My Etsy Treasury: Claudia (The Vampire Chronicles) 1

I just made a new treasury list of lovely things that are for sale from different shops on Etsy. This time it’s about Claudia from Interview with the Vampire, the child vampire with the angelic face and many pretty things.

I was reading the book in February when I was writing my college thesis under great pressure (on another topic), having found the book on Monsieur JEG‘s shelf.  I just finished reading the third book in the series yesterday, skipping the second because it hasn’t come my way; which I obtained through an encounter with BookCrossing on Sunday as I mentioned in the blog post earlier this week, and which brought back to my mind Claudia.

I can’t say about the second book in the series as I haven’t read it, but compared to the third, I think the first in the series, Interview with the Vampire, will probably always be the greater inspiration; because of the attraction that the 18th century and American South hold for me, and maybe because it was just a better written story with more mystery. The film adaption, too, has been a valuable addition to the imagination.

I must also add that the fourth item in the list, which is the vintage 70s green taffeta gown from a wonderful lady ForgottenMuse‘s shop, was also a main inspiration for this treasury list – when she had first posted the dress sometime ago (was it on Facebook?), I thought, my, how it reminded me of Interview with the Vampire!

I had started with many more items for the treasury and it was difficult to let go of any one of them, so I think I may continue the theme (which is the reason why the treasury is called Claudia “(The Vampire Chronicles) 1”) and put together a few more lists for Claudia, if I should obtain some favourable responses. After all, the little lady and her guardians were attentive to detail, and their elegance was endless.

Vintage Silver Gilloche Powd…


Dollhouse Miniature Flowers …


Interview with the Vampire C…


70s – My Bonny Sweetheart – …


Pink Harlequin Opal Ring Tea…


Rose Garden – Paris Roses 8x…


Girls Silk Dupioni Dress Vin…


vintage 1930s art deco brooc…


For Her, Mom, Wedding Rhines…


1950s Wide Crocheted Rhinest…


vintage 80s Mike Benet teal …


Vintage Brooch Forget Me Not…


1950’s brush and mirror …


NEW ITEM-French Script-Lovel…


White hanky w/ purple floral…


FRENCH CHAIRS Aubusson tape…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio


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Coming up in the boutique: a 1970s lilac Edwardian style dress

*Dress is now listed! 34 USD at my shop http://www.etsy.com/listing/96226662/vintage-1970s-dress-lilac-edwardian.

I’ve been spending some time editing the photos of a very special dress. Thought I would list it in my Etsy boutique shop yesterday but the editing took a bit longer. There were so many photos and details to choose from for this dress, and the colour correction was somewhat tricky. The dress is a lovely pure lilac (the waist corsage on the dress is true lilac flower!) with more lavendar in it than blue, but the photos showed too much of a blue tint, which, as I’ve heard fellow Etsians in Ireland exclaim, the strange Irish sunlight is prone to do; now all corrected to actual dress colour.

Where do I start? Well all right a photo. This one is exclusive to the blog (and maybe Facebook).

Vintage 1970s lilac Edwardian dress

And to show the front…

front of dress

This one is perhaps my favourite collage, and you can see the lace as clear as in real life. I’m liking it so much that I’m taking a risk to use it for the front picture on the Etsy listing. It doesn’t show the front of the dress but you do see the bustle trim so nicely. If in a week everybody complains I’ll change it to the above photo or another more conventional collage.

Vintage 1970s lilac Edwardian dress

And some collages to show the various details of the dress – front close-up, back, waist corsage (again, look it’s lilacs!), sleeves (press studs closure), skirt hem.

dress details collage

dress details collage

The flowing skirt.

dress skirt

(I should have done a better ironing job though; I’m always so impatient when it comes to photoshoots).

And finally here are the extra photos that won’t fit onto the Etsy listing.

front of dress


vintage 1970s Edwardian style dress

back of dressfabric

back of dress

back of dress

I’ve been so fascinated by this dress (and would have loved to wear it myself if lilac were my colour; I can’t wear anything purple). This dress was apparently custom-made, and every time I look at it I keep thinking how much work it must have been to put this dress together perfectly. The high neck collar and cuff sleeves alone would have greatly confounded me. There is also much of hand-sewn finishing touches at the hem which must have taken much, much time and care.

In addition to everything else, I especially like the bustle trim at the waist which is so handsomely cut, and the trimming white lace is something to take note of – I mean, there’s discreetly so much of it! The pattern is unusual and so elegantly lovely, with a leaf and flower motif that gives an overall impression of sea waves. I was motivated by it today to read up on types of lace though alas, haven’t been able to identify its origins yet. But I’ll keep reading – here seems to be a good place to start – http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/types.htm (she’s got photos of examples which is really helpful).

The dress looks as if it could have been a theatre costume piece or one commissioned for a special occasion. I think it would be great for an Edwardian re-enactment (though for a very serious re-enactment the back zipper will have to be replaced with hooks and eyes), a day dress for something special like Easter, general good wear with a historical flare (I would wear something like this on any sunny day), or even a wedding dress for a lady who loves lilac.

And a good opportunity to refresh my education on Edwardian fashion (before fashion went adolescently boyish in the 20s with the flapper style), which I’ve always thought somewhat more slimly teenagerish in style compared to the Victorian. I loved this that I read today on tudorlinks.com’s article on Edwardian fashion:

The 1890s merge seamlessly with the early 1900s in an age of extravagance and style, appropriately called la Belle Epoque and lasting from approximately 1890 to 1914. This world began to decline by 1914, but the Great War ended it forever. Until then, throughout the early 1900s, fashion enjoyed its last true age of elegance, in what has been described as one long Edwardian summer.

One long Edwardian summer.

And fashion-era.com, as usual, has an enchanting section on “La Belle Époque Edwardian Fashion History”, with lots of notes and enchanting illustrations. Vintagefashionguild.org’s fashion timeline is also a good place to look at and they have photos. I think I’d like to read up more on Edwardian dresses and maybe either make or modify something relevant, especially the eternal slim long white tea gown that films like Picnic at Hanging Rock has made so famous (I’ve finally finished reading the book, by the way; my post earlier this month about some thoughts and impressions of the book and film is here).

I was happy to find a tiny section with photo on the Edwardian ladies’ high neck collar in the Wikipedia article on collars (Just look for “high neck collar” on the page). Also came across this reproduction product of zigzag wires for Edwardian collars on this website called Farthingales Corset Making Supplies, maybe something to remember for if ever I make or mend a dress with an Edwardian high collar…

I found this out-of-print 8375 Simplicity pattern for Victorian and Edwardian bustle dress online and I thought the outfits in the picutre reminded me somewhat of our lilac dress here.

Simplicity 8375 Victorian Edwardian Bustle Dress pattern

There, that’s good. I’ll go and put up the actual shop listing for the dress shortly today, where you can read the measurements and other construction details (and to buy, if you like!). And I promise that it’ll be a good affordable price like all the other dresses in the boutique.


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The 1920s drop-waist flapper dress (brought on by the Yahoo list of high street versions)

It came up in my Yahoo news yesterday a list of 10 current high street flapper dresses that Yahoo had put together. It was a useful update,  as I haven’t been to high street shops for a while (it’s difficult to make oneself go to high street shops when one can spend so much time looking at the real classic fashion on Etsy and blogs…).  I had been curious to see what high street would be putting out for modern interpretations of the 1920s flapper dress, since interest in the 1920s fashion era seems to have been steadily ascending recently in our quest into past eras for inspirations, and I thought they were sure to do it. The recent great success of the film The Artist has certainly helped, and Yahoo says that the new film for The Great Gatsby is coming up (I thought, what, another one? and I haven’t even seen the older one or read the book yet! My isn’t it tough catching up with the past?). And even before all that, my local retro film club Film Fatale in Dublin did back in December a screening of Singing in the Rain which was 1950s recreating 1920s (and flapper dresses). Then there have been the many TV period series which I unfortunately don’t watch.

It’s actually not a bad list, especially the very last one from Wallis, which is a beige light short dress with gold threading, embroidered embellishment at neck and hem, and sewn-on drop-waist belt. It’s surprisingly authentic-looking (Wallis says that it was taken from their dress pattern archive in the 1927 Swing range), although I’m not sure about the colour pairing in the model photo on Wallis’s product page – ink-blue fur stole and Christmas-red stockings on beige dress? The three colours together just don’t work for me and look rather like a patch-work quilt (the blue and the red would be tricky in the best of situations) and I really hope it’s not Wallis’s idea of how to update a flapper dress – definitely neither glamorous nor rebellious. The dress itself is attractive.

Wallis beaded flapper dress

Wallis beaded flapper dress

That being said for the design, I have to say that the construction and decoration can’t match the real thing, i.e., vintage flapper dresses or the truly meticulously designed and crafted modern recreations, and would run the risk of looking dowdy soon after a few wears. The details (oh the sequins and beads!) on real vintage (now approaching antique) flapper evening dresses are absolutely so (almost terrifyingly) exquisite, like this vintage art deco 20s dress from ForgottenMuse and this other from PomPomClothing on Etsy. And also I would not like so much to run into people wearing the same dress as I, which is always likely to happen with one-piece high street fashion…

Authentic vintage 20s dress from ForgotteMuse

Authentic vintage 20s dress from PomPomClothing

I personally think the flapper style, especially the Art Deco drop-waist beaded evening dress is absolutely fascinating and flamboyant. I’m less fond of the swing fringe dress although they are somewhat easier to wear and I have a vintage one myself. But the drop-waist beaded sheer dress is just…so like a glamourous boy’s vest that it’s absolutely incomparably cool?

And it does take a figure to carry it off.

Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks

Which I thought Bérénice Bejo did an awfully good job at in The Artist this (last) year:

Bérénice Bejo as Poppy Miller in The Artist (2011)

Bérénice Bejo as Poppy Miller in The Artist (2011), dress by Leluxe Clothing

All very admirable. However I myself am somehow perpetually stuck with the Victorian silhouette, as I was telling  Miss Nicole Dotto on Etsy recently. I’d still like a good waist any time of the day or any day of the year…Maybe I just don’t have very flapper-ish manners, or hair, for that matter. I’d be interested to see if I can find a flapper style of my own, maybe a transition between an Edwardian girl and a flapper (which was constantly happening in the real 20s). I guess I’ll need to find that flapper dress – there was this drop-waist vintage 50s but 20s-style dress that I bought from Nicole’s shop on sale last month, which is pearly pink with white three tiers of lace from the hips and mid-calf length – It’s really sweet but I think I may try to beautify it more, , maybe by laying skirt(s) underneath to make it longer and adding more details to the top part. It’ll be an experiment! (in which no part of the dress shall be harmed).

One of the real causes for my now thinking that the flapper style is lovely is Madame Chic de France‘s recent couture creations of flapper dresses. She puts so much research, detail, and craft into the dresses; and they turn out absolutely unbelievably classy and authentic looking. I must say that dresses such as this flapper wedding gown by her have helped restore my faith in the 20s. Soon after having seen her flapper wedding dresses, I started looking at pages such as this Squidoo flappers page and the fashion-era.com’s 1927 weddings page, and it felt like, aha! Victorian creeping into Edwardian creeping into flapper! – at that point I realised that flapper could be just as classy my beloved Victorian and Edwardian.

flapper wedding dress by Madame Chic de France 2012

flapper wedding dress by Madame Chic de France 2012

In closing, I must mention that I found, while writing this post, a limited-edition Topshop 20s dress which is detailed and quite lovely.

Topshop 20 beaded flapper dress

Topshop beaded flapper dress

The beading does look impressively exquisite, and the price knows it, which is 510 USD on the website. Although the Topshop description says it’s pink, the photos look more like a salmon colour and I wish they had explained it better, as it looks like a potentially difficult colour. It certainly is pretty, in any case, although for 510 USD…I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to buy a flapper dress for that much money I would definitely get something vintage whether straight from the 20s or later eras on Etsy rather than Topshop. It’s such a pity that there are not many original 1920s dresses left because the material was often so delicate, but with a bit of money and research, one can still find a good number of stunning real 20s gowns!


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