Tag Archives: fifties

London-bound

Bonjour amis/amies,

I’m flying to London in a few hours! I’ll be in London this weekend visiting my great London lady-love, Lex, who I met last November in the Collectif boutique near Brick Lane. She’s another fabulous feminist/vintage girl (how do I find these people?), a high femme, and generally extravagant person. We were inseparable for the last days of my trip last year.

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This weekend we’ll be bonding, brunching, and probably staring into each others’ eyes. In adorable news, Lex and her boyfriend Theo are engaged, as of Thursday, so there is that excitement to deal with.

There will be London/Lex blog updates, OBVIOUSLY, but if you stay tuned to @ravishingretro and @theseasonofthewitch on instagram, there will be much to see there, I promise you.

Gros bisous de Lyon,

Michelle

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Sabra, The Blueberry Pie

I had the exquisite pleasure of meeting Sabra The Blueberry Pie over the weekend: the first vintage girl I’ve managed to seek out in Lyon. The vintage blogging world is truly a wonderful thing. Sabra caught the train up from Grenoble to spend the day with me, and I totally fell in love. She’s like a French version of me.

We “brunched” in la Croix Rousse. I use inverted commas for its questionable brunch status (see figure 1.1):

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Scrambled eggs, pancakes, fruit, salad, yoghurt, cheese. French people are confused about brunch. But it was brunch nonetheless! Here I am having tea:

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And here is Sabra, la magnifique:

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The café where we brunched was actually adorable. BEYOND adorable. And sooo retrooooo you guys.

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Obligatory post-feminist discourse outfit shots in the retro café:

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We went vintage shopping at Carrie Bradshop: a marvellous vintage boutique on Rue Romarin in the 1er. Most importantly, the name. It was a glorious explosion of costume jewellery and retro frocks. We played for awhile!

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We also visited Le Cabinet des Curieuses, which is just so-so fabulous. I think I’ll write an entire post on this boutique of dreams, practically next door to Carrie Bradshop. The lovely X’tatix Doll keeps shop, attending to all your reproduction vintage and vintage lingerie needs. Looooove! Some photos to come another day, but in the meantime, look at this EXTRAVAGANT boudoir robe I swanned around in for awhile. It’s sort of to die for.

[Update: if you’re interested in the fabulous robe, it’s a unique piece by Melle Théo Legrand, who you can totally look up here].

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C’est tout pour aujourd’hui. I am so content to have made the acquaintance of Sabra. Meeting hybrid vintage/feminist types always gives me so much joy. And there will be more Sabra shenanigans in 2013! I’m off to Paris in April to see her perform at a festival of burlesque as The Blueberry Pie, and there will be visits in between.

So much love for the blogosphere. If you’re a blogger in France, or anywhere nearby, let’s have tea! It will be magical.

Gros bisous de Lyon,

Michelle

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L’Université à Lyon

Bonjour,

I’m at university, je suis à la fac! Last week there was orientation, tomorrow I start classes. Actually. The campus of Lyon II is ridiculously pretty, and even though I actually have most of my classes in the ugly buildings, I get to glimpse all the grand lecture theatres and elaborate stairwells every now and then.

The classes I’m taking are super-cool. I’ll be doing literature and translation and gender studies, mmm. I’m most excited about my gender/language class, on the gendered grammar of French language. It gives me little francophile feminist flutters. I’ll also be reading some eighteenth century French literature, L’Etranger, Virginia Woolf and all manner of wonderful things. And everything will be in French, bien sûr. Many happy sighs!

Here is the pretty part of Lyon II, covered in snow no less.

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Some exciting blog updates to come. I spent Saturday with the lovely Sabra The Blueberry Pie, a burlesque girl who shares my twins passions of vintage and feminism. Many splendid pictures were taken. Also this week I’m visiting Riikka of Harlean’s Heyday in Finland, to attend the Vapriikki-Vintage weekend, and meet the Fintage crowd. All the things!

A bientôt !

Michelle

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January 21, 2013 · 9:30 am

En France, encore

Bonjour, some more updates from la capitale gastronomique de la France.

I’m in La Croix Rousse right now, still searching for somewhere to live. I’m consumed with apartment-searching, spending hours on the internet, making brave phone calls to real estate agents, making visits. It’s sort of frustrating not having somewhere to live, but it’s also sort of beautiful up here where I am. This is the view of Lyon as you walk down the grand hill towards the centre of town:

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It’s cold en ce moment, but oh, the fashions. Here I am swanning about the hotel lobby where every morning I ask to extend my stay just another night, and can I please have another wifi code? Merci.

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FASHION.

I’ve had some lovely hot beverages with Sydney people: welcome reprieve from all the French-speaking. I went to this adorable café with Heather, who’s here to study at the same university. The café was decorated with vintage bric-à-brac, and played 1940s music. Sigh!

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I also managed a rendezvous with Alex, a fellow Darcy Society devotee back in Sydney who has just finished a semester here in Lyon. We sought out some French Jane Austen, because one should always seek out Jane Austen.

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Yesterday I also walked through my university. It’s so preeeeeetty.

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All that being out-and-about is tiring, so more often than not I retire in the early evening to eat French bread and do lazy google searches for apartments. Evidence of French bread:

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Things will be even more lovely once I find somewhere to live. I’m having intense nesting urges, and can’t wait to have a place to hang all my frocks. There will also be French cooking. Much French cooking.

I’m off to look at apartments this afternoon (quelle surprise), so à bientôt, and bonne journée. Gros bisous de Lyon.

Michelle

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Frock du Jour

Bonjour amis,

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.

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50s frock Amsterdam | capelet DIY

Soon there will be French fashions, ooh la la. A toute à l’heure !

Michelle

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Nautical is Nice-ical, Again

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.

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Never, ever too much nautical. Back with more soon, I daresay.

Michelle

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Vintage Fangirling Rural Australia

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.

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Ugh.

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.

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More to come on my rural immersion. So many nautical frocks, so little time.

Michelle

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