Wednesday 27 February 2013

New in the shop

The wonderful shoes above are so pretty it hurts.Would hurt even more trying to get your feet in them, they are tiny!!! Best suited for those of us with masochistic behavior,or other than that those who simply like to dwell over what they cannot have. 

If, like me, you wear a human size in shoes, there is a danger these more recent louis heels might actually fit, and furthermore allow you, if at all necessary, to walk about. Might be just the ticket to those cocktail fueled 20's and 30's parties providing you're not a purist with easily hurt sensibilities.However if your radar for non-authentic has picked a strong signal and is bleeping like mad setting your teeth on edge, I strongly advise you to move course immediately and keep close to a box of plasters.

Negotiating that big deal today, are you? Show them you really mean business by dangling this in your way to the office!  Yes it's made to be flashed at the opponent, and I promise you they'll never know what's hit them.. Speaking about flashing, it also makes those green envy leds go lala..A word of cautiousness though: if  interviewing for a job, kindly leave it behind. You don't want your next boss knowing you're SO much better...not just yet.

Now this one ain't funny at all. I don't know who she thinks she is with that rhinestone studded frame and the gold satin interior, and the perfectly matching mirror, with no foxing, and  no odor, and not a single mark or stain in sight, and with that kid leather sickeningly soft to the touch... I tell ya, there's no limit to this girl's delusion, she thinks she's some sorta glamourpuss.

Monday 18 February 2013

Fancy a cuppa?

...Or should we simply call it: The Case of the Missing Saucer?...
Appealing as that may sound, I am not in fact inviting you to solve any great mystery, just hinting to a little project I was involved in recently at the Gloucester Antiques Centre, who by the way own the rights to these photos. 
But more about that later! Let's just say that I got the chance to show off one of my favourite winter outfits.

This green number accented with yellow bakelite buckle and buttons was the first 30's inspired knit mother made for me, and for that it will always be special. You can see it in more detail here.

 The jaunty Peter Pan style hat works perfectly with it and with my new  hair - well apart from those weird strands framing my face - but I guess I wouldn't be me if not a hair looked out of place (literally).  I'm really happy to finally see my hair fitting my 30's hats, especially as I haven't had a particularly successful hair cut, but this aspect appeases me a great deal. 

Finishing with my most beloved 30's shoes (also to be seen here) there isn't in fact a single aspect of this outfit I am not pleased about, which is pretty amazing as I have an unbeatable capacity to sweat the small stuff.

But what I love about it most is how very relaxed and joyful it feels, with its playfulness so typical of 30's sports inspired fashion. I feel as if I'm holidaying in the Alps, having fun on the slopes around some Swiss chalet, a la Claudette Colbert in I met him in Paris
Just to be decidedly nerdy, I'll add that that the pattern of this knit dates to 1937, the same year as the film :)

And that's all for now.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Cold weather gear

This past December I bought a fur coat. I never set out for a purchase of this kind, for several reasons: weather in Britain rarely calls for such extreme wrapping, fur coats are generally bulky therefore tend to overwhelm my small frame, and also because, in spite of already owning a couple of collars and a double fox pelt, I remain somewhat ambivalent about fur, albeit vintage. 
So here I am with my impulse purchase, which I tried on out of curiosity for the fit and ended up not being able to leave behind. 


Before I carry on, I expect that the caricature above might inspire some of your comments. Whereas I am fully aware that fur is a controversial subject,  I have no desire to entertain a conversation about the moral issues surrounding fur, as justified as they may be,  I am merely sharing an interest in a vintage item of fashion. There are plenty of other outlets to express your moral position should you wish to do so. I would like to remind everyone that my blog is a personal space and I hope that you will respect that. Thank you.

I must say this coat is very cosy, soft and lightweight. The fur is silky and short, the vendor wasn't quite sure as to the type of fur but suggested rabbit. 
With little expertise in this field, after a few hours of research I concluded that it could only be that or some type of weasel. It doesn't feel like a domestic cat, which is apparently one way to identify rabbit fur, but I guess processing can significantly change the texture and appearance of a fur. Rabbit fur is the lowest quality fur out there, and in the 50's they would have shaved it, dyed it, and generally processed the hell out of it  in order to make it look higher end. 
Rabbit fur also sheds badly and has a "life" expectancy of only 3 to 5 years, so if this is rabbit it certainly keeps in fantastic shape, with no bold patches of any kind and no shedding whatsoever. 


The coat has not one, but two labels which say "Hopetonella - Furs of Distinction" and "Fashioned exclusively from skins produced by Chapal of Paris". 
I had little luck in researching the first one, but the second bears the name of well known company in the fur and leather industry, going back as far as 1832 and still strong in present day. 
The 1950's adverts above are for Chapal products and both boast the merits  of rabbit (coney) furs. I have borrowed them, together with the previous caricature, from Chapal's website, which has a very consistent section regarding company's history with plenty of photographs if anyone is interested.

 While the labels place this item firmly in the 50's, I felt that I could also make it work with my 30's wardrobe. At the end of the day swing shapes were very fashionable as far as mid to late thirties coats go, and other features such as the raglan sleeve, roomier in the middle, as well as the turned cuffs and large collar (that can sit flat or stand up) further contribute to facilitating that impression.

A friend pointed to me that an alteration must have been done to this coat as the bottom row of pelts are significantly shorter then the others. Looking at these pics I am now convinced they are right and the coat would have been longer originally and therefore more aesthetically balanced. Luckily since I am only  5f 4 this hardly constitutes a tragedy.


And here is what I wore underneath: a green knit ensemble that I haven't had the chance to show so far on this blog. It was too cold today though to take more photographs of it outside, so I'll just tease you with this one and leave the details for a future post. 
I wore it with: vintage malachite necklace and earrings, embroidered linen blouse from the 70's (used to be ma's), modern croc impressed leather belt, and a most recent purchase - 1930's shoes which I love and suffer for (yes, small is the word).

That's all.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Oranges, greys and another 30's knit

Here is another finished project, a 30's blouse inspired by the above image, fished from this blog, definitely one worth following if you're into vintage 30's to 50's fashions and knitwear, with the host often posting many vintage patterns for free.
I noticed that this specific pattern is actually available for purchase here inf anyone case is interested, my blouse is however only based on its visual clue.
Mother came pretty close this time, with a great trompe l'oeil approximation of a lacy design which is more than convincing. It worked really well with the beautiful mulberry silk yarn used (dk weight) which I'm over the moon with.

On the down side, some things still went wrong, like the arm length. Yep, don't know what happened there. 
Also mother is yet to conquer her fear that I won't be able to get things past my shoulders ( in spite of having been "gifted" with the narrowest ones one could get), and as a result a properly fitted waist continues to elude her knits, which can be a bit of a spoiler when it comes 30's blouses. 
A string has been added to compensate but psychologically speaking is counteractive :).  Still, the weight of the silk makes this fall naturally "blousy " so the result isn't too bad. 

I'm going to be happy wearing it as it is, and I think it looks great paired with the muddy greys of this modern jacket and skirt (nope, not trying to camouflage against dirty carpet, though I might need to come back to this idea in future posts).