June 30, 2009

Cheerful plaid pieces for summer

When I find one thing that catches my eye as a source of inspiration (and/or desire), I’m a happy camper, but when I spot a second very similar item (or photo, etc) within a couple of days, I know I have the makings of a good post :)

Such was the case with the incredibly pretty photo below of Cammila sporting a stunningly beautiful rainbow hued plaid suspender dress (which actually belonged to a 1950s showgirl act called the Holly Sisters at one point, how awesome is that?).

{I am absolutely smitten by how amazing this dress is – and how by stellar Cammila looks in it!}

A day or two later I discovered a really lovely lightweight wool coat that struck me as being much more vintage in cut and composition than most plaid outwear on the market today. Just as cool this coat’s old school feel though, is its amazing price tag of just $15 (US).

{“Golden State Plaid Truffle Coat” from the 15 Dollar Store.}

These two finds set me on the hunt for more happy, punchy hued plaid pieces that would work wonderfully well in any vintage fashion maven’s summer wardrobe, the results of which you’ll find below.

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{As if the charming, almost beach inspired colours in this versatile plaid top weren’t enough, it’s topped with a super flattering waistline bow for even more summery beauty. $19.80 (US) from Forever 21.}

{These acyclic stretch bracelets are a little punk, a tad rockabilly and totally fun! $21.00 (US) each from alltherangeonline.}

{While there’s no denying this v-neck sundress is very cute from the front, it’s even more adorable from the back thanks to a wonderful, 50s inspired cut-out and bow!. £50.00 (UK pounds) from Oli.}

{I love a lightweight, vibrant purse with a sturdy handle come summer, and these wonderful plaid print numbers – with their wooden handles – fit the bill perfectly. Currently on sale for $19.99 from Chadwicks.}

{Fresh and sweet as a garden full of violet hued blooms, this vintage skirt – which the seller estimates to be from around 1962 – would look wonderful with t-shirts, blouses and cardigans all summer long. $42.00 (US) from etsy seller schmoo 1515.}

{Upbeat and full of blue tones that invoke thoughts of cloud-less skies and lapping ocean waves, this pretty plaid halter top is terrifically redolent of similar 1950s styles. $19.99 (US) from CutesyGirl.}

{The lively hues in this marvelous vintage frock from the 1940s, remind me those you might encounter in an old fashion Jell-O cookbook. $55.00 (US) from esty seller Sass n’ Class Vintage.}

{The chipper, colourful ribbons zip-zagging across this lovely halter neck bathing suit call to mind a Maypole and would make for a wonderful dose of cheer at any beach! $44.50 (US) from dELiAs.}

{These plaid sling-back flats look both positively adorable and very, very comfortable, plus they’re on sale for an incredible price! $7.99 (US) from Chadwicks.}

{This feminine, fun 1950s inspired dress would be just the ticket for any number of summer events, from weekend picnics in the country to evenings spent watching falling stars. $98.00 (US) from Unique Vintage.}

Is plaid a favourite pattern for summer – or any time of the year – for you? It certainly is for me! A few weeks ago I blogged about a terrific plaid shirt that I found after searching for for quite some time for one that didn’t drown me in its pattern. To date it’s still the only plaid piece in my summer wardrobe, but if I could find local shops nearby with well priced pieces like the ones above, I’d be willing to bet that darling top would suddenly have some new plaid siblings to keep it company :)

June 29, 2009

Perfect summer sunlight {Monday Muses, June 29th}

Even a thunder storm on Wednesday couldn’t seem to shake off the wild heat that came pouncing into Toronto last week, which must certainly mean that any lingering specks of spring are now a distant memory.

Brutal as the famous Ontario humidity here can be at times, I don’t detest summer in the least; it’s a season that conjures up countless childhood memories of my youth spent on the opposite, west coast side of the country. From the ludicrously sweet, juicy peaches we picked by the bucket for free from neighbours to running barefoot across the griddle-hot beach all August long, I hold summer dear because of what it meant to me as a child.

Looking back I see many of these memories in my mind’s eye with a tinge of hazy, soothing, maize hued sunlight. The sort of atmospheric aura that instantly made everything a little prettier and lulled your mind into a continual sense of daydreaming where the present could just as easily be a glimpse of the past.

A slew of photos that capture this sense of hot, enchanted, vintage inspired light have caught my eye lately, and as such I’ve decided that each of the seven beautiful images below are my Monday Muses for the week.

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{Care of Violet Folklore}

{From the pages of Kisses and Cross Stitches}

{Sourced from Daydream Lily}

{Unearthed from the pages of absinthe & betty Smith}

{First viewed and loved on Dustjacket Attic}

{Discovered via Raspberryroses on Flickr}

{Smiled upon and borrowed from rose-coloured-rain}

While the heat can be stifling at times – there’s no denying that – it is also passionate and serene, gentle and soft like an aged, favourite blanket plucked from the dryer and wrapped snugly around you. I don’t glamorize every element of summer – not by a long shot – but there is something about popcorn coloured sunlight on a gorgeous summer day that never loses its endearing appeal.

June 28, 2009

Pretty Link Roundup {June 28}

From birthday party worthy dresses to a momentary respite from the summer heat care of vintage Christmas images to unfathomably gorgeous modern historical re-enactment photos, the topics here this lately have been a very assorted lot, to say the least!

{Summer rolled into town with horns blaring this week, as temperatures soared well into the 30s (90s). Time for icy cold drinks, adorable outfits and sunny afternoons spent with friends to help keep your mind off the sweltering heat! Image via myvintagevogue’s Flickr stream.}

Carrying on with that fun sense of eclecticism, this weekend’s roundup of awesome links spans everything from Time Capsule homes to Jane Russell’s 88th birthday. I hope you discover something that peaks your interest among them - and please don't hesitate to share your own recent favourite posts and finds in the comment section.

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* Travel in Style: Whether you’re jetting off across the country or around the world, A Red Lipstick has compiled some sleekly sophisticated and wildly stylish vintage travel images to inspire your look no matter where you’re headed.

* A Vintage Summer: Darla has gathered up a lovely selection of old school summer images plus her picks for vintage bathing suits, sunglasses, swim caps and dresses, that leave you eager to add some of these stellar warm weather looks to your own closet.

* Swimwear by decade – 1930: Highlighting the bathing suits of each decade in the twentieth century, Karen of Bobbins and Bombshells takes a peak at those of the thirties this week, complete with some fantastic photos and vintage swimwear adverts. (Be sure to check out her posts on the 1900s and 1920s as well.)

* Finger waves of long hair: Youtube hair guru Iris shares her easy-to-follow tips on how to achieve finger waves on longer hair lengths.

* Living in a Design Time Capsule: The New York Times takes an interesting and insightful look into people who have lived in the same homes, with the same furnishings and decor for decades. Just the sort of homes many of us vintage lovers would give our right arms to move into on the spot! ;)

* Jane Russell Turns 88: As one of the mid-century’s most famous brunette actresses, Jane Russell was a household name throughout the 1940s and 50s, especially after her role alongside Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. Katie of Old Hollywood Glamour celebrates Jane’s 88th birthday with a slew of beautiful photos, plus a story about her own experience of seeing this iconic actress in person.

* Liberty Prints: Sally Jane vintage highlights some incredibly charming pieces in one of my all-time favourite patterns, liberty print. (And for more covetable items in this pretty, feminine print be sure to check out the bustiers in this Fashion Police post.)

* Vintage Shopping: Buyer Beware Edition, Part 1: Past Perfect Vintage has put together a thoroughly useful series of posts about what to know and what to keep an eye out for when buying vintage clothing. (Stop by parts two and three for more great tips, too.)

* To market, to market: For those of us who hoof it to and from our weekly trips to the market, trolley bags on wheels can be a huge lifesaver. Here Millie Motts highlights some terrific vintage ads for the kinds of styles of personal shopping carts that were popular in France during the middle of the century.

On the video front this week, is a wonderfully handy how-to guide for those looking to tell the difference between vintage and modern (but vintage looking) items of clothing, care of the ever-talented (and beautiful!) Aya of Strawberry Koi (who has just launched her own etsy vintage clothing shop, be sure to pay her a visit there and check out the excellent, hand-picked pieces.).

{How to know if it’s vintage}

As we head into the last few days of June, with temperatures scorching like a hot poker iron, I’m looking forward to a festive day mid-week when July 1st ushers in Canada Day. Full of barbeques, long hours spent inhaling fresh air late into the night, and an evening firework show, it’s sure to be a wonderful early summer celebration. What do you, my wonderful vintage readers, have on your radar this week?

June 27, 2009

The photographic illusionist

When one watches a talented magician’s act, though you are keenly aware that what you’re observing is, at its root, skilled deception, it rarely matters, for you are engaged in the entertainment and sense of awe that comes with viewing a master at work. The enjoyment and wonder that stems from being a part of the audience sweeps you up and sets your imagination a flutter, as you try to decipher the secrets behind what you’ve just witnessed.

This very feeling is what resonated through me the moment I discovered the incredible creations of a Ukrainian gentleman who goes by the moniker Retroatelier. At the heart of this fellow’s sublime work is re-enactment style photography. However his shots are blended with an unparalleled sense of post-production artistry that turns historical themed photos into pieces so astoundingly beautiful and attentive to detail that one cannot help feel as though you’re staring through the looking glass of time, observing not so much a photograph, but an actual moment from the distant, mysterious past.

{The images above are but a small sampling of the stunning, origional photos displayed on Retroatelier’s website, which I truly recommend you visit.}

Retroatelier succeeds in marrying the most modern of techniques with the epitome of well-crafted historical settings and perfectly costumed models. His work embodies elegance, grandeur and markedly great skill. With a camera, props, period clothing and computer retouching work, he brings to life history with the sort of sophisticated aplomb that makes it seem as though doing so is the easiest thing in the world.

As though he was a magician performing under a stage name, I can find little information about this incredible artist (beyond his website and other online haunts such as Model Mayhem and LiveJournal), yet I really do not feel as though I need to know more. I love that these remarkable nouveau-vintage pieces were crafted by someone who leaves you enthralled, impressed, and deeply eager to see what incredible feats he has up his sleeve – or perhaps more aptly, up his lens.

June 25, 2009

Merry half a year until Christmas!

Ho-ho-holy moly is it hot! With temps skyrocketing this week and the pleasant, cooler days that still retained some semblance of spring now a thing of the past, it would seem more apt to think of palms than Christmas trees, but I’m a holiday loving gal! I woke up this morning delighted by the fact that the six month countdown until Jolly Old St. Nick arrives has begun!

Indeed you might as well call me Ms. Festive; from decoratiing the tree to basting the bird, stuffing stockings to baking gingerbread, I’m wild about the winter holidays! What I’m not however, is one to buy into the mass consumerism and boatload of stress that sadly so often accompanies modern day holidays of all sorts. No matter the current year, to my mind, Christmas is eternally about the spirit of love and joy, about giving and sharing, spending time with those you hold dear and being thankful for what you have and what you can bestow upon others.

A simple Christmas is a beautiful Christmas in my books, which is a huge part of the reason why I love to turn to the past when I think of this cheerful time of the year.

I know that a lot of my fellow readers are sweltering under soaring temps now, so I thought it might oodles of fun to imagine for a few moments that it was suddenly December and we’re getting ready to deck the halls, linger under the mistletoe with a certain special someone, open our gifts, and sit down to a mouth-watering meal, as a gentle breeze blows picture-perfect snowflakes past the window. Naturally, we’ll be celebrating in vintage style!

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December’s just begun, which means it’s time to start the advent calendar and count down the “sleeps” until the big day arrives!

There’s so many wonderful things to do this month, but before the days fly past, we must ensure that we’ve checked our list twice, our Christmas card list that is! Wouldn’t want to accidentally forget a dear friend at this most amicable time of the year!

Next comes a different kind of list, the one youngsters (and the young at heart) pen to Santa! For that task, every member of the family will definitely need to pour through the Wishbook. From Johnny to Sally, mom to pop, there’s always something that everyone secretly hopes to find under the tree :)

With wish lists clutched firmly – and eagerly – in hand, it’s time to go pay a visit to Santa himself. Remember to tell him you’ve been extra good all year, kids – and to smile!

With friends dropping by, packages being sent to relatives, and plenty of hungery little snowman builders bustling around the kitchen, we’ll definitely need to whip up plenty of cookies and baked treats to have on hand.

The holidays are a time for socializing, from big office parties to small, intimate gatherings around the fireplace, and everything in between. So dust off your party dress, invite the gang ‘round and celebrate with festive cheer!

With the days ticking down, it’s time to head out to the woods – or for those of us who live in the city to the neighbourhood tree lot – and bring home a lovely tree for everyone to help decorate with all the beautiful, treasured ornaments you’ve collected over the years.

At last Christmas Eve has arrived; time to ensure that everything is ready for tomorrow! From prettily wrapped gifts under the tree to cookies and milk left out for Santa, the only thing left to do is hang our stockings and figure out a way to fall asleep!

Did you get any sleep or were you too excited to rush downstairs and discover the gifts piled beneath the tree? Or were you thinking about the delicious supper that awaits everyone later this afternoon? Whatever you’re jubilant about today, and however your family celebrates the holidays, I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

{All images in this post are from Flickr. To get more information on a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective Flickr page.}

Did you enjoy our brief escape from the blistering heat, as we peered into Christmases of the past? I truly hope so, because I had an absolutely delightful time putting this post together.

Having hit the six month mark until December 25th, are you looking forward to counting down the months or dreading the thought of another holiday season? Personally I’m stoked, there’s nothing like the joy of celebrating the holidays in vintage style, watching my all-time favourite Christmas movie (White Christmas), singing carols, and roasting a turkey with all the trimmings to put a mile-wide smile on my lips in and in my heart.