Sunday, August 31, 2014

Polyester Girl

Forever drawn to the wild, psychedelic prints and saturated colours of clothes from the late 60s and 70s, it seemed natural to collect the polyester pleasures that made my heart soar.
However it wasn't long before I remembered my mother's words about man-made fabrics; they just don't breathe.
In cooler climates it didn't seem too much of a bother but here in Brisbane, my wardrobe was getting jammed with amazing gear, yet I had nothing to wear.
Nylon, crimplene, nylon-jersey, polyester of every weight and thickness in every colour under the sun greeted me merrily each morning: "pick me, pick me Desiree!"
It finally dawned on me why there was such an abundance of beaut maxis, flares and jackets in the op shops and markets ... they were an instant sauna in a bag and people in our sub-tropical climate simply couldn't abide them.
So I sold off and gave away a large portion of my polyester friends *sniff*.
I'm afraid I cannot bear to have clothes hanging in my wardrobe that I can't wear for comfort reasons, instead adhering to a cotton-only policy for 1970s gear and drawing on my life-long love and adoration of all things 1930s and 40s.
Rayon was an inexpensive, affordable and hard-wearing fabric during that era, and since it's a synthetic manufactured from wood pulp, it seems a more humidity-tolerant fabric.
What a relief!  I love the styles from the 30s and 40s ... the details are beautiful, the fabrics fare incredibly well for their age and I like the tailoring.
But if you've been popping over here for a while, you'll probably know I never, ever wear any era from top-to-toe ... not my scene.
Modern synthetics are still very dodgy in my opinion, but depending on the cut, they can be worn on days like today ... the last day of winter.
So today I chose a few bits and pieces that I can get away with before the sauna cranks up for six months of summer.
An ode to nylon in its many forms.









Earrings and FREEK necklace - Bones Couture
1940s slip, lace coat, Top Shop shoes, spiked headband, other jewellery, gold powder compact, feather hair clips, gold belt - all from op shops, markets, eBay



35 comments:

  1. I don't think your hair colour could be more perfect (though you'll do something else incredible and prove me wrong)and the floaty, filmy slip and coat give you a fairy godmother-meets-20's- apparition look. Underwear is so much better as outerwear, particularly when it is pretty as that slip.

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  2. Yes, I'm with you on the synthetic fabric front. I rarely wear anything full on 70's polyester for exactly the same reasons. The humidity in this country gets especially tough in summer. I love today's look. You are a vision in lavendar and I just adore your hair. I'm off to find a shade of blue nail varnish just like that now x

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  3. Just wanted to say I love the colour of your hair!

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  4. In my thirties, I sweated through my love of the 70s, now in my forties I am wearing with way more comfort the 50s. I wonder if it will take me to my sixties to get back to the 1930s

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  5. "Orchidacious" was the adjective crafted to describe a silent-film star whose name I cannot remember -- and it will serve for you as well. What a fascinating assembly of floral pastels and audacious accessories!

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  6. I love "orchidacious"! Yes, your hair really suits this onsombluh. Must be something in the air, because I'm feeling the natural fibres thing too. Maybe it's the threat of Summer around the corner...I'm coming to get you and roast you alive! Ah don't you love Australia :-) Around about now I start thinking longingly of our place in NZ!
    Xo JJ

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  7. You look like a psedelic vision from the 20's! I too have realized the hard way this summer I too need more cotton so my body can breathe. I think this outfit reminds me of the stuff you wore when I first found your blog. I love you girl!
    Xxxxxooo

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  8. how absolutely gorgeous... i love how the colours go together x

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  9. Great outfit! It's soft and feminine with just a little hard edge, just like I like it. I'm with you on the polyester, can't breath. But insisting on natural fibers does limit things a bit both when looking at vintage and current clothes. Trying to find a dress right now for a wedding and it's ALL polyester. Frustration city!

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  10. You are a film star. But you don't need to tell you that - you must surely know by now. Era-mixing, oh yes, why stick to one when we can have them all? Synthetics are chillingly, frightfully delicious sometimes. But you would make a plastic garbage bag look glamourous too.

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  11. I admire how incredibly, incredibly artistic you are! Synthetics for me in the cooler weather as well, and I love rayon! xxx

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  12. I'm with you, just can't do nylon or polyester. I really wish I could because It means missing out on some great stuff, but there you go. Your outfit today is so lovely and romantic, but in a cool way, not in a Jane Seymour in a perfume ad way. I love your hair insanely, the colour and style is just perfect. So spring is on the way then? Xxxx

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  13. Such a gorgeous FREEK! Your creativity and movie goddess looks are such eye candy. A pretty face and rockin' hair sure doesn't hurt either! Like you, I just can't be comfortable in polyester even though our temperatures don't get as hot as Brisbane. The frustration of all the gorgeous colours and patterns coming in man made fibres and the natural fibres all being the colour of clay is always an issue for me and I think it is in part why I have so much blue. Everyone does blue, the polyester makers and the natural fibre makers. I lean towards the hippie stuff for colour, tie dye or batik and Indian cottons when I can get them. I find rayon a good compromise too. I end up in a lot of black and grey in winter though.

    I want you and The Stylist to come and stay with me and give me a hair and face makeover. I have decided that super long purple hair is what I want but I have a long way to go to get that.

    Stay gorgeous and positive! Keep an being wonderful you!
    xoxoxo

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  14. ohhh, your ode to nylon looks Awesome! you look Awesome and would love to squeeze you (and then steal your lace coat, mwhahah). Love your bijouterie, your hairstyle and headband, everything you wear is Fabulous!! You Rock!
    besos
    (I've watched just two episodes of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and I've a crush on her!, wouu)

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  15. Purple Lacey overthing. Yeeees.To die for. 2 die 4... :-)

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  16. It must be fun to get up every morning and decide which amazing outfit you're going to put on ... EVERYTHING you own is FABULOUS!!
    xx

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  17. This is the style I loved when I first met you, those delicate colours and bias cut gowns just shout Desiree at me and I love them.
    Yes, we don't have a problem with humidity here in the UK but the clothes I take to pre-monsoon India in April are silk or cotton. How on earth do you get your eyeshadow to stay put in the humidity? Share!!!
    xxxxx

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  18. You look like a starlet from back in the day, lounging in her room before an evening event of some type... such a lovely lady!

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  19. I love it a lot, this purple piece, yessss...it's marvellous!! Love how you put everything together, such a star you are xx

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  20. This outfit is just classic Desiree - the vintage lingerie layers, the lavender hair, the crazy-cool accessories! I've had to jettison the polyester too, even for the winter as I find it makes me perspire even more than I usually do. You mix things from different eras better than anyone I've ever known. XO

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  21. Theres nothing I dont like about this outfit but my favourite thing has to be the lilac lace coat, which is just completely stunning! I think it's the little touches like the nail polish and earrings that really tie the whole thing together so beautifully :)

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  22. As others have observed, this outfit is quintessential Desiree - elegant and beautiful, the 1930s vibe, and your trademark jewellery. Gorgeous!
    Vix is right, it's far easier to wear synthetic fibres in the UK because we rarely get high levels of humidity. I tend to choose cotton over polyester when it does get hot here, but I do love my Crimplene and lurex when the weather allows! xxx

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  23. Gorgeous from head to toe! I hear ya about the heat and humidity. I could do polyester in Florida as a teen, but as I got older, I just couldn't. I had to switch to cottons. Now that I'm in Asheville I get to indulger in warmer fabrics!!!

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  24. I hear ya on the synthetic fibres, more so in the last 12 months (it's my blummin age, I feel like I am my own tropical climate) your Ode to Synthetics is magnificent, you look exquisite, the bias beauty and the lavender coat is beyond divine and your gorgeous, gorgeous hair! perfection! x x x

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  25. Just magnificent. I love those colours on you and you rock the delicate, bias cut frocks. Classic D.
    With you on synthetics.
    xxxx

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  26. Barabara LaMarr! She was the orchidaceous silents star famous for the quote: "I take my lovers like roses, by the dozen."

    (Drives me nutz when I can't remember a name...)

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  27. I love the mix of delicious colors and fabrics. And your accessories thrill me. As always, you are a vision!

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  28. Looooove that lace coat, and the blue nails. I spent many days in high school sweating through colorful polyester thrift finds--YUCK!

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  29. adorable outfit ... i can't wait tosee you rock some more rayon ... the way you mix and ear 30s and 40s pieces is absolutely inspiring. (even polyester turns into silk, when you wear it.) :)

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  30. I have had the same problem with 'boil in the bag' (as my mum calls them) dresses, I finally relinquished them all too and it felt good!! Your outfit is wonderful, and I love your hair colour against that peachy pink frock! XX

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  32. Hi, Desiree! So nice of you to stop by my blog. I haven't been down under to see you in ages - it's nice to see you still flaunting your inimitable style and Mona Lisa smile, you freek! I agree about synthetics, which is a shame because it does limit one's wardrobe. But comfort is worth the compromise!

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  33. I have so fallen inlove with you and your blog <3 this blog makes me so so happy over and over again.

    thank you.

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  34. I'm a sucker for polyester, but I also live in Wellington - so its kind of the perfect climate. I see how it wouldn't hold much appeal in Brisbane! Lovely outfit - there's something quite ethereal about it...

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  35. So beautiful Desiree! I love this combination on you and the fact that you always mix up eras with so much wit. I notice that piling on and mixing up your historical references is the next big thing for autumn in fashion. You have been doing that with aplomb for years you style influencer you! Xxxx

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