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

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:

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

More book and author details at
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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

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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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

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Library of Congress Number: 2012952901
Paperback: ISBN-13: 978-0983576198
Hardcover: ISBN-13: 978-0983576167
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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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