Michelle’s Etsy picks of the week…1920s & 30s vintage compacts

Vintage compacts…don’t you just love them!! Each one distinctly different from the other – the style revealing a little something about the previous owner. Historically the compact had a slightly shady past. They were originally only used by ‘less desirable’ women such as ladies of the night and actresses. As time moved on, the wearing of make-up became more acceptable and compacts finally came out of the shadows to become a mainstream fashion accessory and were finally used in public without disgrace.

I have a tidy little collection of my own vintage compacts and am always on the lookout for more Art Deco lovelies. They really did come in all shapes and sizes and were made from a variety of materials. My favourite is my ‘Volupte’ case which has a puff, lipstick and place for cigarettes/coins, all carried in a little grosgrain purse (similar example below). Here are some fabulous compacts that are available on Etsy. Check out the amazing ‘Josephine Baker’ wrist bracelet compact!

To see an another cool collection of compacts for sale, check out Sheryl’s Art Deco Emporium.

NB: I wrote this piece for Swingfashionista a while back, but thought I’ add some new compacts to it for VVV.

* All items are linked back to their original Etsy source.

Vintage Elgin American Mirror Powder Compact  Powder Compact Evans Chain Bag Botton  Vtg 1920s Spider & Web MakeUp Powder / Mirror Compact Vintage / Antique Goth - Extremely Rare

Vintage  French 1920's silk Powder Compact for I. Magnin  Antique 20's Art Deco powder and mirror Art Deco Octagonal Compact  Vintage Compact Art Deco Powder Compact Dance Purse 1920's Sterling Silver Golfer Enamel Graphics EXTREMELY RARE

Vintage Compact Purse Dance Purse 1920s Powder Compact Coffin Purse Mirror Purse Wristlet Purse Silver Compact Powder Compact  RARE Edwardian 1920s DECO Enamel Porcelain COMPACT Coin Dance Purse..White Gold Frame & Bar Chain..F M Co  Vintage Art Deco Compact Purse Evans Powder Compact Vintage Compact Dance Purse Finger Ring

Vintage Compact Pearl Celluloid Powder Compact Rouge Compact Mirror Compact  1930's Compact Excellent Condition RARE  1930s Powder Compact, Bronze and Black Enamel, Vintage Large Size  Vintage 1930s Compact Purse Music Box Powder Compact Lipstick Compact Cigarette Case Change Purse Germany Very Good to Excellent Condition

Vintage Compact Powder Compact Art Deco Compact Mirror Compact Rhinestone Compact 1930's Compact Enamel Compact Rouge Compact  Vintage Guilloche Compact Powder Compact Mirror Compact Celluloid Guilloche Art Deco 1930s Excellent Condition  1930's Compact Purse Vintage Evans Compact Purse Art Deco Purse Compact Tap Sift Dance Purse

Treasury Item R&G Co. Blue Enamel Rouge Powder Compact with Lipstick case 1930's  vintage 1930s gold evening purse/bag for makeup, cards, cigarettes- a CLASSIC  vintage 1930s gold evening purse/bag for makeup, cards, cigarettes- a CLASSIC

Art Deco Compact Vintage Richard Hudnut Compact 1930's Powder Compact Rouge Compact Mirror Compact  1930's PRINCESS COMPACT with Automatic POWDER Dispensor  1930's Houbigant Compact Art Deco Powder Compact Vintage Compact Lipstick Case Rouge Compact

Art Deco Compact - 1930's Enamel and Chrome - Elgin  art deco 1930's richard hutnut black white enamel compact  1930's NEVER USED Elgin American Brushed Silver Powder Compact with Gold Floral Design

RARE Red Enamel Vintage Compact w Flowers / Enamel covers Front AND Back / Circa 1930s /Art Nouveau  Enamel Inlaid Compact Vintage 1930's Germany  1930s French Bakelite Josephine Baker Flamand Fladium Compact Bracelet

Steampunk Art Deco Purse Antique Vintage 1920s Golden Brass Geometric Square Metal Box Compact  Vintage Powder Box Art Deco Powder Box 1930's Powder Jar Elephant By Weidlich Bros. Silverplated VERY RARE  Art Deco Rouge Compact Purse

Art Deco Powder Compact in Metal, Green and Black  Vintage Art Deco Makeup Compact by Richard Hudnut - Enamel and Brass with Interior Mirror and Two Compartments  FIFTH AVENUE COMPACT Carryall

Michelle’s Etsy picks of the week – 1920s

1920s items today from right across the board. The blue dress is a stunner and the bird sewing caddy so very cute!

* All items linked back to their original Etsy source. 

Art Deco Ruby Diamond Ring. Yellow Gold and Platinum. Circa 1920s to 1930s. Addy on Etsy.   vintage 1920s knickers : tweed wool women's 20s knickers   Late 1920s, Early 1930s Art Deco Beaded and Embroidered Purse with Gold Wash Over Silver Frame, Small (Needs Restoration)

Vintage 1920s Dress // Fantastic Hot Pink Chiffon Flapper Evening Dress with Rhinestones and Velvet Flower  1920s Silk Velvet with Embroidered Tulle Metallic Lame Sash and silk Ribbon work Original Dress  1920's Orientalist Period Silk Voided Velvet Dress with Metallic Lace and Asian Tassle Bellasoiree original

Spectaular 1920's Signed Mandalian Flapper Purse   Art Deco 1920s Vintage Flapper Lariat Gold Beaded Cabaret Burlesque Necklace  1920s Jantzen burgundy wool men's swimsuit 40

Vintage 1920's Celluloid Garter Button or Belt Buckle Embellishment Sew On    Rosy Cheeked Flapper Girl with Cloche   Vintage 1920s Ivory White Flapper Womans Cloche Hat  Dramatic Vintage 1920s Flapper Art Deco Rhinestone,Beads and Pearl Gold Lame Headband Crown Bridal

1920s Face Powder BOX -  "Three Flowers"  Brand By Designer Richard Hudnut - Vintage / Antique   1920's Rhinestone Belt  Antique Folk Art bird 1920s handmade vintage sewing organization scissor thread thimble holder and box Fall Autumn Home Decor

1930s beach & lounging pyjamas

As a lover of 1930s fashion, in my humble opinion one of the most stylish garments to emerge from the 20s and 30s were beach or ‘lounge’ pyjamas. They just ooze elegance and sophistication and are visually very iconic. Until the 1920s, pyjamas were pretty much only worn as sleepwear, then sometime in the 1920s they made their way outdoors as a cover-up over swimming costumes on the beaches of the French Riveria. When crepe pyjamas were first worn at the seaside, trouser wearing women were rare sight and still very much confined to beach and promenade areas.

The trend took off all over the globe (the photo above is from the UK) and beach pyjamas soon also became casual-wear for less formal outdoor events in the warmer months. Many women took to wearing them around the home as ‘lounging pyjamas’ when entertaining or just relaxing.

In the 1920s, beach or lounge pajamas were usually a top and trouser set with matching jacket. By the 1930s, one-piece, jumpsuit-style pajamas were very popular and many featured a very wide leg. Fabric like shantung, linen or cotton was accepted for the for beach and lounging pajamas, but as they became widely popular in the 1930s, many were also available in rayon. Pyjamas were made in an amazing array of bold colors and patterns, as you will see in some of pictures and old advertisements I have added here. Many of the patterns were influenced by Japanese and Chinese art which was seen as very exotic at that time.

beach pjs 1


With lounge pyjamas a new category of clothing emereged: resort wear. With it’s bright designs and lightweight fabrics, resort wear was all about relaxing and holidaying and even today, when viewing the elegant vintage posters advertising these garments, I immediately think of luxury yachts, beaches, boardwalks and sunny weather. I have a wonderful 1930s Australian travel poster advertising Bondi Beach and all the women illustrated wearing beach pyjamas. With our weather here in Oz – they must have a been a blessing back in the day 🙂

Stars like Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford had a lot to do with making lounging pyjamas extremely popular worldwide as they donned them in several of their movies during the 1930s and women everywhere took notice.




I hope you enjoy some of my favourite images here. I regularly wear and own many pairs of high-waisted, flowy, wide legged trousers, which I find extremely flattering, so I’m a big fan of beach pyjamas. Which reminds me;  I am still to make a pair from a Wearing History pattern (below) that I purchased early this year. My friend Lauren has done a wonderful job of putting this pattern together, so if you love lounging PJs, you can now indulge yoursel. Also, thanks to La Mode Pyjama for her wonderful blog containing a collection of beautiful photos, vintage advertising, posters and patterns of beach and lounging PJs. It’s where I pilfered some of these pics from 🙂

* Shared from my post at Swingfashionista



Vintage photographer in focus: Max Dupain…an Australian icon

I adore black and white photography from the 1920s to the 50s and have many favourites including Man Ray, Steichen, Madame D’ora, Hurrell, Hoyningen-Huene, Atget, Fryer, Cunningham etc but how many of you have heard of iconic Australian photographer Max Dupain?

Born in Sydney in 1911, he photographed the city from the early 1930s through to just before his death in 1992. He mostly was interested in photographing the architecture, the landscape, the beaches and the cities of Australia. The man understood the strong light in Australia and how to use it effectively.

Dupain’s style was based on simplicity and he remained a great advocate of black and white photography throughout his career as he felt that colour was restricting. He continued to photograph until his death in July, 1992. I love his work and have a few of his prints famed around my house. Many of his pictures look like they could have been taken yesterday – his most famous shot, The Sunbaker, is one of these. I hope you enjoy the small collection I have put together for you. You can find all these pics in the Max Dupain Collection.

* Shared from my post at Swingfashionista

The Sunbaker – 1937
Max DUPAIN, Jean with wire mesh
Jean with wire mesh – 1937




The Lisa Ho auction – stunning 1920s & 30s garments!

Back in August this year, Lisa Ho (a prominent Australian fashion designer) auctioned off her HUGE vintage clothing collection, which consisted of 100s of garments predominantly from the 1920s and 30s. Racks and racks of carefully organised items were for sale along with some of the most beautiful 20s beaded dresses I have even seen! I am happy to say that two of my favourite fellow bloggers in the Aussie vintage scene were there to bid for (and win) some of these beauties.

I have included just a small selection of what is featured in the online catalogue. You can find the rest here at Mossgreen Auctions. My favourites are the yellow dress (snapped up by my Sydney friend Inger), both the pink and the black coats in the second line of pics, the 30s red gown and the bias cut white 30s dress. All just stunning! I wish I could have been there to go through all though racks of 30s silk gowns.