Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Grey Matter!

Still on the trail of the 'dust coloured' jacket - I was watching Mildred Pierce at the weekend and found myself thinking ' Mildred is just the sort of woman who would have appreciated the practicality of such a thing' - now it may be worrying that I am considering what a fictional character would or would not wear, but nonetheless.................... 'dust coloured' could be anything from grey ( which is how I envisage it) to putty, taupe, beige or stone - and lo! when I watched the remainder of the last episode last night there was Kate Winslet as Mildred, wearing a grey suit - she looked bandbox smart and her ensemble showed no ill effects for having been travelled in - all down to the dust coloured jacket I say!

This is not the same outfit as I could not find an image BUT here she is again in a grey jacket - add it to your list of 'must haves' along with the little black dress and those key pieces fashion pages always recommend!

I did love the series by the way and now have a keen desire to watch the Joan Crawford film again ( Joan giving the part her all!) AND read the original novel!

Joan Crawford

On looking for the novel - by James M Cain - I found this selection of his stories - I didn't realise that The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity were also written by him ( just know and love the films) - buying this for sure - that is my holiday reading taken care of!

That will keep MY grey matter ticking over!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Dust Jacket!

Talking of Auntie Elsie - she was a big fan of a neat little waisted jacket, often in Grey as she always said it was the most practical colour for every day. Now I am not referring to those which books have when I called this post Dust Jacket - I recall reading somewhere ( it may have been A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux) which stated that every elegant woman should own a 'dust coloured' suit for travelling! How marvellous - I think today a jacket will suffice for this rule!

This close up shows that filigree basket brooch I talked about a couple of posts ago on the lapel of a beautiful vintage Grey jacket very similar to one I recall my Aunt wearing - this one was purchased at one of the Frock Me Vintage Fairs held at Chelsea Town Hall

Here is my favourite  Lands' End Canvas Collection jacket which is very waisted with a real 40s feel, adorned with 2 brooches ( I like the idea of wearing more than one at a time) it takes on a ladylike air very much in tune with this Autumn's catwalk styles - talking of which I am positively lusting after the Miu Miu dresses this coming season - beyond beautiful and with a real grown up glamour - would that my budget ran to one!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Travels with my Aunt!

I have just been enjoying a few days off - some of which time has been most productively spent having a sort out! Forgotten clothes have been found in trunks, suitcases and storage boxes all over my flat - many will stay and a few will go - one or two which suddenly feel fresh and new again will be given an outing and may appear here anon!

I have also been going through boxes of old photographs and found these fabulous shots of my aforementioned Auntie Elsie - travels through time with my Aunt would be more apt!. From a tiny girl trussed up in almost Victorian clothes, through the 30s when she looks as though she had just walked off the set of Poirot (very Miss Lemon), and then in the 40s at a wedding looking incredibly chic - I would love to own both of the outfits she is wearing as an adult! I do have the dress she wore to my mothers wedding which is sublime - Black Grosgrain with beaded and sequinned net - watch this space for that one!

Renowned throughout the family as always looking like a fashion plate she never married and ran a clothing and habadashery shop in Exmouth Market in Clerkenwell!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Fascinating Women!

Having mentioned the Duchess of Windsor - Wallis Simpson brooch wearer extraordinaire - in my last post I must tell you about the biography of her I am currently immersed in! I love a biography or autobiography - a window into another life - and this one is very absorbing..............

A fascinating insight into an extraordinary woman - not particularly likeable it has to be said, but clearly blessed with an immense presence and charm when she chose to demonstrate it - well worth reading!

And my goodness did the woman know how to dress!

If this inspires you to want further reading matter about fascinating women in the early part of the 20th Century I can recommend these 2 treasures - glamour, intrigue, scandal - they have it all -

The Life of Idina Sackville

The Life of Alice De Janze

The stories of these two extraordinary women are entwined so reading both books really gives an insight - if you find yourself gripped you could then move on to watching the 80's film White Mischief in which they both feature (Alice memorably played by Sarah Miles) - worth it for the clothes alone - although I will never quite recover from the sight of Charles Dance in an evening gown!!!! Really!!!Hilarious and slightly disturbing!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Brooching the subject!

My train of thought has gone from baskets to brooches - how so? I was sorting through my vintage jewellery and realised I have some fabulous ones - including a charming basket of flowers made of filigree with enamel and jewelled flowers, which belonged to my Auntie Elsie ( a big style influence who will no doubt be mentioned frequently in my blog) - and yet I never wear a brooch - time to give them an airing methinks!

Found the ones shown here online at: http://www.rockmyvintage.co.uk/rhinestone-floral-brooch.htm

Here are some very stylish ladies in their brooches - including Wallis Simpson who really knew the value of a jewel or two!

Wallis Simpson - Duchess of Windsor.


Actress Ruth Wilson ( brilliant in Small Island TV series)
Jennifer Tilly - Actress and Poker player!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A Tisket a Tasket - I really want a basket!

Still thinking about the South of France - last time I was there I remember buying the most beautiful basket, very simple with a gingam lining and a little embroidery, a bit like the lovely fifties one here! I can see myself now - wandering around a little market in the sunshine, my basket over my arm and full of delicious goodies - terrine, ripe cheese, crusty bread, a bottle of wine..................sigh!

I shall shop for a new basket when I am there - meanwhile now that the thought is in my head I am looking for some instant gratification.

There was an amazing Lanvin appliqued bag in one of the weekend magazines which had the right feel - but at £915 it is way beyond my budget - I need something more affordable..............

LK Bennett have quite a nice straw and leather bag for £155 but I don't really want the leather trim and again whilst much more reasonable it is still more than I want to pay. I think what I may do is get this £49 one from Lands' End and try embroidering it with bright raffia myself - will have to check out where I can buy some of that for starters - it always used to be in craft kits when I was a child!

I love these images of women with baskets - what an egalitarian bag a basket is - they are used the world over by people of every kind - ageless, accessible, affordable - hurrah for the basket!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Bathing Belles!

Having been invited to the South of France for a week in September I am having to think about poolside style for the first time in years – a Cornish Beach rarely requires such consideration – a comfy cossie and cosy cover up are where it’s at in Porthcurno! Have not been for a holiday in a hot country for so long I cannot quite recall when it was

In true Land Girl style I am thinking Forties Bathing Belle – Esther Williams is my style icon in this instance – and who better to reference on 4 July than America’s Mermaid as she was known! I am also going to be heavily influenced by The Darling Mermaid Darlings -for those of you who didn’t watch the axed show Pushing Daisies this will mean nothing I am afraid – let’s just say they were very glam and very retro poolside and their name sums them up!
I am finally going to be able to wear that Agent Provocateur Red and Black Polka Dot bikini I bought 3 years ago – hurrah – add to that some fabulous bathing suits worthy of Esther and I shall be good to go!

For classic retro style with a grown up attention to fit and performance ( Esther was after all an Olympic swimmer before becoming a movie star) Lands’ End have it covered – these are my favourite costumes – I have tried each of them and they are very flattering indeed..........

For more cutesy vintage style which might work better on an under 40 look at forluna.co.uk - there are some gorgeous printed costumes in this selection.

For genuine original pieces I will also be heading to Primrose Hill this weekend for the vintage fashion fair at Cecil Sharp House - 10th July from 11am until 5pm!