Sometimes I “meet” people on Etsy who speak to me far beyond their email or convo in Etsy speak. In fact, I think that I have been so lucky to meet so many kind and generous people on Etsy. But one day, I discovered that a pair of gloves was going to be worn at a wedding. Imagine that . . . a wedding in Texas. A pair of sheer pink gloves that are much like the pair pictured in this advertisement.
It all started with one tie. One taste of the forbidden or the rare or the exceptional and then, our viewpoint changes. The ordinary seems . . . well, just ordinary. The first necktie belonged to my father. He had a collection of old ties and I loved them! Silky and so funky. I inherited them, then gave them away – except for one. Olive green with orange paisley . . . it seemed to add a dash of pizzazz to whatever I wore. It is over four inches wide, crafted from silk by Hy Value Cravats.
I have another tie in my collection that is from the sixties – very narrow and a lot more conservative than my father’s tie! This tie is an all silk tie manufactured in England but has the retailer’s mark also, The Squire Ltd. in Columbus Ohio. This tie belonged to my sweetie – it is very worn with frayed threads! He was not a clothes hound – in fact he prided himself on a closet that was almost empty. A man of simple needs with one tie that he wore – a lot. The two ties are a study in contrasts – nope, as much as I love him, I did not marry my Dad.
I have been watching TheParadise on PBS; I admit that I began watching it as a fix. I missed that other series about Mr. Selfridge. Imagine, all the way from Marshall Field to London. The spirit of the age (the Zeitgeist) is palpable in both series – the optimism in modern science, technology, and industrialization influenced style, fashion and taste. The world, they believed, was a better place for all of humanity. And in many ways, their world view was well-founded on the evidence around them – electricity, communication, transportation and medicine. Their style was a visual display of modern luxury – new luxuries like turning on a light past dark and reading! It was a revolution.
THE LUXURY OF VINTAGE FASHION
Today, the marketplace is brimming with readily available and fashionable clothing; yet all too often, fine craftsmanship has disappeared – at an affordable price. Part of the appeal of vintage fashion is that we can enjoy beautiful materials and workmanship without breaking our budget. And, there is also social responsibility – vintage goods of all kinds are integral to a sustainable economic system. Whew! Having said all of that, vintage clothing is a part of history.
I enjoy the theater of dress – and the theater created by Mr. Selfridge and the ficitonal, Mr. Moray. I marvel at the clothing Ginger Rodgers wore as she danced away the night, Katherine Hepburn in pants that flowed like a skirt and followed every curve. And so on . . . like Ingrid Bergman, who looked beautiful no matter what she wore – and still looks beautiful behind a mink stole on a mannequin in a small, very small vintage store. Hmmm, that brings up fur and the bad wrap it has in today’s world (no pun intended) . . . The allure of the forties was elegance. Growing up, there were women who attended church with a fur coat – my great aunt was one of them. It was Chicago. In Chicago, winter is cold – no matter what the temperature, the wind off the lake is cold. . . the antidote before the new man made ultra loft fillings was fur. Fur is warm . . . Last winter, I wore a vintage fur jacket and now, I do not think that I could give it up. I hate being cold when I am outside – and I like being out of doors.
When I run across beautiful things that are appealing and bring to mind an era of fashion then I can imagine that they would add personality, color and even usefulness in the present to a wardrobe. So it is with the sequined dress made in Italy with fine wool and hand sewn sequins that are 1/2 in diameter. I am not so good with a camera – capturing the play of light is difficult and so too, it is impossible to portray the fit. This dress is short enough and tight enough but not form fitting. . . . actually it is perfect!
I am also quite taken with the pure all out eighties look of the long dress that takes off from the psychedelia of the seventies. . . .look at the gold coins! Not the kind of dress to wear if you do not want to be noticed. . . . The colors are disco happy. Hard to imagine having a bad time wearing this dress. The detail in this dress is absolutely excellent – lined, the coins are hand applied as is the gold trim. I imagine that shimmery sandals would work well and still allow perfect comfort . . . my daughter, who knows so much more about fashion than I, suggested the fur stole. And of course, she is right – partly because, this dress seems to require an extraordinary occasion and a puffy coat, well, it would be out of sync . . . but a stole, like a mink stole would make it theater . . .
Lots and lots of new things in store that I hope to get online – lots of slip dresses, and new vintage imported from Austin, reminiscent of my hippie past.