Monday, January 31, 2011

Patched Up

I blame Woodstock, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Joni Mitchell and Seventeen Magazine for my long-standing obsession with patchwork clothing.
As the youngest of seven, I spent most of the 70s trawling my siblings' record albums featuring the landmark festival and countless other groups and singers.
As a youngster, the music was all about the clothes and velvet or cotton patchwork pieces seemed to be the mark of the true rocker.
Patchwork helped plant the seeds of my lust for a crazy mix of folk, blues and 70s rock-inspired clothing.
Now I finally have the perfect 70s patchwork dress that I wished for as a child.

I bought it for $1 in a Dandelion Vintage sale - unbe-frickin-lievable.
Pure cotton handmade squares attached to the bodice of a 60s store-bought dress.  I nearly passed out when I finally unwrappedmy new best friend.  How fickle of me;).
I decided it needed a bit of platform height so I wearing it with Urban Sole leather and cane wedges, 70s tooled leather bag, oriental parasol and a couple of junky knick-knacks.

A big thank you to that glorious beauty Crimson Rosella who interviewed me for her new Sunday Blogger feature:).
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Birthday and an Award

Yesterday I turned 43.
So I thought it an opportunity to respond to the delectable ladies at Misfits Vintage and Devilishly Pleasurable, who have each given me a Stylish Blogger Award.
Awwwww - thank you so much!!
Birthday-related ponderings ... when does a woman stop being a girl?

Now to the business of sharing seven things about myself.

1. I'm teetotal ... I stopped drinking alcohol in May 2009 and haven't had a drop since.
The positives?
No hangovers.  Ever.
My face has lost its puffiness and my skin looks more hydrated.
I can dance forever without chucking.
I've rediscovered the joys of sex and tea, but not concurrently;).
I can drive any time of day or night, no problems.
Which leads on to my next point ...

2. I love driving ... fast.
Yep, I'm a petrol-head.
I bought my first V6 a couple of years ago.
Oh mama, gimme an empty mountain road any day or night.
Sadly though, I'm going out of my tiny mind with frustration as I'm so flat broke, that I can't afford to drive it grrrrrrrr!
Thank Christ for the Phoenix's car, Vernon the Swedish Taxi, a 25-year-old Volvo that just won't quit:).

My shirt has a go-faster collar ... but sadly my gal companion is off the road.

3. I can't remember my natural hair colour ... I think it's a horrible mousy colour with lots of grey.

4. My favourite chilli sauce is Smack My Arse and Call Me Cindy by Brisbane's Chilli Willies  ... I am not kidding.  You won't believe the names of their other sauces!

5. I own 24 black dresses and counting ... somebody stop me!!!

6. I've got a thing for post-war Italian social-realism films ... the Phoenix is also teaching me Italian and I'm desperate to go to southern Italy and waft about mysteriously in my black dresses and a lace headscarf - D&G style:).

7. I'm a cat-less cat lady ... but I do borrow the neighbour's puss occasionally.

I open the floor to all you stylish chickies out there:).
Desiree xo

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My First Friend Friday Post

I'm no longer a lurker of Modly Chic's Fashion and Beauty Friend Friday group.
Today I dip my toe in the water and give it a go (a day late mind you).
If you would like to join the weekly group, visit Katy Rose at the above link.

1. Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the
blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?

I believe that blogger authenticity is purely subjective.  
For example, a print journal or newspaper is created to generate revenue from advertising and each writer must know who their readers are, in order to entice them to continue to buy their product.
It's a bit different in blogland.
Fashion bloggers usually start out by writing to meet their own needs, which hopefully in turn, creates a following of readers who feel they are "tuned in" with the content and style.
But only while the blogger is writing what they want to read or photographing what they want to see.
If the blog changes and acquires sponsorship, advertising and product reviews, the content changes and it's likely the blog will go through a change of followers.
It doesn't mean the authenticity or quality of the blog has necessarily deteriorated, it just means the blog appeals to a different type of reader.

2. When it comes to your blog how to you infuse it with that true/
authentic feeling?

By sticking to my personal pledge of wearing existing pieces from my wardrobe, buying second-hand, refashioning pieces to suit my tastes and rarely visiting shops to buy new clothing.
If my blogging goals ever change, I expect my readers and followers would drop off, until I picked up new followers who were interested in my new content.
I can't see my blog changing though, I like it the way it is:).

I've discovered how much I love clashing prints and patterns with this 1960s blue sequinned and beaded wool shell top, kids brown kilt and thick tights.

3. Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What
made you lose interest?

I've stopped following a couple of blogs that have become more product-oriented.
I don't dislike blogs that advertise, have sponsorship and are trying to make a living out of blogging.
Good on them, I say.
But I have a huge interest in fashion history, fabrics, vintage accessories and in vintage-inspired daily outfit blogs.
That's what I want to see and read about.
The blogs I stopped following simply ceased to "speak" to me - for example, too many "been to the mall" posts, wave after wave of press release pics and stories and bloggers who don't allow comments (why????).

4. We can't communicate effectively on our blogs, something we don't
live in real life... what are some ways you try to live an authentic

I blog about what I know and that's the contents of my closet and the results of my treasure-hunting adventures.
Dead simple.
My personal style has developed since I started blogging about seven months ago.
I'm aware of the style rules, but I've thrown the rule book out the window.
Exploring personal style and blogging about it, is my hobby and I feel privileged to share and that people want to read about it.

The same top gets more of the kilt treatment, this time with a longer green kilt, 1950s coat and bag and Docs.

5. Give a shout-out... Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine
and why?

Misfits Vintage ... lives for vintage style and her blog reflects her passion for dressing up and experimenting with make-up.  Give this woman any vintage piece and she'll know just how to style it.

The Taxonomy of My Wardrobe ... is a blogger after mine own heart.  She's got an incredible collection of vintage and new clothing and she's a fabulous writer to boot.  I love her.

Vintage Vixen ... is a dedicated second-hand shopper who has entirely furnished her gorgeous Georgian house in vintage style, hates credit cards, holidays in India every year and puts together the most amazing vintage outfits with pieces she's picked up for a song.

Helga von Trollop ... cycles to work in her Mrs Slocombe-themed outfits which I'm sure have caused many road accidents.  She's a wiz with the sewing machine and with hair and make-up and has just returned from a Pacific cruise where she turned heads with her daily ensembles.

Crimson Rosella ... is a well-travelled Canadian artist who also looks like a snow fairy in her latest outdoor photos, which never fail to highlight her beautiful features and her ability to play with colour and pattern.

Pink Champagne ... so young, so vintage, so talented.  Just go there.

Clothes, Cameras and Coffee ... this girl knows her fashion history and documents each outfit post with wonderful tidbits and tales of her finds and handed down pieces.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

After the Flood

Thank you so much to all you lovelies, for your kind messages during the past week.
Here's a wee jewellery haul vlog for you.
It's my way of getting back into the swing of things again and saying thanks.

After the Flood from Desiree on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Drip, drip, drip ...

We have a leaky roof, smelly damp laundry, an empty fridge and fear of the sky falling on our heads.
But my children, the Phoenix and I have each other to grab on to, hug and kiss and are grateful to be alive.
The number of my fellow Brisbane-ites who are missing or dead grows with each news bulletin.
Images of familiar places around the city now under metres of water are just bizarre.
It's going to get worse, but it's amazing how resilient people can be when they are in real fear for their safety and lives.
I am not mourning the loss of family or friends.
I'm one of the lucky ones.
Brisbane's history books are being rewritten as each hour passes.

I feel the only appropriate look for today is to show you what I look like with no make-up on.

Taken during a very brief lull from torrential sheets of rain and storms.
Don't pray for me, just pray for my fellow Queenslanders.

This is today's ABC News 30-minute report, but the first 60 seconds will paint a picture of what's happening at this moment.

Desiree xoxo

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Violently Happy

Yes, I'm happy.
Why wouldn't I with wings on my feet?
The Phoenix bought me these delicious shoes for Christmas and the package finally arrived this morning - presents are always worth waiting for and these are no exception.
I've been coveting Vivienne Westwood's Wing shoes for what seems like forever.
Finally, they've made it home to Mama.

I'm wearing the shoes with a bit of an autumnal outfit as I could count the summer days we've had in Brisbane on two fingers.
Yeah you read that right - endless rain and storms.

From the top, I'm wearing a 1930s cocktail hat that's almost tricorn in style.
I added a 1980s feather brooch that I bought from an amazing vintage shop in Brisbane called Adornments.
The mish-mash continues with huge, Indian, silver jangly earrings and a 1950s white lace collar usually worn to tart up ladies' sweaters back in the day.

A fitted leather shell top over a Harpers Bazaar freebie t-shirt and a vintage cashmere maxi kilt is how I'm rolling tonight.
Unfortunately no camera for the long-shots, I had to use Photo Booth for these ones.

Here are the little darlings again.
And you know what?
They're so comfortable to wear as my feet are on a relatively flat platform, plus they're so much fun to walk in.
Waaaaay more comfy than clogs!

I added some rings, including my latest purchase, a big square paua shell ring set in silver.
Thrifted for $3.
I'm sure someone made a mistake in sticking that ring in the Salvos bin.

 I've taken to wearing an intense red lipstick that I've had for ages but haven't been in the mood to wear until very recently.
It's Rush by Natio.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend:) xoxo

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Blue Room

More turquoise today.  I'm wearing a 1960s cocktail frock that I bought from the Salvos for  $6.
The previous owner had hemmed it quite short but I prefer my lady-frocks to look rather demure and just below the knee.
There was barely enough fabric to do the job.

Er, notice how those early sixties frock were constructed with darts that cleverly gave a woman some shape?
In other words, nice rack!  hehe:).
I love the bow and wide neckline.

Another thrifted bag.
This one is from the 1930s.
It's got some weight to it as it has a very sturdy metal frame and is made from embossed leather which has been painted.
It's lost its strap which would have been leather, but I use it as a clutch anyway.

Inside, you'll notice how times have changed in the past 70-odd years.
There's absolutely no room for much more than some change, small comb, lip pencil and a key.
No mobile phone would ever fit in there.
I love that shade of peach satin.

The flip-side has a couple of worn bits on the edges.
I'm amazed I found this little marvel of history - and for just $12.

You can tell from this pic that I don't have a camera yet, but the Phoenix lent me his new iPhone to tide me over.  Sweetie. Mwah!

My absolute favourite 1950s cocktail headpiece.

Lots of vintage brooches, purple fence-net tights and satin leopard-print cut-out wedges and I'm all set.

I love the colour of the tights, they're a soft mauve. 
I never thought I'd wear tights in 27 degrees but I'm sold on fence-nets for summer.
They don't quite scare away the mosquitoes though, I'm covered in bites!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Why So Serious?

This is my old friend Candy - she's a 1980s turquoise, silk, sequinned top and being a showgirl, she's quite a show-off.
And common as muck.
Today she's shacked up with my leather shorts from Bitching and Junkfood.
She has a mind of her own.
Candy has a way of turning up at inappropriate occasions such as work-related press conferences and oh-so-serious interviews and always manages to draw a smile and a definite softening of my subject's demeanour.
A true friend indeed.

Candy hasn't been out to play for a while and today she's making the most of being on holiday.

I kept the accessories pretty low-key;)).
I'm holding a 1960s white and gold beaded evening bag and wearing assorted old rings; a 1950s white, glass bead, concertina bracelet; 1940s sunglasses and blue feather earrings.

The shoes are leather clog sandals I picked up at a vintage store a few years ago.

When Candy and I first hooked up, it was a memorable day.
We found each other at a thrift store and it was love at first sight.
I only had to part with $10 so she could move in with me.
Life has never been quite the same.

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