It's a Wonderful Life

Photos: Nick Chao

It's a Wonderful Life, Look 1 / Dress: Erin Featherston, $314 (Cameron Marks) / Jacket: (Stylist's Own) / Ice & Vine Necklace: $125 (Blank Verse Jewelry) / Snake Bone Bracelet: $75 (Blank Verse Jewelry)

It's a Wonderful Life Look 2 / Dress: (Stylist's Own) / Necklace: $64 (Stripe) / Earrings: $48 (Stripe

On day four of Holiday Fashion Week, we can't help but remember the quintessential Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." 

This all-time favorite is one of Jimmy Stewart’s best, and is a great time capsule of the styles of the day. At one point, actress Donna Reed wears a gorgeous long black dress with a lace neck, but the film really comes alive with the finest of 1940s fashion during a party scene, when Reed’s character dances in a fun, frilly and layered evening dress—perhaps the most memorable outfit in the movie.

Here, our model remembers Reed's holiday dance scene as she winds her way through a classic old movie theater wearing her best party dresses and jewels. —Christa Martin and Elizabeth Limbach

Photos: Nick Chao / Model: Desiree Amariei / Fashion Stylist: Missy Schnaps / Hair Stylist: Ginger Vaughn / Makeup: Anna Wu / Wardrobe Department: Ellie Vilmenay / Production Assistant: Sera Michael / Filmmaker: Deva Blaisdell-Anderson / Producer-Director: Christa Martin / Location: Del Mar Theatre, 109 Locust St., Santa Cruz, Calif. Host: Stripe

Behind-the-Scenes of the Holiday Fashion Shoot

(Left to right, clockwise): Model Desiree Amariei, filmmaker Deva Blaisdell-Anderson and producer/creative director Christa Martin. Makeup artist Anna Wu and photographer Nick Chao. Ellie Vilmenay oversees the wardrobe department while Desiree touches up her makeup. Location/Host: Stripe.

Recently, The Penny Rose production team completed a stellar photo shoot on one fine Sunday in downtown Santa Cruz. The results of our shoot will be unveiled during Santa Cruz Holiday Fashion Week Nov. 26-29 on, where readers will see eight different outfits that fit into five different holiday "looks." Each "look" was inspired by a Christmas movie, and given a contemporary twist. Here, you'll see photos and collages from our behind-the-scenes photographer Sera Michael (also a writer for The Penny Rose). Sera captured some lovely moments between our team.  

Fashion stylist Missy Schnaps and model Desiree Amariei.  

Our expansive wardrobe choices with clothes supplied from: Missy Schnaps, Stripe, Stripe MEN, Cameron Marks, Jade, Wallflower, and Pacific Trading Co.

Photographer Nick Chao and makeup artist Anna Wu.

Fashion stylist Missy Schnaps, makeup artist Anna Wu and model Desiree Amariei. 

Model Desiree Amariei at Legs in Santa Cruz.

Cupcakes at Butter Cup Cakes. Also, a red bag by Kisim that's to die for (sold at Cameron Marks). 

Photos/collages: Sera Michael