Friday 24 November 2023

Not Tonight Josephine!

Going by how he carried on with Josephine in Ridley Scott's latest blockbuster, I doubt if Napoleon ever uttered those immortal words. 

We went to see Napoleon at Walsall Light on Wednesday, the day it was released, and despite it being bastard freezing in the auditorium we were transfixed from start to finish, so much so that we felt the need to dress up (or, as the kids of today call it, cosplay) on Thursday afternoon.

My grandma always maintained that if you bought whatever garments took your fancy, no matter how outlandish, then the right occasion to wear them would eventually present itself . So for Jon's play on Tsar Alexander I's Cossack soldiers during the 1812 Russian Campaign he wore a charity shopped Zara jacket, a couple of my belts, a vintage military balaclava and my vintage Tuscan lamb hat.

Paying homage to the magnificent Joaquin Phoenix, I'm wearing my Great-Great Grandfather's Cheshire Rifleman's jacket & matching waistcoat (what normal person doesn't have 19th Century militaria hanging in their wardrobe?), a 1930s Akco gents' silk foulard and one of my fedoras pinned at the front to turn it into Napoleon's trademark bicorn hat - a trick Mum deployed with her own hats for me & my brother's infant & junior school plays. 

I answered the door to the postman dressed like this and he didn't even bat an eyelid, he's that used to me!

Thursday was mild enough to forego the coat so I thought I'd give a nod to the Duke of Wellington (played by an almost unrecognisable Rupert Everett in the film). Long time readers may remember this maxi-length waistcoat I made from my brother's childhood bedroom curtains using a 1969 Buttericks pattern. They'd hung in his bedroom since 1971 until my Dad chucked them away in 2013 and I rescued them from the bin in the nick of time. 

If you're wondering, the barkcloth fabric features David Whitehead's iconic Soldiers print which was inspired by Napoleonic-era uniforms and was sold through hip London store, Heal's. (My parents had very good taste.) The vintage hand-embroidered Indian dress was a birthday present to myself back in 2021.

Do yourself a favour, don't wait for it to reach your TV screen, get your arse down to your local cinema, immerse yourself in the Napoleonic Wars and you too will be prancing around the garden in a bicorn hat when you get home. 

Our other viewing this week has been Boat Story (BBC1/iplayer) which was so good that we watched the entire series over two nights.  Gratuitously violent, darkly comic and with an all-star cast, if you enjoyed the BBC's The Tourist & The Outlaws you'll probably love this as much as we did. Over on Channel 4's Walter Presents, our latest obsession is Carmen Curlers, based on the true story behind the heated rollers of the same name which were manufactured in Denmark in the 1960s and went on to become world famous. It's glamorous, stylish and utterly compelling and it's so refreshing to watch a Scandi series that isn't all about rape, murder, human trafficking and child abuse. The opening credits are so stylish they give the Bond franchise a run for its money.

I'm still dressing for Autumn, although I plan to be coatless and enjoying some sunshine for a few days very soon - well it is nearly my birthday...

In my trademark vintage block print....midi dress & quilted jacket both 1970s Phool, felted wool fedora (Accessorize via Sue Ryder charity shop) and green sheepskin collar (clearance charity shop).

Vintage Roshafi block printed midi dress, vintage quilted Indian waistcoat (Xmas present from Liz & Al, 2020), Kurt Geiger fake snake leather boots (Vinted), orange felt fedora (retail buy, 2018)

Block printed midi dress by Dilli Grey, bruise coloured leather coat (Banardo's), felt fedora (Accessorize, 2022), fake snake Spanish leather boots (Urban Outfitters sale, 2021)

1960s suede mini skirt (Graziella at Moseley Vintage Hub), vintage suede coat (my friend, Cheryl), slouchy knit hat & Clarks boots (charity shop).

Vintage Afghan dress (misdescribed as Peruvian and snapped up for a bargain price), 1960s suede boots (Gisela), my beloved Afghan coat (ebay, 2019) worn with a plum fedora (retail buy along with the orange one shown earlier).  

Inbetween eBay listing, our jaunt to Bilston with Liz & Al, our trip to the cinema to see Napoleon and our bi-weekly swim & Spoons breakfast we've visited Walsall's newest eatery (that's not a burger joint or a chicken shop, Joey Greek Restaurant in George Street.

The coffee was gorgeous (cappuccino for me, Greek coffee for Lord Jon) and the staff were very impressed with our pigeon Greek!

Don't moan that there's nowhere in our town to go, use it or lose it, Walsall people.

Food-wise this was this week's Katy Beskow vegan recipe, a Moroccan flatbread to die for from her Comfort Food book. Lidl beer an optional extra!

We've had sunshine this week as well as a pretty sunrise on Tuesday morning.

Here's our latest secondhand finds - some sold within minutes of being listed on eBay.

 Clockwise from top left: 1980s deadstock West German lace collar blouse; Vintage French leather & sheepskin aviator jacket; 1960s Mansfield cossack-style all wool jacket; 1960s felted wool hat; French cycling jersey; 1970s Jeepers sequin boob tube; 1980s deadstock beaded shirt; 1960s guitar; Suede tassel trim belt; 1980s Donkey jacket; Doc Martens "Aimilita Triumph" convertible boots ; Farm Rio midi dress; Marseille Des Torts track top; Limited Edition Pharrell Williams for Adidas baseball jacket; Vintage Belgian cycling jersey; 1990s velvet jacket; 1980s Tricoville midi dress; 1970s cable knit tank top; Marks & Spencer leopard boots; 1980s C&A shirt; Marks & Spencer top hat.

1970s fur coat; 1980s spotty satin top; 1970s Bear for Wear, California leather jacket; 1960s French-made paisley shirt; 1990s cord coat; 1980s Scottish-made tweed blazer; 1960s Samuel Sherman dress; 1970s fake fur; 1990s suedette & fake fur top; 1980s beaded cocktail top; Arabian kaftan; 1980s Alexon blazer; 1980s fake leopard coat; 1940s rayon jacket.

I'm not particularly adventurous when it comes to makeup but inspired by my new blog friend Looks of Love T , I couldn't help snaffling these boxed and sealed Sleek products which I spotted in a charity shop on the way back from the baths on Tuesday. At £2 it was a no-brainer!  

I'm not sure if this is true or not but it didn't half make me laugh and they say the English are filthy.

I'll love you & leave you as rum is calling, see you soon!