Friday 30 November 2012

Purple Haze, Ain't It?

I swear that most of the population of my home town are on crack. Almost everyone I encountered today felt the need to ask an inane question like the bloke who was responsible for my blog title. I've also had, "Do you like purple?" "Are you a Prince fan? Purple Rain, geddit?" "Do you like vintage clothes, then?" and "Is that supposed to be a coat?" 

How on earth's a girl supposed to charity shop when under constant interrogation?

No wonder I returned empty-handed. Still, with the stuff I've rescued from Dad's house there's no real need to shop.

 Jon took a fancy to these Denby cups and saucers a while ago and I managed to ferret out the matching coffee pot, sugar bowl and milk jug from the back of the dresser.

Designed by Gill Pemberton in 1963 after her travels in Russia the design was originally called Samarakland but later changed to Arabesque after Portmerion released a line with the same name. The range was entirely hand-painted and in production until the early 1970s. 

They were one of my parents' wedding presents in 1966 and only made the odd appearance at dinner parties so they're still in pristine condition. The psychedelic purple tablecloth is a Conran and another groovy wedding present. 

Mum was a demon crocheter in her day. I found this poncho she'd made in the bottom of the wardrobe when I was over at the house yesterday. She used to wear it when I was a babe in arms. 

The divine Helga wanted to know what sartorial rules we were planning to break today. I went with flashing far too much thigh, mixing silver & gold jewellery together, lurex as day wear and double leopard print, oh and I cut my own hair before I left the house this morning. Tut tut, call the fashion police!

1960s majorette's costume (Seen HERE), Wetherall of Bond Street wool cape (Seen HERE), Original leopard platforms (Seen HERE), Ultra violet evening gloves (£1, car boot sale), 1960s fake fur collar (inherited from Mum)
It's the Walsall Music Festival this weekend with Reverend and The Makers headlining and I can't wait. I bloody love Jon McClure, I may be days away from my 46th birthday but I'll probably still have to be restrained from invading the stage. I'll never grow up. 

Have a fab weekend!

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Going To A Go Go

 I bet nobody ever lay on their death bed wishing they'd worn a longer skirt, I'm damned sure I won't!

In the bad old days before I discovered the wonder of blogs I frequented a forum where women endlessly posted links to clothes they'd seen on various retail websites and pondered the question, "Am I too old to wear this?" Invariably it was a dress than revealed the knee and the poster was usually the age of a foetus (or at least young enough for me to have given birth to).

If someone mentioned that they were older than 30, had a half-decent pair of legs and quite fancied something short they were told, "Just because you can doesn't mean you should", trot out some god-awful Coco Chanel quote such as, "Less is More" or sneak the truly dreadful "Mutton dressed as lamb" into the argument.

Here's a quote for you, To dress modestly is to die a slow death, I've no idea where it came from, I think I've just made it up.

When I went charity shopping dressed as a 1960s go-go dancer earlier today, my only regret was that I should have worn my thermal vest, even with a fake fur coat on top I was bloody freezing.

A parcel from the fabulous Gayle containing this 1960s fringed tunic (along with this gorgeous retro card) arrived this morning and I just had to wear it straight away. She suggested the tunic would look good with bell bottoms but being such a short arse I tried it on, it covered my knickers so out I went.

My mate, Em, sent me this book about the seven Garman sisters, muses with a Walsall connection. I've been dying to read it forever and I can't finish my le Carré fast enough.

Martin Berens, Tall Fashions of California tunic worn with Shubette of London fringed waistcoat (part of a 1960s go-go suit, seen HERE), wolf choker (50p, car boot sale) and 1960s suede go-go boots (seen HERE)

Look at me, it's Wednesday, I've been alcohol-free since Saturday night and I'm hovering around the bar like a woman possessed. There's a fresh bottle of rum with my name all over it, cheers!

See you soon.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Give Pants A Chance

The humble pair of trousers, dismissed by many of my sisters-in-vintage who claim not to own a single pair. Well, I'm outing myself, I love wearing them and the wider and louder the better.

I feel different in trousers, purposeful and more feisty, they're the garment of choice when I'm forced into dealing with the grown-up necessities in life like lawyers, accountants and bank managers.

Not so long ago for women of my age (and older) wearing pants professionally was seen as an act of rebellion. As 16-year-old students at our all girls' grammar we fought for the right to wear trousers to sixth form classes and I courted controversy in the boardroom by daring to wear a trouser suit to work in the 1980s. It was assumed I was a lesbian for years afterwards but it certainly put a stop to the directors slipping a crafty hand up my skirt when I served the Château Margaux.

How times have changed. Mind you, my semi-retired elderly accountant nearly fell off his chair when I walked into his office this morning dressed like this so maybe trousers still aren't as widely accepted as they should be.

Lovebird choker (50p, Miss Selfridge closing down sale 2008)

1960s sculptural earrings (courtesy of the magnificent Pao)
I think I've still got my serious business face on here, I don't look this grumpy normally, honest!

 1970s Lilac crushed velvet blouson (Birmingham pop-up vintage market, £10), Red wool bell bottoms (hand made by me), 1970s wide-brimmed hat (courtesy of the lovely Zoe), lacy scarf (The gorgeous Elizabeth)
Hope your week's started off well. I've got several hours of Rolling Stones footage to catch up with on the i-Player this evening so I'm happy.

See you soon!

Sunday 25 November 2012

Vix In The City - Shop 'Til You Drop, Drink 'Til You Fall Over

Yesterday I met bloggin' babes Annie and Jo in Birmingham for a day of vintage shopping.

And man, did we shop! No flea market, pop-up bazaar, retro fair and vintage clothes shop in the Digbeth area of the city was safe from our rummaging and any plans for food and drink were left firmly by the wayside in our frenzy for a retro fix.

 Here's Jo rocking her to-die-for 1960s newspaper print mini she's had for years.

Annie in a fabulously shaggy gilet.

And me in my worn-so-many-times-it's-almost-welded-to-my-back fake fur jacket. I'm linking this to Patti's Visible Monday as yesterday's outfit got lots of love.
(To non-Brummies this is The Jam tribute wall downstairs at Urban Village).

Cow Vintage is very 1980s-orientated but we found some cool stuff, including this sweet California-made 1970s mini dress Jo bought.

I got lots of inspiration for my next stall layout from browsing Mister Bird's Emporium.
 So much retro, so little time! After a solid five hours of shopping we said our goodbyes to Jo and braved the City's German Market crowds and the torrential rain for a dash to the pub and a restorative pale ale (or three). Annie had time to meet the gang before hopping on the bus back home.

The lads look like they'd carefully co-ordinated their outfits. Watch out, Mumford and Sons, the Walsall Posse are threatening to out-tweed you.

That's us relatively sober.

And this is Liz and I a couple of bottles of wine and a South American dinner later. 

Here's yesterday's purchases, a 1930s-looking hand-sewn rayon maxi dress.

ILGWU label Gadar of New York 1950s playsuit, Colin Glascoe psychedelic 1960s tunic, 1970s poppy print maxi, original Glam Rock platform boots, 1970s lilac crushed velvet jacket, 1960s patriotic patent belt.

Talk about a bargain, nothing cost over a tenner!

Hope you've had fabulous weekends, too.

Thank you so very much for your kind words and messages about my last post, you truly rock and I promise to get back and reply to you all as soon as I can.


Friday 23 November 2012

Forget Kirstie's Vintage Home, Here's Ours!

My Dad's been in a specialist dementia nursing home for just over a year. Yesterday, some thieving scum bags broke into his unoccupied house (my childhood home) & helped themselves to the contents. Not much was taken but items were arranged into piles around the house as if they were intending on returning. They'll be disappointed if they do, my brother and I have emptied the place of anything of value, Jon's boarded up all the windows and installed a bastard massive alarm that'll wake the dead (or deafen them) if it goes off. Take that, suckers!

Now the only problem is shoe horning yet more stuff into my already full-to-bursting house. I tell you, Kirstie Allsopp's got nothing on this place.

Here's some new additions:

Mum and Dad bought this ceramic cat back from Italy in 1966, he's now resplendent on the fireplace.

On the hearth there's a Burslem Art Lustrine bowl and a Doulton Lambeth Ware vase.

An Edwardian pitch pine side table squashed up the corner, 

home to a Mid-19th Century papier mache opium companion set,

A life size bronze bust of "The Boy, David",

 and a framed daguerreotype.

A dashing ancestor from Mum's side of the family who apparently went mad and ended his days in an asylum.

A 1930s Perky Pup

A Victorian cotton lawn underskirt.

An Art Nouveau brass coal scuttle next to the wood burner

 Victorian silver-topped vanity jars in the bathroom.

I've wedged a Regency papier mache decorative tray into the bedroom fire place.

It'll stop the draughts if nothing else.

I'll probably find new homes for this lot, more Doulton Lambeth Ware (Circa 1870)

More Victorian pottery. 

Victorian double-sided glass and velvet souvenir from the Isle Of Wight.

 Disturbing dolls. I'm keeping these downstairs to scare off any burglars!

That's all folks! Lots more to come including Edwardian baby clothes, more creepy relatives and Victoriana galore.

Victorian underskirt worn with a 1970s floral blouse (Local hospice shop), denim waistcoat (Acorns charity shop) and an Urban Outfitters belt (present from Liz)
Onwards and upwards. I've been through enough crap in the last few years to let something as trivial as the loss of a few possessions bother me and poor old Dad's blissfully unaware of everything (including who the hell I am).

I'm off to open the bar and looking forward to a day (and night out) in Birmingham tomorrow.
Have a fabulous weekend whatever you get up to and see you soon.