Sunday 15 December 2013

1930's style jumper and a winter challenge (say no to black)

Here is a little something to shake off the drabness of the cold season: a 1930's inspired number that will do more than keep you nice & toastie in winter - uplift your spirit whilst having you clad in style. Real style. Remember, elegance does not have to be black! The wool and silk mohair yarn makes this knit light and frothy, and the paprika/denim colour combo is guaranteed to improve your mood. 

...It also cooks you breakfast!!

Seriously, advertising talk aside, this is a rather beautiful piece of clothing, hand knitted by mother, whose work I sport regularly on this blog. As some of you know already, she does not take commissions, so this is a one and only purchase opportunity, with the garment now available in my etsy store. 
Furthermore, I am offering a 10% discount on this item to followers of my blog from now until Christmas, simply convo me via etsy to this purpose should you be interested.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Christmas candy

I took a little day trip to London with a friend as a pre-Christmas treat. I had never set foot in the famous shopping arcades or other places of similar fancifulness which are packed with tourists all year round and little suited for cost and other reasons to my shopping habits. However this year I decided to embarque on a decadent window shopping experience - after all, I am a tourist in this country - and have to say, London is certainly the place for stimulating the want. 

In true touristy fashion, I preferred Harrods to Fortnum & Mason's, although the latter wowed me with their marzipan and glace fruit confectionery - so beautiful you would never want to eat it. But the former's architectural and interior design features score pretty high in the way of glamour. I  had to take an extra ride in the amazing Otis elevators which were my favourite feature. No pics other than the one outside their winter wonderland window, the kind of shop display that is very much up my street. 

Sadly the Christmas decorations section in either store didn't quite match my expectations, yet I stumbled upon some wonderful things such as a Deco patterned tie, along with beautiful chevron knitted Missoni ones, amazing Islamic woven silk rugs that added another dimension to the touch, and last but not least a perfume that emptied my brain and filled my senses, so by the time we ended the day with cocktails in the perfect Deco surroundings of the American Bar at Brasserie Zedel, I had been drunk already for some time. 

I need to get out of the house a bit more, I think... Right now, to do some actual Christmas shopping.

Friday 6 December 2013

Hello, is that you, Santa?...

Just over a year ago I started dressing the windows at the Antiques Centre in Gloucester, setting up a little nautical scene. I've done every window change since, and loved every minute of it. If there is a side to my job that makes me truly happy, this is it. So this Christmas I am celebrating not only an year of newly found aesthetic appeal,  as well as commercial success of this particular enterprise, but also what I see as a small personal accomplishment of my own: finding something I like doing and ...well, doing it.

There's a competition this year for the best store window within the Gloucester Quays Shopping Outlet (which includes the Antiques Centre since it's reopening after recent turbulent times) and it would be nice to win it. Mostly for the team who put up with me every day. 
I am already a winner, for all of you ladies and gentlemen who make it your business to come in and pay me your wonderful compliments, for which I give  you my heartfelt thanks. 
The best was from someone who is regularly visiting the Antiques Centre just to keep up with the changes in window display. Now you may think this is of little relevance for a business, but it means a hell of a lot to me. The thought (rather heady) that anyone would get out of their house with the purpose of seeing my work, and would find joy and delight in it, is deeply touching. That made my day (and a few since :))

For those of you unlikely to pop by, here is a little taster of one of the window sections that form part of this year's Christmas display.









Wednesday 4 December 2013

It's been a while, how are you?

Long story short, around the time of my last entry here I became suddenly - and unexpectedly - unemployed. Although some weeks later I sort of regained my position, this whole period made for a  rather stressful time overall, and an emotional roller-coaster. 
I am hoping to settle on firmer grounds soon, and at least to reach the level of shallow normality which is as far as my existence here can stretch to. That means blogging again, showing you my vintage, filling my etsy shop, and last but not least, appreciating my job for giving me the opportunity to be around some lovely people which I would greatly miss otherwise.

Monday 5 August 2013

Full of beans in tomato stripes or the Bukta CC41 utility swimming suit




Perhaps not the late 1920's or 1930's dream swimsuit I was chasing, still here I am happily modelling this later version of stripe craze, which bears the Bukta swimwear label.

Established in 1879 in Manchester, Bukta was the first sportswear brand in Britain. They were the official uniform supplier for the Scouts, also made camping equipment and clothing, as well as hospital and tropical uniforms for the British Army during the First World War, but became mostly known for the football and rugby sportswear they produced - a field which they dominated up until the 1960's. 

The label went on to be worn by famous names like George Best and Diego Maradonna in the 80's, whereas more recently has become the casual staple of non-sports stars such as  Noel and Liam Gallagher. Still going today, the brand even launched a vintage collection in 2009.

 1939 advertisement for Bukta golf jackets, via


 My swimming suit is new old stock, meaning it never made it across the counter, or if it did, was never worn -  still bears the paper size label. The manufacturer's label has the CC41 symbol, which places its making sometimes after 1941.

According to the Vintage Fashion Guild " The Utility Label or CC41, was used in Great Britain as a result of wartime shortages in WWII and the period immediately following. Rationing of clothing went into effect in June, 1941, and strict manufacturing standards were drawn up limiting the amount of fabric, fasteners and trims that could be used in each garment. This ruling was called Civilian Clothing 1941, or CC41.(...) CC41 labeling continued until 1952, when rationing was finally ended".

 Here is the label, followed by another two from the 50's and the 60's.




It's quite amazing that, given how renowned this brand is, I was not able to find more visuals on line in terms of actual swimwear from the 30's and 40's, not even ads. So if you come across any, please be kind and send me a link, I would really like to see more. 

In the meantime I leave you with more fooling around the vegetable garden - quite the place for a beachwear show, don't you think?

Thursday 1 August 2013

30's swimming in colour (with a little bit of late 20's thrown in for good measure)

1930's bathing suit at the Metropolitan Museum New York

via Velvet & Linen blog

1928 bathing suit via -
- on this website you will also find a great article on vintage swimwear

1929 bathing suit via - I love this one!!!

1932 wool swimsuit with adjustable ties via

1936 swimsuit made of a lastex/wool mix for a better fit via

Jantzen suit

1936 bathing suits at the Metropolitan Museum NY

red wool bathing suit by B. Altman & Co., 1932. via yeoldefashion tumblr

1933 bathing suit, via retroknittingcompany

via Sonne nach Wunsch flickr

And below, a pattern you can actually knit via A Stitch in Time vol 1.
This one comes with the perfect body too :)