Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Between working, packing my bags, wrapping presents and (failing at) cooking, I don't see myself having time to come online and wish you all a Merry Christmas, so I'll do it a little early. I hope every one of you has a wonderful day, filled with grotesque quantities of food, smiling relatives and toys that make noise :D

Apparently those of us in Melbourne can expect a cool-ish Christmas (thank goodness - it was well over 40 degrees last year) so I can finally wear this dress:






















It's a gorgeous little vintage silk number that has just the right shape to wear my new What Katie Did bullet bra underneath (I swear, my waist is nowhere near that tiny - optical illusion!) I was nervous ordering one, as I didn't know what the shape would be like on me, but I feel like an absolute bombshell with it on! Definitely going back for more~!

As you may have guessed from the packing reference earlier, I'm going away on holidays. I'll be staying close to the beach for a week and a bit with my grandparents, can't wait! They live in NSW so we don't get to see them often. Unfortunately, my suitcase is too small to pack my parasol so I'm going to have to get "wear sunscreen" henna'd on my hand - I burn incredibly easily and no amount of floppy hats are going to save me if I forget that vital step!

Enjoy your holidays, and have a swell new year's! Be seeing y'all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fruit Salad

I've been so busy with work lately (so I apologize for falling behind in reading and commenting on your lovely blogs) - yesterday was my only day off before Christmas so I went out for some last minute present shopping. Of course, I managed to sneak in a few gifts for myself:


I only need 'Vintage Furniture' now to complete the set, as I already have 'Vintage Shoes' and 'Vintage Clothing'. I'm hoping they do a book on hats soon! I know there are other books out there that I could buy, but the ones from this series look so nice sitting next to eachother on my shelf.
Next to it is an adorable showercap I bought to help protect my pincurl sets! Hopefully this will help them last a day or two longer without getting frizzy.


I wore my thrifted Calvin Klein jeans, so as promised, here are pictures of me wearing every pastel colour I could find in my wardrobe - according to the friend I went out with, I looked like the predatory housewife Joyce Monroe from Edward Scissorhands! My dad, however, said I looked like a fruit salad D:

(This isn't an image from the movie, but rather the dansical that came out a year or so ago. I saw it with friends, it was pretty much the best thing ever :D )

She was bang on though! I was aiming for that kind of suburban teenager look - something like this:

(Also from the dansical! If you weren't lucky enough to see it when it was on show, do look up some pictures - or even better, videos - the outfits are fantastic!)

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From the Jukebox - The Baseballs


Don't be fooled by the picture! The Baseballs are actually a current band from Germany, who, in a reversal of the norm, create doo-wop covers of modern songs. Their 2009 album, Strike, shows off their amazing skills in adapting songs that could be considered polar opposites of that 50s sound (think Pussycat Dolls and Beyonce!) into smooth, rock n' roll styles. The experience of listening to their songs is made even better if you know of the originals, so one can marvel at the changes made.

I simply must share a few of their videos with you all, so you can see how complete the transformation is (the addition of screaming fans in cat-eye glasses is just perfection)! First off is a cover of 'Umbrella' by Rhianna:




Not to mention they are all gorgeous! *swoons* I can definitely see myself in that crowd chasing them! Their other video is a cover of Katy Perry's 'Hot n Cold':



The reaction of passersby is priceless, no?

I highly recommend digging up Strike to listen to (and dance along to - you will not be able to help yourself!) The Baseballs have also got other covers floating around on Youtube that aren't on the album itself - you may even stumble upon a doo-wop rendition Lady Gaga's 'Pokerface' (it must be seen to be believed!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thrifty Finds #1

While I love doing outfit posts, sometimes I get so excited by op-shop finds that I can't even wait till I take them out on the town to blog about them! Here's my latest haul:


That's a pair of brand new Calvin Klein jeans there! They're high-waisted and lovely, I've been searching for a pair of preppy pants like that for a while. Gonna work them with so many pastel colours that you'll think I'm an easter egg <3

The other find I'm really psyched about is that little black playsuit! I simply had to show it to you on:


I have a long torso, so this find is even more special due to the fact that it actually fits me! Not to mention it saves me the trouble of making my own (my previous attempts to make a frankenpattern for one = not pretty).

I also got a lovely surprise from Pink Champagne for Dancing and Stefanie Valentine - a Glamorous Blog award! Thanks lovelies <3 Unfortunately I'm going to be a terrible community member as I don't have a list to pass this on to - I'm trying to expand my reading list so I can link to some new blogs next time round.

Wish me luck dealing with the Christmas shopping crowds tomorrow! Working retail this time of year is terrifying D:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Black Dresses

I would imagine that by now, most of you have heard about how Audrey Hepburn's personal wardrobe has recently gone up for auction. If not, Circa Vintage has a great article on the historic event.

It appears that certain stores are cashing in on the resurgence Audrey's name is currently experiencing in the media. (One of them being 'Forever New', who were selling the book 'What Would Audrey Do?' in store. Answer? Probably never wear half of the items they stock.) I was passing K-mart on my way to work today, and out of the corner of my eye noticed a familiar image - the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's poster.


I went over to the stand which contained several rails of black dresses to take a closer look. The back of the tag states that these essential 'little black dresses' were inspired by the timeless elegance of Audrey Hepburn - however, in all honesty, I think the designers of this collection lost that same 'elegance' in their efforts to modernize the look. I know I took awful pictures, and I apologize, but I was late for work and didn't have time to capture each dress (not that they'd show up well anyway! Black on black and all.) The one I've taken a picture of is pretty cute, actually, but some of the others were absolute travesties.


Really, K-mart? Strapless, thigh high club dresses? Lamé shifts with bubble hems? Fringed FLAPPER dresses, for heaven's sakes - that's not even the right era! Given that Audrey was all about understated elegance, this all felt a little insulting. I was hoping for some dresses that were classically beautiful and refined, not dictated by passing trends. (I had a good chat about it all with a customer at work, actually. She told me I looked like Katherine Hepburn -my cheekbones are not that nice, must have been my hair- and we got to talking about the difference between those great Queens of Hollywood and the girls of today. I think it gave her a little bit of hope to see that we're not all out buying gladiator sandals and miniskirts!)

I'm still looking for my perfect little black dress. Finding something unaffected by seasonal trends is difficult, as many stores deem what I would consider 'classic' as 'boring'. I have hope though, that somewhere out there is the LBD for me!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Experiments with Pincurls

I've been playing around with styling techniques for my new haircut, and have been having quite a bit of success with pincurls! They definitely add more volume and bounce to my hair than I would have normally - however, I do have naturally curly locks so there is the temptation to just hairspray and brush the heck out of them and see if there is much difference :/ I'm balking a little at the amount of time (and upper arm strength) required to do a wetset every couple of days, as much as I like the effect. Let me just say, I have a whole new respect for you ladies who do so on a regular basis!

Some of the results:






Outfit Details

Capris: Route 66
Top: Thrifted from Ebay
Flowers: Diva
Bracelet: Target
















Outfit Details

Skirt: Route 66
Shirt: Thrifted
Flowers: Diva
Necklace: Target









I have a new lipstick love! Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in no. 75 - Dragon. Feels like silk on my lips and lasts for aaaaaaaaages. It was a very belated birthday present from a friend - lord knows I can't afford to use it everyday, but boy is it taking all the willpower I have not to go and stock up on all the other colours! I've also been thinking about doing a few makeup related posts - different looks, tutorials, things like that. I hope that may be of interest to you all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lust, Caution

One of the particular areas of 1930s/1940s fashion that interests me is the modernization of China and Japan, and their gradual adoption of Western elements. Asian women during this transitory period often had very unique and strikingly beautiful looks - they would perm their jet black hair and wear red lips and nails; or dress in a traditional cheongsam with seamed stockings, pumps, and a trenchcoat or fur over the top. Even the city itself consisted of this same startling fusion – rickshaws and Rolls Royces would pass each other on the same narrow street; and traditional food would be sold next to cafés selling coffee and pastries.

Lust, Caution is a film by Ang Lee set in Japanese-occupied China during this period of cultural transformation, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in broadening their knowledge of the Forties. Often, the Eastern Fronts are overlooked in cinema (and similarly, the class I took at university focused on the European Front – thus I cannot personally vouch for the movie's accuracy in any way) so seeing another perspective like this is extremely refreshing. The film's plot revolves around a group of students involved with the resistance against the collaborationist Chinese government, and a particular female agent's attempts to seduce and take down a high ranking official. I feel I should issue a disclaimer here - it does get plenty racy, and there is some sexual violence, so if the thought seeing such things offends you may want to skip this one. It didn't get its R18+ rating for nothing. That said, it is a quietly beautiful, slow burning film and one I rather enjoyed. Not to mention the beautiful outfits! Just to give you a taste:

If you look closely, you can see seams!

It also has me seriously lusting over a mahjong bracelet like this one:

Found here on Etsy. Hint hint, Santa Claus!

Not to mention this gorgeous ring:

It's vintage Cartier! Discovered in a vault in Paris, director Ang Lee had the 6.1 carat pink diamond shipped to Shanghai specifically for the film. Isn't it gorgeous? (I also noticed that Mak Tai Tai has matched her lipstick to her nails here - something I must remember to do more often.)

The film has also inspired me to make up my overall pattern in a deep emerald cord - I don't have any pictures of this outfit, but I can assure you the colour looked gorgeous over cream blouses. I miss winter even more now!

If anyone can recommend any other films set in the 40s that feature the Eastern nations - including Russia, China and Japan - please, let me know of them in a comment! Suggestions are always much appreciated.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Street Seen

Sorry to spam you all with two entries in one night, but this news simply cannot wait! Remember this?

The photos are finally up - take a look! I'm "Kelly", apparently. *raises eyebrow*

It is extremely flattering nonetheless, especially considering that Melbourne is full of some pretty swanky individuals. Just another thing that brightened up my day!

Oh, wow

I just got given my first award, from the darling Stefanie Valentine.


It's really a wonderful pick-me-up to come home to, given that I've only been blogging these past two months! I'd also like to use this chance to thank all my followers so far - I never expected so many people to be interested in little old me! Thank you all; it really means a lot and I always appreciate reading your comments.

I'm passing the love on to 6 of my favourite bloggers (It is meant to be 10, but I don't follow that many blogs and a large amount of them have already recieved this award). So, without further ado:

1.) The Big Mama Introspection
2.) Pink Champagne For Dancing
3.) The Republic of Dresses
4.) Vivian Von Dimples
5.) Gone with the Voile
6.) Whipstitch Sewing

There's also a little one word questionnaire that came with it (I will try to keep to the limit as much as is possible):

1.Where is your phone? Lost :/

2.Your hair? Curly

3.Your Mother? Strict

4.Your Father? Loud

5.Your favourite food? Chocolate

6.Your dream last night? Zombie-related

7.Your favourite drink? Coffee

8.Your dream/goal? Neuropsychology

9.What room are you in? Mine :)

10.Your hobby? Sewing

11.Your fear? Zombies ;_;

12.Where do you want to be in six years? Graduated!

13.Where were you last night? Bed

14.Something that you’re not? Confident

15.Muffins? Poppyseed

16.Wishlist item? Apartment

17.Where did you grow up? Worldwide

18.Last thing you did? Work

19.What are you wearing? Kimono

20.Your TV? Plural

21.Your pets? None...

22.Friends? Beautiful

23.Your life? Confusing

24.Your mood? Better

25.Missing someone? Sister

26.Vehicle? Bus

27.Something you’re not wearing? Shoes!

28.Your favourite store? Myer

29.Your favourite colour? Red

30.When was the last time you laughed? During Twilight

31.The last time you cried? Weekend

32.Your best friend? A star

33.One place that I go to over and over? Boyfriend's

34.Facebook? Avoiding!

35.Favourite place to eat? Shanghai Dumpling House

(I can't remember my text options - that will teach me to copy and paste!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aloha!


Finally, I feel like I'm doing something productive with my holidays! I put together this dress today using view B of Butterick 6582, a reprint of a pattern from the 60s. I ended up shortening it substantially (mostly due to my failure to read cutting layouts properly) but I think it still manages to keep the feel of the original - just kinder in hot weather!

I'm hoping to wear this out for Mai Tais with friends after we find out our exam results - whether it is a celebration or drowning of sorrows is yet to be seen! *crosses fingers* We're planning to hit this place called the Tiki Bar - I am very intrigued by this "Zombie" drink and the 2 per night limit they have for it!




This is probably the most complicated pattern I've made to date - and that's not saying much! The facings made me cry, and I had to put darts in to fix the gaping back (note to self: start making muslins! Or learn to alter patterns without improvisation in the final stage.) That said, it has the smoothest zip I've inserted to date, so I guess practice does make slightly better!


I'm rather tempted to go back to Spotlight and make this dress (or perhaps another, simpler pattern that doesn't make me cry) in a few other island and surf themed fabrics that they had there (or perhaps even a shirt for The Boy - after all, he'll need something to wear to the Tiki Bar with me!) However, next up I'm attempting View C (the full skirted version) of this pattern in a gorgeous green voile. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I got my hair cut today! First time having it short since... since forever! I waltzed into the hairdressers and asked for a "young, hot Elizabeth Taylor", and this is what I got:








Outfit Details

Blouse: Thrifted
Skirt: The Way We Wear










I'm getting used to it a lot easier than I expected (although my head feels absurdly light!) I can't wait to try out a few pincurl sets with it.

I finished my university exams last week, so I'm about to start some intensive sewing - and I'm not allowed to buy any more fabric or patterns till I get through this lot! I am sure fellow etsy-ers can understand me wanting to circumvent what I am sure is developing into an addiction! Have a sneak peek at some upcoming projects (the fabrics do not necessarily go with the patterns on top):


Tomorrow, I start cutting (whilst marathoning Gossip Girl)! Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wiggle Wiggle

This is my final find from 'The Way we Wear Vintage Fair' - The Boy calls it my "First Lady Dress" and I'm inclined to agree! I love it for its understated elegance; the glare in the photo obscures it somewhat but it's a gorgeous soft pink with a slightly raised pattern, and the neckline is also unique. I believe it's from the early 1960's.






















This is also the last time you'll be seeing my hair so long - tomorrow morning I am going for the chop! I've been rockin' the Rita Hayworth thing for a while, and although I still love it, I'd like to try something different. Summer feels like just the right time to have it short. It'll definitely be breezier with the hot weather (and if it looks terrible I know it'll have grown out by the time I'm back from holidays, haha!) Wish me luck; I've had long hair ever since I was a child and I'm terribly nervous about the change!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vintage Fair Haul

Today, I attended The Way We Wear Vintage Fair courtesy of tickets I won in a giveaway from Circa Vintage (thanks so much guys, I had an absolutely wonderful time!) It was an adventure and a half getting there in such stormy weather, but well worth the trip. ( So many beautiful things, all in one place - I wish I had saved up more! (My friend commented that it was 'like a zoo' because of all of the different furs there!) However, even with the limited funds I had, I still managed to pick up a skirt with the cutest tropical print, an unworn girdle, and a pair of shoes - all in excellent condition. I've also got a pink wiggle dress soaking in the tub to get a few stains out; photos of that one to come (it is a challenge to get over my head, but fits amazingly). I worked up my courage and tried my hand at haggling, which was overall a success: I saved about $20 in total! I'm terribly shy, so it helped that all the shop assistants were so approachable and lovely. That has to be one of my favourite things about vintage shops - the owners are typically so friendly and passionate about what they sell, and get to know you over time. It's a more personal experience (and far less intimidating than shopping in some designer boutique!)














I didn't take photos of my outfit (as proud as I was of having found a frangipani hairclip that perfectly matched the floral motif of my dress) because I had a terrible bout of insomnia last night and was running on exactly zero hours sleep - by the time the wind and the rain were through with me I was an absolute mess. So, in order to make up for it, here's a photo of the outfit I wore last night to my friend's 21st; taken by a photographer friend of mine (you can tell it's not my handiwork since there is proper lighting and focus for once!)


Outfit Details


Dress: Basque
Fur: Vintage
Pearls: Borrowed from Grandmother

I am worn out! Going to lie in bed with a few DVDs until I doze off. Hope you all had wonderful weekends!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dame of Mystery

One of my best friends had her 21st birthday party last night; the theme being 'hats'! What better occasion to break out some vintage headgear?






















I picked up this hat in a little vintage store in Melbourne - a little pricey for my tastes, but it was so gorgeous I couldn't resist! It's a feathered halo style, with burgundy netting that covers the eyes. Made me feel rather vampish, so I did my makeup to match (it's MAC Blackware Glimmerglass over their Diva lippie, for those interested - I am addicted to that combination!) I also tried something new with my nails - filling in the moon with gold polish. It may not be traditional, but I do like the way it made my everyday nail a little more ritzy.

You may remember a slim skirt I sewed previously - well, here is the accompanying jacket. I won't show you a close up, as it has some of the most terrible handworked buttonholes you will ever see D: I really ought to learn how to do them on the sewing machine before I attempt my striped shirtdress (the pattern arrived, the fabric is bought - now, to work up my courage). I do, however, adore the vintage buttons I found for it, after taking up Reilly's suggestion to look for tortoiseshell ones. Thanks for the tip, lovely! I'm so pleased with the overall look.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Way We Wear Fair

Well, it does not happen often, but I have won something! Looks like I'll be attending the upcoming The Way We Wear Fair. How exciting!

I've never actually attended a vintage fair before, and my last experience with large shopping crowds (being pushed out of the way and elbowed by a boxing day shopper) has left me somewhat wary of such events. I'm looking for stories and advice from those of you who have attended similar things - particularly in regards to my choice of footwear. Will I need steel capped boots to protect my toes from getting stepped on? I would hope that the attendees are generally more ladylike than that.... eep.

Unfortunately, I have work on the Saturday and thus can only attend one out of the two days, but seeing as I only have $100 to play with (oh, how I regret my post-exam spending spree now!) I am not too fussed. Being around beautiful things that I can't afford for two days straight would only break my heart. I do hope there will be some bargains for me to find though - has anyone had much luck at other events?

Still, I am giddy at the thought! Counting down the days now (but what to wear)!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock

There was always a third party present in the marriage between my mother and my father, and that man was Elvis. My mother raised me on his music and his movies, and they still bring a smile to my face. Summer feels like just the right time to dance to his tunes - so here is my Jailhouse Rock inspired outfit, accompanied by some (terrible) dancing! Don't judge me D: I can't help myself when it comes to Elvis!






Outfit Details

Top: Supre
Capris: Route 66
Shoes: Target











I tried something new with my hair today - I apologize, the photos aren't very clear, but do let me know what you think :)
Behind me you can see the heirloom I've already put dibs on - an Elvis clock, from our family trip to Graceland when I was little.

He swings his legs to keep the time! Just perfect <3

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hello Sailor!

I haven't posted many outfits lately - mostly because I'm housebound and studying for exams! But today I have one (eek), so here's a quick photo of what I'm wearing there:









Shorts: Handmade
Top: Valleygirl
Wedges: Target












I've wanted a pair of sailor shorts for ages, but these ended up costing me next to nothing (hooray) as I made them using the leftover fabric from my high-waisted pants - how lucky that I had just enough! The buttons I used are with with red outlines, aren't they just darling?

Oooh, better head off - wish me luck!

Monday, November 2, 2009

For your eyes only~

You may have noticed from my outfit posts so far that I wear glasses - and I think it's about time I upgraded them to fit in with the rest of my vintage style!

I have been looking into getting a pair of cat eye frames, but the reactions from family and friends have been mixed. The boy was easily convinced after seeing The Spirit (although I do hope he's not expecting me to turn into a Scarlett Johanson-esque sexpot), and those are the kind of frames I'm interested in: subtle, not too over the top. Or, something like Marshall's friend Petula from United States of Tara:


However, my parents - who are normally, if not supportive of my style, at least benignly tolerant - are staunchly against them. My mother is adamant that cat eye glasses were something that "should have died with the 50s", and admittedly here in Australia they tend to conjure up images of Dame Edna and librarians rather than fifties-era glamourpusses. Now, while I'm not going to be kicked out of home or anything if I do buy a pair, their comments have put doubt in my mind that I could pull the look off...

I have already ordered this pair off ebay, but if they don't suit I suppose I'll just get them turned into prescription sunglasses or something. I am just a little worried I will look ridiculous with them on.


I tried on a few pairs in a vintage store, and took a photo for your consideration (sorry for the blurriness - it's a from a cameraphone):

Your thoughts?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

To make do (but not mend)

I enjoy not only dressing in vintage fashion, but taking up certain elements of the vintage lifestyle. I love the thrill of the hunt and proudly parading my thrifted trophies. I love seeing vintage patterns come to life in front of me due to my own hard efforts. I can make do with what I've got, and enjoy the challenge of experimenting with different clothing co-ordinates and accessories in order to make an entirely new outfit.

But I hate mending.

I have two piles of projects in my room: the exciting, glittering pile of new fabrics and patterns I've yet to try, constantly emitting the siren song of procrastination and dragging me away from my study - "Bring me to life! Make me beautiful!" - and my mending pile, which has sat untouched and unmended for several months now. Perhaps I neglect it because there's no excitement or mystery involved, after all, I already know what the garment will look like. Or simply because it requires the most time and effort for the least reward (hello, hand stitching). However, I can't sew during my exam period (it is a little difficult to hear lecture recordings over the roar of the sewing machine) so I have restricted myself to cutting out fabric, and mending. Le sigh.

On a side note, 90% of the contents of my mending pile are from Route 66 (to my international friends, a certain rockabilly clothing store in Australia). I'm not sure if you have a business philosophy, Route 66, but I'm going to hazard a guess that if you do, it's "Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen". The number of times I have been let down by your store, due to both shoddy workmanship (fraying pockets and hems - seriously, learn to finish seams - and trim that ends up a flufftastic mess after only one wear - warning: do not buy their sailor jackets! Both my friend and I had this problem from the same item, and I ended up having to unpick all the trim from the wrists to make it wearable again) and incompetent staff (such as taking 20 minutes to add up my layby and still overcharging me, or losing records of my payments and again overcharging me - lucky I keep my receipts!) but I keep going back because your designs are so gosh-darned cute. I've had a preview of your new season range and already I know I'm lost again.

Look! Playsuits! Be still, my beating heart!

Oh, Route 66... I wish I knew how to quit you.