Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Foxy Originals Jewelry

She applied slow pressure with caution, pushing down, squeezing... likely too hard. She was going to break a nail like that, and what a shame, the half-moon manicure took her an hour to perfect with that traitorous blood red, outrageously priced polish. No time for it though. She held her breath and pop. Cheers sounded all around yet again as they all clamored forward for more. There was a slight chirp of glass meeting glass. Tilting, tilting... no it should be more exuberant, reckless; that was the feeling of the evening's celebration. With one whoosh thousands of tiny bubbles started swirling towards the rim of the glass, up over, arching and spilling out over the side before the majority made their way back into the center. Light shone into the golden depths as all the happy little bubbles danced with the rhythm of the jazz band wailing loudly just beyond the gloom of the lights. With one sip of champaign, she let out a long held breath. The kind of sigh that seemed pent up for centuries, finally rushing out like the bubbles of the champeign charging up to the surface. It had been a long hard journey to this occasion. 

Jewelry and accessories can make or change an outfit. I was gifted these lovely art deco inspired necklaces from Foxy Originals. They made me think of the roaring 20s, and were a perfect fit for this black liquid silk vintage dress. 

Photography by me (Laura Okita)



For more vintage inspired jewelry visit Foxy Originals

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Central Park in November

Its November! The summer went by so quickly, and here we are almost at Thanksgiving. I can't wait for the pumpkin pies, candy canes and egg nog. Fall on the East Coast seems longer than in the Rocky Mountains. Its similar with cooling weather, changing leaves and that feeling of the ever approaching holidays, however, the tress and landscape is much different boasting a greater variety. I don't venture up to Central Park very often, but I wanted to catch all the orange, yellow and red leaves trickling down to their grassy beds for winter. There were so many people taking pictures of the beautiful scenery of the park, over bridges, under huge shady trees and all along the ponds. What really makes Central Park special is the enormous buildings peaking out over the tops of the trees, lurking in the distance, always reminding you of New York City's urban grandeur.

I want to bring back more strongly vintage inspired looks. I was going through a short time where I listened more to what some other people said more than what I knew was in my heart. I love vintage and I love dressing up. I love taking on a character. It is my passion. I want to encourage anyone reading my blog to stay true to who you are and what you love. Don't listen to the majority, don't listen to negative voices. Believe in your self and be who you are. Be the best you that you can and don't compromise your art or your passions, dreams or your secret hideaways for anyone else. 

I take all my own pictures (Photography Laura Okita)

I got this dress from my dear vintage guilty pleasure Wildfell Hall Vintage. While I was getting it ready to shoot, I took greater notice of the details. It was hand made and very well done. I couldn't help but wonder who made it, where was she going to wear it. How did she accessorize it? I thought about all the time it took to press each seam, to match up the pin tucks and finish the hems. Thats what makes vintage so much fun.

The shoes are my first item from Prada that I have ever owned! Ever since I started reading fashion magazines in high school, and I would see the Prada ads, I wanted Prada so much. Now I have my first pair of shoes. I found them at Amarcord Vintage Fashion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Post Cards from Japan: Kenley Collins American Geisha Collection

Since she announced her newest collect American Geisha in early October, we have been waiting with anticipation for the new line from Project Runway designer, Kenley Collins. Having been invited to model in her lookbook and web campaign, I got a great look up close and chance to try on all of the pieces. With a variety of both dresses and separates, this is her best collection yet. The fit is right on, the prints are unique with a great range of scale and color, and the style is of course fabulously inspired by vintage pinup. Its now available in select boutiques in New York City and online.

Since my husband is Japanese, giving me my last name, Okita, this was a really special event to be a part of. I got to take home my favorite piece from the collection. I love the print on the fabric and how it fits perfectly to the body. What a fun dress to style!

Photography by me (Laura Okita)

I had been waiting for the right moment to share some of the 35mm film photos that I took while in Japan this past summer. These pictures were taken in Yokohama, where my husband grew up. Yokohama has always had a western presence which can be seen in the architecture around the city. I love the mix between the old and new, the East and the West. The scenic print on the dress seemed like a perfect match for the roll of film.

I have always been inspired by the irresistible beauty and style of traditional Japanese women. I wanted to give a go at a traditional inspired - pinup hairstyle and got to use the vintage turtle and abalone comb I bought at the market in Asaksa, Japan. The vintage 1950s comb gets a little lost with my hair color, but I can imagine it being stunning on darker hair.

Japan on Film

I tried combining some of my film photos with digitals and added a little hand painted water color art work to the images. What do you think?

The Kenley Collins Collection

I had the fun opportunity not only to model, but to provide styling and do hair for the shoot. It was really interesting to do pinup hair on the models, and I was surprised to find it easier than doing hair on myself. The photographs for the collection website were taken by Lucy La Riot Studio, the first pinup studio in Brooklyn!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bettie Page

Bettie Page, the original "Queen of Pinups", inspiring fashion, artists, models and pop culture for generations.

Every pinup, vintage girl has to play Bettie at least once. While her personal life did not always reflect the girl behind the camera, on film she evokes a purely happy innocence, a playfulness sparkling with glimpses of sultry vamp. She demanded a confidence through the lens that every woman should don when wearing vintage lingerie.

Escaping from the darkness, I think when she modeled, her true self had the courage to fly free. I know that is true for me. When I dress up, I can be who I really want to be. Next time you lace up a corset or snap stockings onto your girdle, be the confidant Bettie. Have fun and enjoy the character for you. As Audrey Hepburn reaffirms, "Happy girls are the prettiest".  It is Bettie's exuberance that still draws us to her today. Let your inner beauty glow so brightly that it lights up the stage, your room, your life.

Pics by me 

If I had to choose a favrorite vintage garment or design, the bullet bra might just be that. It demands such power, and like Bettie, is iconicity sexy while holding onto a little mystery. This one is from The Slipperie, my go to for vintage lingerie.

I love the way film looks and playing around with different cameras and exposures. Here are a few Polaroid taken with a vintage SX-70. I cant wait for the 120mm pics to develop too, but we will have to wait for that roll to finish.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cleopatra Halloween

Candy corn, pumpkins, streets lined with golden amber leaves, jack-o-lanterns, goblins and a chill on the breeze. Its almost Halloween, one of my favorite holidays of the whole year. I dont know if its that particular smell that permeates the air, a scent that only the cold can foster, mixing with leaves fallen from the trees and fire places burning in the distance, maybe its the feeling of a cozy corner on an overcast day, candy lined shelves in stores or the excitement that we get to dress up and be anyone, or anything, we want for a day.

10 days and counting, if you havent decided what your costume will be this year, its time to start! I always begin my plans for a costume at the end of September. This year I wanted a vintage mid-century based costume and the stunning makeup and wardrobe design for Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra immediately came to mind. I love a costume where you really get to transform, change your hair color, load on the fake blood, glitter, fangs, accessories, glow in the dark, go all out! For this look I would get to once again use my trusty little black wig. I bought it for my costume of Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction while I was in collage and have used it at least two to three times a year since. I gave it a haircut a few times too.

Elizabeth Taylor and the Queen of the Nile, what powerfully beautiful muses to inspire this night of endless possibilities.

All Photography by me (Laura Okita)

For this costume I knew I wanted to make my dress. I wanted something that would feel like the real Cleopatra, but still be recognizably inspired by the movie, yet wearable on any other day. This gold brocade fabric was perfect for the dress, giving me a little structure to work with for the wrapped mummy like drape of the mid-section, and I knew it would photograph well. It is actually two pieces, a bodice and skirt with sequined details on the back. I made the hemline short because on Ancient Egyptian walls it seems to be the length of choice and also to give it a little Mid-Century pinup feeling. This is the first dress that I have draped completely without using the patterned sloper I made a few years ago.

Yes, I am obsessed with this necklace from Amarcord!

I was inspired by the fashion of the film, but also enjoyed one of my old interests from school. Growing up I always wanted to be an Egyptologist. I taught myself to begin reading hieroglyphics, studied Egyptian mythology, history and even have the hieroglyphic dictionaries still sitting on my shelves. I graduated from the Univeristy of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Anthropology, where I was honored to take a course on Egyptian Hieroglyphics from an astounding professor in the field. I was in a serious relationship that moved me to NYC after graduation, combined with a seeming fate tied to fashion both led me in another direction, but I still remember my early passions and am glad whenever they can come back to life through my current work. A perfect theme taken from Egyptian mythology, the afterlife.

I hand drew and made the hieroglyphic wall background for the header image. It was fun to visit some old friends and rewrite the symbols once more.

Sister Post with Halcyon Fair

A few weeks ago my good friend Maura of Halcyon Fair was in New York City. We have so much in common, we order the same thing at restaurants, love the same movies, music and of course vintage fashion... so we decided it would be fun for Halloween to do a sister post. Check out the link below to see Maura's Egyptian Revival. Didnt she do a fantastic job on her makeup? And her dress is vintage 1930s.

Photo courtosy of Halcyon Fair