene. Dior and Balenciaga produced similar designs and both designers were particularly fond of polka dots.

It's hard to believe that the two houses had similar designs as today they are polar opposites. Dior is over the top and theatrical and Balenciaga is structured and streamlined. 

Current Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere revamped the above polka dotted frock in 2006.

via Kiera Knightly in Vogue

 Pierre Balmain also had a fondness for polka dots as does former Balmain designer, Oscar de la Renta.
Jacques Griffe,1951
French designer Jacques Griffe is seldom heard today, but in the 1950's he was once of France's great fashion talents.

photo by John French
Photographer John French captured many dotted outfits, from swimwear to evening gowns. This classic shift dress looks like it was straight off of Oscar de la Renta's spring runway. 
Veruschka wearing Elizabeth Arden in Vogue 1961
This pink Lanvin was on my hit list a few years ago when I spotted it on ebay. 
1950's pink Lanvin tulle gown
Recently, dots have been modernized by all the big names and brought back in a big way. 
Oscar de la Renta

From cascading clusters to asymmetrical puffy dots, polka dots are here to stay.

Cameron Diaz
Want to see spots this spring? Bea Hive Vintage's 1960s Oscar de la Renta certainly fits the bill. Pair it with strappy sandals a la Cameron Diaz to keep the look modern.

February 26, 2012

Betsy Explains it All...Oscars edition

What a great way to wrap up awards season... a slew of pretty dresses and not a whole lot-a ugly. My vote for best dressed, Penelope Cruz. Looking so good in Armani, its classic Hollywood starlet with a modern twist, thanks to a greyish blue hue and some really great tailoring. 

Angelina brought her A game, after a series of award show missteps and actually looked pretty and glam and not the least bit corpse bride-ish. Tina Fey and Leslie Mann's inky blue choices were pretty and looked great with minimal jewelry (Tina earrings and Leslie bracelets) and hair away from the face to show off their decollete. 

My favorite grouping is the Claire Danes, Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman trio, who all rocked vintage inspired gowns. Natalie and Michelle opted for necklaces with their strapless styles, which is seen less and less these days. Michelle had the Audrey Hepburn hair and Claire had the dress, which harkened back to when Audrey won her oscar in 1953. Natalie picked a vintage Dior stunner in the always classic polka dot pattern, which was also popular with designers like Balenciaga and Lanvin.

Like we've seen all season, there were lots of nude/blush/white looks. All featuring soft makeup and updos (except for Kristin Wiig). Rooney Mara is trying a little to hard to push the fashion envelope with this one, but I think if her hair were less severe it would have made a world of difference. 

And then there was a group of fashion offenders, who might have looked pretty, but it felt a little been there done that... Its like another girl wearing your prom dress...total sacrilege...a fashion no-no.

Paging Blair Waldorf...Jessica Chastain looked pretty in McQueen but the dress is similar to Blair's custom Marchesa from a few season back on Gossip Girl.

Both Anna Farris and Rose Byrne showed up not only with similar dresses but similar bobs with bangs  too. Coincidence? Nope. Both seemed to be channeling Julie Christie in Shampoo, now a look that has been copied so many times, some people don't even realize where it originated from.

See what I mean?

And really, Emma Stone trying to copy Nicole Kidman? It was probably her last iconic red carpet look. A big bow at the neck in a similar hue? No matter who designed this dress and how fabulous the quality is, to me its like wearing a knockoff of the original (which btw is Balenciaga). 

And so the parade of pretty dresses is over until next year. Ta-ta for now, awards season.

February 25, 2012

Oscar flashback

In honor of the Oscars tomorrow, here is a roundup of dresses from years past.
Marisa Tomei 1994

Uma Thurman, 1995

Kate Winslet, 1996

Nicole Kidman, 1997

Drew Barrymore, 1998

Gwyneth Paltrow, 1999

Charlize Theron, 2000

Julia Roberts, 2001

Halle Berry, 2002

Kate Hudson, 2003

Sandra Bullock, 2004

Hilary Swank, 2005

Reese Witherspoon, 2006

Michelle Williams, 2007

Anne Hathaway, 2008

Natalie Portman, 2009

Cameron Diaz, 2010

Mila Kunis, 2011