Thursday, August 29, 2013

Unstoppable

Sigh. My favorite gothy club closes this week (I call it "gothy" bc some nights are goth, and yet I never go on a Saturday. Because bros.) I'm totally moping about it, so here's some pictures of me & my friends <3 Almost all these were taken by my lovely friend Geno, who somehow always makes us all look magic... Even at 3am.


A few years ago, I moved back to Seattle from San Francisco. My mom was battling breast cancer at the time (which thankfully has passed). I really didn't want to move back here. But you know, priorities. I had left Seattle for many reasons, but mainly - I was just over it. I was bored & unhappy - with everyone I knew, everything I was doing, everything about this place. How do you completely start over? You move away! ... And all of a sudden, I had to come back. The first year back here was basically: witnessing chemo, having almost no friends, and eventually going through a wretched & drawn out break up. Brutal.

How do you make new friends as an adult? I've realized that as I've gotten older, it's much more difficult. I don't know if this is true for everyone, maybe I'm just getting more cynical with age. I get along with almost anyone, that's stupid easy, but when it comes to real friendship... well. That's different. People my age, ugh.

There were two establishments here that really turned things around for me. One a bar (Bus Stop), one a club (Noc Noc) - both of which I loved for different, but overlapping reasons. The overlap is this: I met a bunch of genuinely interesting, honest, supportive, and passionate people. I danced, I laughed, I cried a time or two, I got a bit too rowdy, I had heart to hearts, I learned about new music, films, art, and other peoples lives. I became close with some incredible people. Hell - that's even how I met my boyfriend.

In the last 2 years, I came to see this city in a way I never had before. I now love it here. I see myself & others in a new way too... and you know what? I'm unstoppable - and I would not have said that before. I am so insanely grateful to know you all. The haunts may change, but the people won't. Seriously, love you guys.

xox
Sara

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shall We Dance?

Oh good god. I've been working too much, and my brain is broken today. I just stared at the blinking cursor for at least 15 minutes (ok, so way longer, then I went on a coffee run). So instead of my usual eloquence (ba-dum-cha!), I'll keep this brief. Last week turned into some sort of magical novelty print explosion, so I have some quirky fun fabrics to share over the next few weeks. Thank youuu, vintage gods. 



I'm a bit iffy on what this print is, let's take a vote. At first I was convinced they are ballerinas, but then it was suggested to me they might be hula dancers - it's the leafy crowns. Also, the rayon is of the silky variety 40s-50s Hawaiian stuff is typically made of. So I'm torn. Your thoughts?




Three photos were necessary for this cuff bracelet, for it's simply incredible from every angle. My great uncle Marvin (my grandma's brother) was stationed in Morocco during the war, and he sent her this in 1942. There's a matching brooch as well, which my aunt wears. I wish I knew more about it, but I don't exactly know where to start my research. What do those marks on the other side mean? What is it made of? It's too big to be sterling, right? In the long run, it doesn't matter persay, for my family would never sell such a treasure, but it's always nice to know more!






I'm super duper looking forward to this weekend. I took a day off, which is so unusual for me I almost feel naughty. The man & I are going down to Portland on Sunday to see Erasure (and Men Without Hats, and Howard Jones!) Epic 80s geek out, can't wait.

And on that note, I'll leave you with this.


xox
Sara



Late 1940s dress: Red Light
1950s belt: antique store
Suede slingbacks: Marchez Vous
Moroccan 1940s cuff: grandma <3

Photos: Jaynie Healy

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Everything's Gone Green

Woohoo, outfit post time! 
This one is a color explosion. I said I would wear less black this year, and it's somehow snowballed into... this happening. Because why not? 
Let's get ridiculous, folks.


This tilt hat is pretty incredible on it's own, but I was feeling extravagant, so I pinned some flowers on there as well. Not sure if you can see the difference, but half the green stem action is felt tassels, half is the silk stems from the bouquet. And the back! (Don't mind me, just playing with the bustle swag on the dress.)


Novelty print close up - little brick country walls, lines of trees, & flowers. 
I want to call it "English countryside." 


1930s set, swoon.


On a related note, who here watches Bomb Girls? A bunch of vintage lovers are reading this, so I'm assuming at least some of you watch it. The plot is overdramatic, the acting can be mediocre, and (other than one) I don't really like any of the characters. But two things win me over: the clothes, and Vera Burr. She is fierce as can be, and she has the best wardrobe. So imagine my glee when I spotted her wearing the sister version of my dress! 


The print & colors are slightly different, but there's no doubt in my mind they are sisters. It's literally the exact cut - swooping peplum band in front, sleeves that travel down past the armholes, the back zipper & swag in back. The print may be slightly different, but it's close enough that you can tell it's the same artist. 


I'm convinced it's the same, what do you think?

If you haven't seen Bomb Girls, and you love 40s fashion, you should give it a whirl. They sourced some incredible vintage - no repros. If you hate it, just watch it on mute & drool. Or better yet, take my friend's advice & turn it into a drinking game - drink every time they say "the boys", any time Betty makes that pouty face, and any time Kate pulls the doe eyes... but be careful. Those three things alone could knock you off your chair in two episodes flat.

Hope ya'll enjoyed, and are doing wonderful, wherever in the world you may be.

xox
Sara



1940s dress: Le Frock
1940s hat: Antique Mall of West Seattle
1940s blazer & 1930s jewelry set: Red Light
Platform slingbacks: Marchez Vous - These are *incredible* - beautifully made, insanely comfortable, and very much 40s inspired. Not to mention, the designer & owner of the company is the voice of Lisa Simpson. Geek points. They are a pretty penny though, and I was very luckily given mine. While their price points are beyond what I spend on shoes, I would still whole heartedly recommend them to anyone who is comfortable with the price tag. 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fluffy Ruffles

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing one of the most cringe-worthy fashion article title & introductory paragraph I've read in quite a while. 

Life, May 11, 1942

Frilly Blouses Offset Mannish Suits, 
Make Women Look Lovely


Men react to a woman in a frilly blouse much as a woman reacts to a man in uniform. A sheer white bow or ruffle tucked under the chin makes a man turn and look. It's a look of approval. The reasons are varied. In this wartime spring a show of fragile frills offers welcome relief from the trappings of war. There's something about a "fluffy ruffles" blouse (see cover) which is reminiscent of the carefree days of childhood and the scent of sun dried clothes. It's the perfect foil for a tailored, mannish suit. Small wonder that this spring, when most women are wearing suits, the sheer blouse is tops in popularity. 

Crisp bows are as popular as ruffles. This blouse has two.

 Sheer ruffles ripple down the front of Joan Smith's dickey. 

Frills in front help round out flat-chested girls, should be avoided by big-bosomed women. Although young looking, they can be worn by either grandmothers or juniors.

Pleasant front confusion is caused by this frill piped in bright red. Sheer blouses look lovely but are a headache because they wrinkle easily and slip and bra straps show. 

Honestly, I have mixed feeling about this article. I'll more or less skip analyzing the sexist intro, because hahahaha... *inappropriate hand gesture*. It's the clothes. First off - one of the things I love most about 40s fashion is how rigid, traditionally masculine silhouettes meet ultra feminine girliness, and result in a mutually symbiotic accentuation of both influences. (Whoa, that sentence, sorry guys.) So you'd think this would be 110% my cup of tea, but... not quite.

Perhaps it's a matter of color choice. Not a big fan of pastels, especially paired with insanely girly frou frou. So photos #1, 2 & 4 don't do that much for me.. until I imagine them in hues of my own choosing:

#1 - Would murder me in all black. Serious secret goth vintage girl dream outfit... I mean there is already a parasol involved. Gah.
#2 -The hat is perfect. Let's leave that be. Could you imagine this with a black blouse & a bright suit (or visa versa)? Or really any combos that might involve these colors: chartreuse, evergreen, burgundy, raspberry, dusty canteloupe.... Yes, plz.
#3 - Well, pass. I hate it.
#4 - I'd pick a different hat. But that blouse! The rigid netted jabot is incredible. I'm going to make one. (In black, duh.)
#5 - EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS PERFECT. The hat. The sheer blouse with bright red piping. The houndstooth. The wide patent leather belt. I must replicate this, or I will perish.

Beyond what I think of these as outfits, I have to say this article was a bit inspiring. You don't have to buy or make an entire blouse to pull these outfits off - all you have to do is make a dickie or jabot! It was the perfect wartime accessory. Minimal fabric or sewing skills required. Just pop on top of something already in your wardrobe (or under in the case of a dickie), et voila! The illusion of new clothes. 

There are some adorable wartime patterns on Etsy right now... some of them get quite pricey though (the curse/blessing of uncut patterns.) Honestly, I think many of these can be made sans pattern, but these are fun to ogle for inspiration at the very least.





What did you guys think? Are the ruffles too much? Which was your favorite (and in what colors?) Am I the only one who hates that 3rd outfit? Ha.

Til next time..
xox
Sara


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cosmuckery

A story:

Hopefully, this isn't too redundant for those of you who have been following me from the start, but I think most of you are more recent followers. So last year, I bought an incredible 40s gator purse at work. The purse is epic, but the best feature of the purchase was what I found tucked in one of the zipper pockets - a telegram, from 1946.


Now, when it comes to old things, I tend to be a huge romantic. (Whereas I'm basically a giant cynic when it comes to everything else... derp.) So when I found this I thought - "Eeee!!! This guy sent a telegram to his sweetheart when he got back from the war, she tucked it into her purse, and it's been there ever since!!" The cynic in me rolled my eyes at myself, but as it turns out, that's exactly what happened. Thanks to my good pal the Internet, I ended up solving some mysteries. Audrey & William did get married when he got home, and they had 5 kids. I looked up the home phone number of one of their daughters, and made a very strange phone call to Maryland. It was such a shot in the dark, but I wanted to know more about Audrey & William - and most importantly, I wanted them to have the telegram back. In the end, it was returned to its rightful owners, and I'm still lucky enough to have and cherish Audrey's gator purse. 

Audrey & William's family was kind enough to send me some photos of the two from the 40s, you can check out this adorable couple here. As if all that weren't lovely enough, it resulted in me becoming friends with Audrey & William's great granddaughter, Emily. On Sunday, I had the pleasure of meeting her & her family, who happened to be on a vacation to Washington. 


Emily is just-the-sweetest, and brought me some incredible goodies - 2 bakelite bangles, some lush new mink friends, and a pretty pewter bangle. (Thank youuuu!) She definitely did not need to do any such thing, for meeting her was already such a treat. This story still boggles my mind. Jaynie calls this kind of crazy universe situation "cosmuckery". It's not just a matter of "oh hey small world", it's illustrates how we can all be intertwined by threads we aren't even aware of. All it takes is something like a purse, a telegram, and some googling... and here we are, our lives randomly running into one another. 

Ahhh! Ok - onto the clothes portion of a massive geek out.


After meeting Emily, I attempted to clean my apartment before I met up with Jaynie. Uhh... yeah, that didn't work. (Of course, it took me only 15 minutes to clean everything the next day. Good lord, Sara.) I may or may not have been kind of grumpy & faking it for the first few of these shots. But that changed pretty quickly, because that's what hanging out with your best friend does. I only share this with you to explain this photo - which couldn't be left out, for it was too good. Being a 27 year old baby.


The wider yellow carved one in front is from Emily - how gorgeous is that?!


This poor dress. I kid you not, there are at least 50 holes in it. It's swiss cheese status. Yet I will wear it til it straight up falls off me & turns to dust. The rayon jersey has an unusual slightly glossy sheen to it, which I've never seen. Someday it will meet the True Death, but the time has yet to come as far as I'm concerned. When it comes to my closet, I may be an era snob, but I'm not one to bat an eye at questionable condition. In some cases, it actually just makes me love something more. But then again, I think I'm morbidly attracted to the decay (hell, if I'm being honest, the wearing of dead people's stuff as well.)  Everyone is different when it comes to this, it's always interesting to hear people's takes on it. If we're going to play devil's advocate here, I've even heard the argument that wearing things to death is irresponsible vintage ownership. I don't think that applies to this dress, for it came into my life already patched & ridden with holes, but I suppose I could see it being applicable to minty vintage. What do you think?


Wow, that was more writing than usual! Hope you didn't mind;)

xox
Sara

1940s dress & sandals: Lucky Vintage / Lucky Dry Goods
1940s purse & 1950s hat: Red Light
Bakelite earrings: dollar bin!
Bakelite bangles: here & there... and Emily, of course!
1940s WWII necklace: flea market