Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Iconic Handbags from Martha and Lilly

Yesterday I was reminded that vintage doesn't have to be restricted to wearing the clothes, it can also be about taking an iconic piece and using it as the feature of an outfit. I am past the age where I can simply don a vintage piece and look fab and with my figure I suspect that the pieces that would look fab are the dresses worn by the curvy types like Marilyn Monroe - could get a gal in trouble. So my wardrobe is limited in terms of vintage pieces I can quickly don, feel great and look fab. What I do enjoy though is taking jewellery and accessories of yesteryear, giving my attire a particular era and showcasing them as my central piece of the day. Maureen returned from the States with a pair of gorgeous amber earrings which I quickly snaffled them up, and yesterday whilst I was waiting for a shop to open a woman came over and commented on them. I am truly inspired by vintage fashions worn with style. But what about all the women who simply don't fit the physical mould? Vintage accessories ... to be noticed. Cindy and Kris of Martha and Lilly fame join us for VVV on 23 May and will have their beautiful range of bags. Daybags, kiss clasp purses, movie bags, computer bags, and kindy trinkets, all individually designed and hand sewn in Fremantle, each bag is a one off, often made with recycled fabrics and clasps, never to be seen again. These purses are the centrepiece of any outfit and are sure to create a few gasps of admiration in whatever circles you move within.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Recycled and Refashioned Spell STYLE!

What I really, really, really like about Vintage clothing is not just the gorgeous fabrics and colours! What I love is its STYLE! But wearing vintage clothing on their own doesn't necessarily equate with being stylish, that comes from knowing how to wear it and how to use it ... in a contemporary society. Unless one is attending a era specific themed event then dressing strictly according to styles in the 50's and 60's today may not work as well... today we have different bodies, different tastes and dare I say it we might be facing different climatic conditions! On the weekend I ventured to the Craft and Antique and Collector's Fair to meet and see the work of Jody Pearl, dynamo behind ReInvent. She is taking recycled clothing and upstyling them, giving them a contemporary look or taking a contemporary garment and giving it a vintage look! Her beautiful dusty pink jacket with cherubs and lace is just beautiful and very 40's. Not everyone can find the perfect true blue vintage garment in their size and colour to highlight their body and shape. But we can take what's available in the op shop arena and convert into into something reminiscent of the style from the past. In November the Craft and Antique and Collector's Fair will be holding a Recycled Fashion Competition in two categories - wearable garment and wearable accessory. I have been talking with a host of vintage and retro inspired very creative refashionistas in Perth and I am sure they will all give this competition a run for its money - as well as teach a few of us along the way. Vintage Vixens and Vamps will be hosting some of these creative ladies at our event on 23 May with further vintage refashioning platforms in the pipeline. May vintage and retro fashion continue to play its part in imbueing Perth with style !

Benswick Vintage

Introductions to Sarah and Connor's work came through a fashion parade by Red Feathers and a Hula Skirt in Melville. Benswick Vintage is recycled clothing business that offers a huge range of clothing that comes from a highly edited collection of op-shops and wardrobes. Most of the clothes have been altered by professionals to make each article a unique piece! Guys and gals will find something to inspire them from this dynamic partnership when they stage their creations at the Vintage Vixens and Vamps event platform in Fremantle on 23 May 2010.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tumbleweed and Beleza

The names of two fantastic retro and vintage stalls coming in to Vintage Vixens and Vamps on 23 May. As these photos show their clothing ranges from high end pre 50's to popular 80's pieces. Tumbleweed is located in Armadale and both businesses trade through Sugar Blue Burlesque, Leederville Markets and the newly launched We Heart Vintage in the Velvet Lounge of the Flying Scotsman. Together with clothing they will have bags, hats, belts and vintage accessories. Marina will have some antique linen whilst Claire has a lovely collection of Murano glass and retro collectibles - they just hope they have the space to accommodate it all!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Have Chooks Got to do with Vintage?

Miss Betties Vintage and Retro stall of course. Miss Bettie hails from Deborah Varga's chicken - BettieBird - who was the best chook and friend a gal could have hoped for! She is dearly departed these days - gone but not forgotten! Deb says she was a real character who would probably be rather pleased about the mini-empire built in her legacy.

The story behind the business begins with Deb as a quilter 20 years ago and in the process she fell in love with making aprons. She uses only the best quality 100% cotton vintage or American cotton fabric. All of her aprons are one-off originals, designed and made by her. She does special orders including children's aprons and makes her aprons 'Queen-sized' so they fit the ladies and the lads who like a few frills and ruffles in the kitchen! Her most popular apron is her 'cocktail' apron - which suits the more bedroom / burlesque orientated cook ..... entertainning! At Vintage Vixens and Vamps, Miss Betties will primarily have retro fashion items Deb have collected over a 25 year period and include clothing, bags & jewellery together with fabric, buttons and patterns for the 'do-it-yourself' fashionista! I have seen Deb's stall in action, be prepared to watch it whittle down very quickly!

Friday, April 23, 2010

What to Wear Today!

Woke up this morning, today's look floating around in the ethers. Alison Houtte of Hooti Couture talks of using vintage as the centre piece for dressing according to one's personality. In their fabulous book 'What do you want to be today?' Trinny and Susannah offer iconic vintage and retro looks for all of us to experiment with. Me? I'm beyond one look to my personality or one vintage era I like to reflect, I like to wax and wane according to how I am feeling! Very individual. Today ... I started with tiger and leopard print leggins courtesy of Maureen and New York, black A Line mid thigh skirt I had made, black op shop 60's style shirt, thick belt, 60's gilt metal necklace bought at a recent auction, recycled metal earrings purchased yesterday at Guildford Art on Swan, leopard print long scarf - a long ago gift from Italy - and black leather boots purchased in the 90's, again Italian. Italian shoes, I just can't resist. Bought these ones at an op shop on Wednesday, brand new, leather sole, beautiful ... but need a home, they are one size too big.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Stallholder Rollout

One more sleep then my little one is back at school and I can get busy! Everything is getting soooo exciting. Miss Betties, Benswick Vintage, Martha & Lilly, Tumbleweed and Beleza, Joe's Retro, Awoke on a Whale Heart, She Seldom Blushes, Smith & Bird .... plus a host of others ... just a few of the great names coming in to our Vintage Vixens and Vamps event. Starting tomorrow I will commence featuring stalls through facebook so look out for the pics.
And Maureen has returned! We spent yesterday afternoon enjoying all the goodies she brought back with her - we had a lot of fun playing dress ups! I'd upfashioned one of the men's shirts I love to wear and was complimented by a young male passenger riding in another car when we stopped at the traffic lights! Certainly politically incorrect but there are days when a bit of playful cheek just caps off how one is feeling. All good fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vintage Japanese

With all the focus on designers vintaging from Paris, London, Milan and New York, some of the influences from other cultures can slip into the background. Today I explored Japanese textiles .... literally in the backyard! I had the good fortune to catch up with Textile Artist Wendy Lugg yesterday and she put me on to Japon, located in the alleyway behind the former Rose Hotel in North Fremantle. Whilst there I had a lovely chat with Becky. She and husband Keith moved their business into their warehouse and have never looked back. And right now they have a sale on! I took these photos of the baskets and barrels of recycled kimonos all going out for $5 each! And then there are the rolls of kimono fabrics, 50% off, the absolutely gorgeous obi's (have I spelt it correctly?) and some of the most delicate feminine clutch type purses I have ever laid my hands on, they were truly beautiful to hold. So if you are into old style Japanese to wear, textiles to fashion new garments from or upfashion old garments, or older textiles with which to decorate your home, this is the place to go. Auctions in Japan are invite only and Becky is often the only Westerner there, accompanied by her Japanese speaking assistant. So, if like me, you have travelled along Stirling Highway and seen the Japon sign many times, but never ventured in, then I recommend that you do ... and leave lots of time for textile browsing not to mention the possibility of purchasing a more up market kimono to give that classy touch to lounging around your home. Gosh I wish I looked like Nigella Lawson.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mary Poppins Out and About

Another day on the streets. Flyers posted in IGA Hilton and Melville, 'The Local' cafe in Hilton, 'Sweet Ginger' cafe in Hilton, Murdoch University (lots), 'Hubble Street' cafe in East Fremantle, '2 Timing' Recycled Fashion shop in East Fremantle, 'Off the Wall' in Fremantle, 'Blink' cafe in Fremantle, 'Moores Building' Cafe in Fremantle, one or two other cafes along the way and 'Book Caffe' in Swanbourne. Whew!

I've been watching the old Mary Poppins movie with my daughter, and fell in love with Mary's carpet bag. I wanted one - and this morning I found it. Not sheik, more geek, but I love quirky things. I wonder if I can pull all sorts of things out of it? Now I want an umbrella that takes me into the air ... that would be fun. Returned home to find an email from a vintage seller coming in from Sydney! She's traded at Bondi and Glebe Markets but is now coming home - done the same thing myself a couple of times over the years.

Maureen celebrated her birthday yesterday, is now in Washington steeped in history. It will give her a rest before hitting New York, her next destination. Time for me to make some gorgeous journals so off the airways for a couple of days. Next week I will start blogging stallholders and swishing details.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Out and About .... in Freo

Have been into Freo this morning. First up, met the lovely Jane at FreInfo - she also sits at the community notices desk in the Fremantle Library. A copy of our flyer is on the noticeboard and is included in the regular FreInfo email to over 660 email addresses. Jane was really helpful and very efficient, a big thankyou.

A couple of weeks ago I posted flyers at the 'Old Values' retro store in Fremantle, the Victoria Street Deli in Mosman Park, Breast Check in Mosman Park (my breasts are indebted to Alex and her team) and the 91 Seeds cafe on Marmion Street in Palmyra. Today I posted them at the South Fremantle Shopping Complex, The South Beach Cafe, The Meeting Place (and had a chat with Jenny), Tropicana, Hamilton Hill IGA and a busy cafe near Westgate Mall. If there is a public space that invites material, then I am filling it. And watch out Muzz Buzz girls, my favourite ones on Rockingham Road got their flyer this morning, I'm handing them out to anyone I meet along the way.

I then visited the local vintage and retro stores in Fremantle. This was a real pleasure, it is some time since I have been able to just meander through the town of my childhood and its looking pretty good, creative expression is really blooming there. First I visited Fi & Co at the back of New Editions bookshop. Then on to Seldom She Blushes where I met Fern who then introduced me to Annette of Broken Doll. Pop Ups at our event from both these ladies look promising. Then I visited Off the Wall and Pongee, no one home but I will return.

And in the midst of all this a call from the lovely Louise at Kwik Copy to say that the printing of our promotional material is underway and she will call me as soon as they are finished - how exciting!

I've returned home for a short break to see that the We Heart Vintage girls in Mt Lawley have tuned in on our facebook - fantastic. Am off again soon, Canning Highway here I come!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Catching Up on the Local Scene

Cathing up on local and international events a couple of words in order. Thank you to Winifred and Bance for promoting our event! Next, a new monthly vintage market starts up on 24 April in Mt Lawley - find 'We Love Vintage' on Facebook and be part of this new north of the river initiative.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New York Couture

'Alligators, Old Mink & New Money' - One Woman's Adventures in Vintage Clothing. That's the title of a fabulous book I am currently reading, the author of which has Hooti Couture in Brooklyn, New York. Maureen has it on her 'must visit' list and will be there in just over a week!

An ex model, Alison Houtte encapsulates 'vintage' "as using older pieces to help create a fresh, one of a kind style, with almost no rules as to how that’s achieved. It means looking at what designers are putting on their runways and fashion editors are putting on their magazine pages, then finding the real thing, merchandise from the twenties to early eighties that has inspired the latest hot looks, as well as pieces that compliment them. It means introducing customers to designers – dead and alive – whose signatures they may never have seen before. Finally, vintage style, is as much about wardrobe accents as it is about ‘investment’ pieces like a Chanel suit or Burberry trench. ... Dressing with vintage is the ultimate ‘mix and match’ between the twenties and twenty first century of fashion, inspired by a hodgepodge of labels that draw as much from pop culture as from a specific decade or designer. Vintage is about surprise and fun and affordability, meeting individual everyday style needs with pieces from the past."

I love that description! This comes from woman born in '60 who will wear leopard print leggins with a close knit jumper and a leopard print scarf tied around her neck! Maybe Perth isn't at that point yet, but how exciting is it to introduce others to the intrigue of using a vintage piece to create a small piece of individual style, with maybe bold one of a kind style down the track? I hear the 80's are in, big, androgynous, assymetric, I remember my red Grace Jones t-shirt, the look of Annie Lennox and of course my favourite - Stuart Membery. And then there was Laura Ashley, not my style but the fabrics were gorgeous to touch, sew and look at.

If you haven't read the book or visited the website, then do, the photographs are truly inspirational. I rue the fact that I don't live in a place overflowing with Vintage fashion. But I also know we have some amazing creativity in this town that is transforming what is available into something reminiscent of style from the past. I'm looking forward to it all coming together at our first Vintage Vixens and Vamps event and blossoming out in the months following. My mind is already busy what we will bring together for Vintage Vixens and Vamps #2 .... July 2010.