Monday, 18 August 2014

I was born standing up and talking back

I consider myself an equal opportunity vintage lover.

I am quite happy to wear clothes from any decade, although I confess the late 1960s/early 1970s have my heart.

But I am a big fan of dresses from the late 1970s/early 1980s too, like these two beauties.

They remind me so much of my mid/late teenage years, and the 1950s revival at that time.

Grease, Happy Days, and the inexplicable success of Showaddywaddy, Darts and Shakin' Stevens - you remember, don't you?

1980s C&A dress - Ebay
Belt, shoes, sunglasses, bangles - charity shopped 

I love this dress - it has a built-in net petticoat and a fabulous print.

1970s dress - Ebay 
Belt, bangles and necklace - charity shopped
Sandals - retail (sale)

Fashion always references earlier styles; I'm no purist, I am as happy wearing a 1970/80s-does-50s dress as a 1950s original.

But I'm adding a little 1950s authenticity with my delicious Marie Moore brocade jacket...

which has the loveliest beaded buttons ever!

Owen and I headed out for a quick food shop, cafe stop, and charity shop browse yesterday.

The local hospice chazza had some fabulous vintage stock; I suspect it had come from the same donor, since it was all the same size. Great labels, and great style - whoever owned these clothes had excellent taste and the budget to afford some classy labels.

I didn't actually buy any of it, although I enjoyed trying it on; the aqua Berkertex maxi dress was a temptation, but I just couldn't see myself wearing it.

Owen (sitting on a stool outside the changing room waiting for me) rolled his eyes and said it's a bit revealing, Mum. He wasn't wrong, I would have needed to fix the neckline so I didn't flash my bra...

I didn't buy any of these either, but I thought they were fabulous.

I did buy a 1970s copper pendant, and some thread and zips. 
£2 the lot. 
 Hey, Big Spender.

At some point during our excursion, I started singing Trouble by Elvis Presley. More to myself than to Owen, I wondered what film it was from and guessed (rightly) that it featured in King Creole.

Owen said Elvis made films?

I forget that he hasn't had the experience of all those Sunday afternoons and Christmases when Elvis films were shown; you never see them now.

We discussed the birth of rock and roll, the shock of the new, Col. Tom Parker, selling out, and whether we would play safe - take the big money, or take a risk.

I don't object to clothes which are influenced by earlier styles, and I am also happy to acknowledge that music cannot be produced in a vacuum either.

But I do like to go back to the original source sometimes.

I showed this clip to Owen when we got home; he laughed (he may have thought I was making the song up), commented that it was cool - for an old film, and marveled at the fact that my brocade jacket is about the same age as the film (1958).


They're all tied up together, aren't they, clothes and music?

But I refuse to be a vintage snob about either. If you like it, wear it, and listen to it.

Preferably sing along too!

Linking to Sacramento's Share-in-Style - it's still Summer, just about...



Sheila said...

I love the 60s, 70s and 80s fashion - it's all over the map (although I do get annoyed at ebayers selling 70s stuff and calling it 50s!).

You look just stunning in the first dress! I love all those lovely frocks - and there's another Berkertex! I just put mine in the giveaway pile.

I think I've seen all of those Elvis movies - they are quite atrocious!

ArgentGal said...

Great dresses. But how could you leave the Star Trek board game behind?!?! The pendant is lovely. It reminds me a bit of The Spiral Jetty (an art installation on the shore of the Great Salt Lake by Robert Smithson.)

Clairejustine oxox said...

Great dresses, i love these styles :) You founds some lovely thing, love the pendant ,,,

Vix said...

Fabulous dresses, beautifully worn! I'd forgotten that odd "rock and roll" revival of the late 1970s/early eighties era. I was mad on The Stray Cats and nearly died of joy when we won tickets to see them at the Birmingham Odeon in 1980 - my first gig. I loved the way Sandy looked in Grease when she went all bad ass in Spandex leggings and wooden mules but never wore the net petticoats and circle skirts my classmates liked.
What a splendid charity shop. loved the turquoise and lime confection with the ribbon trim and bow to your restraint.
We can't be flashing our brassieres now, can we?!
Your purchases were perfect, gorgeous pendant!
Love you! xxxxxx

beate grigutsch said...

love this!
your boy learned a lot this day! :-) and yes - all is tied together - music, clothes, art - reflecting politic and society...... both frocks look fab on you, the addition of your magic green brocade jewel is always a hit for me! in the early 80´s i raided grannies storage for the teen frocks of mum and aunts - and had to wear a ponytail of cause. and listen to RIAS berlin for rock´n roll......

Hippy At Heart said...

That green brocade jacket is a stunner and such a lovely addition for your fab dress! Actually, I love he green maxi dress on you, what a vibrant color!

Olga Rani said...

These two dresses are both so pretty but the C&A dress is simply fantastic, what an amazing print! Back in Nepal we have a TV channel that shows old movies including those with Elvis. I do enjoy watching them from time to time. As Owen rightly pointed they are cool :)

two squirrels said...

Hello lovely are looking just gorgeous as the 50's style dresses on you.......just beautiful.
Sending happiness from a little squirrel. Love v

Fiona said...

This is the voice of The Mysterons!
You know I'm going to be singing Capt. Scarlett all day long now don't you? Don't know how you could leave that aqua number behind, you look blimmin marvellous in it, sooo Margot Leadbetter.
The zips, thread and pendant were a steal. Don't think I ever saw that particular Elvis film, how young is Walter Matthau.

Sue said...

What a gorgeous brocade jacket, the buttons, the colour, double swoon!! We used to have old movies on our TV over here in little old NZ on Sundays as well when I was younger. I used to watch them with my dad who had already seen them all at the picture house when he was a young man about town.

Vintage Bird Girl said...

You're singing my song there Curtise...I love clothes from just about any era although the 60s & 70s are where I feel most at home. I love that second frock...I need a belt like that in my life! Xx

Patti said...

I'm swooning for your brocade jacket, C - it's the prettiest. Great dresses too - and I am with you - I love a 70's-does-40's long dress with a dropped waist, e.g. How great you're introducing Owen to the back stories of rock and roll. I love trouble, er, Trouble. xox

señora Allnut said...

wouu, your brocade jacket is one of my favorites (cutest buttons ever!). And I'm also a huge fan of 80s-does-50s dresses, and don't understand any of that snobbery about vintage! it's all about fun and picking whatever you like!
Your dresses are both fabulous, and fit you so nicely!, lovely prints and shapes, lovely retro vibe with sassiness!!
(so cute that you've introduced Owen to some rock'roll classics!, King Creole!!)
besos & elvis

Ladan Ladanu said...

Elvis with a Dixie Band? 30 years of America's finest sounds squeezed into one clip. How Utterly Splendid. Plus one handsome Walter Matthau. Not to mention that vamp's dress! Adore that jacket, I love green and it makes the dress into a killer outfit. Yes yes yes to mixing it up.x

mondoagogo said...

That jacket looks great with your hair.

It's funny how in the past a band or singer had to maintain their popularity by making films, and these days it's more the other way around, with actors making records!

Neumon said...

I like both of your dresses especially the one from the 80s.
Beautiful colours and print and a silhouette that I like.

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

Gorgeous dresses! Love your recollections, and how fortunate to have a shopping consultant who tells it like it is! Also, you are right about those beaded buttons - wow! xoxoxo

Angels have Red Hair said...

I can't believe you didn't buy that maxi, if only for the colour ... which looks fab on you ... If for no other reason ... hurry back and get it!!
Both your 80's/50's dresses are gorgeous but your little green jacket is the best ... it's a personal favourite of mine.

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

Thanks for that great Elvis clip! He was so good looking...not to mention his singing.

I love your dresses but really adore that jacket. It goes to show that I am much more drawn to 1950s-1960's pieces.


Rose&Bird said...

I adore the Berketex, just my colour (and probably about my size too, with a few inches off the bottom), I admire your restraint! Love the pendant too.

It's great to have 'grown-up' conversations with kids - even at 4, I end up discussing some pretty deep stuff with Thomas. I think we sometimes forget their capacity for understanding.
Music, clothes etc is all related - its a chicken and egg thing if you ask me. One day I will do a PhD relating to it all!

Caroline said...

Haha! Shaky was shit wasn't he? There was the Shaky Story in Viz a couple of decades ago. It showed a nurse handing a baby to Mrs Stevens, she said to her husband "we'll call him Shakin', Shakin' Stevens."

Poor Owen, exposed to his mother's busom.

Goody said...

The chair outside the fitting room is a long and honoured tradition, so he's been brought into some sort of age grade initiation now. I can remember when department stores had small televisions and real seating in a sort of lounge for men to wait and smoke whilst the women-folk shopped.

I'd have bought that dress and flashed anyone that cared to look, but I'm shameless ;)

Anonymous said...

Such an adorable jacket with jewelry like buttons. Great color on your too.
I think you and I share some of the same 70's memories and love for that era jewelry. That copper pendant is gorgeous.

Laurie Duncan said...

Love both dresses, esp the first one! I really have to find that pic of me wearing my wrap dress from early 1980s! Miss going antiquing too, hopefully will do some this fall! :)

Lesley Extance said...

Oh Curtise such gorgeous dresses and what a wonderful post brought back such great memories of that time in the 70s. have a great week xxx

Diane said...

Loved catching up with your posts that I missed (especially loved your day out with your young man). I loved the 80's fashions (and music) at the time. I couldn't believe it would ever be bettered! One of my old lady pals just gave me a fab nylon negligee from the early 1960's - It's very "Joannie" from Madmen. xx

Anonymous said...

Curtise! We are so much a like in ways. Your small tat on your shoulder needs some expansion. Mine started out as a small butterfly, then a bigger one, and now has lots of embellishments. You will LOVE doing it. I can't wait to add more. I'll show the full thing soon but right now it's kind of scabby.
Do it!!

Krista Gassib said...

I think I'm smitten with that 70's dress with the built in petticoat, gotta love that! I agree that it's just best to wear what you love. I don't get people who only wear one time period, seem too costumey to me.

Another day out with Owen! I love that he wants Mama to be modest, thats' a sweet boy! The afternoon spent with him finished with you showing him this video is pretty special Curtise. I know yours is not a mommy blog but I do love seeing and hearing about the kids.
Clothes and music two things my life would be empty without, ours all would be.

Northern mum down South said...

Sounds like another lovely mother and son day out, I had to laugh at the thought of Owen sitting outside the changing room in the charity shop and telling you the frock was too revealing. Love the green jacket which looks fabulous with the frock xx

Miss Magpie said...

I think my heart missed a beat when I got to your green jacket.

I wholeheartedly agree about mixing eras if you love it who cares.

Brooke F said...

Delectable ruffles and full skirts, who wouldn't love them! You look gorgeous in both and I have to admit that although I adore the 50's I tend to buy 70's and 80's doing the 50's. But who cares as long as we love the frocks. XXX

silvergirl said...

Personally I have blocked out the 80's fashion
I think the only good thing that came out of it was the combo of pink and green ha ha

Jazzy Jack said...

I love your collage of exploding dress fabric, water beads on leaves and beaded button. They all gel but I'm not sure why.
You had quite the conversation with your son. I love how my sons can't believe if someone was born in the 20th century! So how old do I feel!!
I see why you love those dresses... Because they love you back! They suit your figure down to the ground. How about having its own net petticoat!

Pennyblossoms said...

Loving the C&A dress, such a pretty print and a great design, and, with those shoes, WOW, looking good milady! Oh, yes, Thunderbirds speak too!
That brocade jacket and its' amazing buttons, a total beaut.
Gotta go back for the Berkertex and just wear a super-pretty (Freya?) bra underneath; or stitch in a hook 'n' eye.
I am not a great fan of Elvis, dare I say it?, but did love the 'holiday season' films. I am surprised with the word 'vintage' being bandied about so much that no-one has put 2+2 together yet!
I love clothes from all eras and if it's a new version of old, so what? That's why I was a bit surprised about all the furore over TOT and the cutting down of the flares; they did nothing for me but if they were going to be enjoyed in a different style by someone then great. I just hope the restructured things were thrown in the bin! But I wonder how 'fixed' that show was anyway...oh yes, my mum just happens to have this old thing from a zillion decades ago, all folded up in her wardrobe...hasn't worn it in eons and you look at it and think "has the mother shrunk by about a foot high?". Ummm...

Ariane Lasalle said...

I love 60s and 70s and the exuberance of the 80s, especially the dress of that era! i posted a couple of 80s dress i think -
70s is a perfect style for you i think and i love it when we mixed the different decades togheter like you did with your brocade jacket -

Owen has lot of patience sitting on the stool why Mom is trying on vintage- Tell i'm very impress, we don't see that around here at all - I adore the kid's comments, isn't he cute !

Take care


diaryofapennypincher said...

Your son is getting some fantastic history lessons! I am in awe of your restraint in that charity shop, some super items there.

Shawna McComber said...

I agree with you-if you like it wear it or listen to it! Or read it, though I confess I personally am a bit of a book snob. Still, I will read a bit of pulp fiction sometimes just as I will eat potato chips sometimes.

Love all your dresses! I wore a lot of that fifties revival in the eighties which made me quite an oddball in a small town where the teenaged uniform was jeans and tee shirts. Period. The green jacket is divine! I love fabric covered buttons and used to play with my mum's spare ones when I was a little girl. I just lined them up and admired them mostly.

You look fantastic in green!

Oh, and I know all the lyrics to all the songs of GI Blues.

The Style Crone said...

You make any era shine! Who cares about the year. If it looks great, wear it. And you do look fabulous in every photo. I'm smitten with your Marie Moore brocade jacket.

Music and style are the accessories of life!

MIS PAPELICOS Sacramento said...

I am in love with your gorgeous fruit dress, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Love, love, love
Thank you sooooooooooooo much for being fun, fabulous and a friend

Forest City Fashionista said...

I laughed at the idea of Owen's concern for your modesty! I like to take bits and pieces from different eras, as it looks less like you're wearing a costume in head to toe items from a particular decade. The 60's and 70's stuff suits my body type better but I like the full skirts of the 50's too. The brocade jacket looks great with the blue dress, and I love the print on the 1980's does 50's.

I used to watch all the Elvis films with my Dad - it was one of the few things we would do together, so I probably still know a lot of the song lyrics ;)

Delia Ryder said...

Your looking gorgeous I love your 70's dress you teamed up with the green belt and the 50's jacket and that brooch is stunning. I agree with you about music and fashion tying itself together. I haven't watched a film since Christmas I must sit down and watch an old black and white one afternoon. dee xx

freckleface said...

The summer of 1977 they put loads on. We were allowed a tv in our bedroom, so me and my sisters laid on our beds and watched them all. I always loved the opening scene of King Creole (CrawFISH) with Elvis up on the balcony as the city awakes, but I never liked the girl and the plot is too sad! That dress with the netting is wonderful! A beautiful dress is a beautiful dress whenever it was made. I've been feeling a bit 1980s nostalgic myself recently, might visit youtube for a few tunes and a bit of fashion later. Bless him, Owen, he's been such a great companion. So sweet to think of him sitting there kicking his feet while you frock up, and even having pertinent opinions. What an absolute treasure. Xxxxxxx

Beth Waltz said...

Nothing like a squinty-eyed appraisal from a male relative to establish the merit of a hat or frock! The wrap-bodice of the flamboyant philodendron dress is especially flattering -- and it does cover any and all straps!

Elvis? Not a fan, but I accidentally watched Flaming Star and have since wondered if he might have become a real actor, given and choosing the options. An excellent topic for discussion with young Owen!

Kasia Poni said...

I like your blog....great vintage..kisskiss

Anonymous said...

I'm much with you I like the 1960's - 1970's, but I like the 50's and 80's too. I adore your two frocks and I especially like your green jacket. I have child memories of watching Elvis movies with mum. I grew up listening to him because of mum. It's funny now because Ben and I both like him and we've introduce Cohen to his music, he loves watching YouTube clips of him.

Rachel said...

I'm loving E-bay at the moment! There are some real bargains to be had aren't there? I'm a bit partial to the fifties era lol xxx

Natalia Lialina said...

I'm also not a big snob about anything, at least I like to think that I am not - vintage, contemporary, big brand, little known brand, music, arts, crafts, movies, shows... they all have their own value and place under the sun, don't they?

You look smashing in all the dresses, Curtise - I always admire your beautiful figure. Owen remark made me smile- Anya also watches the length of my dresses and how revealing are the necklines of my tops. Maybe it's an age thing. :)

I did not know that Elvis made movies. :) xxx