I hope the lovely WendyB doesn’t mind my re-posting her photos of her (and her Zang Toi arm candy) wearing her latest Ossie (to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, no less!) which she bought from Vintage-a-Peel. I don’t often get the chance to see photos of the frocks being worn, although lovely customers often email to tell me where they’ve been worn and it’s always a delight to hear! Check out her blog post here.
I’m not one to plead for votes, but I’m chuffed to have even been nominated for the LuLu’s Vintage Blog People’s Choice Award again. You don’t have to vote for me if you don’t want to. It’s not like the Suffragettes did what they did so that we ladies could vote for vintage websites, but if you feel like voting for me, I’d be ever so delighted….
Speaking of Edwardian ladies, I find I’m rather obsessed with puffed and padded hair today after seeing A Doll’s House last night (highly recommended if you’re in town, and it has the delicious Toby Stephens and Christopher Eccleston in it, as well as Gillian Anderson being generally fabulous and padded in the hair department). Sadly, it is unavoidable for me to sit and stare at costumes and hair when I go to the theatre. Sometimes in squirmy fury if they’ve got it hideously wrong. Thankfully last night was superb in both departments.
Not sure it would suit me, but it would be entertaining to try and achieve. Images pilfered from flickr.
There are occasional moments in my life when I realise just how much of a geek I really am. Last week, at the opening of the Undercover underwear exhibition at the FTM (go see it if you’re in London), that came in the moment when I asked the lovely Immodesty Blaize if the dress she was wearing was a Sarah Whitworth. She pulled the back a bit and let me have a look at the label. Which I probably didn’t even need to see, I just needed to confirm my geeky curiousity. In case she ever searches herself online, the design is called ‘Bitch’ – which I totally forgot to tell her! I guess that would have been even geekier, non?
I still can’t find a picture to show you [where did all the official shots go???] but it was very similar to my purple one [except I don't think her frock had the ruching down the front] in a gorgeous emerald green. I will update with a photo if I can ever find one.
Another memorable uber-geek moment was when Miss Senti asked Pattie Boyd who made her divine floaty green dress which had been pinned up on the wall at her book signing. I was determined to bite my tongue until I realised that Pattie was never going to remember the designer’s name and eventually blurted out ‘It looks like a Thea Porter’. “Aha, yes, that’s the one“. I don’t think she judged me, neither did Senti, in fact both seemed pleased to know for sure, but I probably judged myself very heavily for being so flipping geeky.
Well…..it’s not MY fault these designers are so damn idiosyncratic. I wouldn’t zoom across a room to ask someone if they were wearing a Mary Quant, a Caroline Charles or an Annacat (all fab but, unless it was a design I’d already seen, all too vague).
It’s reminded me that I need to do a blog about Sarah Whitworth at some point. Now Pam Hogg has irritated the hell out of me with the whole Susie Bubble blog photo debacle, Sarah can stand alone as my absolute favourite 80s/90s Hyper Hyper-era designer. She’s far more wearable and sexy anyway. Symphony of Shadows comes in a close second these days, and they also deserve a blog all their own very soon. My ‘to do’ list gets ever longer.
I’m also very glad that I chose NOT to wear a Whitworth corset dress to the Underwear opening, else that might have been an awkward matchy-matchy moment with the woman opening the thing. Eek. No, true to [strange] form I decided to go against the Underwear theme and wear an atypical late Sixties Janice Wainwright. No pictures, sadly. I find it very difficult to fall in line with a theme at normal-formal events, is that weird? I’m not even sure how conscious/subconscious it is.
Edited to add the footage of the opening, where you can see the green dress – finally!
Watching the Seven Ages of Rock on YeSTERDAY [or is it yEsterday? I can never remember now...] I happened upon a surprising Ossie spot. After initially enjoying young Mr David Gilmour (yummy!), the BryanGod (yummier!!) and then a young Peter Gabriel (surprisingly yum in his early days, I hadn’t realised)…..they proceeded to show the clip of Gabriel with the fox head….and a red dress. But not just any red dress….
Oh yeah. Mr Gabriel was wearing an Ossie. Presumably belonging to his wife? I think it rather suits him, and certainly makes an interesting contrast to Bowie and Jagger wearing “official” Ossie menswear.
I once sold the black version over at Vintage-a-Peel. I wonder, should I ever come across another one, whether the Gabriel connection would be a unique selling point?? Methinks perhaps not….
I think Marianne is still the bestest wearer of this style, although it helps that hers is a Celia print….
Pattie is shown wearing the ubiquitous scalloped edge trousersuit and Lamborghini. Interestingly named as ‘Georgy Porgy’ in the film. I wonder if that was the original name for the outfit or whether they called it Georgy Porgy as a joke reference to Mr Harrison? Oddly enough, I have greater Ossie-envy for Amanda Lear’s outfits [and, while I'm here, I want her hair!]. And the lucky cow who gets to wear the kicky flared ensemble (Dress of the Year at Bath in 1969 – see below). That’s probably the ultimate Ossie holy grail….for me at any rate.
It’s a great disappointment to me that illustration seems to be such a niche market these days. There are occasional high-concept spreads in magazines (I know The Independent used to be very good at fashion illustration), and the odd one or two used to illustrate regular columns. But I’ve noticed, through my many old magazines, that illustrations used to be used to sell the most mundane products in the back of the magazines. Make-up, catalogues, pile cream, modelling agencies….ok perhaps I made up the pile cream one, but you get what I mean. Hell, one of them even advertises a Club 18-30 holiday…
Look out for a brand new collection of Agatha Christie movies on DVD. Released on the 3rd of June, this collection, published fortnightly, comprises a DVD and an informative magazine that looks at the story and the characters with a behind-the-scenes journey into the making of the film.
Very excited to see that the Agatha Christie film collection is being released. The Orient Express one is particularly exciting because it actually features some illustrations by yours truly (see photo above). Oh yes! I was asked to do them last year, and will hopefully be doing some more soon. I’d actually forgotten about the entire project until hearing that it was getting a release this month.
Anyway, here’s the TV advert, which I keep catching the end of and flapping madly that I’ve missed my bit. That’s my stuff on there. Excitement and panic ensues….
Vintage Marmalade with Brandy is one of the most heavenly substances known to man.
L’Oreal are evil. They put lead and plastic in their [allegedly] semi-permanent hair dye, don’t list them on the box and Miss Peelpants is thus finding it difficult to achieve her new ideal hair-do in the style of Maureen Starkey. Boo hiss.
I have no navigational skills whatsoever.
Venus and Mars are both in my Seventh House at the moment, apparently. I don’t really know what this means, but it sounds scary.
Hard Rock Cafe Pina Coladas are the third most heavenly substance known to man (after the aforementioned marmalade and Cinnabons). I already knew this, but it needed reiterating after Friday night.
Actually perhaps David Sylvian is the most heavenly substance known to man? Or, rather, woman.
Proper costumed guides who can stay in character are brilliant. And I never have any questions when someone asks if anyone has any questions. Why?
Ashes to Ashes writers are evil geniuses.
Having your back painted with acrylics is really rather lovely.
Anyway. I am now returned from my adventures and will be bringing you some gorgeous new listings as soon as possible!
You may or may not remember my ongoing saga with Odette, my thin white Duchess of a mannequin. Well her stand finally gave up the ghost a few months back, and I’m no welder, so she’s been semi-retired for now (she might be going to live with a friend in Cardiff, so I know she’ll be in good hands). I’ve been using Lil the Dummy ever since but, while I certainly like the simplicity of a dummy, she’s definitely lacking four very important features which allow me to show off sleeves and trousers.
I recently acquired this new-old mannequin; I’ve been coveting a proper vintage one for years. As soon as I unpacked her, I knew what her name had to be. She’s a Roxy girl through and through, so she’s Roxy. Also, Manifesto is a brilliant album cover. And a good pun at that.
However, since I respect my customers’ opinions, I thought I’d ask you all what you thought. She’ll stay put anyway, for the occasional trousersuit or big sleeved confection, but I’m not sure whether or not she should totally replace the dummy. Opinions, if you please?
I’m sure it will probably be kept under lock and clé, but I will definitely try to get a closer look at this tutu in two weeks time. I’m especially delighted it’s Elena Glurdjidze. She is a phenomenal dancer, and I hope one day to see her from the front of the stage rather than squinting from the wings. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Mr Lagerfeld, but there’s no doubting the man can work a bag full of feathers like no one else. It really does look like a work of art on the outside, so I’d really be fascinated to see more details.
Although I made a decision a long while ago that costume was quite possibly not going to be my future, my occasional stints working at a ballet company have maintained an interest in stage costume. It’s musty, filthy, sweaty and sometimes gaudy up close, but I’ve always felt inspired and happy when I’ve been surrounded by bizarre costume confections. In fact, considering my love of [deliberate] clothing clutter in my own wardrobe, spending an entire day squished in between rails of original Edwardian costumes at The Players’ Theatre ["cor blimey" music hall type shenanigans...I was there for two weeks on a work placement] when I was 16 was probably quite an important experience for me. I love each hanger having something radically different, and possibly clashing, on it. Sometimes I find myself just looking into my wardrobe in a dreamy daze. I am determined never to have a minimalist wardrobe, it would be unbearably dull.
Ballet costumes are endlessly inspirational and, like Ossie, I swoon over the costumes of the Ballet Russes and the incredible designs of Leon Bakst (amongst many others). I try to save scans I see of old ballet photos; they thrill me completely but also creep me out a bit. Which is such a delicious feeling, don’t you think?
The saddest part of the closure of The Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, and subsequent re-housing at the V&A, is the loss of the creepy corridors and cabinets in which sat the musty old costumes. The V&A have created a lovely, more airy space for the exhibits….but rather lost the point in the process.