Thursday, 29 August 2013

Linen dresses

I bought this dress a while ago in a Boden sale. It is practical and easy to wear. It came with a self fabric tie belt but I prefer to use either a black leather belt or a bit of colour such as this pink leather belt from M&S. I've worn the dress with black leggings when going on holiday. It is an easy outfit to sleep in on the plane and has four button-down pockets which are great for airline tickets, boarding cards and passport. Before I get to my (warmer!) destination I can whip off the leggings and pop them in my handbag. The only problem with the dress is that it creases so easily.
Last year I looked online and spotted it in Boden clearance in this other colour way. Now you can see just how creased these dresses get. It was freshly ironed this morning but after a short drive to see the dentist for a check up and polish I came back looking as though I'd been out on safari!
The belt loops for both these dresses were somewhere up around my ribcage. I know that I'm long in the body and short in the leg, but, hey, give me a complex or what! I just took the scissors and cut them off. The sleeves have a button tab if you want to have them rolled up.
The calfskin belt is another Boden sale item. It has a turquoise-coloured backing so I've picked out the same colour in my necklace.
Now that high summer has passed these dresses are useful clothing.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Bank Holiday Monday

August Bank Holiday is a traditional time for heading to the seaside. In the Victorian era both children and adults would dress in sailor outfits, cram a straw hat on their heads, walk the promenade, dig in the sand, put their toes in the water and generally have a jolly good time.
We stayed home in the quiet of the garden. Since visiting the Laura Ashley exhibition in Bath I thought that I would dig out my Laura Ashley sailor dress for Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.  It's been hanging in my wardrobe for quite a while. It's from the late 70's or early 80's, I can't remember exactly when. It is made of beautifully soft baby needlecord in a favourite colour, (which the camera has exaggerated somewhat.)
The minute I give it to a charity shop it's sure to be back in fashion!
Hope you have all had a lovely Bank Holiday.

Friday, 23 August 2013

At the Fashion Museum

I went to the Assembly Rooms in Bath today to see a temporary exhibition of Laura Ashley dresses. They were displayed under what are reputed to be the finest 18th century chandeliers in Europe!
I was a bit of a Laura Ashley dresser myself in the 70's, seen here swinging in my parents' paddock.
The very first dress in the exhibition was the same as mine!
After the swinging 60's, hot pants and the mini skirt, it felt gloriously feminine to be swishing about in yards of printed cotton.

There were dresses for children to try on.
And downstairs in the permanent collection the grownups were also having fun dressing up in Victorian corsets and crinolines, dresses and bonnets.
There was an exhibition of 'Fifty Fabulous Frocks' celebrating 50 years of the Fashion Museum at the Assembly Rooms. Dress no 508 could have stepped from a Jane Austin novel.
It was a rather dizzying selection from the permanent collection.
A Zandra Rhodes from the same period as the Laura Ashley dresses.
Every year a well known person from the fashion industry chooses the 'Dress of the Year'.

This Dior dress is beautifully made, but, in my opinion, quite unwearable!
I much prefer earlier choices, I would happily wear this outfit from 1987 by John Galliano,
or the dress of the year for 1984 by Body Map, but without the chilly bit around the navel!

What era are you?
Tomorrow, if you wear a Laura Ashley dress to the museum your entry will be free. I'm tempted to go back with my camera to record who turns up! 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Leading men

I've seen some excellent French films this year. This week it was Pascal Bonitzer's "Looking for Hortense", described as a 'comedie de moeurs.'  Jean-Pierre Bacri, the male lead, was wonderful as mournful, somewhat world-weary Damien. Kristen Scott Thomas once again played a neurotic woman - she is in so many films at the moment that she must be working round the clock! Paris was the backdrop, beautifully observed. I liked everything about this film and we talked about it afterwards on our way to a restaurant to eat. I enjoy conversations after a good film or book or play when we discuss what we thought of it and sometimes find that we have arrived at the same opinion and other times have a completely different take on things. This time we both agreed that it was well cast and well structured, with some excellent cameo performances and a thought-provoking storyline.
At the restaurant I went to the ladies, shut the door and found an extremely gorgeous Sean Connery looking down at me!
Well, he may have been admiring the new/old water closet system. (When I was an art student I used to buy lavatory chain like this to use as a necklace for the pieces of jewellery that I made from coloured enamels fused onto copper!)
I popped next door to see who might be there. 
Oh, Boy! Cary Grant!
So glad I was wearing my lacy underwear!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Visible Monday - mouse?

Mouse, donkey, khaki, mist? Ah, what they are talking about I call, 'grey'. I own a fair number of grey clothes and I've just added to the list with this dress from Boden, which is described as, 'khaki, bought in their sale for a fraction of the original price, (which makes it SO much better!) I bought it in a larger size than usual to get a longer skirt length. It was sold as a longer length but still only hits my knee and the waist line is huge, but, hey, a bargain is a bargain. On Saturday I was out and about and saw the most delicious grey net petticoat with a small self spot. Ever since seeing Melanie at a bag and a beret looking magical in a net petticoat I HAVE WANTED ONE, and guess what, it is just the job under the Boden dress and gives me the length I like. The petticoat was half price, so if you add the two together and think of the original number then I have saved a whole heap of money! (Feminine logic at it's best.) No wonder I look pleased. I took the photos last night after an evening meal out with friends, apologies for blurriness.
Today friends came to lunch and I was once again in grey, in a very comfortable Crea Concept skirt with a caught under hem that I've had a few years, also a sale purchase, and a grey cotton top that is a hand-me-down from Wee One. (All the eating is beginning to tell!)
Last week also saw me in grey. 
It's a good neutral base for bright splashes of colour, here worn with a pink cashmere crop cardigan and plaited suede belt, both from Boden. Old cords from Gap, linen jacket from Oska, kick-about shoes from Lands End.

And a favourite rose quartz necklace.
For Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.