Monday, September 27, 2010

Wreaking Havoc

I'm told that growing up in New Zealand during the 1970s was in fact like winding back the clock at least 30 years.
I wouldn't know about that, I was just there and didn't know any different.
I wore the cable-knit cardigans, duffle coats, patent mary-janes and kilt pinafores.
I still have a terrible weakness for those same scratchy, heavy and pinching wardrobe items - I can't explain it.
Normally I won't tolerate any discomfort whatsoever - but I'm prepared to put up with a heavy kilt.
But I won't abide any kilt granny-fication.
So when my favourite kilt - if you know the tartan, please sing out - was recently discovered with several moth holes in it, I gnashed, screeched and sulked before popping it in a plastic bag and into the freezer for a few days.
I read the cold kills eggs and larvae.
Evidence of the little bastards' activities.

It was a sign that it was time to do something about making the kilt more wearable.  
I bought it about three years ago and had never worn it - too long and I felt like a granny in it - just loved the colours.
So after the moth-munch, I umm-ed and aah-ed for about two weeks, spent hours last week hemming and pressing the knife pleats to shorten it, thereby disguising the holes.

Until this morning when I took the scissors to it and walloped six inches off the hem.

It got rid of the moth holes (front and back - the little shits!), resulting in a new skirt that I wore straight away.
I've fallen in love with my "new" kilt.
In a way the moths forced my hand.  I loved the kilt but wouldn't wear it at calf length.
It can take me years to get up the courage to change a vintage garment dramatically.
Normally if I don't think a refashion will work, I sell pieces on eBay.
But in this case, creating a huge hem made the kilt bulky, so a chop, zig-zag and 1cm hem later and I was off out the door in my new pride and joy.
I'm wearing it with my Norma Kamali OMO leather vest, 1930s chemise and Docs.  The little 1960s red, vinyl handbag accompanied me out to scour op-shops today.

Accessories close-up time:
My favourite beaten-up old, leopard-print velvet hat; vintage pearls and ropes; 1930s earrings; thrifted plastic bangles.

Doesn't Jean Harlow make simply everything look beautiful?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Surfing on a Rocket

I'm still in a spacey mood in a non-hallucenogenic kind of way, thanks to my boys.
It's all happening here in Space HQ - Lego monsters and robots are taking over the floor, they're making more silly robot films to upload onto YouTube and eating everything in sight.
Which leads me to believe they are harbouring alien babies in their bellies.
I know you peeps and anyone that knows me IRL would probably snort with suppressed laughter at this revelation as I'm clearly a frustrated female drag queen in my get-ups.
But I like my kids to know that taking pride in what they wear is really important - more for the way it can make them feel inside, rather than what people think.
I always know when they've spent too long with their dad, when they start wearing crocs and tracksuit pants - aaaarrggggghhhhh!!
So I lead by example - OK you can start laughing out loud now - and dress in what I know will make me feel good at that moment.  
No compromises.
I took a look at my boys today while we were out getting groceries and going to the library and I smiled.
They get it.
They were happy in their own skin.
They looked comfortable, colourful and awesome to me.
Here's a shot of my nine-year-old wearing what he wants to express, just minutes before stepping out the door.
I bought that cute t-shirt from a small boutique in the Valley here in Brisbane.
I made the little messenger bag and it's a permanent fixture on my little guy.
Covered in badges, it carries all sorts of goodies like change, gum, Tamagotchi, book, whatever.  
See what I mean?  

Anyway, my Black Milk Galaxy leggings got an airing today and I added a 1930s silk blouse (which I'm finding incredibly versatile) bought from Etsy; green 1970s leather jacket from a Melbourne flea market, Docs and assorted jewellery plus 1960s sunnies (no scratches!).

A close up of the Galaxy print.

And the accessories shot - 1950s Egyptian-style necklace from Etsy; multi-chained necklace and crucifix earrings are thrifted and the assortment of rings (including my fave 70s rainbow-coloured rings) were found in markets and thrift stores.
It's getting hard to pick up vintage rings at giveaway prices now - they used to be EVERYWHERE.  
But people are paying good money for them now so I'm glad I started collecting rings a few years ago.

Slap on some red lippy for the mid-week slump and get out there gals!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Snip in Space

If I'm going to sign-up for a two-month Wardrobe Refashion pledge, I'd better show the goods at some stage.
Or actually get around to doing some DIY for that matter.
I've had this silver 1970s dress for a few years now and never worn it.
You can see why.

I look like a wannabe extra of the Triple Rock Church Spiritual Choir in The Blues Brothers.
Mind you, I would have worn anything to witness the choir wail along with James Brown!

No, despite the Phoenix muttering something about looking lovely like a fairy (he was half-asleep), I was convinced the dress needed some inches removed, lose it's hippy-ness and go for a trip into space.
So I got a bit of sleeve action happening a la Blake's 7.
With me?

I think I belong in The Twilight Zone actually.

Now this is something that I'll be wearing for sure.  

I've added alien-proof, wet-look leggings; a metal 1980s stretchy belt that doubles as a dialect interpreter; jewellery with special laser powers and space boots by Doc Marten.
I'm now ready to battle any urban aliens you wanna steer my way.

Like this little murderous Lego fella made by my son.

An accessory close-up for you, which I think I might do more often.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Looks at Lace

I've had this scrummy Collette Dinnigan black lace dress for about a year.  
Would you believe I bought it at a flea market for - get this ... $1!.
It was the end of the day, the woman still had heaps of gear to sell and she was extremely fed-up!
I STILL pinch myself when I look at it hanging in my closet.

It's clearly (;D) see-through, yet I wanted to try a couple of ways to wear it that didn't involve a black slip or dress underneath.
I wanted the gorgeous lace to be the star of the show.
It has a side zip, so no nasty back fastenings to spoil the look, and the armholes and neckline are edged in silk velvet ribbon.

I feel the dress could work for both day and night, it just takes a bit of playing about with proportions.
As my base, I chose the black 1950s corset I wore here and a pair of black wet-look leggings, so the dress would slide over the pants.
I added a thrifted denim Jag jacket and 1950s-style beauty-ad-print wedges.
The jacket happened to be from the same flea market stall for another buck and it sees a lot of wear.

I popped on my leather red rose ring and added a few vintage brooches to the jacket.
The one that looks like a book, really is a book.  It's from the 60s and has "New Zealand" written on the front cover.
Open it and a sheaf of miniature tourist postcards fold out.  
It's my favourite brooch.
And yes, that's a nurses watch (in working order) that I bought at a flea market ($12).

I like how the corset accentuates the delicate dress lace - modern corsets just do not do the same for a woman's natural shape either.
For night, I've added a 1950s black velvet veiled hat, Forever 21 feather cape, 1980s snakeskin clutch and velvet platform heels.

Pile on the bracelets and pearl ropes.  Add some red lippy.

I'm happy with how it turned out.  I wear leggings, so why not under a sheer-ish dress?

At last I've found a couple of versatile looks for this dress that I'm comfortable with.
Take it easy this Monday xo


Well this is a first for me.  The deliciously addictive Jenna of Seven Style Notes listed me as one of her 12 favourite blogs, thereby passing me the torch for a Sunshine Award.
I don't know how these things come about and awards are not the reason I'm here - to me, fashion blogging is a way to reach out and swap sartorial thoughts and pics.
But one thing I do know, it's extremely touching to get recognition from my peers here in BlogWorld, as I know my blog would be less meaningful to me if I didn't have your Blog Love:).
I love your comments.  They make me smile, laugh, marvel and wonder at the creativity and hard work you put into your blogs.
Thank you Jenna!
I have listed 12 blogs that I love, yet keeping it to that modest number is incredibly difficult.  If you're listed, there are a couple of rules attached as follows:
1) Save the photo and post it to your blog
2) Pass the award to 12 more bloggers like you and following you from the news and comment
3) Link the name and url of their blog
4) write and link the one that gave you the award!  

In no particular order:

Friday, September 17, 2010

And It's Gold! - DAY 30

Well it's actually more than 30 days since I made my pledge to Stop Buying More Shit! so I feel in an extra-celebratory Friday-mood.
I've decided a golden treat is in order for us all.
I can't resist a bit of a ruffle.

You may have seen this 1980s Studibaker Hawk dress hanging out in the background in some my kitchen outfit posts, where the dress has a permanent home with its lovely little sister that I featured on Day 8 of my pledge.
SH's 80s party dresses are pretty hard to come by these days and I pounced on this golden number at my local Aid for the Blind thrift store a couple of years ago on a half=price day.
Which meant shelling out just $20! *swoon*
Almost every female who enters my house leaps upon it and starts making strange gurgling noises;).
So I thought all you lovelies out there might like to start your weekend on a top note with some party dress-ups.
Enjoy your weekend and tell a friend you love them. xoxo

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Share the Love ...

Just as autumn saunters elegantly into the subconscious of those of you living in the northern hemisphere, so too each year here in Oz I drag myself kicking and screaming into summer.
It's not a pretty picture.
Spring in Brisbane lasts about a week before we're into a five-month long season of humidity, bathing in sweat and gasping for cool dips in the ocean.
This is how I imagine I'd like to look this summer.

You know, cool, calm and demure like this stylish, Italian lovely.
(This 1950s photo sits on my dressing table and always draws a wry smile - the poor girl is positively running the gauntlet through that hive of men standing in her path to get her attention!!)
Or this, like Martha Vickers in The Big Sleep.

But *sigh* I'll probably end up cooking in my own sweat as usual and throw on something that touches the least amount of skin.
Like this - a hot, sweaty mess - actually come to think of it, that WAS a great gig!

Ever since my four-year sojourn in the UK many years ago, I can't shake off my love of layering and fall/winter dressing.
I get so envious of those dresser-uppers excitedly anticipating the discovery of scrumptious winter coats, boots and layers.
But the reality for me is, I'm scrambling through my closet to find something vintage-y, fun, light and summery to wear.
And pretending to be super-happy about it;).
It's nigh impossible to find vintage clothing here in cool natural fibres for summer and I'm stumped.
So for a start I've decided to go on a hunt for some crappy, thrifted, men's t-shirts and set to work cutting, hacking, chopping, pinning and tie-dying to introduce some originality into my summer gear.
That's how I'll start and things will progress (or go down) from there ;P.
I would love some help from you delicious creatures.
What did you REALLY wear this summer?
What did you imagine yourself wearing compared to what you really ended up wearing to get you through the most stinking hot days and nights?
Did you end up in heels or flats?  Cut-offs or skirts? Maxis or minis?
What worked for you?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sweet Time - DAY 28

I'm taking a day out today.
I know it's a bit early in the week to go on strike, but I figure Monday's as good a day as any to scoff down lots of lovely fruit 'n nut chocolate, drink copious cups of tea and enjoy the spring sunshine:).
Oh and play dress ups of course.
I can't quite decide on this skirt from Bitching and Junkfood.
It's really short, but I like its proportions with the draped back, plus I'm a big fan of pockets and this baby has two.
I think worn with leggings or super-thick tights, it's fine.
I've worn it here with both Forever 21 granny booties and my Docs, hopefully to tone it down a bit.
I've had this 1950s lined, lace corset for a while so decided to bring it out to play and to top things off I added a thrifted 1970s velvet jacket which has lots of tiny buttons and loops, plus a peplum.  I adore the colour!
Forever 21 cream and pink floral tights, vintage and modern pearls, plus my "headpiece of the moment", a1950s veiled headband, also have their first meeting here.
Waddaya reckon?  
Heels or Docs?

Hope you're easing into the week at a nice easy pace:).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When is a Dame a Dame? - DAY 27

Just take five seconds here ... c'mon give it up for Jean Harlow.

Wasn't she a doll?  A dame? A broad?
Do people still say those things about women?  How do people describe feisty, little ladies these days?
Well I certainly felt a little feisty today so reached all the waaaaaaaaay to the back of my closet and pulled out two 1950s vintage slips that have caused much head-scratching over the past couple of years.
I just didn't know how to style them.  I knew some kind of layering was going to be involved but I nothing worked.  
Then I spied the AA "dress" that despite being very comfortable and pulls all the right bits in, is VERY short.  And rides up.  So I haven't worn it.
"You're coming along with me," I said and the dress was slipped kicking and screaming over the two slips.
The navy blue slip is a bit longer than the sky blue one so they layered well.
I added metallic suede wedges, lots of bangles, my favourite 40s leopard-print beret and 80s snakeskin clutch.
Once I got the three garments together they behaved themselves and decided they'd like to do it again.
Yay - another "brand new" outfit from my closet:). Whew!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Smells Like Teen Spirit - DAY 26

The Phoenix and I watched very little TV during the 90s so The X-Files kind of flew over our collective radar.
Although we were living on opposite sides of the planet at the time, neither of us were interested in the hype, new series' anticipation and subsequent lame "water cooler" chit-chat about the wildly popular program.
So we are watching it now, 16 years after it first aired and completely hooked with marathon X-File sessions, followed by much stumbling about like saggy-eyed zombies during the day.
Of course it must only be watched at night.
It was in Season One's Episode Two (Deep Throat) - you can tell I'm hooked can't you - I spotted a couple of teens in head-to-toe grunge kit.  The girl was wearing a black leather jacket covered in pins, a saggy black skirt and Docs.
You kind of get the idea here.

The skirt I'm wearing in today's post, I made from a piece of cotton fabric I've had lying about for a couple of years, so decided on an A-line mini using a 70s pattern.
It's super comfy, but that's coz the waistband is too big, so I'll have to unpick the waistband, take the side seams in and put the band back on.
Or not.
The skirt is part of my TAH-DAH Wardrobe Refashion pledge, you guessed it, not to shop for two more months!
Arrgghhh it's going to kill me in terms of wanting to buy a stack of Black Milk gear from my earlier post, but when the wallet is E-M-P-T-Y, needs must.
I'm wearing the skirt with an AA bodysuit (which I hate); Norma Kamali OMO leather vest (which I love); Docs; assorted rings and Fendi cotton scarf.

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