Saturday, 16 June 2012

WTFF: Vintage Ombre

Friday was a busy day here.  I went and investigated a couple of at home carers for Edie (we'll save that for another post), and as I mentioned in my brief post, I went to help set up shop for my friends Harriet and Sam.  They run what has always been a beautiful children's wear store, Miracle, but it has recently undergone a bit of makeover which has culminated in a light and spacious new store.  It really does deserve to do well after all the love they have put into it.  In all the comings and goings I didn't take any photos but when the excitement of the opening weekend blows over, I'll get some to show you how lovely it is.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that it was a day I could have easily forgone a frock.  Firstly I knew I'd be in and out of the car and in the houses of people with kids and I'd be wrestling with my own child, keeping her from stealing all the toys of others.  Secondly, I knew I was going to the store and there'd be moving and cleaning involved.  A dress was not the most practical thing to wear.  Thirdly, I didn't have time for a shower (too much information?) hence the pinned back hair and un-ironed dress.  But I decided that I was going to stay true to my cause and rock a frock.  And not just any old jersey-frock number, but a real pleats and flounces dress.  I am happy to report that when I arrived home at 11pm, my dress was still in one piece.  I barely even registered the dress "inconvenience" through the day - it wasn't an inconvenience at all.  So I take this as a lesson that frocks do rock and my excuses for not wearing them are not always valid.

So down to business: today's dress.

I bought this dress at a Vintage Clothing and Textile Fair in the Woman's Hall on Moray Place (Dunedin).  I actually went to the same fair again this morning and picked up a cute skirt for $10.  But I digress.  The dress was hanging on the wall and I eyed it as I wandered around the stalls.  Eventually I decided to ask the stall-holder if I could look at it.  She kindly informed me that I could, but the dress was pretty small.  I decided to walk away.  Why look at something I could never wear and just get dress-longing (you know what I'm talking about, I'm sure)?  But it kept calling to me so I went back and asked again.  It was a cold day and I was wearing a big puffer jacket and when I took it off the lady was able to better judge my size and we decided that it might actually fit.  And low and behold, it did.  Like a glove.  I promptly handed over the cash and walked out with a thing of beauty in my nappy bag.  It really does fit like a glove - as I said when I bought it, I can't ever gain a centimeter but it's totally worth it.  I wore it to Edie's 1st Birthday as it's such a party dress - full skirt, fitted bodice - but I decided that I wanted to see if I could turn it into a dress to be worn on any other day.  So I paired it with my brown boots (seen in WTFF: Parisian Chic) and a cardi, and left out the petticoat.  I think it was a success.

There are many things to love about this dress.  Firstly I was drawn to the changing hues in the material.  I called this post Vintage Ombre and it's not strictly ombre but I think you see where I got that idea.  None of the colours in the dress are any that I wear normally, but they are just so... appealing.  Like a delicious apricoty peachy dessert.  I love the paneling around the waist.  Each panel is about 2 inches wide so it has about 15 individual panels around the middle of the dress.  A lot of work went into making that dress.  Full skirts: I love them.  My mum sewed a petticoat with a tulle layer years ago as part of a costume for her.  The petticoat has seen many reincarnations but is now a staple in my wardrobe for just such a full skirt.  As I said, I ditched the petticoat today to make it more of a day dress and you are still able to appreciate the shape of the skirt as it has so much material.  The neckline of this dress is quite unusual - a wide v with a binding in the same material.  I don't think I've seen many other garments with this style.  I love the buttons down the bust - they pick up the cream in the material beautifully.
This style of dress is perfect for people who are bigger round the hips/bum/thigh area as those parts fall under the skirt of the dress.  You don't have to be small-waisted as the flair of the skirt means that the part above the flair (the waist) looks small.  Of course if you are small-waisted, it adds to the effect.  50s dresses are generally a flattering shape for most bodies, in my opinion, as their bodices come in such a variety you can find one to suit you, and the skirt works on almost anyone.

The cardigan I bought at a shop in Queenstown a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately I can't remember the name.  I would love to go back there.  It was a shop run by a lady who also did image consulting so she was incredibly helpful in the store.  I think this cardi cost me about $40 which is a bargain in my book.  It's not wool but still makes a great warmer layer.  I find long cardis don't often work well for me for a couple of reasons (short legs, curvy hips...), but I just need to wear them the right way and they're fine.

I've already told you about my boots.  Read here if you'd like to know more.   As I mentioned I wore them to "dress down" my frock.  I also have a cool pair of white leather brogue-type shoes that I considered wearing but it was cold and I have a dearth of tights at the moment, so boots it was.

The earrings are my wedding earrings - pearls my sister and I chose a day or two before the wedding.  They are very simple but I love that.  My gorgeous wedding dress (I will definitely write a post about that one day) was beaded and so I didn't want elaborate jewellery.  I wear these earrings all the time.

Yesterday was pretty miserable day, weather wise, so I ended up dressed like this for a large part of the day!  The hat I got through a friend of mine, Shannon, who was living in Dunedin for a year while she studied.  She now lives back in her homeland, Canada.  Last I heard, she was teaching in a remote part of Canada with a mostly Inuit population.  I should get back in touch with her because she made me laugh and I just know she's leading an interesting life.  Anyway, a friend of hers was making the hats and I like this one.  I love hats and one of the great things about living somewhere cold is that you get more chance to wear them.  They do make your hair look funny, which is not so cool.  I kind of get this "pressed" look on the top of my head and then curls springing out from underneath.  It's not flash.  But as long as you leave the hat on your head, you're fine.

The cool coat I bought at a store in Dunedin, Halo, which has since closed down.  But the brand of the jacket is Augustine which still exists and I have another coat of theirs, plus a couple of dresses.  Good stuff.  I was obviously drawn to the colour of this coat (I fight against making everything black just because it's "practical".  BORING!) but I also love the big buttons, the pockets, the swing cut, and just to make it extra awesome, the hood.  I will be sad the day it gives up the good fight.  I loved the bright pink with the apricot pudding colours - clashing but cool.  You wouldn't miss me coming down the street! I thought the length of the coat allowed the skirt to still be seen too so that's an added bonus.  You don't want to put on a frock then cover the whole thing up so no one can appreciate it!
Albert keen to get in on the action

And now some notes on Edie's frock.  It's not Aunty Natalie today.  It's Aunty Wen.  She is my brother's wife and I love getting parcels of clothes and other goodies from her and her mother as they're a treasure trove of coolness.  Wenjun is originally from China so she gets packages and pass-ons from relatives there and Chinese relatives here in New Zealand.  This can go in many directions - you may get beautiful and unusual things that are unique and special, or you get crazy stuff that is weird and wonderful and it's not even clear what it's supposed to be used for.  Wen has lived in New Zealand long enough to know the difference and so if you get the crazy stuff, she's normally sending it so you can appreciate the craziness, not make it a staple in your wardrobe.  It's win-win.  This dress wasn't from China.  Well, it probably was, but it went to Albany on it's way.  It's a Cotton-On Kids number.  That place is awesome for basics and the odd gem like this cute wee dress.  The cardi is from Aunty Natalie.  It's a Boden item and Edie's worn it to death.  I love the 'swing' shape of it - so cute on little girls.  The tights are also from Aunty Natalie and were sent to go with the dress Edie wore last week so they're Marks & Spencer.  The hair clip is also making a repeat appearance from last week (Jane, that's a mention two weeks in a row).  The shoes are See Kai Run and they are fantastic.  Harriet and Sam sell them at Miracle and I can't say enough about them.  They are podiatrist-approved for little feet and tick all the "I'm being a Top Mum and doing the right thing by my child" boxes, but still look freakin' cute.  Edie has two pairs but her See Kai Run shoe wardrobe is soon to be expanding...

You can appreciate why I wanted to save the awesomeness of this outfit for a Saturday morning when I could dedicate the proper time due to writing about such a lovely frock instead of slapping up a couple of pics at midnight on Friday.  I hope you can forgive my tardiness and enjoy the frockin' wonder that is Vintage Ombre.

1 comment:

  1. This is a truly rocking dress. I don't think I wore a dress the whole time I lived in Dunners- kudos to you, that takes effort, man.