I’m in France! I managed to squeeze a student visa out of the consulate after all, so here I am in Lyon for six months. I have nowhere to live yet, and I don’t even know how to choose my classes, but things are magical as they ought to be when everything happens in French. I happen to have reliable wifi in my hotel, so I’ll share with you my iPhone snaps of the day.
This morning I bought a pain au chocolat, then went walking for like four hours. Here’s my morning selfie, as I walked down to centre-ville from La Croix Rousse:
I walked halfway up these stairs, then decided against it, because look at this ridiculousness:
When I wasn’t walking, I was eating. France = food. When I arrived last night I went straight to Monoprix and ogled the cheese aisle. Look, fromage!
And finally, for some fashion. It feels so good to be back in Winter clothes. I left Sydney just before the heat wave, and I’m luxuriating in the five-degree air with sweaters and stockings. Here’s a little outfit selfie for the day, direct to you from my shocking pink hotel room:
My little legs are tired from all the exploring today, so I’m just going to lie in bed now, eat some quiche and watch French TV. Gros bisous from Lyon, wish me luck with the apartment search.
The festive season hath ended, and now I’m packing up all my capelets ready to move to France for six months. I’ll be studying in Lyon for a semester, drinking lots of red wine and speaking French in a little high-pitched voice. Visa troubles aside, I’m actually ludicrously excited. I will miss Sydney for all the brunching, and my people. But France!
I’ll miss my frocks too. I’m waging war on minimalism as I pack frivolous thing after frivolous thing, but ugh choices! How can I go six months without my red tartan hooded cape coat? I can’t, obviously. My third cousin Vicky is family legend for her declaration that she could travel with “nothing but two pairs of trousers and seven jackets”. I think I inherited some of her ridiculousness.
In my final days here, I’m making use of my wardrobe while I still can. So voila, my frock of the day. It’s a 50s day dress I bought for a pittance in Amsterdam. It’s so beautiful, and fits me so perfectly I could hardly believe it. Of course I wore a capelet too, because I’m never without capelet.
50s frock Amsterdam | capelet DIY
Soon there will be French fashions, ooh la la. A toute à l’heure !
I don’t even need to tell you how I feel about nautica. Earlier in the year I posed delicately next to some ships in a Bettie Page Captain frock, and it was wonderful. Yesterday I made it back to maritime Coff’s Harbour, and couldn’t fight the urge to dress thematically once more. So now there are more nautical photos. You’re welcome.
This is a lolita-style nautical number: sort of doll-like and sort of adorable. The back of the dress is ACTUALLY to die for, I can’t even take it. I had the good fortune of finding it in Gallery Serpentine, Sydney’s go-to goth boutique which happens to dabble in lolita and rockabilly. Just look at it, ugh.
Never, ever too much nautical. Back with more soon, I daresay.
I’m back in Australia, but away again – this time visiting Grandma and co. in the country for family Christmas. I’m entirely a city girl, but I’m willing to sacrifice reliable wifi for country antiquing and family time every now and then. The country always sends me into reveries, what with the stuck-in-the-50s vibes of some little towns. Rural Australia is peculiar and adorable.
I’m on the North Coast of NSW, where the nearest “town centre” is a sleepy strip of shops in Macksville. It’s totally daggy, but there is much old-fashioned charm. The Bridge Café, the milk bar by the river, always brings out the vintage fangirl in me. It’s all original and fabulous and oh-so-kitsch. Still the same fifties diner fit-out, still the same classic menu (vanilla malt milkshakes, devonshire tea). Mother remembers it all the way back to the 60s. That is many, many decades of milkshakes.
After consuming several litres of dairy, I went into the Macksville antique store, which is probably one of my favourite antique stores ever. In the country vintage isn’t so expensive, and there are all sorts of fun treats: little record players, boxes of old newspaper clippings… It being the country means there are wonderful/strange things to find too: vintage ear muffs. Such delights!
I’m trying desperately to deal with the heat, and so it is that I swanned around in this era-indeterminate cotton square dance frock for the afternoon. I even managed to keep my lipstick from melting for a few hours. Small victories.
More to come on my rural immersion. So many nautical frocks, so little time.
I’ve been staying in the strangest places, but my Maastricht accommodation was the most curious of all. The Netherlands was clearly into Christianity once upon a time, but in 2012 most of the population is secular, so it seems they’ve taken to converting churches into Other Things, like bookstores and hotels. The hotel I stayed in, Kruisherenhotel-Maastricht, was a working church and monastery in the fifteenth-century. These days it’s a lovely, slightly badass ancient-modern-blend hotel.
Alas, I didn’t have any nun-like outfits with me (oh, the photos that could’ve been), but I do have some new travel fashions to show off, so here they are interspersed with evidence of all the gothic splendour.
Frock Bettie Page | Stockings What Katie Did | Gloves Macy’s | Shoes Urban Outfitters
I’m wearing a glorious Bettie Page frock I had the good fortune of stumbling upon in a Maastricht rockabilly store (they exist!). It’s all burnt orange and long-sleeved and wonderful. And oh my, would you check out those polka dot contrast seam What Katie Did stockings. Too much fabulous to handle.
That’s the latest. Back soon with ravings about Amsterdam and Dutch bicycles. ❤
I’m still in Maastricht, The Netherlands, still in 60s trapeze coat (now with added leopard print scarf). Lots of bicycles, lots of fries, lots of incomprehensible menus. It’s too cold to take my hands out of my pockets to take photos, but here I am in the Grand Square, also known as the Vrijthof (I swear I’m not making up words).
Let’s play a game: which of the following words are really Dutch, and which are just me mashing at the keyboard then adding double vowels?
Now here I am next to an incomprehensibly-named Church, showing the trapeze coat in all it’s glory:
And here’s the positively to-die-for 110 euro velvet cape I *didn’t* buy:
Ugh, it’s all too much. If anyone needs me, I’ll be camped out beside the velvet evening coats in a Maastricht vintage store called Grifth or Graaght or Grirth or something.
I promise some scenic gothic church hotel vintage fashun photos for my next blog visit. Until then, tot ziens.
*A and C are Dutch, but I’m pretty sure they’re all made up, really.