Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Modern Minimalist

Early Matthew Ames, and SS10 images from refinery29

I don't think I've mentioned this before, and it may seem odd coming from someone who likes vintage so much, but I am a big fan of minimalism. One of the designers who best exemplifies this is the American designer Matthew Ames. I first discovered his work around this time last year and was instantly taken with his beautifully structured but fluid pieces. I really love his use of line and volume. The photography for the SS09 collection couldn't hurt either, with the silhouettes standing out so well against such a sparse backdrop. In terms of the high street, I think COS, the off-shot of H&M does the minimalist look very well too, and at prices I could maybe one day afford.

Hanging out on the edge

I had to take a picture of this squirrel taking full advantage of the bird feeder in the garden, look at the balance he has perfected. The funny thing was that all the little birds weren't scared, they were waiting patiently for their turn on the branches behind him. Taking this picture made me want to take at look at some other non fashion related photos I've taken. The donkey photo is from a donkey sanctuary in Devon and the horse lives in a field near my house. The cat was just sitting there watching everyone who walked by, he came up and said hello right after this photo was taken.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

How to get dressed for under £2.00 *

*does not include tights

Black dress - charity shop, £1
Stripe top - jumble sale, 20p
Oversize stripe cardigan - jumble sale, 20p

Black Velvet blazer - jumble sale, 20p
Stripe shirt - jumble sale, 20p
Black patent belt - jumble sale, 50p
Stripe skirt - jumble sale, 20p
Black stirrup boots - jumble sale, 40p

I realise it's been a while since the last 'how to get dressed..' post so here is the next one. This time instead of checks, we have....stripes. Once again the jumble sales came up with some great finds. I have had the black stirrup boots for maybe five years, and initially wasn't sure I would ever wear them, but them have turned out to be one of my most worn pairs of boots, I particularly like the metal stirrup detail. The velvet blazer is also pretty great, it's got quite 80's solid shoulders but quite sweet black and gold bow buttons on the sleeves. The cardigan is huge, about 5 sizes too big for me but I like it anyway. Also I know the last post was how to get dressed for £1.50 but this time it just couldn't quite fit, so from now on I think it will have to be £2.00. Still a bargain though.

Friday, 22 January 2010

For Grace and Charm

I recently found this rather sweet little booklet/calender of my grandmother's and thought I would share it with the wider world. It is for a lingerie brand named Spirella. Their slogan appears to be;
"Just a corset means so little"
"SPIRELLA means so much"
On one page it says, 'Spirella service is the embodiment of all the experience, scientific research and consideration of individual needs can produce.'
I have to assume this belonged to my great grandmother since my own grandmother would have been just 5 in 1930. It is a good example not only of how much women's lingerie has changed over the past 80 years, but also how these old fashioned styles are becoming popular again. Although I doubt rubber corsets will ever be back in fashion. Another Spirella page is entitled 'Prevention is better than Cure' and goes as follows;
'A scientifically designed Figure training garment or belt provides the necessary abdominal uplift and support with slight intra-abdominal pressure, and yet is sufficiently supple to permit freedom of movement and comfort, even during strenuous games.'
It is odd to think of having to wearing a corset while playing sport. Although I think the drawings in this little booklet are lovely, and I adore 1930's clothes, I have to say I am happy women are no longer expected to wear 'figure training garments' anymore.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

You make me blush

Lace dress from cheepvintage, church&state Maple dress via francesmay

Generally I like my outfits to include some good solid colours, black, grey, dark blue are all good. Pale colours scare me a bit and I don't really like pastels. However I have found myself becoming drawn to blush coloured clothing lately, the idea of something light and more spring like is definitely appealing on these long grey days of winter we seem to be experiencing.

I really like the label church&state, especially since they focus on dresses, which as we know are my favourite thing. I love their current collection, where each dress is named after a tree. There are so many pretty details on each dress, I can just imagine them being permanent wardrobe staples I'd want to wear again and again. This dress would be a lovely addition. I found this one via francesmay, which looks like a great online shop, shame It's in the America, they have some interesting labels.

I have also been after a lace 60's style dress for ages, and although I imagined it in cream, this little number from cheepvintage is pretty special. The only items of clothing in blush I already own are this 1950's lace suit and this blouse I got ages ago in a jumble sale. I really love this suit, although it's falling apart, the lace is very worn down and it is all very delicate, but i have worn the jacket once or twice. As for the blouse, it had a very 90's silhouette, with giant overlong cuffs, so I hemmed it to a more wearable length. Still it reminds me of a waitress uniform a little bit, so maybe I will wait a while longer before admitting blush to my day-to-day wardrobe.

Sunday, 10 January 2010


I'm not sure how it took me so long to discover Rachel Comey, but SS10 was the first collection of hers I have ever seen. And I love it. Having since looked at earlier collections, I think one of the best things about her clothes is they look quite seasonless. This dress is for spring, but with some wooly tights and a duffel coat it would work for winter too. Although there is still a great deal of snow on the ground it isn't too hard to imagine carefree spring days spent wearing, oh just about every piece of the collection. This check dress is probably my favourite look. Although they've been around for a while, I still can't seem to get enough of checks. I did look around for some similar fabric but couldn't find anything suitable, then after a recent trip to my grandparents, my grandmother gave me the above fabric, which is close to perfect. I think the woven leather sandals and tiny leather satchel bag I have would go pretty nicely with it too.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Chiffon in the snow

This post refers to my greatest ever vintage find.

That find was - an original Ossie Clark for Radley chiffon and crepe dress, with print designed by Celia Birtwell. I couldn't believe it when I found it in the charity shop a couple of weeks ago. I was idly searching through the dress racks when I spyed it, my first thought being that it was a piece from the Celia Birtwell for topshop collection from a few years ago, but then I checked the tag as I always do, and I couldn't believe it. I gleefully made for the till right away. It is an old size 14, but the good thing about it is it's loose shape, so it would fit almost anyone, and the print is so lovely. I researched it and I think it most closely resembles a print called blue Lillie's. I may do a more detailed post on Ossie Clark in the future. But for now, the dress. I wanted to post on it right away but decided to wait for a suitable location to photograph it in, and the weather was most obliging, giving me a perfectly white backdrop of foot deep snow.

Winter Wants

Although the January sales have been going on all around me I haven't found much to really capture my imagination. Maybe it's the time of yea,r but I have a really craving to create a new look for myself with some good new pieces yet I can never find quite what I'm looking for, plus Christmas always leaves me feeling short on cash. The solution to this problem would be to make something. Normally I have many dresses in mind vying to be created, and although I have plenty of fabrics at the moment, no dresses are suggesting themselves to me. So I have turned to the Internet for inspiration.

I really love Built by Wendy, although it is a bit out of my price range, I did by a built by you pattern and I was happy with the result. I like how wearable built by Wendy pieces are, like they would fit right into your wardrobe. I especially love this dress, the colours are so lovely and I am always fond of massively contrasting fabrics such as the wool and satin here.

I also like this Chatou dress by surface to air. Surface to air clothes are always interesting and I like the Mod look of this piece, particularly the grey chambray type fabric. I have always been a fan of chambray.
Hopefully these will help replenish my inspiration, I'm hoping to make a start on a new dress tomorrow.