Wednesday 26 January 2011

The fruit brooch

from deliadelia, etsy

Not my usual era of inspiration, but who can resist these positively juicy wonders? I love berries in all their shapes and forms, and  these gorgeous 50's molded glass Austrian brooches are no exception. Even when they feature cherries, pears or apples :)

 from Decatique Studios, ebay

from yoyolz ebay

  from fairytalesbyjulie, etsy

from GeneralWhimsy2, etsy

from cherrylippedrose, etsy

Tuesday 18 January 2011

The camouflage outfit

Just a quickie today: another 30's inspired, rather than vintage, look. In fact, nothing is vintage except for the brown knitted blouse, made and worn by my mother in the 70's. The chunky oversized cardigan/ knitted coat is another of her knits, which she made 12 years ago or so for me. 
I wasn't entirely sure about this ensemble but I went out like that anyway. My husband kept telling me I looked like a war refugee... Not quite the effect I was after. What do you think?

Friday 14 January 2011

The plaid skirt

Can't resist showing off one my newest purchases, a plaid skirt that arrived in the post this week.
The label is Boreva Sportswear, a company that activated in the US in the 40s (from my research) and also later (going by what others are saying). I was so intrigued by the skirt that I submitted pics to the knowledgeable ladies at the Fedora Lounge for advise as to its dating. They agreed that it is most likely a 50's skirt, which is very much in line with the dating of the seller herself. Apparently, had the skirt been any older than that, there would have been a lot more care put into matching the plaid, and perhaps creating an interesting effect such as bias cut for areas like the waist band.
The reason behind my enquiries was the design of  the skirt, so similar I thought to the ones in the pic bellow from a 30s magazine. Check it out! Isn't that amazing?

Anyhow, while slightly disappointed it has failed the examination by the experienced eye of the Fedora Lounge members, I know how difficult it is to actually come across 30's separates, so I hadn't raised my hopes too high. It just goes to show how muuuuuuuuuuch more I have yet to learn about vintage clothing before I will be able to date things with accuracy. Not having any sewing notions doesn't get you very far! Also, I could really do with some good books and catalogs in order to improve my knowledge, as I have been relying only on my ever growing on line image collection, which means the information I have is inaccurate to some extent, incomplete, and definitely unstructured.

Moving on, I will still try and incorporate this skirt in a 30's look. At the end of the day the fun comes from being creative with one's wardrobe rather than too corseted by rules and considerations of the kind: "well, if this doesn't have a 1935 label, tough, I will not have it!". And I've lent myself to far more scandalous fakery with my dickeys, or incorporating a lot more more recent vintage and for that matter modern clothing into my wardrobe to shy away from this skirt now :). 
Sadly, I don't seem to be very lucky with plaid. Not long ago I had to sell on a very pretty jacket  in similar colors (real 30's this time) because the sleeves were too short. I never seem to win these days, but I will not be beaten by plaid, do you hear me?!...

Thursday 13 January 2011

Ruffles, frills, and other frivolous treatments - Part III - The modesty panel


The modesty panels - also known as modesty inserts, faux camisoles, or dickeys - are pretty much forgotten items these days. Nevertheless they didn't fail to fire my imagination, easily captivated as I am by their bogus nature and their fatal mixture of beauty, fragility and uselessness...With the exception that they come in rather handy, even to those of us with less modesty to hide.

This first one is a double bluff: I may be using it as a camisole underneath my cardigan, but I'm pretty sure it started life as part of something with a lot more to show for itself, such as a beautiful evening dress, of which today there is only the top panel left. It makes me sad to think of it, the beauty and perfection that may have been and are now forever lost...

This second one features cream lace on top of a layer of pale pink silk with a very cute lace collar. Unfortunately the collar is quite damaged at the back and I am not quite sure how to repair it/reinforce it.

These last two I picked on Etsy and I love them. The first one is linen with cute mop buttons and necktie, it looks a bit like a fancy waistcoat except that of course, it is not.

This last one is very smooth and silky yet probably rayon, it hangs beautifully and has an attractive insert of lace that creates a diamond shaped pattern. More lace! Never can get enough of the thing, I'm afraid. 
Oops! It looks like I may just have, since I decided to wear it backwards in the bottom image. Oh, well, it's just what you do, isn't it?

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Ruffles, frills, and other frivolous treatments - Part II - The ruffled blouse

 Yet another thing in my always growing list of self indulgences, the ruffle blouse will maintain its place there with fierceness no matter how many I will come to acquire. I love them, I always have, and they suit my flat chested figure. Can't go wrong then, or can I?!
I have to confess I sometimes see examples from mid 30s that go way and beyond my wildest dreams. So much so, they leave one feel just ever so slightly nauseated, like after having a piece too much too much of  a sweet and fluffy cake. However there is a right dose for everyone, I think. So as long as I know my limits, ruffles are the way to go!

I am wearing mine with the faithful Great Plains skirt, Monsoon suede pumps, Accessorize cut out belt and 1940's corde purse. This matches the shoes perfectly and, although being a purse, it is the right size clutch for me.

These beautiful lace examples sold recently on ebay. They are so gorgeous it hurts. I definitely need more of this in my life! Not the pain, the beauty!

Ruffles, frills, and other frivolous treatments - Part I - The jabot

I gushed about them in my previous post. Now it's time to put one's money where their mouth is. Speaking of which, I have 2 jabots (only one pictured, as the second needs buttoning to a top that I am yet to acquire - yeah, I shop like that, putting the cart before the horse). And before you ask, no, I did not try a Prince impersonation, although I evidently share the 80's obsession with this little (but oh so flamboyant!) piece of attire.
I picked this 1930s one on Etsy and I am wearing it here with a vintage Bebe jacket tailored to mimic a riding coat, therefore creating a nice nipped in silhouette with a pretty vent at the back. But instead of pairing them with jodhpurs, I thought I'd try a skirt instead.

 Jabots were very popular in the 30s and 40s. Here is a gorgeous example of a crocheted blouse with an attached jabot detail. The pattern available for purchase from The Cemetarian. I wish I could crochet, this blouse makes me swoon! Ain't that absolute perfection?...

However, if your skills stretch no further than mine, don't despair. Nice detachable jabots, which you can wear with jackets and cardigans or attach to plain blouses, always make their apparition on Etsy and Ebay for reasonable amounts of money, like this one that sold recently:

They give you versatility and also convenience when it comes to washing. And of course, they are girly and frilly and over the top. What's not to love about them?

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Dancing lady

I watched "Dancing lady" the other night and I have to say it has everything I expect a 30s film to have. Not much of a plot, but to be honest I'm not that bothered since that isn't really my top request.
Instead it was funny, sparkly and light like champagne, flashy, grand, with gracious dancing numbers, with gorgeous feminine and masculine presence, and my goodness me, with the most impressive array of costumes which will seriously challenge me to find the same degree of satisfaction ever again.

There were the proverbial deco, slinky, luscious, clingy, liquid satin dresses that any respectable film of its kind should have (and you can't really see here, but they adorned both blonds and brunettes :)).

There was perfect men's tailoring:

There was breathtaking outerwear:

There were beautiful day dresses with plenty of interesting details:

There were the frilliest things you've ever seen:

There was, of course, plaid, and so many different neckline treatments to suffice for a lifetime.

There were hats:

There were a number of play suits, each one enough to make one drop dead with envy.

Speaking about dance, there was Fred Astaire, and feathers for Crawford.

There was even a (truly) ridiculous Austrian inspired number with dirndls and a blond plated wig for Joan.

In between the shows there was sportswear, both for her and for him.

And there was this chap's jacket, which nearly managed to outshine everything else.

Oh, I nearly forgot: there was an edible Clark Gable, so handsome it hurt. It did.

And there were other things too, in case you might still want to watch this film at some point:)...Now, really, I hope I didn't spoil it for you.