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

Spending the Afternoon with Frank Sinatra

Nothing puts me in the right mood quite like ol’ blue eyes.

Frank Sinatra: The One and Only
Frank Sinatra: The One and Only

Night and day, summer or winter, I’m all about feeling like a glamour goddess while New Jersey’s finest Frank Sinatra croons of his greatest love, and one of my favorite old Hollywood stars, Ava Gardner.

Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner

So when the New York Public Library in Lincoln Center was hosting a special exhibition dedicated to the beloved singer and star, appropriately titled “Sinatra: An American Icon,” you know I was attending.

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It was truly a celebration of Sinatra’s life, featuring his wardrobe, awards, and even personal artwork he created for his grandchildren. It was an exquisite feast for fans and I was incredibly honored to be a part of it.

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There were even other treats on display, like Billie Holiday’s furl shawl and Ella Fitzgerald’s gorgeous emerald dress.

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Artwork created by Frank Sinatra for his grandchildren.
Artwork created by Frank Sinatra for his grandchildren.

For the festivities, I wore a vintage Joni Blair of California red plaid swing dress that I purchased from Etsy vendor TempleKatVintage of Pennsylvania. She’s one of my favorite Etsy vendors and I was excited to receive such a beautiful, seasonal piece for the fall and winter months.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

And while the look and style scream 1950s, would you believe it’s actually from the 1980s? But that’s my little secret.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar dress I have some recommendations. Vintage-inspired retailer Lindy Bop has a near replica for $46, except it’s so popular that most sizes are sold out. However, you can request for the vendor to notify you when the piece is back in stock, giving you some time to save your coins. Unique Vintage has a 1950s style red tartan swing dress designed by pinup star Bernie Dexter for $154 that’s downright breathtaking. If you’re looking to add some wiggle to your step, Unique Vintage also has this green tartan dress by Stop Staring! for $178 that will hug every single curve you’ve got, making the fellas break a sweat. And finally, Etsy vendor maybel57 has a wiggle red tartan dress from the 1950s available for $115.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Missed the Frank Sinatra exhibition? You’ll definitely want to try the Interactive Sinatra Walking Tour where you can visit some of his favorite hot spots and performance venues throughout the city he famously sung about. Or, you can even go on a short trip to Hoboken, New Jersey and learn all about Sinatra’s childhood home.

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Becoming Beyonce (for a Night)

Beyonce Knowles and I have a lot in common. We’re both occasional vegans. We’re so over Destiny’s Child. We’re also mega pop stars dressed by Thierry Mugler.

Fierce.
Fierce.

Alright, that last part just applies to Beyonce. But there’s one other thing we do have in common. We’re all about the finer things in life.

That Carbone cheesecake is looking mighty fine right about now.
That Carbone cheesecake is looking mighty fine right about now.

Beyonce and her husband, rap mogul Jay Z, are one of many reportedly spotted at Manhattan’s hottest restaurant: Carbone. Anyone who’s anyone dines at this old (but fairly new) school joint. Upon entering, you’ll feel as if you’re transported back to the 1940s and Frank Sinatra is serenading to you while Ava Gardner is caressing her champagne flute nearby.

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Frank and Ava.

It’s a culinary palace where girls are  giddy as their lovers order rum-fueled mai tais, your servers or “captains” wear Zac Posen tuxedos, and a sea of plump lobster ravioli fills your tummy.

My mai tai and I are getting along quite nicely.
My mai tai and I are getting along quite nicely.

It’s no wonder Bey and her posse come here to eat. For my night out with Jordan at Carbone, I wore this red hot chiffon dress by Walter Baker, a New York City-based designer whose pieces can be found in retailers, like Bloomingdale’s and Saks. He hasn’t dressed Beyonce, but it’s because Rihanna took that spot.

Photo by Jordan Race.
Photo by Jordan Race.

But just like Queen Bee, I paired my ensemble with a bottle of Armand de Brignac, also known as Ace of Spades. You could get a bottle of the coveted champagne for around $300, but if you have over two grand, consider their more extravagant 30-liter bottle of rosé. I hear it’s quite fabulous.

Photo by Jordan Race.
Photo by Jordan Race.

Beyonce was spotted pouring the pricey bubbly in a hot tub for a music video (come on guys, that’s just water, right…right?!), but I donated mine to the beau instead. He apparently felt head over heels for its crisp, golden apple notes.

Baller.
Baller.

Unfortunately for me, I only discovered excess notes of creamy butter, which was a bit too rich for my taste (no pun intended). Perhaps I’m just a Dom girl like Marilyn Monroe, but I’m not opposed to exploring Armand’s take on rosé for another night.

Sometimes you need something more than diamonds.
Sometimes you need something more than diamonds.

So Beyonce if you’re reading this, hit a girl up. We can toss some bubbly, go shopping, and argue over who runs the world. I’m going with girls. Just saying.

Photo by Jordan Race.
Photo by Jordan Race.