Today's castaway on Desert Island Vintage, Theresa Campbell McKee, is the brains (and the beauty!) behind Blue Velvet Vintage. Anybody who knows the Blue Velvet Vintage look (and you really should know the BVV look) realizes it is all about classic glamour. As Theresa writes on the Blue Velvet website:

Like Coco, we believe "A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."  We dream in black and white love stories, swoon for hourglass silhouettes and never leave the house without our signature red lipstick.

I anticipated Theresa's Desert Island choices would be glam, but I was delightfully surprised by how she has made these fabulous bombshell items seem all quite practical and appropriate for being stuck on a deserted beach. I'm almost convinced that one would need a sequined evening gown..." just for some variety." 


"When Maggie approached me about an article naming my eight favorite vintage pieces I’d want to have with me if stranded on a desert island, I must admit my mind initially went into some serious overdrive. There are just way too many eras of gorgeous vintage fashion to choose from—How would I ever be able to decide on just eight pieces? Being as I am really bad at picking a limited amount of favorites of anything I truly have a passion for, I knew this would be a challenge for me. It’s like asking me to pick my eight favorite things to eat! [Food is another passion—Theresa is a former personal chef and caterer.]

"That was until I decided that the best way for me to narrow it down would be to focus on the location for which I was choosing—a tropical desert island—and then have some fun with it.

"So by combining my love of both vintage tropical fashion and the glamorous outfits worn by actresses of classic film and TV, I was able to come up with my select Desert Island wardrobe, which includes my 'I can only dream' pieces. 

"The first two items are in my own wardrobe, and being as I live in Florida most of the year, I get a lot of wear out of them. They’re both by famous Hawaiian screen printer Alfred Shaheen. These two would have to be with me on any desert island. The original owner of the dress actually wore it for her wedding in Hawaii in the 50s.


1. and 2. "1950s Alfred Shaheen dress, and skirt

Then Theresa turns to her fantasy picks—

3. "I’d take this Edith Head sarong dress, worn by Dorothy Lamour in The Jungle Princess, because it would go perfectly with the orchids and hibiscus flowers I'd be wearing in my hair.

4. "For as long as I’ve been collecting vintage I’ve wanted an original 1930s beach pajama jumpsuit, so something in a bold floral print like these worn by the young Ginger Rogers would have to come with me for sure. They’d be so comfortable, I could even sleep in them.

5. "And of course, one can’t be stranded on a desert island without some swimwear, so I’d take this outrageous beaded gold bathing suit worn by Esther Williams. Its shimmer is sure to alert any passing ships.


6. "You never know when you may have a need for a chic evening dress as a castaway. It’s always best to be prepared should a stray cruise ship pull up and invite you to dinner at the captain's table. So I’d take a cue from Tina Louise, queen of the stylishly stranded, and bring this leopard print one-shoulder Nolan Miller number. Animal prints are a timeless look and especially appropriate for a desert island!

7. "And just for some variety, I’d also take this glam bombshell gown by William Travilla that Jane Russell wore in the film The Revolt of Mamie Stover which was set in Hawaii. I’d probably reserve this for the most special of occasions, like the day I was rescued!

8. "And last but not least, I'd take these Salvatore Ferragamo bejeweled red, gold and silver wedge sandals from 1938 because you can’t run around barefoot in the sand all day...it would be murder on your pedicure!


Well now, if you had Theresa's picks to wear, being stranded wouldn't be too bad after all! A wardrobe that's appropriate for a captain's table dinner? shimmering to alert passing ships? and for the day one is rescued? —I like the way you dream Theresa. And until you find your fantasy pieces, you will be a splendid beach comber in your Shaheens!

Many thanks to Theresa Campbell McKee for sharing her Desert Island Vintage wardrobe with us. Make sure to have a look at all the classic glamour at the Blue Velvet Vintage website, and Theresa's blog, Vintage Style Files.

What would you want if you could have just eight vintage fashion pieces? If you'd like to be featured here, let me know!


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