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Monday 29 October 2012

No cure for velvet maxi dress nostalgia

This dress was singing "American Pie" so I had to Respect the Tune by throwing lots of gew-gaws around my neck and my beret on my head, and slipping on my lace-up boots with grommets (and sneaky side zippers). I would wear this elegant dress to drive my mud-spattered pickup truck, if I had one, pedal to the metal, not because the dress is unworthy of a Rolls but because I love the contrast and would love to listen to that song on the truck's radio.

This dress has been travellin', travellin', travellin' from Terri's place (RAGS Against the Machine) in the USA to Curtise (The Secondhand Years) in the UK, where it did an abrupt U-turn back to North America and my greedy little mitts. Bwa-ha-ha. I adore it! Excited hugs and clapping with glee to Terri and Curtise for this awesome dress. In this rescue parcel (it arrived on "Day from Hell") Curtise also included a moving card and a stunning looorex capelet, as well as a brocade skirt, also of Terri origin, all of which I shall show you soon.

Details of the outfit
  • homemade velvet maxi dress with a built-in lace blouse with big puff sleeves
  • mantis pendant that I made; loupe that O made; beads and bracelet, old retail
  • boots, thrifted
  • beret, thrifted

The velvet ties on the dress are very long so I criss-crossed them in front before knotting them in back. You can see them in the next photo, which also details the accessories.

Aack! That's a big face! My lips are orangey! I would have preferred a frosted pink lipstick but alas don't have any. I'm wearing a black shirt under the dress for warmth because I wore only my brown wool wrap on top to go out. Can anyone correctly date this divine dress? "American Pie" came out in '71 and that's what came to mind. Terri?

So look out. I'm tearing down that dirt road in my pickup truck to Patti's Visible Monday. I mustn't soil my frock because I'm going dancing afterwards. I look forward to seeing what you're all wearing.

In Other News

Earlier this month beautiful Smiley Clara awarded me another Liebster Award. Thank you so much, Clara, although sadly I notice that her blog is no longer there! To fulfill at least part of the awardee obligations, I am responding to her questions below.

1. Hey, how are you feeling today? With my heart
2. What was the most inspiring thing you saw this morning? My coffee
3. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would play you? Gloria Swanson
4. And who would play your love interest(s)? Gene Wilder
5. If you were a song, what song would you be? "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred, LOL
6. What would be your drag queen name? Miz Bagg
7. What is the best present you've ever been given? A jigsaw (among others)
8. If you could be anything in the world, what would you be? A volcano
9. What was the most romantic moment in your life? Top secret
10. What would you do with a million dollars? Spend it
11. What do you want people to know about you? I exist

Instead of naming 11 people to carry on this award, etc., I am sprinkling it like confetti over everyone with best wishes for a great week! Thank you, again, Smiley Clara. Where are you?


  1. You outdo yourself everytime. I love, love every single detail of this outfit, my dear friend.
    velvet and lace, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh PERFECTION.
    Have a lovely Monday.

  2. Ooh, it fits! Perfectly! Like Cinders and her slipper, you SHALL go to the ball, Melanie! It's a very well-travelled dress now, isn't it? And how fabulous you look, it's the ideal frock for belting out a tune at top volume and driving too fast in a pick-up truck, I think. I love the big head photo (it isn't big really!) and your bluest eyes and all your tranklements.
    I think your instincts about the date are probably about right, I reckon that high neckline Victoriana look was an early 70s thing. Vix will know, I'm sure! American Pie was one of the many singles my eldest sister bought, so I remember singing along as a 7 year old, having not the slightest clue what a Chevy or a levee were or what on earth it was all about! And you had to turn the record over to hear the second half, which is why I don't know that part as well, we didn't always bother!

    You ARE too sexy, Miz Bagg, hope you are strutting your stuff today like the volcano you are! xxxxx

  3. With those bishop sleeves I'd say early 1970s. It's freaking gorgeous on you, the well-travelled frock has done it's rounds and found a blogger worthy of it's fabulousness. The necklace is a sight to behold, you genius.
    I saw Don McLean play at Glastonbury, man, was he awful! xxx

  4. Oh, the blouse is *attached* to the dress -- that's too cool. How wonderful it landed on your doorstep, via Terri and Curtise, because you are fabulous in it! I heart Gene Wilder too, I think he's underrated, and he has crazy, crazy hair. Thanks for linking up to Visible Monday and sharing all the awesome-ness of you.

  5. I am so glad there is no cure for velvet maxi dresses. You look absolutely divine, and what a journey it's been on to to get to the perfect wearer.

    P.S. I am always mesmerized by your amazing blue eyes.

  6. The dress is... magic... comes from times past... of a Victorian mansion... color impresses! and I love the pendant with little friend mantis! What's your name? Always great! Ah! And congratulations on the award!

  7. Don McLean was pretty aweful back in the day! That song drove me crazy.

    On the other hand, that dress is a dream.

  8. I have to admit, I turn the station whenever I hear that song now. But I loved it back in the day.
    Burgundy velvet is one the most beautiful fabrics in the entire world and seeing you in it does not disappoint.

  9. That dress meant to be yours!I utterly adore it and the mantis necklace you made is stunning, this outfit reminds me of Elsa Schiapparelli's creations!
    Love xxx

  10. Congratulations on the award..I absolutely adore the dress it is beautiful & looks amazing on you..I totally agree that the dress was supposed to be yours with all the travelling it did and it still came back to you..I also really like how you layered it with the off white lace top, its beautiful and kinda reminds me of another era!

  11. beautiful dress my friend and the color is exquisite on you!
    The blouse you are wearing it with is stunning!
    I like the pendant with the grasshopper, did you that?
    Congrats on the award Mélanie
    I sent you an e-mail last week, didn't get a reply...

    Ariane xxx

  12. Exquisite sums it up Melanie. Your accessories deliver your velvetness beyond satisfaction to nirvana, maybe. yes. And thank gawd you disintegrated that lobster before it got anyone else. Although the Q&A was short and sweet.

  13. Back in the early 70's my friend Patty invited me to her house to spy on her big sister's boy-girl party. Her big sister, Sheila, who was as glamorous as a teen-ager in 1970's Montana could be, wore a dress EXACTLY like this. Maybe it WAS this dress...And, Yes, pink frosted lipstick. As we used to say back then, SO NEAT!!!!

  14. Velvet is such a luxurious material, and combined with lace - just beautiful! This dress looks like it was made for you, it fits you incredibly well. The necklaces are gorgeous, and reminds me - I must make that bug brooch soon!

  15. Love the criss-crossing of the ties at the waist (just like how the dress has criss-crossed the ocean to get to you), and that the floofy sleeved blouse and the dress are one and the same! I'd say it's definitely 1970's as well. I still like the song "American Pie" even though there was a horrible series of movies a few years back that shared the name.

  16. Lord have MERCY,I looooooooooooooove that frock!
    I reckon early 70's.It's to DIE for fabularse,the blousey part of it makes me frisky!
    Gloria Swanson? Perfect! I would love to see a movie made of your life, I would anticpate a Willy Wonkaesque set, many bar scenes with you draped around a cello and a cocktail or two,a dramatic shoot out in a an exclusive department store and an Icarus wing scene.
    I've never thought about what my drag queen name would be.I must.It suddenly seems vitally important.

  17. What an amazing dress! And it travels too! I love lace and velvet together and the billowy lace sleeves on this are so beautiful!

  18. What a fabulous dress - it's just so...velvet...lacey...wondrous!

  19. The dress looks marvelous on you and Curtise was so sweet to pay for the postage back to north america! This dress was one of two home-made velvet dress I won in an auction. Vix got the other one. I had forgotten about the long long ties!

  20. That dress fits you like a dream! Velvet maxis remind me of the 90s, but that's because I wore them for every flute recital. I love your worn in boots against the soft leather!

  21. And now I shall be saying "looorex capelet" all the day long. Good thing you took this musical dress out for a big sing, it would drive me nuts humming away in the closet trying to start all the other dresses in rounds. You are as always divine, and your boots and baubles are perfection.

  22. That is the most gorgeous dress ever it looks fantastic on you! The necklaces are all wonderful. I still need to copy you and make my own insect one. I dreamt I was drawing you last night! Maybe I'll make that come true

  23. Terri and Curtise have done good here. I think this velvety dress looks made for you and I too wanna see you get out of a pick up wearing that.

  24. The traveling velvet maxi found its perfect destination, and built in puff sleeves are a touch of magic. But then magic is what you consistently supply to your readers. Today in the form of confetti which is flying across the planet to all of us as we gaze at your velvet beauty on the screen.

  25. Our velvets matched in color this week. Your dress is over the moon fabulous as are your accessories. You are always an inspiration to me with your wonderful outfits.

  26. Warm and velvety you are. Romantically laced and tied. Bejeweled and scuffed to perfection. What's not to love, my gorgeous friend?! I love the fact that Terri and Curtise contributed to this beatific vision. I'm gratefully aware you exist.

  27. Love this dress and the travelling story behind it. I love how it doesn't matter what you wear - it looks made for you.

  28. Love the Velvet Maxi and you look splendid in it... I'm a total Velvet Addict... my Fav Wardrobe Items are my Magnolia Pearl Gypsy Vintage Velvet Bloomer Collection, I'll probably wear them threadbare! *winks*

    Dawn... The Bohemian

  29. Great dress (reminds me of the kinds of dresses my mom liked to sew in the 70s). Love your answers - am with ya a Millions dollars would be great fun spending.

  30. Gorgeous dress!! I'm betting early 70's origin!! I love the praying mantic necklace!

  31. The fabulous traveling dress looks made for you. I've just been to see the pre-raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain and the folds and light falling on the velvet dress make you look like a romantic painting. How utterly swoon-worthy.

  32. Oh my, I am so taken away to distant places when I read your posts!! Please, please, say I can ride with you in the truck! I need it today. My nerves are shot to pieces. But that's another story. I will see if I can find a velvet frock, and I won't be in the way! Or maybe I will. Whichever you prefer!


  33. The color of that dress is so...regal! luxurious! Looks like it's fit for a queen.

  34. I swear I commented on this fabulosity DAYS ago - *shakes fist at blogger*!!!

    You look SPLENDID in this divine dress. I date her as early 70s. The sleeves are amazing and I love anything velvet. Love all of your gorgeous accessories - perfect as always.

    Sarah xxx

    1. Sarah, I happened to notice your comment about KNOWING you commented and then it's not there. The exact same has happened to me. Glad to know I am not alone. I wondered at first if it was my brain!! xoxo Lynn

  35. Very extraordinary and magic outfit. Hugs from Miss Maple

  36. Beautiful autumnlook on a beautiful lady!

  37. This dress is a dream... transport me completely... and the criss-crossed in front was ideal... LOOOOOVEEEE it... big big hug for you

  38. I'm back! =)


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