Los Angeles Art Deco Society Avalon Ball and Silent Film Festival 2015

Every year in May, The LA Art Deco Society hosts the Avalon Ball on Santa Catalina and lovers of all things vintage take over the Island. At the same time there is a silent film festival in the casino’s 1929 theater. This years movie was The 1925 Phantom of the Opera and featured a full orchestra in the pit, as well as on stage kettle drums, organ player and opera singer. Using the original sheet music from the movie’s premier showing this was as close as you can get to the way it was in 1925. Simply amazing! here are some photos of the weekend, enjoy!

Called the

Called the “Dance Pavilion in the 1930s , most now refer to it as the casino although there has never been any gambling in it.

Half Moon Bay, with the Casino in the background. Built in the Art Deco style in 1929 complete with Tiffany & Co. Lighting

Half Moon Bay, with the Casino in the background. Built in the Art Deco style in 1929 complete with Tiffany & Co. Lighting

Dressed for a

Dressed for a “Tropical” setting.

Even the tour buses are

Even the tour buses are “vintage”.

The Island is so much more fun when shared with great friends!

The Island is so much more fun when shared with great friends!

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1930's Hollywood Starlets!

1930’s Hollywood Starlets!

My favorite gal, wearing Stop Staring to the Ball.

My favorite gal, wearing Stop Staring to the Ball.

Captured WWI German Maxim machine gun at the park.

Captured WWI German Maxim machine gun at the park.

There are many oddities left over from a bygone era on the island. A wall and doorway to nowhere.

There are many oddities left over from a bygone era on the island. A wall and doorway to nowhere.

The bell tower chimes on the hour and on the half. Built next to Zane Grey's Manor, Mrs. Wrigley hoped it would drive Zane nuts!

The bell tower chimes on the hour and on the half. Built next to Zane Grey’s Manor, Mrs. Wrigley hoped it would drive Zane nuts!

1925's The Phantom of the Opera was painstakingly re assembled from surviving sources and presented in it's original format and edit.

1925’s The Phantom of the Opera was painstakingly re assembled from surviving sources and presented in it’s original format and edit.

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The Art deco murals are spectacular inside the theater.

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Inside the ball room. Once hosted all the great big bands of the 1930s and 1940's.

Inside the ball room. Once hosted all the great big bands of the 1930s and 1940’s.

Even the local wildlife was friendly!

Even the local wildlife was friendly!

We even ran into a celebrity, G.W. Bailey from the TNT show Major Crimes. He was super friendly.

We even ran into a celebrity, G.W. Bailey from the TNT show Major Crimes. He was super friendly.

How the West was Worn!

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The “Singing Cowboy” Gene Autry in a stunning embroidered Western shirt.

No doubt about it, the vintage inspired crowd has always had a love for the great American Cowboy.  Singing cowboys, like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were favorites both on the Big screen as well as the radio. Tom Mix, the western star from the 1920s and 1930s was so intertwined with western lore that he was even a Pallbearer at Wyatt Earp’s funeral.

The Western Swing greats like Bob Wills and His Texas Cowboys,  Spade Cooley and His Orchestra, The Tune Wranglers and so many more also did much to popularize western wear.  This style of music was the roots of what was to follow. Rockabilly and Rock & Roll are the children of this fusion between jazz and western music.

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Tom Mix’s clothing was made by Miller , which is where Papa Jack Weil started. Jack Weil later started his own company Rockmount Ranchwear and in 1946 invented the now iconic western pearl snap buttons.

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Most famous for her Peek-a-boo hairstyle, and glamourous evening gowns, Veronica Lake was also fond of western wear.

Most famous for her Peek-a-boo hairstyle, and glamorous evening gowns, Veronica Lake was also fond of western wear.

Although uber stylish, there was always function involved with western wear. The slim fit was designed to avoid snagging clothing on brush and the snap buttons allowed for easy break away to prevent being hung up as well. Even the cowboy boot had a functionality in its design. Should your foot get caught in a stirrup after being thrown by your horse, one only needed to point the toe to slip out of your boot and escape the rather unpleasant predicament.

Today, you can still get old school style and quality as Rockmount Ranchwear is not only still in business and thriving, they are still producing some of the exact same shirts they did in the 1940’s and 1950’s with the same kind of attention to detail and quality. Rockmount Ranchwear

Even the ever dapper Cary Grant wore Rockmount Ranchwear!

Even the ever dapper Cary Grant wore Rockmount Ranchwear!

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Rockmount Ranchwear is still made today, and available at Bear Flag Republic

Rockmount Ranchwear is still made today, and available at Bear Flag Republic

1950's Atomic Rocket Click image to get yours!

1950’s Atomic Rocket Click image to get yours!

Above all…The Right Hat!

Are you ready to don your Easter bonnet? A hat choice is a very personal thing. Hats were designed to frame the face rather then overwhelm it so choosing the right millinery style for your face structure is just as important as matching it to the rest of your outfit.  In the 1920s through the early 1930s the Cloche hat was all the rage. This fitted hat was shaped like a bell hence the name “cloche” (French for bell). By the late 1930s and through the 1940s hats became increasingly creative and often not resembling a hat at all. The rule of thumb in the 40s was the younger you were the less your hat looked like a hat.  The 1950s was the pinnacle of the millinery fashion love affair. Here are some early styles examples and some detailed descriptions from the 1953 Millinery Trade magazine  HATS.

To find your ideal Easter Bonnet Click here: Bear Flag Republic Vintage

A Cloche hat advertisement from the early 1930s

A Cloche hat advertisement from the early 1930s

Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in the 1937 hit movie The Awful Truth. She wears a magnificent winged hat.

Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in the 1937 hit movie The Awful Truth. She wears a magnificent winged hat.

Lucy in 1941, later her and Ethel would have to do perpetual splainin'  or buying too many hats!

Lucy in 1941, later her and Ethel would have to do perpetual splainin’ for buying too many hats!

From top to bottom Hattie Carnegie: Wide sided pill box in white Shantung with a coffee-tinted eye veil. Don Marshall: Youthful Princess Anne Cap. Emme: Tiny Black velvet beret poised at the brow line. Beatrice-Martin: Rows of primrose picot ribbon on this shell-bonnet of white straw.

From top to bottom
Hattie Carnegie: Wide sided pill box in white Shantung with a coffee-tinted eye veil. Don Marshall: Youthful Princess Anne Cap. Emme: Tiny Black velvet beret poised at the brow line. Beatrice-Martin: Rows of primrose picot ribbon on this shell-bonnet of white straw.

1. Shell and cabochon motif cartwheel sailor. 2. Crimson Lilac Satin and Straw profile hat. 3. Shantung straw profile hat. 4. Wide sided portrait hat. 5. Giant sailor with shallow crown.  6. Heart shaped beret. 7. Straw bouclé with three dimension trim. 8. Oval Plateau hat.

1. Shell and cabochon motif cartwheel sailor.
2. Crimson Lilac Satin and Straw profile hat.
3. Shantung straw profile hat.
4. Wide sided portrait hat.
5. Giant sailor with shallow crown.
6. Heart shaped beret.
7. Straw bouclé with three dimension trim.
8. Oval Plateau hat.