There’s something so delightful about having a tea party. The delicate, floral teacups, the beautifully decorated sweets, and the company of girlfriends provide a sophisticated occasion to dress up for. Recently, a glamorous brigade of vintage-loving gal pals gathered at the Langham Huntington Pasadena for their Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood. The “Wedgwood” meaning the specialty teas and tailor made “Langham Rose” teaware.
The setting was absolutely divine with the grounds of the Langham Huntington Pasadena dating back to 1907. The tea room itself looks out on the rolling green yard and the tables centered around a chocolate fountain and a decadent dessert buffet. You can sweet treat yourself to your heart’s content between the chocolates and the three-tier dessert stands on every table, featuring a variety of finger sandwiches and scones. A selection of three tea flavors is poured throughout the event to keep your teacup full.
After the tea, it was picture time around the hotel. Us girls must capture our outfits of the day after all! The sweeping staircase to the back garden was the perfect opportunity to grab a shot.
Special thanks to Desi of Pinup Revival for organizing a great day!
What I Wore
Since the tea party was fall themed, I chose my most feminine, vintage, full skirt dress in fall colors. I love this dress for its circus-theme illustrations on the print and the detailed pearl beading on the neckline. I topped it with a headband made with vintage velvet leaves in fall colors and t-strap chocolate colored heels.
“I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it.” Truer words were never spoken. And this song by the Rolling Stones is fitting for a little bar on Hollywood Boulevard called Loaded. An ode to rockers everywhere, this bar has it down when it comes to underground cool. With a dark and decadent vibe, a killer jukebox, and fantastic photo murals of rock idols including Keith Richards, Sid Vicious, and Johnny Thunders in their glory days, plus iconic moments in rock history such as the police storming a Ramones/Black Flag concert. There’s even a wall of concert-style amplifiers that read “Loaded” with a sneaky door where the kitchen delivers orders to the bar.
Speaking of sneaky doors, along a wall of sticker-covered metal lockers is another secret passageway to a room used for live music. On the night I attended, there was a special show by Boots Electric, featuring members of Eagles of Death Metal. But the stage setup is far from ideal. The booths and bar create a narrow standing area, and the stage is level to the floor making it hard to see the band, especially a band that packs a room like this one did.
On most nights, the bar is laid back and a great place to grab a drink and meal. It especially comes in handy for late night bites with the kitchen staying open until 1 a.m., a rarity in Los Angeles.
It’s the perfect place for your rock ‘n’ roll fix.
What I Wore
Dressing rocker style to me always means taking a cue from my rock star idols. Fitted clothing always looks tough, so tight crop pants in sharp red do the trick. I’ve seen many a musician wear pinstripes and vests, so I had to grab this one off eBay and pull it on over a black tank top. Some medium-height heels add a little flirt appeal. I added some artsy, statement earrings and a vintage handbag.
What to Wear
Embrace your rocker self with some ‘70s glam. Think of the character Penny Lane in the film “Almost Famous” (one of my all-time favorite flicks!) to get an authentic rock-lover look. Top some distressed and always chic skinny jeans with a vintage-style concert T-shirt. Red, lace-up, chunky boots with rose accents will have you stepping out in style. Stay warm while looking cool in a corduroy, burgundy, duster coat with a glam faux fur color. You might just be asked to join a band! Click the links to shop* this look!
Loaded is located at 6377 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Fall has arrived and it’s my favorite season because my birthday happens, the weather turns cooler, and the trees change their colors. Since we don’t really get a feel for it in Los Angeles with its endless summers, I like to travel every fall. This year, I headed to Colorado for the Rockabilly Expo, which happened to take place during the perfect weekend for leaf peeping in the Rocky Mountains.
Read all about the Rockabilly Expo over on the Voodoo Vixen website where I did a guest blog. It was a full day of music, vendors, and a pinup contest that takes place in Colorado Springs.
We also headed up into the mountains of Evergreen outside of Denver to see the aspen trees shimmer with a bright gold and sweeps of red. It’s so beautiful up there!
What I Wore
For the Rockabilly Expo, I put on the Voodoo Vixen “Connie” dress with the unique crisscross cut on top and retro glasses print. Some easy Mary Jane heels helped keep my feet in check for the daylong event. I added some sparkle with retro-inspired, confetti-baked Lucite earrings.
What To Wear
For an authentic rockabilly look, you can’t go wrong with a swing dress. This 1950’s cut in a warm fall color is sure to turn heads. Add a crinoline petticoat underneath to really accentuate the hourglass silhouette. Some retro inspired, t-strap heels and red lipstick complete the look. Click the links to shop* this look!
Going out for ice cream is officially a thing in Los Angeles. Unique ice cream shops can be seen with lines around the block for sweet, creamy treats. And when the hot summer weather here runs into late October, any time is ice cream time!
One ice cream shop that notoriously has lines out front is MILK on Beverly Boulevard (there’s also one in Silver Lake). I stopped by to try one of their most beloved products – the ice cream sandwich with macaroon cookies.
We got lucky going after dinner one night and happened to catch a brief moment when there wasn’t a line. Of course, as we approached the counter, we turned around and there was a line out the door! What timing! Mind you, the place is pretty tiny, with sparse décor and just enough room for the ice cream counter, a counter of baked treats and a couple of small tables and chairs. But hey, ice cream is meant to be enjoyed outside, right?
There are several ice cream sandwich flavors to choose from, While the Fruity Pebbles one looked colorful and enticing with cereal sprinkles, I opted for Red Velvet. Oh my, was it good. The macaroons were soft enough to bite into and half of it is iced so the ice cream doesn’t melt out while you hold it. Believe me, it’s BIG, so you’re going to be working on it a while!
If you don’t mind standing in line for a good thing, MILK is the place to go for an occasional diet-busting sugar fix!
What I Wore
For dinner on the town, I opted for a leopard print top, simple pencil skirt and vintage, basket-weave handbag. Retro heels and a statement necklace dress up the look .
What To Wear
Put yourself in an ice cream mood with cool separates that can take you around town for food and fun. A light T-shirt with a triple scoop of ice cream will let people know what you’re about. And if that’s not enough, how about some ice cream cone-style heels with pearl sprinkles! Grab a girly pink moto jacket to keep you warm as the night air gets cooler in the fall – and to help with any ice cream chills! Dress it all up with a modern statement necklace. Click the links to shop* this look.
Milk is located at 7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
There’s no shortage of cool bars in Los Angeles. One area, in particular, has become quite the cocktail corridor. Along Cahuenga Boulevard between Selma Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, you can literally go door-to-door and hit a good handful of bars with unique décor and great people watching.
One standout is Saint Felix. I went there recently for an entertainment industry mixer and they had the back bar reserved, which was a great spot with a long bar, cheerful mixologist bartender, and a back patio. I had a raspberry mojito, served in a big old mason jar glass and it was AMAZING.
What I loved about this place was the décor and how big it felt compared to how it looks from the street. The main room is surprisingly spacious with a bar, tables and chairs, and cozy round booths tucked deep into the walls for those who want a little privacy. The purple lighting, dramatic antique chandeliers, and textured brocade walls make the place feel well-styled and elegant.
There’s a full menu, great happy hour specials, and you just can’t beat the Hollywood location (there is also one in West Hollywood). You can grab dinner before catching a show at the Hotel Café across the street or put it on your must-do list for Cahuenga bar crawling.
What I Wore
Squeezing out my last bits of summer style, I opted for a bright yellow sundress and black shrug sweater, along with a vintage leopard print purse and gold mule heels. I put my hair up in a full pinup updo, with a hair flower for a sweet touch. It was a good transition outfit for our very subtle change of seasons we get in SoCal where the days are still hot but the evenings give just a tease of fall by being a tad cooler.
What to Wear
For bar hopping in Hollywood, you can’t go wrong with a flirty, leopard-print dress with a bit of swing and old school glamour. Pair it with some glittery gold heels that will have your back if you decide to bust out some dance moves. Be ready for a nighttime temperature drop with a shrug that keeps your arms warm while still letting you show off the dress. Carry your keys, cash, and lipstick in this cool kitty shoulder bag that gives a wink to the theme. Click the links to shop* this look!
Saint Felix is located at 1602 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
Hot rods, hot girls, and hot summer heat made for a fun afternoon at the Pistons & Pinups event in Chatsworth. The parking lot of the Valley Relics Museum filled up with revved-up, customized classic car beauties, while the back lot featured vendors and the stage rocked with music all evening long. And it was good times for good with all proceeds going to the Rock Against MS Foundation.
I got there in time to catch sassy Maureen and the Mercury 5 bust out some sexy, swingin’ jive. They were followed by retro singing and dancing troupe The Satin Dollz, whose charm, beauty and choreographed moves always captivate an audience.
The Phantom Pomps took the stage next with some good ol’ rockabilly and a fierce pinup girl singer/drummer. As the sun went down, the stage lit up with rockabella performance artist Lillian Starr and her glowing hoop show. That girl isn’t going to lose any hula hoop contests anytime soon!
The Pinup Girl Pageant contest brought out a lineup of retro-loving babes where red lipstick, victory rolls, wiggle dresses, and heels were the dress code of the day.
The finale of the night was a performance by Gilby Clarke, best known as a guitarist for Guns N’ Roses and singer/guitarist for the pop group Candy. Though I knew him when he had the band Kill For Thrills. He’s been a solid solo performer throughout the years and brought the rock to this event into the late night hours.
One of the biggest treats of the day was the location, The Valley Relics Museum. Though the Valley has been the subject of many jokes as the uncool suburbs “over the hill” from Hollywood, there have been some historical gems located there and this museum has managed to rescue key pieces of it. For example, cars, clothing and photos from famous rodeo tailor Nudie Cohn (he made Elvis’ famous gold lame suit!) and the sign from The Palamino Club in North Hollywood, where every famous country and rockabilly performer played from 1945-1995 . The museum also has an awesome collection of retro neon and Googie-style signage, movie memorabilia, classic cars, and BMX bikes (little known fact – the extreme sport was born in the Valley!) Be sure to check it out!
What I Wore
A pinup event simply calls for some classic pinup style, so I was happy to accommodate in my cherry-print pencil skirt and accent it with a flaming red scarf and hair flowers from NiccocoCreations. I added a bracelet of fiery pulp fiction pinups from Joolz Hayworth, and a custom made handbag featuring pinup girls I picked up at a hot rod show a few years ago. I don’t know who made it but I sure would like to find her to buy some more!
What To Wear: Pinup Style
Pinup style is all about looking sexy but not overtly. It’s a flirty style in an American sweetheart kind of way that dates back to the first Calendar Girls that were published around 1889. The pinup art Alberto Vargas started painting for Esquire Magazine in the 1930s became iconic. But the best known pinups may be from the 1940’s era when they were used to boost the morale of troops fighting in WWII. Then later of course, Bettie Page came along in the 1950’s and became the Queen of Pinups, around the same time Playboy Magazine was born.
To achieve the pinup look, play-up your best feminine assets — an hourglass figure, pouty lips, wavy hair, great legs — and accentuate it. This polka dot pencil skirt is a great piece to build a look around. Pair it with a sultry peasant top and add a fierce pop of red in retro-inspired shoes and handbag. Don’t forget some red lipstick! Click the links to shop* this look.
There’s nothing like a trip halfway around the world to feel like a true getaway. I recently returned from my honeymoon (see wedding fashion news HERE) in the land down under. We took the very long flight to Sydney, Australia, which we found to be beautiful, clean and safe. There was so much to do; it kept us busy day and night. We got almost a daily eyeful of the stunning views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as we ferried to different areas to explore. We could not have been luckier with the weather, though it was wintertime there, it didn’t get too cold – a refreshing 60 degrees during the day and clear blue skies. I did need to buy a few warm clothes for nighttime when it got down to the 40’s, and that’s nippy when you’re from L.A. and out walking around seeing the sights!
We stayed in a hotel right along the appropriately named Darling Harbor, surrounded by sparkling water. We happened to be there the week of the Vivid Festival, a week-long, citywide celebration of arts and lights. We caught some of the light shows along the harbor and went to events for the Clipped Music Festival, the first festival dedicated to the art of music videos. The event took place at the multi-use space, The Works, where cheerful staff members served up coffee and snacks on the main floor. Upstairs was a theater space and lounge where you could see music videos on the big screen. By day, the top-level offices buzz with activity from resident production companies. The location was along Glebe, which is an increasingly trendy area of cafes and shops with a boho feel and an awesome Saturday market.
I had one main mission on my trip to Australia, and that was to meet a Koala. Unfortunately, I learned that petting or hugging Koalas is now forbidden due to the fact that they can spread some contagious nasties, and it actually really stresses them out. (OK, I guess I’ll just look at them.) But we went out to the Koala Park Sanctuary where you can get really, really close and they are absolutely adorable.
While there, we did get to pet and feed kangaroos, which was just as exciting. The venue has an enclosed kangaroo yard space, and you just walk in. The roos will come right up to you looking for a treat (which you can purchase at the entrance.) I was hesitant at first, putting a little bit of the dried grass snack in my hand. But my new friend just nibbled it right out of my palm and licked my fingers. Then looked at me with big brown eyes and funny little buck teeth for more. After I let him eat a bit I got up the nerve to pet him and found, much like my cat, he loved a good chin and neck scratching!
We also visited the famous Taronga Zoo to see even more animals and take in the amazing views from up on the hills that serve as a backdrop for the giraffes (my favorites!) and the cable car ride from the box office to the ferry.
I managed to get in a little shopping while I was there, picking up some souvenirs at the market at The Rocks, some vintage earrings in Newtown (which is the equivalent to LA’s Silver Lake in terms of underground hipster vibe), an awesome furry black jacket in Chinatown’s Market City, and a fantastic hot pink, long, wool coat for ten bucks at the Glebe Market.
While we were in Chinatown, we also stopped for some authentic Chinese cuisine and picked up some sweet buns that were so good I’m still thinking about them!
Whenever I travel, I always check out the local vintage shops. I didn’t find too much vintage I liked in Sydney; most carried a lot of denim and boots and items from the ’80s and ’90s. One store I liked was Zoo Vintage Emporium in Surry Hills, which had great stuff from earlier eras.
On our last night, we went for drinks with some friends we met around town at Frankie’s Pizza By the Slice, a great rock ‘n’ roll dive bar that reminded me of CBGB’s with posters and stickers covering the walls. We took over the intimate basement bar while rock ‘n’ roll karaoke took place in the main room upstairs with people getting up to sing with the house band. It was a great send off from a city we fell in love with.
Our next stop was Melbourne for a short stay with friends. Melbourne is a bustling urban city, packed with people with lots of little “Laneways” off the main streets for shopping and cafes. It made it particularly difficult to find what would turn out to be my favorite vintage store on the trip, RetroStar Clothing, which is off busy Swanston street and up on the third floor of a little arcade of shops. The place was big and full of clothes from the ‘40s to the ‘80s. I was in heaven! I wish I had more time to shop there. I did make out like a bandit in the trendy Fitzroy area and discovered my favorite store in the city, Dangerfield, that had ultra cute, slightly retro alternative styles. They were having a sale and I scored some warm plaid pants, guitar print socks, and boho floppy hat.
We were not as lucky with the weather on our last couple of days, which was cold and rainy, so we headed for indoor entertainment at the museums.
And that did it for us in the land down under. Totally worth the 15-hour flight to get there!
What I Wore
I like to travel light when it comes to clothes. (My beauty products usually take up most of the room in my suitcase!) I tend to go with things that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. I also bring a bagful of colorful vintage scarves that can be worn in my hair or around my neck to change the look of an outfit. And I leave home a lot of accessories so I can buy more on my trip , which make for fabulous souvenirs! Here I’m wearing some skinny jeans with a cute print, a Ramones tee, a leopard print scarf I picked up at one of the markets and a faux fur jacket I got in Chinatown. I also brought the pink overcoat you see in the above photos, a light sweater, a heavier sweater, a pencil skirt, and some other tees and scarves.
What to Wear: Travel Clothes
For the most part, just bringing layers is a good bet so you can add or remove as needed. The key to layers is to add interest by combining textures and patterns. As long as they are in the same color family, your look will be coordinated. If you’re traveling in winter, I like to bring base layers, which are thin leggings and tops from outdoor wear companies like Patagonia or North Face, so I can throw them on under my outfits when it gets really chilly and they don’t add bulk to me or my suitcase.
Pack a few of your favorite graphic tees like this Wonder Woman tank and a basic black pencil skirt that goes with everything and can be dressed up or down. Bring a light cardigan sweater like this one with a fun print to add texture. Top it with a colorful scarf around your neck or in your hair. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes like these low-heeled oxfords and a satchel bag big enough to carry all you will need for a day of sightseeing. Make sure it has good closure because some tourist areas can have pickpockets! Click the links to shop* this look!
People bustle through packed aisle ways, bright neon lights beckon, and the smells of spices, meats, and coffee beans tempt your taste buds. A stroll through downtown LA’S Grand Central Market is not only a cornucopia of new taste sensations but a window into the history of the City of Angels.
Grand Central Market opened in 1917 on the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building in what is now considered the historic core of downtown. It was a place for local residents in the Victorian mansions on the hill to go for their groceries in the open air arcade. The market runs through the entire floor and has entrances on both Broadway and Hill Street.
When I worked as an editor at the LA Times a few years ago, I often had my lunch in the market, or just passed through it for some eye candy on my way to the charming (now closed) Angel’s Flight Railway to catch a lift to the California Plaza.
Back then the Market had an international feel with an abundance of exotic foods and the ingredients to prepare them. Small business delis, butchers and produce vendors also made up the Market. Today it feels a little more gentrified with trendy stalls such as Press Brothers Juicery, G&B Coffee and EggSlut, which has a perpetual line wrapped around it. But it’s no less interesting with the variety of choices and plenty of people watching.
The grounds also hold events such as movie screenings, live music, book readings, cultural lectures, even drag queen bingo nights!
Just as Los Angeles changes with the ebb and flow of the economy and people coming and going, so does Grand Central Market. Whatever you fancy from Asian fare to German sausage, to just some fresh fruit or a cup of joe can be found here. The Grand Central Market is an LA institution not to be missed for a slice of authentic city history.
What I Wore
During the hot summer months in Southern California, the air feels like a hair dryer and it’s hard to keep your cool. A breezy, light, sundress is the only way to go such as this salmon spaghetti strap number that’s one of my faves. I pulled my hair back with a retro inspired, martini-print scarf and added some vintage coral-colored earrings and cuff bracelet featuring iconic movie starlets.
What to Wear: Hot Summer Style
When the weather heats up, stay on the bright side with pastel striped, full skirt, sundress. A cheery yellow head scarf keeps hair pulled back on sticky days, pink heeled sandals adds a touch of sweetness while a cuff bracelet grounds the look with a bit of boldness. Click the links to shop* this look.
In the dim lighting that picks up the rosy hue of red leather booths, red tablecloths, and brick walls, everyone looks a little bit more attractive as they sit down for some traditional Mexican fare at Casa Vega. It also provides a discreetly private atmosphere for the many celebrities who frequent this restaurant that has been serving the stars and the locals since 1956. Arched doorways of traditional Spanish architecture usher you into rooms lined with Mexican paintings and tables overflowing with sizzling plates of food. The bar near the front is bustling serving a large variety of jumbo-sized signature drinks, which goes down great with hearty serving of hand-chopped guacamole and chips or a full-on plate of enchiladas.
Casa Vega has been a family-run fixture on the corner of movie studio adjacent Sherman Oaks, which might be why one of their first customers was actress Jane Fonda. George Clooney was known to bring his dates there, and celebrities continue to stream into the relaxed supper club setting. It was also the perfect place to meet a gal pal for cocktails and girl talk like I did the other night.
What I Wore
When I think of Casa Vega, I always think of the red glow of the interior and the restaurant’s logo, so a red vintage dress was in order for the night. This sharkskin dress is one of my favorites because of the deep red hue streaked with black, and the sheen of the fabric. I always like to give it a touch of rock ‘n’ roll with a studded black leather belt, a gun metal silver vintage reproduction purse, and some spiky stilettos. I let my hair go wild after a dose of steam rollers, and did a simple sideswept pinup do.
Summertime calls for spending time on the beach. While this city girl doesn’t go frolic in the sand too often, despite my close proximity to the coast, I did feel the need to put on a cool summer look and go for a concert on the Santa Monica Pier when I heard the Psychedelic Furs were playing.
The Santa Monica Pier opened in 1909 and has had various incarnations following the Great Depression and multiple natural disasters. It was rebuilt into the grand amusement park of today in the 1980’s. The attractions include a Ferris wheel, the original carousel hippodrome from the 1920’s, an aquarium as well as shops, restaurants, and bars. People can be found fishing from the west end of the pier, and the walkway is often lined with performance artists hoping for their big break, or at least some tips.
The Pier has always been a great stage for entertainment and Twilight Concerts began a few years ago as a way to see some big name acts on the gorgeous coastal setting. For my show, it was an extremely hot summer day in L.A., but down by the beach, it was comfortably in the 70’s. The parking situation around the Pier is a bit crazy so we parked a few blocks down, where the lots were cheaper, and took a lovely 20-minute walk on the boardwalk along the water to get to the Pier (we Uber’d back after dark.)
Getting to the concert area was a bit of a challenge when we were directed to walk all the way up to Ocean Avenue to enter the Pier under the main sign on Colorado and Ocean. But we made it and were ready for some “Love My Way” from the Furs. The stage is large and well lit and it’s easy to see without standing up close and getting smashed in the crowd. Large, multicolor, pastel art installation balloons flew in the sky giving a festive touch. The sun was just going down providing the perfect golden glow over all of the amusement park rides spinning and zooming in the distance behind us.
Just as it got dark, the Psychedelic Furs came out and did an amazing show! This band was my first concert in my teens and has been a longtime favorite of mine, so it brought back special memories. Singer Richard Butler was as joyful and energetic as ever as he sang, jumped, pranced, and did his signature undulating moves to every lyric. He seemed genuinely happy to be there. And that feeling was felt throughout the crowd, who weren’t rowdy as I feared they might be, but just fully into the music. It was a thoroughly delightful night under the stars!
Here’s a little flashback to some of the Furs’ biggest hits
What I Wore
Though it was a casual evening on the beach, I still wanted to look stylish for the concert so I pulled out a little ‘80s inspiration, which always makes me think of the pinstripes and flowing scarves that a lot of my favorite bands wore. I slipped into some pinstripe shorts, a black tank top, and topped the look with a pop of an ombre “Pretty in Pink” long scarf. My new floral print Dr. Martens boots completed the look and made it comfy to walk along the boardwalk. Since the beach air was bound to put my hair in a tangled mess, I pulled it up in an oversized bun with double pin curls, and put on some artsy, big, silver swirl earrings.
What to Wear: Summer Look
Don’t reduce your summer look to frumpy, shorts and beat up tee shirts. Style it with these cute, polka dot shorts, a crisp, cool white tank, and a pretty, light floral scarf. Since it may cool down in the evening hours, bring a big tote to carry a sweater and your beach essentials such as this too-sweet-for-words, pink bow backpack. Keep your feet cool and comfy in some pink oxford flats and complete the look with silver floral disk earrings that play off the design in the shorts and scarf. Click the links to shop* this look!