Friday, 27 October 2017

New Boots & Panties


I'm off to collect a parcel of pants from Ajay's, the newsagent at the end of the road. Not for me though, I treated myself to a five pack from Marks & Sparks at the start of Summer which, if my previous knickers are anything to go by, should keep me going for the next six years. These are for Jon. A certain French website has got a 40% off everything sale at the moment so he's stocking up on his favourite posh European brand. 


The boots? I thought I'd done well when I snaffled my maroon suede ankle boots in Banardos on Tuesday but, on the way to the till, I spotted these. At first glance the suede looked so pristine I assumed that they were modern but, once I'd taken out the stuffing (about a zillion crumpled up carrier bags), I discovered they were 1970s originals. Despite being a UK 7 they're a tad on the large size but nothing a Poundland insole can't sort out. They're keepers!


It would be a crime to cover my new old boots with a maxi so out came my Tarantella suede suit. If you're into 1960s & 1970s fashion, consider yourself a feminist and come from Walsall then Tarantella is the holy grail of vintage labels.


Edna Kirby's factory, like many of our town's leather workshops, started in the back of a terraced house. Tarantella had a largely female workforce and became internationally famous for their leather gloves supplying companies like Marks & Spencer.

The Tarantella factory

Unusually for the time, Edna Kirby valued her women workers, allowing them to continue working after they married and had children, even providing a crèche. However, in August 1970, after introducing family planning clinics for her workers, the story was picked up by the national press and the workforce was portrayed in a negative light, causing great upset for her female staff. Edna's reasoning behind it was quite simple, she'd lost many skilled workers through unplanned pregnancy, which was a blow to the factory when so much time and expense was lost spent training them. Edna sold the company in the early 1970s after pressure to pay her workers by the day rather than by piece work. The workers were kept on but the quality of the materials decreased and the company closed two years later.


This amazing Tarantella jacket, made in 1969, takes pride of place in Walsall's wonderful Leather Museum (but I'd rather it took pride of place in my wardrobe!) 

Enough about what I've bought, here's what we found for the Kinky rails over the last ten days:


Clockwise from top left: 1970s Astraka full length fake wolf coat (SOLD!); Barbour quilted gilet; 1960s baker boy cap; 1970s fake fur; Lederhosen; 1970s men's suede gloves; 1980s starburst belt; 1980s embellished angora jumper; 1970s fake fur; 1970s Sheepskin mittens; Guatemalan shoulder bag; 1970s bomber jacket; 1980s bow tie. 

Clockwise from top left: 1980s Kangol cap with tags attached; 1970s Dhobi gents raincoat; 1960s Foster Menswear wool pea coat worn with a 1970s deadstock Folkspeare cravat; 1980s hand knit; 1970s leather trench coat; 1980s Jaeger blouse; 1980s pure silk shirt; 1970s Californian label hooded leather bomber jacket; Malaysian batik shirt with tags attached; 1960s Tissavel fake fur; 1980s tapestry Gladstone bag; 1950s hand-rolled Jacqmar silk scarf; New with tags William Morris's Strawberry Thief tapestry rucksack; 1970s nylon blouse with spoon collars; 1980s St Michael bomber jacket; 1970s spoon collar psych print blouse.

WEARING: Tarantella suede suit (Babouskha Vintage, 2014), 1960s St Michael psych print blouse (Joyatri, another much-missed blogger), 1960s Biba Glass dragonfly choker (inherited from Mum), Vintage 1970s purple suede platforms (£6.99, Banardos)
Right, I've delayed for long enough, it's time to get cracking and pack the van ready for trading with Judy's in Liverpool tomorrow.

See you soon!

72 comments:

  1. I just love these colours together! Green and pink are so delicious together, like strawberry and pistachio gelato, yum! And the purple boots look sumptuous! You look wonderful, though even the look of suede makes my belly feel peculiar, much like silk did with my grandad, it makes me want to do the heebie jeebie dance, hehe! xxx

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    1. Are you funny about suede? I touched a pair of fake suede shoes in a chazza this week and they made me go a bit strange, like scraping my nails on the blackboard....eeeeek!
      I held the suit up against the blouses I'd got hanging in the wardrobe and the colours just seemed so right together. xxxx

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  2. Those boots were made for walkin'!
    I wonder who bought those gorgeous things & hid them away for so long?
    My mom & dad used to sell suede suits like that they bought in Mexico. Floppy suede hats to match too! I recall them hitting every flea mart, county fair, and Grateful Dead concert from Tijuana to Seattle selling that stuff.
    Are you ready boots? Start walkin'!
    xox

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    1. I'm wondering if the orginal owner wore them for their wedding - I've met a few women who married in the 1970s and wore outrageous platform boots. Come to think of it I've got a gold crochet wedding dress they'd look wonderful with.
      Your Mum and Dad sounded so cool. xxx

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  3. oooo, those colors are delish on you. Way to go Vix.

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  4. The outfit looks wonderful on you! The boots alone would attract attention,

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    1. Thanks, Tracie! aren't they amazing? I'm sure they can be seen from space! xxx

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  5. I love the Tarantella story. The bluey purple of those boots is that particular almost ultra violet shade. Yeah baby!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Edna was a legend. Trust the gutter press to go and ruin things for her.
      I'm so glad the boots were my size, I'd have been devastated if they were for a small footed type! xxx

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  6. love the suede outfit's label: don't wear in the rain.

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    1. Silly, isn't it? Hardly practical wear for a Brit. I wonder what you're supposed to do when you get caught in a shower, strip to your undies? xxx

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  7. Do you ever get the stories on the items you purchase? Like Bibi, I too wonder who would have bought, and then tucked away those boots to be in such perfect condition. My boots are falling apart by the time I am done with them I wear them so much. Great new stock for your rails.

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    1. I love imagining the history behind my finds. I'm thinking they were worn by the bride at a super funky 1970s wedding. I come across so many beautiful vintage clothes still with the tags attached, it makes me sad. It makes me even more determined to dress up every day and not save anything for best. xxx

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  8. Beautifully vibrant - so you, even nicer that they're locally made

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    1. Thanks, T! Its the suit that's made in Walsall. The boots were made in Northampton, 59 miles down the road! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! It was my lucky week for finding boots. I better not look around the other stalls at tomorrow's vintage fair, I seem to be on an epic finding mission! xxxx

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  10. Those boots are really something-glad they found their way to you. Celery green suede-be still my heart.
    You scored a nice Tissavel-the Rolls Royce of faux fur. I have two and they're so well made. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Celery green! I was wondering how to describe the colour of the suit!
      Tissavel coats are gorgeous and the lining is something else. Someone's going to love it especially now there's a proper Autumnal nip in the air. xxx

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  11. You know what I like about your blog is it is more than just vintage fashion, it is delightful to hear about the fairs and the background of businesses in your area. All fascinating for this Northern California gal.

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    1. Thanks, Tami! There's more to life than just clothes - although they take up a massive part of mine! xxx

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  12. I read pants as trousers. I prefer the British usage. Pants as trousers sounds so whiney! Much better as a cheeky undergarment word. Or knickers, but I suppose that's only for girls/women.
    I LOVE this suit - it doesn't get any better than this, especially with that blouse. And what a tremendous score on the boots. Super save! Always inspiring, Vix.

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    1. Isn't it funny that your word for waistcoat and trousers - vest and pants, are what we call our underwear. I wonder how that happened?
      Thanks, Melanie. xxxx

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  13. What a gorgeous suit. I love it. The colour is superb. You have the most amazing luck finding things. Those boots are absolutely stunning. I would have worn them everywhere until they fell to bits. Thanks heavens for ladies who kept stuff for "good".
    I still have a suede suit that is a bit tight for me (bit, bah! A lot, who am I kidding) that has no labels in it but the jacket is very similar to the one in the museum, it is belted with a huge Mongolian lamb (?) collar and cuffs in a nice bottle green. It cost me 40p at a jumble sale years ago. I wonder if it is from Walsall. It made me feel like a 70's superstar. I must dig it out. You look amazing!! Xx

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! I'm drooling over the sound of your suede jacket. I had an orange one with a mahoosive collar, grubby as hell but I loved it to death. No idea where it went but I miss it madly!
      I couldn't believe those boots. I'm always on the look out for original platforms but they're usually tiny. I was convinced these were repro and was beyond excited to see the 1970s "Barratts" label in swirly writing on the inside! xxx

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  14. green and purple!! loove!!
    the new old boot are trés chic - what a great find. and this tarantella suit look fabulous and the story behind is very interesting - talking about shitstorm against someone who fights for women....
    great stock - happy trading in liverpool!!!
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! I'm not sure if I've worn green with purple before - I think I was subliminally influenced by your incredible green post this week (still dreaming about your coat!) xxx

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  15. Thank you so much for the beautiful kaftan I recently purchased from you. I will be teaming it with black velvet trousers for our forthcoming holiday to celebrate my 72nd birthday. I have also purchased colour hair chalks, so I can have a different look to the few grey hairs I have. lol Blessings (I quite fancy lilac streaks, but I have plenty of choice.)

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the kaftan, Lesley! I was rather tempted to keep it myself.
      Hope you have a wonderful 72nd birthday, you're going to look amazing! xxx

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  16. I love, love, love your fabulous outfit. The green and the purple are just fantastic together. That moss green suede suit is just gorgeous, and how great that it was actually made in Walsall. A very interesting read about the Tarantella factory too. Oh, and your boots! Two fabulous pairs in one week, how lucky you are! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Ann! The chazza gods have been smiling on me lately (and Jon, he's done really well, too!) xxx

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  17. Purple pink and green are an ace combo...another pair of boots, how lucky are you this week? You've snaffled some fab vintage clobber, your rails will be groaning under the weight. I'm still wondering about that French website! xxx

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    1. Very lucky! Now I've said that I'll probably have a chazza shop drought for the next month - maybe not such a bad thing as we've only got two fairs left.
      La Redoute - great for undies if they've got a sale on - which is pretty regularly. xxx

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  18. Amazing boots! Amazing finds! I am loving the bags in particular.You look fab in your suede suit and ruffley blouse. I remember those suede suits so so well...

    I am setting aside a weekend sometime in the near future and coming to visit the Walsall charity shops!

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I love that William Morris rucksack but I feel it would soon be ruined if I kept it and took it to India! xxx

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  19. Edna was quite the progressive employer! It's a shame she suffered for providing greater benefits to her employees.
    I'm so glad you're still getting use out of that St. Michaels blouse. And thanks for the note, I'm not blogging anymore, now that I've found Instagram.
    I miss shopping in Walsall those couple times and still pop into your blog to get all jealous about your vintage finds.

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    1. Jo! How lovely to hear from you. That St Michael's blouse is a permanent fixture in my wardrobe and I think of you every time I wear it - especially the day I nearly scalped you when i got your hair caught in one of my bangles at Moor Street Station! xxx

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  20. GAH! Those BOOTS!!! I would have wrestled you for those : P

    They look incredible for their age! I guess they take after you.

    I love how you've paired them with more gorgeous suede in green.

    I'm a big fan of suede and often buy it but I find that it doesn't sell very well for me. I don't know why.

    Wishing you much success this weekend!

    Suzanne

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    1. Aren't they groovy, baby? I dread to think how much they'd fetch on eBay - not that I'm tempted!
      How funny that suede doesn't sell for you, it flies out at fairs here. xxx

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  21. I am in love with this outfit! Suede is my favourite and this suit looks amazing on you, those boots were a great find too xx

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    1. I love suede, too. I don't even mind if it's a bit tatty and knackered, it's got personality. xxx

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  22. Vix, what terrific boots! Someday I must get over to your part of the world. Vintage clothing is so lacking here!
    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Robin! The more often you look the more regularly you'll find vintage, it's out there, I'm sure of it. xxx

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  23. Purple suede and green suede together = heaven. If you ever decide to sell that amazing suit please give me first refusal. xx

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    1. I'm quite impressed wt how well they look together! I don't think I could ever part with my Tarantella - it'll have to get donated to the Leather Museum when I pop my clogs! xxx

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  24. Wow, Edna Kirby was ahead of her time. Why is it that so many managers fail to see the value in good workers (and treating them well) and good quality materials. Such a shame it was ruined by cost cutting.

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    1. Edna was definitely way ahead of her times. Such a shame the press made out family planning to be something seedy rather than praising it as something that empowered working class women. xxx

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  25. Love to see unusual colour combinations, i think you were a butterfly in another life!

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    1. That's another of the things I love from blogging, being inspired by how other women wear colour. xxx

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  26. Those boots are gorgeous!!! I love the whole outfit! Please let me know if you ever decide to sell that blouse- I adore it! It is so pretty! Mind you, it could never look as good as you do in it!!! The whole outfit has a lovely textural look to it! Floaty blouse and sumptuous suedes!!! Ooh, what brand did Jon buy his pants in?! It's funny you should say that as I love to buy lots of other clothes all the time but I seem to keep the same knickers! I've got loads of pairs I just don't wear and I rotate the favourites!!xx

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! I fall in love with that blouse all over again each time I wear it, it seems to go with anything.
      It's La Redoute. Jon wears DIM, they last for ages and come in funky colours! xxx

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  27. The suede is lovely, teaming the boots and suit is genius, the colours look great together.You've found some fab boots lately.
    Did I spy those lederhosen again, I'm wondering where they'll end up?
    I love the bags you found, especially the Guatemalan shoulder bag. xxx

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    1. I have done very well lately, I've been very good though and donated loads of my wardrobe to the stockroom. xxx

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  28. I am very partial to that purple colour of your boots...they've almost got a hit of electric blue running through them too. Good find!
    Arilx

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    1. The almost glow in the dark, don't they?! xxx

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  29. Oh Vix, you have got to be kidding! Those are original boots? They are so pristine and wonderful! You have inspired me today to not dread driving to the office tomorrow, but rather to pull out some fabulous clothes and rock the heck out of Monday!

    Sorry I have not been by lately. Ugh! 40 hours a week at the office, 20 hours a week in traffic. I must make a change, for my health and frame of mind.

    xo
    Lynn

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    1. Hello Lynn! I didn't realise you were back in the land of employment. Get the most fabulous gear you own on (and I know you'll be spoilt for choice) and go get 'em. xxx

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  30. Sounds like Edna Kirby was a woman ahead of her time; thanks for sharing the story of the Tarantella leather factory. Purple and green have always been one of my favourite colour combinations, and in suede, all the better!

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    1. Wasn't she? Watching the news recently it feels like we've stepped back 50 years, hooray for women like Edna who championed the cause of working class women. xxx

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  31. Good grief the suede purple boots and green suede skirt------killing it!!!!!!!
    Edna Kirby was a pretty badass business owner with her whole family planning sitch---v into it!! Or innuit, as you guys say over there... lol does humour even translate well thru blog commentary??? jajajajaja (laughs in Espanol)

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    1. Ha! I get ya!
      I do lurve me some vintage suede, I keep stroking those boots every time I go into the bedroom - such a saddo. xxx

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  32. So snazzy!! Let me know if you ever find any boots like that in a size 8! The Tarantella story is fascinating. Very progressive. Xx

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    1. I will! I'm surprised at how roomy these are, they fit my insoles in easily and I can still wiggle my toes. xxx

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  33. As if that suede suit isn't fabulous enough, but paired with those purple suede boots, wow! I think green and purple look gorgeous together. You look like 70s rock star!
    That's an interesting story about that Tarantella brand. I had not heard of it before. That Edna was quite a lady. A shame such close minded people tried to sully her name.

    You got yourself some great stuff too. Am loving the purses!

    Theresa
    www.vintagestylefiles.com

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    1. Thanks, Theresa! On of my friends has had a vintage shop in Walsall for over thirty years and has never come across a Tarantella piece! xxx

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  34. magnificent color combo!!, and what a fabulous pair of boots, even better 'cause they were made by some local women! (ohh, those good ol'times when things were made by people who could be living in your neighbourhood.)
    You're gorgeous!
    besos

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  35. Fantastic look, darling! Your boots are such a great find, and I really enjoy your leather pieces, color and cut are perfect on you!

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  36. Edna sounds like an absolute star. I've never seen any Tarantella down here.

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    1. Edna was a legend! I've only managed to find two Tarantella pieces, this suit and a waistcoat which I had to move on as it was the minuscule. June from Second To None's been in the vintage business since 1983 and still hasn't found any! xxx

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xxx