Thursday 24 January 2019

The Night & Day Exhibition and The Good, Bad & Ugly of the January Sales.

Well January is whizzing by at a rate of knots because work is super busy so once again I’m down to one blog post a month. 

I did manage to take a day off to finally get myself to the Night and Day exhibition at The Fashion and Textile Museum shortly before it ended. Having missed the exhibition Jazz Age they did last year on the 1920’s I was damned if I was going to miss this one on the 1930’s!

I met my friend from work Charlotte at Paddington and we headed over to Bermondsey and grabbed a quick drink in the tiny and packed to the rafters Fuckoffee because the name made us laugh and it had good reviews. 
As I sat sipping my tea wedged on a tiny pouffe, behind a suited city type with a braying voice, I marveled at the thick skin of the 20 something hipster draped full stretch across a three seater sofa idly flicking through her phone whilst people stood waiting for a seat. She was completely impervious to the gentle entreaties to move up, be they verbal or visual and I think it’s a clear indication of how good the coffee was that people just let her get away with it.
Personally my inclination was to just sit and see what happened, on her legs if needs be but I’m guessing this would have been bad form when it comes to hipster coffee shop etiquette, luckily for her languid limbs the pouffe became available so I parked there.   

From there we headed to the exhibition which was tiny as exhibitions go, but absolutely perfectly formed. I tip my hat to the team who curated it. 
You started off in a small room watching Pathe news reels from the 30’s, a sort of snapshot of the era. Down one side of the room they had cases of magazines from the era and on the other a case of sequined evening dress. Clearly deliberately chosen to reflect the current fashion trend for sequins, any of them would not have looked out of place today. 
At the end on it’s own in a glass case was the most stunning black evening gown, the kind of dress that makes everyone stop the kind of dress dreams are made of. To a man the room looked at it and sighed then exclaimed over it’s beauty. Sadly due to light reflections on the glass I couldn’t get a decent picture.

The exhibition was divided into 9 sections each with their own title like ‘Life’s a Bowl of Cherries’ The downstairs depicts night life with sections for things like the golden screen, the night club, dinning or dancing. 

Whilst upstairs is day time from leisure wear and beach wear to work wear, life in suburbia and a group of patriotic red, white and blue ensembles for the 1938 coronation. 

Upstairs there was also a room of prints from a collection of Cecil Beaton’s photographs. I found these particularly interesting as I have read several books on the Bright Young Things of which Beaton was one, and am currently deep in a superb biography about Edith Olivier & Rex Whistler who were his close friends.

I particularly liked this ensemble because who doesn't do their house work with pearls and a cigarette holder??
There were a delightful group of retired ladies all sporting some sort of red hat or fascinator going round at the same time as us. Apparently they try to get together and go out once a month to do something interesting or cultural which we thought was such a fantastic idea. When asked if they were off to lunch afterwards they declared no, they were off to the pub! Now that’s how to retire properly.
A few of them gathered round a group of photographs and were excitedly exclaiming things like ‘There she is’ but I couldn’t get close enough to see which picture or hear who ‘she’ was. I wondered if it was a friend or relative. A couple of times I ended up chatting for a few minutes to one or other next to a particular outfit or picture.

We Ooh’d and Ahh’d to our hearts content and I took about a million pictures. It was interesting just how timeless and wearable a lot of these clothes were, we both found ourselves going round saying ‘I’d wear that’ as much as we were swooning over a stunning evening gown. These are a case in point
Having said that as we left we did both confess to feeling rather under-dressed next to all these stunning outfits, unbeknownst to the other we had both opted for rolled up jeans, black lace up boots and a jumper!

Other than that I haven’t been up to much due to work being so busy. I had to work one weekend and last weekend I was finally off so I spent it sorting through some of my craft/sewing projects with big ideas of downsizing, I think I got rid of about 4 things!?! Oh well, it was a nice way to spend a cold afternoon though, drinking tea, listening to murder courtesy of a Poirot audio book, and sifting through fabric and embroidery kits.

We did go to see The Favourite and for once I’m going against the stream here. I know the world and his dog seemed to love it but I just found it bizarre. I found the soundtrack too invasive at times and the dialogue too contrived at times. Having said that I thought Oliva Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone were all amazing and well worthy of their Oscar nominations, Mind you Olivia Colman can do no wrong in my eyes and if I had realised they filmed bits of it here in Oxford I would have been a right fan girl.

I shall sign off with my January purchases and a cautionary tale.
First off, the bad. I really loved the look of this Sheen khaki dress but when I got around to trying it on not only were the arms too tight, it had this really weird bulge of fabric just above the waist at the back which looked awful, so that got returned.
 The good are these three Collectif dresses which I got in their 60% off plus free postage sale 

and these purple Hotter boots. 
At first those were half price which I still wasn’t prepared to pay, but when they went down by another third I decided to at least go in and try them on they were super comfortable and they only had one pair left in my size so it seemed like a sign and I bought them. In true Vix one in one out fashion, and mostly because I don’t have the room I am moving on another pair of boots to make way for these.

Finally I shall end with my cautionary tale. I bought a dress, thankfully in the sales, from Lady Vintage. A website I have used several times over the years. Hand on heart I have never ever had an issue with their clothes or their service, I have washed and worn and worn and washed with no ill effect until now…
So the dress as you can see was a black one with a sort of yellow and orange floral pattern, made from 97% cotton 3%  elastine. 
I wore it once and put it in the laundry basket to wash. As it was new I checked the label and that said 30 degrees do not tumble dry so I washed it at 30 degrees and did not tumble dry, mostly because I do not own a tumble dryer. 
The dress came out this awful faded grey like the fabric was not properly colour fast. So I emailed Lady Vintage to say I had washed it as instructed and what had happened with a couple of pictures. 
They emailed back to say thank you for the pictures but what speed was the spin cycle on my machine? I replied 1400 and they came back with ‘Even though you washed the dress at 30 degrees and didn’t tumble dry we do recommend that you wash our dresses at 30 degrees but on the delicates cycle, as you didn’t it’s your own fault - bye’ or words to that effect. 

Well I checked the label again carefully nothing there about washing as a delicate, I checked the tags which I happened to still have, nothing about washing delicately there either. So I logged onto their website and finally there it was, right at the bottom of the description it said
 “Machine washable at 30 degrees (delicate wash). Do not hand wash, do not soak, do not tumble dry” 

Now I don’t know about you, but who the hell logs onto their PC or scrolls through their phone before washing their clothes? I certainly don’t! Also why in the hell should a cotton/elastine fabric need a delicate cycle?? 
It certainly felt to me like a cynical 'it's in the small print' get out clause, I mean it's even in brackets! Frankly their brush off was pretty shabby treatment. It's left a bad taste and Icertainly don't plan to buy from them again.

Monday 7 January 2019

Brooches Galore!

This post is pretty much just for Ann!

So in the same week as Ann I acquired a set of drawers with my brooches in mind. Mine are modern and nowhere near as nice as hers but they do the job.
During my time off over Christmas I lined them with felt I happened to have in the house and spent an afternoon sorting my brooches out. The hope was that I would get away from having 5 big dishes of brooches to hunt through. That they would be easier to find but also less likely to lose stones, something that had become a problem with them piled in dishes. 
I assumed as there were 5 drawers my whole collection would easily fit. hahahaha wrong. I still have two dishes full of brooches but all of those are plastic or fabric ones so less likely to damage.

Without further ado 
 These are the Christmas ones and a few others

Finally the dishes
I genuinely do wear them all as I wear a brooch pretty much every day, I also fairly regularly move on the ones I no longer wear as I do buy new ones very regularly as my blog will contest.

I'm snapping at Ann's heels with a collection of 285

The week off over Christmas was all about chilling and doing random jobs like this as Himself came home from his Dad's with a bad cold and took to the bed for a few days, plus I managed to twist my knee going into town to pick up supplies for him which was damn painful meaning all my thoughts of some lovely walks together went out of the window. Definitely the downside of getting older is it takes a bloody age for things to get better, two weeks on and my knee is still giving me jip. Bah.
Anyway at least I got a lovely pile of reading materials and some lego to keep me busy.

Christmas was fun. I went home with my Mum on Christmas Eve and 2 bottles of prosecco in we decided to go to the lovely midnight candlelit carol service at the village church she had waxed lyrical about.
We got there at 11.45pm expecting a midnight start and sort of burst through the door of a fully lit church to find the vicar in full flow!
We crept into a seat and found ourselves right in the middle of a full blown midnight mass with all the standing, sitting, kneeling & responses that involves. It seems they have a new vicar who is far more traditional and had sadly given the carol service the boot. We only got to sing one carol and didn't have a penny between us for the collection.

Christmas day we went to Dad's care home to wait for the taxi that was picking us all up to go over to my brother's. Let's just say there were a few issues meaning I had to sweet talk the taxi driver for 20 minutes before Dad was ready *sigh*
I quickly clocked it was a smaller car too so once his wheelchair was loaded in the back there was only room for Mum, so I made sure they were settled in and then set off on foot. It's a 25 minute walk so I set off at a cracking pace as I knew dinner was due to be ready when the car arrived. At least I can say I earned my dinner!

Himself came home on the 27th and we had a quiet New Year's Eve at home then it was back to work. It's our busiest time of year but I have taken a day off to go to the Night and Day exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. I'm super excited as I have heard great things about it. Expect more about that very soon.