Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Weddding

I watched to see the costumes, and did you see Harry's gansta walk down the aisle?
As for Kate dress it was nice, but I can believe it is Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, if McQueen was still alive he wouldn't of made this dress. The reason he wouldnt of made it as it doesnt look individual, Kate should have her own style it shouldnt be about recreating other royals dresses. It looks like a Grace Kelly simplified knock off, the bust bit is weird as it looks like they had to give her a bust and whats with that bow on the back. Surely she didn't need to have a train that long, if the dress doesn't have an impact, how is the train going to improve that. Now im searching the internet to find a jacket, you wouldn't beleive how hard it is to buy an intermidate jacket to wear with skirts, all the trench coats are too long, you also wouldn't beleive what they asking for second hand denim jackets on ebay.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Wear Suncream

More Bakelite testing

Yesterday, I tested my Bakelite Mississippi bangles, one smelt very strongly of diesel and the other had a faint smell. I was told that two marble bangles were French Bakelite which from Internet reading means they are fake Bakelite and smell wrong during the hot water test, however these two smelled when rubbed by thumb and the Mississippi bangles didn't'?

The Hot Water Test extract from accessed 22/04/11
Place the piece beneath hot running tap water for about 10 seconds or until heated thoroughly and then smell. If the scent of formaldehyde is present, it is Bakelite. If the scent of Camphor (similar to Vicks Vapor rub) then it is Celluloid. If the scent of burnt milk is detected, then your piece is Galalith, a milk based French type of Bakelite that will also not react to the 409 or Semichrome test.

It didn't give all this detail in the book! Apparently if it smells, it should require further testing as old Bakelite smells different to 50s. What most articles seem to agree if you do the thumb test and its a sharp smell it should be bakelite and if you do the hot water test and their is a strong smell it should be bakelite. But since fakelite is believed to pass all the tests, chemical testing is required.

Save the mommy gives a receipe for making a 409 cleaner, wonder if this is any good accessed 22/04/11

Seller a_hill_thrill has kindly written a detailed reporting on testing for a Bakelite and recommends using Simichrome Metal Polish to get a true result. On eBay you are looking to spend at least £12 to get it from America. I am going to visit my local hardware shop to see if I can get lucky

And Happy Easter, I plan to finish of the vogue dress, hopefully I can reduce the fullness in the skirt and eat M&S Hot cross buns and Easter eggs.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Oh My Goodness - Peacocks By Design

I really want to put it on the card, but I am afraid it wont suit my shape. Its a cotton dress and it doesn't cost £50 plus, it seems that alot of the summer dresses are made from viscose, or are cotton with polyester lining (includes the Primark Dress). I tried on the Monsoon dress and in reality it looked washed out, the fit was okay but it was nothing special for the money, and I found in my local store which means it must be in every store.
I tried the Fit and Flare skirt from Matalan, very flattering for wide hips and placed in the basket (I have an aptitude test and its getting hot). They also had a black circular skirt, unfortunately there was too much fabric. I tried on the Grey cropped sleeve jacket, nice design, horrible cheap fabric choice.

Bakelite Testing

My book arrived, and it gives a very detailed description and pictorial of identifying Bakelite and Lucite bangles.
I have very little clue about Bakelite or Lucite. I didn't know that new Bakelite bangles are made from old Bakelite supplies. I didn't know that most new Bakelite bangles are produced in the style of the expensive old Bakelite. So the most important point for any beginner collector, is buy it because you like it, not because it may be a collectible. And through experience you learn your craft.

Non chemical Tests
A simple test to identify plastic, is the clunk test. Clunk two bangles of the same material type together if it "clicks" its plastic type, if it clunks its Bakelite. I spent ages trying to determine if my 4 bangles were clinking as it wasn't a sharp sound. I then did the thumb test (sensitive noses only) rub the bangles for at least a minute and quickly bring to the nose. The two marbled bangles I purchased from Dreamtime at Angel, smelt chemically. The other test is to run hot water over the bangle for 30 seconds and bring to the nose. I have yet to do this for the Mississippi bangles.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Vintage knock offs

Im sure their are numerous blogs or articiles ranting about this sub trend for vintage inspired, the high street has been doing it for yours but this year, some stores have really upped the ante. Poor imitations pushed a side Monsoon and Wallis are leading the way, and priced from £70 why their the same price as the real deal.
image credit
Matalan is a very weird shop, most of the time their is an item that would of been amazing, but if only they had used a better fabric. One time I found an amazing 40s inspired suit, it was beautifully tailored but let down by cheap fabric. Vintage inspired rather then knockoff, I prefer this version of a poppy print dress compared to others I have seen. The jacket and the flare skirt have featured in a woman's weekly as wedding attire. Surely black and grey is a bit boring, wouldn't it be much better as workwear?
image credit
All these looks so much better as an illustration. Taken from original vintage patterns, these are copies and not knockoffs the waist seam looks higher then a modern equivalent so it may work for my derriere. I heart the white sundress and would be interested to try the green and blue prom dress. Any girl that loves a feminine dress, would be wise to try one of these faithfully created pieces by Wallis or Monsoon or live in regret. And if you have to, stick it on the credit card its an investment.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Dilly Hughes- Style Crush

image credit guardian newspaper

I had to share this amazing picture of a lady called Dilly Hughes who features on the guardian website. Dilly Hughes is how I imagine myself when I am in my 50s free of anixety, free to dress as I please. I have been critisced by my family for no longer dressing out there, but I feel bad expereinces have made me lose my dress confidence.
Full article can be found here.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

50s Fashion by Pepin Press

When I am in London, I always look at the discount bookshops that I pass in case I find a great fashion book. I saw Fifties Fashion by Pepin Press at the Book Warehouse. The book features some lovely photographs of 50s clothes, fabric close ups and information about clothing designs. On Amazon the book is curently £17.54.
The website gives an inside look at the book, one to put on my wishlist.
screen grab from the website

Vintage Styles

This season the high street is heavily channeling the Rivera and Tuscan look of the 50s and 60s.
Monsoon Marble Arch store had these three items in the window, unfortunately an over zealous member of staff scared me of from taking a picture or even trying the Rosie Dress I was about to pick up on. Note to shop staff, asking me if I need help before I have even looked or selected anything, makes me walk out of the door, I may not have cash, but I have a lot of credit. The skirt and dress look like they were inspired by Horrockses dresses
And yes I got the dress, I got it as a birthday present, it was meant to be a work bag, but I was accused of looking like a homeless person in my current attire. Its been a while since I spotted anything in Primark, that doesn't look cheap, but that could change in the wash. It also will compliment my bangles, I acquired too more when I was in Islington for £18.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Friday was Window shopping

Spent out, I went to Angel Islington to find out how the surviving vintage dealers had faired. The prices of jewellery and clothes are cheaper here,under £100 for a vintage 50s dress compared to £150 at Alfies Antique Market. I spotted a lovely atomic butterfly print dress which wouldnt go over my bust.I made it to Portobella market which seemed to have shunk alot, the vintage stalls had expanded but where was the new designers, and food stalls? The vintage 50s and 60s were responsibly priced with a day dress going for £50. However you have to be prepared to get out the stain removers.
I went to Oxford Street again to look at Primark and spotted a 60s style to do some yellow sun dress, it looked like a winner, I tried it on in the next size up and knew I had to buy it. I made my way to Hammersmith before relising I had no cards to buy anything. The Hammersmith branch didn't have it either. image credit

T K Maxx Gold Label starting at from £299I was not impressed it made from polyester!

100% silk softness

Thursday was almost a none Day

I waited for a couple of hours to see if Saint Francis Hospice would take my dressers (too old) for free. Afterwards I resolved to go back to Alfie's to see if I could sell some other pieces to pay for that book,but on the way I spotted signs for the British Museum and decided to go there instead.
The Museum
Birthday books
Yummy sticky cake Birthday cards

Wednesday-No camera allowed

On Wednesday I forget my camera, on the way through Euston I walked past a entrance that said Deutshe Borse Photography Prize, admission free.

Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge, Jim Goldberg and Elad Lassry are the four photographers nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2011. My favourite pieces were Heirloom Tomatoes and Sea Puzzle by Elad Lassry and Jim Goldberg political inspired images, of war and poverty. Heirloom Tomatoes 2010 by Elad Lassry image credit
Famous Dancer who was Traffiked, Ukraine 2006 by Jim Goldberg image credit
The winner will be announced on 26 April 2011.
Another magazine have a small article about the prize

Visited Ilford Library and finally saw there exhibits.
An extra pattern, for late delivery.
Baklava 39p each from Waitrose

Tuesday Blows

Chocolate from Spitsfield Market. Not a fan of the milk chocolate, but the white chocolate with ginger and chili was so nice it didn't survive the 2hr journey back.
I managed to get to Edgware, where I visited Alfie's Antique market(13-25 Church St), off loaded the broach. Cried when I saw Beswick Circus, teapot, butter dish and tv set displayed in a glass cabinet.
A pattern in the post.
image credit
When I was at Grays buying my Bakelite Gillian Horsup recommended a book I should buy called Bakelite Bangles by Karima Parry. The lowest price you can find at Amazon is around £52, but I managed to get it on eBay for under £30.

Monday was a Shop Day

Firstly I have to admit going to London with only £10 in your pocket for a week is an impossible task so Increased my budget to £15 and received cash donations totalling £10 by the end of the week.

On Monday I hit Oxford Street for Marks and Spencer to exchange my dress.
I tried on four of the dresses I had spotted on the website.
Only one was successful but it wasn't that great.
I had to go to Grays Antique Market took look at Gillian Horsup stock, I have been visiting this dealer at least twice a year for the last 5 years. We went through 20 plus different bangles, finding ones that would go over my hand. I really wanted earrings or a broach to match and luck would have it Gillian found these earrings to match one of my Mississippi bangles. I didn't break my challenge really as I did it on credit but later on I was able to cover the spend with actual cash.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Dress of the Week - Traven7

I had to share these amazing dresses at Traven7 on etsy.
image credits Traven7

Paris Bound

I went to Paris for a Podiatry conference in April, and I could feel it, the unrest, the uncertainty, I felt the same in Germany, a loss of...