Friday, February 26, 2016

lady in plaid

Vintage dress, Anthropologie Fanfare Platforms and belt, circa 2011
This is one of my favourite kinds of plaid shirtdresses- the range of overlapping colours in a similar family, the crisp cut (and forgiving full skirt) and endless possibilities for colour pairings. I was lucky enough to find this beautiful range of browns at a second hand store-it was not only inexpensive but it fit me off the rack!  How often does that happen? 

I usually wear this dress with more brightly coloured tights for some fun and contrast, but I am very lazy and this dark berry (which I guess you can't actually see) is the colour that I found myself clutching in the darkness early this underslept morn... It brought out some different tones in the plaid, so that was cool. Most of my hoarded shoes are also at work, so I pulled out this old pair from Anthro to take this photo.  I think I need to actually wear these again, or more often- I was surprised at how comfortable they are. I had forgotten since I`ve just been wearing whatever is at work (see above: lazy) but these are great!

I looooooooove this plaid.  Kudos to my friend Wendy (@archiverie) for alerting me to its existence online last year.  The colours are fabulous and pretty much encapsulate my colour palette (minus the mustard).  I tried to sneak a picture at work and it's a bit blurry using the timed shutter on my phone.  But isn't that fireplace fabulous?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

an ode to rust (and cos) (and vintage ankle boots with dresses)

Ack, you know I love a trompe l'oeil print.  There's also something about the mix of rusty red with a classic navy (or steel blue actually...)  This dress was a surprise find at Anthropologie's after-Christmas sale last year- must have been a return because it was like $30 down from $220! The fabric is very synthetic, but sometimes that's a nice relief after carefully hand-washing a batch of vintage dresses. And I love the lace print.

(aside- I need a new source for rust tights. I wear rust coloured tights a lot.  So I have a ton of pairs.  But tights don't last forever and I'm going to have to make some tough decisions a couple of years down the road...I'm so mad that stores don't seem to stock Hue tights in any 'hue' other than navy black and grey.  boooooring!  With the US dollar now approximately 40% higher than Canadian I'm not ordering much online (unless they're $15 damaged 50s dresses, of course, though those end up costing at least double with the exchange and shipping...sigh...)

I was thrilled to hear Cos was opening a store in my city- I've had brief pleasant visits to stores in Europe, and then popped in several times while I was in NY in September.  (I could only allow myself a pair of socks...)  Going in to visit my new store this past November, I was immediately tempted to throw out all of my maximalist wardrobe and invest in a simple capsule collection of immaculately-cut tent dresses.  Well, in my defence, their feature colours this fall were chartreuse and rust and forest green.  Enough said.  (I had a really hard time after Christmas when almost the whole store was 50% off...!) But I invested in this amazing simple navy dress- it's made of a few layers of overlapping sheer fabric that flows while you walk, in contrast to the simple shape of the whole. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016


So, while last year may have been rather up and down (and inside-out), I was fortunate in getting to go on a few rather spectacular adventures. I had the opportunity to visit Tokyo for a week in the spring.  It's been a goal for many years and we certainly used the short time available to us to the full. One of the highlights for me was hunting for vintage fabrics and clothing, and though we unfortunately timed our visit to the one time of year that all the big flea markets are closed, I did still manage to start a nice little collection of silk haori jackets. This beautiful floral piece cost me all of $8.  I think it's worth the small investment in going back for more in the near future!  (Tip 1: You can eat for practically nothing in Tokyo, so we spent our daily budget on things, lovely things.) (Tip 2: locals don't seem to value old kimonos and haoris in 70s mustards and moss tones. But guess who does!)

I love wearing these jackets informally over jeans or a simple dress. There will be more. And more on my Tokyo adventures, because of course the pleasure of a blog is getting to relive those moments!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

winter florals, part deux

Woohoo!  My hallway is getting repainted, so no more sick yellow to try and edit around!  I just have to watch my step since the workmen don't leave any 'wet paint' signs and have been randomly and incompletely painting bits and pieces every day with slow-drying oil paint.  I guess I love a sick yellow, but not a sick beige. 

Continuing in the vein of the winter florals, this colour combination is a favourite, but was also inspired by the Lena Hoschek post.  I accidentally wandered into Zara at the end of their winter sale last week and couldn't resist a couple of great brown dresses.  A long 1930s style knit for $22 (yay) and a jumper dress that didn't fit quite right on top but I could see the skirt portion would make a perfect a-line separate.  The fabric mix is a little odd, but has nice multicoloured flecks to give the brown a rich depth. Rather than have it sit in my project pile for months, I cut the top off right away, loosely hemmed the waistband and wore it the next day!  It has a proper grosgrain ribbon trim inside now to give it shape, but didn't here. And all brought together with floral tights, because of course one always needs more prints :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Insta Inspo- Lena Hoschek

I'm pretty much glued to instagram from the moment I wake up to just before I fall asleep (that's basically 9:45 am to 2:45 am, so I totally miss any early birds and their musings).  I don't post a whole heck of a lot, and it's not that exciting, but I love the beautiful variety that flows by, from vintage wearers and sellers (mmmm...) to knitters and sewists, the everyday wearers of clothing and the wildly dressed, abstract spaces and found objects, architecture and books. Oh, and cats. I like that there's someone in Australia who starts posting themed images every morning, which is late in my afternoon (@jillkellett).  I like that there's someone who posts short informal dance clips a couple of times a week (@personalpractice).  I like the Swedish design lovelies of @finelittleday and their occasional portraits of bemused cats sitting at the table (in front of divine floral wallpaper...)

On instagram I was introduced to the work of Austrian fashion designer Lena Hoschek.  She combines an homage to traditional dirndl style with 50s flair and modern prints. The fashion show for her Autumn/Winter 16-17 was held last week, and is perfectly in keeping with my current loves (well, or to be fair, my forever mustard-and-tweed mood).  So here are a couple of images from the show, for inspiration!

Fuzzy dark green sweater and swirling mustard silk. yes.

Fifties silhouette in glorious, glamorous tweed
Autumn floral? Winter floral?  I'll take it.  And the shoes.
Actually, I have already worn this outfit a million years ago, here
Green sweater and taupe lace? Sure, I can step outside my zone a little...
This is everything. Also, why can't I have boppy, bouncy hair like this?
This, too, is everything.
This is so Anthropologie. Anthro, are you listening
Too Forever 21 (but then, I would buy it there...)  I just put this in because Lena is obviously channelling me here too.  I practically own stock in rust tights!
Speechless! There are no words.
Okay, so much as I love everything about these- the prints, the fabrics, the silhouettes, the print mixing... well, sometimes print mixing can be just a little too much. Behold...

Okay, not quite.  But I would absolutely wear these items separately.  And I am now obviously on the hunt for a deep green snuggly statement sweater to go with all my mustard skirts.  Then we'll have an outfit post!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

vintage velvets and winter florals

She's back...

It feels kinda nice to surreptitiously slip back in here.  I've been missing being able to look back and see the flow of favourite outfits, dumb obsessions, and those bits and pieces that make up a year in a life (even as the years pass increasingly effing fast...).  I do like being able to share images in the moment through instagram, but it does have its limitations.  I felt like I wanted some kind of combination of Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.  Oh right- that blog thing...  Hope there are still a few of you out there!

Winter is a good time for this- you're trapped indoors, lusting after textures and colours, simultaneously cozy-knit obsessed and dreamily looking forward to Summer's gossamer and light cottons. I thought last week I would try and focus on pulling out winter florals, but it's also been desperately cold so it's been a time of dark jewel tones and cuddly fabrics.

I got this velvet skirt at a flea market in New York about 7 years ago.  It was a bit big and I remember sitting in the hotel room that night stitching up the side seams so I could wear it the next day. I then used the excess fabric to make tiny bows that are basically invisible.  I haven't worn it in a long time but I'm suddenly obsessed with velvet again! Since I'm also seeing velvets and corduroys slip back into the stores I guess it's time has also cycled around! I love the luxurious almost Russian pattern here, though when I first thought about adding the necklace it seemed a bit much for the workplace.  Well, I wore it anyway, and felt kinda great.  This collar has such a beautiful soft drape to it. The gems are all sewn on a floral fabric and it somehow seems to merge beautifully (and unexpectedly) with whatever it's paired with.  

Anthropologie Osona collar by Ranna Gill and vintage velvet skirt

So there you have it.  This blog reached the 5 year mark and then I abruptly disappeared for a year, but I hope I'm back! I had some interesting travels in 2015 that I'd like to revisit. I'm always dreaming of new dresses.  I'm also wearing a lot more vintage again. However when I'm not sewing things back together I still ramble over to Anthropologie regularly to check out the sale room!