1950s cream lace platter hat: eBay
Mauve hued pearl stud earrings: Claire's
Pearl necklace: Birthday gift from Tony ♥
Vintage gold tone metal fountain pen shaped brooch: Unknown, had for years (probably thrifted or from eBay)
Mid-century leaf print dress: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress launched by Joanna from Dividing Vintage Moments
Gold tone faux leather skinny belt: eBay
Brown fitted cotton blazer: Thrifted (Value Village)
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
C. 1940s yellow-green hued gloves: Unknown, had for years
C. 1950s/1960s woven straw clutch handbag: Unknown, had for years (likely Value Village)
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style round toe brown faux leather pumps: Walmart
Lipstick: Clinique Raspberry Glace
Photography by Tony Cangiano
♥ ♥ ♥
Several months ago now, when 2016 was a young, fresh faced new year, I had the great pleasure of taking part in Australian milliner + vintage blogger Tanith Rowan's exciting Travelling Hat project. More recently, I've equally enjoyed getting to spend some time with The Travelling Dress.
For those who may not have heard about the Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress yet, this was a similar project that my dear online friend Joanna from the blog Dividing Vintage Moments launched back in 2014.
The premise being that a genuine mid-century vintage dress would hop around the world from one vintage blogger/social media user to another before, ultimately, being part of a raffle giveaway that Joanna plans to hold for it in the near future.
It is my understanding that I'm the last participant to spend time with the dress and I must say, I feel really touched about that fact. This dress traversed the globe, visiting wearers in numerous countries on at least three continents.
Each woman put her own unique, wonderful sartorial spin on the garment, with looks spanning the more casual to the deeply sophisticated. Some ensembles suited daytime and others were ready for even the most swanky of cocktail parties.
Every one of the looks, I believe, reflected the woman beneath the dress and was a beautiful way to witness not only the participants' sense of style, but the also their personalities as well.
Just as I did with the Travelling Hat, I bonded with the Travelling Dress big time. When it reached my doorstep, it was in need of some freshening up, so (after getting Joanna's okay to do so) I gave it a gentle hand washing and air drying.
I thought long and hard about the outfit that I wanted to sculpt around it, ultimately letting both the dress itself and the current season dictate the stylistic direction that I took it in.
The photos that you see here were captured very shortly before our recent trip to Edmonton (and, indeed, were the most recent outfit snaps we grabbed before heading off on holiday). They were taken at one of just a teeny, tiny handful of publicly accessible historical houses/buildings in the Southern Okanagan: The Leir House, which is located just a stone's throw away from our home here in Penticton.
In late August, when we did this shoot, the seasons were just starting to change hands. The days were growing a little cooler (though, after the uber rainy summer that we experienced this time around, such wasn't quite as stark a change as usual) and the ability to layer clothing without melting faster than a Popsicle dropped on a hot sidewalk in July was immerging once again.
A true vintage frock like this - with its eye-catchingly pretty leaf/fan print - felt as though it needed an equally classic ensemble to go with it, so for my time with the Travelling Dress, I chose to take things in a direction that would have been nicely at home throughout much of both of the 1940s and 1950s.
Out came a mid-century stiffened lace platter hat, a vintage appropriate fitted brown blazer, a vintage straw clutch, a great pair of c. 1940s greeny-yellow hued gloves, a small assortment of jewelry, and a pair of 1940s style contemporary brown faux leather pumps.
The dress, as well as the setting itself, were the stars of the show this time around and I didn't want other elements of my look competing with them. Instead, much like the natural process of summer melding into autumn, I wanted things to be harmonious and appealing.
Pined to the collar of both the dress and the blazer, you'll notice a gold tone metal vintage brooch in the shape of a classic fountain pen. I gave particular thought to the brooch that I wanted to team with this dream, and ultimately selected this one because I felt that it was a very apt representation for the fact that I, like all those who have spent time with this dress, have had the joy of writing a chapter in the history of this garment's life.
Projects like the Travelling Hat and Joanna's beautiful Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress not only connect fellow vintage fashionistas with one another, but tie us all to the life of a given accessory or garment. We share a mutual love of style, but put our own unique stamp on an item before it moves on to keep seeing the world and adding chapters to its story along the way.
As a nostalgic soul who adores preserving the past, I can think of few things more worthwhile or important on the fashion front for anyone to be a part of.
I want to wholeheartedly thank Joanna for creating this project, enriching the lives of many vintage fans the world over in the process, and for letting the dress wrap up its jet setting tour in Penticton, before moving on to its next home.
Though I will most definitely miss this elegant vintage frock, thankfully, I too have new memories (of it) now and photos to match, and I will carry both with me in my heart for the rest of time.