Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Festive Outfits Never End

I can’t seem to shake the festive season from my mind. I’m still dressing almost exclusively in red and green, so much so that it’s actually becoming a problem. Nevertheless, today I took my festive wardrobe out for a frolic on the hillside, across a stretch of green that is tentatively perched just above the ocean in all its terrible vastness. As I frolicked, Father took some pretty photos for me on his newly acquired camera:

1950s frock: Flashbax
Belt: Zoo Emporium, Surry Hills
Shoes: Bloch

If I look a little tired, it’s because I stayed up ’til past midnight, sewing the hem on this gingham frock. I admit I’ve never sewn a hem before, so I’m a little overcome with pride – small, small steps to sewing greatness.

Headband: Sportsgirl
Snood: Arthelia’s Attic
Necklace: thrifted

It was my intention to wear this as my Christmas headpiece, but alas, it did not match my green frock so well. Nevertheless, I believe it functions just as well now as it would have then. I have such a weakness for plastic cherries.


It’s all rather pretty here by the ocean, so I daresay I’ll be back again soon with more extravagant photo shoots.

Until then, pip pip!

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Christmas: Red and Green

If you thought I’d already exhausted my supply of red and green accessories, you would be wrong. Very wrong indeed! I managed to pull together yet another festive outfit for Christmas day – and by “pull together”, I mean that I planned it a week and a half ago.

I wore this green 1950s (possibly early 1960s) frock that I bought from Grandma Takes a Trip, and made it Christmas-appropriate by belting it to add some red, and then piling as many festive accoutrements as I could find on my head. The effect was quite pleasant:


1950s dress: Grandma Takes a Trip, Surry Hills
Necklace:
from an antique store in Guernsey
Belt: belongs to a 1950s dress, bought from Pop Fizz Vintage
Shoes: Bloch

Though I originally had other plans for my Christmas hair accessories, I ended up donning this white floral piece, and then adding to it with some red hair flowers, and some tinsel decorations I stole from a Christmas hamper (I’m nothing if not inventive).

1950s headpiece: Mint Condition, Rozelle
Hair flowers: Sportsgirl

Christmas celebrations were wonderful, as per tradition. Grandma, with the help of various relatives, cooked up a magnificent feast that left us as stuffed as the turkey. We spent the afternoon and evening that followed slumped on various couches – eating so voraciously really takes it out of you (#firstworldproblems).





The weather was perfect, and eating Christmas lunch with a view out over the ocean was most idyllic. ’twas a lovely, lovely Christmas.

A few more days of holiday season family bonding still remain while we’re all up here at Scotts Head together. Nevertheless, there is still a parade of outfits yet to be rolled out, including the Heyday Fleur dress that Santa brought me today.

Until next time, Joyeux Nöel, mes amis.

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Christmas Eve

Bonsoir, friends. ’tis Christmas Eve, and before I run along to gobble some Christmas chocolates and drink red wine before bed, I thought I’d send out some Christmas cheer to the blogosphere. While I’m at it, I’ll show you my Christmas Eve outfit.

I wore this rather festive red and green frock tonight, which befitted the occasion quite wonderfully:


Frock:
Sarah Jayne, also worn here
Crossover: Blooms, stolen from Mother
Hair flower: Sportsgirl

Merry Christmas and such!

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A Rendezvous in Hyde Park, London

Right now I’m holed up inside, packing my life and wardrobe into boxes in preparation for my impending move, so I have been positively unglamorous. As a remedy, I’ll show you these old photos instead of my current dust-covered self.

In the middle of the year I was in London with my friends from Cambridge, where I was taking Summer School classes in literature (I know – my life, my life). I overdosed on pale blue for an outing to Hyde Park, where we had a glorious picnic together and enjoyed a rare pocket of sunshine. Hyde Park was so absurdly beautiful, so we took some snaps. How I miss London!



I was really into hands-on-hips posing that day.

Well I have to embark on a furious search for newspaper and bubble wrap, so farewell friends. I’ll be away visiting Grandma and co. for Christmas, so you can expect some reports from our inevitable Doris Day marathons, and then I’m shipping out to America for a few weeks. Photos will emerge of all this, including my new home, in the very near future. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season – I hope your champagne intake is not too perilously high.

1950s dress:
Emporium, Greenwich
Cardigan: Cambridge
1950s necklace: Camden Passage Markets, London
Flats: Accessorize

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Pastel Jewellery (Practically Perfect in Every Way)

For a rendezvous to Newtown last night, I themed my outfit around this exquisite 1930s brooch my friend Kath gave me as a birthday gift.

It’s a splendid pastel number with diamontes, and conveniently, matches a 1950s jewellery set I own with almost alarming precision.

So with these pastels in mind, I opted for a bit of yellow in my ensemble, donning this 1940s blouse I bought on Etsy. It’s made from an odd sort of tea towel-esque fabric, and I’m very fond of it. Usually I have terrible trouble buying blouses – I always get distracted by the racks of colourful tea frocks.


I tied this ribbon belt around my wait as a ribbon belt for the beige linen skirt. It originally belonged to this dress, but I suppose I’d forgotten about it until now. The colours seemed to match the jewellery set quite pleasantly.

And then there’s the bag! Oh, the bag! – it’s so wonderful. I bought it at the vintage fair I worked at in November, but I’d seen it before in a shop window on Enmore Rd. This pairing (the bag and I) was meant to be.



1940s blouse: Maybel 57
Linen skirt:
Ark, Cambridge
Ribbon belt: from dress by Lazy Bones
1930s brooch: birthday gift (thank you Kath!)
1950s necklace: Camden Passage Markets, London
1950s sunglasses: Emporium, London
1950s/60s bag: “The Way We Wear” fair
Flats: Accessorize

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Fantasy Christmas Headpieces

I’m still looking for my Christmas outfit, and even though I know it’s now too late to order online, I can still dream. I have been in dire need (yes, dire need) of a quirky Christmas hair accessory or headpiece to top off whatever frock I end up pulling on.

This holly hair clip from Etsy would be perfect:

Holly Hair Clip, Sugar and Hatter

And I think I could manage this Christmas Pudding hat, also from Etsy:

Christmas Pudding Hat, Bee Smith Accessories

I’m also a little bit in love with the idea of a knitted fruit mince pie headpiece. I found this one by Now, Voyager a month or two ago, and have nearly snapped and bought it a few times. It’s just so adorable:

Knitted Mince Pie Clip, Now, Voyager

The headpiece I did buy hails from Sportsgirl of all places. Inspired by Miss Tallulah Porkchop, I dropped by and found it in the sales corner for $10, prompting me to nearly buy three so as to save them from ruin. Here’s Miss Tallulah wearing it in November:

Cherries in the Field, Sportsgirl

Ideally, one of these headwear options would be paired with this amazing frock by Bernie Dexter that I’ve been stalking on ModCloth for awhile:

Graceful Greenery Dress, Bernie Dexter

The hunt for a Christmas dress is still on – I’ll keep you posted. I hope all the red and green frocks haven’t already been snapped up in the Sydney vintage stores.

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Fashions from a Photograph

I’m besotted with this vintage photograph my friend Bodhi gave me for my birthday (which was yesterday – more on this later). It’s a curious picture, depicting some sort of large, well-dressed gathering in a rural setting. The figures in the photograph seem to suggest that it comes from the late 40s.

Whilst the ladies are sporting slightly New Look-esque frocks, the skirts fall short of being complete circles, and there aren’t any of the wild prints or florals typical of the 50s, making me think it’s 40s. The slightly puffed sleeves and impeccable tailoring also scream 40s.

In this close-up, I love the stylish lady on the right with the wonderful white sunglasses framing her eyes – what a babe.

You can see the men are wearing abstract print ties, and some are a little wider which was common in post-war fashions for men (called “the Bold Look”). Also, check out the table laden with liquor at the centre here, and that man to the left pouring himself another glass of wine.

Whatever this gathering is for, it looks like everybody is having a smashing time. I enjoyed catching this man mid-dance:

I’m also a little fond of this woman holding a drink at the bottom of the photograph. She looks perturbed, or displeased, or bored at the very least. She and her friends clearly looked up and caught the photo being taken, even though nobody else seems to have noticed.


Most importantly, this photo features some great hats. I wish I had little felt numbers to perch on my head in the Wintertime like these wonderful ladies.

I like these sorts of photographs that capture everyday people in their casual getups, probably moreso than those that immortalise Old Hollywood vixens. This is such an excellent snapshot into a fabulous, though indeterminable rural gathering.

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Outfit Post: Aqua, December 11

I ventured out in this aqua number, sans petticoat (scandal!), last Thursday afternoon for a rendezvous to Newtown. It’s a dress I’ve had for awhile, but the length used to freak me out a little in my less adventurous sartorial days. I’ve recently rediscovered it, to great success.

The dress is by an Australian label called “Lazy Bones“. They have an excellent range of six basic 50s-inspired dresses that are all produced in an array of splendid fabrics such as this aqua floral. There are new fabrics each season, I believe. Lazy Bones also designs fabulous vintage-inspired sleepwear and slips. Check it out!

This week I’ve been:

  • Plotting the next Old Hat gathering (December 18)
  • Working at Becky Sharp’s Vintage Market (more on this later)
  • Watching too much daytime TV, especially the Crime Investigation Channel
  • Reading “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, aka utter word porn
  • Dreaming of travels to Russia and Eastern Europe

(Kudos to Emma Aime for this inspiring this format of post)


Dress: Lazy Bones
Bolero: Blooms, borrowed from Mother
1950s necklace: Camden Passage Markets, London
1950s headpiece: Mint Condition, Rozelle
Snood: Arthelia’s Attic
1950s bag: Paddington Antique Centre
Seamed stockings: What Katie Did
Shoes: Bloch




Also, check out my superbly-dressed friends Tim and Kath:

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“The Way We Wear” Vintage Fair

I had the good fortune of stumbling upon some employment at a Sydney vintage fair recently: “The Way We Wear” fair at Marrickville on 26-27 November. Considering my “uniform” was a red and white polka dot dress with a bolero and petticoat, I wasn’t exactly a reluctant employee. Imagine my joy upon discovering I was to carry out my duties dressed like this:

Yes, “uniform” indeed.

The duties assigned to Siobhan and I were not limited to manning the door (“don’t forget to enter the lucky door prize competition”); rather, in something of a risky move, we were also billed as the “models” for the Titanic-era fashion show at the fair. Inexperience was no barrier to the impending launch of our modelling careers.

The fashion show was arranged by Fiona, who is custodian of an extensive collection of historical fashions stretching back to the 18th century. It being nearly 100 years since the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic, Fiona was exhibiting an array of Edwardian gowns at the fair which we paraded around in extravagantly. I don’t have photos of the first set of outfits, but here are the three that followed:


Siobhan is wearing the lace gown of a suffragette (notice the purple and green embellishment down the front), and I’m wearing the Sunday best of a poorer passenger on the Titanic.


Siobhan is wearing an exquisite frock which was so fragile after surviving 100 years, and I’m wearing a slightly daring shorter Edwardian gown with fur and wrinkled white socks (how they stopped them wrinkling, I can’t even imagine).


The finale of the fashion show saw us in nightgowns and lingerie, much to the delight of fair patrons. On the left, you can see Siobhan’s outfit is a shout-out to the glamorous ladies who escaped the Titanic in their nightdresses and fur stoles (shame on this lady and her ripped socks). Beside her, I’m wearing the work of a very glamorous Edwardian lingerie designer: a very transparent hobble-skirted petticoat. The old ladies at the back of the hall were particularly fond of this number.

It was an excellent, but very unconventional weekend of employment spent wearing fragile 100-year-old frocks and buying hats from the beautiful stalls. “The Way We Wear” vintage fair will be on again next August, and I understand you can expect some flirty fifties fashions sashaying around the room. In the meantime, I’ll be working at the “Becky Sharp” vintage fashion fair at Paddington RSL on December 10, so if you’re there, come and say hello – I’ll be passing out flyers on the street.

A bientôt, mes amis.

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Fantasy Christmas Wish List

This post is my subtle hint to any friends, family members or rich strangers seeking to buy me gifts this Christmas. If that fails, consider this my little fantasy Christmas present haul (disclaimer: true meaning of Christmas etc etc). This year I’m lusting after:

1. The Fleur Dress by HeyDay

This has been on my wish list for so long, but thankfully it doesn’t seem likely that it’ll go out of stock anytime soon, what with its thousand or so reincarnations in a myriad of different fabrics. My favourite is the black Fleur dress with the daisies – I can see it slipping seamlessly into my life for day and evening-wear. And it’s so preeetty! It’s on sale for sixty pounds right now, which is still extravagant, but less so than before.

2. Snoods from Arthelia’s Attic

I’m so in love with the navy blue snood I ordered from Arthelia’s Attic on Etsy, that I now have an overwhelming urge to order it in all possible colours. My navy snood has converted me  – it’s so convenient and instantly glamorous. Thanks to my snood, I haven’t really had to think about the back of my hair in awhile. The gorgeous store Arthelia’s Attic sells them for about $20 each.

3. A new petticoat

Poor Michelle, with not enough petticoats to fill her wardrobe. It’s frivolous but true that I am in dire need of some new flouncy petticoats in my life. My original crinoline has deflated a little with time and is sadly a little short, so I require a suitably poofy knee-length petticoat, preferably nylon chiffon. Unfortunately they retail online for ridiculous amounts. Perhaps in time!

4. What Katie Did Seam Stockings

Seam stockings are the staple of my life. Buying a new batch is always inevitable, so a pile of fresh What Katie Did stockings would make me very, very content. Basic black and tan are the way to go, plus throw in a few pairs of contrast black seamed for good measure. If you browse the website, you’ll find there’s a fab deal wherein you can buy three pairs for ten pounds which is pretty great.

5. A Jumper or Pinafore

I’ve been lusting after pinafores for awhile now. I think it’s the versatility that thrills me so – I can imagine wearing jumpers or pinafores with every blouse I own in quick succession, with nobody suspecting a thing. There are a couple I’ve set my sights on, but seeing as they cost actual money (I know, I know) they are evading me right now.

$89 from Bettie Page Clothing 

$129 from Jitterbuggin on Etsy

6. A collar from Molly Made

My friend Molly makes these delightful peter pan collars and sells them on Etsy, and I’m utterly entranced. Seriously, they’re so adorable, and I can imagine them jazzing up outfits to no end.

Well even if you’re not feverishly rushing off to order these things for me (which I don’t exactly expect you are), consider this my “gift guide” of sorts for your vintage-loving friends and acquaintances. I hope your Christmas shopping is going tremendously well, and that you are putting the finishing touches on your extravagant travel plans for the summer.

If you’ve posted your Christmas wish list, link me! I love reading them.

Disclaimer: I am an “affiliate” of What Katie Did, but their hosiery is so smashing that they would almost certainly still feature on my wish list even if this was not the case at all.

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