Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Once upon a time when we were friends

Thanks for all your suggestions about helping volunteers to spot vintage donations; I'm going to write up some ideas for the retail managers, and hopefully we can plan a We Love Vintage campaign!

It shouldn't, but it still surprises me when people recoil at the mention of the 1970s.

I was discussing vintage with a volunteer in the shop, and she thought no one could possibly want to buy anything dating from that decade. (I did happen to be wearing a 1970s dress at the time, which made us both laugh.)

1970s German-made maxi dress - Ebay
1970-80s Wallis cropped fur jacket - Kinky Melon
1960s tapestry/vinyl bag - jumble sale
Boots - retail
Vintage Austrian crystal necklace - charity shopped

Oh well, each to their own.

I'll take my Seventies Chic over to Patti's for Visible Monday. 

I have to admit, I don't look as good in fur as this lot.

Jess' fur was being buffeted by the wind, and she does not like that.

She always sits on this particular bit of fence, but both my neighbour and I have noticed that she falls asleep there and sometimes slips off, followed by an unseemly scrabble to cling on and haul herself back up.

My lovely neighbour is such a softie, he's made a little platform for her by nailing on a wider piece of wood. Now she can catnap without losing her dignity.

On Saturday, I had a delightful evening with my dear friends Sally, Claire and Martin.

First - pizza;

then ABC!

The Lexicon of Love remains a favourite album of mine. The lush strings, funky horns and basslines, Trevor Horn's shimmering production, and lyrics full of wordplay dissecting love and relationships all combine to make an epic set of songs.

Released in 1982, it coincided with my arrival in Sheffield, so it's part of the soundtrack of my youth, and accompanied my transition from living at home to being away at university.

So the opportunity to see Martin Fry with the Southbank Sinfonia (conducted by Anne Dudley, who played keyboard and was also responsible for the orchestral arrangements on the original record) was a real treat.

He was in great voice, as were the audience who sang along with enthusiasm, especially to The Look of Love. How wonderful it must be to have written songs which a hall full of people sing back to you over 30 years later.

Of course, the Sheffield crowd were always going to be partial; although Fry is a Manchester lad, he came here to study English Literature at university (the same course as me) and formed ABC with fellow musicians from Sheffield.

And after the gig, as we were deliberating where to go for a drink, who should come and introduce herself but Diane, who features her incredibly fine photography on her blog Heart Shaped. We've been blog and Facebook friends for some time, so it was really good to meet her at last.

Of course, just as there are 1970s-haters, there are those who sneer at the 1980s too. I wonder why some people feel the need to write off whole decades? Ten years; that's a long time, and so much can change socially and politically, and in terms of popular culture, music and fashion. 

For me, both decades were formative, they provide the backdrop to my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.

And any decade that produced The Lexicon of Love is alright with me!




Connie said...

Such a nice neighbor. You're so lucky. Lovely lovely maxi. Honestly, Curtise, your wardrobe is one of the best advertisements for vintage shopping. You are no doubt the fashion muse of the shop.

Kezzie said...

Ahhh, Jess is my favourite!!! I want to hug her. I love her platform. Your 70's maxi is grand but what a shame that not everyone understands its beauty and sheer variety! I love teh 70's for that!

Patti said...

Ain't nothing wrong with the 70's - or 80's, or any decade. We all love what we love and there's a lock for every key. You look fabulous in a 70's maxi. What a wonderful neighbor you have, to help your kitty stay comfortable. xox


Suzanne Carillo said...

I love this song! I'd forgotten all about ABC. They were popular when I was in the UK.

What a fun day and evening. You've managed to get out and see some great concerts this year.

I was a tried and true 1950's, 1960's gal but as of late I've also been loving 70's pieces. My Mom had some really great ones. I think that part of it is the polyester, but the groovy patterns are hard to resist.


Goody said...

Oh that was nice of your neighbour to build the perch.

Ya know, all that "The 70's was the decade style forgot" stuff was based on the extreme examples like toweling track suits, not the YSL dresses. People always remember the bad stuff (like childhood-I can tell you all the Christmas presents I didn't get, but none that I did). That said, I don't see myself yearning for a 90's babydoll dress anytime soon.

I like your faux fur jacket with that dress.

SAM said...

I'm slowly learning it is about the right fit, the right fabric, the right cut, and any decade can look fabulous. I'm not bold enough yet for all out vintage, but I have a few pieces now, saved from someones back closet, and will slowly add as I need to replace.

Melanie said...

Probably they feel about the '70s the way I feel about sweatpants in public today. So, heh, I'm glad there's room for variety, but I'm very VERY happy that you are helping to balance the streetscapes with your maxis, this very one! Stellar! And your night out looks like so much fun. I'm glad you've kept up with your friends, and I love reading about the inside stories. Your neighbour, what a heart.

Lisa said...

Love the maxi dress. Good luck with the vintage crib sheet!
Mr Fry is looking very dapper there I must say.
Love The Look of Love, may be singing that all day in my head now.
You got to meet Diane too, she's fab isn't she. We met once a few years ago when she came down South for a weekend.
Lisa x

Lynn Holland said...

I'm chuckling about your kind neighbour and Jess. Our neighbour has a 20 year old cat who sits on top of the wheelie bin all day, that is when she is not lying in the middle of the lane and refusing to move for anyone.
I wouldn't write off any decade clothes wise, they all have something to offer and I just wear what I like anyway, which is the best bit because we are not worried about following trend. I have to laugh though when people tell me an outfit I'm wearing is all the thing this season. I wouldn't know what's fashionable if I fell over it.
Your dress has a wonderful print pattern Curtise. You and Vix inspire me into trying out a maxi....... Watch this space xxx

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

Actully never Heard of The Lexicon of Love. I thought I knew almost Everything about muxic from 73-93, but no ... Love your look and also surprised that anybody at all have that kind of thoughts about clothes from that adorable decade. And the cat - so Beautiful!

Delia West said...

Nothing wrong with the 70s or 80s both great years one year I was born in the other I was a teenager in although I have to say I don't like the 80s fashion but the 70s hell yes :-) Looks and sounds like you had a brilliant weekend, dee xx

Vix said...

It's usually the people who wear Chinese-made repro tat who scoff at 1970s and 1980s clothes - infinitely more stylish and far better made.
I love that German maxi (didn't the German's make some ace clothes?) and it looks utterly brilliant with the Kinky jacket.
Jess is gorgeous - if a little clumsy. How lovely of your neighbour to knock her up a platform. I wonder if she sneaks into his house for secret cuddles like that cat on the Horizon documentary a couple of years ago.
Martin Fry is still a handsome man and good to hear his voice is in fine form, too!
Love ya! xxxxx

Sue said...

What a cool neighbour you have, lucky cat, no more falling off her perch mid nap!! You cropped fur looks amazing, so do the cats fur, all fluffed up for Winter.

Mim said...

What an excellent neighbour you have. And, indeed, excellent cats.

I always used to say I didn't like the 1960s or 1970s, music aside, but the more I've thought about it, the more I've realised there are things from those eras I love. Some of my favourite telly and films. Amazing, inspiring historical changes. And Miss Peelpants, then you and Vix, changed my mind a lot on 70s clothing. Still not carpeting my bathroom in shagpile, mind you, or papering my walls and ceiling to match the curtains...

Beth Waltz said...

What a kind gesture by your neighbor! Is this the man who found your elderly tuxedo cat "lost" in his house for several days? He must be regarded by local felines as a sort of patron saint.

Your maxi and the faux fur blend beautifully with the greens and blues and silvers of your garden, Curtise. We can hear the leaves rustling in the breeze and smell the earth beneath them. Lovely day!

Laurie Duncan said...

That's such a cute story about Jess, cats are so comical sometimes. I've never hated the 70s, but I will admit I kind of cringe at the 80s sometimes. Mostly the hair though. I guess there are things from every decade that are bad and good. My daughter cringes when she sees the men and their mustaches of the 70s! :)

Forest City Fashionista said...

This post brings back such memories. I was working in a record store through much of the 80's and I remember when the ABC album came out. I believe I purchased a "12" single of The Look of Love (remember those?). How fun that you got to see them in concert!

As others have pointed out, every decade had something good to offer, style-wise. The 70's was not my favourite decade as I was in high school and no access to cool clothing, but in the 80's I read some of the British mags like The Face and saw the great stuff you had over there! I have a greater appreciation for 1980's styles now than I did at the time, and have quite a few big-shouldered jackets in my closet.

That was so thoughtful of your neighbour - one should try to preserve one's dignity as much as possible, so I'm sure Jess appreciates the wider perch.

thorne garnet said...

The 1970's do get a bad rap. Mostly because people only focus on the bad stuff and not the good designs. Same with the 1980's. Just think in the future people will wonder why gray walls with white trim and pops of bright yellow was all the rage.

Diane said...

The concert was wonderful and Mr Fry certainly looked super swoony in that suit! It was great to see you - I had trawled the City Hall at half time looking for you. I loved the 1970's and if I could go back to 1976 I would in a shot! xxx

kobieta niewidzialna said...

You are very romantic woman,your style of fashion too.:)

Porcelina said...

Looks like you had a fun night out! Love that dress on you, you have such a great collection. I've come around to elements of the 60s, 70s and 80s a lot more. There is always something to like. Though I just do not get on with a lot of '70s polyester type fabrics, I'm selling on 2 dresses and sending one back to a vintage shop today actually. I think I'd like more '70s styles remade in nicer fabrics! And my downstairs loo has WAY too much '70s right now - orange tiles, avocado sink and loo... x

Ivy Black said...

Fabulous. That was a top album and althiugh they weren't a favourite band of mine at the time...clearly not miserable and fucked up enough....I grew to love them later. Suberb musicians and Martin Fry has a cracking voice. No wonder you had such a fab night out.
Nowt wrong with the Seventies or Eighties they made us what we are. I do prefer Seventies fashions but there were some stunning designs coming from the Eighties; it's just that I couldn't afford any of it!
Love your maxi and Kinky jacket combo. Lush.
Loves ya.

Mother of Reinvention said...

I love the pics of your cats. They look lovely. I LOVE the 70's, especially the clothes and the 80's were my formative years too musically. I wasn't a big fan of ABC at the time but can appreciate them now. Martin Fry has a great voice and the lyrics are cool. Good that they are still touring and being good at it not just cashing in like some of the bands doing nostalgia tours. You look stunning in your beautiful maxi dress. Xx

Sheila said...

I love the 70s and the 80s, although yes, I did go through a backlash period of not liking them. I've had enough time now to look back fondly and with a forgiveness (and admiration) for my crazy experimentation with both eras' fashion!

How awesome to see one of your favourite bands with your mates! And of course, you look lovely as always!

beate grigutsch said...

super cute cats! the ones in real fur and that in the fake ozelot bolero!!
and sweet neighbor!
oh woww - ABC! mister fry is still a "sahneschnittchen" - and the whole concert sounds sooo gorgeous! even better together with good friends!
i made the experience that mostly people recoil a decade if they only experienced the mainstream side of said time. and if - like my generation in the GDR - they had to wear and live in the style of the 70s still in the 80s....for example. (reasons for that are different - poverty, ignorant parents, living in the province) myself needed the 70s revival in the 90s to discover 70s hippy style. it was non-existent where i grow up.....

BadPenny said...

I have fond memories from the 70 & 80s ! Love your fur clad friends & the neighbour who helped out. Lovely to meet a fellow Blogger too xx

Fiona said...

Your pusses look so pretty posing for pictures (possibly too much alliteration) and Jess must be feeling mighty pleased with herself to get a platform made specially. What a lovely bloke your neighbour must be.
I am rather sentimental about the 70's but isn't the fashion of that decade having a renaissance right now in all the High St. stores?

I heard Martin Fry being interviewed on Radio 2, he said he's ditched the gold lamé in favour of Ozwald Boateng and very fit he looks too. Lovely photos of you and your mates.xxxxx

Ivana Split said...

This maxi dress is a treasure. It has a wonderful print and it looks perfect on you...and I also like that cropped fur coat...fantastic pairing with that dress...you look fabulous!

This performance must had been fun! I'm sure you had a lovely time.

Miss Magpie said...

Well the years have certainly been kind to Martin!

I love your neighbour for putting up a little cat perch I bet she gets lots of secret cuddles too. x

Mrs Bertimus said...

What a kindly neighbour!
Mr Fry looks very dapper indeed x

Angels have Red Hair said...

What a lovely neighbour you have … it's great to know there are still genuinely good people left in the world.

Olga Rani said...

Beautiful maxi and that cropped fur jacket is such a lovely piece, I have weakness for everything furry. Your cats can brighten anyone's day, such cuties with characters.

freckleface said...

When I think of ABC I'm immediately transported back to two places; my friend Nargis's bedroom at boarding school, and a disco we were allowed to go to where I wore a turquoise dress with gold trim and turquoise feather earrings. I remember how I felt that night; excited and that life was going to be an adventure. So as far as I'm concerned ABC is GOOD! It sounds like a really wonderful night. 70s and 80s? Gosh, I loved them. They were our youth. And nowadays so much of it looks so stylish. A case in point is you here in that maxi dress. You look fabulous. What's not to like?
Your neighbour is a treasure looking after Jess like that. Good fella! Xxxx

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Gosh, he looks just the same now as he did then! How do men manage that?
Beautiful maxi dress! xxxx

Sarah Jane said...

I agree about decades. They're each as important and relevant as each other with so many different nuances and 'scenes'. The 70's is so much more than flared trousers and platform shoes. I think you have a great job and you're gonna rock at it. Your night out with friends sounds delightful and how nice to bump into an internet friend in the process. I have that exact same tapestry bag but I don't use it nearly enough xxx

Trees said...

Your neighbour sounds so lovely and who could possibly rite off all of the 70s! It's one of my favourite times style wise, I also love the 80s.