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Shop Update

Definitely time for an update, as it’s been more than a year since I last posted here! The shop has been well and busy, but I have been learning so many things about vintage fashion, that I needed to step back a bit and absorb all the new knowledge. For a long time I felt that there was so much to catch up, so many photos to see and so many articles to read; and I wanted to wait to write while I looked for new perspectives.

There have been many lovely vintage things passing through the shop during the time, which I definitely wish I had shared on the blog. So to make up for it, here are some favourites past and present:

1930s bias cut cream satin wedding dress with halter neck

1930s bias cut cream satin wedding dress with halter neck

1970s Victorian style peach chiffon dress

1970s Victorian style peach chiffon dress

1940s/1950s New Look beige straw lampshade hat

1940s/1950s New Look beige straw lampshade hat

1980s does 1940s chiffon and velvet  evening dress

1980s does 1940s chiffon and velvet evening dress

1960s cream and pink cupcake wedding dress by Nadine

1960s cream and pink cupcake wedding dress by Nadine

1950s blue feather fascinator half hat

1950s blue feather fascinator half hat

1950s brown faux mink fur coat with gold caramel colour lining

1950s brown faux mink fur coat with gold caramel colour lining

1940s black velvet opera coat with cream lining

1940s black velvet opera coat with cream lining

1950/1960s sea foam green organza cocktail dress with side sash

1950/1960s sea foam green organza cocktail dress with side sash

1950s ruched sheer white chiffon wedding gloves

1950s ruched sheer white chiffon wedding gloves

1960s absinthe green chiffon cape sleeve dress

1960s absinthe green chiffon cape sleeve dress

1960s gold faux leather handbag by Elbief

1960s gold faux leather handbag by Elbief

1970s floral maxi dress

1970s floral maxi dress

1970s orange plaid tartan half circle skirt

1970s orange plaid tartan half circle skirt

1980s does 1940s pink sweater with white lace Peter Pan collar by St. Bernard

1980s does 1940s pink sweater with white lace Peter Pan collar by St. Bernard

1970s black and gold chiffon evening dress by Peterson Maid of London

1970s black and gold chiffon evening dress by Peterson Maid of London

More to come very soon – this weekend, actually!

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Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it?

vintage Jaeger black flapper dress“Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.”

This is the one line that I find most memorable from The Great Gatsby. The Longest Day of the Year is quite like the great parties of Gatsby’s, or The Money, The Dream. Well what does it do for you, and what did you want it to mean?

I think Mia Farrow is absolutely outstanding as Daisy in the 1974 The Great Gatsby. With her nervous energy and a combination of unwillingness and cunning, there’s something spot-on Daisy there.

(The Photo is from the upcoming shop collection and is a super fabulous vintage 80s Jaeger flapper style dress. I’ve finally finished taking all the detail photos this week, so I promise they’ll be up soon!)

(Photo by JEG)

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Shop Collection Spring/May 2013 Lookbook

Pretty Bones Jefferson Spring May Collection 2013

The 12 pieces here are full of the energy of Spring. There is much floral, a good bit of green (my favourite colour!), and monochrome. Era-wise it’s mostly 1970s-1980s, but there is also influence of Mid-Century styles.

We shot most of the photos in my new room, which also has a back garden although it was too cold/windy to shoot there. Hopefully we’ll be able to take photos outdoors for the summer collection, if we do get a summer (oh you just never know in Ireland).

Little Benjamin “Goodluck” Ferdinand – Mr. hedgehog – makes a quick appearance in the collection in the second photo with the 70s black floral gown. He arrived from Russia recently from Olga, who makes wonderful original soft toys like him at her Etsy shop Wassupbrothers. I shall have more photos and talks of him soon.

I’ll be posting the collection at the shop over the next few days (one is already up). Hope you like these and please look out for more updates!

Pretty Bones Jefferson May 2013 collection 1-4

Pretty Bones Jefferson May 2013 collection  5-8Pretty Bones Jefferson May 2013 collection  9-12

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Ulyana Sergeenko Haute Couture Spring 2013

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2_34I saw some of these images from Ulyana Sergenko’s spring 2013 haute couture collection on Vintage Life Magazine’s post the other day, and fell completely for them. I’ve been a long-time fan of Ulyana’s folklorish, Russianly romantic and whimsically imaginative creations (how many designers can pull off these aprons, headscarves and bustles?), but this was the first time that I was actually witnessing a whole collection of hers, and I thought it was absolutely wonderful.

She’s describing this collection as “Scarlett O’Hara falling headfirst into The Wizard of Oz.” (from the New York Times report here). Well, I thought the Scarlett O’Hara style was immediately apparent; with the signature “barbecue” wide straw hat and the Civil War voluminous skirt, and little parasol. However I’m not that well-versed in The Wizard of Oz fashion elements, so can’t see as much inspiration from that side.

I also read in some article, which I can’t seem to locate amongst my bookmarked pages at the moment, that the outfits were also Zorro-esque, which I hadn’t thought of but soon agreed. The use of black chiffon sleeves, as well as some of the Spanish/Mexican accents, is so Zorro, isn’t it?

As for details, one has to love the vintage style case handbags – I mean she’s got squirrels on the yellow one! and kittens!

I have a favourite from the lookbook. It’s the ensemble with the black velvet big skirt, cinched in with folk floral belt (bustle?). It wins for me because I tend to be drawn by black with floral accents, and this one looks like such a classic, wearable piece (I may even be able to recreate it with one of my vintage black velvet skirts), and I love a cinched-in waist.

Here’s another view of the design on the runway:

ulyana-sergeenko-haute-couture-spring-2013-pfw29

What do you think and have you got a favourite from the collection?

[For more images of Ulyan's Spring 2013 haute couture collection:

buro247.ru (complete lookbook though it's in Russian)

Fashionising.com (runway photos)

Diamondsanddust blog by Nicole Danielle (I think she did the collages!)]

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Secret Roses

vintage hairbrush, 1950s/1960s,

old hollywood dress, vintage hair brush, dressing table, vintage green dress, long hair

Another Brocante Market find here – a gorgeous vintage hair brush in a vanity set, that I incorporated into the shoot last week for my shop‘s upcoming vintage collection. It has quite an Art Deco style back, with a a star-bust optical lined cream-coloured plastic hard cover reminiscent of the elevator hall (or the elevator door, too, indeed) of the Empire State Building, the centre of which was left transparent in the shape of a rose bouquet, for the rose picture underneath to show through. The cover happened to have come off while I trying to adjust it, and thus I discovered the vivid, rich paper picture that I didn’t know was there! After taking the photo (which is the top picture here) I have had to replace the protective cover, but the awareness of these hidden roses has made this little gem so special to me.

In all the excitement of my happy accident I have somehow neglected to take a “proper” picture of the brush, which I shall have to remedy in a future post.

This vintage hair brush I think is from the 1960s. There is another vintage hair brush that I’m planning to list on the shop soon, which is a good bit older, from the 1930s or 1940s but of a similar style, and has tiny silk embroidery upon silver satin on the back!

Oh and there will be a 1950s hand mirror, as well…

But first I’m going to be editing these photos from last week and get the new vintage dress collection up (the green dress in the picture is one of the group). This is my first time working on a “collection” of dresses instead of on an individual basis, so it’s a bit daunting; but I think it really makes sense in the big picture.

(Vintage 1940s style 1970s chiffon green Dress: April/May collection at my shop, coming soon)

Vintage 1960s rhinestone necklace: thrifted)

Vintage 1950s/1960s hair brush: Dublin Brocante Market)

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Ha’penny Flea Market

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been a little busy selling at a few markets in Dublin for the last few months. My stall is usually a mix of the vintage things from my online Etsy boutique and some selected contemporary second-hand…plus cake! I don’t think I had ever done so much baking in my whole life.

The cakes in the photos here, which were taken at the weekly Saturday Ha’penny Flea Market at the Grand Social Bar in town, are chocolate banana brownies (made by me) and carrot cakes (made by my fiancé). We’re so awfully proud of them.

Pretty Bones Jefferson_Ha'penny Flea Market Grand Social_Lute al-Raad_JEG 2013 Pretty Bones Jefferson_Ha'penny Flea Market Grand Social_Lute al-Raad_JEG 2013 (1)

It’s great fun being out in town during the day on weekends and chatting to customers and other stall holders, as well doing a bit of treasure hunting myself. Some recent finds include a 1960s velvet long wiggle skirt, a vintage plate (which we borrowed for displaying our cake but couldn’t resit buying in the end), and a pair of 1960s long gloves that I’m going to use for a few photoshoots. Oh and the scarf clip that I’m using as a choker pendant in the photos above!

I’m aware that my Etsy boutique stock is running very, very low now so hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to put up all the lovely new vintage things that are waiting to go on the shop. If you go to this photo album on my Facebook page, you can also find some of the dresses and accessories that aren’t listed on the online shop (both vintage and contemporary).

(The choker is a DIY creation from a good few years ago, with a scarf clip added as a pendant here, which I bought from fellow stallholder Moira, who has the most delightful and intriguing vintage jewellery pieces, at the Ha’penny Flea Market. The lace blouse top is Topshop, and the black dress is an old one of mine.)

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Wind

Vintage Viyella black and white pleated skirt, 1970s chiffon top   image_d

Happy March! I haven’t been posting much here and on the Etsy shop, but have been updating a bit on the Facebook page, mainly because I’ve been busy selling at some local Dublin markets and fairs, and Facebook was the quickest way for me to put up random plain shots of clothes…

I do have a huge backlog of photoshoots and stories to put up here, which I’ll be getting around to, soon, I promise! I’m considering some new features for the blog, which will take a little planning as well.

But in the meantime, here are a couple of photos of a vintage Viyella black and white pleated skirt, which I acquired for the shop on a recent trip to Belfast and is now available on the Etsy shop (it’s a 28″ – 32″ waist). The top is a vintage 1970s short peignoir with appliqués and chiffon ruffles, which, alas, has been sold at a market a week ago. The vintage maroon gloves were purchased a few years ago at my favourite Dublin vintage shop Lucy’s Lounge, and the shoes are Zara.

I think I’ll be sharing some photos from the recent markets in the next post!

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Somber Mood, Art Deco Silk

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image_2image_3image_4At the moment I don’t have much of an idea what to do with the “holidays”. I’ve been harbouring some deep reservations about Christmas as an unquestioned tradition in the English-speaking world, on the points of its origin and purpose, and seeking to understand how I truly feel about man-made customs that are close upon rules; therefore I’m trying not to engage in the festivities, but rather hoping to use this time for some thinking, reading, and sewing.

And as always I’ll be working on putting up some new listings in the shop. This vintage shirt in the photos is a new arrival and definitely one of my favourite from the shop collection so far. It’s simply so classy and…Art Deco glamorous, with the triangular front design, silky texture and satin panels. And it’s French!

…For some reason these picture are beginning to feel to me how coming to the new year should be like – plain clear tones, with a touch of old glamour, something with a silent museum quality.

(Top: [artificial] silk shirt, vintage 70s/80s by Grege Paris, available in my shop

Skirt: vintage 70s by Kriss, charity shop

Necklace: High Street shop)

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(Halloween) Adela and the Hatted Victorian Child

I was actually going to dress up as a female peacock bird this Halloween, as inspired by a rare, educational trip to the zoo; but I never got the time to put that costume together, and also I began to want something a little more ghostly; so in the end I decided to be a Victorian Child.

I thought of dressing up as a Victorian flower girl, and coming up with some tragic story about that imaginary wedding. However, as none of my vintage flower wreaths worked very well with the dress, and the hat rather fitted the outfit much better; I decided to be an independent eccentric child ghost, and put my doll Adela in a basket to be carried around. The end result is a little Tim Burton-ish.

The Mid-Century vintage hat, which I had fallen in love with when I tried it on in Oxfam recently, is probably my favourite element of the costume – with its wonderful warm colours and textures, and that big satin bow in the back (rather special for a top hat, I am sure!). It had been badly damaged, however, and the lining and some of the sewing had come apart in addition to the straw structure having fallen in around the crown. It took me half of Tuesday to mend and restore the hat, putting in plastic foam to strengthen the structure and resewing the lining into place. I think it was absolutely worth the work – and the bonus is that it is now really, super warm from the insulation I have put in!

JEG and I shot the photos in town in the Dublin Trinity College on Halloween day. Here are a few selections.

We were going to go to a friend’s play later in the evening, but while we were in the cafe having tea I got quite upset – jealous that other people have parents, I suppose – and in the end we were too late for the show. But we got a good muffin in the cafe, and it was a Halloween muffin, with a sugar pumpkin on top of it, which makes up for us not having carved a pumpkin this year.

Mini Fox with Halloween Muffin

I was also reading my new Edgar Allan Poe book, which contains many poems and short stories that, surprisingly, I had never come across before. In spite of the title of this collection from Penguin Popular Classics, Spirits of the Dead, the short stories in the book are not the most gothic of Poe’s works, but many are rather more satirical than ghostly. So far my favourite is the first of the short story section: “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether”, about a most peculiar madhouse in southern France.

Mini Fox + Spirits of the Dead – Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

(I am also going to put up this look for Lookbook.nu’s Halloween costume competition, and hopefully some people will like it.)

(Hat: vintage [maybe 1950s] by Condo Model, England/Paris, thrifted from Oxfam

Dress: vintage 1960s homemade acetate wedding slip, thrifted

Top: altered from a nightgown

Shirt: thrifted

Shoes: black faux suede low-heel Mary Janes with cut-outs, Office

Basket: thrifted from Oxfam)

(Photos by JEG)

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Watercolour

I’m quite abashed to be admitting that it’s been two months since I last blogged. I’ve done a good bit other things in the mean time – a good bit! But really nothing should have gotten into the way of writing diligently…

(Top: Primark/Penneys

Skirt: Vintage 1970s by Blue Grass, available in my shop here

Briefcase: Vintage 1960s by Remploy (UK), coming soon to my shop)

Shoes: REDZ)

I had expected to be able to do much work for the shop and the blog right after I had sent in my final thesis for college at the end of August, but for some reason, in the subsequent weeks, it became so difficult to return to normal life, or the normal, industrious life as I had envisioned. I’m perhaps still in shock that my three years of college is now done!

And then of course I got busy with a number of other things, too. I had been busking intensively (taking advantage of the warmer weather while it lasted), and played a few gigs and events.

So this week I finally put up a new listing in the shop, which is this vintage 70s skirt here. The photos were taken some time ago in the Dublin Trinity College, which quite suited the skirt. I’ve been very much in love with this unique and artistic watercolour skirt and have been wanting to get it listed properly. It’s such an elegant combination of modern impressionistic watercolour paintings, and the 1940/1950s Roman Holiday shape (complete with fabric belt and side pockets). Looking at the skirt makes me want to jump up onto my feet and visit museums and art galleries.

I did make a blunder while preparing the skirt for the shop – I set the iron temperature just a touch too high! Apparently the fabric is a blend of polyester and viscose with a semi-detached gauzy overlay, which is rather sensitive to heat and can actually melt. Fortunately I was ironing the fabric belt first and so ended up with melt spots only on the belt. Oh I nearly cried – lesson learned!

The blue faux leather briefcase in the photoshoot was a find from a vintage market and is a 1960s specimen from Remploy, which is a UK firm for the benefit of people with disabilities and has been around for more than sixty years since its establishment under the UK 1944 Disabled Persons Employment Act. I’ve done some research on the firm and heard many good things about the amazing quality of their products as well as the social significance of the business. This briefcase definitely confirms what I’ve read, as it is in incredible like-new condition and doesn’t have a single fault to note. I should be listing it in the shop as soon as I’ve gotten close-up photos of it and figured out the shipping costs.

I’ll hopefully be getting more photos edited this week and post again very soon. I’m kind of debating whether or not to post pictures from summer, since it is now deep autumn and all the colours are so different!

(Photos by JEG)