Friday, September 21, 2012

Shattered, Patched, Loved And Worn

I'm pretty sure this morning's snap outfit was my sub-conscious at work, after some serious late-night perving over Vix's patchwork curtain tutorial.
I woke up and simply had to get some patchwork on me!

These trews are part of a 1930s two-piece set.
The matching top must have been made for a small child, I can't even get it over my head, so I think I'll pass it onto The Stylist who is sure to rock it.
But the pants ... oh the pants!
Each piece of silk is hand stitched to the next with embroidery thread and attached by hand to calico lining.
I was pretty sceptical about them being from the 1930s, as the colours are so vibrant.
But on inspection it's clear these pants are pretty ancient: the silk is shattering, the elastic is disintegrating and there's one blue patch on my arse that sheds constantly ... sharing the love.
They're very high-waisted so I've hitched them up with a belt.
The pants are so delicate and I'm glad someone had sense to line them, otherwise they wouldn't be here in 2012.
They were probably made for some stage show.

One woman in the street today (???) told me I should cover up the shattered silk with brand-new fabric.
Cover it up?  
Err no!  What's the point?

I treat these pants with great care and respect as I love the beauty and history of old clothing that's damaged and falling apart.
To stick a label on it, I guess it's all very Miss Haversham-Steampunk. 
But to me it feels like the fabric is telling the story of its life, I'm just the voice.
You can see in these pics how much these pants have lived.
Oh and who doesn't love a pair of flares?

Do you wear old shite you love that's falling apart?
Where do you draw the line?

1980s sequinned top - gifted by the beautiful Heather of By the Sea
1930s patchwork pants - eBay
Leather bangle - gifted by sweet Erica Louise of Recycled Fashion
UJ ring - gifted by Miss Dani-Long-Legs (happy birthday sweetie!)
All other jewellery and 1960s handbags - thrifted
Melissa VW Wing shoes - Amazon
I hope you get to mix it up a bit and have an utterly fabulous weekend:).
Desiree xo


  1. So colourful. I love how you love playing with fashion, colours, fabrics, style. Fearless.

  2. 'Fabric telling the story of its life' - my favourite garments: lace panels coming adrift, silk seams that have been over-stretched, elastic that's given up the pinch. I love clothes that quietly exude that husky glamour of "Oh darling, I've been around you know, seen some sights, learned a thing or two".
    Amazing, amazing trousers on vibrant, vibrant you.

  3. I love them, the colours are so pretty and vibrant. You wouldn't believe they were that old would you? I think it's fabulous that you find things like this and treasure them, that way they are safe for posterity. I've got a lace dress that's all holes but I love it, so I still wear it. Have a great weekend. x

  4. Oh wow, the trousers are the bee knees, they really are. I've always wanted a pair of patchwork flares. It's been a life long ambition of mine (seriously). xx

  5. Ohmahgerd those pants are AMAZING!The bangles and spangles and angles are all FABULARSE! I have no lines - I wear things covered in paint, falling apart at the seams, buttonless, held together with safety pins and sticky tape - I'm with you, let's wear them until they fall off us (and then staple them back on!) Sarah xxx

  6. Those pants are a real treasure and as all the precious things the more they live the more they worth!
    All the colours are radiant and vibrant and they give me a lot of energy and good vibes, if I'll meet you on the street I'll run to you and give you a big hug instead of suggesting how to repair your clothes!
    Personally there is no limit to wear a damaged or antique thing, I also love some stained vintage dresses that I wear on daily basis.

    Lots of love and have a fabulous weekend!! xxxxxx

  7. they're just so perfect! I really love them and I'm glad you're wearing them rather than preserving them in a dark corner somewhere xxx

  8. I totally wear old shit that's falling apart and love it, it tells a story about it's life before we met! I have a pillar box red, fitted felted wool jacket with amazing silver coloured buttons that has been a woolly buffet for moths and I still wear it as it's just so bright and lovely. Who cares a bout a few little moth holes. Not me. I wear a ruddy big flower brooch inned over them and the jacket is still fabulous! Your shoes were made for Thor's wife and I looooooove them! You always look so beautiful and vibrant in our photos, you are an inspiration. Em ♥

  9. difficult one, I wore a favourite pair of vintage shoes to a job interview and they fell to bits as I walked out of the room! I didn't get the job and I was heartbroken that the shoes were only fit for the bin. I have a couple of bags that are in such a fragile state I only display them at home now, but on the whole I buy things to wear them.

    I do agree with the lady in the street as a keen embroiderer I would definitely replace the shreded patch with one of my own, it's like adding some of your history to the trousers.

  10. Just gorgeous, I'd wear em! Seriously, I just bought some vintage goodies for my sister's birthday, now she was planning on getting out of town and her husband was going to take her to Pismo Beach so one of the things I picked up was a flowered Islandy dress from the 1960's to wear as a suit cover-up, the fabric is still in great condition except for some faded patches which I was thinking in my over-active romantic imagination to be "bleached by the Pismo Beach sun" (erm)...and all week fretting should I give it or not as it's not pristine. Well now I've decided it will definitely be going in the bag, thanks for the inspiration doll...

  11. Another amazing outfit! You just keep topping your self. I have an old moth eaten sweater that's covered in sequin and holes. It was headed for the trash at work. I got cold and popped it on.......and wore it home. Went it gets cold, I'll wear it.

  12. The patchwork trousers are very beautiful Desiree and the top Heather sent you goes so well with them. Love the winged shoes! I do wear clothes that are falling to bits but in my case I just look like a ratbag. Pat says he hates my big old cardigans that I always wear. xx

  13. THOSE SHOES. I LOVE THOSE SHOES. I want to be Hermes!

    I draw the line at when skin is showing through - although sometimes I'll sew a patch on the underside and just keep wearing it. Or holes in the arse - at that point, I'm done, because even if patched it just looks like one's underwear is making its sartorial debut :)

  14. Love this outfit! So bright and shiny! Those pants are very awesome. I used to wear my jeans until I had holes on the inseam. My mom would secretly throw them away for mw. Not cool.

  15. Those pants are really special and I can see why you love them gently. Sometimes I find myself loving something so much I won't wear it because I don't wanna ruin it, that is shameful and after reading this I am telling myself~ JUST WEAR IT!!!!!

    You spread rainbow love in this and the world is a brighter happier place because you are not only in it, but screaming loudly....hey I"M RIGHT HERE!


  16. I love those pants so much, they look entirely spectacular with that sequinned top and the winged sandals! Haven't you got a patchwork maxi dress, too? I remember dying over it ages ago!!! You look a vision of joy and colour and I love your nails!
    I'm with you with the tatty bits of fabric and holes, over restoration makes things flat and lacking in personality, a bit like someone with Botox!!
    Now about some lazy patchwork flares using tatty old scarves and a CD case as a template? Bet you could knock them up in a week!

  17. Those pants are absolutely amazing!! *Wow I love em*

  18. Great trousers! Isn't the joy and charm of vintage its worn in status, the scars of its life, the proof it it being preloved? Wear it till it drops off I say!

  19. Oh my gosh those shoes are awesome!! you are just to cute!! love your pants ...I am a big fan of patchwork why don't I ever sew any??? I really should make something patchwork ~You look great I agree wear the old stuff it is fun it tells a story...just if there is a hole and your undies are showing make sure you have some nice ones on for everyone to see hehehehehe ;P Have a great weekend Love Heather

  20. Oh threadbare/loveworn is the best. I've temporarily rescued FLAYED silk by using the thinnest kind of iron-on interfacing to brace the back. It only comes in black or white (I think) but it does give a bit of support to the falling apart where there is nothing else to lose. I have a very old silk kimono that is more interfacing than silk - it stiffens into odd peaks and quiffs but much better than not being to wear my old lovely at all.

    The prints in those trousers are amazing and you look as jaw-dropping as ever xx

  21. Well, I've tried drawing lines but they come out all loopy, just as well. Cover up the frays? I don't think so! Some things I repair, some things I let speak - it depends on the garment. This outfit has wings, bwa ha ha. I adore it!!!!

  22. Oh those shoes! Be still my heart... so I can have a clear mind to plot stealing those shoes. Of course I could never walk in them. Good thing they have wings. The pants are fab too!

  23. They're fabulous! I hope they survive for a long while yet!

  24. Better to be shattered, patched, loved and worn than never to have been shattered, patched, loved or worn at all! (My sincere apologies to Lord Tennyson...)
    Of course you should wear those fabulous trousers, they deserve it after the life they've led. They look amazing, especially with the sequinned top and winged shoes.
    We are all a bit battered by life after a while, aren't we, that's no reason not to be out there for a spin! xxxx

  25. If I had a pair of pants like that I would wear them until they literally disintegrated. They are amazing! Don't let anyone tell you to cover that beautiful fabric up! When I love something I wear it until it is completely unwearable - and then I wear it for a little bit longer. :)

  26. I used to have a gorgeous satin maxi-skirt that was handed down to me by a much-older cousin. I wore it and wore it until the seams started to fray. I would repair it and wear it, only to have it fray again and again. Eventually, when there wasn't a scrap of salvageable material left, I had to let it go. I still miss that skirt. I always felt like a million bucks whenever I wore it.

    I say, if you love it, wear it until it finally disintegrates. Let your gorgeous clothes walk in the light until they breathe their last breath.

  27. no!! Don't ever cover it- they are amazing pants!!

  28. ahhh your fashion is amaaaaazing!! xx

  29. Fark yeah,I actually LOVE it when a garment is falling to bits a bit...It's only when it just won't stay on that I draw the line,such a a 40's frock I had about 20 years ago that was so fragile and ripped when I got it...I just wore it til there literally nothing left to wear! It's the lived in thing I love.These pants are incredible!As is every frigiign detail!Reminds me exactly why,when I am a bit uninspired,I ask myself "what would Desiree do?!", and all becomes clear!
    Love and Lustipops,you fabularse sexacious BINT!

  30. You look glorious in burnt orange and patch work, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, my dear Desiree you are such an inspiration to me.
    I am giving you a big hug in the distance. Can you feel it???

  31. Something happened to my earlier comment. I was just saying I love your fantastic pants the way they are. And the shoes are so VW!


  32. I love clothing that has a full and well-loved history, and still has enough life left for another go-round with a new owner. I don't have anything in my wardrobe that is that old, so if things I have from the 60's start to come apart, I'm inclined to get them repaired so I can enjoy them for as long as possible. Those are THE most beautiful pants, and definitely will co-exist most happily with the rest of your wardrobe.

  33. OMG! You look glorious, stunning! 0ne of your best Désirée
    You should post your whole outfit on instagram!

  34. I am an old shite that's falling apart :o

    Those pants are so special, and now loved by you and your readers.

  35. Those flares are delish, the shoes devine, you are a darling, and I wish you were mine...

    Is it not St. Valentine's Day, yet, you beauty?!

    I am in awe! I throw things away when a hem is pulled, stitches gape, fabric thins as I've fallen down in it (I am a klutz), or the neck gapes to reveal too much of my decolletee. I am learning, I swear, to not be so judgemental about clothes and fabrics - I hope to learn from you <3

  36. What a fantastic explosion of colour (wouldn't expect anything less anyway).
    I don't know if anyone has suggested the same thing as I don't have time to read the comments- lunch break is almost over - I was thinking that maybe some embroooidery can be done over the bits that are shattering?



Just do it ...

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