Today was an absolute "Wellie-Weather" day here in Massachusetts. If you're a New Englander, you probably have a pair sitting at the back door, if not at every door of your home. We have wellies with whales, wellies with autumn leaves, navy blue wellies with super warm snow boot-like lining, and my new favorites: Tommy Hilfiger Women's Viktoria Wellie Boots.
But I'm letting you in on a little secret (part of why you still read this blog, I hope): I paid $19.99 for them at Burlington Coat Factory earlier this week...I know it's crappy out, but if that's not going to get you to get out of the house this afternoon then I don't know what will.
It has been brought to my attention from a fellow vintage fashion aficionada that the print on the dress in my last post, although Poiret~ish, is actually an Aubrey Beardsley illustration produced for the first English edition of Oscar Wilde's play "Salome" in 1894...It's called "The Peacock Skirt". Please allow me to properly introduce to you "The Peacock Skirt Dress".
This stunning vintage dress was the result of a last minute, unplanned 10 minute treasure hunting expedition. I was avoiding doing things I didn't feel like doing and popped into one of the shops I frequent and there she was, waiting for me. Don't you just love when that happens? Serendipity, once again.
I was bit stumped as to how to describe the print on this dress at first. But I keep going back to Paul Poiret, when his work took on the influence of orientalism.
It's about a size 4/6...not a tag or label to be seen, so off to do some research. Look for it soon in The Shoe.
(Addendum~4:00pm EST 23 November 2011: In the six hours that have lapsed since this post, I have been provided with updated information about the print on this dress. Please visit here for more information.)
My treasure hunting expedition over the weekend landed a late 1960s Harvard crimson athletic jacket in my arms. Sweet, I know. So while doing a bit of research about it, I came across this program cover from 1947. That year, Yale took the game with a final score 31-21. But yesterday afternoon, Harvard dished out some embarrassment to them right in their own back yard. Final score: Harvard 45 - Yale 7. That's pretty sweet, too, if you're a fan of Crimson.
There seems to be no shortage of fascinating new book releases as of late. Most titles were featured in the October issue of Vanity Fair/Fanfair/Flipping Out with a few of my own favorites thrown into the mix.
Summer is in full swing around here....apologies for the lack of posts but it's been a nonstop whirlwind of go, go, go with no signs of the pace slowing down. A visit to my sister's for a family reunion sent me home with this lovely vintage Schiaparelli straw hat with black patent leather trim that once belonged to my grandmother, as well as three hat boxes chock full of more treasures from her closet. (How she managed to hide them from me for the past 10 years is beyond me...) I remember my grandmother wearing it to horse shows and other outdoor events that required fashionable shelter from the sun. At the time, I had no idea it was a Schiaparelli providing such glamorous shade!
From another side of my (rather complicated) family I was overjoyed to receive this lovely Shirl Miller vintage clutch in embossed leather.
And of my own treasure hunting accord I came into possession of this rather fabulous vintage bar pump-decanter set that I am quite certain I will never be able to part with.
Hoping to be back soon...wishing you many lovely summer days and nights until then.
After being stood up for an appointment yesterday afternoon, I decided to take a drive to one of my treasure hunting haunts, as I hadn't been in awhile and I needed some cheering up. Every light was red. Every Sunday driver was out on a Wednesday afternoon. Every pedestrian decided to cross right in front of me. As the minutes ticked by, I almost turned around. But something inside me kept saying to press onward.
That something turned out to be this...labeless but gorgeous on every count~a 1950s teal green silk satin dress with rosette floral detail & belt...
And this...Emanuel Ungaro Parallele Paris black velvet & satin wrap dress & collar...
Look for the teal green number soon (off to drycleaners), but you'll have to wait a little while for the black velvet, unless you absolutely cannot, then email me for details.
"Men in white suits and Panama hats, women with perfectly set bobs, billboards for Hennessy cognac, palm trees and camels: Egypt in the first half of the 20th century had an allure that felt European but was distinctly exotic. This intriguing book shows what life was like for the privileged classes in Cairo and Alexandria during the British occupation. Blottiere, a Frenchman who has written novels and nonfiction works on Egypt, assembles an amazing array of many previously unpublished photographs of private homes, museums, landscapes and street scenes. Black & white or sepia-toned, the photographs depict such snapshots as a picnic in a palm grove in the early 1900s, a 1920s costume party in Cairo and the crew of the film Fires of Fate standing in the Temple of Luxor in 1923. Blottiere offers varying commentary for each image, sometimes giving background, other times simply stating the subject, photographer and year. Brief essays shed light on the era's conflicting undertones of glamour and political fragility." (borrowed from Amazon Book Review)
I feel like the poker player who's been at the table too long (except that I don't gamble)......a string of amazing estate sales have brought some amazing vintage treasures into my arms and I know the string is bound to break, any Saturday now....
But for now~~things are looking good, very good. I hit a sale late Saturday morning and although I grimaced when I heard my "Estate Sale Ladies" carry on about "how many fabulous vintage furs & garments were there and how this "other" "vintage" "lady" came in as soon as the door opened and grabbed just about everything from the 16 closets~~and why didn't I get there earlier???!!" I secretly congratulated my opponent of "huntress of all things vintage" and congratulated myself on honoring previous commitments of far more importance and carried on into this lovely brick mansion, certain I would find something special to reward me for not getting there first. . .
My initial reaction was the very same...That looks interesting...it's a bit worn...just what is it? I proceed to pick it up off the table in the lovely, well~lit front room of the estate. Hmmm, why is it still here? Why didn't anyone else, that "other vintage lady", grab this if it's "oh! so! great!" I set it down, just another powder/cigarette case~~they're a dime a dozen on eBay (well maybe ten bucks a dozen, but you get the point...)
"There's no price on this" I say to the most congenial estate sale lady. "Could you find out for me, I'm going to have a look upstairs. Don't hold it~~I'll just check back when I make my way back down".
Up the staircase I go, my little treasure hunter following at my heels "Mom, did you see this wallpaper?" "Yes, love, it's marvelous, isn't it?" as I drink in the antique blue asian toile....sigh....is the wallpaper for sale? I think to myself, imagining it in my front hall and up the stairs to the second floor...I find a closet in the fifth (?) guest room and there, in a dry cleaning bag, is a three piece Halston suit~~but wait, I'm wandering....we'll save that for another post....
I salvage four lovely vintage frocks and, after a rather thorough tour from my partner in crime who had already cased the joint, we end up back in the front room. There it sits, still. On the table. It has moved, so others have looked at it, but still, there it is. It beckons me. Having walked through the rooms of this lovely home, full of history and the passage of time, I find a need to take this treasure home...I pick it up again. It seems even lovelier than at first. "I AM FALLING" ~~ "UNAPPROACHABLE" are stamped on the front~~obviously the possession of a romantic, a lover, a broken~hearted fool. A Gatsby. I have to have it. "Oh, that's $~~ " says the congenial estate sale lady. "It's Marked, you know." I pick it up again and peer closely. Yes, it is marked, but I don't really care at this point. It has the most romantic appeal, I have already decided I will choose this as my treat for the day. A cast~off that no~one else wanted....I will give you a proper (new) home, I think to myself....
Later, sipping on a glass of Cabernet, I discover "McClelland Barclay" inscribed on the front and
a Walter Lampl stamp ....
with a Patent Pending for W.L. ENCHANTAIRE ...
Perhaps there is something to be said for being fashionably late.....