27 September 2010

Branded: A is for. . .

(At the Mill Pond with my favourite Aigner)
I wore a lot of hand-me-downs growing up and it was like Christmas morning when my cousins dropped by Grandma's house with a bag of clothes they'd outgrown. I distinctly remember a lilac crewneck sweater with my cousin's initials embroidered at the chest: KLG. In recent days I happily pick up anything with initials or embellished with a monogram - it's that extra layer of personality to feed my daydreams of how an item made it from there to here. There's one initial that sets my heart a-flutter more than any other though, and it's that magical horseshoe 'A' symbolizing all things Etienne Aigner.
Etienne Aigner was born in Ersevjivan, Hungary, in 1904 and at age 20 came to Paris to pursue bookbinding. After apprenticeships in Paris with Dior and Balenciaga, Aigner made his way to New York in 1949 and began making belts out of his apartment. He produced his designs in a single shade of leather, a burgundy often referred to as 'oxblood red' or 'antic red'. By the time he opened his first showroom in 1959 he had added scarves, gloves and handbags. Practically every item in the collection was marked by the initial “A” - he fashioned the logo after his own monogram, an 'A' shaped into a horseshoe.
Etienne Aigner describes itself as 'a German brand with Italian soul, melding German precision with Tuscan tradition, with motives and monogram especially, deriving from equestrian themes as inspiration'.
Another Aigner signature was his use of very unusual materials for the time. Among the first designers to pair linen, straw and fisherman’s net with leather, he also drew inspiration from and was fascinated with all forms of hardware. Aigner constantly sought out and acquired on his frequent flea market expeditions in the US and abroad a wide assortment of unusual and other one-of-a-kind decorative hardware items that he translated into finishing touches for handbags and shoes.
Aigner died in 2000 but the label lives on through everything from bags to shoes, scarves to jewellery. For me, his “it” bags of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s (even into the 80's) stand timeless and classic against the more recent designs. Navy, oxblood, tan and grey, oh my - to find an Aigner satchel, trench, pair of shoes or (most recently) gloves makes my day at the thrifts.
My favourite Aigner find is actually a gift. The handbag I'm carrying above was bought by my friend Danita for $1.00 at an estate sale. After she got a bit of use out of it (and after I swooned over it repeatedly) she gave it to me!
So. . .do you have a cherished Aigner in your wardrobe or hanging on your arm?
Bio adapted from the Etienne Aigner company website Photos collected from Etsy and ebay

21 September 2010

The golden hour.

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The golden hour has become my favourite time of day, anything and everything seems possible when the world is covered with a dewy glow. A couple Sundays ago my mom and I headed over to a nearby farm at golden hour to take some pictures of a polka-dotted cotton patch - and it's a good thing we did, because the patch was harvested the very next day! When I was about eight years old I was really into classic country and Alabama's 'High Cotton' was one of my top tunes. Perhaps a video reenactment is in order?
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<span class= There are still a few fields in bloom around so you just might see me pickin' cotton again soon!

17 September 2010

From the vault: Vintage wrapping papers (part two).

kewpie
'Save the paper!' is a popular saying in my family at Christmastime and birthdays. And boy am I glad somebody saved these papers - some for very specific and adorable occasions, others with the tape and folds still in place. One thing's for sure, they don't make 'em like they used to!
welcome baby dear umbrellas for your shower
shower babies
umbrella girls
mail
happy birthday birdies

15 September 2010

From the vault: Vintage wrapping papers.

Who doesn't like to receive a present neatly wrapped and tied up with a bow? I love to give presents, no matter how big or small. More than seeking out that special somethin' I am most excited to wrap it up! Lately I've taken to designing and making my own wrapping papers as I am particularly fond of brown Kraft paper. Last Winter I tied printed paper with Coronation ribbon and tags for Growin' Up goods.
Other times I use pre-made papers which I've collected from thrift stores or inherited from my grandmothers. I can't bear to part with the originals (!) except for very special moments, so instead I print the scans out onto plain paper, pair with vintage trims and ribbons and voila! A smile every time. I wanted to share some favourites with you here, and I've already selected a few more for an upcoming post. The first one would be especially sweet to wrap up all of Anja's Cat Week treats, and the 'denim barnyard' is one of my all-time faves. Enjoy!
kitties denim farm
bunnies
birthday pandas

14 September 2010

Bottom of the ninth.

CIMG1567 A favourite dress that's ushered in many special occasions. CIMG1556

12 September 2010

Scrap exchange no. 17: How the west was worn.

I came across these scans last nite in my photo files, and after a lil' dig through my blog archive, I realised I never posted these lovely scans from How the West Was Worn for you. The tobacco trucks ride by here each day filled to the brim and the cotton boils are opening up to produce white speckled fields, just two of the budding signs that Fall is on its way. I would be tickled pink to incorporate any one of these beauties into my Autumn rotation, wouldn't you?
SCCS1777708120112180
Trudy Hall rodeo print rayon dress, 1940s
SCCS1777708120112151 Lace-up boots, jodphurs, silk sash, Stetson hat and lucky number 13, which once belonged to cowgirl Bonnie Gray, c. 1920-30
SCCS1777708112619490 Show jacket from 101 Ranch Real Wild West Show, c. 1914
SCCS1777708112619490 Cowgirl Dell Jones in her typical fringed split skirt with finely fashioned Olathe boots, cotton blouse and Stetson hat
SCCS1777708120112151 Fringed leather outfit that once belonged to Caroline Lockhart, c. 1930-40
SCCS1777708120112180 1940s square dancers
SCCS1777708120112190 1950s wool outfit by Fay Ward
SCCS1777708120112200 Chimayo (New Mexico) fabric coats, c. 1920s
Scans from How the West was Worn: A Complete History of Western Wear, 2001 Holly-George Warren and Michele Freedman Published by Harry N. Abrahms, Inc.

07 September 2010

Scrap exchange no. 16: In/sight.

Meissa Gaye Untitled 1941 Meissa Gaye, Untitled (1941)
Seydou Keita Untitled 1956-57 Seydou Keita, Untitled (1956-57)
Seydou Keita Untitled 1958 Seydou Keita, Untitled (1958)
Seydou Keita, Untitled (1958) Seydou Keita Untitled 1952-55 Seydou Keita, Untitled (1952-55)
Malick Sidibe Untitled April 1970
Malick Sidibe, Untitled (April 1970)
Samuel Fosso Untitled ca. 1977 (2)
Samuel Fosso, Untitled (ca. 1977)
Seydou Keita Untitled 1952-55 (3) Seydou Keita, Untitled (1952-55)

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