Trying to put my thoughts & ideas down somewhere and give another outlet to my creativity. It's all connected, so I can't say it's a blog about just this or just that. Dolls. Fashion. Art. A little bit on travel, whatever... let's take it wherever it goes...


Vintage coincidences happen...

So I happen to have this vintage 1982 German Vogue issue. I am not the greatest fan of 80s fashion, but it had both good and bad, and this magazine actually had mostly good things in it. I was recently looking through this again. Due to my ever growing collection of vintage sewing and fashion magazines, I have been asking myself which ones I really want to keep. As with all collecting, tastes evolve, at the beginning, one takes on everything, until one finds "better" or more appealing things, and the the sorting out of what one really likes starts!
But this is definitely a keeper for a few reasons. There are few "career woman" fashion stories, there's some Chanel, boots (my mania!) and other things. The cover girl is actually designer Jil Sander!
At the end, there's a big story on ski and après ski fashion etc, as this was the October 1982 issue, and of course you had to prepare for this early enough! Well, one thing caught my eye... this distinctive Krizia sweater, which had a matching reversible cape with the same knit design on one side and as lined in silk on the other, caught my eye. The little plissée skirt and the boots (by Andrea Pfister) were by Krizia as well. It caught my eye because...

... this rather unusual sweater is available in the shop of one of my fellow VFG members, CarlaAndCarla:

Now, isn't this just am amazing coincidence? It's just such a fun design which is quite versatile. I actually like both ideas of styling it - either with the little skater-style skirt and the high boots, or rocking it with a black leather skirt!

Valentine's Day is coming...

Valentine's day is not a "big" thing around here in Switzerland as maybe in other places. Being single, it doesn't really touch me ;-), but there are some fun things out there and everybody is certainly gearing up for it!

Now, if you want to celebrate Valentine's day in vintage style, why not check out what the members of the Vintage Fashion Guild have on offer:

In my own shop, I haven't got anything much Valentine's day themed at the moment, but over the years I have had some amazing things go through my hand:
The most amazing thing certainly was this huge ca. 1950s valentine's day card, which included a heart-shaped powder compact on a red satin "cushion"!

This photo is pretty old - therefore, please excuse the bad quality... one of my first vintage dresses ever, courtesy of good old Steinberg & Tolkien of London... I never had any use for it, therefore I sold it in the end, but at the time I was just amazed by it! It was just polyester, nothing high quality, but it had a boned bodice and a tulle crinoline. It was also super long, as you can see - and I was wearing super high heels with that. But if any dress ever had "Valentine's Day" written all over it, this certainly was it!

Artist Tiffany Gholar of Studio 632F, who does amazing photographic art with Barbie dolls amongst other things, has produced some amazing photos to announce an event at her studio:
And yes, that's Midge smooching Ken...!
I follow her blog here and there since a friend told me to have a look at her amazing Barbie doll photo art, which always comes with a twist: 

Something else I found to add... German Vogue from October 1982 touts red as THE color - also in make-up. These two examples look just right for Valentine's Day - especially with those heart-shaped earrings added... if you dare!

Belle Epoque Week in Kandersteg

I already mentioned this in my last Belle Epoque blog post, and it's happening and here's more of it: the Belle Epoque Week in Kandersteg, Switzerland.

They do this every year in winter, for a full week, everybody dresses up in the style of the early 1900s, and there are balls, dinners, train journeys (in old carriages of course), sports like ice skating, ski races, curling and ice hockey - and much more, all done in the style of the time. Like many small mountain villages in Switzerland, Kandersteg grew as traveling became the thing to do, and has beautiful old hotels that are built in that period and that provide a perfect background for this event.

Here's a short film from a Swiss TV news magazine in which you can see a bit more: (sorry, it's all in Swiss German ;-) ).

There's also a little more info on the event in general here:

Isn't this just amazing? I so admire all these people, who do this, and especially those who even make their own stylish outfits (like the lady in the white cape who is being interviewed in this film who happens to be a school friend of my mothers', and she sends here photos of the outfits she makes every year. They never cease to amaze me!).


Films, magazines and more of a hundred years ago!

Arte, the franco-german cultural TV channel often has themed days or weekends on which they show films and documentaries on just one theme. Coinciding with this years' 100th anniversary of the breakout of World War I, they are this weekend celebrating the Belle Epoque - the glittering era leading up to 1914 and WWI.
Most of their programmes can be watched online for 7 days after their initial showing on TV, and there are several that are definitely worth a look!

A round up of all the programmes with this theme can be seen here:

"24 hours in 1913" is a documentary collage of film footage shot before 1914. As you can see from the women's fashions, it's not all just 1913, some of it is defnitely a few years earlier. There are snippes from news reels, some showing just ordinary life, and some from movies of the time. There are even some amazing color shots! I have found the commentary ultra-interesting too, it's all about life at the time, from simple farm folk to the rich and famous.

If you want to see more fashion, check out this amazing documentary on Paul Poiret: The absolute eye candy are dresses from the collection of the Musée des Art decoratifs that they show, as well as the many beautiful perfume bottles he designed for his perfumes.

I've posted the links here to the French versions of the films, if you would rather watch them in German, just hover your mouse over the film's window, go to the button "Version" and click "Version allemande".

If you want to experience a bit of this era "live", the town of Kandersteg hosts a Belle Epoque Week every winter, with all kinds of events like balls, ski races, ice hockey games, train rides etc. with people all dressed up in the style. You can check out photos of last year's event here:

Watching all this has inspired me to write a little more about this. Coincidentally, about a month ago I bought three issues of Weldon's Ladies' Journal from 1914 and 1915 at an antiques market. You know I love old magazines and old ads, but the extra argument for these was that they contained sewing patterns! Yes, you've read right - sewing patterns. Like all of these magazines, most of the patterns had to be ordered by mail, they would just show the illustration and description in the magazine, but some were actually included, with sewing instructions and pre-cut pattern pieces! I am still amazed by these. What I find no less fascinating either that even these three magazines show how fashions (and the world) changed in the span of only a year! Of course there are also recipes, handicraft ideas, all sorts of good advice for the housewife...

June 1914
The cover shows the included patterns - a coat, a dress, a jacket, a lacy blouse, a vest and "tango knickers"!
 Fabulous ads!

 Hats you can make yourself!
Fashions of today - smart fashions from Paris and new sleeves and collars for blouses. All available as patterns.

 How to cut and make a summer blouse.
 It's june - a wedding dress is a must, of course!

 "For the woman of forty summers" - oh dear!
Summer lingerie for your trousseau!
Instructions on how to make the garments that the patterns are included for. These are not only in Englis, but French, German and Spanish too, as well as a several pages of descriptions of all the patterns shown too at the end of the magazine.

The actual patterns! Still factory folded by the look of it.

Embroidery patterns - and a complete wedding luncheon for 20 guests!
And here's the transfer sheet for the embroidery - it's still there a 100 years later. How amazing is this?

August 1915
 Just look how the skirt shape and length changed - into something a lot more practical!

Interesting - there's an ad for Swiss embroideries - one of our big textile exports at the time! And of course you would have needed the kind of thing to trim and decorate dresses like these.
Hats to make yourself.

 Fashions for the matron - and of course, "dainty undies".

The patterns (the descriptions and instructions for which were now of course only in English, French and Spanish - no more German for sure!), and another embroidery transfer sheet.
September 1915

"The new blouse: in filet brodé! A blouse made of filet net, embroidered with cotton, and finished with crochet beding and edging, is very novel and handsome" (and a lot of work!). Beautiful!
 Colgate tooth paste and Nestlé ads.

Some of those hats look like they're ready to fly away!

"Wonder cures" abound...
The 24 hours in 1913 film actually shows how women had their hair cut to have these wigs made, and how the wigs and hairpieces were made.

Again - patterns and an embroidery transfer sheet. I continue to be amazed by these...

And now, if you want more... here's a VFG treasury with items from the time as well!