Wednesday, 10 October 2018

She Drew The Gunne

I'm not sure if my latest eBay purchase is a Gunne Sax - it's a cheesecloth-type of fabric, American made with an ILGWU tag but no brand labels and with the Renaissance-inspired corset-style laced bodice it has definitely got the look. It was listed with a Buy It Now price of £8 so I didn't think twice, I clicked the button and bought it straightaway.

I can't make head nor tail of American sizing but this vintage dress is marked as a Size 5 and fits perfectly. I'm thrilled that it's still warm enough to step out in white cheesecloth. If this unseasonably hot weather is payoff for our terrible winter then bring on another Beast from the East.

I wore my new-to-me maxi with my exotic snakeskin Gohill's boots from 1966 which, you may remember were given to me by the favourite teacher (HERE). The choker came from Biba and was Mum's back in the 1960s.

We've had another full-on week of stock hunting and have been all over the place looking for choice vintage gear. Yesterday was the turn of the East Midlands and, as it was another glorious day, I wore my 1960s embroidered Indian cotton hippy-tastic maxi dress with a quilted Phool waistcoat and a shedload of Indian tribal jewellery.

This was last Friday's outfit. The amazing burn-out velvet bells were from the fabulous Suzanne Carillo and the 1970s Jeff Banks W1 tunic was an absolute bargain from a Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair a couple of years ago (it's twin is currently on eBay for £165). The cherry coloured wooden bead thong necklace was Mum's favourite thing to wear when she was expecting me and the leather & suede 1960s-does-Victorian lace-up boots were £1 from a car boot sale.

Stock hunting hasn't been half bad. Here's a few of the pieces we've picked up this week.

Clockwise from top left: 1960s Psych midi dress: Windsmoor coral belted Spring coat; Ethnic tunic; 1960s pussy bow mini dress; 1970s Prova maxi; Vintage pussy bow blouse; Jaeger cotton velvet jacket; 1960s High Class sheepskin; 1960s Dereta wool coat.

Clockwise from top left: 1970s ethnic-inspired midi dress; Tissavel fake leopard coat (RESERVED); 1970s handmade day dress; Butte Knit pussy bow blouse; 1960s dress suit; Hand knit bag; 1970s bird print pussy bow blouse; 1980s Velvet and gold dot midi dress; 1970s Ladies pride day dress

Clockwise from top left: 1970s Dereta wool coat; 1970s fake wrap midi; 1970s floral midi; Pussy bow day dress; 1960s wool shift; Fake fur jacket; Mr John for Liberty, London wool blouse; Printed day dress; Frill collar midi dress

Clockwise from top left: 1980s leather flying jacket; English-made chores jacket; 1970s belted mac; Hepworths car coat; Vintage Wrangler denim jacket; 1960s Crombie overcoat; American chores jacket; 1960s suede country waistcoat.
You'll find us (and our latest wares) at Vintage Village this Sunday. I'm not quite sure what to wear for a scary fair - some people might say that I'm a terrifying enough sight already (especially when I've left the house at 6am).

It's Wednesday which means it's Apprentice and rum night. Not too much booze though, yet another day of shopping awaits tomorrow.

See you soon!

PS If you get a chance you have to watch Stacey Dooley Investigates: Are Your Clothes Wrecking The Planet? If you've ever been a consumer of fast fashion, I guarantee this will ruin your appetite. (HERE)

Thursday, 4 October 2018

All The Leaves Are Brown...

...but the skies aren't grey!

Autumn, it's definitely upon us and, unusually for us Brits, October's got off to a warm start so I can flounce around in my favourite cotton maxis without having to hide them away under coats.

Photo courtesy of Pop Up Vintage

Autumn is the busiest time of year for vintage selling and on Sunday, with the alarm set for 4.30am, we travelled to East London to trade at the Brick Lane and Friends Festival.

Pop up gazebos were supplied by Tower Hamlets council so all we had to do was bring our rails, our stock, one of our Moroccan outdoor rugs and ourselves!

I know, I don't need another dress but, when I spotted a gold studded trumpet sleeve attached to a maxi decorated with a mythical beast print on another trader's rails at Walthamstow a fortnight ago, I knew it had to be mine. 

 Brick Lane is uber cool and I last visited with some blogging pals five years ago (HERE). I know, where does the time go? I thought Suzanne would appreciate the Pug poster.

Never be beige.

These Topshop leather space boots are absurdly comfortable, perfect for a long day on my feet. They were so cheap in their end of season sale last year that I ended up buying two pairs.

WEARING: Shubette of London Mythical beast print maxi (Viva Vintage), 1970s velvet jacket with witchy sleeves (Liebchen Vintage)
Being of a slightly obsessive nature, I can never just rock up to an event and hope for the best. We always do a dummy run in the garden (we've got a pop-up gazebo for when it rains), measure out our floor space and set up the rails. At catering college, my lecturers used to impress upon us the importance of the five Ps, Poor Planning leads to a Piss Poor Performance. Whilst there's no guarantee that any punters will turn up or, if they do, they'll like anything you sell or fit into anything on your rails, at least you know that you've made the best possible use of your allocated space.

WEARING: Vintage 1970s printed cotton maxi skirt (99p Ebay bargain, years ago), Kate Moss for Topshop silk hippy blouse (found in a charity shop last week for £3)

That'll do!

Wearing: Vintage pink & silver Lurex maxi skirt and a 1970s Richard Green Shirt Company blouse I found in a chazza earlier in the week. 

On Friday I put on my big girl knickers and booked in for a hair cut. It had been almost twelve months since my last visit (and before then, a whopping 12 years ago!) I told the salon's style director to do whatever he liked, I just wanted long hair and to not look fashionable. He told me not to be alarmed with the amount of hair he was chopping off and I was very happy when he showed me the finished result, the length seemed about the same but it felt a whole lot healthier. The long layers give it more of a 1970s vibe.

WEARING: 1960s red wool maxi (charity shop), kids' vintage velvet embroidered waistcoat (eBay), Banjara choker (a pressie from the amazing artist, Ilaria Novelli), 1960s does Victorian lace-up boots (car boot sale)

You can thank me for the unseasonably (and gorgeous) warm weather we've had lately - I packed all my summer clothes away the day after Walthamstow! The first half of this week was quite chilly so I was glad of this vintage red wool dress & velvet waistcoat to go out chazzing on Tuesday morning. I love getting the clothes out of the suitcases on top of the wardrobe and rediscovering my winter clothes all over again - it's like shopping for free.

WEARING: Kate Beaver hand printed maxi dress (found in a £1 charity shop, three years ago)

On Wednesday it was warm enough to go out in a cotton dress. Jon and I went on an epic charity shopping road trip and were out for hours. We even treated ourselves to lunch in 'Spoons, something we haven't done in ages, in fact it's been so long that the menu had changed! I highly recommend the roasted vegetable and hummus wrap. 

WEARING: Vintage Adini block printed Indian cotton maxi dress, 1970s hat, River Island suede platforms (all charity shopped)

Today was another warm one with a day of yet more chazzing. We've sold an unbelievable amount of stock in September (despite a quarter of the month being spent in Greece) and the stockroom rails are emptier than they've been in years. Vintage hunting is like a full time job but a lot more fun, especially when I find stuff for me - like this vintage brown felt hat, something I've been after for ages!

Clockwise from top left: 1960s suede boots; 1970s Windsmoor cape (it's not beige, it's camel!); 1980s off-the-shoulder midi dress; 1960s-does-Victorian cotton velvet maxi; 1970s Bickler wool coat; 1960s trouser suit; 1970s wool cape; 1970s Windsmoor blazer; Bus Stop novelty applique jumper, 1960s mohair coat.

And talking of chazzing - I sold everything I bought last week before I got a chance to photograph it, arghhh! Here's this week's finds (there's menswear as well but I'd run out of time). Do I keep the Bus Stop jumper? It's not my usual thing but it's Bus Stop, a shop I was forced to spend hours in as a child and, if you knew my mum, you'll know that the motif featuring a fingerless be-gloved hand with super long, blood red long nails complete with a cigarette in a holder was Mum all over. It's almost as if Lee Bender knew her.

Right, I've got a date in the Black Country Arms this evening and there's a pint of India Pale Ale with my name on it, must dash!

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday and to Judith, The Style Crone, for Hat Attack #63

Saturday, 29 September 2018

They Came To Greece, They Had A Thirst For Knowledge.....

Buses are all well and good but keen explore more of Kos's interior, we really needed our own set of wheels. We could have hired sport cars or soft tops but, at 38€ for the day, we were more than happy with a little red Hyundai. Repeating keep to the right, keep to the right, like some sort of religious mantra, it didn't take long for Jon to get to grips with driving on the wrong side and, with surprisingly good road surfaces, the journey was far smoother than negotiating the pot hole-riddled horrors that we're used to at home.

In just over an hour - we took a couple of wrong turns and inevitably ended up lost in an olive grove - we reached our first destination, the island's most important ancient site, Asklepieion, which was founded in the 3rd century BC. Until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 554 AD, Asklepieion had been both a school of medicine and a healing centre and followed the teachings of Hippocrates who, if you remember from my last post, was born & lived on Kos.

Asklepieion was named after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing and the son of fellow Gods, Apollo and Coronis. Whilst pregnant, Coronis was unfaithful to Apollo and he was so angry that he had her burnt on a pyre but, during the cremation, he realised his error and snatched his unborn son from her womb. Apollo banished Asclepius to Earth where he was found and raised by Chiron, a kindly centaur. Chiron taught Asclepius the art of healing and he became so accomplished that he learnt the art of raising the dead and attained immortality. 

The ruins occupy three levels with the Roman-era public baths and remains of the guest rooms on the first level.

Asklepieion has the most incredible views over the Aegean to Turkey, said to have been deliberately chosen in order to lift the spirits of the patients who travelled from all over Greece to seek treatment. 

The second floor holds an altar of Kyparissios Apollo, with the 1st century BC Temple to Apollo to the east and the first Temple of Asclepius, built in the 4th century BC, to the west. 

Are these columns Ionic, Doric or Corinthian? Judging by the ornate carving at the top they'll be Corinthian. Those seven years spent at grammar school weren't in vain after all! 

Making like a vestal virgin in my £1.99 charity shop cheesecloth dress.

As you can see, we became mildly obsessed with photographing these lion head spouts, likely from a sophisticated two thousand year old drainage system. Who says you can't combine beauty with practicality? Certainly not the ancient Greeks.

The other tourists that day were mostly German and Italian. There were a couple of Brits at the ticket office arguing that they weren't going to pay eight quid just to see a f*cking church. Yes folks, we're going to be forced to leave Europe soon and live on an island surrounded by people like that. God help us.

My legs haven't been the same since I climbed these steps.

The remains of the 2nd century BC Temple of Asciepius are up on the third level.

I see Turkey!

After passing the time of day with a couple of Asklepieion's resident cats we jumped back in the car and continued on our way.

We drove up a perilously steep cliff to Zia, said to be Kos's prettiest mountain village.

After parking the car and taking a short climb up the hill, we stopped off at a 200 year old former watermill for an iced coffee (frappe).

According to the Lonely Planet, Zia resembles a one street theme park in peak tourist season with coachloads of tourists deposited every few minutes. By mid-September it was pleasantly busy but not overwhelmingly so.

More steps!

A further few miles drive through the Dikeos mountains and we reached the village of Pyli.

Pyli was far less commercialised, with just a handful of tourists seeking shelter from the blazing sunshine in the village's two tavernas, next-door to one another in a pristine village square. We took a seat, ordered (just by way of a change) Greek salads and Mythos beer and watched the village housewives scrubbing the outside of their houses whilst cats basked under the foliage.

After lunch we wandered around the village and daydreamed of buying an ancient stone house, I'm rather taken with THIS one!

And that was Kos, just the relaxing week away we needed - beautiful beaches, endless sunshine, fabulous food and ancient ruins on almost every corner.

Batteries recharged and pre-festival season sanity restored, a mere twenty-six hours after landing back in the UK we were back on the road. With the alarm set for 5am, last Saturday we travelled to Walthamstow where we had an amazing day trading with Pop Up Vintage.

Tomorrow we're off to London again with Pop Up Vintage, where we'll be trading at the Brick Lane and Friends Festival (details HERE). We've been out hunting every day this week and we've got some incredible new old stock, even if I do say so myself!

See you soon!

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.