Sunday, January 29, 2012


This is the dress.  This is the dress that launched a thousand paisley searches on etsy.  This is the dress that still makes me pine uselessly. I fell in love, I bought-it-now, I dreamed of fun ways to wear it, and then several days later I found the email regretfully informing me that it had been sold at another venue the same day.  There is some girl in Chicago wearing my dress, and I still have weird fancies that it can somehow come back to me!
Obviously it's just a dress, but I seldom fall this hard for something, absolutely beyond the bounds of rationality!  Besides the simple factors of being my favorite cut, crisp cotton, and a perfect fit, I think I was really excited by the dynamic colour palette and unique print.  The allure of antique maps perhaps? Argh.  Totally thwarted.  It's been 3 months and I still 'die'-  I hate vintage :(

My search for a replacement continued and I found another dress a few weeks ago, this time in a rich purple and green palette.  Found, bought, shipping confirmation received...then I received yet another regretful email- this seller discovered on pulling the dress from storage that a long portion of the skirt was discolored and faded.  Fortunately the dress had already been shipped by her assistant, but she did refund my purchase.  This time I do have something in hand, it fits perfectly, and indeed the skirt is long enough that I think a hemming will reduce the discoloration.  The busy print should distract from the rest.  For now.  Will I ever stop looking/lurking?  I don't know.  This disappointment could become epic!
detail quite true to colour- I love the brass buttons!

Dress with hem pinned up- will hem it slightly longer to fall at the knees.

It's funny too because I wouldn't say I have been interested in paisley prints much, ever, however it reminds me of one of my first memorable pieces of clothing.  Usually dressed in thrifted and/or hand-me-downs, I remember vividly as a 5 and 6-year old loving a bizarre shimmering green polyester paisley bell-bottomed zip-up jumpsuit.  At one point the crotch split from end to end , and I remember fumbling to try and repair it myself since my mom wasn't much of a seamstress!  I guess it 'went away' at that point. huh.  Can I blame this obsession on a childhood disappointment?  nah.  I'm just a dress addict.

Friday, January 27, 2012

trusty rusty...

I guess I've been embracing that earthy palette I moaned about last time, because let me tell you, it has been a week of ochres and rusts!  But as so many of you astutely declared, we should embrace those shapes and colours that make us happy!  In several years of buying vintage online, one very sweet pleasure is receiving a dress in the mail that just fits perfectly right out of the package.  I've gotten better at being realistic about dream dresses (so easy to fall in love with the idea and be disappointed with the actuality) and realize how very lucky I am that the scale and proportion of my favourite fifties cut is more often an easy match than other eras.

I picked up this rusty frock in a a distressed paisley binge on Etsy, after an absolutely incredible piece slipped through my fingers post payment. That's the pain of vintage I guess- there's only one out there!  Ah, and the pain it is forever ;)
But look- I actually completed my crafty project and replaced the zippers!  Here's a comparison at the halfway mark- I love how the brass gives a more streamlined and lighter look to the bag.  Now to consider a funky brass accent for the central zipper pull!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

a ?????? of a different colour...

I'm in a rut, folks.  I just can't seem to avoid falling for the same colour combinations over and over, and when I look at my pretty layers of mustard to ochre-toned cardigans (interspersed with rust to orange) I can't help wondering if there is anything else out there!  Do other colours exist, because I might be blind to them!! I've been trying to inject cooler tones, like more green, but inevitably fall back on the ol' olive and orange.

Green and "Green" and Black
Anthropologie Clover Grains tee, J Crew Viridian pencil skirt, Zara black cardigan, Chie Mihara Ramsita in black

Olive and Orange and Rust (with a touch of pink) (and crazy lighting)
Thrifted orange silk blouse and tan knit skirt, J Crew cardigan, vintage Vera silk scarf, Anthropologie Fanfare platforms

 The Layers

I do seem to be catching on to something though- for the past few months I've been obsessed with finding the perfect vintage paisley dress, in tones of blue and purple (which incidentally will go well with those ochre-y cardigans!)   I popped into Forever 21 this week, to use a return credit and to check out the quality of some cute pointelle pieces I've seen online.  This bright royal blue cropped cardigan is perfect to ingest some new vivid tones into the mix!  The fabric is akin to the acrylic pieces of the 60s and 70s it evokes, and I think the cropped length is something I've been missing with my vintage dresses.  Also available in a classic creamy white and tomato red. I can't find it on online at the moment, but there are some wonderful ones here that I am waiting to pop up on the Canadian site.

Forever 21 cardigan
Forever 21 Pointelle cardigan

Now, I'm not sure where this colour fascination is coming from- the fashion magazines are full of luminous pale pastels right now, but I wager some of the rich purple hues and paisley glamour may be inspired by this recent J Crew print.
I almost caved on this but read a review that it's stretch sateen and that is one fabric I just can't do!

Or perhaps it is the influence of everyone's favorite dowager countess, in her elegant purple victorian may have already seen this...

I cannot express how much I love Maggie Smith.  I was disappointed by the ridiculous plotting and time frame of the second season, but I think I'm coming around to it as a soapy extravagance, and have started watching the first season again.  The costumes are incredible and so many of the characters/actors are perfectly invoked.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

crystal 'n candy!

I have been rather remiss in my thank-yous lately.  I was fortunate over the past couple of months to not only win some pretty things, but also to receive very kind shout-outs from some of my blogs!  Way back in October, Molly of Anthromollogies offered the chance to win a beautiful pair of crystal earrings from Athena's Etsy shop, Victory Jewelry.  I was thrilled to find out I won, since I never win nothin', but then realized that since I don't wear earrings I wouldn't be able to display them!  Well, I fell in love with an ethereal and chunky candy quartz necklace and Athena let me substitute the difference.  She has such a wonderful sense of materials and scale, and my thanks to both of you for this gorgeous piece!

 I love how well the colours play with this t-shirt, adding more oomph to a simple striped tee. Right now I'm starting to transition out of fall palettes, and I love the idea of wearing pastel and spring tones in the middle of deepest winter.  As a bonus, the rocks actually warm to my body temperature and are really comfortable.
Anthropologie striped tee, J Crew cardigan, thrifted green wool skirt, leather corset belt, aqua Chie Mihara shoes
I've been quietly humming the Burl Ives song about the rock candy mountain in my head, so here are a few inspiration pictures I've gathered thanks to Google!

Judith Simonian, Rock Candy Mountain
Judith Simonian, Rock Candy Mountain
Tatiana Berg, Big Rock Candy Mountain
Photo of mineral deposits in Death Valley
Abandoned Disney Rock Candy Mountain project
mountain-of-a-cat photobomb

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I need this...

'Nuff said?  sigh.  Maybe I need two, so I can sew them together (Kristina J-style) for grown-up length... 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fendi-ng for myself...

Thrifted polka-dot blouse, Urban Outfitters ikat midi skirt, Aldo flats
Somehow with all the 30's movies I watched over the holidays I've gotten obsessed again (see the years 1987-1988) with black and white dressing.  There's so much potential for contrast and the play of forms (see the array of funky collars in The Thin Man) and it makes a nice change from the bright vivid colours that caught my eye (and wallet) all through the fall.  In fact I was surprised to see how many of the pieces I purchased in December actually fit within a monochromatic range!  I often find myself jumping around from style to style through the week, but I'd love to play more within themes this year, so that consecutive days playing with black and white (or florals, or checks, or...) build up a sense of continuity and awareness of what's in the wardrobe.

Now, I didn't leave the house yesterday, thus not much of an outfit.  Didn't get a chance to document today's noir either, so I'll try for a wrap up later in the week! I did however muse on a little project I'd like to do. I'm really not a big purse fetishist (the man may disagree with me on that)- I mean, yes I switch them up quite a bit, and it's hard to turn one down that catches my eye, but really my only rule is that it must be leather. Fortunately I don't often fall for the more expensive designer handbags. I usually find too many bits and bobs are attached, detracting from the simple tactile splendour of a really nice shape and material.

I guess it's not so hard to understand though why I fell for the simple elegance of this black Fendi handbag that featured in so many alluring ads this past Fall.
I don't need or want a Fendi bag, nor could I even think of owning one given the cost  Plus I'm pretty hard on purses- somehow those pennies and tylenol capsules and granola bar crumbs end up in every proverbial nook and cranny!  So when I came upon this old leather Eaton bag at Value Village last week ($3.99), I immediately thought it had potential (ah, Eaton's- that dates it for us Canadians!).  The shape is nice, with a rounded square pocket on either side, and the leather is a beautifully soft and sheeny pebbled black. I also like the slouchiness, since the straighter structure of the Fendi bag is less me. The current details are a little eighties, with oversized plastic zippers, but I plan on switching those for heavy-duty brass zippers to get the brass and black effect I'm looking for.  Which I guess is really the main inspiration I'm taking from the Fendi bag!  The only glitch in my plan seems to be a general dearth of large brass zippers at local fabric stores, so I'm gonna have to order online!

So, uh, one of my goals for this year is to actually follow-through on the projects I dream up, so I guess this is number one! I`ll keep you posted...

This is a late entry in the fabulous collection of EBEW posts.  See everyone else rock the monochromatic:
Black + White | Everybody, Everywear

Friday, January 6, 2012

and now for something a little different...

FCUK grey coat with thrifted fur collar, Fly Saba pump
 Lately I've been wearing a lovely detachable raccoon-y fur collar I picked up over the holidays for a mere $1.99.  It fits over a few winter coats, adding a new degree of sophistication to my cold weather garb. That's right- no longer must I pick up hissing stray cats in the middle of the day to get my fur fetish on!  I'm wearing it!

I guess I've been a long time synesthesiaddict- I have a vivid childhood memory of getting lost in the mall after slipping inside a rack of luxurious fur coats, oblivious to my mother and sister's eventual search (to be sure, they did totally leave the store without noticing my absence!).  It turned into an even more awesome experience when the security guard took me to an office where they had an entire drawer FULL of BALLOONS and he gave me a whole HANDFUL!  In so many COLOURS!  My subsequent attempts to get purposefully lost in such child-friendly spaces were stymied however by a now vigilant mom.  I also remember standing behind a large fur-clad woman in an elevator, stroking her coat (er...behind!) as subtly as a 4 year-old isn't!  I almost got left behind there as well...
Anthropologie D'Armee dress, navy tights, brass baubles and belt
heh.  so today was nothing special- I wore this ol' favourite green dress (sigh), and was happy with the brass accents as my accessories (I have been far too dependent on big layered scarves lately!) However, I also forgot to remove the fur collar when I first got home and then caught a glimpse in the mirror.  huh.

Crazy cat lady, contemplating a Dalmatian fur coat?

Can this look be done?  It's totally too much, but are we in an ironic enough moment that such affectations can fly in real life? Or am I just a cat lady gone too far?  Anthropologie has styled it recently, with this "Faux Fur Necker" (and incidentally, how cute are those sequined clogs. oh god- what's happening to me!).  What say you?  Has the daytime sequin parade opened the door to wearing fur indoors?
Yummy textures- knits and furs and sequins and wood!
Fendi dress- horrendous I say!
Anthropologie Filoplume cardigan.  Want!! (ridiculous, and yes it's feathered not furred but...)