Okay, so Victorian mourning jewelry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But some of it is prettttty cool. The Victorians were totally obsessed with death. Take Queen Victoria. After her hubby died, she wore black for the rest of her life, and slept with a cast of her husband’s arm. Yeah, not weird at all. Victorians commemorated their passed love ones in a variety of ways — through mourning photography (of you and your recently dead person!) and special mourning jewelry. The style of jewelry was created in part because Victorians thought it was uncouth to wear flashy jewels when you were in mourning, so much of the jewelry is simple and elegant, and made of unusual materials like celluloid and vulcanite. Sometimes, Victorians would snip lockets of their loved ones’ hair and incorporate it into the piece–which makes mourning jewelry the perfect accessory for watching “Beetlejuice” and listening to Smiths records.
Because of its unusual materials, mourning jewelry makes a definite statement. Check out 12 gorgeous pieces after the jump!
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I went to college and lived in Philadelphia for more than 10 years, and I consider myself always and forever a Philly girl. Which is why I’m totally loving these unearthed vintage ’80s shots of Philly’s finest from way back when. Don’t let the smiles fool you — these girls could claw your eyes out if they wanted to. With one flick of the wrist they could have their earrings off and jab you straight in the face for messing with them. Which is why I’ll love them forever. [Teenage Film]
What were the most cutting edge men of the 1950s wearing to the beach? Butt-baring barely-there swimwear, if this old reel is any indication. This fashion show, highlighting the creations of campy Brit designer Dale Cavana, features male models with shockingly tiny waists, revealing animal-print banana hammocks, and de rigeur “leisurely” knotted ties. Enjoy! [YouTube]
Although women have achieved a certain level of freedom to decorate their bodies as they wish in modern society, the scandal of getting a tattoo or a piercing wasn’t always limited to unruly teens going against their parents’ wishes. At best, the subject of strange glances on the street, and at worst, the subject of ridicule, tattooed women bucked societal norms in order to decorate their skin as they saw fit, paving the way for today’s inked chicks. Here are some great old photos of some lovely ladies with awesome tatts! Click here to see more photos…
We fell in love with these vintage images of Russi and had to share. Taken during the 1910s, ’20s and ’30s, this collection showcases the exotic style of life behind the Iron Curtain. Check out the drama, the romance and the sweet vintage style!
Who didn’t absolutely love the awkward-as-hell Cindy Crawford on the ’90s fashion show “House of Style”? Cindy was less than comfortable actually speaking on camera, but that didn’t stop the execs at MTV from capitalizing on her supermodel popularity. While the original “House of Style” is long gone, MTV has decided to reboot the show as a web-mostly series. The new host will be announced during the MTV Video Awards on September 6. Our guess is Alexa Chung, but either way, we’re stoked to see a comeback. We managed to dig up this vintage video of Todd Oldham interviewing designers Andre Walker and John Galliano, plus two more amazing clips after the jump!
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We slather on tons of lotions and potions in order to get our skin glowing and gorgeous — and apparently women have been doing this since the beginning of time. Just ask Cleopatra’s eyeliner applier. But in the 1950s and ’60s, beauty treatments took a strangely Draconian turn. Our friends at Collectors Weekly dug up some of the most bizarre beauty devices from the era. We want to see if you can guess what women might have used them for. Take our quiz above!
Do you ever pause before putting in your mouth guard and slipping into your oversize Sugar Ray concert T-shirt and think, “Maybe I need to add some old-fashioned sultriness to my bedtime routine?” Don’t worry–Life magazine has got you covered. In a 1937 issue, they published a photo spread to teach wives how to undress in front of their husbands, featuring ex-burlesque dancer June St. Clair. Click through to learn the lost art of de-robing for yourself! [Retronaut]
If you’re looking for fabulous vintage clothing, look no further than Dronning Vintage, a well-edited Etsy shop packed full of gorgeous feminine pieces like 50s party dresses and polka dot skirts. Click through to check out 10 of our favorite finds…
Etsy is awesome, but the sheer quantity of stuff on the site can be really overwhelming. To give you a helpful shortcut, we like to highlight some of our favorite online shops. This week let’s take a look at Wanderlust Couture, a Portland-based vintage shop that operates out of a 1969 Cardinal Deluxe travel trailer. They’ve got some fabulous pieces in a variety of sizes, and the aesthetic is totally Mad Men. Click through to check out eight of our picks …