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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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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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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

image_1

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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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)

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Catch Me If You Can (updated)

(Kuntzel and Deygas’s title sequence in Steven Spielberg’s drama thriller Catch Me If You Can [2002], music by John Williams.)

I remember seeing great movies when I was a young child in the 90s, the kind of movies that was a real experience and a joy, where you sit up and say to yourself – now this is really put together! It’s a shame that I actually can’t name many of these off the top of my head, though I could safely say that Gone with the Wind, the old Star Wars trilogy, The Matrix (I was quite young, so) were among them, as well as some TV films and smaller films such as The Cure (1995) which I watched many times during the summers. As I grew older, these experiences became few and far between, and the big blockbusters almost always left me feeling disappointed; which led me to wonder whether it was actually a result of my growing up and becoming more critical as well as less sensitive to movie tricks, rather than a reflection on the quality of the new productions – and the thought bothered me not a little, because I missed the feeling of seeing a good movie.

But Catch Me if You Can (I think I saw it on DVD at home in 2002 with my parents), directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, was a change to that gloom; because this time I enjoyed this film thoroughly, absolutely thoroughly – so I guess…I was still capable of liking a new movie!

I think that one of the great things about Catch Me If You Can is its costumes, which focus on the bewildering new jet-setting glamour of the 1960s, following the path of the con artist young Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio), who poses as a Pan American World Airways pilot  to steal millions of dollars by forging Pan Am pay checks, as well as to fly around the world for free on the airline’s “jump seat”. Those are the heyday of airline glamour and pilots and flight attendants are the epitome of the dashing and darling. The uniform suits, pencil skirts, white gloves, and little hats are painstakingly neat and chic, and dazzle young Frank’s eyes as he first watches the pilots and stewardesses in their full glamorous glory in the movie. Apparently Frank isn’t the only one who is dazzled – the whole America is. Later when Frank “becomes” a Pan Am pilot, little girls would ask to shake his hand in the street in admiration; and on the run, he would be able to divert the attention of FBI agents by walking with eight attractive stewardesses – everyone (and I mean everyone)’s eyes are on the girls, never saw anyone looking so good!

Here’s the scene where he escapes the FBI at the Miami airport, surrounded by the Pan Am girls.:

My outfit is inspired by both Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Frank and the 60s Pan Am flight attendant uniform. The darker colour and metal belt clasp correspond to Frank’s pilot uniform elements, while the knee-length 60s style high-waist pencil skirt and the pumps take after the Pan Am ladies.

I have used the blue straw cocktail hat as a romanticised version of Pan Am flight attendant’s pillbox hat. I had the hat quite a long time ago when I was first starting to source for my Pretty Bones Jefferson boutique, and have finally got it listed in the shop this week. It’s such a darling little hat with white netting face veil and a bow in the back. I’ve tried to find out more about the maker “Bermona” but I haven’t been able to get much information, except that they were an English hat making business and had been around since at least the 60s. I’d like to narrow down on the hat’s era more, so I’m hoping to get some help from fellow vintage sellers on Etsy who have more expertise on dating vintage hats than I do – hats are tricky! But for now late 60s/early 70s will do for the dating.

As for the pencil skirt, I have really surprised myself by how much I loved wearing it during the photoshoot. Pencil skirts are addictive. These little steps take some getting used to but are so fun and…pretty! I guess ladies in the 60s (including Marilyn Monroe) didn’t wear pencil skirts for no reason. This skirt is a bit big for me (it’s a 26″ – 28″ waist with 38″ hips), so I think it’ll look even better on someone of the right size, as it is so well tailored and is supposed to be fitting. You can read more about the skirt’s measurements and details on the listing here at my Pretty Bones Jefferson boutique.

The maker, “Jobis” is a German designer company and I think they’re still in business in Germany.

Putting this outfit together really made me miss Leonardo DiCaprio’s Frank Abagnale, oh that young devil. I should probably see the film again and brush up on 60s fashion.

(Skirt: vintage 80s black wool pencil skirt, available in shop, 27 USD

Hat: vintage 60s/70s, Pauline for BERMONA, made in England, available in my shop, 35 USD

Earrings: vintage clip-ons

Shirt: unknown non-vintage, thrifted

Belt: can’t remember…

Shoes: Zara)

(Photos by JEG)

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Thoughts of Fairydust

Cicely Mary Barker (1895 – 1973)
The Willow Fairy

Cicely Mary Barker (1895 – 1973)

Cicely Mary Barker (1895 – 1973)
The Snowdrop Fairy

Cicely Mary Barker (1895 – 1973)
The Lavender Fairy

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
― J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan

We took these photos last Wednesday for listings at the boutique shop. The skirt, which was a recent find and which I think is the prettiest skirt ever, has now already been snatched up, only two days after being listed! But the handbag and (maybe) the earrings will be coming to the shop soon.

When I looked at the first photo, the light in the picture reminded me of fairies. I haven’t thought of them in a long time, but sometimes woods, flowers, and especially soft luminous light such as this bring them to my mind. I had a wish to gaze upon Cicely Mary Barker‘s flower fairy illustrations once again, that were very much part of my childhood and my mother’s idea of whimsical loveliness.

I felt that these photos could be a grown up real world re-presentation of the fairy look (with the gloves, leather bag, and heels…). Maybe I was indeed trying to capture some fairydust, being unconsciously inspired by a tiny hand mirror with a fairy picture that I purchased at the National Gallery of Ireland shop earlier this month. I adore that shop – sometimes I spend more time browsing and reading in it rather than the gallery itself.

I’m not sure if this painting is from the National Gallery of Ireland’s own collection, or if it’s actually Cicely Mary Barker’s work, but it looks like it could be one of hers? I thought it was lovely.

It was also a bit of an extravagant purchase for me at the time, as I didn’t need another mirror – a sign of how I was charmed by the picture and most particularly, the artistic idea that I longed to be re-connection to.

And now that I’ve started looking at flower fairies again, I think it would be absolutely wonderful to put together outfits inspired by particular fairies (starting with Barker’s creations). I really like green and the Willow Fairy, however I’m also thinking of using white dresses which would be so well suited for summer air.

The Vintage 80s skirt with geometric print:

(Blouse: thrifted

Skirt: vintage 80s, Pretty Bones Jefferson

Shoes: Zara black fabric heels

Earrings: vintage clip-ons

Gloves: vintage 80s, Lucy’s Lounge Dublin

Bag: vintage, available at Pretty Bones Jefferson soon)

(Photos by JEG)

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The Shrine

I owe John William Waterhouse a great deal for helping me come to terms with my hair. For years I was bothered with my hair for being quite straight, fine and limp, until I came across Waterhouse’s paintings and noticed that many of his characters had hair not unlike mine. Nowadays whenever I start to feel uncomfortable with my hair I think “Waterhouse”, “Waterhouse”!

This photoshoot was probably unconsciously influenced by a Waterhouse’s painting, The Shrine. I’ve now noticed the stairs, too.

“The Shrine”, John William Waterhouse, 1895

I wonder why Waterhouse has called his painting “The Shrine”, however. I do remember that I hadn’t expected the title when I first found it out. I didn’t find the scene solemnly religious or ritualistic – but maybe the place is part of a shrine, or the scene itself is a shrine?

(Hair clip: high street

Dress: vintage 60s green floral sundress, available at shop.

Shoes: New Look, second-hand)
(Photos by JEG)

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Ophelia Passing (Ophelia 2)

(Ophelia, John Everett Millais 1852)

(Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1)

HAMLET

Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner
transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the
force of honesty can translate beauty into his
likeness: this was sometime a paradox, but now the
time gives it proof. I did love you once.

OPHELIA

Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

HAMLET

You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot
so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of
it: I loved you not.

OPHELIA

I was the more deceived.

HAMLET

Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a
breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest;
but yet I could accuse me of such things that it
were better my mother had not borne me: I am very
proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at
my beck than I have thoughts to put them in,
imagination to give them shape, or time to act them
in. What should such fellows as I do crawling
between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,
all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.

So here are the rest of the photos from the Ophelia photoshoot. Much happenings have passed since my Ophelia post. I’m still (happily) slaving away at the boutique, and I’m two weeks older. I think I really should go and re-read the original script of Hamlet, because many of the interpretations sadden me a little. We’ve finally finished watching Laurence Oliver’s 1948 film version of Hamlet this week, which I must say wasn’t an entirely satisfying experience. I was unsure about several cuts that he made from the original play, but that I can’t comment on intelligently until I’ve studied the play again. Though course I’m bearing a personal grudge towards Olivier for not letting Vivien Leigh play Ophelia on grounds of her age, which seems to me strange if he didn’t have concerns of the same degree for his own age. There was for me a bit of unintended comic moments, perhaps resulting from the film’s Film Noir tendencies. And poor Jean Simmons(otherwise a very, very pretty girl) was sometimes disturbing to behold (methinks not in the intended way).

But there, I’m launching into a (slightly bitter) review. That I should not do, until I’ve educated myself well enough to know what I speak. For now it should suffice to say that I’ll probably have more good times reading about Ophelia. And I may do a review of the film in time. I also hope to find more relevant images for my Ophelia Pinterest picture board.

The above excerpt from Hamlet Act 3 contains one of the quotes that often surface to my mind: “Get thee to a nunnery”. I wonder whether by her drowning, Ophelia has gotten herself into a nunnery.

And I personally entertain the thought and vision of Ophelia, safe and dry, watching herself passing in the water as if it’s another self or life. If the maiden’s life was as elusive as her death was, and if she had never really lived while she was alive, then it may as well be that she never died.

(Hamlet Act 4, Scene 5)

OPHELIA
They bore him barefaced on the bier;
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny;
And in his grave rain’d many a tear:–
Fare you well, my dove!

(Photos by JEG)