Betty Kreisel Shubert's Blog: Out-of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved

November 22, 2016

Hollywood Boulevard In Wartime of the 1940's … by Betty Kreisel Shubert

Fashion Flash!!...I HAVE JUST WON MY 5TH AWARD FOR BEST BOOK!. This time in the category of History from the 2016 Hollywood Book Festival. A big party for winners was held at the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, site of the first Academy awards… This is the unabridged version of my acceptance speech.

I sold my first dress design to a manufacturer at age 13: The year was 1938…now you know that I am 91... I had two, Hit Hollywood shows to my credit while still 18. That is when Variety wrote that I was the youngest costume designer in show business… I may now be the Oldest!!

My credits include designing clothes & costumes for stage, screen, television Specials, Ready-to-Wear, Las Vegas musicals, Disney Imagineering & Disneyland…Plus, the uniform programs for major cruise lines, race tracks, hotels, restaurants & casinos around the world.

Here is how a chance encounter inspired my award winning book and changed my life: One day, I found myself walking to our clubhouse with a woman I did not know. She was on her way to a genealogy club meeting carrying old family photos that she could not date. “ Show them to me” I said, “ I can tell by the clothes when the pictures were taken”. This simple sentence changed my career focus from designer to Author-Illustrator, Columnist for Ancestry Magazine and owner of Flashback Publishing.

I was invited to the next genealogy club meeting where I arrived with sketches to illustrate my talking points. There was so much interest in the subject that for months afterward, people came to me to time-date their old photos … I knew I had a book here! …but as I wrote, all by itself, my book evolved into a Personal Memoir of changing fashions in the 20th to 21st centuries.

That is how “ OUT-OF-STYLE: A Modern Perspective of HOW, WHY & WHEN Vintage Fashions Evolved”, was born.

OUT-OF-STYLE has over 700 of my own sequential illustrations which reveal the style clues of each decade while simultaneously informing genealogists, costume designers, theater companies, social historians, vintage collectors, Fashionistas and creative authors who need to visualize their characters in time-appropriate attire.

These are not DESIGNS, they are COMPOSITES of the unique style clues that place men, women & children in their correct time in history, plus countless gems of social history that illuminate each decade.

Because of my long career as a Hollywood costume designer, I was especially gratified to win the 2016 Hollywood Book Festival Award in History… and because the favorite chapter in my book OUT-OF-STYLE is titled, “Fashions Of The Forties & Hollywood Blvd”, it is no surprise that my favorite costume assignment was as designer for Ken Murray’s Blackouts, which played at The El Capitan Theatre, located at the famous corner of Hollywood & Vine during its record-breaking, almost seven year run from 1942-1949.

The original El Capitan Theatre had opened in 1926 when Hollywood Blvd was a quiet residential & agricultural area… But an enterprising real estate developer, named Charles Toberman, envisioned it as a booming theatre district… He developed 30 buildings including the still beautiful, Roosevelt Hotel.

Along with Sid Grauman, Toberman also built the Egyptian, The Chinese and the El Capitan theatres. In 1941, The original El Capitan was converted to a movie theatre and, the name, “El Capitan “, was transferred to a different theatre at the famous corner of Hollywood & Vine, where, in 1942, “Ken Murray’s Blackouts” opened to entertain the hordes of tourists & service men seeking the glamour of the Hollywood that existed only on the pages of movie magazines. This theatre too, was owned by Sid Grauman, a frequent backstage visitor and a very nice man, whom I was privileged to know.

The land-mark, round Capitol Records Building was built across the street, but a recent drive down modern Hollywood Blvd. shows the theatre where the Blackouts played to sold-out audiences for almost seven years, has been torn down & replaced by a giant red building.

Also of current interest, The El Capitan Theatre is now back in its original location near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, restored to its vintage glory by the Disney Co. which uses it for Disney Productions,

Ken Murray had been a star MC-Comedian in vaudeville, radio & Film…But vaudeville had died in 1938……Ken believed that WW2 audiences needed a modernized version of vaudeville to entertain them: He hired beautiful show girls to wear sexy costumes and starred the original Dumb Blonde, Marie Wilson, to use as the object of jokes about her remarkable 38”-22”- 38” anatomy as tastefully revealed in her picturesque costumes, while he flicked an unlit cigar after every joke. Marie’s appeal was that she wasn’t really “dumb”, she was sweetly naïve and innocently, a knockout !.

Murray’s backstage dressing room was a hangout for his Hollywood buddies, like Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen, & others, who would often unexpectedly walk onstage to the surprised delight of audiences… All this, and the constant changing of acts & costumes kept the Blackouts a “Must See” for locals & tourists alike, eventually playing to almost five million people.

During WW2, Southern California was surrounded by military bases & air fields for the army, navy and Marines. Off duty servicemen converged upon Hollywood Blvd. looking for excitement, entertainment and GIRLS!... I was at an age where I attracted their attention. In those days we were not afraid of strangers : Government posters urged civilians to offer rides & hospitality to service men.

As designer for the Blackouts, I was often at the theatre to gain approval for new sketches, to get assignments for new acts or to deliver costumes. Often I would bring servicemen backstage to watch the show while I took care of business…Sometimes I would bring them home with me, where, even after midnight, my mother would happily get up to make waffles and if they had no place to stay, would make them comfortable on our living room sofa : It was our contribution to the war effort… and the reason my favorite chapter in OUT-OF-STYLE is, “Fashions of the Forties And Hollywood Blvd”... Betty

For more information see website: outofstylethebook.com

Facebook: facebook.com/OutOfStyleTheBookByBetty...

Ancestry.com Blog: blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/author/be...

Library of Congress Number: 2012952901
Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-0983576198
Hardcover: ISBN-13: 978-0983576167
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August 24, 2015

I am proud to announce that my book, “OUT-OF-STYLE: A Modern Perspective of HOW, WHY & WHEN Vintage Fashions Evolved“ has been named Winner of the prestigious 2015 Beverly Hills Best Book Award in the sexy category of Performing Arts: Film & Theater. This is my fourth award for Best Book (see www.OutOfStyleTheBook.com).

I am particularly gratified by this honor because Beverly Hills was my home town: As a student at Beverly Hills High School, I designed & made costumes for all the school productions. Producer Jay Gorney saw them & said, “The next time I do a show, I will let you do the costumes.” He did and that’s how I had two hit Hollywood shows to my credit while still 18. (not only did Jay Gorney discover Shirley Temple, he also discovered ME!)...Betty
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March 26, 2015

February 2, 2015

Vintage Clothing Detective Betty Kreisel Shubert is now revealing at ANCESTRY.COM her vintage clothing time-dating secrets which are taken from her award winning book OUT-of-STYLE: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved .

Here are links to her last three ANCESTRY.COM posts:

http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/20...

http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/20...

http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/20...

OUT-of-STYLE has received numerous awards and rave reviews including:

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013

A Family Tree 2014 Top Choice

2014 USA Best Book Awards Finalist in the Performing Arts/Film & Theater category

34 5-STAR reviews and a LOOK INSIDE on AMAZON at http://www.amazon.com/dp/098357619X

More book and author details at www.outofstylethebook.com
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December 17, 2013

We are very proud to announce today that OUT-OF-STYLE the book has been named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013!!!

Here are more details from our official press release today:

Coveted by Genealogists and Fashionistas alike “Out-of-Style” Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013

Hollywood Costume Designer Turned Fashion Historian, Betty Kreisel Shubert Shares Her Modern Perspective on How Vintage Fashion Has Evolved

(LOS ANGELES) December 16, 2013 - Out-of-Style A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved, written and illustrated by Betty Kreisel Shubert, has been named to the prestigious Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013 list in the Indie Books category. As a Hollywood costume designer turned fashion historian and Ancestry Magazine columnist and illustrator, Shubert brings her extensive experience to shed a fresh perspective on the evolution of vintage fashions, creating an insightful and fascinating read making time-dating old photos and vintage fashions easy.

“The author’s deep knowledge of fashion, the book’s greatest strength, is evident in her cataloging of a broad range of men’s, women’s and children’s styles,” says Kirkus.

Out-of-Style, published by Flashback Publishing, features over 700 of Shubert’s own sequential illustrations that reveal the style clues that date clothes worn by men, women and children in 19th through 20th centuries and beyond. Throughout her book, Shubert includes fascinating gems of social history from countless sources in order to illuminate the life and times of our ancestors.

“You have done a masterful job of defining your subject and your expertise in this field is unique… Your book promises to be a wonderful help to genealogist researchers everywhere. With great admiration for you,” says Ancestry.com Executive Editor and V.P. Community Relations, Loretto (Lou) Szucs.

As a columnist for Ancestry Magazine, Shubert’s ground-breaking book was inspired by the need of genealogists to time-date old family photographs by illustrating the sequential style clues that place clothes, and therefore people in their own time frame.

“I have bought numerous history of costume books, but none of them tell me what I need to know in a manner I can easily access, absorb and utilize... Your book is so easy to understand, I want to be the first to endorse it!” says the late Caroline Rober, past president of the Southern California Association of Professional Genealogists.

Shubert’s encyclopedia-like history book is also sought after to inform the research needs of costume designers, theater companies, social historians and vintage collectors who require authenticity to costume specific time periods.

“This broad compilation of evolving fashion...makes for a valuable addition to any reference collection,” says Kirkus.

Kirkus Reviews is distributed to more than 5,000 industry influencers and reviews more than 8,000 books, selecting only 100 for its Best Books list. Because of the scope of their coverage, authoritative voice and the timeliness of their reviews, Kirkus Reviews is revered by many as the first indicator of a book’s potential. Read more: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...

Out-of-Style is available for purchase through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Ingram and local book retailers. It has been added to all campus libraries at the prestigious FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) and the Ringling College of Art and Design for their film program.

“It truly is an honor to be recognized by Kirkus Reviews,” says Shubert. “I wish this book had been available to me as a young costume design student and later as a working professional.”

Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/098357619X

Media Contact: Nadine Jolson, Jolson Creative PR Group jolsoncreativePR@mac.com 310-614-3214 direct

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About Out-of-Style: Out-of-Style A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved, by Betty Kreisel Shubert and published by Flashback Publishing, provides a fresh perspective on the evolution of vintage fashions and features over 700 of Shubert’s own sequential illustrations that reveal the style clues that date clothes worn by men, women and children in 19th through 20th centuries and beyond. Gems of social history illuminate the life and times of our ancestors. www.outofstylethebook.com/

About the author: Betty Kreisel Shubert has designed clothes and costumes for stage, screen, television specials, ready-to-wear, Las Vegas musicals, and Disneyland. She has designed the uniform programs for major cruise lines, race tracks, and for hotels, restaurants and casinos all over the world. As a regular columnist for Ancestry Magazine, Betty wrote and illustrated a column for genealogists entitled “Out-of-Style.”

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/OutOfStyleTheBookByB...
Goodreads Author Blog for reviews & interviews: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...
Hi Res Front Cover jpg: http://www.outofstylethebook.com/_ima...
Hi Res Back Cover jpg: http://www.outofstylethebook.com/_ima...
Author Photo jpg: http://www.goodreads.com/photo/author...
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November 7, 2013

Here is the link for a terrific review at KIRKUS REVIEWS:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...

Here are some quotes:

"Drawing on her decades of experience as a Hollywood costume designer, as well as two years as a columnist for Ancestry Magazine, the author presents a broad overview of 19th- and 20th-century dress. Her book, which targets genealogists, would be especially helpful for nonexperts who may want to learn more about their historic family photographs."

"The author’s deep knowledge of fashion, the book’s greatest strength, is evident in her cataloging of a broad range of men’s, women’s and children’s styles."

"Tidbits from the history of fashion, such as a re-evaluation of corset measurements that unzips the idea of the 16-inch waist, will also provide the amateur genealogist or costume designer with a window into the past."

"A guide to the evolution of fashion trends of the past two centuries, useful to costume designers as well as amateur and professional genealogists."

"This broad compilation of evolving fashion trends makes for a valuable addition to any reference collection."

...BETTY
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September 11, 2013

September 6, 2013

"A good addition to costume collections in public, high-school, and academic libraries." — Christine Bulson - BOOKLIST

Author-Illustrator Shubert, a designer for the entertainment industry, recommends this title for a variety of readers costume designers, vintage-clothing collectors, genealogists, historians, and fashionistas. There are line drawings of clothing worn by Americans through the nineteenth century by decade to the present. The illustrations include everything from hoop skirts, shoes, wedding dresses, and maternity clothes to suits, hats, and bonnets. The accompanying text discusses social history and the evolution of dress. A good addition to costume collections in public, high-school, and academic libraries.--Bulson, Christine

Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

BOOKLIST, is the magazine the New York Times calls "an acquisitions bible for public and school librarians nationwide," is the review journal of the American Library Association. It recommends works of fiction, nonfiction, children's books, reference books, and media to its 30,000 institutional and personal subscribers.

You can read the review here:

http://www.booklistonline.com/Out-of-...

BETTY
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August 29, 2013

I just finished my best yet radio interview last night with Nick Digilio at WGN-THE VOICE OF CHICAGO. You can listen to the interview titled FASHION and SOCIETY at:

http://wgnradio.com/2013/08/27/fashio...

Nick Digilio learns how society impacts fashion and how fashion impacts society with noted designer Betty Kreisel Shubert, author of Out-of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved.

You can also download my interview at Nick’s podcast I-Tunes page.

Hope you enjoy listening to the interview...BETTY
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August 20, 2013

Here is a new review of my book at Moultrie Creek Books found at http://moultriecreek.us/books/review-...

The review starts with:

"Although I’m looking at this book from a genealogy perspective – as a reference to help me date old family photos – I’ve also found it a fascinating look at the fashion fads of years gone by. It’s an amazing reference, offering beautifully drawn illustrations combined with a running commentary describing how small differences in the shape of a sleeve or length of a hem can pinpoint a photograph to within a year or two. It begins in the 1830's and continues into the 1960's. [Thank you, Betty, for not forcing us to take another look at the leisure suit.]"

Enjoy reading the review...Betty
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Out-of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved

Betty Kreisel Shubert
NEW VINTAGE CLOTHING TIME-DATING TOOL... How to date vintage clothing and old family photos MADE EASY!

Former columnist/illustrator for Ancestry Magazine, Betty Kreisel Shubert, has published a ground
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