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Author Archives: Jessica Martin

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

There is no denying it, vintage inspired novelty prints are truly hit the mainstream in recent years. Sourcing vintage pieces is getting increasingly more difficult and the prices are literally skyrocketing every day. It is wonderful to see designers like Trashy Diva taking inspiration from some of the most beautiful vintage prints and recreating them in a range of designs to suit various body types. When Trashy Diva released their “Carnival” Mardi Gras themed print, everyone was going wild with excitement! With limited styles and sizes available, they sold out lightning fast. Fortunately I was able to acquire the Trashy Diva Carnival Gathered Skirt from Retroglam before it was too late.

Available in sizes 2-24 ~ MSRP $99

As I slowly amass more pieces from Trashy Diva, I find their sizing to usually be on par with the individual size charts for each style/print. Consistently I wear a size 6 (Small) in most of their designs unless the fabric is stretchy. In this case, the Carnival Gathered Skirt was rumored to be running small and had zero give in the waist so I was unsure what size to order. After chatting with the owner at Retroglam, I decided to risk ordering the size 6 knowing the larger size would have to be taken in a bit. The gamble luckily paid off, the waistband fit snuggly on my waist (27”) but it would have definitely been too small if my waist was the recommended 28” on the chart. I personally prefer skirts to be quite fitted, especially with such a wide band to create a cinched waistline silhouette. The Carnival Gathered Skirt features a curved extra wide waistband, 8 panels of gathering for a very full skirt, has hidden pockets, is completely lined and has a back invisible zipper closure. Made from a rich cotton voile, the vibrant Mardi Grad print features “Masked revelers parade through French Quarter streets in a whirl of vibrant color that embodies the true spirit of New Orleans.” At 5’-4” tall, the hemline falls a couple inches below the knees.

Trashy Diva has really built a massive cult following over the years; die hard collectors that relish in all the gorgeous one of a kind prints they release in their signature designs. As their price points are a bit more of an investment especially with the weak Canadian dollar, I have to be more selective on my purchases. Although I initially coveted the Annette Dress in the fun Carnival print, I am thrilled to have chosen the Gathered Skirt as the vibrant colours go with an endless array of tops. The wide curved waistband is unique and very flattering even for us petite ladies. This is definitely a very voluminous gathered skirt, hence why I prefer the waist to be fitted and it also prevents the band from rolling down. Since the skirt is made with voile cotton, a good pressing will be required after each wear if you are sitting for any length of time. The whimsical Mardi Gras print is sure to garner tons of attention and be a conversation piece wherever you go.

Vibrant colour schemes are the most fun to accessorize. I had a difficult time choosing the colour of top to pair with the Carnival Skirt as there were several that would match beautifully. In the end, I wanted to showcase the rich purple in the motif by pairing it with the PUG Peasant top in Plum. I completed the ensemble with a vintage green marbled Bakelite beaded necklace, multi-coloured bangles and finished off by the Jenny Pumps in green by B.A.I.T. All accessories were selected to accent the vivacious Mardi Gras print.

Trashy Diva has enchanted our hearts by capturing the whimsy of the New Orleans spirit with their Carnival novelty print. These one of a kind prints are sure to become treasured pieces for years to come just like those from the 1950’s. There is a small selection of sizes that remain online and you can also join the “Desperately Seeking Trashy Diva” group on Facebook to acquire them second hand from fellow Trashy Diva fans.

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Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Evening Delicate Blooms

After the long cold winter months, the sun is shining and the temperatures are slowly rising. Spring has finally sprung which means dress season is well underway on this side of the globe. Mind you, it has been a very wet season thus far but that doesn’t stop us from relishing in the excitement that the new collections bring from our favorite designers. Most of you know that I have a profound adoration of floral prints and I can never get enough of them as there are endless variations of colours, prints and styles to be had. Rarely do we see evening wear options that feature timeless rose prints therefore I simply could not resist the Rosabelle Dress by Voodoo Vixen.

Available in sizes S-XL ~ MSRP £55.00

Although it has been a while since I purchased any new vintage reproduction styles, Voodoo Vixen sizing remains consistent season after season. My measurements (bust 36”, waist 27”) are always in between sizes but luckily I am able to comfortably size down to a Small. The Rosabelle Dress fit impeccably, there was just enough room in the bust and the waist had space for comfort. Thankfully the straps just sat perfectly on my petite shoulders and did not have to be shortened. The Rosabelle Dress features wide V neck with capped sleeves, a figure flattering fitted bodice, flared skirt, and invisible back zipper closure. The sheer overlay gives the classic pink roses a very delicate two dimensional appearance contrasted by the black background. At 5’-4” tall, the hemline falls just below the knees.

I have always valued that Voodoo Vixen offers such unique designs for an affordable price. It is quite rare to find eveningwear options that are versatile for many occasions and won’t break your budget. The Rosabelle Dress is absolutely stunning and fits all of the above. Initially I was unsure of the taffeta type fabric but after a good steaming, all those worries subsided. The sheer printed overlay has a slight shine and really gives a charming two dimensional appearance to the rose print. I think without that, the print would look very flat and lose so much of its evening glam esthetic. Also, the overlay is strategically tacked into place so there is no worry that it will distort the print or risk of being snagged. The deep V neckline is the ideal cut for a subtle sex appeal but not in your face cleavage. The Rosabelle Dress is a true classic design that you can wear on date nights, weddings, or any special occasion.

When I think of evening glamour, I instinctively picture simplicity with a little sparkle. I find less is often more when it comes to accessorizing classic styles like the Rosabelle Dress. One of my readers once gifted me a pair of vintage black earrings that belonged to her grandmother, I treasure them dearly and they are a perfect evening staple. Paired with a simple black beaded bracelet and round toe pumps, I was instantly ready for a night out!

It is rare that I gravitate towards black coloured evening wear but the breathtaking roses made the Rosabelle Dress a must have in my wardrobe. In a sea of day dresses and skirts, it is refreshing to add new pieces that are sure to turn heads at every occasion.

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Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Antique Mall Adventures

Since we moved last autumn, I have been really looking forward to visiting all the local antique stores that are now just a short drive away. With the weather being cold and rainy on the weekend, it was the perfect time to go for a Sunday drive to check them out. Ready with my camera, tape measure and Bakelite testing kit, we set off to St. Jacobs, Ontario.

First stop: Market Road Antiques

One thing I love about this location, it is extremely clean and everything is neatly organized by vendor. Everything is easy to see as you browse from kiosk to kiosk and definitely a real gem of an antique shop to visit. In the past, I have found a couple items here but more enjoy it for the window shopping of vintage treasures. Be ready to pay more for these treasures as the sellers did all the dirty work sourcing them and know what they have on their hands.

When we first arrived, I immediately spotted this adorable 1950s Lefton Miss Dainty set. I know a bunch of gals who collect Lefton ceramics from this era as they are so cute and extremely addicting. Shortly thereafter, we came across more Lefton pieces that included the Enesco Teddy Bear collection and Thumbelina Honey Bun Girl.

Being a huge Disney fan, I was immediately drawn to these amazing movie posters and vintage Disney memorabilia. I haven’t yet started collecting these types of items as I know that it would quickly lead to massive hoarding with little space to display them in our home.

Of course, there was no shortage of vintage Pyrex dishes to swoon over. Sadly they are so pricey, especially the highly coveted Pink Gooseberry collection. If you ever lucky enough to find these at second hand thrift shops for cheap, don’t pass them up!

There was little vintage clothing this time around but there was a nice selection of vintage furs to choose from. The vintage sleepwear of the 1950-1960s was so feminine and classic.

Now these vintage cat eye rhinestone sunglasses are a real statement piece! They would have been perfect for the Viva Pool Party festivities. Sadly there was no selection of vintage wicker handbags, this was the only one I saw the whole trip. I always enjoy seeing all the lovely embroidered handkerchiefs, often handcrafted by the talented homemakers of the 1950s.

Finishing up our visit at Market Roads Antiques, we saw some stunning antique furniture in pristine condition. This French Provincial Settee was simply breathtaking, I didn’t even want to touch it. One thing you learn quickly in vintage shops, always look up! That is where this unique mid century lamp was hiding.

Second Stop: St. Jacobs Antique Market

This antique shop is where you’ll find a more eclectic mix of antiques and collectibles. The kiosks are smaller in size but loaded floor to ceiling with treasures waiting to be found. The prices tend to be on the more affordable side but you have to do more work to find them.

If you are ever looking for inexpensive way to decorate your home with a vintage theme, I highly recommend framing old magazine covers and advertising from the 1930-1950’s. They make incredible conversation pieces and relatively cheap to find in most antique stores. Large signage is another great way to spruce up the garage or basement family room.

One thing I have a real weakness for is antique rose print china. Someday I hope to own such a delightful collection to put on display in a glass china cabinet. If you are lucky enough to have one of these in your family, please treasure it dearly.

It is hard to believe that drapes from the mid century era have lasted for decades but when you feel barkcloth in person, you will quickly understand why. Often the motifs will feature a tropical style or atomic prints. They are wonderful piece to incorporate with a modern style as well, that is what I am intending to do in our new living room.

Sometimes there are rare pieces that remind of every day life from another era, like their modes of transportation. They did not have strollers that folded up, had cup holders along with every gadget like we see today. Infant carriers were simple. They were often made out of wicker with a metal frame on wheels. The vintage bicycles are simply spectacular and they have made a huge comeback these days in the vintage style cruisers.

Vintage plastics are incredibly sought after today, especially all items made from Bakelite. This is one thing I specifically go hunting for every time I visit an antique shop. Although I have never found any for $1-5, I have picked up some great bangles to add to my collection. Unfortunately this trip only yielded a few carved bakelite pins and the adorable little mint radio.

Last Stop: Southworks Antiques

This was our first time visiting Southworks Antiques in Cambridge, Ontario so I wasn’t too sure what to expect from their selection. Located in an old building, the kiosks are staggered throughout and filled with a very interesting mix of antiques. Apparently they will be moving into a new location early this summer so all vendors were offering booth wide discounts. It was quite busy when we arrived, so we made our way through much quicker than the previous two stops.

Normally it is easy to find tons of vintage hats and gloves in these markets, but unfortunately this venture was not so plentiful. I did find some gloves but opted to pass on them as they aren’t something I get to wear often. Sometimes it’s harder to leave items behind but you really have to rationalize if it’s worth purchasing.

Although I was searching for vintage chalkware fish for our bathroom decor, these guys were a little too 60’s.

Regrettably, there wasn’t much that caught our eye this time. I found that many kiosk were quite underwhelming, possibly as they were preparing to downsize until they relocated. Many items were very rustic, more a shabby chic look. Although we came home empty handed from our day of adventure, I never regret the time spent browsing antique shops. It is also quite fun seeing what other people pick out as their treasures. Thrifting is such an eclectic mix of styles recycled for future generations to appreciate for years to come.

 

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Categories: All Posts, Randomness | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Viva Rockabilly Weekend 20th Anniversary Recap

With much anticipation leading up to the Viva Rockabilly Weekend 20th Anniversary, I can say that the overall experience was very different that any previous we had attended. The best way to describe it was the vibe felt very chill, everyone was extremely laid back. That said, there was a lot of controversy with long line ups to see the musical acts, main events and constant over crowding issues. This among other unexpected situations caused massive frustration and lead to many unhappy attendees. Of course we did not let any of those unfortunate things ruin our Viva experience, we chose to go with the flow and partake in some new Viva events that we had missed out on previously. Here’s a daily recap our time at VLV20 and I must apologize well in advance for taking so few photos this year…

Thursday

The first day is always rather quiet with attendees still arriving from all over the globe. Most International visitors tend to arrive earlier in the week to acclimate to the time change and to explore Vegas since they are coming from so far away. We took this opportunity to visit the well known Charleston Antique Mall, something we really enjoyed in years past. My favorite stall that always had a beautiful array of vintage clothing was no longer there but it was replaced with the most exquisite collection of lucite handbags that I have ever seen in person. Unfortunately I only window shopped as they all came without a hefty price tag averaging $150-300USD. Luckily I did not leave empty handed, I picked up these lovely red embroidered gloves with matching handkerchief for $15. Before returning to the hotel, we stopped at the grocery store to load up on water along with snacks and breakfast foods to save on dining out all three meals each day.

Once back at the Orleans, we ventured around the hotel and braced ourselves for the mad rush when the vendor rooms opened at 5pm. As you can expect, it was utter chaos and impossible to move in the massive crowds. I quickly made my way to my favorite vintage vendor as I always find a few great pieces there and luckily scored this beautiful vintage scenic Cypress skirt. Before calling it quits, I made my way to the Atomic Swag booth to meet the wonderful owner Michelle for the first time. There I picked up three tshirts for me and one for the hubby. That was enough for us, we would go back later in the evening when the crowds died down.

That evening our friends from Minnesota organized a dinner at the Golden Steer Restaurant, a true Las Vegas landmark since 1958. The location appears to be nothing special from the outside but the interior decor was like walking back in time. Our group was dressed to impress, a lovely collection of fabulous vintage evening wear. Sadly we didn’t get any photos of all of us, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Dinner was delicious and none of us left hungry.

Friday

The hubby woke up early (6:30am) and immediately headed down to go wait in line for burlesque tickets. This gave me the opportunity to get ready and meet him in line. The line was insane, snaking around and around estimated at over 2500 people. Luckily for us, we were towards the front and scored tickets to the 9pm show featuring Dita Von Teese.  The hubby made his way to the pool while I quickly went up to the bowling alley when it opened at noon. I was on a mission to visit the vendor Vintage Blue Moon as she previewed some incredible pieces on Instagram. Instantly I spotted the most gorgeous Alfred Shaheen dress on the mannequin and fell in love. With a little persistence, we were able to compromise on the price since I knew it was going to blow my spending budget out of the window but this dress was SO worth it! Quickly I made my way to the Viva Fashion Show, one of the events I always missed in previous years. Knowing a few of the independent designers (Ains & Elke Stylehaus, Prettie Lanes & Rebel Love Clothing) who were taking part, I committed to be there to show my support. These ladies all did such a phenomenal job, the models and designs wowed the crowd. The show stopper was hands down Prettie Lanes…we were instantly teleported back to the 1950’s where the women did not leave the house without looking flawless from head to toe. Here’s a teaser video so you can see for yourselves: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTZpxE-BAfN/

After the fashion show, I quickly changed into a comfortable vintage playsuit to join the hubby and our friends for an afternoon lounging in our pool cabana. We were joined by some amazing company: Miss Mae Laroux, Jessica well known as NoAccountingforTaste on IG(follow her, you can thank me later), Siobhan and her lovely friends from the UK. The weather was perfect, sunny, warm and not super windy like the day before. Jessica was our unofficial photographer to capture our poolside attire.

The hubby and I enjoyed a quiet dinner at the Ondori Asian Kitchen before attending the Viva Burlesque Showcase at 9pm. To our surprise, the show began much later than scheduled but we found ourselves in very good company sitting in front of Karianne (Miss_Sneakytiki) who I have known for a couple years now through Instagram. Of course Dita Von Teese was all glitz and grace performing her infamous martini glass and revamped Cowgirl acts. It was a wonderful show featuring several talented burlesque performers and the hilarious Murray Hill. As we exited the theater, there was a insane amount of people crowded outside in the casino area…something was not right. We bumped into friends who informed us that there was an issue upstairs and the police we on scene and everyone was being redirected downstairs. Rumors later came out that it was due to overcrowding issues and some individuals getting out of hand.

Saturday

Car Show Day! This is by far my favorite event at Viva and the one occasion I allow myself to splurge on being pampered by talented stylists. I don’t know how I got so lucky but my glam squad consisted of two of the very best in the industry: makeup by Erika Reno and hair by Madame Pomp. These two ladies are not only super talented, they are total sweethearts! They sure made me feel beautiful, I received so many kind compliments from strangers and some even asked to take my photo. The car show was loads of fun, seeing a lot of familiar faces and meeting a few new ones as well. I made sure to go say hello to my favorite shop owners: The Oblong Box Shop, Prettie Lanes, Ains & Elke Style Haus, Rebel Love, etc. We made our way through the vendors and cast our votes for Miss Lily White in the Pinup Contest before taking a break indoors for a late lunch. A quick outfit change into something a little cooler, we made our way back out to peruse the gorgeous classic cars. Overall, I felt this year’s vendors were a lot of the same selling tshirts and nick nacky stuff yet several of the vendors I always love to visit weren’t there sadly. Although I did visit a couple new ones that are worth mentioning: Miss Nouvelle & Star Struck Clothing.

Saturday evening is the big night where everyone goes all out and dresses to the nines…it is always such an incredible night for people/fashion watching! My gown almost did not make it’s debut when the seams along the zipper started to pop just as we were about to leave our room to go to dinner. Fortunately I came prepared with a sewing kit and quickly got to work repairing the zipper so that the dress could make it through the next few hours. Alas, I was ready to go for a nice dinner for two at Alder & Birch. In years past we always attended the Burlesque competition on Saturday night but we decided to switch things up a little. We rounded up a few of our friend for a little Burlesque Bingo. Oddly enough, my hubby was more into playing bingo than watching ladies take their clothes off but it was a interesting night to say the least.

Sunday

After the hustle and bustle of all the activities at Viva, Sunday is when everyone kicks back and relaxes at the Pool Party. We are early risers so the hubby went down right away to get in line so that we could secure a great spot for the day. Thankfully we got in early and found lounge chairs around the smaller pool as the whole area quickly filled up. I was flabbergasted to hear that the hotel was charging people for chairs, so not cool! As soon as I spotted the lovely Lily White, I went to say hello as I’ve admired her for some time through Instagram. She is truly beautiful inside and out…what a doll. The rest of the day was spent chatting with friends and watching the swimsuit competitions. Boy of boy…was it a scorcher! I threw in the towel late afternoon and went back up to the vendor rooms one last time but left empty handed.

With the weekend now winding down, we opted for a casual dinner at TGI Fridays followed by a couple casual games of bowling. There we met up with the ever so delightful Eleanor Paige who kicked both our butts even wearing a huge puffy petticoat. lol. It was the best way to finish off the weekend, low key and in good company.

As I mentioned previously, Viva 20 would be our last year attending simply because we feel that we’ve experienced what Viva has to offer with this being our fourth time. There are so many other destinations we’d like to travel to next but never say never…we may go back in a few years. Until then, I encourage you all to visit Viva Rockabilly Weekend at least once to check it off your bucket list.

 

 

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Categories: All Posts, Randomness | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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