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Glitter Glitter Glitter

For so long, I’ve felt like something is missing in my life. I’ve frolicked in 50s frocks and gone to pilates classes, but all this to no avail. It wasn’t until I clicked “Add To Cart” on the Wittner website last week that I realised all this time I’ve been waiting for a pair of insane glitter heels to sashay into my life. Si simple!

I present to you, dear retro friends, the most fabulous pair of glitter heels you ever did see:

Vintage? Non. But fabulous? Absoluement! I have not a single place to wear them, but I’ll be having far more fantastical dreams now that these bad boys are propped up in my cupboard.

Stay tuned for The First Outing Of The Glitter Shoes. Much vintage love as always.



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Nuffnang’s Blogopolis 2012

I made it to Nuffnang’s Blogopolis, my first blogging conference, this month in a flurry of pin-curls and endless cups of Twinings tea. It was a curious kind of day, with almost 300 bloggers floating ’round (mixing with their own kind), and the wildest live Twitter feed I’ve ever seen.

There was a lot of mutual admiration going on. I loved all the blog people-spotting – Lady Melbourne, Danimezza, Hair Romance etc. etc. I met some pretty lover-ly people as well – the gloriously kooky Hayley of Fashion Hayley of whose blog I’ve always been fond, the very captivating Kayla of The F Tangent who I met outside the venue (she just exuded fashion blogger vibes), and the quite fabulous alternative fashion extraordinaire, The Fashionate Traveller. Here’s a snap of us together in the afternoon:

With Fashion HayleyThe F Tangent, The Fashionate Traveller

Amongst all of this, I actually managed to Learn Stuff. Sessions on SEO, media kits, branding and the like all left me feeling pretty inspired to overhaul Ravishing Retro when I have the time (and Photoshop skills). The afternoon sessions focussing on the Australian blogopshere were a tad vague and self-indulgent, but I took away an appreciation for the emergence of blogging as a pretty powerful and radical new media force. Indeed!

There was a lot to take in (information, food…), and as such I’m still synthesising a lot of what I learnt at Blogopolis, but I do feel like it was a wildly valuable experience. If the heavens align, I’d love to attend Fashionopolis next year, Nuffnang’s fashion blogging equivalent of Blogopolis – I daresay it’d be a lot more relevant to my blogging experience, and oh, just imagine the eye candy.

Most of all, it was just kind of fun to exist in the microcosm of the blogging world for a couple of hours. Every microcosm has its quirks and in-jokes (and sometimes its own hash tag), and it was fun seeing the physical manifestation of all this in a conference room. All the unreserved geeking out about social media was cathartic to say the least.

Many thanks to Nuffnang for hosting the blogging extravaganza that was Blogopolis 2012. I have enough new blog-y links to fill my Google Reader, and enough Twinings tea in my handbag to last me ’til at least October.

All photo credit to The Fashionate Traveller – thank you kindly!

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Nuffnang’s Blogopolis 2012

I’m excited to be attending Blogopolis event tomorrow: a day of blog-y chitchat and tomfoolery in Sydney organised by Nuffnang. Some of my favourite Australian bloggers will be there giving panels and workshops – Lady Melbourne, Fashion Hayley and the like. Blogosphere fame!

I’ll be live-tweeting Blogopolis with the hash tag #nnb2012, if you’d like to live vicariously through me.

Will you be there? We should hang out.

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Magnificent Hair: The Leopard Lounge, Sydney

I’ve always been a little promiscuous with my hair salons, but I think I may have finally been tempted into monogamy by The Leopard Lounge in Newtown. I spent the most heavenly afternoon there this week, touching up my colour and getting the ever-elusive midi haircut with the very lovely Milena. It was all 50s/60s boudoir décor, Beatles music, vodka-spiked setting lotion and retro chit-chat. Milena even has a well-stocked vintage bar – so divine.

Here are some snaps of the salon:

And now for the hair, styled into a glorious set of Dita-esque curls. Also, rad 50s specs!

I had a Lady Gaga concert in the evening, so it was a good day to visit The Leopard Lounge. Here I am in all my concert regalia later on in the day:

Lace capelet DIY | Bra Marlies DekkersCorset What Katie Did | Gloves Gallery Serpentine, Sydney | 1950s petticoat The Attic, Las Vegas | 1950s clip The Leopard Lounge

Happy, well-coiffed love to you all!


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Some recent aesthetic/sartorial highlights from my Instagram account (@ravishingretro):

Trying on frocks at the Sydney Antique Centre.

Travelling home from the Historic Houses Trust GI Dance (I was in the best-dressed!)

The day I went 60s.

Look, I’m on a postcard rack at the cinema!

A swishy Friday night ensemble.

Vintage love to you all ❤


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Historic Houses Trust: Cover Girl

It’s a weird, existential moment when you find your face on a free postcard. I’ve been having this moment almost constantly as of late, having somehow become the cover girl for the Historic Houses Trust. (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write). I think I may have peaked in life.

If you pop along to the Historic Houses Trust website for the next little while, you’ll find me gracing the front page in a very pink, very floral outfit (and wearing my beloved aqua cat eye specs). You can also pick me up from postcard stands all around Sydney. (Another sentence I never thought I’d write).

Here I am!

Thank you to Sarah for posting this snap to my Facebook page in a flurry.

And here are Jesse and Tim posing with me:

If you’re interested in more about the very pink, very floral outfit, pop over to my post about the 2011 Fifties Fair.

Cover girl status aside, I’m actually pretty excited about the Winter season of Historic Houses Trust events. The annual Fifties Fair (where the cover photograph was taken) is coming up in August, so naturally I’m browsing Etsy quite feverishly in search of frocks. There’s also an exhibition on Wartime Sydney on at the Museum of Sydney right now, which I’d love to make my way to at some point.

Plans, plans! Always so many plans.


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Sydney Antique-ing

My lovely friend Laurel recently took me antique-ing to Alexandria Antiques Centre, a place I can only describe as “The Best Thing Ever”. This quickly became apparent as we were met with a WALL of vintage suitcases upon entry. I mean, seriously:

The Antique Centre was a veritable trove of treasures, with delightful bric-à-brac, and all the usual vintage suspects (bar-ware, canisters, picnic sets, costume jewellery and the like).

There were some quirky things too, like this old 1950s table and chairs set pilfered from McDonald’s:

My antique-ing companions looked ravishing in their ensembles. Check out Sarah in her Heyday trousers and cat-eyes:

And our antique-ing host Laurel, who’s too cute and retro for words:

I wore a blue floral frock, and managed to bring this burgundy velvet beret home with me:

1950s frock Love Vintage Fair, 2011 | Cardigan thrifted | Vintage beret Alexandria Antiques Centre | 1950s necklace Love Vintage Fair, 2011 | Heels Macys

We managed to pick up some other things along the way. I lusted after these cat eye glasses, albeit blindly:

And Sarah donned this ridiculous/amazing Mexican hat:

Antiques Centres often overwhelm me – I tend to get a little short of breath at the first sight of mod furniture, and run around a little haphazardly making frequent exclamatory statements like “oh my!” and “this is from the thirties!”. This experience was no exception.

If you’re ever in the mood for minor sensory overload, the Alexandria Antiques Centre is your place.


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RIP Aqua Cat Eyes: An Obituary

I’m in mourning right now; I’m in mourning for a pair of original 50s aqua cat eyes. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover. These glorious mid-century frames were tragically lost to the back seat of a taxi cab last week, and ever since I’ve felt a little empty. Oh, the exquisite sadness of it all!

To celebrate the life of my favourite aqua sunglasses, here is a pictorial representation of our time together:

I’ll be searching Etsy for the rest of my life, trying to replace these glorious specs.

RIP Aqua Cat Eyes.


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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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Berrima: The Purchases

So I went a little wild in Berrima. I always seem to find better antiques and vintage items in the countryside; the stores aren’t so depleted as those in the city, and I theorise that the older demographic means better donations. I also like that the stores don’t prey on me with exorbitant prices.

Here are my purchases!

1) Three bakelite bangles – about $5-6 each. My first legitimate bakelite bangles! There was one glorious basket just filled with them, so I picked out these three to colour-coordinate with various outfits.

2) Four hat pins – $5. I’ve been needing some hat pins.

3) Three pairs of fully fashioned stockings – $5 each. What a find! Though I lust after them, I find fully fashioned stockings from What Katie Did a little too expensive to justify, so this was perfect. AND they’re original 50s. So chuffed.

4) A cute little German brooch – $15. I think I’ll steam it to restore its shape and such, but otherwise this brooch is so adorable. I’m feeling it’s very 40s.

5) Hairnets – $2 -3 each. In Peppergreen Antiques there was an entire cabinet filled with vintage hair accessories and beauty products. It was amazing! I nearly bought some bobby pins, but reasoned that I’d simply lose them. Hair nets will be useful, I feel. They’ll help me wait out the time until I eventually cave and order a snood from etsy. Plus check out the cute packaging!

6) A pair of green gloves – $5. The green has faded, but I enjoy the weathered look of this pair of gloves. They’re also wonderfully warm. All the other pairs of vintage gloves I own barely keep me warm when I take them to cold, cold places, so these will be good for wintry escapades.

7) The coat! Oh, the coat! – $80, and worth the minor extravagance. I was very impressed at the price of this coat, for it’s absolutely divine! I don’t have a photo of the coat alone, so here I am channeling Soviet Russia.

Voila! Such a splendid haul for one day, and not terribly expensive either. Here are a few more pictures to revel in:

And finally a little feature on my friend Rachael who I neglected to include in yesterday’s round-up, and whose vibrant red stockings should never be left out of any photo set:


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