Sunday, March 31, 2013

Gilda's 5 Rules For Driving A Man Wild

There are many theories on how to attract a man. But we think much can be gleaned from the 1946 film noir classic "Gilda," starring Rita Hayworth in the iconic title role. Gilda was a sexy, sassy woman who drove men wild, as did Love Goddess Rita herself, although this role was such a hard act to follow that Rita was later quoted as saying, "Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me." (What were these men complaining about, exactly?)  "Gilda" has endured the test of time, and Rita’s appeal endures, inspiring Steven King to write, “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” and Madonna to sing, “Rita Hayworth gave good face” in her hit, “Vogue.” 57 years after the movie’s release, we honor one of film noir’s most notorious femme fatales with a fun list on making a man so crazy that he will be begging you to so much as toss a glove at him (see Rule #4).

 1. Always leave them wanting more. Start by sporting a fabulous wardrobe by a costume designer like Jean Louis, full of body-hugging gowns with Grecian details and smart suits, to show off your assets. Dance provocatively as often as possible, speak in a throaty voice while your eyes look sad, try your luck at gambling (with someone else’s money), and know that years later your co-star will confess the depth of his feelings for you, explaining your insane chemistry. Also, there is no need to wonder which men are bad for you because they will be shown often in dark silhouette.

 2. Practice your hair toss. You might need it when your husband asks if you are decent and introduces you to a man you already know, and you must show this man you already know what he has been missing out on. You can also employ the hair toss while dancing and singing in a nightclub, as women wonder if you did in fact have your hairline altered via electrolysis, and then make plans to do it themselves.

3. Marry one man, and then fall in love with another (who was the guy you actually loved first). Pretend that you hate this man from your past, and canoodle with other men in front of him at all hours of the night. When you are given a 50,000 peso piece of jewelry, flaunt your newfound wealth in front of the man you are pretending not to love and call it “cute.” After your husband fakes his death, marry the guy you really love, even though he is marrying you to punish you. When your not-dead husband shows up, continue looking glamorous while knowing that true love will win in the end. After your not-dead husband is fatally stabbed in the back and is out of the picture for real, confess your love to the guy you have loved all along as he reveals his feelings for you. 

4. Wear a slinky black dress and gloves. Even better if said slinky black dress is strapless and has a slit that almost reveals the promised land. Master the art of singing (or, for two out of three of your numbers, lip-syncing) while teasingly removing one glove. And at the end of your performance, throw that glove at a man who hasn’t been able to take his eyes off of you while the crowd goes crazy. And when someone later asks you what held your gown up, respond (as Rita Hayworth famously did): “Two things.”  

5. Practice the guitar when your life is falling apart. There is a good chance your music will wake up the man you love and he will come to you in a sassy striped bathrobe. Until that moment, pose fetchingly on top of a gaming table, softly waved hair falling around your shoulders, and strum in a way that shows off your toned arms in a sleeveless number. You can make your own playlist for the broken-hearted, including “These Foolish Things,” “One For My Baby,” “In The Wee Small Hours,” and, of course, “Put The Blame On Mame.”

Authors Tracey LaMonica and Lara Scott are on the advisory committee for Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, CA. See 1946’s Gilda (and watch Rita work that single glove striptease) at Old Town Music Hall on April 5th, 6th, and 7th. For showtimes, ticket prices, and directions, along with a complete schedule of classic films and concerts, visit



Friday, March 22, 2013

10 Glamorously Romantic Places to Kiss in Southern California

We present to you 10 glamorously romantic SoCal spots (in no particular order) that are perfect for a cinema-worthy clinch...or proposal! And, as a bonus, if you decide to capture the moment for posterity or thousands of your close personal friends on social media, they are all ridiculously photogenic places. Happy smooching! 

 1. The grand staircase in the Rendezvous Court at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. (For our post on the Biltmore, click here.)

2.   The most glamorous drinking fountains in town at the Pantages Theatre. (For more on the Pantages, click here.)

3. The courtyard of the Egyptian Theatre, with Pharaoh watching. (For more on the Egyptian, click here.)

4. A table tucked away in a dark corner at The Edison.  (For our post on The Edison, click here.)

5.  In front of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ at Old Town Music Hall. (For more on OTMH, click here.)

6. In the second-floor room with all the murals at the Los Angeles Central Library. 

7.  By the lake at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. 

8.  By the pool (or in the pool) at Sunset Tower Hotel

9.  By a porthole in the ship building at Crossroads of the World.

10. On the dance floor at Cicada Restaurant. (For our post on Cicada, click here.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Love Cocktail

Need to charm a new love? Rekindle the flame of an old one? Want to forget your first love? 

Or, are you simply thirsty? 

Here's a cool vintage recipe from 1935's Mr. Boston's Bartending Book to try--it's called The Love Cocktail.

1 1/2 oz of top shelf gin (Plymouth)
1 egg white
2 dashes (1/3 tsp) fresh lemon juice
2 dashes (1/3 tsp) raspberry syrup

Combine and shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

We bet that the person you serve this drink to will say: "You're the cat's pajamas!" (Or, at least he or she might think it.)

A shout-out to the bartenders from Daddy-O's Martinis for finding this!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Poppin’ Some Tags At Playclothes

The Buzz:

If you ever watched Mad Men or Lost on television, or saw the movies Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator, or L.A. Confidential, then you have seen clothing from Playclothes.

But they are not just a source for Hollywood’s top costume folks; they are a perfect place to shop for every vintage-loving and wearing man, woman, and child in Southern California. Seriously, how can you go wrong when a store looks like the biggest, coolest boudoir ever?!

Walking into Playclothes can be a dangerous thing. Well, at least it is for me (Lara). There is such a huge and gorgeous selection of everything from dresses to antique mirrors at such reasonable prices that it seems it would be a mistake not to walk out with something. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that costs more than $200.

Recently, I popped in thinking I would maybe just take some pics for a blog I was considering writing about the store; instead, I walked out fifteen minutes later with this flowy 1970s creation that looks a little 1930s-inspired (matching jacket not shown).

There is still a clingy 1970s Bill Blass number in the back that is calling to me across the miles, and I would love to wear this 1950s dress and hat to an Easter Parade.

The Atmosphere:

Playclothes is located on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, which is in the San Fernando Valley. Traditionally, you can find vintage at lower prices if you just go “over the hill” from Hollywood into the Valley, but sometimes the quality is not great or it smells funny or it’s just kind of “off.”

Not so here.

I’ve been shopping Playclothes for years, and everything has always been clean and extremely well-organized, which is not easy to pull off when your selection is huge and turning over quickly. I actually even love the smell of  the clothing I buy from Playclothes, which might be attributed to Studio City Cleaners, which was their recommendation when I asked about dry cleaning and caring for my pieces.

Plus, the staff has a great attitude and seems to strike the perfect balance between being helpful and not hovering; all the girls appear so happy to be working there and have awesome personal style. You can even spot a friendly little cat wandering around. How they keep him from batting at anything with fringe, I will never know.

The Scoop:

"Hats off to you!"
Playclothes carries clothing from the 1930s through the 1980s (think shoulder pads on an epic scale!), and the items are grouped by decade all around the store, so be sure to check in every room if you’re focusing on a specific era. I tend to jump from decade to decade with my purchases depending on what catches my eye and what event I will be wearing something to, but I’m usually drawn to 1930s long dresses, 1940s suits, and body-skimming dresses and accessories from the 1970s. 

Keep an eye out for jackets from the 1950s, 1970s sunglasses, gorgeous pastel slips from all eras that you must lounge around your house in, and small beaded purses that are perfect to punch up an evening look, plus all manner of baubles, bangles, and beads. 

(SIDE NOTE: I wore one of the peach-colored Playclothes dresses I bought from the thirties on the red carpet at the Pantages Theatre with my friend Cori. See pic below!) 

Most of the home furnishings and accessories inside Playclothes are near the entrance, and if books are your bag there are piles of them scattered around the store. Make sure to check the hallway by the dressing rooms, as I once found an All Color Book of Art Deco by Dan Klein there.
Me striking a pose like Nicole Richie!

And speaking of the dressing rooms… They are wonderfully, whimsically decorated with clothing and pictures and accessories, and are the size of a bathroom or small bedroom, so you can really get a sense of how a garment moves. Plus, the lighting is good and there is enough space that there are no close-ups on any body parts you don’t want to get close up with. (Cue the Hallelujah Chorus.)

By the way, around Halloween, you must come here for your costume, as they have everything from Elvis (the Vegas days, with the low-cut jumpsuit, sunglasses, wig) to a vintage flight attendant. Some of the costumes (like the 1920s fringed flapper dress I spotted) are so cute you will want to wear them all year.
Playclothes is one of the few vintage stores I know that carries items for the little ones! 

There are some antique toys in the very back corner of the shop, and lots of clothing for girls and boys. I found a sweet little vintage linen shirt and jacket (complete with bowtie!) from the 1950s for my three-year-old there. Although I have yet to keep the bowtie on long enough to get a pic. But a Diva can dream, can’t she?

And don’t forget your man! Call him in (he’s probably been out front sitting in a chair and holding your purse), and show him the vintage cowboy boots and suits. Playclothes is the place to deck your honey out like he is Fred Astaire in Top Hat.

Who knows? He might even Waltz you out the front door and right home…

The 411:

  • Allow plenty of time for your visit, because this is a large store that will take a few hours to sort through. Unless you know specifically what you want, like a beaded purse or vintage cowboy boots, it is best not to rush in and out because you might miss a treasure. Trust: When you see the place, you will not want to go until you have explored every corner.
  • Check out the mannequins! There are tons scattered around, and you can pretty much pull off what they are wearing for yourself (ask for assistance with this). We have found some wonderful items this way, such as beads from the 1970s and my dress pictured above. They will also give you some great ideas for putting together your own looks. A lot of people are doing this; one of the sweet gals that works at Playclothes said that by the end of the day they are usually surrounded by naked mannequin torsos.
  • Porto’s Bakery, just up the street on Magnolia at Hollywood Way, is a perfect pre- or post-shopping stop. Fuel up or recover with a Chai Latte and their famous potato balls. The whole neighborhood is wonderful, and full of antique stores, vintage clothing stores, and thrift stores. Plus, NBC is a few moments away on Olive, and Downtown Burbank is close with more shopping at the mall, Ikea, tons of restaurants, and a ginormous movie theatre.
The Contact Info:

3100 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505