Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The owls are not what they seem

On Friday, Minna and I held a David Lynch themed Halloween / housewarming party. Inspired by Oona's Lynch-lunch from earlier this year, it gave us and our lovely friends the perfect excuse to dress up as our favourite Lynchian characters.


Audrey Horne via Twin Peaks High School

Audrey Horne via One Eyed Jacks

Donna Hayward

Mystery Man


Monday, October 22, 2012

Finnish Burlesque Gala

After a day of vintage adventures that included dumpster diving (oh yes!) and knitting, I cleaned up, donned a frock and headed out to the Finnish Burlesque Gala, where the country's sparkliest performers bumped and grinded the night away for an excited audience.

The evening also marked the grand release of the much awaited Fintage calendar for 2013 and, ladies and gents, it is even more gorgeous than I could have imagined! It will be available for purchase online soon and I'll be sure to keep you posted about that as it is something that you simply don't want to miss.

As I was there first and foremost on official Fintage duty, selling the aforementioned calendar and postcards, I cannot comment much on the performances themselves - but it was truly lovely to get to spend some quality time with my fabulous friends. Here are some snaps of a few of them.

Some of the ladies of Fintage:
Marianne, Jirina, me and Rhia

Jirina looking ├╝ber glam in her
30s reproduction red velvet gown

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gloria Swanson the designer

It was a few years back, in 2009, to be precise, that I wrote about Gloria Swanson being a hero of mine. This, of course, holds true today as much as it did back in 2009.

As some of you may know, Gloria added fashion designer to her repertoire of professions back in the 1950s. She took over Puritan Dress Company's line called Forever Young in 1951 and that association lasted all the way until 1981. Gloria's mission was to improve the line that was designed mostly for larger and busty women, with the loving image of her "stout" mother in mind. According to her autobiography, titled Swanson on Swanson, she would travel to Paris and Florence every year for inspiration, and talk to salesgirls and fitters because they are the people who best knew both the dresses and the customers.

"I like to think that during my tenure I made the average stoutish woman in America look a little more glamorous in clothes off the rack than she had before 1951", Gloria wrote.

Along the years I've seen dresses designed by Gloria Swanson pop up on Etsy and Ebay on occasion. Although they aren't really my personal style, I always take a closer look just to see what kind of pieces Gloria came up with. I find it awesome that the actress, whose name was on everyone's lips following her performance in Sunset Blvd., chose to design a line aimed for larger ladies.

Here you can find a collection of pretty frocks designed by Gloria for Forever Young around the 1950s, sourced from various online shops.

From Mill Crest Vintage

From AlexSandra's Vintage Emporium

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Fintage knitting club gathers

Helsinki's very own Fintage knitting club gathered for the first time last Saturday. Three of us met at a cute cafe on Bulevardi and we ended up sipping tea, flipping through knitting magazines from the 1930s and 40s, planning our future projects and just chatting away. Now, I haven't touched a knitting needle since school so I will be learning from scratch - but I'm very eager to start! My first official knitting attempt will be a beret from a 1934 pattern. More about that later, perhaps.

We'll have our second meeting next Saturday, October 20, so if you're in Helsinki, please feel free to pop by and say hi! More details can be found via the Fintage website and Facebook.

Monday, October 15, 2012

1930s winter boots

Vintage winter shoes are, unfortunately, a rare find these days. So much so that when I came across these incredible 1930s to early 1940s winter boots, I literally gasped!

According to Fraulein Marlene's Vintage Shop on Etsy, they are a brown leather and buckskin winter boots with typical art deco design from Germany. This is what I call shoe perfection! Unfortunately this pair was small and they have already been sold to some very lucky gal but I'll keep hunting for something similar until I find them. One day! Meanwhile, the Miss L Fire Havana boots are quite a good match.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Plaid jacket by Tailorbrooke

I thought I'd show you my new autumn jacket that I recently snapped from Ebay. The label is Tailorbrooke for the Kerrison's department store in Charleston, South Carolina, with the fabric made in the UK.

The jacket features a plaid fabric in greens and reds and with a touch of grey and yellow, and it is lined inside in teal rayon. The seller dates it to the 1940s/50s but I find it a bit of a challenge to date because the look is so timeless. Regardless, it combines many of the things that I love the most in clothing, like plaids and greens and reds and teal.

Pretty much the perfect fall jacket, if you ask me. Oh and I paired it with my green Miss L Fire Havanas aka the perfect fall shoes. Check and check!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A bit of 1930s & 1940s fall inspiration

Like I've previously mentioned, I am simply not a fan of the fall and winter seasons. Whilst others manage to look super cute in hats, gloves and layers a plenty, I just never seem to manage to pull it off. However, I have learned from many years of past mistakes and, like last year, I've prepared well in advance. I didn't want to be caught by surprise, especially as the weather gets cold so fast here in Finland, like it already has.

While I'm preparing for a cold and lengthy winter, I thought I'd post some fall inspiration all the way from 1930s and 40s Hollywood to brighten up these long, dark and wet autumnal evenings. The large majority of these are sourced from my many Tumblr favourites.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Taking a tip from Harlow herself

A few weeks back a dear friend of mine sent me a clipping of Jean Harlow, which featured the following quote:

 "I'd rather have a few dresses of very fine material than a whole closetful of fussy, cheap-looking things... I find you don't tire of anything that is lovely in quality and line. It saves you money in the long run to get a good dress of which you're always proud and use it for two or three years." - Jean Harlow

(More on the Baby's view on quality pieces here)

This quote came as a strong reminder on how I've neglected this motto for the past few years... Not consciously but I suppose it just happened, little by little. See, ever since I went back to university, I've naturally been living on a student budget and hence able to buy very few extra things, including clothing. Whilst living in London, I discovered the high street shops and would buy various items from the likes of Primark and New Look to compliment my vintage dresses. Don't get me wrong, I see absolutely nothing wrong in mixing vintage with the modern, but I've come to the realisation that I've very likely lost money in the whole process. See, instead of investing in one good quality pair of shoes per season, for example, I've ended up buying a pair from Primark only to have them fall apart after a few months and then going back and buying another pair. Repeat the process a couple of times. Silly, I know, but I just kind of let it keep happening.

So I've now decided to follow Harlow's advice and stop buying items that I know are inferior in quality. Instead, I will invest in good quality pieces that I absolutely love and know I will continue to love and wear for several more years to come. It may mean far less clothing and ensembles where everything's matchy matchy - but it means far better quality. It means that every item in my wardrobe is an investment.

(Also, thankfully the Finnish high street shops are a whole lot more boring than the London ones, which will help the process a great deal...)

I have also decided to fully revamp my closet and part with anything and everything that does not fit me or that I no longer regularly use. I have many dresses that are now too big for me and also a few that are too small, which I've been hoarding for various reasons. Plus, I've outgrown the 1950s a long time ago so I've decided to part with most of my clothing from that era. If you're in Helsinki later this month, you can come and check out my items for sale over at Helsinki Vintage.