29 September, 2010

A vintage Snakes and Ladders game - A lesson in morality

I had to share this great vintage snakes and ladders game with you that I purchased from an op shop recently . . .

It is a real lesson in morality - you go up for honesty and kindness and down for bad temper and pride. . .

Although I was wondering just how many of the 'Snakes and Ladders sins' I was guilty of - pride, greed, gluttony, lust (does lusting after Don Draper count if he is fictional?!) The list goes on and on!

Wouldn't it be great if this applied in real life?

28 September, 2010

A waspish waistish Dior(ish) dress

Last Thursday night I attended the premiere of a lovely independent film about the history of Collins Street (the most prestigious shopping street in Melbourne) called 'Boutique Magnifique' by Lesley Rosenthal. The invitation called for vintage dress, so I pulled out all the stops and squeezed into a Dior(ish) New Look dress . . .
Dior(ish) vintage black dress etsy - Shop: SybilStyle
New look black hat etsy
black gloves ebay
vintage brooch and earrings Callie Whelan, Melbourne and online (see below for her shop details)

This is a dress I bought on etsy a month or so ago and to be honest, I had to go to extra pilates sessions to fit into it (!)(the waist is only about 24 inches in my defence!). Before I got into the dress on Thursday evening, I had wait for my husband to get home so he could put on my waist cincher - on the second rung no less! (I have never usually gotten the cincher past the first set of rungs!). It was rather comical, me yelling at him 'go to the second rung, the second rung!" and he replied 'you're not that skinny!" (not a good thing to say to a woman who has had two children!)

Melbourne is known for its penchant for wearing black, so I thought this colour scheme would fit the theme of Melbourne shopping history.

You may notice that the netting on my hat is a bit frayed and broken,
I could take it off I guess but I sort of like it like that!

 The film itself was really interesting - a collection of interviews with various people who had operated shops in Collins Street - the former owners of The House of Merivale, a model who had worked for the designer Hall Ludlow, various couturiers and milliiners from the Block Arcade and, of course, the famous Georges department store. The lady who made the film, Lesley Rosenthal, is a real character and very passionate about her work. I did not grow up in Melbourne so it was really fascinating for me. There was a big crowd at the premiere (around 400 people apparently) and I met a lovely lady there, Lesley Phillips, who had also made the effort to dress up in vintage. She makes 1950's reproduction dresses (look out for her at the various vintage markets) . . .
 Finally, a close up of the lovely brooch I wore with my frock, it is my favourite . .

Vintage brooch: purchased from Callie Whelan, Vintage Jewellery expert and seller, Melbourne
You can buy her jewellery from Camberwell markets, at the Vintage Garage Fitzroy and online at http://www.huntedandcollected.com.au/.

 I know I have mentioned Callie before on my blog, but I would like to recommend her again, she is very knowledgeable and helpful and her jewellery is very reasonably priced. She also sells vintage men's cufflinks! I bought a beautiful 50's pair of cufflinks for my hubby at Callie's Vintage Garage stall and they cost me the princely sum of $15 - a bargain (and my husband loved them). I really like to support local people (not just  etsy USA!) so please, as Molly would say, do yourself a favour and take a look at her stuff.

17 September, 2010

A Vintage suitcase tower - A gift from Hard Rubbish

Last weekend they had what is called 'Hard Rubbish day' in my neighborhood. The theory is that you are supposed to put out anything unsellable or not able to be given away to op shops and which cannot go into normal rubbish and the council picks it up. Popular items for hard rubbish include broken TV's and the like. But of course, for vintage bounty hunters like myself there is also some treasures to be found amongst the trash!
So here is my bounty from hard rubbish - three beautiful vintage suitcases (well in my eyes at least, my hubby begs to differ - I did have to smuggle these into my house while he wasn't looking!). Now I do have to admit, I gave these cases a good clean so they didn't look quite as good as this when I picked them up, but all they really needed was a little clean with soapy water and then some scrubbing of the aluminium to remove some of the rust and ta-da!
As you can see, there are still rusty bits on the aluminium but I think that just adds to their character. By the way, to remove rust I found the best thing to be lemon juice and salt (I think I got that tip from a book called 'Speedyclean'). Of course, you just have to be careful to wash all the salt off afterwards so it doesn't corrode the case. Can you see the little ticket stub on the suitcase above by the way, it shows an old Qantas logo. See, that is why I love vintage!

I love the logos on these cases 'futura' and 'bon voyage' - such character!

I still haven't quite decided how I am going to arrange and decorate my vintage suitcase collection - I thought I might add a hat and put on my vintage beauty case . . . not sure yet . . .

Vintage beauty case - op shop/thrifted ($5!)
Hat - op shop/thrifted

Speaking of hats, vintage suitcases are a great way to store your hats. I lined my cases with tissue paper, put a ball of tissue paper in the skull part of the hat to keep its shape and there you go - a great storage idea for hats (dust is the big enemy for hats so I tend to store my best ones away).
You will notice that the inside of the suitcase above is water-damaged. That is because, unfortunately, it rained very heavily the weekend of the 'hard rubbish' day. However, it is a testament to the quality of these cases that they are still very beautiful and show very little damage to the outside despite the rain (by the way this photo probably shows the damage a little worse then it looks in real life).
The only sad thing is that the water made the name of the person unreadable and I love to have that sort of thing written in my cases - again it adds such character and gives the case even more history.

I hope this has inspired you to fossack away during your next hard rubbish day - all the best of vintage luck!

04 September, 2010

The Hats off to the Races High Tea . . and a little Dior

Today I attended a 'Hats Off to the Races' High Tea as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. It was a really lovely afternoon spent with fabulously-talented milliners and hat lovers. I splashed out and bought a Dior-style black wide-rimmed hat from Clara Fox Vintage in Fitzroy for the occasion . .

New look hat - Frankin Simon Saks 5th Avenue
Clara Fox Vintage Clothing, 479 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North

I teamed with a Dior-style (I sense a theme here!) red and black striped dress from etsy (where else?). . .

A late 1940's red and black dress from a very nice seller on etsy Bird and Flower Vintage
Dress is worn with a waist cincher as the waist on this dress is tiny!

The high tea was hosted by the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, which has lovely old fahioned tea place in the Block Arcade, Melbourne city. Because we were such a large group, the tea was not held in the tea rooms itself, but right in the centre of the Block Arcade so there were a lot of Melbournites and tourists bepuzzled by the sight of all these fabulous hatted ladies having tea!
The milliners (from all over Australia) had exhibited their hats through different buildings on Collins Street during the week and prizes were given out for the best exhibit and best hat at tea. The milliners were all such a lovely bunch of ladies, very warm and friendly and they seemed to be very supportive of one another's work which was lovely (as people involved in fashion can sometimes be . . . well, not so supportive of one another!).  The judging was done by one of Australia's best milliners, Peter Jago, and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne Susan Riley.

Peter Jago on the right - a real character, warm, charming and very very fabulous!! On the left, a lovely milliner who also teaches millinery at RMIT - Serena Lindeman (please click on that link to access her blog and etsy shop - she has some absolutely beautiful hats available for purchase)!

Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Susan Riley, very elegant and also very friendly 

Now a close up of those wonderful hats  . . .
Look at these two fabulous creations!

I'm sorry this photo is a bit blurry, it does not really do the hat justice, but I wanted to give you an idea of the how beautiful it was from the back and how much work was involved in making it.

If any of you are interested in meeting these milliners or buying some of their hats, many of them run stalls as part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, so keep your eye on the Melbourne Horse Racing website for information on those hat days.

I think Collins Precinct which organised the High Tea is planning to have one next year for Spring Fashion Week too, so I would urge you to come along, it was a beautiful afternoon and it was lovely meeting all those fabulous milliners.

In any case, you should take yourself off to Hopetoun Tea Rooms for High Tea as the food was absolutely beautiful. Sometimes I find high tea at big hotels a bit 'commercial' - bulk made and a bit tasteless - but the food at Hoptoun was super fresh and really tasty, and the cakes appeared to be homemade. I am very fussy about my cakes and these really were nice. The cake stand we got had, amongst other things, smoked salmon finger sandwiches, maccaroons, lemon tarts and fruit. I could have eaten the whole lot by myself! Highly recommended!