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Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category


Okay, who has not, when coming upon an exhibit of vintage hats at a vintage shop or even a garage sale not wanted to rush over and try at least one on. Okay, perhaps not everyone likes wearing vintage hats, but for me it is a guilty pleasure. What I especially love are vintage hats. Hats made of felt, silk or simply straw. I love the way they feel on my head, the way they seem to change the way I look. Okay, sometimes I do look ridiculous when the hat is just not my style, but I don’t care, I love hats!

pink and brown silk hat

Silk, Lace and Ribbon

vintage cloche hat

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Red Felt Bowl from The Yarn Kitchen on Etsy

Red Felt Bowl from The Yarn Kitchen on Etsy

First of all, no one really knows where the origination of felting began.  Some say that early man discovered felt while wearing skinned animal  hide and having the fur close to his (or her) skin to keep warm. Eventually, from daily wear the combination of friction and sweat the fur became dense aka felted.

Another legend tells us about one of the son’s of King Solomon. This young man was a professional shepherd (not surprising, what son could compete with a father who knows everything?) Anyway, shepherding, not being the most mentally stimulating experience, this young man began to wonder if it was possible to make fabric from wool without having to first spin the wool into yarn. One day legend tells us, he became so frustrated at his inability to figure this out he began pacing back and forth on a sheep skin while crying hot tears. (Yes, real men do cry.)

Eventually, he calmed himself down and discovered to his amazement that the fiber of the sheep skin he had been walking, crying, and perhaps spilling a drink or two on, had worked this liquid into the wool and it had turned into felt!

However it began, felting has been used throughout the ages as tents for nomads, hats, clothes, shoes and many other items.

Several great examples of contemporary felting can be found below.

Small Messenger Bag by RAGZ.NL on Etsy

Small Messenger Bag by RAGZ.NL on Etsy

Felt Cobweb scarf by Felted Pleasure on Etsy

Felt Cobweb scarf by Felted Pleasure on Etsy

 

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Beginning in the early 1950s, rhinestone were sometimes coated with an iridescent coating. “Stones” with this treatment are called aurora borealis stones. These AB stones were used widely in costume jewelry by designers such as: Sarah Coventry, Coro and others.  For a more detailed history of these beautiful rhinestones, please click here.

Below are some great examples of vintage Aurora Borealis jewelry from several sellers on Etsy.com

Vintage Red Aurora Borealis Rhinestone Choker, Earrings, Set – GrandVintageFinery, Etsy

Vintage Aurora Borealis Rhinestone Circle Pin Goldtone – VintagePaige, Etsy

Vintage Red and Rhinestone Drop Earrings – Monkeys On Holiday, Etsy

Vintage Darkly Aurora Borealis three strand necklace – Maggies Treasure, Etsy

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Going through some antique jewelry my grandmother left me I came upon a wonderfully distinctive art deco ring made with small greyish pave style crystals and a dark centerpiece stone.

Antique Art Deco Ring

Being the curious type I decided to do some research the stones in this ring and discovered that the small shiny grey faceted stones are called marcasite, which is another name for pyrite, classified as a semi precious stone.

Apparently, Marcasite/Pyrite was used quite a bit in jewelry in the 1800’s Deco period (1920’s – 1930’s.)  The two center stones in the above ring are black onyx (also classified as a semi-precious stone) which you will find in many pieces of jewelry during this period.

Art Deco Sterling Marcasite Floral Bar Pin by Fibber McGeez on Etsy

Here is another lovely example of Art Deco I discovered in Fibber McGee’z. This pin is classic Art Deco. If you look carefully at the pin, you will see that it tells a story of a flower garden – the square centerpiece of flowers, perhaps daisies and the at the right and left of the square of daisy’s is what looks like leafy vine topped by a simple stylized flower.

I think the important to fully enjoy Art Deco is to view the patterns within the pattern, which are rather geometric in shape, as well as the “shimmer value” of the stones within each piece.

Loral Leaves Marcasite Necklace by Etsy shop ilie pea

Now we go Retro in the lovely Retro (1935-1945) Loral leaves necklace marcasite necklace which I found in Etsy shop, lile pea. The delicate leaves with their Marcasite jewels seem to compel the viewer to once again enter a garden and surround her neck in leafy jeweled glory.

Vintage Art Deco Marcasite and sterling Ring by CRYSTAL CREEK 2

Changing the pattern and back to Art Deco, is this organic in origin is this graceful Art Deco Marcasite ring which can be found in CRYSTAL CREEK2.  This ring shows the classic swirl pattern embellished by marcasite crystals.

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The other day I was taking a wire working class and being the curious person that I am, I began talking to the instructor about her other interests. She told me that she did tatting.  Not wanting to appear ignorant I listened to her answers to my general questions about tatting; such as, how did she learn to tat? Did she tat often?, etc.

Later, I looked up tatting online and was quite impressed of the variation of patterns and techniques to tatting. So, what is tatting?

According to Encyclopedia Britannica Online: tatting is a  process by which a fabric akin to lace is made of thread with a small hand shuttle and the fingers. It was once a widely practiced craft, known in Italy as occhi and in France as la frivolité. The resulting product appears to be quite fragile but is indeed both strong and durable. In tatting, twisted threads are tied around or through small, pointed shuttles that are made of bone, mother-of-pearl, tortoise shell, steel, or plastic and are available in several sizes. The resulting stitches or knots form rings and semicircles that can be used for edgings, insertions, or arrangements that can be stitched together to form doilies and spreads. The thickness of the finished piece is determined by the size of the shuttle and the thread.

Impressive, eh? Well, then, being still curious, I searched online for examples of tatting and found several on Etsy.com: Key to Bride’s Feet Tatted Barefoot Sandals by Totusmel; Black and Blue Tatted Medallion with an Angel by Casual Tatter; and a tatted Gothic Necklace from TataniaRose.

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It has been said that fashion is a gentle progression of revisited ideas. Have you noticed this past fashion week top designers Proenza Schoule and Michael Kors. Fall Fashion line, as well as many other designers, have pulled elements and styles from fashions of the past; in other words, classics with a modern twist. What they have discovered, what we need to remember is that fashion is timeless. Not many of us can afford to buy from top designers. Therefore, shoppers must become creative as they shop for clothes for themselves and family.

Savvy shoppers scour vintage, second hand and thrift shops, garage sales, estate sales, and websites (Etsy, Ebay, Rubylane, craigslist, etc.) for original and used fashions at bargain prices. It only makes sense to do so.

Buy Vintage! You will save money, look original and become a fashion forward (and backward looking) fashionista.

Happy shopping!

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