Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Able Grable dresses!

Able Grable, one of my absolute favorite of places for vintage inspired dresses, has come out with three divine new frocks; Miss Lola Burns 1933, Miss Iris Henderson and Ready Hedy. Able Grable never disappoints and I love them all! Miss Lola Burns 1933 is my personal favorite. I just CAN'T say no to a Peter Pan collar, tie bow and polkadots - and look at those sleeves!

I am already the proud owner of two dresses by Matilda (The Countess Frock and The Miss Betty Amanda Dress plus The Deco Delight Capelet) and will surely add several more in my collection in the future.

Check out Able Grable for more details and photos on the gorgeous gowns!

Miss Lola Burns 1933

Miss Iris Henderson

Ready Hedy

Queens of Tease show

On Friday I attended a fabulous Queens of Tease burlesque show, starring The Tease Queens, Kitten DeVille (USA) and Miss Anne Thropy (France). It was definitely one of the most fun burlesque events I've ever been to and that is saying quite a lot, considering I've seen quite a bunch of shows in my time, hee. The house was jam-packed and the crowd was insane - it was more like being at a rock show than at a burlesque event at times! The performers were top notch and I loved all of the numbers. My favorite was probably Miss Anne Thropy's "Somewhere under the sea". A gal who dances to "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid is definitely after my own heart! I have to say that I'm really proud of Finnish burlesque acts because they combine sexy and fun and make an effort to tell an actual story. Dita Von Teese, take note! ;)

Dress - 1940s vintage, Lane Bryant (via Etsy)
Handbag - 1950s vintage, Morris Moskowitz (via Etsy)
Gloves - 1950s vintage (via Etsy)
Shoes - 1950s vintage (via

I was very nervous about wearing one of my favorite dresses to the event, considering that it is vintage and drunken Finns are not the most considerate of people... Thankfully the dress is still in one piece, although looking back on it I really should have been smarter and not have taken the risk. Oh well, you live and you learn!

Attending the show made me wonder what the burlesque scene is like in London. It has been really wonderful to attend burlesque shows monthly during my stay in Finland. I hope the scene is as active and fun in England. It has been a treat to be able to dress up and attend these type of events on a regular basis and I hope to continue doing so in the future.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lady in red

Last week I finally finished my very first sewing project based on a vintage pattern! It is a 1930s street length skirt that you can see on the picture on the left. The skirt is based on this Wearing History repro pattern of a 1930s original. I did the street length version. I wanted a somewhat simple project to start with, a piece of warm clothing that I could wear everyday. I picked up a piece of red fabric during the Christmas sales that is 50% wool, 50% polyamide. It is very warm and cosy. People keep on telling me that the skirt looks formal but I think it makes a nice and versatile everyday skirt that can be worn during fall and winter. Yes, I wore it outside in -20c winter wonderland and survived to tell the tale!

I know I must have done some sewing back in school but I really cannot recall that at all. If you add that to the fact that I am the least crafty person in the world, I was pretty much lost in front of the sewing machine at first. I am currently taking a sewing class and the teacher was very helpful and understanding of my total lack of sewing skills. It perhaps wasn't the smartest idea to start in a 1930s pattern because, to be honest, I could barely read it. Credit goes to my teacher once again for being so helpful! I have to say that I am quite proud of myself for actually having made something with my own hands. Can't WAIT to officially start on my next project! But more about that later. :)

I thought I'd also write a little update regarding my red hair woes. I went back to the hairdressers early this month and got my hair colored again. The color actually lasted quite a bit longer this time and I didn't have to do anything to it until a couple of weeks later; last weekend. My hairdresser told me that red dye usually fades pretty quickly the first few times but lasts longer after that and turns out she was right. I picked up a Color Mask conditioner in Pepper for a little under 10€ and it really worked wonders on me! It turned my hair from a brownish copper mess back to intense red, as you can see in the picture on the right. It looks almost as if I had just dyed it! Thanks to this product, I won't have to constantly dye my hair, which is a huge relief. I would warmly recommend it to anyone with hair color woes similar to mine.

Monday, February 22, 2010

London calling

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier in London in 1949.
Photo from

Last week I received some truly wonderful news; I found out that I've been accepted into postgraduate studies at the University of Westminster in the great city of London! I did my undergraduate degree on film studies and art history at a Scottish university and graduated back in July of last year. I will continue studying film at Westminster. The programme was my first choice and I really feel it is the perfect course for me. And what better city is there to study and live in than the historic London? I'm just over the moon with happiness!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Minna Parikka - SS2010

Thanks to the lovely Fiona Timantti for the heads up on the Minna Parikka Spring/Summer 2010 collection & website. I have to say that I'm unfortunately not loving the new Parikka collection quite as much as the previous ones. The shoes are simply too edgy and contemporary for my personal taste, even though the colors are still as gorgeous as ever. Here are my favorites from the S/S 2010 collection.

Muse - so cute! I might have to have these.

Ginger Lace-up


I really adore the knitwear collection too, especially the bow back skirt & sleeve cardigan - but I doubt they'll be available in my size.

Some lost, some found

One of the main things that so many of us love about vintage is the uniqueness of a vintage piece; it truly is difficult to find another one like it. Most of the time this is a good thing but sometimes... Not so much.

I'm sure that most vintage collectors have gone through the heartbreak of losing a rare item, perhaps through damage or by losing an online auction. I remember my first big vintage heartbreak like it was yesterday. I was unable to buy a gorgeous 1930s deco style handbag from a vintage shop because I wasn't carrying enough money with me. When I went back the next day to get it, it was gone. There's quite a few Ebay actions that I'm still sad about losing and I guess it doesn't really help the case that I've saved photos of the items.

1930s hat

1950s hat

But sometimes you get lucky and come across an item that is similar to a piece you've lost and are still sad about. For instance, I lost an auction of this stunning 1930s hat some months ago and was pretty upset about it. Then, a couple of days back I found and bought this beautiful 1950s hat on Prance and Swagger Etsy. Now, I know they're dated a couple of decades apart and clearly it shows in the style of the hats. But still, you can't deny the similarity of the colors and the satin rose decoration. It made me really happy to find the 1950s hat and finally be able to let go of losing the 1930s one.

Now, if I could only find the replacement for this amazing 1950s cherry handbag, I'd be an overjoyed gal! :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

The perfect 1940s pumps

Aren't these 1940s burgundy pumps the perfect pair of shoes? My gf actually told me about them a few months back, saying they made her think of me. Unfortunately, they're too narrow for me. But if your feet do fit these, I say go get 'em tiger! $75 at 1860-1960. *sigh*

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Katie Did - SS10

I literally squealed upon seeing this preview of the What Katie Did Spring/Summer 2010 collection, to be released March 1st. 1940s and 1950s inspired nautical swimwear, vintage style loungewear, delicate pinks and Tempest Storm inspired corsets! Ga-ga-gorgeous!

I must say that it makes me sad knowing that none of these beauties will most likely fit my, um, tempestuous plus-sized curves. According to Katie herself, What Katie Did has no plans to make sizes larger than an 18. Boo. There is definitely a big dent in the repro vintage lingerie plus size department that I hope will be filled in the near future.

Speaking of nautical obsessions, here's a picture of me wearing my brand new Captain Flare dress by Bettie Page Clothing. I've literally been coveting this dress for months and months and finally decided to order it for myself as a birthday present. I was so delighted when I got it and loved it every bit as much as I had hoped. ♥

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Video of the week: good luck charm

Long time, no blog... It seems January went by so fast! I've been busy working, filling out postgraduate applications, getting to know my new car and sewing - but more about that later. I thought I'd make a tiny update by posting my video of the mo... err, week.

Here's a lovely clip from Waterloo Bridge (1940), starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor. Touching, tragic and beautiful, Waterloo Bridge is one of my very favorite Viv movies. Not to mention that her wardrobe is absolutely stunning! Don't we all wish we could look as amazing as she does - especially in the rain! She wears the most adorable hats, coats and shoes in it. Maybe if I had Myra's wardrobe, I'd feel a little bit better about the winter... But alas, I don't. Well, I suggest brightening up the gloomy days by watching some Vivien films. Even though they aren't the lightest of films, she always makes this girl happy.