Monday, March 31, 2014

Thrifted elephant pillow

I may be keeping it short and sweet these days. I'm really tired and have a lot on my plate. But every time I look at this little handmade guy, I smile. I bought him at the thrift shop to put him in Adam's room - when we have a room for him, that is. For now, he's hanging out on our couch (the elephant, not Adam, silly), having a party with all the other ethnic pillows. I have to pull the eyes off, to be safe ... sorry, buddy.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Slob Chic & French Luggage Company luggage

Everything here is second-hand, thrifted or vintage, save for the Canadian-made
suede booties, bought for half-off.

So after my brief re-entry into the frock world, I'm back in jeans and my fave (used) grey sweatshirt again. I popped into H&M the other day to get Adam socks (couldn't find them in the thrift shop), and what do I see? Grey sweatshirts and hoodies everywhere. Turns out I'm quite on-trend in my slobdom - not that being on trend has ever been an aspiration of mine.

But at least I'm carrying a wonderful bag. As you may know, I have a tapestry bag obsession, like many vintage fashionistas. Recently I came across this amazing leather, suede and patchwork train case on Etsy ... and subsequently developed another obsession with its maker, the French Luggage Company.

The FLC, a U.S.-based luggage maker, was commissioned in the 1960s and 70s by Louis Vuitton to make bags for the North American markets as LV couldn't handle the demand (so the Google Gods tell me). As a result, French Luggage Company bags, which range from tapestry collections to versions of the iconic Louis Vuitton bags, are of exceptional quality and come with neat details like on the train cases like brass hardware and vinyl lining with compartments and bottle holder straps. Many of the train cases had locks with either keys or combinations, though you'd be lucky to find one today still with its keys. Mine has a combo lock but I don't have the numbers, alas. EDIT: Forgot to mention that these bags could also be monogrammed on purchase - the letters on mine match my maiden and married names so I figured the bag was made for me.

They're not easy to find, especially for a Grunge Queen price, but the deal diva in me trolled the Internet and managed to find the train case on sale on Etsy - it's also patchwork, which satisfies yet another style obsession. The huge tote bag, above, was a really good price on Ebay (I've seen the same one online for almost four x what I paid). Sellers tend to call this one the folk print. I just love the colours and the horsies.

It's tough trying to gauge the condition of anything vintage online, but I lucked out with honest sellers and a good eye and now have two FLC luggage pieces in excellent condition.

I'm not much of a LV lover, though I appreciate the history of craftsmanship. But I have to say, FLC tapestry bags are now on my shopping retail. I really enjoy learning new things about vintage makers, especially when there's a history of quality behind them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

French find: Fille du Sud jacket

I'm not sure if this is really me - the cut is quite conservative but I think I can funk it up; otherwise it'll go in my stockpile of goodies to sell at one point - but at 70 percent off in my local thrift shop, I had to have it. I just love pattern.

I've seen this label, Fille du Sud, in the consignment shop where I currently sell my closet overflow. In fact it was attached to another tapestry-esque jacket that I loved but ended up leaving there. I can't find any info about the label, even when I Google the name plus "Cote D'Azur," which you can just make out on the side of the tag (along with "Made in France", which doesn't necessarily mean it's vintage, unlike many "Made in Canada" tags, sigh - somehow France has hung onto its fashion manufacturing economy).

So all I know is that it's from the swanky part of the south of France. If I keep this, I'd funk it up with wideleg pants or skinnies. And IF I ever end up styling it, I'll show you what I've done. How I wish I had a little paper-doll cutouts - remember paper dolls, with the paper clothing you'd clip on? I played with them in the 1970s. That way you could add in pieces and show me what you'd do with the jacket. Wouldn't that be fun??

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thrift Gift

I love buying gifts at the thrift shop for peeps who I know will appreciate them. I recently sent my Mom this silk-pashmina wool (not the fake pashmina) scarf for her B-day, found in a UK charity shop.

You can't really see it but the 1950s bead necklace was an Annecy thrift shop find. I put it in a pretty pink drawstring bag and tied the parcel up with a ribbon I had in my used ribbon box. The card, of course, is an Adam Jackson original.

My package arrived in Canada within five days. Meanwhile, packages from Canada (like the bunch of sleepers my sister sent that I've been waiting for) typically take two months. And my Ebay and Etsy buys from the U.S. wing their way to me in about a week or slightly more. Conclusion: the Canadian postal system sucks.

Anyway, Mom loved her goodies.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I can still be a `70s Queen

Dress: Etsy
Boots & necklace: Annecy thrift shop
Sunnies: Annecy antique market.

I could have worn my jeans and a green turtleneck to last Sunday's St. Patty's Day party, but I just couldn't handle it: it had been eons since I had worn anything but jeans and sweatshirts, and, as much as I love sweatshirts these days, I needed to put a dress on. I was the most dressed-up gal at the party and the only one not wearing green, but I didn't care - I felt good. This 1970s patchwork frock (I'm obsessed with patchwork these days) fit the bill, as did the leather booties and chunky neck bling, both found in my local thrift shop.

I dressed Adam in green (from the thrift shop, of course), so I wasn't a total party-pooper.

He's just started to push himself up to a standing position, so he's pretty chuffed with himself. 

1970s shawl: Annecy consignment shop
Jean jacket: Toronto consignment shop, annual $10 sale.

Another recent obsession: 1970s crochet shawls made of silky but sturdy fabric (polyester?). I found this one in my local consignment shop and decided to wear it like a scarf. 

It's a style tactic I've employed in the past, with a larger but similar shawl in gold, found ages ago in a Toronto Value Village for under $20 CAD. This photo was taken shortly after moving to the UK in 2012.

In the present, patchwork and fringed crochet 1970s shawls are rocking my world. The shawls will transition from spring scarves to summer cover-alls over flowy sundresses.

Happy weekend!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Venetian Carnival

It's the 18th annual Venetian Carnival in Annecy this weekend. Thought I'd throw up some pics before we dash to out St. Patty's Day party. Enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thrifted: Lady Soul coat

Everything here is thrifted except for my hideously $$$ but oh so lovely scarf
from Anthropologie, which I wear all the time. 

It's been 18 degrees C and sunny in Annecy the Great, but mornings have been cool.  My latest & greatest thift find has served me well as it's super warm yet Spring-like looking.

Added bonus: it was 70 percent off at the thrift shop so it tallied about 5 Euros!

The brand: Lady Soul, a now defunct Paris label that existed in the 1990s, which, judging by the splash page I found online, is soon to re-emerge on the fashion scene. Darling logo!

This jacket is warm - quilted, as you can see - with double collars and cuffs for extra layers.

Check out the details ....

Stitching at the elbows ....

Sewn-in logo by the hip pocket ....

I also picked up this fab Made-in-Italy bad-ass leather bag with hardcore zips and hardware, again for a song. The boots, suede and Spanish and also zipped, were also thrifted at the sale - which ends tomorrow!

Thanks to darling Bella (she of the youthful face) for saying I look young in my last post. I think it was the pink sweatshirt (UPDATE: I dyed it purple, and to my horror, it turned out this crappy shade of mauvey-purple, much like Val's jacket. Darn, should have left it pink).

With baby crawling and me being on my own for a while, I'm beat, and this pic shows it (also need a haircut; don't have time).

Happy weekend! Are you doing anything to celebrate St. Patty's Day? I haven't gone to a party and quaffed green beer since my 20s, but hubs and I are going to one this year, and I'm excited!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The sweatshirt chronicles

Suede booties: retail (half off Janurary sale)
Jeans: Toronto thrift shop
Sweatshirt: Annecy thrift shop
Laura Ashley scarf: Etsy
Suede bag: from a friend.

I could have worn this outfit circa 1984, when I was a scrawny 14-year-old: Peter Pan getaway boots; skinny jeans (I had a pair of super tight ones, being a bean pole - except we just called them "jeans" back then, not skinnies); scarf styled super big like this; and a sweatshirt.

Since my last post, I've ransacked my local thrift shop for sweatshirts - which has worked out great for my current style obsession and also for my budget, considering that almost everything in the shop is now 70 percent off, yay!

I found this pink one with pretty design on the back (by Slide Off, a name I've never heard of) in the Plus section. Really? It's oversize but not that big. I also found a few in the Mens' section, for a euro or so each after the discount.

This shade of pink isn't the grandest colour on me - it's pretty close to my skin tone - but I think the navy Laura Ashley scarf next to my face makes it work. 

I'm thinking I could overdye this top, with a dark blue, which would make it purple. But I'm not sure as I'm digging the retro 1980s vibe of the pink. What do you think?