Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mystery Woman: At Rumplemayer's

Here's another Mystery Woman for you, this time from 12 Jan 1950. Seen lunching at Rumplemayer's, this Mystery Woman was described as "the most attractive and one of the best-dressed lasses lunching". She was dressed in a tailored, medium-grey suit with rounded lapels, teamed with a shell-pink crepe blouse with a tiny roll collar. Her hat was a "shell pink cloche, the brim at the front was trimmed with rose pink moire and veiling, and at the side was a cluster of fuchsia-coloured flowers and an unusual feather arrangement." Her accessories were all grey - grey gloves, grey leather bag, and grey gabardine shoes with lizard-skin heels and straps. Jewellery was a single strand of pearls and ring-shaped pearl earrings.

She turned out to be Helen McGregor of Ruskin Rd, Glen Iris. Although she designs and makes most of her own clothes, the suit Helen was spotted in was tailor made. The only reference I can find to Rumplemayer's is that it was at 234 Collins St, and that the Women's Section of the Pharmaceutical Society was arranging to host a bridge party there in 1935, to raise funds for the Aerial Medical Service.

From the 7 September 1950, the Thursday Fashion Page started running a Beauty Alphabet, with the suggestion that you "cut out these hints each week and keep a beauty alphabet book". I bring you the first part:

"As you know, both arms and ankles are often neglected. And yet if you stop to think they are both very important focal points. Steal a quick glance at your own and judge for yourself whether they are up to standard. If not, here are a few points that you would do well to remember if you want to be proud of your limbs:
  • Your elbows, first, should be well cared for, scrubbed regularly with plenty of soap and hot water.
  • If they are rather hard, rub some cream into them every night until the hardness completely disappears.
  • That goose-flesh, too, on your upper arms can be removed by constant rubbing with a loofah or brush.
  • Turning to your ankles, here's a really good exercise to keep them trim: Stand on one foot, lift the other several inches from the ground and turn it clockwise a dozen times and then reverse the process. Do the same with the other foot every clay, and after a short time you will notice how much stronger and better your ankles feel."


  1. That post was wonderful. How I would have loved to be chosen as the mystery woman in those days. And the description of her outfit -divine! Thank you so much for sharing these fabulous things! M x

  2. How lovely. The mystery woman sounds like a vision in pink and grey. Love the alphabetical beauty tips - divine!