…The kind you buy in a second hand store! Now that you all have that Prince song firmly planted on repeat in your heads, let’s talk about this classic, but flirtatious fall look!
In case it’s not already obvious, I am a vintage lover and adore rummaging at thrift stores. In all honesty, I truly do have a knack for it! After many years of thrifting, I now completely expect to leave a store beaming about my haul. I don’t know if it’s a gift from the universe, or a special talent, but I always walk away with armloads of treasures and if I happen to be shopping with a friend, they are typically shaking their heads wondering how I do it. All I can say with any certainty is that I’m passionate about vintage and unique pieces of clothing and accessories and I believe that when you love something and you pursue it, it pursues you right back. So I keep doing it, and loving it!
That said, I also love crisp new clothes and being at the cutting edge of current trends and of the moment looks that walk off the runway and into stores. There’s also nothing quite like the feeling I get when the massive September issue of Vogue hits the shelves and I put everything aside to pour over it’s pages and fill up on inspiration! My greatest passion though, is combining vintage and current pieces together to create totally unique looks that defy time and rules and refuse to be placed inside a labelled box of someone else’s design. These looks are self expression at it’s purist. A reflection of my mood, current inspirations, or just where my head is at on any given day.
This look came together in a rather magical way. I bought the wool skirt at a thrift shop and was ridiculously excited to discover it was made in Paris for Eaton’s which is one of the most influential historical retail businesses in Canada. For a bit of a fashion nerd, and lover of old things, that’s pretty cool. It was impeccably made and I loved the ‘Paris in the 1950’s’ vibe of it. The other detail that fired me up was that the label read Matta Harry, which must be a play on words after the famous exotic dancer and courtesan Mata Hari who lived in France during the early 1900’s. Her style was significantly influenced by Asia and Egypt, and for anyone who bellydances (one of my other creative passions) she is firmly planted in bellydance history, mainly for her influence on costume designs in the cabarets of the 1920’s. Her life was full of controversy and so was her death. She was convicted of being a spy and executed by firing squad in France during World War I. Quite a story, but I digress.
Back to the skirt! I was immediately wanting to contrast the pale sea-foam green with a rich raspberry-red. Very French. I managed to find the perfect shade, in a beautiful fitted sweater from GAP. Where things really get fun is when I went to a favourite local vintage shop called The Ruby Slipper. Although I often vintage shop with no specific intentions, sometimes I get very specific about what I want. This drives my good friend Claire nuts, and has since we were in junior high. Not because my expectations are way to high and what are the chances that I’d find that exact thing in a vintage shop, but because I almost always DO find exactly what I wanted! When I walked in, I told the owner of the store that I was looking for a raspberry beret. Cue Prince. No really, I did! The incredible thing is that without any hesitation, she said,”oh yeah, there’s one on the hat rack at the back of the store. It’s angora, French I think.” WHAT?!! This is what I’m talking about people, magic! I even brought the sweater to match the colour. I also managed to find the 1950’s style leaf necklace (in the same shade as the skirt) and the divine bone colour leather driving gloves with green bead button. The luxurious fur coat, was my Grandmother’s (Thanks Gooy!), who has been a fashion inspiration to me for as long as I can remember. And there you have it! Some things are just meant to be. As for the heels I bought at Aldo a few years ago, they were the perfect modern contrast to a vintage look. Not to mention the colours were perfection for this outfit. And well, let’s just be honest, the shoes are pretty gorgeous!
MODEL: Patron of Dreams (a.k.a Tara Cole-McCaffrey)
HAIR, MAKEUP and STYLING: Patron of Dreams
VINTAGE: Fur coat by Jules Perri, raspberry beret by Grandmere -Super French Angora, leaf necklace, leather driving gloves, skirt by Matta Harry, hot pink slip, antique Turkish mixed metal and turquoise ring
THRIFT: Indian Rajasthan textile bag