fan cocktail dress

Round-up of News

Feeling very buoyant this sunny spring Friday!

A quick reminder that this weekend is the Sydney Vintage Clothing Fair at Canterbury Racecourse - I'll be heading out there tonight (Friday) and it runs until Sunday.

It has been a very busy year for me - my first book (a maritime history biography) was published in February, and I've been involved in a lot of Titanic anniversary events, lecturing and talking to the media on both the disaster itself and the fashion of the era. Hopefully things will settle a bit now - not that I've been neglecting my vintage clothing collecting at all.

I will, of course, be going to the Napier Art Deco Weekend next February, and will be speaking this time on 1920s eveningwear.

Looking forward to catching up with you all!
phone flapper

Dunedin and the 1920s....

As always, so much to catch up on! Some fabulous new clothing finds (yes, that means a French beaded flapper dress) and various adventures...including a visit to Dunedin to address the Otago Settlers' Museum on Orientalism in Art Deco Fashion. Here I am in full flapper mode (I love this world - what could be better than giving a lecture in 1920s vintage?):

There were some wonderful audience members - where else can you find vintage clothing fans, Babani enthusiasts, and silent film afficionadoes all gathered in a snowed in Sunday to talk about Art Deco fashion?
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phone flapper

Ooooo dear...

Where, oh where has Sydneyflapper been?

I've been posting a lot on tumblr lately:

Although that doesn't give you quite the scope for writing longer, more descriptive posts. Still, no excuse for falling behind here on LJ...I haven't even finished my Napier run down!

Anyway, I'm out and about collecting and researching, as always. Have a look at these new fabulous gowns, with their ombre effect with the shading, and the orientalist influence in the beading:

The beading was hard to photograph with my little point and shoot...I need to get the good camera out. But you can get the general effect of the Chinese influenced stylised water, and the heavily beaded him.

Again, I couldn't photograph the beading and do it justice - need to get the better camera. Silver lined bugle beads outline the red-lined bugle beaded diamantes in this portion of the design and clear ones up above...the background gradients of colour matched by gradiants in the beading...I do need to try and document it all!
phone flapper

Still in Jazzed Up Mode

Back from Napier this week, the euphoria of the Art Deco festival very dampened by the tragic news from Christchurch the day after we returned. We had an anxious few hours, as one of our party over there is studying in the city and was travelling back overnight by bus, but when we finally made contact it turns out her mother gave her a lift in the morning and they were half an hour out when the quake hit. Still very traumatic - their mother/grandmother's house is badly damaged, so they've taken her back to the family home in the middle of the South Island. They had to drive through a lot of the liquification and water was flooding into the car, with people standing in the street outside their ruined homes wailing in grief and loss. I still can't believe that beautiful city and landmarks I remember are destroyed.

I'll upload photos once I've sorted them (three cameras to go through!), but in the meantime the wonderful Past Perfect blog is now featuring scans from the March 1923 Harry Angelo catelogue of imported Paris gowns - go have a look!:
fan cocktail dress

1920s Inspiration

You may remember this headdress - evidently a very popular late teens/early 20s piece, as I've seen quite a few examples extant...often with pearl drops, although this one has blue beads:

Have a look at this *amazing* interpretation of the 20s style, including a beautiful headpiece inspired by the Egyptian headdress:

And finally, an extraordinary artist friend - who works in both digital art and traditional media - was inspired by the piece to produce this amazing "Cyberflapper" painting:

phone flapper

Napier Countdown Again!

Oh dear...I have been quite the remiss blogger, haven't I? But lack of updates here on LJ doesn't mean I've been neglecting to add to the 20s collection, and starting the preparation for next year's Art Deco festival. Indeed, I'll be giving the "Learned Lecture" as part of the program, speaking on Orientalism in 1920s fashion.

Most of our chit-chat has been over on facebook, but I'll start updating with photos etc here.

Meet Marion:

This was her first husband. Her mother held the view that she was not meant for a poor man and, apparently, this turned out to be true. So marriage No. 1 here was anulled, and the second time around she married a wealthy but dull man, who could afford to buy her a Patou wedding dress.

You can see she was a tall girl - fortunately for me, as I can just squeeze into the shoes you see in this picture!

I probably shouldn't tell you all that large size 1920s shoes might go looking for them!