Grey felt beret: eBay
Black circular shaped rhinestone earrings: Either Payless or Claire's
C. 1930s/1940s dark cream faux pearl multi-strand necklace: Thrifted (Value Village - similar necklaces currently available in my Etsy shop)
Vintage style black rosette trimmed knit top: Thrifted
C. 1950s white gloves: Unknown, had for years (possibly a gift or from eBay)
C. 1980s does 1950s caramel brown wide belt: Thrifted (Value Village)
Vintage bangle bracelets: Assorted sources
1950s Venetian novelty print skirt: Awesome gift from a dear friend
C. 1950s grey kiss lock handbag: Running Rabbits Studio
Opaque black tights: Ardene
White faux leather pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Tony Cangiano
♥ ♥ ♥
A 1950s Venetian novelty print skirt, that is. :)
Throughout the course of my life I have lived in places with populations as large as a multiple millions and as tiny as just a few hundred. Most, not surprisingly, have fallen in between. Fittingly, then one might say, I have always felt like I was both a city girl and a country lass. I can make my home almost equally happy in either place, but when I'm away from one for a while, I do start to miss it strongly and pounce at the chance to return, if only for a few days.
As many of you know, Tony and I had a chance to do just that on a business trip to Vancouver at the end of this past fall. Most days Tony was one busy chap, putting in 10 - 12+ hour workdays, which left little time to explore together and, given the time of the year, no daylight during those wonderful times we did have.
On two days however, we were able to get in a decent amount of bopping about the city together during daylight hours and this is the second of the two (see the first here) outfit shoots that we were able to do while in The Big Smoke, as this stunning oceanfront city is sometimes called.
One thing that has struck me in the years since I first became a fashion blogger is just what an incredible wealth of phosholos (aka, photo shoot locations) there is to be had in large cities. I know that might sound glaring obvious, and it in many respects it is, but when you live in a relatively small town in an area with only a couple locations in the whole region of 100,000 or more people, you almost forget just what a staggering wealth of possible photo shot spots a larger city dishes up day in and day out.
As I - and some days, we - explored Vancouver's bustling, vibrant streets and myriad diverse neighborhoods, I was struck by how I could live in that city for a hundred lifetimes, vintage fashion blogging through all of them (natch! :)), and likely never exhaust all the possible places to take photos in. The same, no doubt, is true of most large cities the world over, especially if, as many in Canada are, they're mere moments away from breathtaking natural landscapes as well.
Tony is a huge fan of urban fashion photography, however the types of mid-century ensembles I typically wear rarely lend themselves particularly well to such, especially if the buildings and other sights in the background are glaringly modern.
So, when a chance to shot in such a setting arises, understandably, he pounces on the opportunity - and if we can find a location that meets his desire for gritty, energetic city backdrops and mine for ones that still look at least vaguely old school, we both come out as very happy campers.
We hit upon just that in the cement clad back alley behind our hotel one nippy, but delightfully sunny, afternoon. There was nothing exceptional about this back alley, save for the fact that it was situated in the heart of downtown Vancouver, which in and of itself, made it quite exciting for folks like us who presently reside in an Okanagan town of about 30,000 people and far fewer such urban backdrops.
The temperature was right around freezing that day (though the sunlight helped it to feel a touch toastier), so warm clothes were a must.
I opted for this truly fantastic 1950s Venetian novelty print skirt, which a treasured vintage loving friend gave me a while back (as she knows I'm always on the hunt for Italian themed vintage clothing to sport in a fashionable nod to Tony's homeland), as it is made from a thick, almost flannel like material that suits fall and winter superbly (not to mention the fact that it depicts one of the most famous cities in the world and thus seems especially fitting to sport while shooting in another stunning metropolis).
With it I paired a vintage style scoop neck black knit top with delight fabric rosettes around the neckline, as well as one of my favourite c. 1980s does 1950s belts, black opaque tights (for warmth), a classic grey beret, white vintage gloves, my sweet little grey 50s handbag, white pumps (court shoes), and jewelry (a blend of old and vintage appropriate modern) that pulled from the colours in my novelty print skirt.
On top of being nice and cozy, this outfit was wonderfully comfortable for a day of sightseeing, shopping, and general inner city exploring.
The lighting in these photos - despite looking as though it could easily have been created with a Photoshop action or two - is completely natural. It was soft and hazy and still had the faintest feeling of autumn to it (back home in Penticton, nearly five hours north of Vancouver, we had already parted ways with such gentle, warm light by that point in the year).
A back alley might not seem like the most exciting place to shoot in, but with the symphony of urban sounds tickling our ears from every direction and this sublime sunlight radiating down as we stood surrounded by towering city buildings, it was precisely that and we both agreed that shoot was one of our favourites in a long time.
I’m not sure when I'll get back to Vancouver - or any major city, for that matter - again, but I truly love knowing that whenever it happens, there will a million and one wonderful photo shoot locations just waiting for Tony and I to point our lens at them.