Heart of Haute Blog
The modern tiki trend is a revival of the early to mid-20th century American obsession with Hawaii and all things tropical. Music, movies, décor, and fashion from the south pacific were adopted and adapted by mainland Americans as early as the 1920s. The trend hit its height in the 1960s, with tiki bars in both major hotel chains and countless backyards. Searching for your own South Seas style inspiration? Vintage movies are a great way to explore and expand your retro aesthetic. We previous shared our top 5 movies for Mod style inspiration. Here are our 5 best Tiki movies – enjoy these 20 years of Polynesian-inspired fashion in American film.
Ship Ahoy (1942) Opening with drummer Buddy Rich and the rest of the Tommy Dorsey Band playing “Hawaiian War Chant,” this movie has loads of amazing music (keep your blue eyes open for a very young Frank Sinatra in the band), and Eleanor Powell’s incredible tap dancing. Her gorgeous costumes range from leis and cellophane skirts to nautical pinup looks. The wartime plot won’t win any awards, but the sounds and sights are more than worthwhile.
Pagan Love Song (1950) Whether or not you buy Esther Williams as half Tahitian, there are loads of stylish sarongs, bamboo décor, and hair flower inspiration. Underwater sequences, songs, and the scenery of a more rustic Kauai make it an enjoyable escape. Pin up icon Esther Williams was actually pregnant while filming this difficult movie!
South Pacific (1958) James A. Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific is required reading for anyone wanting to understand the role of World War II in Polynesian pop. The myth of Bali Hai is just one aspect of tiki culture that came from Michener. This 1950s movie was an adaptation of the musical that was based on the novel. Filmed in both Kauai and Ibiza, the movie features all of the songs from the musical production.
Blue Hawaii (1961) One of three movies Elvis shot in Hawaii, he also recorded the popular soundtrack in Hawaii. Famous Oahu sights like Waikiki Beach and Diamond head appear, though much of the movie was shot on Kauai. A fun exploration of post-war Hawaii and American dreams, and a good example of the 1960s “beach party” movie genre that helped to expose many people to surfing and surf music.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) Marlon Brando leads the rebellion against a ship’s cruel captain – based on a true story that occurred in the 1700s. The 1960s film version of this South Seas story was filmed on location in Tahiti, with gorgeous tropical colors. Despite long and expensive shooting and production, it was nominated for many awards. Whether you are packing up for the Hukilau, Tiki Oasis, Tiki Caliente, or just hosting a killer luau at home, Heart of Haute has the aloha wear you need. Take a look at our new Hula Honeys and Tahiti items, and the bold Ukulele tapa print Tiki Serenade. Our modern fits and 100% high quality cotton fabric will keep you looking amazing and feeling comfortable from the Mai Kai to the Bali Hai.
Mod style was an evolution of the streamlined beatnik aesthetic, with a little love for sleek Italian design and bold pop art mixed in. This stylish subculture may have exploded in the 1960s in England, but it has never died out. At Heart of Haute, we love creating contemporary Mod styles for you - scooter mirrors unfortunately not included. Looking to mix a little more Mod into your 2015 style, and learn more about the roots of this subculture? Movies can be a great source of style inspiration, whether they are accurate or pure exploitation. If you are in the mood for some Mod movie action and have already made it through all of the 1960s James Bond movies, here are our top 5 Mod movie picks.
1. A Hard Day’s Night – This 1964 film is an imaginative comedy based on several days in the life of John, Paul, George, and Ringo right at the height of Beatlemania. The movie and soundtrack were both hugely successful, and it features lots of great 1960s music, fashion and décor. Check out our Mandie Bee line for modern tops, skirts, and dresses that would fit right in at a Beatles concert in 1964.
2. The Girl on a Motorcycle – Marianne Faithfull zips up her leather catsuit for some sexy adventures while riding across Europe – this 1968 movie was originally released with an X rating. For a similar sleek black 1960s look, you can’t beat our best-selling Super Spy Dress.
3. Quadrophenia – Based on the Who’s 1973 concept album, the defining movie about the Mods of the 1960s did in fact come out in 1979 - during a Mod culture revival. This exploration of teen identity, subculture clashes, and fashion as a lifestyle remains a classic. For a look inspired by this movie, try our Trixie Top with our short Coco Skirt, or our longer Pencil Skirt.
4. To Sir, With Love – An engineer signs up to teach the tough students at a school in London’s equally tough East End. Loads of mod skirts, dresses and swinging hairstyles can be seen on the female students in this 1967 film. Our Shift Dress in groovy orange paisley will give you top of the class mod style.
5. We Are the Mods – The Mod subculture has always had enduring fans and revivalists in Southern California. This late 1990s film tells the story of two women finding a contemporary identity through 1960s British culture. Try our Doreen Dress for a California-worthy sun dress with sharp Mod style.
Quince theme ideas are everywhere, and they are as unique as the girls celebrating. From girly to glamorous, elaborate and sweet to sleek and simple, your unique quinceanera theme should reflect you.
Las Vegas is a great vacation spot, year-round. Winter still has better weather than most of the country, and killer off-season deals. For total Vegas virgins, my crash course is that there are 2 main tourist areas – downtown and the strip. They are not far apart in a car, and there is a bus (the Deuce) that runs between the two. I personally like staying downtown, but still going up to the strip.
Where to Stay in Las VegasDowntown is a little bit more “old Vegas,” with vintage casinos, cheaper prices, and Sinatra and Elvis impersonators everywhere. Take some free pulls on Fremont Street, get your photo with a Million Bucks at Binion’s, play some giant board games at the Gold Spike, and check out the cocktail lounge in the El Cortez (formerly owned by Bugsy Siegel). The Strip is the Strip – I don't have much new to say. Things are a lot bigger and further apart than you may think – keep that in mind when choosing where to stay.
- The Venetian has one of my favorite lobbies and is centrally located. The also-central Flamingo has more kitsch at less cost.
- The Platinum Hotel is my favorite non-smoking, non-gaming, off-strip spot, with huge suites and a rare indoor pool.
- The Delano at Mandalay Bay has the only affordable 2 bathroom suites I've found. Mandalay Bay has lot of in-house shopping and dining options, and is connected to the Luxor.
- Look into the suites at the more expensive spots if you have a big group – they just may be cheaper than 2 or 3 rooms, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Circus Circus has an actual midway and amusement park in addition to the casino, and free performers all day long.
If you want to see a certain show, look into a night staying at the hosting hotel. That will give you the option of getting dressed up and rocking some killer shoes without a killer journey. The Beatles LOVE at the Mirage has been described as life-changing, and will give you the chance to hang at the 1960s ultra-mod Revolution Lounge – complete with go-go dancers. Pack some of our best mod looks - the Carina Dress or CoCo skirt are perfect.
Maybe it is because I need Excel for any math beyond my fingers, but I am just not a big gambler. However, I will post up at a low-stakes slot on occasion to rest my feet and get a few free drinks. If you like to gamble, do some at the casino where the shows you want to see are – you just may get offered a free ticket.
A Stylish Retro Suitcase
Now, let’s finish packing! Visiting Las Vegas always gives me shoe anxiety. It’s the dichotomy of wanting to look your retro best and having to walk miles each day. I really advise being comfortable – painful feet will ruin your night. Yes, you will be next to a woman in a ball gown, but a great grandma in sweatpants will be on your other side. Truly anything goes. I do flats and even simple sneakers. For vintage inspired Vegas glamour, you can’t go wrong with the classic style of our Milan and Monte Carlo dresses for a fancy 1950s supper club dinner.
Hitting Frankie’s Tiki Room, or the luau at Treasure Island? Pack a skirt or dress in our Tiki Serenade print for a tropical desert moment. Frankie's is worth a trip for retro tiki freaks - it’s between the strip and downtown – keep that in mind to save on cabs. They do offer an aloha shirt discount for drinks on Fridays!
All of those flashy late nights will wear you out. Bring some comfortable knits for a relaxed look on a tired day. Recover with some relaxed shopping at the Container Park downtown, or at any of the malls on the Strip. Our best-selling Super Spy dress and top are flattering and refined yet comfortable. Don’t forget a sweater – it gets cold in the desert at night, and casino A/C is no joke. Las Vegas has loads of interesting subculture, both past and present.
Whether you like, art, food, fashion, music, theater, burlesque, intense rides, or plain old people watching - craft cocktails or foot long frozen margaritas, spenders or free fun seekers - everyone can enjoy Vegas. Overall, Enjoy yourself, and put $5 on red for me!
Now that the New Year has started, it's time to start planning for Mardi Gras 2015! Mardi Gras is a mix of cultures, much like the city of New Orleans. Some of the traditions came from France with the colonists, and some came with other immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. Parades start as soon as January 6th, and run through mid February 2015. Parades are not the only events - concerts, cooking contests, and more take over the city of New Orleans for the next two months.
Step off of Bourbon Street to take in some music on Frenchman Street, take a plantation tour, and walk some of the city's amazing cemeteries. If you are lucky enough to be heading to New Orleans soon, what are you going to pack?Here are my ideas for Mardi Gras 2015 outfits:
- Green, Purple, and Gold are the official colors of Mardi Gras. Our fitted retro Velma wiggle dress has a structured shape and striking sexy neckline - perfect for an elegant night at the Carousel Bar. Casual sight-seeing day? Our Maxine Dress is available in the vibrant Purple Honeycomb dimensions fabric. If you want to go gold, we have loads of patterns that shimmer and shine!
- It's tiki time in the Crescent City! Tired of Sazeracs? Hitting up the anticipated new Latitude 29 tiki bar? We have the perfect vintage inspired island wear for a night of mai tais.
- What is the Fleur Di Lis, and how did it come to conjure Louisiana? This symbol was Egyptian or Babylonian in origin, and was adopted by France's first king, Phillip. The Fleur De Lis has been associated with New Orleans for hundreds of years - it was on the flags of the French Colonists who founded "Nouvelle Orleans" in 1717. Today, it is everywhere in the city from fine art to football jerseys. Try a dress or skirt in our striking Gold Fleur De Lis fabric.
- Peacock feathers are everywhere during Mardi Gras - on masks, costumes, and the wreaths on nearly every door. Our amazing Peacock Royale fabric has been a best seller - get noticed with a Mardi Gras dress or skirt in this pattern.
Whether you will be in Louisiana in body or just spirit, lassiez les bon temps roule for Mardi Gras 2015!
Teer Wayde has done it again! Our Curvacious Cutie from Melbourne takes beautiful editorial photos in some of our most coveted standards including the Marilyn Top, the new Estelle Blouse, and the infamous Super Spy Dress. You can click on her photos below to find the individual items, but to read her reviews, please visit her blog, Curves to Kill!
The Tara Top & Marilyn Top in Leopard are both discontinued but will be on SALE this weekend (Dec. 5-6, 2014) during our major clearance on the Heart of Haute Sale Rack- be sure to Check it out!