Midnight Peacock ~

  [caption id="attachment_1551" align="alignleft" width="300"]The Monique Dress in Midnight Peacock The Monique Dress in Midnight Peacock[/caption] I am very excited to announce the arrival of our newest fabric print - Midnight Peacock.  As the cool sister to our famous Peacock Royale print, this one features a stunning color scheme of dark navy and light blues with the same lovely peacock surrounded by flowers.  This dress will truly stand the test of time as it is classically gorgeous.  Now available as one of our popular Monique Dresses, which has a lovely bateau neckline, a-line skirt, built in belt and side zipper.  Snag yours while supplies last! Let your inner peacock strut her stuff loudly and proudly this new year!

A Vintage Vanity Pays a visit...

With trusty video cam and tripod in hand, Jennifer of a Vintage Vanity was ever-so ready to interview me about Heart of Haute. In this 13 minute video, you'll learn a little bit of the history behind this company, more about myself, and how we do things around here!

Body Positivity and Why Plus-size Models Are Awesome!

Hello! Katrina Marie here! (How's it going?) I don't normally like to get too serious, or post entries that can read like a novel, but I really wanted to take a moment to bring up a topic that happens to be very near and dear to my own heart: body positivity (YAY!) I know from my own experience that there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding what body positivity actually is. Some have even dared to argue that body positivity promotes unhealthy lifestyles and obesity (Nope! Keep reading, please.)   Body positivity focuses on self-love, and learning to be comfortable in your own skin, regardless of what number the scale happens to hit.  It's also about educating people (including yourself) about body autonomy by helping others realize that no one really has the right to comment on or judge someone else's body.  Unfortunately, the media has an idea of what beauty should look like, and they have no qualms constantly reminding us that we, the every day Janes of the world, do not fit their mold.  We're constantly shown images of women in their photoshopped “perfection,” and then we're told what steps to take in order to achieve said “perfection.”  This is not only damaging to women (for obvious reasons,) but men are affected as well.  We live in a society where women everywhere are kind of tricked into working to achieve some spoon-fed notion of what beauty is, and men are holding women to the same, unrealistic standards.  This doesn't just apply to overweight women of today.  Back in the 1950s, women were often criticized for being underweight, and for bodies lacking in curves (wait, what?!) vintage weight gain ad 2 vintage weight gain ad 3 vintage weight gain ad

 Vintage weight gain ads.

Let's take a moment to break down what that tells us:  The media has been dictating to women how we should look, and teaching men what they should find attractive in a woman's physical appearance for decades! Let that sink in just for a second. I don't know about you, but realizing that alone, was enough for a lightbulb to go off inside my ever-analytical brain.  I thought, “No amount of energy I spend trying to make others happy with my body image will do, because there will always be someone who will object. You can't make everyone happy. So, why not focus on making sure you're happy with yourself?” Now, I'm not saying I've managed to get to that point of ultimate and complete self-love.  In all honesty, it will likely be a lifelong fight. What I have learned so far, is that once you get to the point where you can accept your body for all its perfect imperfection (see what I did there?), then other people's opinions don't matter so much. If it doesn't bother you, other people can't use it against you. This is why I look up to the women (and men) that constantly defy and rebel against the media to remind us that beauty truly does come in all shapes and sizes.  Mindy Kaling, Tess Munster, and Christina Hendricks are just a few that come to mind.

plussizeblogMindy Kaling, Tess Munster, Christina Hendricks

  While it's awesome that celebrities, and others in the public eye, make a point to take a stand for body positivity, it's just as important for us to take a stand to make a difference in our everyday lives. (This is the part where I tie everything together, I promise!) One of my favorite things about pinup culture, is that pinups are known to have voluptuous, hourglass curves.  (Of course, this may have been indicative of what the media's idea of beauty was at the time, but that's another point for a different day.) This aesthetic has managed to withstand the test of time, and is seen in modern pinup culture today. That being said, the difference is that with modern pinup culture, even women with less than hourglass curves can dip their pointed toes into the “pinup world” by picking out their favorite vintage inspired looks (Heart of Haute dresses included, of course!) and booking a pinup photo shoot with a local photographer. We've had the pleasure of working with Miss Tara of Tara O. Photos. While Tara is a talented photographer all around, she specializes in pinup photography, and always proclaims that ANY woman can try pinup modeling (and she's right!)   While plus size fashion seems to have really only adopted contemporary trends in more recent years, it's still an area of fashion that I believe is often overlooked. Luckily, it's really caught on that “the chubby girls” have as much fashion sense as anyone else. So, plus-size girls (myself included) are starting to have more options when it comes to self-expression through clothing. Heart of Haute is proud to offer several styles in our plus-sizes (1XL and 2XL.) We're also proud to feature plus-size models who are not only rocking our clothing and working it in front of a camera, but who are also doing really awesome things to makes waves in the industry and beyond it.     Miss Shana Nicole hails from Houston, Texas. In addition to the numerous pinup magazine covers on which she's been featured, she is also the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Atomic Bombshells Magazine. She's also proud to be a founding member of Benefit Betties, a Houston based, non-profit pin-up charity group.  You can even catch this bombshell as a guest performer for the Houston Burlesque Revue. shananicolediner

Shana Nicole in the Diner Dress in Black (Photo Credit: Paper Moon Photography by Charlie Girl)

shananicolesailorShana Nicole in the Sailor Dress in Navy (Photo Credit: Paper Moon Photography by Charlie Girl)

shananicolebevShana Nicole in the Beverly Dress in Black Gingham (Photo Credit: Paper Moon Photography by Charlie Girl)

    Miss Teer Wayde is a freckled beauty from down under, Melbourne, Australia. She is a fashion and editorial model signed with Bella Model Management in Australia, and she also runs the popular fashion blog Curves to Kill. You may remember her from an interview with Mandie Bee that was featured here on our blog in the past.

teerwaydehilaryblkdot Teer Wayde in the Hillary Dress in Black Dot (Photo Credit: Nic Doncon)

teerwaydemontelakeTeer Wayde in the Monte Carlo Dress in Lake (Photo Credit: Nic Doncon)

teerwaydestripeyTeer Wayde in the Marilyn Top in Stripey & the Vogue Pencil Skirt in Black (Photo Credit: Nic Doncon)

teerwaydemarleenblkTeer Wayde in the Marleen Dress in Black (Photo Credit: Tara O. Photos)

  Two different ladies on opposite ends of the globe with at least one very important thing in common (aside from their killer fashion sense, of course): they know they're beautiful (inside and out) and they know that no one's opinion of them will change that.  So the next time you look at yourself in the mirror (whether you've decided to strut your stuff in Heart of Haute that day or not,) take a moment to remember that you are wonderfully unique, and your perfectly imperfect awesome self is top notch, Heart of Haute loveliness!  You go, girl! ;)     With Love & No Regrets, Katrina Marie   **Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Heart of Haute or any of its other employees.**

The Angelica Collection

With September not too far off, we'll soon be saying “So long!” to Sweet Summer.  Warm nights will turn into crisp evenings as Autumn makes its way in.  To ease the transition into the next season, add a bit of fashion heaven to your wardrobe with our Angelica Collection.   Summer doesn't officially end until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd, so there's still plenty of time to take advantage of “bare shoulder weather.”  The Sweetie Dress, in Angelica Purple (top) and Angelica Pink (bottom) is perfect for enjoying the still warm evenings at the end of summer.  Show of your tanned shoulders with this halter dress which has princess seams and ties in the back for a great fit. LinaSweetiePurpleAngelicalinaSDpinkAngelica     Though our Sweetie Dress is one of our best-selling styles.  Don't worry, we have other styles to choose from!  The Hillary Dress in Angelica Pink also has princess seams and ties in the back.  This dress also has an empire waist (for an even better fit) and a bow tie at the collar for a finishing touch (I don't know about you, but I LOVE bows!) LinaHillaryPinkAngelica   Not a fan of an empire waist?  Or maybe you're looking for a more simple silhouette?  The Monique Dress in Angelica Turquoise might be more to your liking.  This dress has a bateau neckline with an A-line skirt – simple, but equally as flattering.  It even comes with a matching belt! LinaMoniqueBlueAngelica     Once the summer heat starts to fade, the cooler air might have you wanting a bit more coverage.  Pairing these dresses with a cute cardigan usually does the trick, or you might opt for a style that will cover your shoulders.  The Beverly Dress in Angelica Purple has those same features for a great fit – princess seams, ties in the back, and an empire waist – all in one fantastic dress (with sleeves!)  Another one of our best-sellers, this dress also has a rounded collar with a cute self tie. linabeverlypurpleangelica     Want even more coverage? Then the Mallory Dress in Angelica Turquoise is the dress for you. This dress has a full skirt, empire waist, and ties to cinch in the middle. Its overlapping V-neckline is also great for Haute Honeys with a more voluptuous figure. It even has cute little bows at the sleeves for an added detail (more bows!) linamalloryblueangelica   My favorite part about this line, is that the fabric itself has a subtle metallic detail that shimmers in the light.  Whether it reflects the sunlight during summer when the days are longer, or glows under the moonlight in the crisp fall air, the Angelica Collection will have you looking heavenly.     With Love & No Regrets, Katrina Marie

The New Heart of Haute Fashion Catalog for 2014, version 1

It is complete. The thing I work the hardest and longest hours on. One of the most important pieces of media we create over here at Heart of Haute. It's like "The Book" in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada

Luckily I'm much happier than Merril Streep's character and I don't really drink coffee a certain way and I am very kind to my assistants. In fact, I find myself assisting them more often....What? You haven't seen that movie? I swear it's not a chick flick. It's really good.

Anyway- what am I talking about? OH YES!  It's our Bi-Annual catalog. Yes, I make this catalog for our wholesale customers (those are customers who purchase our garments in bulk to resell in their shops), but I also make it available for everyone to view. Why? Well, honestly after all that hard work I put into it- and this time I shot and edited about 40% of the images myself- I want to TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT!!! Yes, I am proud and usually exhausted when this project is complete.  The great thing about working on this catalog is that each one gets better and evolves from the one before it.  I am always learning new things about editing and photography when I make this thing.  I dread the 3-4 weeks I spend working on this book, but I also look forward to the challenges it brings. The headaches and heartaches, but in the end, the finished product is well worth it.

I share it with everyone because we group our products in fabric families so you can see the line as a whole rather than figuring out what prints the Beverly does or doesn't come in. You also get a sneak peak at what will be available in the coming months....so you know how to plan out your wardrobe for next Spring of course!!!

With Love & No Regrets!

Mandie Bee

The Buzz About Mandie Bee and Heart of Haute

Heart of Haute owner and designer Amanda has long had the nickname Mandie Bee. The origins of this name are simple, she says "Mandie Bee is just a play on my real name,  Amanda Becker.  Mandie  B(ee)." In addition to the Heart of Haute retro pin up style classics, Amanda also designs the Mandie Bee line. She says that her goal with the Mandie Bee collection was to have "a section for all my designs that didn't quite fit in Heart of Haute. I was racking my brain for weeks trying to think up the right name, but then I thought, since this was a reflection of my own creative ideas, I would just name it after myself.  I think the sound of the name is symbolic of something youthful and fun. "

The Mandie Bee Collection from Heart of Haute

 

 

The  Mandie Bee line is different from the overall Heart of Haute line in that "Mandie Bee was meant to reach out to a different crowd with a younger vibe. It was also an avenue for me to make some mod girl styles." Aside from her nickname, why the love for bees? To Amanda,  "bees are the pollinators of the world!  Without bees, we wouldn't have flowers or fruits, which of course we know are lovely things in the natural world.  So, like bees, I can relay this same idea to fashion.  Myself and other fashion-forward thinking 'bees' out there are pollinating and inspiring the creative minds of others to keep our fashion world beautiful."

Bees make an appearance in the Mandie Bee line on the Ella top and Etta dress - both available in yellow or blue bee print. I love the blue bees print in particular accessorized with a pop of yellow. Try yellow shoes or a headband with our Gypsy Skirt in Yellow Mariposa - butterflies are also pollinators! Actual bees are essential to our world and much of the food that we eat. There has been a lot of recent news on their decline. This article offers easy ways that anyone can help the bee population. Buy some local honey (and maybe mix up a whiskey lemonade with honey) and leave those dandelions alone! 

Summer Sugar Stripes

Summer's in full swing, Heart of Haute-lovers, and we have great new styles perfect for all the fun in the sun you'll be having! To help you stay true to your style, and stay cool in the heat, take a peek at our new Sugar Stripes Collection.  

The Maybeline Dress (shown below in Purple Stripe and Blue Stripe) is the perfect dress for your next BBQ, beach party, or even a night out at the local county fair. This sleeveless dress, with adjustable straps, is perfect for those hot summer days and warm summer nights. The Maybeline Dress even has pockets (and who doesn't love a dress with pockets?!)

Maybeline Purple Stripe

Maybeline Blue Stripe

Model: Stephanie Weber

Summertime is known for concert season! Headed to go see your favorite artist or band? Whether you're off to see a hot act at the Hollywood Bowl, or the LA Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Hall, you'll be a show stopper wearing the Regina Dress (shown below in Purple Sugar Stripe.) It's just casual enough to be comfortable, but dressy enough for any special occasion. (If you're anything like me, fantastic live music is always a special occasion!) For a fancier venue, dress it up with your favorite pumps, or keep it simple, and more on the casual side, with a cute pair of ballet flats.

Regina Purple Stripe

Model: Dollie Deville (www.therockabillysocialite.com)

  My favorite part about summer is that it stays light out later into the evening. Take advantage of the extra sunshine and show off the Vee Dress. Reflect the blue summer skies in the Blue Sugar Stripe fabric (shown below.) This dress has pockets, also! (Have I sold you on the pockets yet, ladies?)

Vee Blue Stripe

Model: Dollie Deville (www.therockabillysocialite.com)

    Step into the sunshine and off to your next adventure while showing off your fabulous sense of style with our new Stripes Collection.  Don't forget the sunscreen!

Blue Stripe

Models: Stephanie Weber (left,) Dollie Deville (right, www.therockabillysocialite.com)

    With Love & No Regrets, Katrina Marie =^.^=      

The History of Leopard Print in Retro Fashion

history of leopard print in fashion

Animal skins were among the first materials ever used for human clothing. Big cats are fierce creatures with beautiful coats, and so their skins were among the most valuable. Images as early as those from ancient Egypt show powerful women rocking leopard spots. In modern fashion, leopard print is still assured to be an attention getting detail. It has connotations of luxury, power, and animal sexuality.

The actress Marion Nixon turned heads and started trends in the 1920s by walking her pet leopard down Hollywood streets while wearing a matching coat of her own. Christian Dior is credited with creating the first leopard print fabrics for his 1947 collection, the two dresses that featured it called "Jungle" and "Afrique." In his Little Dictionary of Fashion Christian Dior cautioned: “But to wear leopard you must have a kind of femininity which is a little bit sophisticated. If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it...”

From Marilyn Monroe's accessories to pin up Bettie Page's swimsuit, mid century celebrities helped to cement the association of leopard print with glamour and sexuality. Truffaut's amourus 1964 film "The Soft Skin" contained the memorable line "Leopard skin. Women who wear them like making love." In 1976's The Graduate, seductive Mrs. Robinson wears leopard and other animal prints. It remained a popular pattern through the 1960s, now popping up on powerful female characters on Mad Men.

Joan Mad Men leopard print blouse

 

By the 1970s and 1980s, leopard print was considered tacky - worn by drag queens, prostitutes, and those who had not updated their style since the 1950s. Punk rock style seized on the transgressive idea of  celebrating tackiness, as well as the association of leopard with strong sexuality. This association with punk, and a visit to the original 1950s source material is where the prominence of leopard print in rockabilly style originates.

Today, leopard print has become a staple, with designers ranging from Betsey Johnson to Dolce and Gabbana employing it constantly. Retro or modern, leopard print is a strong style statement that Heartofhaute.com loves. For a little leopard at the office, a la Joan on Mad men, try our Ella Top in Hip Kitty, a leopard cardigan, or an A Line skirt. Stand out in a sea of floral sundresses with our Swettie Dress in Hip Kitty. Don't forget to pick up some our perfect solid staples to combine with your animal accessories. Our Trixie Top,  Super Spy dresses, and the sophisticated Stefanie Dress are perfect companions to your leopard print shoes, belts and scarves.

If you are a lover of the actual big cats that these looks are inspired by, check out Big Cat Rescue. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for wonderful photos and information. They do a lot of great work to help these gorgeous animals!

Marilyn Monroe wearing leopard print
July 19, 2013 — Allison Vallerga

Pin Up Cowgirl and Country Style with Heart of Haute

The country girl is a staple of mid century pin up imagery. The sweet and sexy rural cowgirl is an icon of American style. Often dressed in gingham, denim, bandanas, and a cowboy hat, it is a look that combines innocence and toughness. A general fascination with the American West has been an enduring staple of international pop culture.

Western films have been popular since the era of silent movies, but they had a surge in popularity in the 1940s and 1950s. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Russell and many others starred in Western films - pinup images from these movies were popular during World War II. Soldiers and Sailors got tattooed with the image of the sexy cowgirl, a motivation for and reminder of home in the American countryside. In addition, as cities and suburbs grew, I think that many people felt a fascination with and idealization of the "good old days."

Jane Russell in The Outlaw

 

 

Whether you are going to the "Hulabilly" themed Tiki Oasis, or just looking for some vintage American summertime style, we have the unique - and American made - pieces that can make your retro look! For a complete outfit, try our Sweetie sundress in all American gingham or the Peggy Sue Dress in picnic-perfect ketchup and mustard prints.

Our Heart of Haute halter tops will help you create the ideal country heat. Available in  many colors and patterns, including the bandana-influenced Annie print. Our Ellie Tie Top in red gingham or Mustard picnic print has a sweet, cropped casual look with a little more coverage than a halter. Don't forget our matching headbands and bows! Our Gretta gingham blouses will bring a Western element to any outfit - even at the office! Our Gigi tee - in white or black - matches perfectly with our print skirts or your cowgirl jeans - right out of Jane Russell's "The Outlaw" wardrobe!  

Model Spotlight: Dinah DeRosa

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to shoot Miss Dinah DeRosa  in my home for Heart of Haute. I've recently had to take photography into my own hands for our company and I'm learning more and more as I go along.  It's a lot of fun, creative, and also a ton of work. I have a GREAT appreciation for photographers as well as models. I've been on both sides of the camera and I know how much work goes into a shoot for both parties. *whew* Dinah has been modeling since she was 17 and she's a natural. In addition to modeling, you can find her managing the Unique Vintage store in Huntington Beach or dancing on stage for The Hula Girls.  To be graced with Dinah's presence, you'll find yourself not only looking at a very attractive lady, but a very attractive soul. This girl is one of my favorite models to work with for a reason. Very genuine, kind and just a really cool chick! Here's just a few shots from our photo shoot...   dinahmitzilauren dinahmowhiteoribit dinahhhmilan dinahHHmilancelery dinahhhmonteivoryback     With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee!