Monday 28 June 2010

Garden feerie

Not far from where I live there is an original Dutch water garden - the only one to survive the later era of naturalistic landscaping in Britain.

Although the exotic varieties of tulips from the famous age of "tulipomania" are no longer present, Westbury Court garden is planted exclusively with species of plants available before 1700.
The long canal was the first feature to be created in 1696.

Near it the parterre in box with its conical and ball shaped topiary contained within yew hedges, some of which also sport cones, provides a formal and graceful surround to the tall Pavilion.
Two magnificent trees, a Tulip tree and a Holm Oak (reputedly England's oldest), dominate the formal garden
The oak

Tulip tree flower

Playing in the informal part of the garden

Views from the garden

During my visit I wore my 1930's crochet blouse and gloves (some of my favorite vintage that I own), paired with a modern skirt and shoes, a vintage jade necklace and my beloved mother of pearl art deco necklace.

And yes, you will be seeing more of this pose, at least until I get some vintage shades, and the hat and parasol so overdue!

Last but not least I'd like to introduce to you Ciprian Porumbescu (1853 - 1883), a Romanian composer whose work spreads over various forms and musical genres, the majority being choral and operetta. Some of his most remarkable musical pages were inspired by national heroes and great army leaders. In this tradition of pathos and patriotism he composed the Romanian anthem (used until 1990). He left a legacy of over 250 works, bringing him fame and popularity through his short life (died at 29 of tuberculosis)

The appreciation of his music came from the melodic nature of his compositions and their folklore inspiration. The best known work by Ciprian Porumbescu, and a reference work in Romanian classical music of the 19th century, is the Ballad for Violin and Orchestra.
Other remarkable pieces
are his Romanian Rhapsody for Piano, which was compared to Liszt rhapsodies, and the beautiful composition that I love and share with you today: Zana Dunarii (The Danube Fairy, in an approximate translation).

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Peach sorbet

Today I am sharing with you "Do you want to meet me on Saturday night?" sang by Jean Moscopol, a Romanian singer of the interwar period, who fled the country when communism gained political power in Romania in 1945. He was to remain in exile in the United States until his death in 1980. Due to his vehement opposition to communist policies he was marginalized until nearly erased from national memory. It's shocking how few people remember him today, yet in the 1930s he was an artist of renown in Bucharest and Europe, with over 300 songs in his repertoire, both Romanian and foreign.
I love this song, the exaggerated manner of his "r", very much on trend at that time in francophile Romania, and the funny lyrics about two lovers' dilemma of when best to meet:
"On Monday it's pointless, Tuesday brings bad luck, Wednesday is a fast day, on Thursday I dine with an uncle whose fortune I am to inherit... "). The video is interesting to watch too, as it contains images from Bucharest in between the wars.

The lyrics of the song in Romanian (for those of my connationals who might stumble upon my blog - you never know) are mixed in with pics of me wearing my 1930s embroidered net dress.
I bought this dress last September and just couldn't wait any longer to wear it. Peach is a tough color for me, but I loved the dress too much to leave it, and I'm very obstinate to make it work. (hopefully obstinate enough to get a tan at some stage :)).
I'm wearing it with a 20's beaded bag, vintage crocheted gloves, modern shoes, and vintage necklace and earrings.

"Aş vrea într-o seară să ne întâlnim
Dar nu ştiu când e mai bine să ieşim
Lunea n-are nici un rost
Marţi e rău ca merge prost
Miercuri ştii şi tu că e zi de post"

"Joi mi-e imposibil să te întâlnesc
Că mănânc c-un unchi pe care-l moştenesc
Vineri nu se poate, nu
Că postesc şi eu şi tu
Numai sâmbătă putem să ne dăm rendezvous"

"Şi dacă ne-o place stăm chiar până-n zori de zi
Că duminică putem dormi"

"Vrei să ne-ntâlnim sâmbătă seară
Într-o cârciumioară la şosea
Unde cântă un pian şi-o vioară
Şi-unde nu ne vede nimenea"

"Perechi perechi amorezaţii stau la masă
Şi nu văd nimic în jurul lor
Guriţă iau de consumaţie ce le pasă
Dacă-şi fac jurăminte de-amor"

"Vrei să ne-ntâlnim sâmbătă seară
Într-o cârciumioară la şosea

Vrei să ne-ntâlnim sâmbătă seară
Într-o cârciumioară la şosea"

Coveted peach

As far as vintage color combinations go, this is a pretty common one. Yet how dreamy, how evocative this soft peach and turquoise are, and how feminine, yet stylized the lines of the garments, instantly transporting into another time - and to me, far beyond a certain historical time, projecting an eternal time of balance and beauty.

Another favorite shared today is this composition by Christopher Gunning for the soundtrack of Poirot "Height of fashion" episode - that is, of course, aside the many variations of the theme music, which is pure genius in my book.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Coral fantasy

"You go to my head,
You linger like a haunting refrain,
And I find you spinning round
In my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne...

You go to my head
Like a sip of sparkling burgundy brew,
And I find the very mention of you
Like the kicker in a julep or two.

The thrill of the thought
That you might give a thought
To my plea
Casts a spell over me...
Still I say to myself:
Get a hold of yourself,
Can't you see that it never can be!

You go to my head with a smile
That makes my temperature rise;
Like a summer with a thousand Julys,
You intoxicate my soul with your eyes...
Though I'm certain that this heart of mine
Hasn't a ghost of a chance
In this crazy romance,
You go to my head, you go to my head..."

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Pink lolly

At the weekend I visited a vintage fair in London and bought this pink loveliness from the nicest seller ever, and a very beautiful lady too! Check out the 40's room, there is only a shoe selection available on line at the moment, but I'm hoping there will be more, as she did have some beautiful pieces at her stand.

My dress is knitted from a boucle yarn, and is great for all seasons with the exception of the very hottest days in the summer, which are far and few between here in UK (for my liking anyway :)). It has a lovely tie detail at the neck and its own belt.

I was so delighted to find it, as I'd had something like this on my wish list for quite a while. Labeled vaguely 30's/40's, I would definitely place this in the 30's, but my knowledge is limited so correct me if you know better.

I've styled it in 2 different ways for the photos, but they didn't come out great.
The dress is so much better in person, but my camera hates pink, and my hair and weird facial expressions tend to let me down. It's as if somebody made me wear this stuff as a punishment, judging by the faces I pull sometimes, and my body gets all stiff and awkward.

I've just realized I could have tried to pair it with brown rather than black, wear that little corde hat and a pair of brown suede pumps, I have a feeling it will work better. If only I could do a 30's sympathetic hair style...But that's enough whinging for one day.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Fifth hat

Hat No 5 and latest in my collection is without question a fun little number.
From ebay seller somethingtellsme!!! , this sweetie is made of velvet with a bow on top and is embellished with yummy berries and, er...some furry bits. It came with a purple feather hat pin, but that one is a little shabby and also, I feel, a bit too much on top of everything else.
Anyway, while we played around I realized once again how clumsy I am and incapable of attaching a hat to my head by means of hat pin only. Hm, more practice is needed, for sure. And perhaps more hat pins too :).

Thursday 10 June 2010

Erik Satie Gnossienne No. 1 by Tzvi Erez, piano

With the risk of overdoing it I wanted to post this other interpretation of Satie's piece I came across. It lacks perhaps some of the refinement in the notes, the forever haunted feeling the other one leaves you with, yet it is somehow more forceful, stronger, of a non resigned desperation, less final. I initially tried to include it in my other post but it wouln't work. So let me share my obsession with you once again.

Also sharing my black wool felt 1940's tilt hat, which is the vintage item I paid the most for so far. It was one of those cases when you have to have it, or else you might have a stroke. I chose the hat, and we've been happy ever since. From lovely UK seller pussyfootvintage.

Erik Satie - Gnossienne No.1

French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925) used for his pieces novel names such as "vexations", "croquis et agaceries" , "ogives". In 1893 he published the first of the "gnossiennes", a new word meant to describe a new type of composition.

There are different theories as to the meaning of the word, some relate it to the apparent involvement of Satie's with gnostic movements, others link it to the Theseus, Ariadne and Minotaur myth.

Satie was part of the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde, and according to critics his work "prophesied the major movements in classical music to appear over the next fifty years".

Several of the Gnossiennes were used for film soundtrack since the 1960's, this particular one - the first - proving to be a rather popular choice, featured in the Poirot episode "Five little pigs", "The painted veil" and "Chocolat" to mention just a few.

His work was also popular with modern performers like Frank Zappa, Steve Hackett and Blood Sweat & Tears who made various arrangements of Saties's piano pieces.

Trivia: word is that at the time of his death in 1925 his room was entered for the first and only time in 27 years, and in there amongst hordes of objects were found 4 pianos (never used for composing judging by the amount of dust and cobwebs), a total of 7 velvet suits (concealing several unknown compositions) and his portrait by Suzanne Valadon painted during their romance in 1893, all mixed with letters, drawings, other memorabilia from various periods of his life, and a great number of ...umbrellas.

Gnossienne 1 has been composed in 1890, before he met Suzanne Valadon, yet to me it somehow speaks of the feeling of "nothing but an icy loneliness that fills the head with emptiness and the heart with sadness" Satie was left with at the end of the 6 month relationship, the only love affair he ever had.

This is only a small extras of info from Wikipedia, where you can find more details and references to books on Satie.

And if you're wondering what's with the pics, well no, is not Halloween yet (in fact I wore this exact outfit, of which the dress is actually a skirt, to a Christmas meal). It's only what's happening to one when they play, unsupervised, with photoshop.

New hat

My new little hat!!!
This was advertised as a 1920s cloche hat. Now I am far from being the fashion expert, but to me this little cutie looks more 30's in style. Sure you can wear it molded to your head, in which case it looks like a skull cap, but a cloche?! Anyway, it was not a cloche that I was hoping for and definitely not a cloche turned up. Instead I got this crochet sweetie that makes me smile every time I look at it.

As soon as it arrived I couldn't resist but take it out for a stroll. So we went up the hill and fooled around. I am not even wearing it in a 30's sympathetic way (I will next time!), and it's the other way around, with the silver ball hat pin at the back.

Friday 4 June 2010