Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in vintage (526)

Sunday
Apr282019

That Gown!

Elsa Schiaparelli, 1939Ah, the 1930s – my most favourite fashion era! It was just so elegant and sophisticated. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate clothes from other eras of course. Last week I stumbled upon – via Pinterest – the Tumblr blog OMG that dress! and spotted some lovely gowns from many eras. Here are a few I swooned over. The striped Schiaparelli is my favourite – I can never go past stripes!

Madeleine Vionnet, 1938-9Jeanne Lanvin, 1937

Tuesday
Apr232019

The History of the Easter Bonnet

1940sIn Australia there is no tradition of wearing Easter Bonnets, except for young school children making their own hats in the classroom and parading them for the benefit of their local community.

As you could imagine, these chapeaux were generally a horribly kitsch conglomeration of brightly coloured eggs, bunnies, and chicks that are rendered charming only by the knowledge that someone’s cute offspring had earnestly and excitedly stapled it together.

So I was most amused to discover that adults were equally adept at assembling hideous Easter bonnets – albeit with more skill and imagination – to parade at Eastertime in America.

1940sMorecambe UK, 1959

The famous Easter Parades had their origin in the 1870s, when people would stream out of churches following the Easter Sunday service, dressed, of course, in their very best. Naturally a magnificent hat topped their ensembles. The very first parade along Fifth Avenue seems to have been an impromptu event, as the upper echelons of New York society poured out of St Patricks Cathedral and strolled up the street. With each successive year, the Parade became more popular and drew hundreds and thousands of spectators.

Easter Parade New York, 1922Easter Parade New York, 1922Prince George and Jane Erdmann, Easter Parade New York, 1933Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, 1948Early on, people simply showed off their most stylish and newest spring garments, but as the parade grew in popularity, grandiose themed pastiches began to appear – similar to the kind of hideous hats sensation-hunting women sport at various racing carnivals around the world.

1920sOn the other hand, Easter was an opportunity for more aesthetically-pleasing fun: Easter bunny hats or complete outfits. Personally I would prefer to don a pair of rabbit ears than crates of eggs precariously balanced on my head!

For a more detailed history of the Easter Bonnet, visit The Eternal Hedonist; and visit Today for a slideshow of more vintage images of the Easters of Yesteryear.

1920s (my favourite)1940sActress Ruth Roman, 1940sA modern bunny ears rendition

(Imgages from The Eternal Hedonist, Today, Daily Mail UK and Pinterest)

Monday
Apr222019

Easter Plum

Out of my archives comes this 1920s style beaded turban, from the 1960s. This was a very early thrift store vintage hat purchase which unfortunately I no longer own – I culled it in a fit of ruthlessness as it was a size too small for my head. It ought to have sat much lower, but in fact it took a ruthless tug to pull it down, and resulted in temporary deafness as my ears were squashed!

Turbans did not really fit in with my style back then however, so I donated it back to the thrift store with not much regret. It’s only now that it seems a shame: such a rich colour with the fabric swathed just so, and the beading going all the way around … What a pity, as it was pretty.

Photo: November 2012

Saturday
Apr202019

Easter Violet

The Easter bonnet series continues with this amazing 1940s pixie hat made from purple velvet. It embodies so many things I love in a hat: a sculptural shape, bold colour, sumptuous materials, originality, and whimsy. It is the embodiment of all that a hat should be!

This pixie hat is just so much fun. The main body is constructed of one long spiral of silk velvet, and the profusion of grosgrain ribbon at the top resembles an orchid or other exotic flower.

It is the embodiment of all that a hat should be!

I bought it last year from a collector, The Golden Age of Vintage on Instagram. I suspect it was never worn, not only because it is so pristine, but as there was nothing to indicate how it was held on the head. I sewed in a hatband, and attached an elastic to it, and took it on its first outing to the theatre. I’m looking forward to wearing it again this autumn/winter.

Photo: September 2018

Friday
Apr192019

Easter Pink

I’ve always thought candy pink hair would be a lot of fun, like wearing a halo of fairy floss, but I’m too fickle to commit to such drastic measures as bleaching and dyeing my hair. The next best thing – and even more fun than a wig – is a vintage hat. So this Good Friday, I bring you my first Easter bonnet: a 1960s hat of pink petals! And if you squint your eyes, I look like I am sporting a pink afro.

Happy Easter!

Photo: September 2018

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