Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Vintage’

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Living by Example is Hard; be Prepared to be Coughed/Sneezed/Laughed/Spat at

Organic and fairtrade products: are they part of your shopping list and do you think it’s just another marketing argument?

People, you can’t live with them you can’t live without them though many seem to think or would prefer to employ automatons. People are a massive resource and hence massive drain in terms of needs i.e. supply and demand, everything from food to  living/entertainment space. Mechanization increases but people are still needed and they still need jobs and it’s damned hard to find the right people because an increasing amount have been introduced to the ideas of pay they don’t need to top up with ‘benefits’, timetables that don’t run them ragged, safer buildings/tools , sick time, time to have babies, family emergencies etc. What to do, what to do and in many cases the only thing possible; go abroad/outsource.

Competition makes the world go round, keeps the market place fresh and free from monopoly? It’s easy to see the benefits of competition but people are people so monopolization doesn’t stop; pit two or more suppliers against each other and you have a bidding war effectively setting the prices you will pay. What can producers/suppliers do? Exterminate/undercut the competition a lot of the time but some team up and say this is what it costs to make plus justifiable overheads. We need to make what we make and sell sustainable, we need to keep our economy and environment accessible and not outprice ourselves and if sh*t happens like damaged crops we need to know we’ll have some security and assistance from other growers who can pick up the slack and provide for us too, like we would for them. That is fairtrade and community trade. We also don’t want to damage our health and land or have to kill ourselves and our families because the GMO seed we were encouraged to buy doesn’t yield crops that reproduce/well and so have to keep buying neither do we want further restrictions on natural pesticides/fertilizers and forced use of agrochemicals; that is organic, or at least not GM. The ‘trick’ of organic marketing? You’re asked to pay more for what you would traditionally make/use if you weren’t making/using GM. The ‘trick’ with fairtrade is that it’s like minimum wage, it falls short in many ways and can make you dependent/limit your social mobility and yet many would say it’s better than nothing. I say do a bit of research at least and find out which companies/organisations you don’t mind your money supporting and show the companies whose practises you disagree with that you’ll be finding alternatives.

It’s not all about Organic vs GM; ‘organic’ means being certified and hopefully adhering to rules and guidelines from certain organizations. That doesn’t necessarily mean others don’t meet those/similar standards or are low quality just that the manufacturer couldn’t, wouldn’t or haven’t yet gotten organic status. Then there’s genetically modified (GM or nowadays GMO) crops. This can make it confusing with ingredients that either aren’t labelled ‘organic’ or ‘GM’ (if the ingredients are labelled at all) or aren’t one or the other.

Have you ever tried to grow those potatoes that you don’t/can’t eat but don’t want to waste? Leave the GM ones and see what happens, nada or next to nothing, even after months. Organic or in-betweeners (neither one or the other label) will do what they’re supposed to do and invert themselves into new.

Like anybody else I’m constantly confronted by things/people that question me and my way of life, it’s not easy or comfortable but I’m always looking to improve and my standards are high; even if I feel the desire to be defensive doesn’t mean I’ll ignore these things but it also doesn’t mean that I’ll specifically pay attention to them to demean them.

Fairtrade is another label but shouldn’t be, it should be the default. Think about every product you buy/use/consume and then think about every piece/ingredient in the composition and then the quantities needed for at least one population let alone the resources needed to make those. ‘Fairtrade’ makes up a tiny proportion of that labelled or not and for those who think of it as charity, why hasn’t it begun at home? We’ve got plenty of poor in this country, yet bargain fever has become rampant in the last decade and has taken haggling or scouring discounts/clearance/seconds as a normalcy for poor to just trying to rip of traders to get items as cheap as possible and it’s fun and fulfilling. That’s just added to cheapness over value and ‘fast’ items that that people feel even less inclined to take care of and keep in as good condition as possible.

From the above you can see that fairtrade and organic don’t just apply to food/drinks; think about cosmetics and clothing/fabrics for example. We can’t always buy from those areas so what are the other options?

  1. I donate clothing to various charities but I make sure to split them into two groups – saleable items and non-saleable items. I’ve found that a lot of charity stores are only interested in items that they can re-sell but many people have items that are no longer saleable, but still in good, wearable condition so for those clothes I’ve found places that give the items directly to the vulnerable, rather than sell them first.
  2. In London there are also some shops near me that took clothes and recycled them into new clothes themselves and then sell them.
  3. The local council picked up bags of clothing recycling if there’s a lot of them and there are clothes ‘bins’ (big recycle containers) for donations and recycling in local areas.
  4. There’s always local Salvation Army type centres and shelters.
  5. There are businesses that will collect clothes from your door if you use their bags to put them in – it’s best to find and contact them yourself though because there are a few of those who advertise door to door and then sell the clothes left for them.
  6. There’s also quite a few social alternatives for passing on clothes nowadays; ‘swap meets/parties’ are becoming increasingly popular and shops that will pay you for giving them items. There are public ones and private ones where friends organize a get together at somebody’s home and swap clothes, it can fun to look into each other’s wardrobes so to speak and swap clothes with each other. The public ones are cool as well because there’s so much to choose from. Each public one will work differently but they generally give you an amount of points or currency value for the clothes you bring in and donate and then you can spend that amount on the clothes available. Or some have a barter system where you can offer a piece of your clothing for something of similar value with someone else if see someone with an item of clothing you like.
  7. Then there’s vintage fashion shops and fairs/fayres – some where you pay a small admission fee and then explore and spend to your hearts content (some of them even sell by weight which is awesome) but you can also sell items. Vintage shops will often buy nice second hand pieces as well. Local fairs of any type are easy to donate too as well e.g. school jumble sales or anyone doing a fundraiser.
  8. There’s also the option of selling your clothes through places like auction sites (e.g. eBay) or simply giving them to family and friends.
  9. Or if you’re like me you keep clothes as long as possible, you have socks leftover from when you were a kid, you handwash (or many who have washing machines use ‘gentle washes’), you have lot’s of hand-me-downs and hand-me-ups whereby people borrow/take your clothing.
  10. However as many of you probably do already; if you want to buy new on-trend items voucher/coupon websites very helpful and cashback sites where you register, sign in and then shop ‘through’ them i.e. they have the major shops connected to their website and you click on the links to the shops that you would normally go to via the cashback site. Then when you make your purchases you get cashback and/or rewards.

Back to Food

We’ve seen a rise in comlady munity if not fairtrade in the form of foodbanks, something I admire and advocate though it doesn’t always go as well as it should. Mum & I qualified for a foodbank at one stage, well we probably almost always have but had never been spoken to about it or looked into benefiting from them ourselves though I have donated (I’ve lived by an old Indian adage of splitting income roughly into quarters; to taxes, family, charity and yourself; unfortunately I’m the only living Indian I’ve known to do that). We were excited that finally we might have something different to eat, more than small portions and not have to stress/worry about food for the week. We’re vegan but many people don’t know what that means traditionally let alone what it can entail in today’s age of food sensitivities so I spoke to a lady there in advance to find out more and to explain our situation; usually they chose people’s food for them (4 carrier bags a head) and either left it to be collected or delivered it but sometimes people chose for themselves. They decided it was best for us to do so and agreed that since we wouldn’t be taking some items that it would be ok to take more of others. We went and didn’t think there’d be much accessible to us but tried not to have any other expectations other than we were just grateful to have the opportunity but were amazed at the variety they had and so many items that would could eat. We got on really well with the staff there and obviously they supervised us picking our items. We walk a 6-mile roundtrip to town so asked for the items to be delivered and they confirmed they would be so by the other shift the following day. Lo and behold it was pouring down the next day and said shift were in a rush so knocked, left everything outside and drove off before I opened the door; we;d been eagerly awaiting the day since we’d only taken some rice crackers and peanut butter for the day before (as wisely advised by the staff we’d met since you have to eat every day) but we were dismayed to find that they gave us 1 person’s allowance and 2/3 of of that had been replaced; the whole lot was a typical vegetarian ‘order’ with things like rice pudding, custard, sauce with fish in it, cosmetics etc and items we didn’t need such as toothbrushes and cloths. So we called and I spoke to the lady who I’d originally spoken to who said to return the items and get more suitable ones. We lugged it all back but unfortunately were not met by that lady or the staff we’d met but the staff who’d repacked our bags and they did not like it one bit. They were all talking about us and when I tried to ask one a question she told me not to talk to her, she wasn’t dealing with us. I went to the one ‘dealing’ with us and she said that because of our ‘irregular and oversized’ order they’d had a meeting and changed the rules for everybody and now there was an itemized list that all people going there had to adhere to, no exceptions. I said that wasn’t necessary and not fair to everybody, perhaps we could just fix the situation, but the fact that we’d brought back the whole delivery so as to start again and not keep anything/get more than others it gave them (yes all of them) ammunition to pick apart why we wouldn’t accept things that they thought we could/should have due to their notion of ‘vegan’ and how we should prepare those foods if we didn’t want to go the normal route. Then not only did she supervise us, she escorted us to the items on her list whilst they all continued to talk&whisper and she kept going on about the amount of sweetcorn we took “13 tins, 13 tins – how many do you need? We can’t let you have more, we have to think about everybody, there’s more people than just you, you can’t take from them” in increasing volume and cut me off every time I tried to answer. I finally got tearful and upset enough to almost have to yell over her “What size were those tins and what sizes did you replace them with?” Stumped she went back to the pack and conferred… At the same time one of the staff from the first day we’d visited arrived and greeted us but was told not to talk to us, she said “they’re ok, I met them the…” She couldn’t finish “that’s enough (name), we had a trustee meeting last night about this and decided on a new process.” Then oh dear, it turned out that the sweetcorn we had chosen were 2 sealed packs of 6x100g tins plus an extra that had been separated. They replaced those with 3x400g tins… Yep, no problem there really was there? She said there must have been a mistake, they must have mixed up the deliveries, I replied she could have just called us if she had any qualms about our order instead of changing everything as that would have prevented the situation and she actually agreed but said that it was too late. I agreed it was and told them we’d just continue living off seaweed, thank you for the opportunity and sorry it turned out this way, we didn’t mean nor want to cause any trouble; and walked out.

The tip of the iceberg of that situation? They’d packed a delivery note with the items that mentioned God 4 times and how if we’re thankful it should be for His mercy and generosity through His workers (the foodbank) and supporters and that He has charity and love for all. Obviously not for vegans.

Community trade is a great thing in society but it has be organized fairly, as a whole we people have not matured or moved on from the ego, for all our enlightenment and good intentions fairtrade is not the norm.

Food Sensitivities – Higher Quality and Organic aren’t Myths

As we develop in and from childhood we are weened onto many foods that we wouldn’t otherwise digest/digest well; I’ve spent much of my life de-acclimatizing and I find I’m no longer immune to many ingredients that I could previously eat without obvious issues; part of that is probably due to getting older but I’ve also been careful not to get to a point in my life where the digestion goes (inflammation, gas, acid) and overall health steadily follows suit from blood pressure to disease. Other than sleep, digestion accounts for a huge amount of our time (& energy).

  1. I’ve always been unable to eat GM fruit/veg unless cooked; my gums, tongue, cheeks, throat swell up and itch like mad – even my teeth feel irritated because of that and sometimes it affects my nose.
  2. I can regularly consume cacao; it aids my digestion and I don’t gain weight. Cocoa does not help as much, it still counters inflammation but does not fully ease or remove gas or quickly pass the ‘food’ that caused the issues through the system, I also gain weight.
  3. The same goes for refined oils; I love oil and know that it isn’t a case of saturated vs unsaturated but more of overly processed and refined vs organic or raw/virgin. Unrefined helps my weight maintenance or even indeed makes me feel hungrier quicker but refined has the opposite effect.
  4. White sugar – this is a recent development; I can eat molasses, muscovado, demerera to my heart’s content but refined White sugar = a downer. I can have a bit and you’ll be hard pressed to not have any in foods you buy but even a packet of crisps with it as one of the main ingredients can lead to days of me sat with my head on the table, unable to concentrate, feeling out of it and not able to move about much.
  5. White salt – again I have no problems with rock salt/Himalayan Pink/Red/Black salt, Epsom, Bicarbonate of Soda, Nigari (specially extracted), I’m a little wary of sea salt due to pollution but am ok with it but refined White salt? Forget it.
  6. GM and low quality pasta and sometimes even rice (cereals and grains) can cause indigestion for days as well, not the case with organic and higher quality grains. I even get that from sprouting unless they are wholegrains.
  7. I stopped eating artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives; most E-numbers and gelatin at age 13 so when I see them used commonly even in things like dried fruit that doesn’t need them (and if really necessary a little oil would do) I avoid them.
  8. Raw vs traditional methods of heat preparation/cooking – I’m not a raw foodist but do believe that the more you heat (and moreso for microwave ovens) the more damage you do to the food. Given that I do cook food I’m not prepared to have even less nutritional value available to start with GM ingredients.

Organic does Not have to mean having a Big Budget

Many of you have probably heard of/use is MoneySavingExpert; on the food forum there are lot’s of people who post about deals/sales/clearance and there are some dedicated members that regularly post about organic food they find/look for which is very helpful and of course you can add your own. There are also sites that specialize in food that is past their sell by (but within ‘use by’) and best before dates but are still fine to have.

Buying in bulk really helps too, moreso from places that sell wholesale to the public or if you buy over a certain amount, plus member deals.

Money isn’t the only currency; just like we write reviews for vouchers/points/digital cash, there’s also exchange, bartering, cashback/point schemes; it was those that really helped me through being freegan for a year.

I haven’t starved yet.

Many of you may be thinking what the hell do I eat and would be surprised at just how varied and sophisticated my palate is and how I don’t find it restricted at all in terms of foods that I can eat, the limitations are not in my choices but the availability/accessibility or mostly the lack of opportunity to have them like those animals you see being pushed away from the food they can see all over the streets in their faces but not being one of the chosen.

Those who say they don’t have money to burn but still do. Priorities.

Mum & I forage and don’t find it shameful or embarrassing. Plenty stare and talk about us like we’re crazy whilst they go past usually with shopping bags or in big or pricey cars. Granted I live in the New Forest now so there’s a ton of vegetation but most still rely on supermarkets and to an extent their gardens, there’s a distinct lack of green grocers in this town though there are farms/nurseries (there’s an M&S, Waitrose, Tesco & 99p Stores and a mixed product market on Saturdays) and the council spend a lot of resources clearing and cutting back the flora as well as making the place pretty with decorative plants/trees; if government just planted obvious food growing plants/trees instead or even just fruit trees there’d be a lot less hungry people but that wouldn’t be good for business and people buying into established energy hungry processes is more important than the immediate poverty need. Better to buy a whole load of industrial scale grown food, make it more well travelled than the people, radiate and treat it some more, rely on people neither understanding sell/use by/best before dates, nutritional tables or that food doesn’t need to be ‘pretty’, and them wanting it as cheap as possible than having them realize there’s lot of free food around if they know where/how to look and show etiquette in their picking habits i.e. not going into people’s gardens, not destroying plants and not taking too much. What happens to all the food/plants that aren’t bought or needed – mostly destroyed/dumped.

When you look at the back of a book or toilet roll what do you see? Is there an FSC or similar ‘renewable’ ‘sustainable’ ‘well managed’ etc sign/label on there? Yeah we know the downsides of forest management but we also know the downsides of deforestation and yet what do you prefer – good quality paper and wood or mdf/wood filler and false economy bog roll that disappears quickly, the price is higher for one unless you budget, moderate your use and look after your items well but it’s better than the other isn’t it? The same goes for food – do you prefer wholefoods or foods filled with filler (like cellulose ironically)?

For many food and all the items they put in/on/through their body pale in importance to other obligations and hobbies but ultimately you only have yourself to rely on in this life and I figure the less you care about the things that directly/immediately affect you at the very least, the more you are robbing yourself… Of your consciousness, your health, yourself.

What’s the Alternative if Not Fairtrade and Organic?

Those of you who grow your own fruit/veg/herbs and even animals without GM and hormones; would you go back to/give it up for supermarket equivalents and I don’t mean the ‘luxury’ stuff ?(Though growing & asking for less/simpler processes is ironically seen as luxurious/more pricey.) I’ve tasted the difference between juicy, sweet fruit and the dry, fibrous, weak tasting (especially in comparison to organic farms I’ve been to), barely or over-ripened supermarket fruit that sometimes hasn’t had the benefit of sunlight.

People are people – the majority of this planet live in abject poverty and I don’t agree with the ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ (I’ve been told that how many times myself and it’s one of my aims never to say that anybody except perhaps those who’ve though it ok for others) GM thinking that they should be mollified with low grade & cast offs. I’ve come across production people here wanting to hire women so they can pay them less and those with the mentality that those they import off abroad have it good nowadays ‘they can buy this on this day, that on that day, this many times a week‘ yet they can buy it any or all the time almost anywhere. If we don’t use our power & influence with purchasing decisions, thinking such things are luxuries that can’t and shouldn’t be afforded until one’s situation is better then I don’t think we have the right to wonder why wages are low or stagnant whilst prices rise – why? Because most think that way and it adds up, we’re not one person – we’re part of a very large group/family and within that are groups living off each other. I prefer fair/community trade in this world model we live in and I prefer what I consider ‘cleaner’ organic or high quality ingredients/items, I’m not in to buying anything whether cheap or expensive that has likely come from a sweatshop or underpaid overworked adult labour and I don’t want to push traders into buying from them at practically cost price either. I don’t think blood, sweat, tears, greed and ripoff should go into it. We can’t expect with one hand, take with the other and think things will get better.

Organic Farmer GMO Hazmat Farmer

The purpose of this was to simply provide personal experience, ideas and scope – things that can easily get lost in the subject as we get used to advertising campaigns. I’ve not gone into studies because when I read those it’s usually for specific things and not getting caught up in the hysteria, there’s results that come out in favour or against all of the sides and much is dependent on the sponsors. Like everybody else I try to just keep going but I also try to live/be real positive change and not just pontificate about it, that’s why I have my body and mind afterall 🙂

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Fashion in Film Picture Review – The Women (1939)

1 - The Women 1939 Film

The Women (1939)

Yep this was the precursor for the more recent 2008 version but that was just was like a paddling pool with rubber duckies in comparison to the predator infested deep waters that is this film. Everything is enhanced in the original from the incredibly knife sharp dialogue to the overblown characters and of course, for the purposes of this post, the costumes.

The film takes a peek and a poke at, perhaps a whole pothole out of the private lives in high society. Scandals ablaze but it’s not any different to any other class really other than everything they do makes the papers and they can afford much higher standard pity parties. Being that the film is called ‘The Women’ there are no men in this film, yep that’s right, no men or boys – at least not visually though maybe some of the animals/pets were male, most probably. (EDIT – I stand corrected, it turns out the animals and most of the artwork/photos used in the film were female too.) That said the entire plot is about husbands and lovers – getting, keeping and losing them and then repeating the cycle.

Starring a long list of well known actresses:
Norma Shearer as Mary Haines
Joan Crawford as Crystal Allen
Rosalind Russell as Sylvia Fowler
Mary Boland as The Countess De Lave
Paulette Goddard as Miriam Aarons
Phyllis Povah as Edith Potter
Joan Fontaine as Peggy Day
Virginia Weidler as Mary
Lucile Watson as Mrs. Morehead
Marjorie Main as Lucy

The first half of the film is as aforementioned – sharp and poignant, almost every angle is covered in how relationships are seen and why they are the way they are. The second half however denigrates into mass hysteria and hypocrisy – if I had been watching it in a cinema or theatre I would have walked out (unfortunately I was prevented from doing so in the latest 2008 rendition due my ‘friends’ sitting each side of me and me not wanting to be awkward). In my opinion overall the film is about cruelty; dealt to people, carried out on others can caused purposely and complacently. Seriously not my style.

The relationships are fickle e.g. the main marriage the film revolves around is ideal yet there’s still discontent! The couple are apparently as much in love as they were when they first met, they share mutual hobbies that they relish, enjoy each other’s company, have open communication (until infidelity), laugh and share lot’s happy memories, seem to understand each other well (as far as is possible to tell with one partner shown in the film) and aren’t wanting for anything materially, physically or emotionally. Yet he still gets duped by a seemingly sweet and coy almost look-a-like of his wife though his wife is known as consistently nice and tolerant (until), keeps it up because he wants to until caught and then stays with the mistress because he can’t go back to his wife. Then like a lot of people who don’t stand on their own two feet, refusing to choose a path preferring to hedge their bets until they know they’ve got somebody waiting for them. In the film the wife is the last to know regardless of all her friends, well with friends like those… She goes on about pride, does take her time to think about the situation but not address all of her feelings then forcibly takes dignity and throws it out the window.

The end of this film is just chaos. The farce could have lent itself to comedy but it was just too annoying, the script was satirical but no saving grace – there were moments of slapstick but were drowned in masses of sarcasm. The all star cast couldn’t make it worthwhile when the direction went downhill, their characters just ended up looking hypocritical and interested in shallow point scoring.

I only vaguely remembered watching this years ago on late night TCM and thinking that the opening sequence was interesting so when I watched it again I was sorely disappointed (ah what I go through to make up for slacking on the blog!) I guess the only compensation is that class doesn’t stop the women in this film talking to each other on equal terms, for better or worse. They’re really candid :-S

On a sidenote – the opening titles state ‘As presented for 666 performances in its triumphant run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York.’ and the film length is 133.13 (minute and seconds). Curious.

The opening sequence is very politically incorrect but sometimes the footwear fits (no offence to the animals shown and the stereotypes ascribed to them):

Anyway on to the best (well, sometimes) part – the clothes! Ha! As with many, I’m a fan of many vintage pieces and styles but seriously the design and construction can be a sad joke regardless of the times. As with any time or place though the film has some gorgeous pieces, some awful pieces and some what the hell were they thinking pieces. Decide for yourself which you think is which. That said, as a big millinery fan I found the amazing array of headgear quite interesting.

Note – I’ve included the most notable outfits but there were a lot to choose from with many being lovely skirt suits with gorgeous, individual blazers and some outfits that would have been ok to lovely had it not been for dire detailing!

P.S – in keeping with the tone of the film I’m going to be a little harsh (but only in a way that criticises things that are not beneficial to the wearers and in support of making fashion less stressful).

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The film starts out with the usual well fitted/tailored suits and overkill of fur, do these people shed their skins like snakes and so take it upon themselves to wear other’s? It probably wasn’t faux at the time either. Ironically enough the spa these women are at has a crèche for their pooches to be pampered also, perhaps they’re just dressing like their furry friends. The ‘master’ matching the dog rather than the other way round as the expression is usually noted for. Perhaps I should go around in carnival plumage as a tribute to featheries everywhere reminding their collective memory of how their wings are cut and feathers ripped out.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Look at this gymwear, if everyone was comfortable like that who would be worried about their appearance? They’re all older women as well, good for them. As a person who has never worked out in a modern gym (I spent my club activity days in gymnasiums with the old fashioned giant apparatus that were attached to the walls, vaults, bars, beams, gym mats etc) I would not be comfortable in one unless I was feeling confident and ignoring the thoughts/gossip going on around me, plus I’d be wearing jogging bottoms/yoga pants and a long sleeved top, I exercise in layers baby :-p Ha I refused leotards without proper shorts for gymnastics, yeah I upset some judges – well two fingers to them and not the peace sign!

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Checkout the third eye action going on there, a unique embellishment on her top. In her case though it probably stands for intel gleaned from spying, snooping and gossiping rather than the other type of enlightenment.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Love hats worn slightly to one side.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

I couldn’t be dealing with all the stiff netting coming off the hat and wrapped like a noose.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

I’m a sucker for vintage nightgowns, peignoirs and housecoats; Olga bodysilk l’amour. I’m not sure if this is a housecoat or jumpsuit but it’s certainly unique. A tad harlequin but with the details it certainly works well.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

So many of Rosalind Russell’s (on the right) outfits were hit or miss but it’s a testament to her acting that she was able to look gawky and awkward/protruded in them, both the hits and misses, yet statuesque and elegant in other films.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The gorgeous dress on the right is jacquard but it wasn’t clear.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

If the proverbial dragon had already entered with Rosalind Russell then the viper’s nest is ruled by Joan Crawford. Both her and her ‘friend’ looking well turned out in well fitted Black highlighted with accessories.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Whilst the women indulge in grotesque private shopping sprees in establishments that have buffets, orchestra, theatrical staging and assistants to attend to your every whim the film does something amazing. It seems the fashion is too divine to be shown in Black and White so the picture does a Wizard of Oz (also released in 1939 literally days before this film) and transforms into colour. Divine darling? Well, the fayre is eye opening if not eyebrow raising and like a lot of individual fashion items, the colour is shortlived.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Yeah I hate tennis wear, then and now – seriously why do they design them to show everything whilst jumping around? And nowadays they’re just like spandex or lycra mini slips. No thanks. Might as well play in mini pj’s. The rackets can be honourary pillows, the heavy grunting when hitting the ball is equivalent to the racuous giggling/laughter that seems to turn some people on and anyone with binoculars oggling, I mean watching for more than just the game can be the peeping toms. Heck it’s a slumber party… On a tennis court.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

I have a repulsion for swimwear in general, swim’dresses’ and ‘shorts’ are a joke with the ‘dress’ being nothing more than a frill which covers nothing but causes some kind of mental reassurance/barrier somehow, and swimshorts are just hot pants if that. Seriously, I’d like swimwear that covers the top of the thighs, doesn’t ride up and shorts that maybe go somewhere near the knees – is that really so abnormal? Why is it normal to go out in supposedly waterproof negligee? I say supposedly because a ton of swimwear nowadays does not have the required lycra or lining and is just glorified rave wear. This suit is actually really nice (even the hat is cute with the ensemble) except it’s not long enough for me and looked too tight even on such a slender figure. I was under the impression that regular, even breathing was important when swimming, not gasping for air.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Then I saw the darker skinned mannequin hand (women are usually portrayed as lighter skinned than a male counterpart in films) with large ring and rose over her d’ecolletage – sleazy? Perhaps it’s ok for the catwalk but I’d hope that if anyone bought it the hand would be removed.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Everything’s cute except the maypole on her head.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The outfit on the left is like one big hug.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

And I thought she was wearing an abaya and hijab but that was before she revealed she was Bat Woman, minimal style.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Ah look it has a see-through visor, how practical that it won’t block out the glare but will prevent bird droppings or unfortunate falling excrement from planes from falling in your face.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Yes those are animals in that ‘cute’ zoo scene cage in mini versions of the clothes for all to stare and giggle at whilst the models throw something (presumably food) anywhere but near them and in such a way that if they did it might hit them. This film is earlier than The Kettles in the Ozarks (1956) in which a car runs over a duck’s/goose’s tail feathers without giving a crap but shows that things didn’t get any better for a long time.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

That said, it was in the time when sexualizing weapons was made popular (curse you fools) such as sitting provocatively atop torpedoes. It was also at the time where White women were trying to get ahead but their sisters were still lower class e.g. the way a Black woman working in the department store is treated by her colleague Crystal p*ssed me off.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

It seems as long women look pretty and smile it makes it ok… uh-huh, keep telling yourself that.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Little Bo Peep

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Sweet and adorable no doubt but practical for picnics? These ballgown beauties remind me of boating attire for Victorian women which consisted of shades of White delicate fabrics and trim, matching accessories and do their utmost not to move a muscle, avoid the wet parts of the boat nor get splashed, had to keep on the blankets and get upset if they had to go to the riverbank to rinse the dishes. These numbers are even more floaty than their predecessors – grass stains and the breeze blowing hems into the food and heaven forbid it be sticky jam much?

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Remember running in floor length gowns = tripping hazard.

Ok I can’t criticise and critique everything, I’ll have each of these dresses please! (Vegan versions.)

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

24 - The Women 1939 Film

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

This one actually had Gold sparkles underneath that cape but the underneath wasn’t shown.

29 - The Women 1939 Film

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Wow what a difference eh?

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Remember the date of this film, slips were still slips and not outerwear. In the back area the models regaled the clientèle with undergarments and sleepwear.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

It seems the models were allowed to barge into dressing rooms to show pieces the incumbents may not have seen/properly. This one just walked in to multiple rooms without knocking or saying anything and waiting to be invited.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

One of the most awful baths ever? I’ve seen quite a few statement baths in films from this time but this one is completely gauche.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Such a beautiful gown worn with no grace – she barely stood still for a split second, stooped and leaned all over, flung the fabric everywhere and in keeping with her character behaved appallingly.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The forefront of the older women in the film imparting an older, though not always wiser, but still astute view of things. Love the arms on that dressing gown, almost like armor.

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

The Women 1939 Film Vintage Fashion Clothing Norma Shearer Joan Crawford Rosalind Russell

Is this film worth watching other than for the fashion? Well it has some great lines and sometimes insight but on the whole showed the common grim sides of people, though shown through women.

That last pic says it all.

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OOTD Continued: Dress Up Friday, all Bloggers welcome!

Viva La Vendredi!

Here was my outfit of the day:

Silver and Red - metallics today. Bright and Bold.

Silver and Red – metallics today. Bright and Bold.

This space is reserved for the other bloggers I see dressing up today rather than the conventional casual/dress down Friday – the norm of the traditional working week usually teamed with ‘letting your hair down’ by dressing up in the evening for relaxing/fun activities. Hey at least this way you’re already ready 🙂

Vanessa – Nessbow

Looking adorable in her flapper outfit! Oh so chic in an authentic vintage dress no less with the pillbox hat, gloves and shoes to match!

Looking adorable in her flapper outfit! Oh so chic in an authentic vintage dress no less with the pillbox hat to match!

Motown – This is Motown

One sassy lass! She looks too cool for school, strutting it strong and proud!

One sassy lass! She looks ‘too cool for school’ strutting strong and proud!

Maricel – My Closet Catalogue

Maricel MCC 31 Jan 2014

Completely elegant and stylish in plaid and crochet knit which she then totally dressed up with a biker jacket and boots – can you say uber cool? She’s got it.

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Retrospective Outfit Of the Day Semi Victorian

Hello world 🙂

These pics were taken over the Friday 13th weekend last month, I went to stay over at a friends so the last ones were taken by her. I went for a Victorian style/look but only one piece is actually Victorian/vintage reproduction (the coat). The subtle pinstripe ‘skirt’ is actually an A-Line button up, pinafore dress of my mum’s from the 80’s, over a Black lace top for layering of a type that can be bought almost anywhere. The White corset style top is from Chicstar (I wore the Black one here) and the ‘belt’ is just an old ribbon (I find ribbons cheaper, less space and more functional than belts). The coat was from Preloved.co.uk a great site that’s been around for a long time where you can buy/sell and swap items. I really love full length coats so this was a great find, the fabric is like a faux suede, the collar sits on top of the capelet, it laces up at the back and billows nicely 🙂

Victorian Pinafore Dress Corset Lace Up Top Ribbon Capelet Cape Coat Vintage Reproduction

Victorian Pinafore Dress Corset Lace Up Top Ribbon Capelet Cape Coat Vintage Reproduction

Victorian Pinafore Dress Corset Lace Up Top Ribbon Capelet Cape Coat Vintage Reproduction

Victorian Pinafore Dress Corset Lace Up Top Ribbon Capelet Cape Coat Vintage Reproduction

Victorian Pinafore Dress Corset Lace Up Top Ribbon Capelet Cape Coat Vintage Reproduction

Victorian Pinafore Dress Corset Lace Up Top Ribbon Capelet Cape Coat Vintage Reproduction

Victorian Pinafore Dress Corset Lace Up Top Ribbon Capelet Cape Coat Vintage Reproduction

and then sleepy before bed *(-_-)*

Fri13th-8

Here’s the shop photo for the corset style top (I say ‘style’ because it’s one of those tops meant to look like one but isn’t one, it’s not constricting).

Gothic Lolita Ruffle Corset Top

Gothic Lolita Ruffle Corset Top – comes in White and Black.
Standard Size $29.95
Plus Size $33.95

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Fashion Friday – Avant Garde or just Wacky, depends.

Remember my Dress Up Friday post (to twist the usual dress down/casual Friday theme) well this is today’s outfit/look and I think it’s pretty dressed up whilst being just out there enough without going all weird.

The top is from Chicstar and I have their White version too. I bought the palazzo pants/culottes on holiday in 2006 so they didn’t stretch my pound as the exchange rate was helpful; the sequin ‘belt’ is actually part of the trousers. I canny remember where I got the bolero from at all but it was probably eBay or some discount store and the little Bows holding the bolero and top together are actually accessories that go with an old pair of shoes which came with three pairs of bows, I use them on so many outfits. The bows are sitting on top of safety pins to make the attachment look cute (seriously where would I, and a bunch of other Asian women, be without safety pins of all sizes and bobby grips). The coat is mum’s (which she thrifted at the time), a lovely vintage super snugly number approx 40-50 years old though the design is inspired from a tad earlier. It’s an oversized design but that said it’s still two sizes too big for me lol and it shows so I tried to pose with it as best I could for the pics. It’s perfect for the weather though.

Silver Sparkly Bolero Black Corset Ruffle Sweetheart Strapless Top Orange Teracotta Sequin Palazzo Pants Trousers Hair Plaits Avant Garde

Silver Sparkly Bolero Black Corset Ruffle Sweetheart Strapless Top Orange Teracotta Sequin Palazzo Pants Trousers Hair Plaits Avant Garde

Silver Sparkly Bolero Black Corset Ruffle Sweetheart Strapless Top Orange Teracotta Sequin Palazzo Pants Trousers Hair Plaits Avant Garde

Silver Sparkly Bolero Black Corset Ruffle Sweetheart Strapless Top Orange Teracotta Sequin Palazzo Pants Trousers Hair Plaits Avant Garde

Silver Sparkly Bolero Black Corset Ruffle Sweetheart Strapless Top Orange Teracotta Sequin Palazzo Pants Trousers Hair Plaits Avant Garde

Silver Sparkly Bolero Black Corset Ruffle Sweetheart Strapless Top Orange Teracotta Sequin Palazzo Pants Trousers Hair Plaits Avant Garde Vintage Faux Fur Oversize Glamorous Coat

Silver Sparkly Bolero Black Corset Ruffle Sweetheart Strapless Top Orange Teracotta Sequin Palazzo Pants Trousers Hair Plaits Avant Garde Vintage Faux Fur Oversize Glamorous Coat

After applying my leftover clay masque in the morning I checked my emails and flicked through the newsletters, one has a very attractive competition/giveaway running but can only be entered via the links given to members so if you’re interested feel free to click the pic below and sign up for a chance to win :- ). The womens fashion prize bundle is from JOY, a webstore which has womens and menswear as well as novelty household items and quirky gifts. The contest is open to UK residents and ends on 31st Jan, I it says just in time for Xmas but the terms and conditions state it closes at the end of this month and hey, I know there’s lots of folk who could do with a post-Xmas pick me up 🙂

JOY Winter Fashion Competition Giveaway

It reminded me that a friends bday is coming up and she loves bric a brac though unfortunately not of the vintage/secondhand type (definitely not a car booter or market lass) but there are a number of modern stores with up to date retro inspired (oxymoron intentional) or just bizarre gifts, some of them chic and some of them loaded with innuendo. JOY is one such store. Cute, tacky, fun, ridiculous – you decide. Looking for inspiration I came across these:

Novelty_lipstick_markers pens highlighters

and

Bullshit_Board_Game

She’s a fan of romantic comedies (even the myriad of insincere, shallow ones; the few I watch tend to be more sentimental, slapdash capers like You Can’t Take It With You) and so the boardgame reminded me of that film with Goldie Hawn’s daughter making a bet that she could date and not dump a random person but that person happened to be doing the same bet with his group of pals… Yeah that in itself was enough to make me want to sleep through the movie she took me to with her complimentary tickets, promises of a good time and me having no other good excuse to get away. (At least it wasn’t as bad as the a former colleague who coaxed me into seeing House Bunny. Seriously, never again. The line is drawn and marked by the survivors of nuclear fallout – giant radioactive cockroaches.) She liked the sound of that game so this and the lippies should make her happy.

After that I thought I may as well look at the womenswear/accessories to see if there was anything I’d put on my imaginary wishlist and their jewellery section has some pieces that remind of me Accessorize (who has met a woman that went into that shop and didn’t like it?)

Thanks for stopping by and good luck if you enter the competition!

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Spotty Dotty Day and The Book Exchange

Salut!

This outfit and outing was actually for Sunday and you can see it was a Black & White polka day. The top is a retro one which I borrowed from mama, the wide belt is a market buy (wide belts in classic colours are such an essential 😉 ) and the vintage inspired pencil skirt is from chicstar.com. I wore it backwards as I liked the buttons as a front feature. I also had my Chinese ‘panda’ jacket; Black cheongsom outer fabric padded for warmth and with White faux fur trim down the front, hem and cuffs – I love it so but didn’t get a pic of it and then my gloves almost went walkabout lol.

I went to a local book exchange store which is basically a place where you can take books that you don’t need/want anymore and swap them for other books. I admire book exchanges because not only do they give books another chance, they are cost effective and in addition to popular books they also tend to stock titles that I don’t usually see in libraries – really interesting and sometimes obscure titles in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. The swapping systems such shops utilise vary per store but generally depends on the condition of your books, whether they’re hardback or paperback and sometimes publishing date or retail price. Some stores use colour coding, points or token/credits that you collect by donating your books and can then spend. They’re another great avenue for books in usable condition, such as libraries and charity/second hand stores other than selling, recycling or dumping.

Black White Polka Dot Spot Vintage Retro Inspired Top Pinup Pencil Skirt Wide Belt

On this occasion I topped up on Craig Shaw Gardner and Ngaio Marsh, got a couple of the Abarat titles from Clive Barker that I hadn’t got round to, a quaint book on Victorian household tips, another on natural health and a couple of young adult distopian titles. I was tempted by the classic literature and the ‘Age of Innocence’ by Edith Wharton caught my eye but I decided against it.

Black White Polka Dot Spot Vintage Retro Inspired Top Pinup Pencil Skirt Wide Belt

I love being amongst books though I know some people think books or reading as a hobby is a waste of time and prefer people watching or experiencing things for themselves. I believe that books are records; housing the thoughts, feelings and observations of masses hence there are tons of information, experiences and personality in them. Reading can be a personal or shared experience and for each reader the mental picture can be different as well as trying to see what the author was saying from their perspective. Experiencing for oneself obviously has advantages but we can’t experience everything and would you want to? Learning from others is helpful as well (though as with everything discernment is needed), for inspiration, guidance, instruction or even prevention. It’s almost the same as going to youtube and looking up tutorials or videos on any topic – it’s just a different sensory form of information and arguably a more creative one for the recipient because you have to think and visualize the whole way through, there’s no ‘shutting off’ to a beta brainwave unless you find the content boring or tedious of course ;-). I personally like them just as much as non-tree e-books which are more practical and convenient (respect to websites for self published works and internet libraries) but have less character and perhaps aesthetic charm imo. Old books are a particular joy which is partially why I like book exchanges akin to enjoying thift shops for clothes or charity/second hand stores for both (and more!) 🙂

Black White Polka Dot Spot Vintage Retro Inspired Top Pinup Pencil Skirt Wide Belt

The background on this one was a bit too busy so I removed it and asked mum to make abstract one for me (she usually has the ideas and I make them but she’s had a hands on approach in some of them) and she decided to go conceptual instead as she does with her own pics. She is very much a conceptual artist which is why most of her pics have interesting looking and meaningful backgrounds. Even with hand drawn art she’s the same; my style is fantasy/sci-fi when hand drawn but having realism in the detail. That was the way I was re-taught in school and after I learned that I could never change it without looking at my attempts and thinking they didn’t look right, however if someone else did something similar I could appreciate it. I was told that if I made conceptual art purely from imagination or not realistic looking I’d be marked down (alot – and the obvious hypocrisy there being the history of many revered artists) so I stuck to fantasy art but by drawing ‘from life’ e.g. using physical objects to draw and placing them in a fantasy theme. Whereas I’d need a person or photos of physical features to draw someone and would automatically do so with detail, she’d draw from her mind and could use flowing lines and geometry and it’d still look great. I find digital art more laborious but less restrictive and easier to remedy!

Lalita Kali Goddess End Time Nibiru Water

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Dress Down/Casual Friday? Why not do the Opposite?

Good evening all, this outfit of the day is a mix of office ready pieces finished with an avant garde flourish. Many people wear smart or smart-casual wear and then go fully casual on a Friday but I like the idea of dressing to the nines or very formal instead :). Plus that way you don’t have to carry a different outfit and get ready again if you intend to go out in the evening. However not everyone is allowed to wear outgoing outfits so it can be helpful to wear a smart-ish base e.g. the skirt and top I’m wearing can easily be layered with a more traditional waistcoat to look formal.

The full length lace ‘waistcoat’ and Gold lurex top I’m wearing are vintage so were found inexpensively by thrifting but the skirt is vintage inspired, so new and I’ve shown where to get it underneath for those interested, it also comes in Black.

Cream Ivory Lace Waistcoat Dress Gold Lurex Top Vintage Grey Black Lace Button Pinup Skirt

My shoes were annoying me so I took them off but my stockinged feet looked silly in the photo so I put them back on lol.

Cream Ivory Lace Waistcoat Dress Gold Lurex Top Vintage Grey Black Lace Button Pinup Skirt

Cream Ivory Lace Waistcoat Dress Grey Pinup Black Lace Vintage Inspired Skirt

Cream Ivory Lace Waistcoat Dress Grey Pinup Black Lace Vintage Inspired Skirt

Cream Ivory Lace Waistcoat Dress Grey Pinup Black Lace Vintage Inspired Skirt