Monthly Archives: January 2012

Outfit Post: A Travel Wardrobe Creation

As I’m still in the process of moving house, all my clothes are in boxes: a devastating fate for a fashionista. This means I have to come up with new ways to mix up all the pieces I do have, most of which were in my travel wardrobe too (one tires easily of a travel wardrobe). I have plans to rescue some frocks from The Boxes, but in the meantime, you’ll be pleased to know that I’m managing. This is what I wore today:

Dress: Bettie Page
Shoes: Clark’s
Cape: SoWa Markets, Boston
Hair Flower: Sportsgirl
1950s Bag: Gift


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The Fleur Dress: Finally

After almost a year of stalking the Heyday Fleur dress online, it is finally mine! It has always felt like there’s something of a Fleur dress cult in the vintage blogosphere, and I am terribly pleased to have now been initiated.

The Fleur dress was a Christmas gift from Santa (read: Mother), who conveniently read my wishlist in December. Consequently, I wore it out on one of the extended family bonding trips we orchestrated over Christmas.

So of all places, my Fleur made it to “Perry’s Lemon Myrtle Farm”, which is buried somewhere in rural NSW. The owners of the little establishment had us all over for tea, after which we all binged on lemon myrtle products (oh, if you could have seen all the soap we bought).

We were allowed to wander the lemon myrtle forest too, which was most idyllic.

Dress: Heyday Fleur dress
Shoes: Bloch
Hair Flower: Sportsgirl
1950s Bag: Brisbane Antique Centre

In other news, I will be making another visit to America in February, so you can expect the return of cold weather gear in my outfit posts (well, maybe) – I may even take my Fleur. Las Vegas is no lemon myrtle farm, but it’ll do.


Filed under Outfit Posts, Travel

Milkshakes and Petticoats in San Francisco

Bonjour, friends!

I’m back in Australia, but before I sign out on the travel posts, I have some splendid photos to share with you of my rendezvous with Molly from Molly Made, who happened to be in San Francisco at the same time as me in mid-January.

In an effort to indulge our 50s nostalgia, we dressed up in petticoats and went out for a milkshake. The meeting was a wild success, save for our curiously identical outfits – it was an accident, I swear. I don’t know what possessed us both to wear such a specific shade of burnt orange that evening, but it made for quite a spectacle for the other diner patrons.

Dress: Anthropologie
Cardigan: Louche
Belt: Bellingen, NSW
Shoes: Bloch

Tomorrow Old Hat is having a luncheon at Tim‘s house – do join! And you can expect updates, no doubt.

Photos stolen from Molly


Filed under Outfit Posts, Travel

Boston, MA

My travels took me to Boston this past week, where I was visiting some friends I studied with in Cambridge last July. I therefore had the luxury of two excellent city tour guides, and we spent the weekend exploring Boston in the most extravagant/delicious ways imaginable. Apart from the splendid company, most of the highlights were edible: Italian cannolis, bagels, noodles and such… Oh la la.

We did stumble upon a vintage fair one chilly afternoon in SoWa, where I unexpectedly became caught up in a tumult of hats and Pretty Old Things. After raiding one particular stall where I bought a 1940s hat for THREE DOLLARS, it all began to get a bit wild as people kept giving me free hats. This culminated in my finding The Ultimate Vintage Item: a cherry brooch. Not bakelite, but no less amazing, and EIGHTEEN DOLLARS.

Seriously, America – you and your amazing vintage shopping. I despair for Sydney.

I wore the brooch out the next day to see “A Dangerous Method” with Andrea at a cute retro movie theatre in Brookline. After an inevitable meal of greatness (pasta!), she kindly indulged me and took my blog photos in an old arcade across the street. Check out the brooch, and Boston in all its quaintness:

Cape: Nancy’s Gone Green
1950s Cherry Brooch: SoWa Vintage Market
Cardigan: Louche
Skirt: Laura Ashley
Belt: Zoo Emporium
Saddle Shoes: Bass Shoes

Also, check out these amazing shoes I bought on sale in Macy’s – the perfect saddle shoes!

And here are my lovely hosts Miranda and Andrea:

I leave the States tomorrow, but there are more photos and such to come. There will at the very least be a gushing post about my visit to the LA What Katie Did boutique this afternoon (sigh).

Until then, pip pip!

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Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado is a veritable Winter Wonderland. In Sydney I’m forced to pretend it’s cold enough for whatever ridiculous wool coat I’ve acquired, and end up sweating my way to class, but here I have every reason and right to wrap up in elaborate ensembles and cook mulled wine. Oh, the Colorado winter – so Snowglobe-esque.

The sub-zero temperatures have given me the perfect opportunity to don the coat I bought in Berrima in September. Since its purchase, I’ve decided it’s probably a late 1960s coat, seeing as it has overlocking on the inside seams (which wasn’t commercially available until 1965). It has proved the perfect coat for Aspen weather, and looks quite fetching with a petticoat and cape-turned-scarf.

I met up with my dear friend Alyssa last night, and we had a wonderful time navigating Aspen and drinking cocktails (read: hot chocolate, as I am under 21). We took some lovely shots amid the glorious Christmas lights which pepper the town in the Winter months.

Coat: Peppergreen Antiques
Dress: Sarah-Jane
Scarf: Cape-turned-scarf, Morro Bay
Flower: Sportsgirl
Boots: Macy’s

Here are some more lovely shots of Aspen by night – so cute:


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Cypress Inn: Doris Day’s Doggie Hotel

It is a little known fact that in the aftermath of her splendid Hollywood career, Doris Day came to own a dog-friendly hotel in California. I have spoken previously of the shared love Grandma and I hold for Doris, but I am pleased to inform you that it has now reached new heights after I spent a night in her inn as one instalment of the Great Family Californian Road Trip.

Cypress Inn is nestled in the gorgeous little town of Carmel by the Sea. When we arrived in the evening to a fanfare of festive fairy lights and impossibly cute little streets and shops, I understood at once dear Doris’ fascination with the place. Apart from being situated in the beautiful Carmel Valley, it seems to be a veritable lifestyle destination, with luxurious homewares boutiques and gourmet restaurants among other things.

But oh, the hotel itself! It’s just how I would have imagined a hotel owned by Doris would be.

Cypress Inn is classically glamorous, complete with a log fire in reception and sherry in the rooms. I can envision Doris taking a tipple herself whilst seated on one of these magnificent chaises, and I imagine she does on occasion when she drops into the hotel.

The walls are littered with Doris Day memorabilia that would make Grandma go weak at the knees, and her films are played on repeat in the hotel bar.

Nevertheless, I believe for most visitors the drawcard is not Doris, but dogs. Having devoted many of her post-Hollywood years to animal rights activism, it’s classic Doris for her hotel to be entirely dog-friendly. Although I’m 100% a cat person, I loved the curious flavour Cypress Inn’s canine visitors added to the ambiance of the place. They trotted through reception nonchalantly, and sat up with their owners in the bar. I did have the misfortune of witnessing a minor doggie bust-up in the lobby, but apart from that incident it all seemed rather civilised.

Cypress Inn was a wonderful, glamorous place to visit. Aside from an exponential growth in my love for Doris Day, I also seem to have acquired a taste for sherry – I suspect this is just as Doris planned it.

Check out more on Cypress Inn here, and enjoy your respective weeks.

Skirt: dress by Sarah-Jane
1950s necklace: 2010 Love Vintage Fair
Belt: Zoo Emporium
Shoes: Bloch
Hair Flowers: Sportsgirl

You may recognise the floral print skirt I’m wearing in these photos from the swing frock I wore here and here. It is, in fact, the same frock, however I sneakily folded it down to serve as a skirt – travel calls for innovation!


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Hearst Castle, California

I’ve wanted to visit Hearst Castle in California ever since Rhiannon of Liebemarlene Vintage did a series of lovely posts about her visits there. She posted first about her visit in 2010, then again recently in November, and on both counts she’s painted such a splendid portrait of the place as a paradise for Old Hollywood-philes that I’ve always hoped it would segue into a travel itinerary one day.

Conveniently, we’re on something of a family road trip through California right now, and Mother made sure we dropped into Hearst Castle on our way from LA to San Francisco. My dream has now been fulfilled, as we took the Grand Rooms tour this afternoon as we passed by, and what a splendid tour it was.

Before we even made it inside the fabulous Spanish villa built in the 20s, the natural beauty of the place was enough of an attraction. Hearst Castle is nestled atop a mountain and has sweeping views of the surrounding ranch that spans 86,000 acres, as well as of the Californian coastline. It’s pretty intense. I can see why William Randolf wanted to build his extravagant home here.

The house itself is a strange, claustrophobic piece of work, though no less lavish. With the architecture working around Hearst’s obscenely large collection of exotic objects and furniture, it felt like a weirdly homely museum. If I were one of the Old Hollywood film stars who partied there in the 20s and 30s, I imagine I’d have been a little afraid I’d spill my sherry and ruin a 17th century tapestry. Nevertheless, it seems they all had a pretty raucous time; the rooms were certainly well-appointed.

We saw the grand downstairs suites, but my favourite room was the theatre. I’ve always felt quite drawn to the opulence of old movie theatres, and this one was a rather magnificent specimen. A little show reel was shown with clips of guests spending time there back in the day, which was wonderfully interesting. Alas, I wish it were longer, but we did get some good glimpses of Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davies and co. Sigh!

After the tour we were allowed to roam around the grounds for awhile. They sort of resemble a Mediterranean village, what with the coastline in the distance, but according to the guide this was intentional.

You may notice I’m wearing an odd sort of pom-pom shawl. It’s something I managed to purchase in Morro Bay in the morning and decided to wear despite temperatures soaring into the 20s (California does a weird winter). The shawl is somewhat ridiculous, but I got a pleasant 1950s cape vibe from it. Father’s been calling me “Dracula”, and occasionally “Buffy”, because I suppose it is a little vampiric. Father had me pose in front of a sarcophagus for emphasis.

Cape: Morro Bay
Skirt: Laura Ashley
Petticoat: trimmed vintage wedding petticoat, from Grandma Takes a Trip
Shoes: Bloch

And here’s the outfit, sans cape:

Top: Cabbages and Roses
Belt: Zoo Emporium
Scarf: David Jones
Hair Flowers: Sportsgirl

I’m currently staying in Doris Day’s dog-friendly hotel in Carmel – more on this later. Until then, farewell!


Filed under Outfit Posts, Travel

Makeover: Little Vintage Queens

With all this extended family bonding and ample free time at my disposal, retro makeovers were inevitable. I chose my eleven-year-old cousin Jessica as a subject, and she agreed, albeit reluctantly. “I’m not sure if I should be putting my hair in your hands,” she said with a wary look.

She started out looking like this:

You can see she’s a thoroughly modern girl, but once I took to her with a curling iron and bobby pins, this all changed.

First of all, I curled her hair with an iron: pinning and hair-spraying as I went along to create the foundation for a set of curls.

You can see here what it looked like when I unravelled them:

I then brushed Jess’ curls out with a round brush to achieve that gloriously cartoonish upwards flick at the bottom of her hair:

Finally, I pinned up the front of her hair into two victory rolls – quite splendid ones at that.

To top it off, I added an excessive number of hair flowers to her style, and slicked on some red lipstick. She ended up looking like an extra on the set of Grease with a cute scarf tied around her neck – awww. Jessica was a little bewildered:

Naturally, Samantha and Courtney decided they wanted in on the action, so I whipped up some quick victory rolls and red lipstick for the whole crew:

The final result!

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