Princess Dress

I got this amazing lilac sheer chiffon collared 1950s handmade dress on TradeMe intending to hem it to a slightly more wearable length, but when it arrived and I tried it on I feel strangely in love with its ankle-grazing skirt and have decided to keep it like this. Usually I am extremely defensive of my right to alter vintage in any way I desire to make it more wearable or practical, but this one has left me stuck. I wasn't planning to go to my university graduation 'cause they're hideously boring, but now I think I may have to just so I have a legit occasion to wear this dress - other than for a walk to the park.

 My flatmate took pity on me when she saw me wearing it around the house and we went for a wander to take some pixxx. I'm wearing it with a vintage lilac lace slip and vintage t-bar 1960s flats. The best thing about starting work at 6am (possibly the only good thing?) is finishing early and being able to enjoy the afternoon sun.


Hi hi hi

Hello! Apologies, et al. I think from now on I will just tell y'all that I will be posting pretty infrequently and then if I manage more than one update a fortnight you can be pleasantly (?) surprised. Work is busy and really fun and I am getting less bad at my job and that's basically my life right now.

I was really just going to post to inform you of some Trademe auctions I have up at the moment (cheap vintage, size 10-12 mostly but some larger, 1950s and 1960s and 1970s) to make some space in my burgeoning wardrobe, but yesterday as I was leaving to run errands and go to a film and enjoy the amazing weather I wrangled my flatmate Kita to take some photos of me in my new dress.

My Mac is in getting fixed so I am using my boyfriend's big clunky confusing Windows laptop, and I tried to brighten these on some programme and accidentally made the second one kinda hazy. Soz.

I'm wearing a 1950s red rose-print day dress from Libertines Vintage on Etsy, an old opshopped leather belt, opshopped $1 blue Roman sandals, opshopped 10c sunglasses and a 1960s banana basket that Jack's mum gave me. 

Edit: I forgot to announce the winner of the Wildfell Hall voucher on here! It was Trees, fellow Wellington blogger and commenter number one.



I am a bad blogger, etc. I am working hard getting my final assignments done and studying for the exam in two weeks that will herald the end of my time in tertiary education. I've decided not to do Honours and am instead taking a full-time job at the media company I currently work part-time for. Which will mean getting up at 5am every weekday, but also getting paid, which is nice.

Here is some stuff I've been up to lately.

I cannot believe this dress is yet to feature on here, because I wear it SO often. It's become the thing I put on when I look at my wardrobe and feel contempt for all my garments. It is a beautiful 1950s cotton dress with an amazing full skirt and a border print of painterly copper roses over subtle green stripes that get bolder towards the bottom. This was a gift from my manager at the opshop I volunteer at, who saw it in the donations pile and immediately knew I would love it. She presented it to me when I dropped in to tell her I found employment (so, months ago) and I got all red and flustered with excitement. It fits me amazingly well and gets a ton of compliments. So thank you, whoever donated it!

I just thought my dresses looked cool together the other day.

Some 1950s kitchen scales I got for $4, as well as a floral melamine plate and an enamel bowl. I love kitchenware made of non-pottery things, as I am horribly clumsy and accident-prone and it is good to know they won't smash if I drop them. 

 Today I worked then uni-ed then went on a little picnic on the sunny bank at the end of our road. We ruined some perfectly good vege sticks by slathering them in onion dip, a Kiwi culinary delight made of a can of reduced cream, a sachet of dehydrated onion soup mix and a ton of vinegar. It probably sounds gross to anyone who didn't grow up eating it, but it is a truly divine food and I would eat it every day were it not just cream with flavour added. 

I have no idea why the colouring in these two photos is so drastically different? It's weirding me out. I've been experimenting with wearing only one colour lately. It is really easy because you don't have to worry about anything going with anything else - red goes with red. Done. Bam.

 I'm wearing this great 1950s red day dress, opshopped red roman sandals and red glittery heart-shaped glasses from a costume shop on eBay. These leave glitter peppered all over my face, and then in my bed, then all over everything I own. 

Also, you know how I mentioned living in the bush? 
Our home is somewhere in there. Also, if you haven't already entered the Wildfell Hall giveaway you have until tomorrow, so get onto it.


Giveaway: $50 Voucher to Wildfell Hall Vintage

Excuse my patchy absences, I am coming to the end of my degree and a bit busy with work and stuff. However, I do have a very exciting post today - the lovely Amy of Wildfell Hall Vintage has offered my readers the chance to win a $50 voucher to her beautifully-curated vintage shop!

Amy is a fellow Kiwi who used to hunt for vintage in Auckland after school on Fridays, after changing out of her uniform in McDonalds bathrooms. She started off in Manhattan making jewellery (something else we have in common), then started the shop in June 2010 while working full-time. Today she lives in Brooklyn above her husband's tattoo shop and they're expecting a baby in January,  but she keeps finding so much great vintage that she can't stop selling it. And here's your chance to buy it!

Amy is generously offering a $50 credit to her shop for readers of my blog. Here's what you've got to do to enter...
1. Like the Wildfell Hall Facebook page.
2. Leave a comment on this post with your favourite item from the Wildfell Hall vintage shop, and your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.

If you'd like an extra chance or two to win, you can Tweet or blog (or both) about this giveaway. Please include a link to this post, as well as @Wildfell_hall if you're Tweeting.

This giveaway will be open for ten days, until Midnight on Wednesday the 17th of October, New Zealand Standard Time. The winner will be drawn by random number generator. Good luck!


I wrote a big post and took photos but now it seems yet another card reader has crapped out, so no proper post until I can muster up the courage to buy another. 

For now here is an example of the searches that bring people to this blog. Hahahahaha.


Wander in the Woods

I think I've said it before, but our house is literally in the bush. On every side there is thick forest, homes nestled in massively overgrown gardens, and beautiful parks, not to mention a 225 hectare native forest and wildlife sanctuary that starts at the end of our road. Every time I go for a walk or a bike ride, I seem to be finding some other gorgeous bit of greenery to get muddy shoes exploring. So when Kita and I went for a walk the other day to find somewhere to take some photos, we weren't too surprised to find this little bit of woods a few hundred metres from home. We wandered, we got terribly lost, we took pretty photos. The end.
 I have wanted a dress like this ever since Caitlin's post with a near-identical one, which was in January. I missed out on buying her one off her, but searched madly for one with all sorts of keywords on eBay and Etsy. I finally found this one and snapped it up for a very reasonable price, but not before Oasis made a poor replica of it, for the massive cost of £85. This is by no means the first time a big-name company has blatantly ripped off a vintage garment, and to me it reeks of a lack of originality. If all that corporate backing can't buy an original design, what's the point? Mine is the real deal 1950s novelty, the label is 'Kay Whitney by Huntington' and the placement of the print is so perfect. It came with a matching belt, but I decided on this pink one off another 1940s dress for today. I wore my Marie Antoinette dress with an old pink handknit ballet cardigan, Columbine brown woolen tights, opshopped black t-bar mary-janes and the 1960s banana basket that Jack's lovely mum opshopped for me.

 Kita loves this photo so I had to include it.

Where the wild things are.


Proud To Be A Woman-Child

Can we all please watch this rude, offensive bit of nonsense and discuss it? Deborah Schoeneman, one of the writers of Girls, is on the Huffington Post live panel slamming women who dress like 'women-children'. This was started by an article she wrote on the website on the subject. For a publication which seems to be pretty against slut-shaming, this just seems like the same thing- deriding women for making active choices regarding how they present themselves.

To equate Courtney Love's wearing of babydoll dresses with her infantilising herself is beyond offensive, and shows Deborah Schoeneman truly has no understanding of Love's ideologies. Asking a man what he thinks of a woman's choice to wear something girly is offensive, because it implies all my choices are made for the viewing pleasure of men. I will not change the way I dress to become a better product of the male gaze, and is some seriously heteronormative bullshit. To say that femininity must be 'authentic' for it to be justified is offensive. Nobody else gets to qualify or justify the way I dress. To make these sweeping generalisations about me based on how I present myself is ludicrously offensive, because it shows that you have no desire to engage with me about why I choose to dress the way I do, in novelty prints and full skirts and florals and frills. I am offended, and I am allowed to be, because I am not some passive sweet little baby despite what you may read from my love of pink puffy dresses.

And why do I choose to dress like this? Because I god damn like it, and I am allowed to. I am attracted to all things typically feminine, and I do not have to and will not ever apologise for this. I have always thought of fashion as the only mandatory form of engagement with art. If you want to live in mainstream society, you have to wear clothes. So I believe you should have fun with them. You should wear whatever you want even if it IS childish, skimpy, all-black, corporate, ripped or whatever. There is no correct way to dress. The concept of 'dressing your age' is outdated and silly, and entirely constructivist. You don't just get to say 'these are the fashion rules because I say they are and you need to dress how I like'. Why? Why should a woman only be taken seriously if she is wearing a suit? I need answers and justifications, not this classist, snobby crap.

Brad Beardall is featured on this video panel, whoever he is, and he doesn't get to tell women whether or not their choice to wear pink is valid or not. I am not going to explain all the ways in which I am an empowered woman, because I do not need to justify the fact that I am wearing a frilly carrot-print dress with a ric rac trim right now. This assertation also speaks down to implies women who make the choice to do 'non-empowered' (and I say that with quotation marks) things. Schoeneman says because some women write their own movies and make their own websites and other 'strong' things, it is OK for then to be a 'woman-children'. What? There is no condition of dressing in a youthful way. If a woman doesn't have a career in the business sector or doesn't challenge traditional notions of femininity, is she allowed wear girly clothes because it's more 'authentic' that way? Femininity, masculinity, or anything in between does not need to be justified by our actions. I don't need to dress in the costume of the demographic I belong to or the job I work.

And maybe the worst part of this all is that Deborah Schoeneman, backed out at (literally) the last minute from having Jess Mary, author of this great article on why the idea of the 'woman-child' is dumb, appear on this panel as her response was deemed 'too scathing'. Actually, Jess Mary debunks the myth of the 'woman-child', like so so so many other awesome ladies I could name. By being a strong, thoughtful, interesting, independent, mature woman who also chooses to sometimes wear 'childish' clothing or present themselves in a 'childish' way, Jess Mary contradicts this ridiculous idea that a love of a youthful aesthetic means you are a helpless baby. It seems like Schoeneman wants to have her cake and eat it too. She wants women to dress 'adult', but doesn't acknowledge the right of an adult to make their own choices.

My kitten sweater* and Heidi braids, like my hairy legs and lack of makeup, are choices I make because I like the way they look and the way they make me feel. However, they are also a 'fuck you' to people like Schoeneman who think their opinions are the be-all and end-all of gender politics. Deborah, I don't want your approval. What I actually want is to make you angry and disgusted at the way I dress, so you can keep feeling bitter and looking down on people arbitrarily, and so I can keep feeling awesome about my clothes. Because I do feel awesome about every last bow and frill. I am not 'scared of growing up' simply because I adore clothing with kitties on it, nor do I desire to go back to my childhood, or some synthetic romanticised conglomeration of childhoods. Brad Beardall's claim that I am scared of tackling big issues is made redundant by the fact that I just wrote like 1500 words on a Big Issue.

*My amazing kitten jumper was made by Joy White, amazing mum of the amazing Kelly White, and adapted from a pattern by Tiny Owl Knits. I will definitely be posting more on this later because it is the nicest, warmest, most beautiful quality thing I've ever owned and I've barely taken it off since I received it. Kelly is a great example of a funny, smart, cool, interesting entrepreneur who dresses in bright colours and novelty prints. Kelly has made her living making beautiful homewares and jewellery that are laden with cutesy nostalgia and childish goodness. Does that qualify her femininity enough for you, Schoeneman?


Home Sewn exhibition

I've seen and heard a lot about the Home Sewn exhibition at Britomart in Auckland, but these photos are giving me serious feelings. I don't really like Auckland a lot but these pictures from Black Betty's Facebook page are giving me the awful vintage envy feeling you get when you see someone with a better wardrobe than you. All of these clothes are vintage and handmade in New Zealand, from loads of different collections. I reckon I have a few dresses I could've contributed to this.

Woah, look at that print. It reminds me of this dress that my friend Ella made and sold me. 

If you are an Aucklander here is some more info on the exhibition, which runs until the 26th. See the main photo on that page? That's a 1950s pattern for the 'Walkaway' dress, one of which I have! Also the lovely lady who took these photos sells gorgeous vintage on her Trademe shop, which I urge you to check out as she has great new stock up every week.



CHRISTIE CAME TO WELLINGTON AND IT WAS REALLY FUN. She came to look around universities but I'm gonna pretend she came just to visit me and go vintage shopping and eat amazing food, which is what we did all weekend.

I've been working normal-people hours at my normal-people job and I now remember the joys of a Friday afternoon, and how great it feels to have two wonderful days of freedom and sleep-ins ahead of you, and my afternoon was made even better by seeing Christie. Man, I have missed her. We vintage shopped and had a cheap noodle dinner (Satay Kingdom, you are my everything), and then did the same thing on Saturday except with a slightly fancier dinner. It was so nice seeing the city through new eyes. Pix:

Christie is wearing an opshopped lemon yellow angora jumper, a pale blue 1950s day dress from Emporium Vintage, Goldenponies t-bars and a Baggu backpack. Her rings are by Karen Walker and Steven Junil Park.

I am wearing a 50s-style dress by Papercup via Recycle Boutique, emerald green 1950s princess coat, Golenponies t-bars and a belt off another vintage dress. We accidentally wore the same colours and the same shoes, which many many people commented on. WE KNOW.

And we both bought lots of excellent things (which I can actually do now because employment) including a Ruby Boutique dress from 2008 that I have wanted ever since it came out, an amazing black beaded 1930s blouse (Christie) and this amazing perfect dress:

And it was perfect and fun and Christie needs to move here next year the end.


Story of a Dress

Ok. Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been busy getting a job (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and not really anything else. My employers read my blog (the horrors of working for a media company) so I won't say much else. But yeah. Today on the way to choir I dropped in to Recycle Boutique and saw a glimpse of fabric sticking out of the 'vintage dresses' rail that made my heart stop a little bit. When I pulled the dress out, I was so thrilled. We were reunited, and it felt so good.

When I was 15ish and much, much smaller than I am today, I got an adorable 1950s children's dress from Two Squirrels Vintage. When I was 16 I was in a band, and I wore this dress when we played at an art gallery's Christmas auction. Thanks to documenting my entire teenage years in depth on Livejournal, I have photos from this very day of me in said dress.

Wearing a 1950s beaded cashmere cardigan that I opshopped the day this photo was taken for $4.
  With my then-bandmates Steven and Bryn.

But then I got old, and got fat, and grew out of the dress. I sold it on Trademe and I seem to remember it going for a pittance, and me being really disappointed. I regretted it almost immediately, and have had occasional pangs of regret ever since for letting it go.

But today it came back to me, in a different city, after 3 or 4 years of being apart. It definitely does not fit me anymore but that is entirely beside the point, and I am so happy to be reunited with it. I'm trying to decide what to do with it- I could chop off the top (and its lovely collar) and turn it into a skirt, or I could chop off some of the bottom and turn it into inserts to put in the sides to make it fit my boobs so I can wear it as a babydoll mini-dress, or I could just leave it the way it is, hang it on my wall and keep it for my future children. What do you guys reckon?

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