i spent a large part of this past weekend combing through the fantastic british pathé vintage fashion archives on youtube. there are so many amazing little videos in the collection highlighting vintage 40's, 50's & 60's trends in accessories, makeup and fashion of all kinds from wigs & shoes to swimsuits & swim caps. i love the footage of vintage fashion shows and all the strange & quirky newsreel type films like the "girls with sexy eyes" holiday camp contest or "battle of the bulges - 1940s style" which features all sorts of oddball exercise equipment & maneuvers. but, my absolute favorites are the clips of vintage shoe, hosiery, and even umbrella fashions - check out the video above featuring the most fabulous trends in 1950's spectacles. but be warned… you will quickly become addicted to these quirky & charming old films!
i couldn't help but get caught up in the "dip dye frenzy" last season on a pair and a spare - i'm pretty sure it was geneva's dip dye ombre mini skirt diy that made me fall in love with the blog and i've been a devoted fan ever since. she gave me the inspiration to make my own glitter shoes and i've been wanting to try another one of her diy tutorials for a while now (or, rather a whole bunch of them) but hadn't come across the right materials… until now!
a couple of weeks back, i came across a cream lace top on a thrift store run and then a homemade vintage white polka-dot skirt at a rummage sale. both of the items were crying out for some personality and the vintage skirt had a few tiny brown spots along the hem that refused to come out. i used the same technique geneva used on her ombre mini-skirt with a combination of navy & teal RIT dye for the lace top and pink RIT dye for the skirt. the top took a few days - i didn't want to overdue it so i kept dyeing and washing and dyeing some more - even using an old toothbrush at one point to spot dye a couple of areas until i was happy with it.
the skirt was inspired directly by the fam irvoll dress i mentioned a couple of weeks ago. i love the little burst of pink - i can't tell you what a difference it made to the skirt… it really brought it to life! one problem is that the skirt is incredibly sheer and i don't have a long enough slip so i'm on the lookout for a longer slip. overall, i'm absolutely thrilled with the results and can't wait to give another one of geneva's diy's a try! they're so quick & easy - almost instant gratification - and really breathe new life into old, outdated pieces.
this week, i've been feeling all kinds of inspired by the everlasting sprout A/W 2012 collection. there's so much i like about this collection including the unique knit pieces, the bold floral patterns, the socks, and all the adorable details found throughout. before i started crocheting, i really didn't give much thought to knits on the runway but these days i'm particularly smitten with designers who are known for incorporating avant-garde knit designs into their collections - i've learned to appreciate the material and the medium so much more than i ever did before. don't you just love all the textures and those gorgeous patterned knits (especially the dresses and skirts?!) i love the idea of florals for fall and the colors are just perfect - a bit darker but still incredibly bright & fun.
i've also been looking at collections with more of a critical "can-i diy?' eye lately thanks to geneva from a pair and a spare and have been finding sweet details everywhere i look that seem doable. like, the ruffles on those short pants pictured above? … love! i can't wait to get my hands on some secondhand tweed pants to shorten and add some flirty ruffles to - what a sweet, feminine touch for fall.
not much garage sale activity this week… but, one interesting thing i picked up was an old scrapbook filled with circus memorabilia, old magazine shots of little girls posing w/ animals (like the ones above,) and several vintage pics of puppies & kittens - adorable!
it's been over 2 years since i originally made this paper bird's nest hat on the fly for a "silly hat contest" where i was employed at the time. i had two of my co-workers come over the evening before the contest and we pretended we were on project runway and were only allowed to use things we found around the house to make the most couture-yet-whimsical hats possible (we were too poor to actually buy any supplies!) so, we basically turned it into one of my favorite project runway challenges - the one where they have to shop at the grocery, hardware or party store for fashion supplies instead of the normal fabric shop.
at the time, i was living in northern california and volunteering at an established letterpress studio. they had mountains of edge trimmings under the 'guillotine' - years worth of thin shavings of high quality printmaking paper that i had started taking home with me, convinced that someday i would find a purpose for them. i thought of them right away for the hat and gathered a small bunch of the shavings to color with pastel chalks - yellows, greens and pinks - before rolling and tying them up into a nest shape. next, i clipped a few feathers from a feather duster and stuffed them in at a few spots to look like molted feathers. i had a small craft store bird in a bell jar in my room as a decoration, so i took him out and glued him into the nest. for the 'veil' i actually used a piece of screen mesh - the kind you use on your windows when you cut your own screen - and sewed on a handful of swarovski crystal beads to take away from the fact that i was wearing window screen on my head… ha, ha.
i didn't end up winning the contest, but i did get a ton of compliments (someone even asked if was going to get married in this hat) and felt really proud of what i had made in just one evening using a little creativity and whatever was on hand. i made another one of these paper bird's nest hats recently, which is what made me dig this one out of my curio-cabinet to start wearing. i reinfornced it a bit, and made sure everything was more properly adhered before taking the hat out for a spin - my first time actually wearing it in all seriousness with a matching outfit. i sort of fell in love with it all over it again - such a perfectly quirky springtime accessory.
have a great weekend!
☆ emilia ☆
*outfit details: vintage 1980's cream dress // vintage cream lace-bottom slip // vintage pink belt // vintage pearls // calvin klein nude heels // forever 21 ring
last week, i watched the lovely documentary film hearts and crafts: the people that make hermès, a 47-min look into the behind-the-scenes world of hermès directed by frederic laffont and isabelle dupuy-chavanat and available for direct streaming onthe hermès website. as an artist and a huge admirer of quality craftsmanship, this quiet and intimate look into the studios & artisans that make up the hermes family completely knocked my socks off. my absolute favorite part was the feature on the silkscreen studio and the process behind the printed designs - i was truly amazed witnessing the creation of a finished silkscreened scarf from its initial inception as a detailed drawing. nothing makes me happier than mixing colors & printing in a studio all day - this film really made me miss art school & working in that kind of immersive environment.
beyond the impeccable craftsmanship, i was incredibly impressed by the commitment of each and every person to their craft and their love & devotion to the job, despite it's inherent difficulties and down sides. the pride each artisan takes in their product - the years devoted from apprentice to master under the watchful guide of the more experienced - it all made me yearn for an opportunity of my own to take all my little at-home, one-off printing projects to another level and think about printing some of my own custom fabric in a real silkscreen studio someday. right now, i'm reading masteringthe art of fabric printing by laurie wisbrun and am learning so much about fabric design... together with this documentary i'm feeling pretty inspired to take my craft to the next level!
i may not be the original 'cherry blossom girl' but today i was definitely channeling a bit of that lovely energy & inspiration as i wore my reconstructed cherry blossom knit top and spent the day amongst the flowers. having lived in washington, dc for 8 years, cherry blossom season became a big deal for me, not to mention that it's always made me absolutely giddy to have the trees in full bloom around my birthday. i've been taking full advantage of every sunny day we've had lately to picnic & relax under the blooms as much as i can before they're gone.
as soon as i saw this floral knit top at the thrift store, i knew i'd be able give it a quick makeover to really make it shine. i cut off the sleeves and hemmed them before adding an adorable vintage lace pink heart trim for the sweetest little touch. i paired the green floral top with a lightweight nude/pink pleated skirt, my champagne glitter booties and a few other recent diy's. the lavender velvet detachable collar i made a couple of months back - at the same time as this one and used the same elegant musings tutorial. i chose the rounded pattern this time for a more classic peter pan collar and omitted the ribbons for the option of using different brooches & pins to fasten. the tiny crochet bow was made using the same people webs pattern here - i ended up making a few of these tiny bows in citron, white & baby blue for the spring season and really love incorporating them into my spring outfits! it'll be thunderstorms here all weekend - i wonder how many flowers will be left after the showers?! have a great weekend!
since i spend so much of my time attending sales & auctions in search of vintage clothing, i thought it might be fun to start sharing with you some of the odds & ends i end up with along the way. it's officially "garage sale season" around here - my favorite time of year - and, no matter where i go i always seem to come home with some interesting, cute or useful thing (or a combination of them all.)
here's what i picked up today for $6:
*half dozen crochet covered clothes hangers *vintage christmas soldier boy ornament (made in japan) *vintage black bow tie *pair of heavy-duty scissors *large vintage magnifying glass *vintage 'ideal' baby crib shoes *vintage embroidered baby's dress
if you were wondering just how fun & whimsical a collection could be, well now you know! the delightful pieces above are from fam irvoll's A/W 2012-2013 "monster mash" collection and her first ever show at london fashion week. the norwegian born designer's use of wacky cartoon monster prints, bright candy colors and pastel-infused creepers were pretty much the perfect mix for a cute & color junkie like me! these clothes make me happy, happy - i love the overall fairy kei-meets-ghosts/monsters vibe.
one of my favorites is the white dress w/ pink dip-dye, so it's probably no surprise that i'm already on the lookout for the perfect white dress or skirt to add this sweet touch to. the monster prints are the BEST - i just adore them and the monster dress w/ peter pan collar is pretty much the most adorable thing i've ever seen. i'm also pretty gaga over that candy colored mini-dress paired w/ the monster print blazer - how freakin' cute is that??! i'm completely obsessed with the dress (pink + mint green, the buttons) and with somehow getting my hands on my very own monster print blazer. and, don't even get me started on those creepers, which are a collaboration between fam & underground england and will be available on the underground website this fall - so much cute... so much!
these images are just the beginning of fam irvoll's world - just google her name and look over the images for a serious dose of cute, color and imaginative play!
happy monday to you! and... happy birthday to me! :o) yep, it's official - i'm 37 years young as of last thursday (4/5) and i'm not exaggerating when i say this was definitely my best birthday yet! to tell you the truth, i had sort of been dreading this birthday - i was feeling old & uninspired as the days approached and certain the day would pass w/out any real excitement to speak of. but, my sweetie had other plans - including a gorgeous box of the most luxurious macarons this side of the atlantic, a bunch of colorful balloons, and a relaxing picnic in the sun. it was perfect - the sun was shining, the flowers were in bloom, i was with my love and i had a special birthday outfit picked out just for the occasion. you may remember the diy red lace 'miu miu' spring capelet i made and shared with you last week. well, i used the same tutorial by FtAshion to create another special capelet for my birthday using textured mint green cotton fabric & a candy pink velvet ribbon. i've really been obsessed w/ pastels lately - mint green & pink especially - so i decided to combine the two in this capelet for a whimsical fairytale or children's book feel. i used a bit more fabric with this one than the last to give it more of a romantic 'bunched up' look in the back. funny thing is, i originally bought this dot-textured mint green fabric years ago to make curtains for my sewing room and ended up ultimately making pretty much a valence through which i inserted a ribbon instead of a curtain rod and now call a capelet! ha, ha. the dress is probably the most amazing vintage piece i own - a gorgeous 1950's betty draper-style white cotton dress - simple, elegant and in near perfect condition. the fabric is so lush & heavy - the craftsmanship so impeccable... and, it fits like a dream. every time i think about selling it i hear a voice in my head that screams, "are you crazy?! you will never find a dress like this again!" i paired it with my white 'marilyn monroe heels' and a vintage gold Monet chain that belonged to my sweetie's grandmother and i couldn't have felt more feminine.
overall, it the was the absolute perfect day - the highlight being those incredible parisian macarons from L'Artisan. i can honestly say that those macarons are the best things i ever eaten in my life. period. not the best macarons i've ever eaten, the best things i've ever eaten ever! i could on and on about how amazing these macarons were but i'd probably have to write a novel or at the very least a lengthy thesis to properly describe the emotions & sensations i experienced while eating these little masterpieces. i think i actually described them as "demonic" and "obscene" at points b/c they were just that mind-blowingly, intensely good - total foodgasm. i can't even imagine what they must taste like fresh - my god! i think a trip to san francisco to find out is a definite MUST!! my favorite was the vanilla bean - the cream in the middle is most certainly the closest one gets to heaven on earth, i assure you. i've been walking on cloud 9 for days since eating these macarons and the dreamy haze hasn't worn off yet. these macarons are life-changers, i tell you. life changers!