Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in gloves (47)

Monday
Sep242018

Golden Oldies

Have I mentioned anytime, that the 1940s – along with the 30s and 70s – are my favourite eras for fashion? Imagine my joy, diluted over the past year or so, in finding three yellow 1940s dresses! They are all quite different shades of yellow too: pale lemon, rich butter and light chartreuse. Two of them are easy-to-wear day frocks, and one is a full-length evening gown that I have no idea where or when I am going to wear. I feel zero guilt for its purchase however, for all three dresses were extremely inexpensive.

Like the others, this sprigged dress is made from rayon although I’m not sure what the fabric is called (it’s smooth like a dull satin), and like many vintage dresses, it is missing the original belt. I bought it late last year from a thrift store in Bendigo, a country town, when I journeyed there to see the Edith Head fashion exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

I have worn it with a vintage 30s or 40s velvet ribbon as a sash; the 40s hat I have paired with it is also velvet. I do not know what to call its shape – it’s a kind of halo-turban hybrid! The shoes are modern, but I think they stand in quite well for 40s style shoes. I actually wore this dress a few times last summer, although I used a vintage Victorian cream silk ribbon as a sash. (As most of my summer hats and shoes are still in seasonal storage, I accessorised the dress with rather more wintry items than I would normally.)

When I spotted it in the vintage bazaar, I pounced … completely forgetting that I already had a yellow floral 40s dress!

The second dress also has little puffed and cuffed sleeves, but the buttery yellow top layer is made from chiffon. The splashy floral is very different from the first dress, which is all to the good. When I spotted it in the vintage bazaar, I pounced, overcome with delight in the colour, and completely forgetting that I already had a yellow floral 40s dress! I’m not sure of its age, but the vintage necklace is pressed glass, while the white clip-on earrings are chunky plastic, and probably 40s or 50s. (The shoes are basic neutral stilettos, but come summer I won’t wear them with this dress.)

The most recent purchase is the evening gown, and I was so excited to find it. It is made from a brocade in an unusual combination of white and pale chartreuse. (I must apologise the high speed setting I inadvertently used during this photoshoot has made the pictures overly grainy.) I adore the draped neckline on both the front and back.

It also demanded to be worn with vintage 40s rhinestone jewellery and opera-length gloves! Which, fortuitously, I happen to own. This is not a true parure; I found all the pieces on separate occasions. Both the tiara and necklace need minor repairs, for which a jeweller and their soldering iron will be required.

It also demanded to be worn with vintage 40s rhinestone jewellery and opera-length gloves!

I was very lucky the gown fit me perfectly. I had tried on at the same time a 50s satin brocade ballgown – ALSO in a rich golden yellow! – which lamentably was too small across the back. Tragic.

Still, this is not a bad collection of yellow dresses, is it? And, would you believe, it’s not yet the end of my yellow bonanza – stay tuned for more!

Photos: August 2018

Friday
Aug102018

The Assistant

Vintage 1950s robin's egg blue elbow-length nylon gloves, and pale blue wrist-length leather gloves.

I can’t believe I didn’t know it was International Cat Day this week, on Wednesday! How remiss of me. My little ginger Mimi loves to get involved when I am taking photos of clothing – like most cats she is extremely curious, and her antics are often very amusing.

Recently I decided that I needed to photograph all my vintage gloves, as my collection has been growing exponentially with all the vintage pairs I’ve been finding in thrift stores of late. I decided to enter them all into the cataloguing app I use for my hats, to make it easier to see exactly what I have when planning an outfit.

The iPhone app is called 'What’s in my Wardrobe' and has proven indispensable when I am trying to find a particular hat, as they are all stored in different hat boxes. There are various filters to enable quick selection and location of any given hat. The app is not designed specifically for hats; one can also use it for any type of item, as long as one has time to photograph and enter all the data.

Accordingly, I laid out a calico dropsheet and began the pleasurable task of photographing all my gloves. I was clearly having too much fun for Mimi though, and pointing the noisy glowing rectangle thing at something other than herself, so she thought she had better investigate this untoward occurrence immediately.

“What are these long things?” she sniffed curiously. “I don’t know, but I like them, and they are mine – and they will look better if I sit on top of them.”

She did the exact same thing a couple weeks later when I was photographing some new hats, and I could not get rid of my unwanted photographic assistant! At least I don’t have to pay her.

Thursday
Jul122018

I See Red

Red is one of my favourite colours, it always has been. I think it may have started when I was a child. For proof, if you look through my Out of the Album section, you’ll see red features big, starting with me as a very cute little toddler in a red and white wool suit, and matching red shoes. (Is this why I love this combination so?)

Red bags and shoes in particular have been like fashion candy for me. This plump little bag that I use very often is made from buttery soft eelskin; the brand is Amorni. When I bought it second hand it looked as though it had never been used.

While my glove collection will never reach the proportions of my hats, I am beginning to amass quite a few vintage pairs. These red cotton Simplex gloves are vintage 50s, and feature decorative stitching forming a leaf pattern along the cuff and down the back of the hand.

The inexpensive Timex watch I bought purely for its striped wristband, but I bought it just in time (pardon the pun) when all my other watches were out of commission, requiring new batteries, or other repairs.

All of these items were bought in op shops – the red bag was what I refer to as a Holy Fashion Grail find: one of those desirable things one dreams of finding in a thrift store. But the colour red in general will always draw my eye – there are no connotations of anger for me when I see red!

Photo: May 2018

Sunday
May202018

Liza Doolittle Day

Liza Doolittle Day

It’s Eliza Doolittle Day, did you know? It’s a long time since I have seen the film My Fair Lady, I must admit, and the thing I love most about it is that it’s Audrey Hepburn playing the title role, and Cecil Beaton designed the costumes.

A while back I was reminded that in a scene where Eliza daydreams about meeting the king, she sings these words:

One evening the king will say:
“Oh, Liza, old thing,
I want all of England your praises to sing.
Next week on the twentieth of May
I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day!
All the people will celebrate the glory of you
And whatever you wish and want I gladly will do.”

At that point in the story, Eliza wished ’Enry ’Iggins dead!

However, my sartorial homage here is to her famous black and white racing outfit. I’m wearing a mix of vintage and more contemporary items. The screw-on earrings are 40s; the gloves – trimmed in bows – are 50s; the skirt and belt 80s, and the Edwardian hat is from the late 90s (the milliner was inspired by Kate Winslet’s hat at the start of the film Titanic). The jabot and striped shirt are more modern numbers.

Here’s to you Liza!

Photo: May 2018

Thursday
Mar082018

Words of Wisdom

On this International Women’s Day, I give you a homage to a woman who hardly needs an introduction: Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993). As famous for her grace and beauty of spirit as her chic appearance, Hepburn was a model, an actress and a humanitarian, working with UNICEF in her later life.

Here are some of her words of wisdom, always and forever relevant:

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!

Paris is always a good idea.

Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina (1954)About a year ago I cut my hair super-short for the first time since my early twenties (quite a while ago!), in a pixie-cut. And although I don’t think I took any reference pictures of Audrey to my hair stylist, I was later reminded of her pixie cut during the filming of Sabrina in 1954. So here I am, emulating a publicity portrait of her with gloves.

I hope you have had time to celebrate the day with your best women friends, for in Audrey’s words: ‘The best thing to hold onto in life is each other’.

Photo: March 2017