swan song

I'm sorry it's been so quiet around these parts; it's exam time at my university right now, so photographing my outfits has not been a priority. Also, I've been very lazy about commenting on other blogs lately, but I'm still reading them, don't fret! I hope to get back in the swing of things over the upcoming Christmas holiday.
Meanwhile, all the commercials for the Black Swan and my December issue of National Geographic's photo essay on Whooper Swans made me rewatch one of my all time favorite films, "The Red Shoes". If you haven't seen this film yet, you really ought to-- it's an interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen's story of the same name, and the most visually stunning and haunting thing I've ever seen. So here's a hastily slapped together inspiration board.
What could be more perfect for winter inspiration than beautiful white swans and 1940s technicolor ballerinas?

The Red Shoes (1948)
The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes
Swan On Ice


in the pines

stone wall
(Outfit: J. Crew flannel shirt, 1950s jeans, very old snow boots)

So, I have this aversion to wearing jeans; I have a couple pairs of skinny jeans I use for rough outdoorsy stuff, but I just never wear them in public these days. I usually treat them like t-shirts or pajamas-- just casual weekend wear. Don't get me wrong, I love lots of denim look on other girls, but I feel so out of place in them! Well, this summer I snapped up these flannel-lined 1950s jeans on eBay as the price was amazingly low, and I'm smitten. I'm still not sure how often I'll be wearing this pair, but they're the first pair of jeans I've ever genuinely liked. They're so warm, too, with that adorable red checked flannel lining. They're also kind of the antithesis of chic, but we got about 6" of snow this weekend and there's more on the way... sadly my little 50s dresses are totally inadequate right now.

big woods

How could I not share this glorious picture with you all? This is my Vermonter Deluxe portrait. And that is our barn, not our house; I feel like I should clarify that.


louisiana woman

What do you get when you combine Karen Elson, Dixieland jazz, an elegantly decaying New Orleans mansion, and some dazzling clothes?


These are a few years old, but I just recently stumbled upon them and wanted to share. I often find music, places, and atmospheres to be my greatest style influences, as opposed to an actual fashion editorial or celebrity. These films by Bruce Weber for W Magazine blur the line between atmospheric vignettes and fashion shoots in the best way possible. Plus who doesn't love a little Karen Elson? God I want her hair...


she walks these hills in a long black veil

(Outfit: Victorian hand embroidered shawl; 1950s juniors' dress; Stetson boots)

...not really. I don't have a black veil, though if I did I'd have worn it with this outfit. Oh well.
I took these pictures last week on an odd day that was chilly but strangely humid and breezy, so needless to say my rag curl ringlets that were perfect at breakfast were all straight and straggly by lunch time. If you love doing complicated hairstyles, don't come to Vermont... I'm only half kidding! It's absolutely stunning here (as you can see from these pictures... this dairy cow pasture across the street from my dad's house, and the view is what we see from the sitting room window) but gosh, the weather's been nasty lately. Rain, sleet, fierce winds... you name it, we've had it the last few weeks. Here's hoping some fluffy snow comes along soon to brighten the drab hills up a little!

Now that my hopes of a final Indian summer heat wave have faded away almost completely (hey, you never know!), I'm finding myself drawn to darker and heavier clothes. As much as I love a cheery sky blue cotton frock with white tights, my instincts have been steering me towards crepes and wools and blacks and navies. Fun fact: the black 1930s dress I shared in that last post is my first solid black dress ever! For some reason I've never gone in for black; I don't even think I own a solid black shirt or skirt. How strange; this winter, I'm finding simple black dresses with 30s and 40s femme fatale silhouettes extremely inspiring, especially with antique accessories like my shawl.

Have a nice weekend!! I have to write a 5 page term paper about... abandoned farms in Vermont! Around the turn of the century literally thousands of farms were left vacant when the soil turned out to be useless for agriculture and the opening of the West offered better incentives. Unfortunately I'm not doing any first hand research inside an abandoned farm ; )
front pasture
brook, briars


Thrill Of the Thirties

02.06.09 {30s summer dresses}
(**Click on images for flickr sources!**)
I have always loved the 1930s; when I was in sixth grade, I read and became slightly obsessed with "To Kill A Mockingbird". Around that time my mother gave me her Walker Evans and Eudora Welty photo books to look at, and I became fascinated by the hauntingly antiquated images. The dresses, the shop signs, the cars, the movie marquees, the dusty landscapes and the hobo camps seemed incredibly sad but romantic and beautiful at the same time. Later on in high school I also fell in love with the more glamorous side of the era as presented by Hollywood: Busby Berkeley musicals, starlets in bias-cut gowns, Mae West in her sequins and furs. Well, when I was back home over the Thanksgiving holidays, I found these two dresses from that era at my favorite antique store and they've sparked my interest in the 30s all over again! Here's a little glimpse.

For a grand total of $34.00 I added to my closet this magical lace dress...
...and this early 30s black crepe dress with tortoise shell buttons and a detachable lace insert.

Ruby Keeler
Roadside stand near Birmingham, Alabama (LOC)


silver threads and golden needles

(Outfit: 1950s dress, Antique lace collar, Remix 1940s reproduction shoes)

Hey everyone... sorry it's been so quiet over here, but I literally have not touched my computer since Wednesday. I just got back to school this evening after a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday spent hanging around at home with friends and family. I hope all you Americans/Thanksgiving celebrators had a wonderful holiday!! I had a quiet little meal with my parents, which was really nice. We made the turkey with a delicious cajun seasoning, but the highlight of the evening was my mother's cayenne-and-toasted coconut sweet potato dish. Mmm.

So here's a little outfit post featuring a favorite dress of mine. I've had it for a couple of years, but I never get sick of it... it's just so cute. I wanted to use my mother's amazing gold brocade-and-velvet curtains as a backdrop, but I had to wait 'til it was dark out or else the light from outside took the detail away-- unfortunately this made the photos a bit shadowy, but I quite like the effect!
that lamp!

Full length (I'm still in love with my Remix wedges!):
an outfit

One of the best parts of coming home was seeing my pets again! I'm an only child, and strange as it may sound, our animals really are a part of the family. My dog Banjo was so excited to see me, too, which was adorable. My horse Chinook wasn't too thrilled to get hauled out of the field and saddled up again, but I didn't take it too personally ; )
Here's a little picture of Banjo I snapped the other night... she's very photogenic!


key to the highway

40s the kid
(Outfit: 1940s dress; Edwardian corset cover; Stetson hat; unseen Stetson cowboy boots)

Here's a quick outfit post taken back home the other weekend. I have since sewn a hook-and-eye inside the dress bodice to close up the opening, as it's clearly pretty awkward having another shirt on underneath. It looks a lot better now, so I tacked an "after" picture at the end, but I like these pictures anyway 'cause we have the best wallpaper in our house!

I'm madly in love with this dress; it's perfectly 40s (rayon? check. shoulder pads? check. beautiful pleating too subtle to show up on film? check.) I've been wearing this guy like twice a week since I got it a month ago-- it's just too easy and perfect. I also feel obligated to mention it was a whopping $9.99 at my favorite antiques store. Seriously one of my best bargains ever!

portrait of an arabian

at my window

I love this song so so much; old country-western and early/proto punk bands are my favorite kinds of music, and this 80s/90s L.A. band was like the best of both genres.

ET VOILA! Dress as it is meant to be.



expecting to fly

There you stood
on the edge of your feather,
Expecting to fly.

-- Neil Young

(Outfit: 1940s silk bed jacket; 1960s slip; Stetson boots; F21 tights)

Remember the house I talked about and took some photos of in this post? Well, I snuck in again last time I was home for a few last pictures. I was by myself that time and terrified, so I stayed in the living room where I could dash right out the window if a hibernating bear or murderer walked in! It's funny, I've explored every inch of that house by myself in the summertime, but in the fall and winter it gets this spooky, foreboding look and I can't bring myself to go in, no matter how pretty some of the upstairs wallpaper might be!

Anyway, enough grimness! I have recently discovered that wearing sufficiently dated slips and nightgowns as day wear seems to work marvelously well; great to find that out just as winter sets in, lol. These pictures are a little awkward 'cause it was freezing out, but this little pink slip has turned into my favorite around-the-house dress (worn with another slip underneath, of course!). It's a different look for me, that's for sure, as I'm usually obsessed with tailoring. Do any of you have lacey slips or nightclothes that are just too pretty to go unseen?

Oh, and I just noticed I've hit the 50 followers mark-- so exciting, especially as I've only really been at this for a couple of months. Thank you all so much for actually being interested in my little blog; it means a lot!

open door
water stains


ecoutez l'histoire de bonnie et clyde

(Outfit: 60s faux mink coat; 50s felt cap; 50s Saks Fifth Avenue cashmere sweater; 50s Pendleton skirt; Vigoss oxfords)

Like many of you I'm sure, Faye Dunaway's portrayal of Miss Parker in the legendary film Bonnie and Clyde has been one of my favorite fashion references for years. The combination of Faye's gorgeous 60s cat eye liner and hair with the sleek 30s silhouettes of her skirts and sweaters has been hugely inspiring to me.

Though Faye will always be Bonnie Parker in my mind, Brigitte Bardot's take on the infamous gun moll is also worth a look! She brings a whole 'nother level of late 60s chic to the role alongside Serge Gainsbourg in the music video to their song about the outlaw couple.

The futility of a fugitive's life & other wig dilemmas. Stick 'em up -- your wig, that is.
Youtube wouldn't let me imbed it, but be sure to watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsTMhScumOE

leaves and jumper
barn door


heavenly houseboat blues

I rode my old guitar to heaven
But heaven didn't feel too much like home
So I'm headed out on to them lonesome oceans
In my ruby-studded houseboat to roam

--Townes Van Zandt

(Outfit: Victorian slip, Victorian camisole, handsewn moccasins from the Taos Pueblo)

Hello all!
My interview at Q's Daydream is up!
When Quincy first contacted me about doing a little feature for her blog, I thought for moment she had the wrong blog! I've been reading Q's Daydream for a couple of years now and I consider it one of my absolute favorite vintage blogs out there. To get to do an interview for her amazing blog was an incredible honor, so thank you Quincy!! And welcome to my new followers : )



the wildwood flower

While browsing the Life photo archives on Google Image Search, I stumbled upon these beautiful pictures of the one and only June Carter. Many people, myself included, seem to think of June and immediately jump to images of her with Johnny. She's so enchanting and talented in her own right, though. I love her sweet 50s style here; what I wouldn't give for that ruffled dress...


the dark end of the street

autumn 1

Quick post today; I should be writing on a lab report right now, but I took a few minutes off to procrastinate. Today I wore one of my go-to, simple but lovable 50s day dresses with my vintage men's oxfords (yes, they're a men's size 6!), some ruffled ankle socks and my amazing $10 1940s plaid blazer. I love that little jacket; it's in perfect condition, and like all 40s pieces, amazingly tailored! You can see the nipped in waist even when it's on the hanger. Amazing.

Going home this weekend; I can't wait to see my dog again : ) I'm also excited to take some outfit pictures outside my little dorm room!

autumn 2


antique fair finds

calico pup
(Sorry about the blurriness, but isn't he cute? He's all hand-stitched, and most likely from the Depression era)

Hello all! I went to an antique fair last weekend where I managed to score all these pretty things for about $40 total! It was a real victory. My favorite finds by far were these two adorable children's books. "Whose Little Kitty Are You?" is from 1913, and "Peppy Pup" from 1922. The illustrations are just the sweetest! Also found: some pretty hair combs (I'd never used them before, but they're actually really great for my long hair), a 1940s silk bed jacket, a 1950s gingham day dress, and a hand-stitched toy dog made from feedsack material.
peppy pup (1922); whose little kitty are you? (1913)
whose little kitty are you?
The red bakelite comb in action:
red bakelite comb
1950s gingham day dress

Just a sneak preview of the bed jacket; I have an outfit post planned once my new camera comes. It's very capelike, so I am indeed wearing it as clothes (as opposed to pajamas). It's just too pretty to waste as sleepwear!
graceful lace