2015: My 12 Favorite Dresses

When I started this blog, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My friends have been telling me for quite a long time that I should write about my love for vintage and all things old Hollywood. I decided to try it out and  it’s actually been great.

Sure, like any other writer, I’ve had my share of writer’s block and feeling a lack of inspiration. But really, I’ve had a wonderful time sharing my experiences with you (yeah, you!).

Here are my favorite 12 dresses of the year, in no specific order:

Dress #1: Just Another Rooftop

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Dress #2: Celebrating Marilyn Monroe at Pop!

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Dress #3: Cheating Death in Central Park

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #4: Get Shorty

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Dress #5: Getting Carried Away

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Dress #6: “It Really Was Raining”

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #7: Fire Island’s Cherry Grove (Alright, a Swimsuit)

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #8: Azul Rooftop at Hotel Hugo

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Dress #9: Finding Glamour in Maine (Part 1)

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #10: Spending the Day with Keith Haring

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Dress #11: Christmas in July

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #12: “A Grown-Up Dorothy”

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Thank you all for checking out La Vintage Vida! Your support keeps me going. Here’s to a fabulous 2016.

I also want to thank Alexcia Foster, Jordan Race, and Francis Rodriguez. I love you all dearly.

Spending the Day with Keith Haring

One of the things I adore about New York City? The art, of course.

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Spotted in Chelsea.
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Spotted in the Meatpacking.

Whether you’re on the Upper East Side, the Meatpacking District, SoHo, the Lower East Side, or in Chelsea, there are tons of galleries to be found here where you can enjoy art of various forms. I’ve had both positive and negative experiences at galleries, but this one is about a pleasant afternoon I had with Keith Haring.

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Sadly, I’ve never met the man, but I’m well versed in his fantastic contributions and impact on not just the art world, but New York City culture as a whole. I recently saw these awe-inspiring pieces by Keith Haring at a gallery in SoHo (sadly, I don’t remember the name).

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For the day, I wore a thrifted swan printed dress by Zara. It’s actually one of my favorite dresses to wear. It’s light, airy, looks lovely with simple black ballet flats or pumps, plus it has a casual 1950s vintage look that I love to pair with pearls and cat-eye sunglasses.

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

While I do own plenty of authentic 1950s pieces, there’s nothing wrong about paying tribute to a past era with a modern wardrobe. Personal style is what you make of it. There are no rules. Just have fun!

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Photo by Alexcia Foster
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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Zara no longer sells this swan dress, but I did find some (very few) cute picks:

These photos were snapped at a West Village garden that myself and BFF Alexcia encountered. Here in New York City, you’re bound to discover something new.

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Sadly, Keith Haring is no longer with us. This genius of a man passed away in 1990 at age 31 in New York City of AIDS-related complications. However, his work will live on forever. And I can assure you that somewhere in New York City, there’s a Haring piece or two just waiting to be explored by you.

The Art of Patrón

In New York City, the fall season is all about cozy gatherings to warm up the chilly season. And nothing cranks up the heat quite like being surrounded with the city’s finest mixologists, chefs, artists, and musicians – at least what felt like several hundred of them, in celebration of everyone’s favorite tequila.

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Patrón was hosting a special event at Manhattan’s Art Beam to showcase the finest art, dishes, and drinks inspired by the smooth Mexican spirit. Of course, any party is going to be an amazing one when  Patrón is hosting it.

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At this fiesta, I even had the chance to make my own cocktail spice rim. My mouthwatering spice highlights vanilla powder, salted caramel, cloves, and nutmeg. I was inspired by the crisp season and holiday pie. Yum.

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For the occasion, I wore the floral parker green Sabrina Dress from Eva Mendes’ New York & Company collection. I previously mentioned how much I love the Hollywood Latina’s chic couture as its fabrics and prints are old Hollywood-inspired, all while showcasing modern fits and sizes. It’s a winning combination and needless to say, I’m a fan.

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The Sabrina dress is still available at New York & Company for $41.97(!).

Eva Mendes for New York & Company
Eva Mendes for New York & Company

While Eva models them without a belt, I wore my usual corselet belt, as I need something to enhance my curves. They were meant to shine, not hide!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Myself and gal pal Alexcia had a grand time savoring refreshing tropical mango cocktails, succulent veggie burgers that easily tasted like Angus beef, and of course, being silly.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Some New Yorkers prefer apple picking in the fall. However, this city girl doesn’t mind enjoying just another Tuesday with fine company and tantalizing cocktails.

Going for an Ava Gardner Look

Did you know there’s something called “National Vodka Day?”

Neither did I.

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This alleged marketing holiday is technically on October 4th, but truthfully, who wouldn’t mind kicking back with a cool vodka cocktail after a long day at the office?

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I was invited to attend an event in honor of this day with Wyborowa Wódka, a premier Polish vodka. U.S. President of the Polish Vodka Association Andrzej Szumowski was in attendance to share the pride of Poland with us at Schapiro’s Eatery and & Cocktail Bar on the Lower East Side.

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There were tons of pierogis to eat and drinks to savor.

For the evening, I wore this thrifted 1980s label-less electric blue silk dress and paired it with a corselet belt.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Looking back, it reminded me of 1940s glamour goddess Ava Gardner, a sultry Hollywood dame who enjoyed cocktails and was also the love of Frank Sinatra’s wife.

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It’s been described that her swears were like hearing a truck driver and a sailor have an argument. Now that’s my kind of lady.

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For a similar look:

  • 1980s Electric Blue Beaded Silk Dress (size 2) $75, Etsy.com
  • Vintage 1980s Electric Blue Wiggle Dress (size medium) $50, Etsy.com
  • 1980s Cocktail Electric Blue Dress (size medium) $75, Etsy.com
  • 1980s Old Hollywood Glam Beaded Electric Blue Dress (size medium) $112, Etsy.com

Another personal pick you should check out? The super popular Ava dress collection by vintage-inspired retailer Pinup Girl Clothing. Not only are they drop dead gorgeous and super comfortable, but they also come in an array of sizes, ensuring that their brand offers style “for every body.” And who doesn’t love that? I would like to believe Ava would approve.

Pinup Couture Ava Dress in Sky Blue
Pinup Couture Ava Dress in Sky Blue

On sale for $57(!) at PinupGirlClothing.com.

Ava Dress in Teal
Ava Dress in Teal

$114, PinupGirlClothing.com.

I really enjoyed my personal take on this classic look!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Also, if you’re ever in North Carolina, make sure you check out the Ava Gardner Museum. It’s on my bucket list!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Lady Love Song

Every lady deserves to have a dress in her closet that accentuates her curves and is guaranteed to make jaws drop everywhere. Who wouldn’t want to have a silky smooth fabric hug your shape like a lover who knows exactly what to do with his/her hands?

May I introduce you to the Lady Love Song Dress?

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

This piece, from vintage-inspired online retailer ModCloth, features a velvety smooth fabric that will make you feel like a seductive pinup. My beau couldn’t get enough of it and well, I felt like the greatest animated seductress of all: Jessica Rabbit.

Jessica Rabbit from the 1988 film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Jessica Rabbit from the 1988 film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
Jessica Rabbit
Jessica Rabbit

Even ModCloth said it best: Who wouldn’t want to croon a ballad when they see you in this sultry frock? In a melodic, shimmering maroon velvet material that caresses your curves, this dress complete with a crossover sweetheart neckline and gentle pleats at the bust, is made to impress. Step into your favorite jazz club for a martini and dulcet serenade!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Another woman who would appreciate this piece? Rita Hayworth, 1940s “love goddess” of Hollywood, who also served as one of the inspirations behind Mrs. Rabbit.

Rita Hayworth (in black and white)
Rita Hayworth (in black and white)
Rita Hayworth (in color)
Rita Hayworth (in color)

I wore my merlot-hued dress for an evening with loved ones at Hotel Indigo, a posh hotel in Chelsea where you can easily spot a model or three making her way to the Meatpacking District for a stylish Saturday night out.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

No martinis were involved (I’m more of a gin girl), but you could savor tantalizing cocktails at equally posh Mexican hot spot Tijuana Picnic on the Lower East Side. It’s a fitting tribute considering Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Carmen Cansino, rose to fame in Tijuana clubs in Mexico as a dancer.

Tijuana Picnic in New York City
Tijuana Picnic in New York City
Sizzling Chicken Wings at Tijuana Picnic
Sizzling Chicken Wings at Tijuana Picnic
Delectable Churros at Tijuana Picnic
Delectable Churros at Tijuana Picnic

Expect luscious libations, such as the Grapefruit Gringo (poblano infused-vodka, grapefruit, Thai basil, and sugarcane), Mi Casa Margarita (featuring loads of tequila and mezcal), or the Mayan Michelada (a spicier take on the Bloody Mary).

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Love the Lady Love Song dress as much as I do? Make it a forever dress in your closet in Merlot for the wine lovers out there, along with Olive, Black, or Ruby for $89.99. I would just recommend going up a size for a comfy fit without losing the hip-hugging effect.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Celebrating Marilyn Monroe at Pop!

Blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe would have been 89 on June 1st. Although she passed away at age 36 in 1962, her legacy has lived on, capturing the hearts of millions throughout the world, including mine. So when Pop International Galleries in SoHo was debuting a new exhibition dedicated to Ms. Monroe, you know I was going to be there. The exhibition is called “Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe!” and it features the works of seven renowned photographers who’ve captured the many iconic and even little-seen looks of the Hollywood star. Here are the photographers you can expect to see:

Lazlo Willinger
Lazlo Willinger
Milton Greene
Milton Greene
Kashio Aoki
Kashio Loki
William Carroll
William Carroll
George Barris
George Barris
Bert Stern
Bert Stern
Andre de Dienes
Andre de Dienes

For the exhibition opening, I gave my usual corselet belt a break *gasp* and decided to go for a golden vintage-inspired dress by……drumroll……H&M.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

H&M always offers great deals, but I usually prefer waiting for a sale, where you can easily get nice pieces for half the price, which is exactly what I did with this floral cotton dress.

Photo by Alexcia Foster.
Photo by Alexcia Foster.

It seems to no longer be available, but I’m really into this one ($34.95), this one ($30), and this one ($24.99).

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The lipstick I’m wearing is Revlon’s creamy Certainly Red. It’s less than 10 bucks and lasts beyond glasses of wine and savoring French cheeses at a gallery.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

This photo was taken when I was nearly photobombed by Mike Myers. You might know him from films, like “Wayne’s World,” “Austin Powers,” and even “Shrek” for you youngins out there. Of course, I didn’t say anything. I’m a New Yawker. We don’t do that. It’s all about the quick glances, WTF stares, and quiet smiles of acknowledgement.

Yeah, I know.
Yeah, I know.

The evening ended with a quiet stroll through Washington Square Park in the Village.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

The “Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe” exhibition ends on July 1st, so go check it out pronto!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster