Hollywood Regency Part 1 – The Past

I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl. I grew up watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, learned to swing dance when I was a teen and often wear vintage attire if I can get away with it. So when I started designing my new room I was looking to create a space that would reference the Hollywood Regency style of interior design. As I was searching for furnishings that might help highlight the look, I realized that more and more flash sale sites were carrying gold and white furnishings. Clearly I was not the only one loving the vintage style.

William Haines

Hollywood Regency became popular in the 1930’s with the explosion of the movie industry. The style utilized Georgian and Edwardian furniture and modern Art Deco architectural lines; geometric shapes, chinoiserie, metallic and reflective surfaces, as well as luxe materials were highly favored. The style was frequently featured in the homes of the Hollywood stars as well as in film set and popularized by designers William Haines and Dorothy Draper.

Ginger Rogers in Top Hat

Ginger Rogers in Top Hat

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films often featured the style in their sets. In the above photo Ginger perches on a newer style of bed that features clean lines and cut decals (the star) while behind the bed the tufted satin headboard adds a feeling of an older, aristocratic time.

Old Hollywood Mirrors Old Hollywood Mirrors

Mirrors and highly reflective surfaces pepper the sets and homes of this time. Often they were elaborately framed such as the image on the above right. In the later 30’s and early 40’s cleaner lines for mirrors started to be favored as in the image above left and below but they were often then flanked by more ornate furnishings such as the chinoiserie wall paper in Rita Hayworth’s Dressing Room.

Rita Hayworth’s Dressing Table

Rita Hayworth’s Dressing Table

While we may think of Hollywood Regency as being a more feminine style today it was considered appropriate for both men and women’s rooms during the 1930’s. In this scene below, Fred Astaire’s apartment features the large mirrors and tufted furniture (you can just make out the dressing-room screen in the mirror. However the roman bust, Egyptian style phoenixes in the fireplace, and the darker colored table and lamp lend a more masculine air to the room. Fred Astair singing "Needle in A Haystack"Fred Astaire singing “Needle in A Haystack”

Above all Hollywood Regency was about high drama. Tall ceilings, large drapes or furnishings and rich materials were key to making this style a success. Next week I’ll go into more detail about how this style is once again sweeping the design scene. But for now I leave you with this exquisite set of a “Hotel Suit” to feast your eyes on. Hollywood Style

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When I Grow Up – “Matilda”

I love it when a designer uses multiple items in a set to really highlight movement. Here’s a wonderful example of just that in the scenography of “Matilda” for your Friday morning.

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I’m Back!

Hey Folks, after a long hiatus I am back to blogging. It’s been a hectic spring; I moved, started doing more work for the film union on shows like “Broad City” and “Blacklist”, helped a cousin with the design for his wedding, traveled to CA to see my college friends and this month I have 3 more weddings! It’s been a lot to tackle, so I’m glad thing are finally getting unpacked and back to normal.

My face before and after the move.

I’m now living in a 3 bedroom with two lovely ladies in Brooklyn and the exciting thing is …I get to do whatever I want with the decor of the house! My roommates are totally chill with repainting, hanging new art and putting up storage. There is always so much potential when you move to a new space and I love getting creative with paint, curtains etc.

The new place is a 6 story, multi-unit apartment building built in the 1920’s. The bedrooms are big and mine looks out onto a leafy tree, but it’s very dark compared to my old place and the walls were all an awful gray putty color when I first saw the space. So my first course of action was figuring out how to brighten the space. I did some research and started gravitating to gold and white decor but I also wanted to keep the feeling of the room soft (it is a bedroom after all). I pulled some images (see below) and decided to go bold and do white walls with gold trim and a blue and gold accent wall behind the bed.

The painting took an entire weekend and cost me about $150 (gold paint is not cheap people) but the transformation was pretty dramatic. I’m still working on hanging pictures and unpacking boxes but here is a little teaser of the before and after of the room.

 

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As I said, I’m still putting the finishing touches on the space but painting everything made a HUGE difference! The room feels much more romantic and it was totally worth the 2 days and 3 nights it took to get the job done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hats of Downton Abbey, Series 4

memillermckeever:

rose and cora

I have to say I’m an avid “Downton Abbey” follower. So I was delighted by this posts on the “Hats of Downton Abbey, Series 4” from “I Should Have Been a Blogger”. Take a look!cora1 rose3 rose1 mary2

Originally posted on Anibundel: Pop Culturess:

We’re over halfway through the fourth series here in the states, and you know what that means? It’s time for our next installment of my ongoing series “The Hats of Downton Abbey.” (Original here, men’s hats here, season three here.)

We’re thoroughly into the 1920s now, and the hats are morphing to match.

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Yup. Hats are out in the Jazz age. Not to say women aren’t wearing them to go out–they are. But the new big thing is the headband.

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Dances of Vice – La Vie Parisian

Dances of Vice Dancers

Samantha L Siegel & Brian T Lawton dancing to Carte Blance. Photo taken by Steve Wong

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get to work on a super fun Valentines Day party. Dances of Vice is well known in NYC for throwing extravagant themed parties. Lead by the ever glamourous Shien Lee, the parties attract a bevy of “dandies, aesthetes, and dreamers who gather in shared enthusiasm for the music, fashion, culture, and beauty of times past and re-imagined.”

Friday was La Vie Parisian Masquerade Ball. I was able to help out with the decorations for this event and have some photos to share with you. The location was the fabulous Downtown Association in Wall Street and the decorator was Francesca Signori and there were a ton of other creative types on hand to help out. Check out the photos of the event below!

The Downtown Association

The Downtown Association

The Ladies Lounge

The Ladies Lounge

The main dance space on the second floor

The main dance space on the second floor

The man on stilts made my night.

The man on stilts made my night.

Performers were Everywhere

Performers were Everywhere

Masked Guests

Masked Guests

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Basic Buckram Shapes

I found this great tutorial yesterday by Alice Frenz on how to make basic buckram hat shapes. Since I have a rather crazy hat still on my list I’m going to have to start from scratch and this should be just the ticket for helping me with it. Take a look!

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Basic Buckram Shapes.

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Millinery Projects – In Which I Make Lots Of Hats

 

 

 

I’m currently in the middle of a project where I get to stretch some of my millinery skills by making a variety of fun hats. The project is re-creating a series of costume and prop pieces from photos to use in a new show. I have an image but I get to create the blue-print and puzzle it out myself. I’ll have some great tutorials for you guys after I’m done and the project is over, but for now here’s a little glimpse into the process.

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