Silver Screen to Silk

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on June 21, 2013
with 0 comments

One of the perks of my job is getting to work on interesting custom pieces I don't usually get to tackle. Recently one of my most stylish clients asked for something a little bit different, a re-production of a Grace Kelly movie dress she had fallen in love with.

In the movie High Society Grace Kelly wears an amazing sky blue and white stripe dress by Edith Head as her character Tracy Lords sweeps into magnificent room to dazzle the reporters from Spy Magazine. Big sleeve, big skirts, and big glamor!

At first glance it seemed a fairly simple construction, but a glimpse at the back, and a showcase at the V&A showed a more complex meeting of solid and sheer fabrics that Ms Head was famous for. On top of that tracking down a strip silk in just the right size stripe, and just the right shade of blue took some serious supplier sleuthing. Fortunately I contacted a silk supplier in NYC the week they happened to get in the perfect fabric!

The project took a lot of experimentation to get the right drapes and translucency, as well as more than 17 yards of pure silk!

A few changes here and there to fit the lady who would be wearing it, but certainly an enjoyable challenge, and one I was sad to see leave the studio! (The waist on the dress is actually much smaller than the display mannequin, hence the gap on the over skirt band)

Beauty Patches

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on December 19, 2012
with 0 comments

Decorative face patches have been popular for centuries. 17th and 18th century beauties used them, ladies in the 1920's loved them, they even made a comeback in the 1940's and have appeared on pretty faces ever since.

One of my favorite aspects of the beauty patches of old was the patch box itself. Little mirrored porcelain boxes with golden hinges. They were given by friends and lovers as tokens of esteem, and make an eye catching addition to any boudoir or vanity!


Right now we have a few new box designs in at the store to go with our velvet flocked beauty patches. Much like the ones women were wearing in bygone days our patches some in a mix of cut shapes, rounds, hearts, stars, and moons. Perfect vintage or period glamor, and a perfect gift for the ladies and dandies in all our lives!

Kanzashi Celebration!

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on September 10, 2012
with 0 comments

We're throwing a kanzashi extravaganza this month! Till  the end of September every full kanzashi order (this excludes barrettes) from our kanzashi shop will receive a free pair of tsumami kanzashi barrettes. Also everyone who orders a kanzashi this month will also be entered to win this rather tasty, retro kimono inspired purse to go with their new hair ornaments.


 This is the best month so far to get into retro kanzashi style! (free barrette designs will vary)

Kanzashi Shop

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on July 19, 2012
with 0 comments

Our newest collection is an old art that makes a great alternative to those regular pin up hair flowers every vintage girl loves so much!

The first kanzashi update in over 6 years went up in the shop today! I've been making tsumami kanzashi for around 9 years, and in the very beginning these flower kanzashi were actually the very first products and designs I ever sold back before Vivcore grew up to become what it is today.

For those new to the style tsumami kanzashi, or flower kanzashi are a traditional type of Japanese hair ornament dating back to the Edo period of Japan, and perhaps most commonly worn by Maiko (apprentice geisha) in Kyoto today. Each pin is primarily made up of tiny squares of find silk pinched and assembled with wires, delicate threads and traditional rice starch glue.

Ours are made in this traditional method and are a labor intensive way to make these hair flowers, but I've always felt the extra work was worth it and that tsumami kanzashi are some of the beautiful hair ornaments out there!


I hope a lot of you lovely folks can agree and find a place in your beauty routines to enjoy these hair ornaments as the cherry on top of your own vintage style! 

Jackie or Marilyn?

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on June 27, 2012
with 0 comments

 The newest additions to the Mid-century Mode collection are 2 scoops of retro flavor!

The Petal Bouffant dress is a figure flattering dress perfect for formal and informal occasions. A popular vintage trend was to ramp up versatility of a dress with a matching top or bolero. For all the girls who have spoken to us about loving a good sundress but also feeling happiest with sleeves, we listened!

The Exotic Cocktail dress is one heck of a retro show stopper. the fabric holds a beautiful luster that is simply breathtaking in person, and really brings in that vintage love for beading and glamor.

Some of my favorite designs to make it out of our fancy atelier, I'm sure these are set to become your new favorite dresses too! Check them out in all their glory in the Mid-Century Mode collection

Fabric I'm In Love

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on May 04, 2012
with 1 comments

A while back I was fortunate to catch the V&A's Golden Age of Couture exhibit and spent longer than most staring into a glass case of fabric swatches saying over and over in my head, "If only I could lay my hands on those....". Back in the 1940's Zika Ascher founded a London fabric company that really changed the face of textiles as we know them today, Ascher fabrics. They were the first to work with fine artists of the time like Picasso, Henry Moore, and Cecil Beaton to create stunning fabrics and scarves. Their fabrics were used by couture houses such as Dior, Schiaparelli, Givenchy, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, and Mary Quant. The cherry on the top is that not only were these fabrics designed by the best and used by the best, they were even worn by some of the most exciting clients as well. Such as the then, Princess Elizabeth.

In short as an English girl with a fine arts degree, a clothing company and a passion for vintage fashion and art, it was love at first sight.

Mid Century Mode Collection

Back in October of last year, part serendipity, part research lead to my standing in a fantastically vintage archive room, sighing over thousands of fabric designs from the 40's up, and coming away with a stock room full of bolts of Ascher cottons, all sporting vibrant mid-century designs, just waiting for Spring. Although a late debut, the dresses from this vintage dream are finally rolling out in Vivcore's Mid Century Mode collection. It's been a real pleasure working with fabrics of such a perfect pedigree, and a thrill to be able to add an extra dimension of authenticity to our vintage inspired designs, by using fabrics designed by the best in the decades we all love the best!

Although the first dress from this line came out a while ago, this week is a the big launch of the Mid Century Mode Collection with 4 bold new dresses added to the store. It's all about authentic vintage flavor, and a real pleasure to add this extra slice of elegance from the motherland.

The collection, like a flower, is just showing it's first pretty buds and sure to grow. Keep watching to see how it matures! Supplies of each fabric are limited, so each design will only be available as you see it today for as long as the fabric is available. Check out the dresses here!

New Doll Shop!

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on March 28, 2012
with 0 comments


Just this week we added a new doll shop section to the store! We'll be seeking out the dressiest dolls out there to add to the catalog. Lot's of details, lot's of dresses and lot's of fun!

For centuries dolls have played a big roll in fashion, from 18th century court dolls spreading high style across the world, to the Theatre de la Mode reviving couture after WWII and even good old Barbie, who's been a PVC fashion Icon for over half a century. They have been played with, collected and converted.

These days there even more beautiful fashion dolls in even more complex forms. We'll be seeking out some of the best, and adding them to the collection so we can all take home a stylish little bit of fashion history!


Barbie Collector has a long time standing putting out exquisitely detail dolls dripping in haute couture. A fashion dolls classic for old and new school tastes.

Pullip our newest additions from Japan are not only have a fun whimsical style, but again feature immaculate details and an amazing level of articulation that really bring  these miniature fashions to life!

Stop by our Doll Shop to meet the lovely "ladies" launching the new section, and I'm sure you'll fall as head over heels in love with them as we have here at Vivcore HQ!

Holiday Steals!

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on November 28, 2011
with 0 comments


Holiday shopping season is here! We picked out a selection of the items in our store which make the best gifts, and put them on sale for the season. Hopefully this will help you find gifts for the fancy peeps on your gift giving list, or to help you spice up your big holiday outfit this year!!

All the items in the sale make great gifts, and come nicely presented in our gold gift or velvet jewelry boxes for easy wrapping and added impact on opening! So you can pick up a deal and some extra va voom at the same time! Come stop by the sale section to find the items for you!

Accessories Wardrobe

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on October 17, 2011
with 0 comments

If the dress can make the girl, then right accessories make the dress! One of the elements of vintage style that really define the vintage look,(especially in the 50's early 60's) it is the trend towards matching suits of accessories. 

Matching jewels and matching small goods always really pulled together an outfit. Wearing vintage in this modern age it is very tricky to be able to find these perfectly matched sets, especially in small fabric goods, but it is a wonderful and effortless way to make any dress a polished ensemble!

Chose a color accent to play up in a print dress by choosing an accessory set that matches a detail in the dress, or pull a look together top to toe by color blocking accessories that match you shoes along with a solid color dress (different colored sets can really make a simple dress look different in almost endless ways, a great way to stretch a limited wardrobe on a limited budget!)

Get the look

Whilst jewelry can sometimes survive together in sets, fabric items rarely do, but as always that's where repro comes into play! The new "Pretty You" collection in my shop is made in this old style only new, so you can indulge in this vintage trend today! The flirty little flower brooch, scarf, hair bows and whimsy are all hand made from scratch in the exact same fabrics so they are all a perfect match in color and texture. Sometimes it's possible to marry a few vintage items to look like a set, but there are always discrepancies in the texture and color (especially with white accessories since they age very differently making all kinda of different colors). It's possible to build your own set from the collection items, and the nicest thing to me about them is that they can turn any lone dress into a finished outfit!

The collection is based on a set from one of my 1963 catalogs to make it as authentic as it is cute!

Pearls make the Girl

by Vivien Hoffpauir
on October 17, 2011
with 0 comments

If there's one fashion thing people universally agree on, it's that you can't live without a good set of pearls!

When I'm putting together my outfit for the day one of the things I most frequently reach for is one of my favorite strands of simulated pearls! I love them because their beautiful subtle luster looks classy for day or evening wear, and they really do go with everything!

I do have a dream of one day owning a beautiful set of real pearls, but that's one of those dreams I have for the future (if I ever strike it rich someday), for right now though I'm all about nice simulated pearls (even Jackie Kennedy wore faux pearls so there's no shame in being a part of that fashion club!)

Things I like to see in my pearls are a hand knotted cord (It's super secure, and adds a touch of authenticity to the pearls as that's how the real deal are strung) and interesting clasp (the best way to add some extra glitz to the simplicity of pears!) and color.

Color me  retro

Classic white pearls are a great and timeless choice because they literally go with everything a girl might own, ball gowns, jeans, sundresses, the works! But I also love fun colors. In the 50's and 60's especially, colorful pearls were all the rage. With names like Creme de Menthe green, manufacturers went crazy for colors to fit with the vibrant styles of the time. A strong mid century trend for rainbow colored pearls mean colorful pearls are a super way to make timeless pearls look that little bit more obviously retro cool. 


Get the look!

Inspired by vintage pearl jewelry we've recently added a collection of classic pearls in elegant white and retro colors to the shop as a perfect finish to any and all of our outfits! Hand knotted on silk cords to match our Swarovski crystal pearls, and joined together with beautiful crystal clasps in the exact style of our favorite vintage gems.

The great thing about buying this old style new is that you can get the full matching set in tip top condition (so no devastating cord breaks) and with no discrepancy in color or luster between the pieces the way a married set of vintage jewelry has. We even package all our vintage style jewelry in lovely retro velour boxes so it really is just like back in the day!



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