August 15, 2014

How does your vintage garden grow?


Vintage Fashionista Friday blog graphic for Chronically Vintage photo VintagefashionistaChronicallyVintag.png


{An ideal way inject a hefty, but not glaringly in-your-face dose of vintage fruit charm into any wardrobe, this beautiful mid-century straw hat features an abundance of cherries (that also look a bit like red grapes), green leaves, and darling little white blooms that all add up to one seriously summertime perfect chapeau. $25.00 from Sweet Geek Vintage.}




{I love it when unexpected fruits and vegetables show up in fashions, so naturally I fell hard and fast for this cute and colourful Hallabaloo Mango Earrings featuring slices of a fruit that is rarely depicted in wearable form. $8.00 from Trashy Diva.}




{Throughout high school, my favourite Bonne Bell Lip Smacker flavour was, hands down, lime (which came in a sparkly green tube and lasted for ages), so the moment I spotted this handmade, natural lip balm in the same scent, I knew I had to include it here. The beautiful art nouveau illustration on the packaging is an added bonus of happiness for all of us vintage lovers. $3.00 for a 0.15 ounce tube from Get Lippy.}




{Celebrate one of the summer garden's sweetest vegetable offerings with a vintage celluloid necklace dangling merrily with delightful red bell peppers. $62.00 from Mella Vintage.}




{Bypass the usual beach coverups this season and slip on a cute, cozy vintage v-neck strawberry embroidered sweater instead (or wear it to stay warm and keep the 'squitters at bay on moonlit summer nights). Fits, when stretched, up to a 40" bust/19" waist. $69.00 from Joie De Vivre Vintage.}




{Is it a white carrot, a parsnip, a skinny rutabaga? You decide. What is certain is that this delightful vegetable shaped brooch brings both cuteness and elegance to the fashion potluck care of its colour palette, sparkly little crystals, an expected shape. $17.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy. (*Note, this item has sold*}




{I am seriously in love with this cherry print Tea Dress in Cherry Cream. It marries the fun of cherries with the classic sophistication of a shirtwaist style dress for a look that celebrates the spirit of fruit patterned fashions of the 40s and 50s so superbly well. Available in modern ladies sizes Small to XL. £59.00 from Vivien of Holloway.}




{Goodness gracious did I have to whip out the willpower when I came across this stunner! Tempted as I was/am, I'm guarding my pennies closely, so this sublimely lovely vintage wicker strawberry and vegetable adorned novelty purse will get to go home with someone else (super lucky lady!). $55.00 from Sugar Cookie Lady.}



{Make the most of summer's sizzling heat while it's still here by staying cool and looking off-the-charts cute in this wonderful two-piece vintage reproduction cherry print playsuit comprised of a great halter crop top and high waisted shorts. Available in modern ladies sized small to large. $90.00 for the set from Blue Velvet Vintage.}



{Glam, fun, and oh-so-sweet, these marvelous Rockerfeller heels feature red and green grapes and will make your feet look so stylish even Dionysus would be jealous! Available in modern ladies (European) sizes 36 to 39. $165.00 from Miss L Fire.}


♥ ♥ ♥



Now, while I adore the outdoors and everything that Mother Nature nourishes us with from her bountiful soil, what I'm talking about here today is growing the garden within your own closet, not the one in your backyard (an area, having never had a a garden of my own to tend, that I wouldn't feel very qualified to talk about in the first place, beyond a general appreciation of gardens and of agricultural history).

As we bounce merrily along through the eight month of the year, one that is so abundantly rich in freshly picked fruits and vegetables that it almost seems like a spoil of riches, I cannot help but think of clothing and accessories that depict these staples of humanity. Interestingly, fruit centered items have been having quite the moment this year, with designers (from Moschino to Kate Spade to Stella McCartney), high street, and fast fashion labels alike all hopping on the delicious fashion band wagon.

Ask any vintage wearing gal whose been sporting or even just interested in old school threads for a day what some of the most beloved patterns in this fashion realm are and I'll bet you a silver dollar that she'll list cherry prints as one of them. She may even say "fruit prints" in general, and she'd be spot on in either case. Fruit, and to a lesser extent vegetable (and other kinds of food) print garments are nothing new. They were quite popular during the mid-twentieth century, especially the 1940s, 50s and early 60s, and saw a revival later on in the fashionista's heyday that was the 1980s.

Whether we're talking about Carmen Miranda's famous fruit hats, 1930s and 40s Bakelite fruit jewelry, or produce adorned 1950s novelty print skirts, there was no short of scrumptious, stylish and flat out fantastic fruit and vegetable items to be had for one's wardrobe during decades past, or nowadays for that matter and the wearing of such pieces is an instant way to really help imbue your daily style with a great dose of whimsical wardrobe fun.

Unlike flowers, for example, which can be markedly sophisticated, even somber at times, fruit and vegetables rarely take on such a serious air in the fashion world. They are, by their very nature, youthful, lively, and lighthearted. They remind us of summertime (or winter, if you live south of the equator), no matter when in the year we wear them, are representations of the very stuff of life (food) itself, and tend to spark enjoyable childhood memories, too, of everything from tucking into slices of watermelon bigger than our heads to fruit flavoured candies aplenty.

Though cherries (a fruit I shared some of my own treasured recollections of back in this 2011 post) may have long held court in the vintage, and especially vintage reproduction (and rockabilly, fashion world, and are of course utterly fabulous, they are by no means the only fruit on the clothing produce shelves.

These days, more than ever, as the selection here today - the mere tip of the iceberg in this category - shows, we can avail of items adorned with images, or in the very shapes themselves, of everything from lemons to pineapples, apples to strawberries, grapes, bananas, melons, and peaches, to name but a few. And don't forget your vegetables either. There might not be quite as many veggies in the fashion world, but that doesn't mean that they aren't out there. Carrots, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and pickles are just some of the green grocery worthy veg themed and printed items to be had - and one never knows, veggies might just be the next hot fashion trend in 2015.

I've always loved (underline that big time) fruit, vegetable and food themed and shaped clothing and accessories. Even as a little girl, I flocked to such pieces, a love spurred on in part by my (then) town's annual summertime berry festival, which shone the spotlight on strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, all fruits that are grown in the area. This interest was further fueled when we moved further north in the province to the Okanagan, a land famous the world over for its stunning abundance of fruit, including pears, apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, grapes, and tons upon tons of juicy red cherries.

Even if you don't usually go in for novelty print and themed fashions, there's a vintage, reproduction, or vintage appropriate fruit or vegetable themed item out there for you. A simple, for example, gold or silver toned pair of stud earrings or a cute fruit shaped clutch handbag is a terrific choice - and let's not forget the abundance of fruit themed shoes that are to be had these days. A charm bracelet, printed scarf or even a pair of socks depicting a yummy garden offering are all great options, too.

While one can, and should, wear fruit and vegetable themed clothing the whole year round, these carefree, colourful fashions lend themselves so exquisitely well to the warmest months of the year, August very much included, so before autumn rolls around, bringing with it a cornucopia of its own fantastic, produce (pears! pumpkins! corn!), why not treat yourself to something from the produce side of the fashion spectrum.

An apple print frock (for example, Hell Bunny's fabulous Shelia dress) might not keep the doctor at bay like the healthy treat it depicts, but it will help ensure that the wearable garden in your vintage wardrobe is tip-top shape! :)

20 comments:

  1. My sisters call me a little fruity, but I can't help loving fruit prints. I don't seem to find a lot in stores but I've made my own with fun fabric. I have my lemon citrus dress, my apple dress, and I just made a cherry skirt. I also have a growing collection of fruit broaches. I love fruit stuff! This article was a fun read , thanks for writing it.

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  2. Very nice! I love anything fruity!

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  3. yummy!!
    great collection! if i had a wish for free i would opt for a dress with a radish print - white and crimson and green :-)
    tons of hugs!
    p.s.: victorian/edwardian clothes to find in everyday 2.hand shop of the 30´s/40´s would be great....

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  4. Great finds! I love most any novelty prints, but I do find the fruit and, especially, the vegetable ones some of the cutest! There's just something so fun about wearing an apple, or carrot, or pumpkin print/shaped item whether it be an entire dress or just a dainty pair of earrings! Why not, right? :-)
    -Melissa

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Melissa. I couldn't agree more! Life is too short not to have fun with one's wardrobe choices and to introduce a bit of whimsy into the equation at least every now and then.

      ♥ Jessica

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  5. That cherry hat is a lovely example! The combination of fruit and flowers is just charming.

    I have made my first foray into wearing the classic cherry print, making up a 1960s maternity top in cherry fabric, and I absolutely love it! But I admit that with fruit and veg, like most things, I love the really unusual and quirky examples, like that red pepper necklace and the parsnip (or whatever) brooch!

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    1. Oooh, me, too, big time!!! The quirkier and more off-the-wall, the better! I've been after a tomato brooch for ages for that very reason, but it seems that most I've encountered over the years were quite pricey and alas, that "row" in my vintage jewelry garden hasn't been cultivated yet. Hopefully one day! I've seen some really cool (also pricey) artichoke brooches from the 50s as well, that would be amazing to own one of eventually.

      Big hugs & many thanks for your great comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  6. I love that cherry dress so much! <3

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    1. Isn't it just the bee's knees? I love that it combines a more classic cute with a pattern that, though certainly classic unto itself too, has often come to be seen as less vintage more rockabilly in the general public's eye. Rockabilly seriously rocks of course, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's nice for cherries to feel more traditional 40s/50s, which I think they do here.

      ♥ Jessica

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  7. the basket i so lovely ... it reminds me of the white late 50s strawberry bag i sadly never bought in astoria/oregon in the summer 2013 ... sniff.

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  8. That red pepper necklace is such fun and I do like the wicker fruit and veg handbag. This is very topical for me as I just received a cherry brooch in the post that my mum crocheted for me!

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    1. What a marvelous present to find waiting in your mailbox! Crocheted brooches are adorable! I'm surprised in a way actually that they haven't caught on more, especially amongst the vintage loving crowd, as I think they have a charming, classic quality to them. Your mom sounds like such a talented lady! It's awesome that you two share a love of some of the same crafts.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. It was a great surprise! It is lovely to share a love of knitting and crochet with my mum. We always talk about our projects and look through old patterns together plus she can help me if I get stuck! I think crochet brooches are really attractive so like you I am surprised that people do not wear them more.

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  9. It's a very nice idea to add some fruit to the outfit! And you have chosen the most lovable items to share! The cherry print dress is so cute!

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  10. I LOVE fruit and veggie stuff!! great post!

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  11. Fruit are so charming for summer wear. Thank you for reminding me. I also adore vegetable prints since they are so rare, and am a bit tired of cherries, since they almost have been abused. I have several charm bracelets with fruits and love to wear them during summer. Thanks for a lovely post. :)

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    1. They really are awesome!!! I wish veggies would appear on more clothing and jewelry. Tomatoes or onions, for example, could be used instead of cherries or apples in tons of patterns and would be so fun and unexpected. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that a vogue for veggies in fashion hits one of these days and we can load up on them! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  12. I need that little white carrot/parsnip brooch in my life. I can't explain it, but I'm just entirely smitten by it.

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  13. I adore that red pepper necklace, though not so much the price, because for a few years had grown peppers in our back yard garden. Love it!

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Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, questions, and opinions with me. I read and sincerely appreciate each comment I receive - they brighten my day like rays of sparkling sunshine.

♥ Jessica