Gros Bisous de la France

Oh, hey. Remember when I had a blog?

I think I got wrapped up in my life for awhile there, which is quite forgivable given what has come to pass. It would be impossible to catalogue everything that’s gone down since I last left you in Ireland, but here are some snapshots and stories from some more photo-worthy things.

First of all, l’appart. The palatial Chez Michelle. I moved into an apartment on a street that looks like this. I’m living in an adorable lyonnaise studio with a river view above a puppet museum, which is several levels of ridiculous. It has big French windows which I can throw open in the mornings when it’s sunny. This is cobblestoned route I take home from the metro.

IMG_6794

I’ve been travelling too. I, uh, went to Sweden. Casually. I flew up to Stockholm to spend time with my beautiful Finnish 1930s extraordinaires Riikka and Jirina. And we have many, many photos to show for the weekend. I recommend you pop across to Riikka’s blog to perve on the out of control vintage dinner party we had the pleasure of attending with Miriam and her lovely Swedish friends.

156560_294892903974567_848272423_n
30950_300209350109589_1286925271_n

I had another London fix. Going to London is good for the soul. I go there and I brunch, I drink good coffee, and just generally potter around feeling content. I’m gradually becoming more and more convinced that the rest of my life needs to happen in London.

3630_10200577071965846_1502277440_n

In this travel frenzy, I made it to Paris too for my favourite francophone Sabra’s burlesque debut. She was fabulous fabulous fabulous, and you should go lurk her blog here. Here she is, photo courtesy of Meler Jean-François.

21150_10151574774877446_1494068318_n

And here are some rad French burlesque girls.

19224_445323542218557_1843538750_n

And soon after, with Sabra in tow, I went to Marché de la Mode Vintage, Lyon’s veritable vintage event of the season. We met 1940s girl Jessica of Leçons de Retro.

549087_447226672028244_1995178429_n

Also in Lyon, I’ve been winning latté art competitions.

71432_581738115177793_1862535468_n

And attending parties at chateaus.

551315_10200695504926596_366098384_n

And taking day trips to fairytale lakes.

IMG_6872

To add more ridiculousness to the ridiculousness, the week before last I went to Finland (again). Riikka and I made trouble and threw picnics all over Helsinki, and I took a boat to Estonia (say what?). The photos on photos we instagrammed and added to our personal collections deserve a post of their own, but here’s a preview.

283872_10151453866784514_1253840819_n
And I swear I’m not making all this up, but right now I’m in Nice on the start of a side-trip into the South and down through Italy. Sigh.

BLsZjvvCcAAVg3c.jpg-large

But really, there is so much more absurdity to come, so I shouldn’t be getting all overwhelmed. Just when I put it all together in a post like this, it seems out of control. I’m really having a fabulous time in France, and would rather not come home. My days here are numbered now, so I’m throwing as many dinner parties while I still can. It’s all red wine and cake until the end of July.

Lovely to drop by again. I might be back soon, I might not. But in the meantime just imagine the decadence.

Gros bisous de la France,

Michelle

9 Comments

Filed under Travel

Rad People I Met in Ireland

Salut,

I’m fresh from Ireland. There was cider and cobblestones and an overnight jaunt to a haunted castle. I ate eggs for breakfast every day, and slept in adorable B&Bs. I also stumbled into some vintage stores and met fabulous strangers.

The first rad vintage girl I met worked in Lucy’s Lounge in Temple Bar. I’ve met lots of 40s and 50s enthusiasts, but mod girls are so rare. Dandelion (even the name!) was in full mod regalia, right down to the Twiggy eyes. So fabulous, I can’t even take it.

IMG_6602

On Friday I wandered out of the WB Yeats exhibition at the National Library and walked into this lovely Norwegian girl, a vision in green. Denise works in a vintage store in Norway, and was wearing a Collectif coat I’ve ogled online. What a babe.

IMG_6616

I had to return to Lucy’s Lounge a second time to buy a faux fur-collared capelet (obviously), and met a score of other rad people.  I met Lucy, the extravagant store-owner, who has a blog of her own. And there was a vintage man! (Another rare breed). Endless mutual admiration.

IMG_6619

So Ireland was a wild success on the vintage stranger front, unexpectedly so. The international code of vintage meant we all exchanged hellos and head nods and cooed over each other.

There are still some haunted castle photos to come, and hopefully some news after Saturday when I’ll have the keys to my new apartment!

Gros bisous de Lyon,

Michelle

4 Comments

Filed under Travel

Lyon: La Basilique de Fourvière

Coucou, it’s been a little while since I dropped by. I have so many photos to share from the past few weeks’ travels and such, but for today just one, from Lyon no less.

In Lyon there’s a cathedral on the hill called “La Basilique de Fourvière”. It’s super-majestic and old, and if you do actually manage to walk up all the steps to the top (or catch the funiculière), there’s the most magical view of Presqu’ile, and the whole city. Heather and I caught the funiculière up at sunset to look at all the red roofs, and it was a little bit breathtaking. Regarde:

485174_10200241791264038_2123317732_n

I’m wearing the Gretel coat from Collectif: almost as magical as the view. It was a London acquisition which has made the icy days in Lyon sort of more bearable. You’ll be seeing a lot of this coat, j’espère.

It’s bedtime in Ireland (I’m in Ireland!), so à bientôt, and gros bisous !

Michelle

2 Comments

Filed under Travel

London-bound

Bonjour amis/amies,

I’m flying to London in a few hours! I’ll be in London this weekend visiting my great London lady-love, Lex, who I met last November in the Collectif boutique near Brick Lane. She’s another fabulous feminist/vintage girl (how do I find these people?), a high femme, and generally extravagant person. We were inseparable for the last days of my trip last year.

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 1.34.00 PM

This weekend we’ll be bonding, brunching, and probably staring into each others’ eyes. In adorable news, Lex and her boyfriend Theo are engaged, as of Thursday, so there is that excitement to deal with.

There will be London/Lex blog updates, OBVIOUSLY, but if you stay tuned to @ravishingretro and @theseasonofthewitch on instagram, there will be much to see there, I promise you.

Gros bisous de Lyon,

Michelle

Leave a Comment

Filed under Travel

Vaprikki-Vintage, Finland

Last weekend I went to Finland, of all places: an unexpected first travel destination. I was in Finland to visit Riikka of Harlean’s Heyday, who I met/fell in mutual vintage feminist love with when I was in London last November. Riikka took me along to the Fintage Vaprikki-Vintage weekend, and showed me a most peculiar side of Finland. For all the sightseeing I did, I’m convinced everyone in Finland has red finger-waved hair and a wardrobe of 1930s evening frocks.

It’s a wonderful thing when two instagram accounts converge; a constant photo stream was happening, @-tags going wild. It’s also a wonderful thing when two blogs converge. Riikka has already written about the weekend here, and now I must show our pictures to the world.

We met in Helsinki on Friday, immediately scouted a perfect pair of 1940s platform heels, and went along our merry way in winter wonderland ridiculousness.

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 11.04.53 PM

There were burlesque plans for the evening, obviously. Much preening ensued.

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 11.05.16 PM
Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 11.13.58 PM

So then frocked up in a DIY sequinned capelet, I enjoyed incomprehensible Finnish burlesque with Riikka for hours. Actually I think the incomprehensible Finnish monologues made it all twice as good.

This was all in a Tiki Bar (obviously), so in between performances we sipped mai tais and worried about cultural appropriation (resources on tiki culture and cultural appropriation, anyone?). We also staged elaborate photoshoots, because our fashions must always be immortalised.

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 11.21.35 PM
Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 11.21.46 PM

Then, the simply DECADENT Vaprikki-Vintage weekend in Tampere. En route:

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.22.05 AM

Oh, there was everything. It was a dream vintage fair, with lots of everything at RIDICULOUS prices, and lots of pretty vintage people walking around in every era. MANY VINTAGE SIGHS.

It was so peculiar to see so many 30s and 40s ensembles in the crowd, more than I’ve ever seen before. Sydney’s vintage scene is very 50s-centric, so it’s so fascinating to me that Finland gravitates towards earlier decades. The hairstyles in particular were such a treat. So exquisite, ugh! I’m used to victory rolls, not finger waves. Look, Riikka and Jirina are such visions:

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.20.29 AM

More Jirina, because don’t we all want more Jirina.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.22.21 AM

Look, I’m mixing with 1930s girls! And everyone is wearing velvet, so I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed. This was only my second outfit change for the day, too.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.24.58 AM

I bought the most amazing 1950s party frock, you’re all going to die. LOOOK!

vapriikki_007

It was only 50 euro. Actually. God, if frocks like this retailed for 50 euro in Australia, I don’t even know how we’d cope. It all got a bit hazy after the first frock, but I think I brought home three or four new treasures, mostly from Jirina’s collection, because we totally share a waist size. There were also girdles involved. More on this later.

I met so many fabulous people. Check out this gentleman in a  vintage safari outfit. SERIOUSLY. Let’s just appreciate him for a moment.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.39.09 AM
There was burlesque, and then we went home, via winter wonderland Finland. Exhibit A:

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.39.19 AM

We celebrated the Saturday night of Vaprikki-Vintage by drinking rosé out of cans in retro underthings (apparently they do that in Finland: drink rosé out of cans). This is where the girdles became important.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.45.19 AM

And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day. Neverending vintage paradise.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.45.31 AM
vapriikki_016
Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.45.46 AM

There was shopping, and there was a Charleston class, and then a Finnish gentleman took me for a swing about the dance floor (how I’ve longed to lindy hop). No adjectives left because everything was just ugh.

I left Finland, and so it is that I find myself back in Lyon, France – which isn’t too bad, either. But I’m overcome with insane urges to spend all my weekends in the Nordic countries, because it seems to me that everyone there has red finger-waved hair and wears velvet, and that’s sort of my fantasy world.

So, good times in Finland, you could say. I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, I’ll try and console myself with France.

A bientôt!

Michelle

4 Comments

Filed under Fairs, Travel, Vintage Events

Sabra, The Blueberry Pie

I had the exquisite pleasure of meeting Sabra The Blueberry Pie over the weekend: the first vintage girl I’ve managed to seek out in Lyon. The vintage blogging world is truly a wonderful thing. Sabra caught the train up from Grenoble to spend the day with me, and I totally fell in love. She’s like a French version of me.

We “brunched” in la Croix Rousse. I use inverted commas for its questionable brunch status (see figure 1.1):

IMG_5922

Scrambled eggs, pancakes, fruit, salad, yoghurt, cheese. French people are confused about brunch. But it was brunch nonetheless! Here I am having tea:

IMG_5998

And here is Sabra, la magnifique:

IMG_5920

The café where we brunched was actually adorable. BEYOND adorable. And sooo retrooooo you guys.

IMG_5883

Obligatory post-feminist discourse outfit shots in the retro café:

IMG_5932
IMG_5928

We went vintage shopping at Carrie Bradshop: a marvellous vintage boutique on Rue Romarin in the 1er. Most importantly, the name. It was a glorious explosion of costume jewellery and retro frocks. We played for awhile!

IMG_5946
IMG_5936
IMG_5949
IMG_5958

We also visited Le Cabinet des Curieuses, which is just so-so fabulous. I think I’ll write an entire post on this boutique of dreams, practically next door to Carrie Bradshop. The lovely X’tatix Doll keeps shop, attending to all your reproduction vintage and vintage lingerie needs. Looooove! Some photos to come another day, but in the meantime, look at this EXTRAVAGANT boudoir robe I swanned around in for awhile. It’s sort of to die for.

[Update: if you're interested in the fabulous robe, it's a unique piece by Melle Théo Legrand, who you can totally look up here].

IMG_5975
IMG_5987
C’est tout pour aujourd’hui. I am so content to have made the acquaintance of Sabra. Meeting hybrid vintage/feminist types always gives me so much joy. And there will be more Sabra shenanigans in 2013! I’m off to Paris in April to see her perform at a festival of burlesque as The Blueberry Pie, and there will be visits in between.

So much love for the blogosphere. If you’re a blogger in France, or anywhere nearby, let’s have tea! It will be magical.

Gros bisous de Lyon,

Michelle

5 Comments

Filed under Eat/Drink, Travel

L’Université à Lyon

Bonjour,

I’m at university, je suis à la fac! Last week there was orientation, tomorrow I start classes. Actually. The campus of Lyon II is ridiculously pretty, and even though I actually have most of my classes in the ugly buildings, I get to glimpse all the grand lecture theatres and elaborate stairwells every now and then.

The classes I’m taking are super-cool. I’ll be doing literature and translation and gender studies, mmm. I’m most excited about my gender/language class, on the gendered grammar of French language. It gives me little francophile feminist flutters. I’ll also be reading some eighteenth century French literature, L’Etranger, Virginia Woolf and all manner of wonderful things. And everything will be in French, bien sûr. Many happy sighs!

Here is the pretty part of Lyon II, covered in snow no less.

IMG_5897
IMG_5894
IMG_5893
IMG_5891
IMG_5895
IMG_5888
IMG_5898

Some exciting blog updates to come. I spent Saturday with the lovely Sabra The Blueberry Pie, a burlesque girl who shares my twins passions of vintage and feminism. Many splendid pictures were taken. Also this week I’m visiting Riikka of Harlean’s Heyday in Finland, to attend the Vapriikki-Vintage weekend, and meet the Fintage crowd. All the things!

A bientôt !

Michelle

5 Comments

January 21, 2013 · 9:30 am