Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keep Your Knickers On!

Something tells me Edith Head would not have approved of her starlets wearing their knickers on the outside.
Sadly she's not here to give me an earful today, but oh how I wish I could have met the fabulous Hollywood stylist and designer.
Ms Head's original book The Dress Doctor was apparently considered the bible of fashion when it was published in 1959, with its strict no-no's on what one could and couldn't wear to certain events.
I'm considering ordering a copy because I think I'm utterly disgraceful and must brush up on my dress codes - which are clearly lacking here today;)).

Mum always taught me to pack a hanky and a spare pair of knickers, but these 1930s  embroidered silk knickers are way too pretty to stuff into my 1950s white ostrich skin bag.
Still not sure where I dropped my hanky though.

Cheeky, no?

I love the contrast of the super-soft silk over the Black Milk Liquids then the cheekiness of my VW Wings - weeeeee!!!

I bought the feather cape from Pretty Much New who release wonderful, second-hand surprise bargains every Tuesday - there, secret's out:).

The pinky-peach colour fades out a bit over the black underneath but you can see the embroidery details here.
The knickers fasten with three tiny, tiny pink buttons up the left seam. 
No elastic, no forgiveness;).

In these over-styled times where anything-goes-but-only-if-you're-a-hipster, do you have any style no-no's that you're dying to brazen out?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sister Smile

"You look like a nun," said Number Two Son when I took him to the doctor today.
"Well it sounds like you're well enough for school tomorrow then," I replied.
Actually the boy with the stomach flu might be right.
I'm wondering if watching Soeur Sourire last night actually did have something to do with my outfit choice today.

The film is based on the true story of a young Belgian woman, Jeannine Deckers, who runs away to a convent and becomes an worldwide overnight sensation with her 1963 hit Dominique, outselling Elvis and The Beatles.

I'm sure a nun wouldn't be seen out and about wearing a 1960s black lace-trimmed slip, but the Phoenix says the jury's still out on that one;).
I maintain Jeaninne would have worn one under her frocks when she was turfed out of the convent for penning The Golden Pill.
Actually it's one of two delicious vintage black slips that I've been wearing as dresses this summer - so much, that I've already got my eyes peeled for more so I don't wear out this little number quickly.

The headscarf is thrifted and made from lovely soft black lace, edged in lace ribbon.
In my "Living in Southern Italy" fantasy, I will have a battered, leather suitcase full of such scarves and black slips.
I will sway along dusty streets, laden with vegetables to make minestra, hissing insults at crazed, toothless, grinning old men who smoke tobacco and gossip about the crazy, harlot ex-nun who came to stay;).

More lace - it swings and sways with each step.
More black with VW Wings and nail polish.

My $2 floral, cotton granny bag is the only colour I need today.

Do you find yourself unconsciously reaching for certain clothes after watching a film or reading a good book?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dotty Delirium

I spent the past 24 hours glued to the radio for the latest news on the second earthquake Christchurch has suffered in less than six months.
I understand the splendid Helga von Trollop is safe thank goodness, so it was with a skip in my step that I grabbed a rather loud frock in honour our favourite honorary Kiwi.
I wore this outfit when I rocked up for an appointment with my solicitor this morning.

The bow is in my favourite shade of green - whenever I see anything in this colour, my hands reach out instinctively and money changes hands.

Mona Lisa earrings and my first ever MAC lipstick - Russian Red.
I've discovered online makeup and books - both are, I believe, prohibitively expensive here in Australia - so I've bought a couple of things from the US and Hong Kong that would cost me double here.
I love these 1960s beaded wool cardigans - I have another in black with long sleeves.

The dress is a 1970s deadstock number I picked up for a buck.
Both the dress and pin-up girl printed wedges I've worn here before, but the tote bag is one of two I thrifted last week for $3 each - they still had their original price tags on them at $25 each.
They're made using 1970s fabrics - cute eh?

A 1960s red plastic clip and 1970s sunnies - I think the 70s beats the 80s hands down for sunnies:).

Desiree xoxo

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Got My Mojo Workin'

I have to eat my words.
In my FBFF colour-themed post I declared there was scant red in my wardrobe.
Well, the next day these 1930s red silk lounging pants appeared in the mail - I'd forgotten I'd fallen for them on eBay and grabbed them for $7.

After my 1950s tuxedo trousers, these have to be the most divine pants I've worn in a long time.
They're embroidered with a five-fingered Emperor's dragon.
The silk is just, well ... so silky and when I turned them inside out I found the pants had been made using French seams.
I haven't seen a decent French seam for many a moon.

The jacket is actually a bed jacket made from a beautiful, weighty, ivory embossed satin.
In the tradition of new mothers, mine made one out of her wedding dress.
She said it was the done thing for new mothers to chop the bottom off their wedding gowns to make a bed jacket, which they wore after the births of their children while they convalesced in hospital (sometimes for up to two weeks!!).
Lipstick and curled hair were also expected during visiting hours.
This little number is not my mother's but thrifted and it's the best of its kind that I've seen in years.
I love the bracelet-length sleeves and the ties at the neck - this one has a bit of a kimono feel to it.

A close-up of the kind of fabric women were using to make their wedding gowns during the 1930s and mid-late 1940s.

I recently picked up this veiled headpiece on eBay too, as I go weak at the knees for early-mid 20th century cocktail hats, frou-frou and what-nots.
I'd never seen a black veil combined with white flowers and green leaves and thought it looked interesting.

Another white cotton lace collar as necklace, plus Asos bodysuit which has a couple of sheer panels that make it so cool to wear in today's 34-degree heat.

A favourite pair of very, very old earrings - I'm guessing 1930s.

This snakeskin bag is my pride and joy - probably rarely used by its original owner as it's in perfect condition.

I'm going mad for 1930s and 40s under-thingys at the moment ... I might scare you with some of these silky delights soon:)))
Desiree xoxo

Friday, February 18, 2011

Life Ain't Easy for a Boy Named Sue

I'm in love with Johnny Cash and adore men's vintage clothing so this is my tribute to both.
This 1920s tail-coat arrived during the week after a thrilling eBay bidding war ... you know the kind - "You shall be mine ... oh yes, you shall be mine".
I love the splendid details of men's jackets and pants - they have secret places and pockets within pockets, within pockets.
This is my take on black-tie dress-ups - the Phoenix took one look and said "Right we're going out babe";).

Well the colours are simple but there's quite a bit going on here.
From the top, I'm wearing a 1950s black veiled fascinator and white cotton collar, which were worn to decorate plain sweaters.

I tucked a pair of old white crochet gloves into the top pocket.

I popped a 1930s pinky-peach camisole over an Asos black bodysuit and you can't miss my favourite Liquid leggings from Black Milk - now that's what I call a wicked pair of "tuxedo" pants;).

The Stylist attacked my toenails while I was dozing - I like them!  The Vivienne Westwood Wings have a mind of their own.

This silk camisole gets so much wear - I need more!!  I'm working on it:)).

The clutch is a 1920s or 30s embossed leather number.

Aren't old labels so beautiful?  I've heard some people remove and collect old labels from vintage clothing (!?).

I wonder if the Man in Black would have approved.

 D xoxo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jolly Nice Frocks

What is it about a jolly nice frock that makes us go gaga?
I was going through some pic archives and found these two of me taken by the Phoenix a year ago.
I love these two blue gowns but they rarely get worn.
The first is a 1940s number I bought off eBay and wore for my 40th birthday - it's made up of two separate garments - a fitted slip and a deliciously soft and swishy chiffon gown.

It would get plenty of wear if it wasn't so long and dragged along behind me - I don't want to ruin it.
I feel very upright and lady-like wearing it so it's only just that I bring it down a peg or two;)).
Just making sure the "girls" are in their rightful place.

My god I look tired in these pics - but I remember I'd just had a marathon hairdressing appointment that day and wanted "hair" pics.  Shame I didn't pop on some lippy.

I bought this 1970s gown at a vintage flea market stall for the Brisbane premiere of a film made about my grandad a few years ago.
I wore it again for a media awards night - I was a finalist and didn't win my category, but what an amazing honour it was to be shortlisted.
There are happy memories stored in these gowns.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Colour Me Happy

My closet was once known as The Black Hole.
I think things are turning around though.
Yes, I've admitted to 24 black dresses and counting, but there's plenty more in the way of glorious colour that's feeding its way in there now.
So I jumped at the chance to answer Modly Chic's weekly question-time - this Friday it's all  about the power of colour.

Orange is an old favourite of mine: thrifted 1970s kaftan, sunnies and beads, 1960s beauty case and metal daisy earrings, black silk rose hair clip, oriental parasol and leather & cane wedges.

1. What color dominates your closet?
Ok so I've established that almighty black is my basic neutral colour.
But I've had a rifle through my closet today and no suprises, there's an abundance of green.
Pale pink and peach seem to be a recurring theme, which were popular underwear colours during the 1930s and 1940s.
I try and pick up vintage pieces in all the above colours when I spot them and the price is right.
Red doesn't feature except in the case of a 1960s wool cape and a 1950s overcoat.
I like to wear red on my lips instead.

2. If money weren't an issue how would you change the color emphasis in your closet?
I wouldn't change a thing.
Most of my wardrobe is thrifted/vintage and I'm utterly hooked on the unplanned aspect of my shopping habits.
I never, ever know what I'll stumble upon and bring home to hook up with the rest of my clothes.
If money wasn't an issue, I'd still shop mainly secondhand but I'd probably travel far and wide in my search for old treasures and buy more high-end collectable vintage.
If I love something and I can afford it, I'll get it even if it's in a colour where there's not an immediate outfit or styling idea that springs to mind.
I know I'll have a lightbulb moment eventually.

3. What is your mantra about mixing colors?
There's nothing to fear but fear itself.

4. For you, how do you incorporate color into your outfits?
Hmmm ... that's tricky because I don't really plan outfits.
I prefer to play around with colour and proportion or shapes.
I'm naturally attracted to faded-out colours but I have plenty of bright bits and pieces - I usually like to throw bright with bright, faded with faded.
A vital aspect of growing old disgracefully involves wearing ensembles that make me look like  a film-set escapee.
I never, ever wear head-to-toe new clothing - I hate to feel starched.
So throwing a little old something on in a never-seen-today colour is vital to creating the  feeling of screwy oddity that I love;).

5. Which blogger(s) do you think do a good job of incorporating color
into their wardrobe?
Sacramento of Mis Papelicos lives a wonderfully artistic and colourful life ... even her daughters have followed her lead;
Franca of Oranges and Apples knows how to pop bright surprises out of the bag; and
the Comtesse de ferveur never fails to delight me with her wonderful eye for colour.
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