Sunday, 21 May 2017

Outfit post: sunshine psychedelia

Ten years ago, this dress would have been the stuff of my nightmares. Crimplene, exuberant pattern… not something I'd have touched. Three years ago I'd probably still have quickly skimmed over it on the rack. But isn't it funny how tastes shift and change? I spotted this last week in Secondhand Rose's Etsy shop and pounced immediately.

Tara King is still very much one of my style icons, and my initial thought was, 'It's Taralicious!' Looking more closely at her, though, she tended to wear block colours and mini skirts. It's not really very Tara at all, though I do think in its bright colours and psychedelic pattern it is true to the spirit of the last series of The Avengers, even if it's not what Tara herself would wear.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Caro Emerald: Emerald Island

When we went to see Caro Emerald live, I felt her new songs had an Ennio Morricone feel, as though they'd been influenced by the composer behind the soundtracks from the great spaghetti westerns. There was something about the arrangements… That meant I started listening to this EP expecting all sorts of odd instruments and sound effects, noticeable changes in tempo and so on. Yet I don't get that from the EP; tonally it feels closer to Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor than The Shocking Miss Emerald, but it's unmistakably Caro.

Caro's said that it was inspired by the 'exotica' genre of the 1950s/60s, but that doesn't come through half as much in the recordings as it does when the songs are played live. There's a mariachi note to the brass in 'Never Ever' , and plenty of brass in 'Whatchugot', but that sounds relatively modern to my ears, in the same way 'Back It Up' from Deleted Scenes does.

I prefer Shocking Miss to Cutting Room, and I think I prefer Cutting Room to this. 'The Ghost Of You', with its tango feel, and 'Tahitian Skies', which has a strangely-shifting melody, are my favourites, but there's nothing as immediately catchy as 'Liquid Lunch' or 'Pack Up The Louie'. Perhaps if I listen to it more I'll fall in love with it, but at the moment, this is one I don't feel is essential.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Crinoline Robot's vintage week

Four 1960s fabrics and three 1960s brooches, all greenAre you on Instagram? I'm currently doing #thevintage fashionchallenge - each day has a theme, and you simply take an image each day to go with the theme. Some people don't like Instagram as they feel there's a lot of one-upmanship and promoting unreal expectations on there, but it really depends on who you follow. I like it because it's generally a very cheerful sort of social media, with people sharing good times and pretty things, and just about everyone could do with more of that. I've found it's got me to look afresh at my clothes and accessories, and it's made me realise I'm really lucky to have so many nice things that I love. Not as many nice things as a lot of bloggers own (most of my clothes fit into a single wardrobe) perhaps, but enough.

Today's theme was 'favourite colour', and I had to choose green. I have rather more green jewellery than I'd realised, too. That said, navy was a very strong contender; that's probably the colour I wear most. Tomorrow has an accessory theme; it's handbag time for me!

Monday, 1 May 2017

A Goody bag

If you read Goody's blog, you'll know she is the Queen of Accessorising. (And if you don't read it, you should, because she is the Queen of Accessorising.) She recently did a post featuring a navy handbag; I mentioned I was looking for a navy handbag, and she kindly said she'd send me one. And here it is! Isn't it splendid? I love the swooping curves of the suede and leather panels.

The label inside says it is a 'Life Stride' handbag. I did a quick Google search and it looks as though Life Stride are a shoe company – makes sense – and they're still going today. Thanks to the fact the company changed its typeface fairly regularly, I can be certain this particular bag is late 1950s-1960s. It looks it from the outside, but the label proves it. Isn't it nice when manufacturers are so considerate?

(On the subject of handbags, did you see Antiques Roadshow at the weekend? They had a vintage boxy bag with gold-plated interior with holders for things like lipstick and perfume, and it LIT UP. A light-up handbag? How cool is that?)

Being naughty in the best possible way, Goody sent me a pile of other things too.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Slow your Mustang down

Slowing down and social media don't really go together. Even though I don't pay much attention to the number of followers my blog has, I still get the fear that if I go too long without posting everyone will move on and I'll find myself shouting into a digital void. (This is stupid. On the internet, there's always someone listening, even if it's just a troll who'll respond with 'lulz u suck' or an impressively rich bloke with a vast amount of money he needs to store in your bank account and just needs your account numbers for.) Of late, though, I haven't so much fallen out of the habit of posting, as deliberately embraced it. I don't have to live my life online. I can just live it.

My current knitting is making me think about slowness. Yeah, it's the same cardigan for a friend that I started at Christmas. I did warn the recipient that I am a slow knitter! It's not even from a vintage pattern, so I don't share it with you. It's coming along, though: every day I do a little bit, and it gets closer to completion. It started with one stitch, and will end with one stitch, so none of the others in between are any less important, they just seem less noteworthy. I don't think I'll manage to knit a 1960s summer top in time to wear it, though. Maybe I should start a winter knit as soon as I've finished the cardi.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Escaping in books

I've been hiding away in books a lot lately. Well, who wouldn't? Usually the settings are nicer and the manners better - if you read as much Golden Age crime as I do, that is. My latest reads have been a 1930s crime novel and a couple of 1970s science fiction TV tie-ins.

Murder of a Lady was a Christmas gift (my Amazon wishlist keeps my family happy!) but I've only just got round to reading it. I hadn't read any of Anthony Wynne's novels before this one, but it doesn't leave me enthused to read more.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Outfit post: I'm with the (hair)band

Wide hairbands are definitely my thing right now. Mr Robot reckons they make me look like Axl Rose but I don't care. (I hope he means the 1990s version, when Axl was quite pretty, and not the way he looks at present.) Today I decided to fold up a lovely 1960s scarf Curtise sent me and use that. It's satin, so was a bit slippery in my hair, but it's in place now. Most of my hairbands are stretchy fabric ones from Claire's Accessories; I check back every so often to see if they've made them in any new colours and buy any that I'm missing.