28 September 2009

indian summer.

this weekend the weather was incredibly warm and sunny. perfect for a ten-mile (!) walk in kent, double birthdays, publish and be damned, and showing a bit of leg for what may be the last time for a long while.

25 September 2009

thin mints and samoas, o my.

on the same day i found the vickie vaughn dress a few steps away hung a vintage Girl Scout dress on the rack at beyond retro. it really should have been in the 'oldies' section with a much higher price tag - but hey, i'm not complainin'! i slipped it on and knew i couldn't leave it behind.
i was never a Girl Scout but i was a Brownie and i have vivid memories of the ceremony when we walked across the 'bridge' to get our 'wings' to become Girl Scouts. i also of course remember the cookies and outside s'mores, tho i sadly never went to summer camp. we lived a bit too far out after Brownies, and there were no Girl Scout troops around. i think if the uniforms had been as lovely as this one i would have fought a little bit harder to find a troop!
curious to know when the dress is from, i hit up the official Girl Scout website and archive, where i found a lil' exhibition on the costumes over the years (along with discovering i've got to get back to georgia to see the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace!). i concluded that the dress i've been so lucky to find is the 'Senior and Intermediate Girl Scouts' (wartime), pictured below. 'The availability and construction of Girl Scout merchandise was affected by World War II and general market conditions in the early 1940s. One significant modification was made to the 1939 Intermediate Scout dress: a button-down front replaced the zipper. Windsor ties replaced neckerchiefs in 1943 to conserve fabrics.'
what i wouldn't give to find some of these gems or just as swoon-worthy would be coming across a bolt of the 'official Girl Scout cloth'. what more do you need than in life than this green!?
a few of my favourites from the archives, with the middy 'Mariner' uniform as cherry on top:
1938 'Senior Girl Scout' and 1939 'Intermediate Girl Scout'
1928 'Girl Scout' and 1935 'Teenage Girl Scout'
1948 'Intermediate and Senior Girl Scout'
1934 'Mariner Scout'

14 September 2009

late-nite shopping.

i found a few photos lurking on my computer from back in may(!) on a late nite at beyond retro. after a coupla glasses of wine i forgot i am usually too shy to snap a few photos. when i'm not in the oldies section you can find me staring longingly at the men's sections, hoping the displays will come to life!

12 September 2009

mazal tov.

do you ever look for something for so long that you've pretty much given up by the time you find it? it usually happens to me when i have a special occasion coming up. never mind i have a few dresses in my wardrobe that haven't even made an appearance this summer... when i was invited to my first british-jewish wedding, i knew i wanted to find the perfect dress.
after looking and looking, i found my dress just one day before the wedding at beyond retro of all places. they carry such a big selection - things are imported by the truckload - that often times i've gone there thinking, oh, i would love a new chambray, or a men's oxford... and there it is. my favourite part of their shops are the 'oldies' sections, as i've come to call them. you can find treasures as old as 1900, and you might pay just £10-15 more than you would in the other sections of the shop.
so going through the racks one-by-one (mind you i'd already looked at both beyond retro's for a dress!) i pulled a good armload of oldies with high hopes. this 'vicki vaughn junior' dress (with a lil' matching bolero!) was a perfect fit, and perfect for an outdoor wedding. putting aside all my guilt about end-of-month purchases and dress hoarding, the only task left was getting to the 'do without seat belt wrinkles!!
and there were plenty'o life size games to keep us busy before the dinner! snakes and ladders, connect four, jenga and chubby checkers. a special day not to be forgotten anytime soon.

07 September 2009

i before e.

i've never been too fond of being called 'jessie'. i'm ok with jess, j.r., j-ro, to name a few. but jessie i've always shied away from. there have, in fact, been only a select few people i've let get away with callin' me jessie. until now.
i happened upon this name brooch when i went to see what had become of greenwich market a few weeks ago. the queen victoria coins and gilded penmanship set my heart a-flutter and i now see my heretofore banned nickname in a new light. why just today someone called me 'jessie' and instead of crinkling my nose, i simply smiled.

01 September 2009

two hearts...

there was a time, when i was first getting into wearing vintage, that i didn't think twice about cutting up an old dress. nowadays i'm a bit reluctant to make alterations that can't be reversed, particulary when the piece is something i know i may not find again. looking through my stash of fabrics i re-discovered some bits of fabric from a beautiful stained-glass-meets-heraldry dress by muriel ryan, division of serbin. years ago i had hacked the bottom off of this ill-fitting boxy dress and used many portions of the skirt for applique. this past week i decided to make something new for myself using what was left.
i first added some fabric to the bottom of the 'shirt' of the dress, finally making it wearable and with a proper hem - i was instantly smitten!
then i got down to business with a smaller tote i'd been wanting to make for a while. i had just enough for a yoke and handles, and added swiss dot from my nana's stash and denim selvage to make it that bit more special.
i've been carrying it every day since finishing it - tho i've not yet worn the two together! i think miss muriel would be happy to see her dress now as two 'new' treasures.
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