Hello! How are you celebrating May Day?  This holiday has perhaps become a bit antiquated, but we still like to mark the occasion as the official, undeniable onset of spring.  FINALLY, SPRING!  We got a little crafty with some very vintage-influenced, nostalgia-heavy collages featuring vintage clip-art and May Day imagery.  Enjoy!

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What a joy it is to announce that spring has at last arrived in Portland, hallmarked by several days of 70°+ weather, sunshine and blue skies.  It’s also showing up all around Eden with all sorts of beautiful, brightly colored arrivals: vintage furnishings, gowns, lingerie and ephemera; cosmetics and fragrances, jewelry and more!

Above photos from our Instagram feed.  You can follow us at @edenpdx, and follow our sister shop Flutter at @flutterclutter!  If you don’t have Instagram, you can still check these photos out in our Facebook album or Pinterest board.

Scotch Naturals nail polish in “Leprechan Lynch,” “Queen of Scotts,” and “Seething Jealousy.”

Tocca Fragrances in “Stella,” “Florence,” and “Cleopatra.”

MOR Basil and Grape hand creme, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie perfume, Voluspa Soleil candle, Serge Lutens Fleurs d’oranger perfume, Brehan Todd earrings.

V&A Pattern Books: Garden Florals, Spitalfield Silks and Walter Crane (background images in above collages are from the excellent dvds from these three books, which feature all of the artwork included in digital versions as well!)

We’re so enjoying the beauty of the season and these wonderful items reminiscent of spring – come visit Eden soon to see what’s new!

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Have you heard of Pinterest?  We’ve been loving this site as a source for inspiration images, interior decor ideas, fashion illustration, look books and product spotlights, and to track our favorite photos, illustrations and more!  Our whole staff has been contributing, and it’s neat to see a sort of multi-dimensional Eden developing through the eyes of everyone who works here.  We’re keeping the style of our boards and pins really true to the concept behind Eden: a Biba-influenced, mossy rock’n'roll English manor filled with Deco and 70′s themed curiosities and opulent oddities.  All of these images come from our Pinterest account, which you can follow here!  (We’d love to see what you’ve been up to, as well!)  And yes, Flutter has a Pinterest account too, check it out over here!

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Many of our new (and vintage) spring arrivals are reminding us of Imperial- and Soviet-era Russia!

We thought it might be interesting to share some of this inspiration in a blog post, along some of the items at Eden with a decidedly Russian style.

Images of early 20th Century Russia from Early Travel Photography (elderly Leo Tolstoy at lower right!)

Soviet-era illustrations by Alexander Rodchenko from Rodchenko: Design.

Fur hat images: 12 • 3 – Vintage Russian fox fur hat, available at Eden4

1 • 2 & 4 – Soviet-era Russian medals and pins available at Eden3

Zhostovo-style painting is a huge component of Russian folk art.  This distinct style is recognized in a collection of barrettes we’ve got at the shop right now, too!

12 • 3 – Russian Zhostovo style barrettes, available at Eden4

Much Imperial and antique Russian jewelry bears strong resemblance to that of neighboring Asian and Middle Eastern regions.  Some of our Turkish jewelry certainly fits into this category – we think these pieces (on right, for sale at Eden) look a lot like the antique Russian versions (at left.)

1 • 2 & 3 – available at Eden4

We hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into our latest inspiration!  If you are interested in purchasing any of our inventory shown above, please call (503) 222-2285 during business hours (10-6 M-Sat, and 10-5 Sundays PST) or email info@edenportland.com

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While having some much needed R&R with our family over the holidays, we engaged in a favorite pastime: watching old movies together.  By old, we mean really old – before the advent of talkies.  Seeing a few legendary silent film actors and actresses inspired a bit of research on some of the most notable names and we thought to share some interesting historical tidbits here!

- Rudolph Valentino -

While Valentino is still a household name (and perhaps the most famous of the silent-era film stars,) much of his filmography is lost to history.

Despite being typecast as “exotic” and “the Latin lover,” Valentino held progressive, humanist ideas about foreign cultures, and did his best to humanize the characters he was cast as.  For example, when interviewed about his role as “The Sheik” and asked if his love interest would have fallen for a ‘savage’ in real life, Valentino stated that “People are not savages because they have dark skins. The Arabian civilization is one of the oldest in the world…the Arabs are dignified and keen brained.”  This frustration plagued Valentino for most of his short career and it was only with the guarantee that he be allowed great latitudes in costuming and scripting that he agreed to reprise the sheik role in Son of The Sheik, his final film.

Valentino also was keen to be involved in other elements of the film business besides just acting.  While earning today’s equivalent of $130,000 per week, Valentino created an award for acting that preceded the existence of the Academy Awards.  The Rudolph Valentino Medal was given for artistic accomplishment in film and determined by Valentino, two judges and a vote of 75 critics.

Valentino died in 1926 at the age of 31 from complications related to appendicitis, gastric ulcers and an abdominal infection.  His death caused pandemonium as much of America fell into chaotic, despondent mourning for the star.

- Mary Pickford -

Canadian-born Mary Pickford is perhaps the most famous silent-era film actress.  Known as “the girl with the golden curls” and “Blondilocks,” she enjoyed unprecedented popularity with American audiences.  Despite her waning popularity as an actress following the advent of “talkies,” Pickford continued to be instrumental in the film industry, helping found United Artist pictures as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Pickford’s marriage to actor Douglas Fairbanks cemented their position as the first “Hollywood Royalty” – she was once described as “the best known woman who has ever lived, the woman who was known to more people and loved by more people than any other woman that has been in all history” and when she and Fairbanks returned from their honeymoon abroad, people clamored in the streets to see them.  Pickford used her fame to garner support for the military during World War I by selling liberty bonds, raising an estimated five million dollars and being named by the Army as an honorary colonel.

After her divorce from Fairbanks (who went on to wed Sylvia, Lady Ashley,) Pickford became a bit of a recluse, seldom leaving her estate (nicknamed Pickfair during the time of her marriage.)  When she was given an honorary Oscar in 1976, a film crew set up inside Pickfair to record her statement of thanks and provided American audiences with a glimpse of the legendary abode.

- Gloria Swanson -

One of the most prominent silent film actresses, Gloria Swanson enjoyed a career which spanned beyond silent film and is best known for her role as fallen silent film star, Norma Desmond in David O. Selznick’s Sunset Boulevard.

Though she began work as an extra, Swanson rocketed to movie star status within a few years of working at Paramount.  Working under directors such as Cecil B. DeMille, Swanson gained an incredible amount of artistic authority and leverage with the studio, though films she had a hand in making had varying rates of success.  Following Sunset Boulevard (which was made when Swanson was only 51,) she toured through talk and variety shows discussing her silent and sound film career.

Married six times, Swanson notably had a famous affair with business partner Joseph P. Kennedy, father of future president John F. Kennedy.  Throughout her life, Swanson advocated for a healthy diet, including encouraging others to try macrobiotic diets and vegetarianism (Swanson became a vegetarian in her late twenties.)

- Clara Bow -

Clara Bow garnered the title of the original “It” girl after appearing as a spunky shopgirl in silent film It.  Cartoon character Betty Boop was also modeled after Bow, who embodied the sex appeal of the 1920s with her bob haircut and flapper style.  This style helped the young star rise to tremendous fame, becoming one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and receiving 45,000 fan letters in January of 1929.

Bow became known for her frank behavior and bohemian lifestyle.  It was said of her, “Clara is the total nonconformist. What she wants she gets, if she can. What she desires to do she does. She has a big heart, a remarkable brain, and the most utter contempt for the world in general. Time doesn’t exist for her, except that she thinks it will stop tomorrow. She has real courage, because she lives boldly.”  She said of herself, “They yell at me to be dignified. But what are the dignified people like? The people who are held up as examples of me? They are snobs. Frightful snobs … I’m a curiosity in Hollywood. I’m a big freak, because I’m myself!”

At the age of 28, Bow retired and became a rancher with husband Rex Bell, a cowboy actor.  They had two sons.  Bow later suffered chronic insomnia and abdominal pains.  Upon examination, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Her poor health and heart conditions could have been genetic – it is suspected that Bow’s mother was also a schizophrenic, who unfortunately never received treatment.  Bow died at age 60 of a heart attack.

•   •   •   •   •

Love the silent film style?  Eden can help you incorporate a glamorous Art Deco influence into your home and wardrobe.

Claus Porto Wild Moss Soap, $12 • Jesseca Anne Pisces Earrings, $65 • Vintage leather evening bag, $125 (call 503 222 2285 for details) • Fur and silk collar, $65 (call 503 222 2285 for details.)

Found image post cards, $2 each (call 503 222 2285 for details) • Ostrich feathers, $12 each (call 503 222 2285 for details) • Vintage silk scarves, $24 each • Serge Lutens Arabie perfume, $120.Art Deco Textiles book, $29.95 • Jan Michaels cuff, $92 • Vintage shawl, $210 • Lily Lambert No. 33 perfume oil, $42.

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