Monthly Archives: October 2011

Brisbane

I’m in Brisbane this weekend for no real reason, so I’m spending my time flitting about the city. I think I’ve spent too much of my life up to this point underrating Brisbane. Doing a bit of reading before I came up this weekend, I was surprised to see articles about a burgeoning creative scene I never knew existed. I’m not sure when this happened, but apparently Brisbane is cool these days.

Today I went out to West End, which as I understand it is sort of the equivalent to Newtown in Sydney. There were a few vintage/retro stores, and a great deal of excellent-looking eateries. I had the most divine breakfast at a café/bar called Jam Jar: poached eggs, mushrooms, wilted spinach etc etc. It had such a nice vibe, and Bettie Page was spray-painted onto the door to the bathroom (a way to win me over). I also stumbled upon a fabulous store called Kitten d’Amour in the CBD which sells clothes which sort of seem to be the love child of fifties, lolita and goth fashion. I bought a pin-up-esque outfit that I daresay you’ll see me sporting sometime soon.

My main question is “since when?”. Since when is Brisbane so cool? I’m totally won over.

What I wore today:



Cardigan: Topshop
Skirt: Lazy Bones
Hat: 1940s, Camden Passage Markets in London
Shoes: Accessorize
Bag: Fringe Bar Markets, Sydney

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Outfit Post: October 28

This afternoon was another fabulous gathering for the USYD Darcy Society – a picnic, a picnic! There was a generous spread of cakes as per tradition, and we ate quite consistently for two hours. Whilst I have no photos from the picnic, I do have some lovely outfit shots thanks to Vanessa, one of the girls at the picnic. She had an impressive camera in her hands, so I made use of her talent.

It turns out Vanessa has a fabulous photography blog called “The Monday Issue” which features her dreamy, escapist sorts of photos – just the sort I like. What a talented acquaintance to have made!

Voila:





I’m wearing the same dress I wore here, but nevermind. I like seeing bloggers work with one item in a number of ways, so you can enjoy that here.

Dress: Laura Ashley
Belt: taken from a vintage 50s dress
Scarf: David Jones
Necklace: Disney Couture
Cardigan: Thrifted
Stockings: vintage 50s
Hair flowers: Sportsgirl
Shoes: Bloch

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Debrief on my Life

I’ve been a little lax with carrying my camera about, so this is a non-pictorial representation of the recent goings-on in my life.

First off, I’ve been doing some writing as of late that you may enjoy. Here are the links:
-  I did a guest post for a Sydney travel blog Aussie on the Road about Sydney’s vintage scene
- I wrote a guide to wearing red lipstick and a guide to buying vintage online from Australia for the lovely feminist/creative website Mooky Chick

I’ve also spent a lot of time browsing blogs as per usual. Here is what enthralled me:
-  I loved this post from Vixen Vintage about wearing petticoats
-  I lusted after the amazing hair styling cabinet belonging to Kate from Vintage in a Modern World
- I laughed at, but also enjoyed this vintage ad for swim caps

This weekend I’m popping up to Brisbane for family bonding, and also to attend the launch of Seam Magazine which is a crafty, vintage-inspired new magazine I am very much looking forward to. Any tips for Brisbane vintage shopping?

And as the sole photo for this post, I present to you this snap of my victory rolls yesterday of which I was rather proud. I’m afraid I look a little grumpy here, but this was probably the early morning lethargy as I was en route to 10am class.


A bientôt, friends!

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Love Vintage Fair

I couldn’t make it to the Love Vintage fair at Canterbury Racecourse for the opening night, so Sunday I went along with Jesse, Tim and Molly for the intense vintage experience. I was there for three exhausting hours – guys, shopping is hard. It was totally overwhelming, with so many fab stalls I didn’t quite know where to look.

I loved seeing the stall for the Darnell collection which I’ve had a little look at online. I met Charlotte Smith, the curator of the collection which was lovely. I also liked the Frankie Magazine stall – they were selling cute bunting, books of Frankie goodness, and a new men’s magazine called Smith Journal which I’d recommend to all the dapper males out there.

Apart from those stalls, it was all a blur of petticoats and costume jewellery, but of course a very pleasurable blur.

What I wore:


Dress: vintage 50s, from Camden Passage in London
Hat: vintage 40s, from Camden Passage markets in London
Hat pin: vintage, from Berrima
Belt: thrifted
Bag: retro (not sure of the era), from Fringe Bar markets in Paddington
Shoes: bought in Paris
Gloves: vintage 50s, bought in Bellingen

Here are my purchases:

I spied Kelly Doust from far away but was a little too starstruck to speak to her. Nevertheless, I bought her new book from Coco Repose. I’ve perused it a little, but I’ll post a review very soon.

I scoured the fair for sweater clips, asking all the jewellery exhibitors quite earnestly. I admit I’ve been looking for them ever since I started reading Andi B. Goode‘s blog as she has such a cute collection. They clip to either side of your cardigan to hold it over your shoulders – ingenious! Well I found a single gold pair. It’s a little damaged, but for $9 I decided to just quench my desire for sweater clips and make the purchase.

I have such a weakness for costume jewellery, so this purchase was inevitable. It matched my outfit perfectly – I love the pale pink chain.

This dress is so amazing. I expect you’ll see my wearing it in the near future.

I’m particularly proud of Jesse and Tim who made it into the Daily Telegraph looking adorable. Check it out here.

See you soon, friends.

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Black Cherry, October 15

Last night Black Cherry was on at the Factory Theatre in Marrackville. It’s a subculture sort of event, bringing together rockabilly ladies and gents, psychobillies, goths, punks and the like. I’ve always been intrigued, but this is the first Black Cherry event I’ve ever actually attended.

It was totally enjoyable; there were burlesque performances, retro DJs, bands, etc. Whilst the entertainment was great, the most exciting part was not the performances but the people. Having never been to Black Cherry before, I was stunned by the intensity of the crowd, and so impressed by how well-dressed the attendees were. There were so many fabulous reproduction 50s dresses and corsets it was almost unbearable. Seriously. I was overwhelmed.

As a precursor to the event, my lovely American friend Erin underwent a glamorous transformation to 50s belle. I did her hair in victory rolls, dressed her up, she slicked on red lipstick, and voila, Erin glided into Black Cherry looking fabulous. We took fun before and after photos. I should warn you of the poor lighting and dreary backdrop, but they are photos nonetheless.

Before:
Erin chose to look as melancholy as  possibly so as to channel those sad before photos they use in ads for acne/diet products.


After:
What a babe.



And here’s what I wore to Black Cherry:


Dress: Bettie Page Clothing
Fully fashioned stockings: What Katie Did
Shoes: Bloch
Hair flower: Sportsgirl

Note that I had my hair died black again! It’s nice to be so dark – it helps me along with my mission to look as pale as possible à la Dita von Teese. I went to Sterling in Surry Hills, where my stylist helpfully set my hair in curls as well so I was prepped for Black Cherry.

I’ll be posting again soon about the Love Vintage fair I went to today. I picked up quite a haul of things which I’ll share with you, as well as some photos from the fair. Until then, ciao ciao!

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Old Hat: The Inaugural G&T

The first soirée for Old Hat was thrown Thursday night with great aplomb! Fabulous frocks were everywhere to be seen, and cocktails were sipped enthusiastically for several hours. It was so nice to have young vintage-loving people gathered together in such a heavy concentration – I don’t think the contented smile left my face for the entirety of the night.

Though we made a brief detour, our location du jour was Hinky Dinks in Darlinghurst. It’s a fabulous retro venue, only recently opened and decorated in the style of a 50s diner. As you’ll see in the photos that follow, the decor is really quite amazing – I love the classic 50s fridge, the bar stools, the chequered lino floor, and the mint green-red colour scheme.

The drinks were also divine at Hinky Dinks. I had the Gin ‘n’ Jam cocktail which features gin, cranberry juice (I think, but my memory might fail me) and rose petals among other ingredients. Delish! I was particularly intrigued by the Hinky Fizz cocktail which was served in a little ice-cream tub complete with a tropical umbrella and a scoop of sorbet. Also delish! Seeing as the Old Hat mission statement claims absinthe as one of our core values, we also tried the Zombie, which was très strong, but absolutely smashing. Hinky Dinks has totally, utterly won me over.

I’ll treat you to the photos:

We made for quite a picturesque bunch sitting by the window in the little bar area at Hinky Dinks.

The Gin ‘n’ Jam and the Hinky Fizz.

The adorable Kath reading from a pin-up adorned drinks menu. Too cute!

I mean seriously, everything at Hinky Dinks is so adorable. They gave out little boxes of rosemary popcorn to everyone – I think we may have consumed more than was necessary.


It was especially lovely to meet Molly from Molly Made who came to Old Hat as a sort of group blind date (kudos). Her presence was such a treat. I think she may be the answer to my problem of sewing incompetency.


A moment of appreciation for Tim who was dressed like a respectable 1930s fellow, having just had his hair done at Sterling in this rather fetching do.


Plus some appreciation for Jesse who was dressed in a fab early 60s dress, and Nick who was channeling 1950s rockabilly man.


Here is the whole ensemble of Old Hat attendees. Note Coco in the divine red 50s frock, and Gila standing by in her fetching velvet blazer. Behind us you can see Hinky Dinks in all its glory – check it out! Seriously.

What I wore:


I had come from uni, so I was sporting a more casual ensemble – though I admit I did go thrifting after class to complete the outfit, lest I wear something substandard to Old Hat’s Inaugural G&T, of all occassions.

Blouse: thrifted
Skirt: Naf Naf (a French high street store)
Belt: thrifted
Stockings: What Katie Did
Shoes: Bloch
Necklace: vintage 50s, bought in Camden Passage in London
Hair flower: Sportsgirl

I can’t wait for the next Old Hat event to come.

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Outfit Post: October 10

I must confess my failure to you. I took a pledge to buy nothing new this October, but today I absent-mindedly violated this promise. I’m so bitter at myself circa midday today, when I wandered into Dangerfield with the best of intentions… I emerged with this [very useful!] blue cropped cardigan and an [also very useful] black belt, essentially buying half my outfit for the day. It wasn’t for two blissfully ignorant hours that I realised my mistake. It seems consumerism has permeated my consciousness so deeply that I forgot my pledge against it and had this violent outburst of shopping. On the down side, I failed at Nothing New October. On the bright side, I have a fabulous cardigan and made it ten days consuming only vintage and used goods – that’s mildly impressive. I’ll continue for a week into November as penance.

I had swing dancing after class today, so I donned a petticoat as per tradition. I also donned some rather unusual victory roll-style curls. I’ve been experimenting with my hair a little, and created this style on a whim. I’m a fan – it looks lovely with my hair back in a ponytail. Having my hair back in a ponytail is, incidentally, quite significant; it hasn’t been this long for over three years. I ordered a snood off etsy to celebrate which I daresay I’ll be wearing very soon on this blog. Buckle in for long-haired Michelle.





Dress: Laura Ashley
Cardigan: Princess Highway
Necklace: vintage 50s costume jewellery, from Camden Passage markets in London
Pantyhose: Sportsgirl
Shoes: Bloch
Glasses: from a store in Guernsey, UK

I’ll be back on the blog soon with reports from Old Hat, the Sydney vintage social some friends and I organised for this Thursday (please attend!), plus some pictures from the Love Vintage fair and Black Cherry this weekend. It’s a wonderful week for vintage events in Sydney.

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Old Hat

I’ve made such lovely friends who all share my love of old things, and though we enjoy hanging out en masse, we’ve been thinking about how marvellous it would be to bond with other people with an interest in vintage. Of course Sydney already has a bevy of vintage-themed events to attend, but as young people, we’ve found it difficult to find events that suit us, especially seeing as we aren’t yet accomplished swing dancers. There is no society, per se, for people to geek out about mid-century paraphernalia in a more casual setting. It is for these reasons that we have ambitiously set up “Old Hat” in order to establish our own crowd.

“Old Hat” is for newcomers to the vintage scene like ourselves (as well as veterans if they feel so inclined as to attend). Rather than meetings, our events will be in the style of “socials” wherein we’ll all gather at a venue with a retro feel and just hang out. We want it to be a little like the New Sheridan Club in London which celebrates bohemianism and extravagance in dress.

Swing [dance] by the Facebook page and have a little read of our manifesto, become a fan, and RSVP to attend The Inaugural G&T on October 13. Our first meeting will be at Hinky Dink’s in Darlinghurst, which is a recently-opened fifties diner in Sydney. It ought to be a riot: a very well-dressed riot.

Pip pip, then!

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Berrima: The Purchases

So I went a little wild in Berrima. I always seem to find better antiques and vintage items in the countryside; the stores aren’t so depleted as those in the city, and I theorise that the older demographic means better donations. I also like that the stores don’t prey on me with exorbitant prices.

Here are my purchases!

1) Three bakelite bangles – about $5-6 each. My first legitimate bakelite bangles! There was one glorious basket just filled with them, so I picked out these three to colour-coordinate with various outfits.


2) Four hat pins – $5. I’ve been needing some hat pins.


3) Three pairs of fully fashioned stockings – $5 each. What a find! Though I lust after them, I find fully fashioned stockings from What Katie Did a little too expensive to justify, so this was perfect. AND they’re original 50s. So chuffed.



4) A cute little German brooch – $15. I think I’ll steam it to restore its shape and such, but otherwise this brooch is so adorable. I’m feeling it’s very 40s.


5) Hairnets – $2 -3 each. In Peppergreen Antiques there was an entire cabinet filled with vintage hair accessories and beauty products. It was amazing! I nearly bought some bobby pins, but reasoned that I’d simply lose them. Hair nets will be useful, I feel. They’ll help me wait out the time until I eventually cave and order a snood from etsy. Plus check out the cute packaging!


6) A pair of green gloves – $5. The green has faded, but I enjoy the weathered look of this pair of gloves. They’re also wonderfully warm. All the other pairs of vintage gloves I own barely keep me warm when I take them to cold, cold places, so these will be good for wintry escapades.


7) The coat! Oh, the coat! – $80, and worth the minor extravagance. I was very impressed at the price of this coat, for it’s absolutely divine! I don’t have a photo of the coat alone, so here I am channeling Soviet Russia.


Voila! Such a splendid haul for one day, and not terribly expensive either. Here are a few more pictures to revel in:

And finally a little feature on my friend Rachael who I neglected to include in yesterday’s round-up, and whose vibrant red stockings should never be left out of any photo set:

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