Beauty From The Past: Real Women, Real Stars


I hope you had a delicious Thanksgiving!

A dear friend sent me a link to this. It is possibly one of the EARLIEST uses of color film extant. Shot in 1922, this is a test of Kodachrome film by Kodak.

It lets you see the natural beauty of the women, how they wore their clothes and hair, how they moved their bodies. If some of it seems self-conscious, that is natural, since they being told what to do and how to move by a person behind the camera. The blonde at the end is the 1920s star Mae Murray who had an extremely popular look among women: the bobbed hair and “bee-stung” lips (lips painted into small cupids bows).

Here is some information supplied by a faithful reader:

“In these newly preserved tests, made in 1922 at the Paragon Studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, actress Mae Murray appears almost translucent, her flesh a pale white that is reminiscent of perfectly sculpted marble, enhanced with touches of color to her lips, eyes, and hair. She is joined by actress Hope Hampton modeling costumes from The Light in the Dark (1922), which contained the first commercial use of Two-Color Kodachrome in a feature film. Ziegfeld Follies actress Mary Eaton and an unidentified woman and child also appear.”

The clothes are what the stylish young lady wore in 1922. Vintage lovers, take note! Watch and enjoy!

Along the same lines is this promotional film, also starring young actresses of the time.

And finally, from 1913 we have the reigning beauty of the 1890s, LILLIAN RUSSELL! She was past her prime, but ten years before she had been the reigning beauty of the day. Her voluptuous proportions were the ideal of the 1890s, later revived by Mae West.

Another benefit of watching old films is that you can see what earlier definitions of “beautiful bodies” were. For instance, look at Clark Gable shirtless, or the chorus girls in any Busby Berkeley musical. Speaking of the latter, a male escort and I were viewing “Golddiggers of 1933.” When the camera zoomed in for a close-up of the legendary Ginger Rogers, he exclaimed, “she has brown teeth!” No, she had natural teeth. Something that has not existed in Hollywood for many years.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Andi Charkow Presents: A Vintage Clothing Auction!

Dahlings –

I won’t be attending this auction because of Fashion Week, but if you love beautiful things at beautiful prices in beautiful surrounds, I urge you to consider attending! Bucky and I traveled to Pennsylvania for her last auction, and came away with a number of absolutely one-of-a-kind finds!

Have a wonderful time! There are also hats, accessories, handbags, and jewelry!


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Setting Up A New Boutique On Etsy!


Yes, I am spreading the wealth! I am opening a brand-new boutique over on Etsy, as are so many other (ugh)Ebay sellers. It is also called The Mad Fashionista’s Plus-Size Boutique, but it will feature lower-priced pieces than my Fashiondig shop. (Although there will be some inevitable cross-over; my assistant isn’t smart enough to keep it all straight.)

Click on the link above IN THE POST TITLE to take a look, and shop, shop, shop!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Matinee New York, Vintage To The Stars!


This morning I was idly watching Revolutionary Road, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates. Very dramatic, set in the mid-1950s. As I watched the crowds of men in identical fedoras and suits, I suddenly thought of my friend Sheri Lane, who runs Matinee New York. She specializes in men’s vintage clothing. I placed a call, and to my non-surprise, it turned out that Sheri indeed had quite a few items in the film, some on Mr. DiCaprio himself.

Matinee New York has supplied vintage clothing for, among other films, American Gangster, When In Rome, The Good Sheperd, Che, Semi Pro, The Secret Life of Bees, Doubt and the upcoming Taking Woodstock. Broadway shows include Frost/Nixon and Absurd Person Singular.

Matinee New York specializes in clothing from the 1930s to the 1970s, although they do have other eras. I have been fortunate enough to share a booth with Ms. Lane at two Manhattan Vintage Shows, and her wares are among the best and most unique I have seen. She also sells to private individuals by appointment. Here is the link to her website, which is also on the right under “Vintage Links”

So if one of my dear readers is a film or stage producer working on a project, do keep Matinee New York in mind.
Unless your star is Kathy Bates, Queen Latifah or Jordin Sparks. Then, my dears, you need moi.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Ebay Needs A Stimulus Package! Cue Michael Jackson…


Sellers have been crying out and gnashing their teeth at the steady exodus of buyers from (ugh) Ebay. Which also seems to have something to do with the steady increase of large companies (, etc.) being allowed to list on Ebay for free and showcase their wares at the top of smaller seller’s listings. I myself have certainly considered moving on. Although having one’s own e-commerce website is such a bore.

There is a thread on the Vintage Clothing discussion board on (ugh) Ebay that has been quite fascinating to read. Sellers have been venting their frustrations in song parodies, everything from “Mandy” to “My Boyfriend’s Back.”

In honor of Michael Jackson’s recent passing, I thought I would publish (with the seller’s permission) this rewrite of the timeless, currently inescapable classic, “Thriller.”

It’s close to midnight I’m sitting staring at my monitor
The Ebay summary Is showing that no bidding has occurred
I want to scream but nobody can hear my tearful wails
It’s a bad dream, it’s been two weeks since I’ve had any sales
But that entails

Having bidders
Bidders buy
Just push that stupid button it’s a thing that you don’t dare try
Come on you bidders
Bidders buy
I’m fighting for my life because those bidders, bidders don’t buy!

You hear the door slam, your husband’s gone to bed and he is pissed
Because the room’s crammed with crap he wishes never did exist
Now is the time for watchers to get off their lazy asses
But as the time clicks by you know the listings will just end
Cause you depend

On having bidders (woo-hoo)
Bidders buy
Just open Paypal up but it’s a thing that you don’t dare try
I’m begging bidders, bidders buy
So I’ll go down the tubes because those bidders, bidders won’t buy!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Tziporah Salamon Off Broadway November 14th!

Entering Tziporah Salamon’s apartment is akin to entering an opulent grotto, filled with tapestries, adornments, pictures…Asian, Turkish, 1920s: something to feast your eyes on everywhere you look. As Bucky and I lounge on a divan covered with a “suzani,” a spread from Uzbekistan, and many cushions, gazing upon shelves of books, purses, and incredible hats, Tziporah enters her sitting room like a creature from another time and place.

She settles me in with a cup of green tea and a dish of figs and dates, and shows me pictures from her life. My eye had been caught by a student ID saying “Lynn Salamon.”

After the family moved from Israel to America when Tziporah was nine, “The other kids made fun of me because of my name,” she says. “The most popular girl’s names were Linda and Susan. Susan? No. I wanted something more sophisticated. So I chose Lynn. I told everyone, my name is Lynn now.” Tziporah uses the word “sophisticated” a great deal, and it suits her.

She handles her body like a dancer, wearing a black fringed tunic and matching fringed pants, barefoot with red toenails that match her red lipstick. Her brown hair is cut short, the better to go under the tight small hats she favors. Sitting on the floor, Tziporah shows me photographs as she narrates her life story, which will be explored in more detail in a later entry.

Speaking of which, that life story is going to be PERFORMED by Tziporah Salamon as “The Fabric Of My Life,” which is described as a “sartorial autobiography in which she uses stories, anecdotes and costume changes to tell the story of her life in clothes.”

The performance will be one night only at one of the most glamorous shops in New York, the fabulous Off Broadway Boutique! Mark your calendars, readers: Friday November 14th at 6:00 PM.

Admission is FREE, and not only that, wine and cheese will be served. The audience is invited for an evening of fashion, fun and shopping. It is located at 139 West 72nd Street. The web address is, so you can take a look at some of what they have to offer. RSVP to:

You can trust moi when I say that Off Broadway has some of the most marvelous things in New York, including designer and vintage clothes and jewelry. I will certainly be in attendance.

Tziporah has (like moi) been profiled in The New York Times, and was the “star” of the April Manhattan Vintage Show (cf. my earlier entry) where we first bonded over her matchless style. She is also a favorite subject of Bill Cunningham, the street fashion photographer of The Times. Her website is

With her father a tailor and her mother a seamstress, Tziporah was born into a family where clothing was the focal point of existence. Another entry will be coming soon about her life and style evolution, and most important, the clothes! Oh mon Dieu, the clothes! I’ve seen them in person, and I’m still vibrating with desire. The coat shown in the last picture is from the Ottoman Empire. Among her enormous hat collection are hats from Dior, innumerable 20s beaded cloches, and many small ethnic embroidered hats from throughout the century.

Treat yourself to her matchless style and make sure that you come to “The Fabric of My Life.” It is a chance to see a woman like no other in a setting where you can drink for free and shop as well. Can life get any better?

Well, George Clooney could be there, but a girl can’t be too greedy. More to come about Tziporah soon!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Photos by Carole Cutner