Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heads up, voluptuous vintage vixens!

I thought I'd give a heads up to fellow voluptuous ladies who are on the hunt for 1930s & 1940s dresses. Ebay seller 'marcy13' has several adorable vintage day dresses for sale with prices starting at $24.99. Most of these are very rare sizes, with bust around 54", some even larger! AND there's several deadstock dresses, complete with original belts and tags. It really is rare to come by dresses of this age and size in such pristine condition so I would most certainly recommend a good look around the shop if you are plus size. I am in love with the following three dresses but they are actually too big for me. Wow, you don't hear me say that often, hee! But I'm most happy for the vintage lovin' lady who does get to take these pretties home.




Monday, November 22, 2010

Tampere Vintage - November 21, 2010

Yesterday all of the most stylish people of the fair city of Tampere gathered together for the second edition of Tampere Vintage, the vintage themed sales event. Because I'm living... *ahem* ...trying to adjust to life on a student budget, I couldn't really afford to do shopping this time. I just came along to do a little bit of window shopping and, of course, to see my fabulously stylish friends from Fintage. I still kept my eyes open for a 1940s winter coat but sadly I couldn't find a suitable one. I did, however, spot plenty of gorgeous shoes, handbags and dresses. Ah, temptations!

The fine folks of Fintage

With Jirina and Rhia

With Frieda, photo from Tyylillä, Marika

Dress - 1950s vintage, Meera Brooke silk dress (via CapriciousTraveler). More about the dress here.
Handbag - 1950s vintage (thrifted)
Shoes - 1950s vintage (via Fiona Timantti /
Stockings - What Katie Did
Gloves - 1950s vintage (via Etsy)
Sweater - Gina Tricot
Hair orchids - Accessorize

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cooking on a cosy night at home

Apologies for the lack of updates here at Harlean's. I've been swamped with university work and haven't really had time to post much at all. However, I've been back home for the later part of the week and thought I'd take a moment to post another recipe since my previous cooking post was so warmly received. Here is my favorite recipe for a sweet potato soup. It is the perfect food to share with your loved ones, to keep warm and happy on a dark and cold evening, like tonight here in Finland.

Sweet potato soup a la St. Lucia
From "Tofu keittokirja" by Marianne Kiskola & Sanna Miettunen
Slightly modified by myself

You need...

1 large or two small sweet potatoes
1 onion
1 tbsp ginger
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp curry powder
One pack of silken tofu (soft tofu)
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups / 5dl of boiled water with 1 vegetable stock cube
Juice from 1 lime
2 tsp salt
Fresh coriander

Lets get cookin'!

1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, slice the onion and grate the ginger
2. Cook the sweet potatoes in water, with a pinch of salt
3. Heat the cooking oil in a pan and fry the onion and spices for a couple of minutes
4. Use a blender to blend the cooked sweet potatoes, onions, spices, grated ginger and tofu into a creamy soup
6. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock and juice from the lime and blend
7. Return to pot and bring to a boil
8. Add the fresh coriander - and enjoy your soup!

I ended up baking some Finnish Christmas tarts for desert. Mine didn't turn out the most attractive looking of all - but they're still oh, so yummy! Some of my very favorite pastries of the season. They're like a tangible piece of my childhood and always bring to mind the endless wait for Santa all throughout December.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Running up that hill

Yesterday we explored the beautiful area of Harrow on the Hill. I'm not too fond of Harrow itself but Harrow on the Hill, which, true to its name, is situated on top of a hill, is truly gorgeous and picturesque. It is one of those places that really takes you back in time with all of its old buildings and narrow streets. We visited St. Mary's, a stunning church that was consecrated in 1094. Apparently, Lord Byron was a frequent visitor and he often sat dreaming on the churchyard by his favorite tombstone. Sounds like my kind of activity! We enjoyed tea, toast and cake at The Doll's House, which is a super cute little cafe and well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

I wore one of my favorite pieces of everyday clothing, a blue pinafore skirt, as well as a gingham blouse, both items custom made for me by TheBlackPinafore.

Pinafore Skirt - Custom made by TheBlackPinafore
Blouse - Custom made by TheBlackPinafore
Sweater - Dorothy Perkins
Coat - 1940s vintage, label: Stockmann (from Fiona Timantti)
Handbag - Vintage (thrifted)
Shoes - River Island
Stockings - What Katie Did
Bow earrings - Gina Tricot
Hair flowers - Gift from a friend

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blue at British Museum

Ahoy! An outfit post, at last. My girlfriend is in town (weee! ♥) and we had pretty much the perfect London day yesterday. We spent the morning at a seminar, paid a visit to British Museum to see some mummies and medieval things, visited the Gothic Southwark Cathedral and completed the day by watching Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. Even the weather was wonderful!

I wore my favorite 50s dress that works nicely for both day and evening wear. Wore a light blue cardigan to keep me warm and brogues for a day of walking. Victory rolls and a snood for hair. Thought I'd make an outfit post a little more interesting than usual by having my pictures taken at the British Museum.

Dress - 1950s vintage (via Ebay, coffee_colored_cadillac)
Sweater - Dorothy Perkins
Handbag - 1950s vintage (via Tampere Vintage)
Shoes - River Island
Stockings - What Katie Did (fully fashioned)
Hair snood - Arthelia's Attic
Earrings - Gift from my sweetheart

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Waterloo sunset's fine

"But I don't feel afraid
As long as I gaze at
Waterloo sunset
I am in Paradise"
- The Kinks

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pandora's Box at London Film Festival

"A well dressed woman, even though her purse is painfully empty, can conquer the world." - Louise Brooks

The 54th BFI London Film Festival kicked off last week. Despite being a big film festival geek, I've somehow never been able to attend LFF in the past. Unfortunately, many of the films that I wanted to check out sold out very fast but I did manage to score a couple of tickets. The first one being a screening of Pandora's Box (1929) by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, starring the iconic Louise Brooks, which I attended together with Kendra and Katie. I had actually never seen the film before nor seen anything by Louise Brooks in general. It was quite a treat to be able to see the newly restored version of the classic piece of cinema on the big screen. I've only seen one classic movie in cinema in the past, a screening of Nosferatu, which is one of my all time favorite movies. To our surprise, Pandora's Box was actually accompanied by a live pianist, which was a truly fabulous surprise and made the event all the more special. I absolutely loved Pandora's Box and especially the tour-de-force performance by Louise Brooks! It really is no wonder that she is one of the most famous silent stars today; she is just so charismatic and so magnetic to watch. The next day I went to the university library and checked out her autobiography, Lulu in Hollywood, which I am currently reading. What a fascinating lady she was and still is, that Louise Brooks!

Many thanks to Kendra for the photos!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

London Vintage Fair at Bloomsbury Lanes

Today I met up with the lovely Miss Stefanie Valentine of It's All Make Believe, Isn't It? to check out the London Vintage Fair, which was held at Bloomsbury Lanes, near Russell Square.

We had decided to treat ourselves a little bit and booked appointments to get our hair done by the very talented Natasha of Lipstick and Curls. Stefanie showed a photo of Rita Hayworth for inspiration while I went with a look I found in Daniela Turuduch's 1940s Hairstyles.

Here are some detailed shots of our beautiful 'dos:

We received so many compliments for our looks! People were asking to take our photos several times and stopping us on the street to say nice things, which made us feel like movie stars, hee! One lady actually asked if we're doing a movie and she was basically floored when Stefanie responded that this is how we dress on a daily basis.

We enjoyed yummy milkshakes and burgers at Bloomsbury Lanes' American diner style restaurant and a nice lady offered to take our photo.

Unfortunately, the Vintage Fair itself was a bit of a blah. We knew it was mainly going to feature items from the 1950s and onwards but in reality most of the items were from around the 70s. We didn't see anything that would have been from our eras of interest - 1930s and 1940s, that is. We were also the only ladies there dressed in earlier vintage clothing. The venue itself was really cute and fun, though. I'd love to go back for bowling sometime.

We ended up taking a stroll in Covent Garden and popped in for some lovely mint leaf tea at a cool Middle Eastern style tearoom.

Thank you for the lovely day, Stefanie!

PS. Stef and I were talking about vintage teasing just earlier today. She told me that she has gotten some nasty looks and comments from teenagers in London a couple of times because of her vintage style. It was very surprising for me to hear that because no one had ever been mean to me because of the way I dress - and with so many different people and unique styles in London you'd think no one would care about a lady dressed in vintage. Teasing in general is truly beyond me, anyhow. Well, a couple of teenagers (wearing nasty UGG boots, if I may add) kept on giving me the stink eye the entire tube ride back home, whispering, snickering and staring at me. So yes, ladies and gentlemen, I've now officially experienced my very first bit of vintage bullying here in London. I just put Arcade Fire louder in my headphones and thought how utterly fabulous I am.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Vintage inspired at the high street: Office Shoes

I popped by at Office today in hopes of finding a pair of practical and comfortable walking shoes for autumn weather. Silly me only brought heels with me to London so, in result, my feet are now dying from having done so much walking. Heels are gorgeous but really not made for walking for miles and miles. True to my shoe lovin' self I couldn't take my eyes off the following pairs of heels. They are oh! so gorgeous and drool worthy but really not what I truly need right now. My favorite pair is "fancy footwork" in pink and burgundy suede. They remind me of these perfect 1940s pumps that I still haven't stopped daydreaming about.

And so my search for that perfect pair of autumn shoes continues. :(




Old Movie Geeks in London Pt. 1: Durham Cottage

Today I met up with my friend and fellow blogger Kendra for a day in London filled with Mexican food, tea, shopping and old movie stalking. Unfortunately, the day was pretty miserable as it has been raining non-stop - but it didn't stop us from having plenty of fun out and about in the gorgeous city!

We are both huge fans of actress Vivien Leigh so we ended up taking the tube to Sloane Square and walking to 4 Christchurch Street in Chelsea, to see Durham Cottage. It was a love nest purchased by Laurence Olivier for himself and Vivien when they decided to leave their spouses for one another in 1937. It remained the couple's London base for nearly 20 years. Surprisingly, the gate was wide open, revealing a view at the darling house and beautiful garden. Needless to say, we did a good bit of geeking out at the location! I've been outside of Vivien's Eaton Square apartment before but somehow I felt much closer to her at Durham Cottage. I suppose because it is a lot more intimate as a place and it was her home for such a long time. I could picture Vivien reading by the window or taking care of the garden. I know she truly cherished the cottage and it is easy to see why.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Helsinki Vintage

On September 19th I attended Helsinki Vintage for the first time. It is a large vintage themed sales event that was attended by over 2000 visitors on this occasion. The programme included live music, swing dance performances, panel discussions and you could get your hair done vintage style. I had a fun time browsing various items but I didn't actually end up buying anything because the event was just prior to my move to London. For me it was mainly an occasion to spend time with my wonderful friends and like-minded vintage enthusiasts, including many members of Fintage and lovely bloggers, such as Fiona Timantti, Ina, Ulrika, Gina Americana and Anniina.

Here's what I wore:

Dress - 1930s wool and rayon vintage dress (via Fab Gabs on Etsy)
Handbag - 1940s vintage (via Ebay)
Shoes - 1940s vintage (via Tampere Vintage)
Stockings - What Katie Did

Ahoy from London!

Hello, everyone! The past few weeks have really and truly been a crazy whirlwind but I've finally made the move from Finland to London, settled in and began studying on Monday. It is unreal for me to think that I now live in London! I actually study film on the site of the first demonstration in Britain of motion pictures, presented in 1896. Also, Britain's first film school was established there in 1933. It is such a wonderful feeling to live in a city where you feel anything could happen, where anything is possible, and to study in a site of such rich history of cinema. Makes me feel all tingly and funny inside.

Naturally, I will be blogging my London adventures here whenever time allows me to. Outfit posts will probably be rather scarce in the future since I was able to bring a very limited amount of clothing with me, and I no longer have anyone to photograph me on a regular basis. Instead I will focus on writing more about the magical city itself, the events I attend, vintage shops I visit, the finds that I make, perhaps write more about the films I see as well. I hope you stay tuned for all of that!

PS. Speaking of events, would any of you Londoners by any chance like to attend Erotica with me in November to see the lovely Dita Von Teese perform her Opium Den show?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thrifting with the Evil Dressmaker

I spent Tuesday thrifting with the fabulous Rhia from Evil Dressmaker. We drove to Viiala and Lempäälä, small places not too far away from Tampere, and went to four different flea markets. Rhia ended up taking home a gorgeous vintage inspired autumn coat, which was a real bargain with the price tag of 1,75€, while I found a pair of vintage galoshes for 5€... Bring on London weather! Afterward we headed for some curry and naan bread at a cosy Indian restaurant, which was a little too yummy since we ended up eating ourselves pretty miserable. ;)

Here's what I wore:

Pinafore Skirt - Custom made by TheBlackPinafore
Shirt - Indiska
Handbag - Gift from a friend
Shoes - 1950s vintage (via

A very big house in the country

My sweetheart and I took a mini-break last weekend, spending a couple of days at a gorgeous 19th century country house outside of the city. Here's a fall-time, countryside inspired look of mine... All modern this time, actually, but comfortable and well suited for the season.

Skirt - Olivia Rouge
Cardigan - Gift from mom (from Portugal)
Shirt - Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Line Collection

Friday, September 3, 2010

Upcoming events

Don't forget to including the following events in your calendar if you're in Finland these upcoming few weeks. :)

September 11, 2010 - Klubi, Tampere

This club rocks autumnal Tampere already for the third time. Performers are, once again, cream of the crop in circus and burlesque fields. ... (more)

September 19, 2010 - Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki

Helsinki Vintage is a sales event with a programme and it is organised twice a year. In the event you can explore the past decades design, aesthetics and the different forms of vintage culture. ... (more)