Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The dilemma of vintage furs...

When is it ok to wear a fur?

Last weekend we went to AutumnFest in Taree, and did an op-shop sweep of the surrounding towns.

We found the amazing Wingham! Well, its amazing for having a small population but able to sustain a yummy local produce cafe called 'Bent'. (guess why we ate there)

Wingham has a great Vinnies op-shop on the main street, and just as we were leaving my friend Kim asked if they had anything out the back that they thought we might like.

The helpful shop assistants came back with three racks of vintage furs (real and fake). The fake ones were a bit matted, but the real ones (all circa 40s-50s) were in pristine condition - i've never seen real furs that well looked after.

And they were all $25-$30 each. Shops in Sydney sell vintage fake fur for $80+ - these were the real deal.

Ethical crises ensued.
I'm a vegetarian, and feel that farming and killing an animal just to wear its skin is wrong (i'm not talking about indigenous populations or feral pests here). Modern fur is pretty hideous (Lara Bingle, i'm looking at you), we should know better. Fake ones look authentic and glam.

But vintage, thats a different kettle of fish. 

Circa Vintage says "whilst I do not support animal cruelty or factory farming, I have no trouble with vintage furs because the animal has died long ago. The demand for vintage furs is much less than the supply and so I consider valuing and preserving them to be a form of respect for their sacrifice and the aesthetics of our fore-mothers. Besides: many vintage furs are being saved from landfill, as they are little valued these days, compared to the past when they were a great symbol of status."

But then a friend told me about 'vintage' shops in the UK recreating vintage looks with modern furs - is that true? I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen in Australia as our desire for fur isn't that huge, but the thought it may happen is a bit stomach churning.

"Somehow having a beautiful vintage fur coat cut-up and used for animal beds or seeing it clogging up a landfill doesn’t seem to honor either the animal who gave its life or the designer or seamstress who toiled for hours to create the garment" - Ethical Style.

I bought two of the Wingham furs - a fox stole and a wallaby (i think?) capelet, both from the 40s/50s. When I put them on, I thought of the woman who owned them 60 years ago - how they might have been a present from a husband who's always away but adored his wife.
I wondered how they ended up in Wingham! I bet the owner looked glamorous (if not overdressed) at the Country Women's Association Christmas Ball...

Vintage wallaby capelet
Am I just trying to create reasons to make it ok, is it really a major vintage sin? Or is vintage fur ok?
Do things ever become de-tainted?
What do other people think?

Monday, March 21, 2011

More hair adventures for the short-haired grrl...

Well, the front is growing out nicely but I have no idea what to do with the back. (the front is about 3-4 inches long). 7.15am on the train is never a great time to take a photo...

I've just done two smallish victory rolls on the side, and curled two big ones across the top - then bobby-pinned in place. Plus a flower clip from Alannah Hill on the side. 
I'm really liking the victory roll/normal roll combo, for starters it keeps it off my face! (one of the reasons i've had short hair for so long).

Not the greatest photo...

Does anyone else have some suggestions for short hair styles?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Patons and Baldwins Specialty Knitting Book No.98 - c1936

Whilst crusing through the St Vinnies in Rockdale yesterday I came across this P&B knitting booklet for 20 cents - what a find!

I'm judging mid 30s by the hair and makeup - PLUS one of the models on page 8 is holding a copy of Gone with the Wind with the original cover (published 1936). So I'm going to cautiously date it to then...

The whole 24 pages has been scanned to this Flickr Set if you would like to print any of them out...

PS - Opshop.Org has a complete listing of op-shops all over Australia!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

a Dyke on a Bike

Happy Mardi Gras!

Dress: self made, Petticoat: SockDreams, Hat: etsy, Necklace: opshop,
Handbag: Lux DeVille, Seamed Stockings: Ebay

My pillion rider was a leopard print handbag.
Oh what fun! Can't wait to do it again next year!

Sailor Playsuit

Phew - what a crazy Mardi Gras! I have photos, i'll blog them in my next post - but for now, here is the sailor playsuit I made for the Love Boat party.

I love this playsuit so much! I used the highwaisted pants pattern from Butterick (5250) but moved the zipper to the back. I made them just below the knee too.

For the top I used old trusty - the same pattern I used for my black version and white version - but self drafted a sailor collar to fit.

**Old trusty is really just the princess seamed New Look 6567, which I fiddled with 3 times to get it to fit the way I wanted.**

The whole outit is made from navy stretch cotton sateen, with a white trim around the collar. The stars are just silver iron on motifs.
I'd still like to add some cuffs to the sleeves but I ran out of time - hopefully I can be bothered soon as I'd love to wear this to AutumnFest in Taree in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Victory Rolls for short-haired grrl...

It can be done! Kinda!

All you need is patience, a comb, hair spray, more hair spray, maybe some gel and some bobby pins... Please excuse the iPhone photos - they were taken after I had worn my hair this way all day and the curls are kinda messy by this stage.

Vintage styled bird brooch from Midnight Black,
spotty puff sleeve shirt from Torrid.

Not sure why I pulled a face?

Ok, so they don't look like Fleur's (great tutorial by the way) but thats as close as my short hair will get. They look a lot cuter in real life, but I wasn't able to do them the same way this morning?
How strange.
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