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Thursday 2 May 2013

Ms. Swanson, you ready for your close-up yet?!

Buy it? Leave it? Buy it? Leave it? It wasn't the price that was a concern but the afternoon of intensive laundering, refashioning, mending, and pressing I knew I would have to invest to transform this paisley men's dressing gown into the perfect silky over-gown for chilly spring mornings. But invest I did.

The repositioning of the sash, parts of which I sewed permanently into place at hip height on the front, is probably the most visible evidence of the makeover. I also handstitched part of the sash across the back at hip height to add visual interest.

There was such a deliciously feminine swish to the piece as I strode down the sidewalk - it's silky after all and there was a fresh green breeze. At the same time, the powerful spiritual residue of the previous owner had me wanting to chomp a cigar and flick ashes with abandon, gulp brandy from a crystal snifter, bark out dirty jokes, laugh at nothing in particular in a big throaty, raspy laugh, and devour a chili cheese dog. With the addition of the beret I confess to feeling like a twenties film director/mogul, a refined brute. All I would need to complete the image is a megaphone. And I'd like to carry a riding crop too, although I have Grushenka, my magic wand somewhere...

  • maxi men's silky dressing gown with fringe-tipped sash, thrifted, $9
  • stovepipe low-rider jeans under the over-gown, sample sale
  • Miu Miu brown crackle leather boots, thrifted
  • white long-sleeved V-neck cotton top/long-sleeved T under the V-neck/camisole, sample sale/retail
  • men's tie, thrifted
  • cotton gloves, retail, Canadian Tire, decapped and hemmed by me
  • magic loupe, from O
  • tool box handbag, from O
  • sunglasses, vintage, thrifted
  • wool beret, thrifted
Let's do it again. But how about a little FEELING this time. Got it? Whaddya think I'm payin' ya's for, huh?

I hope you are all well. Your posts continue to inspire on a daily basis. Thank you so much!
When I go out, I often catch glimpses in a crowd of fellow bloggers continents away - a familiar profile here, a silhouette there, a pattern, a colour. I know these are shadows of yourselves but I can't help but wonder if they are also secret hellos dropped down magically from the cosmos. If they are, I hope you catch a glimpses of me too. Do you ever see bloggers from around the world wandering your streets?

Don't forget to send me your VOGOFF submissions. Deadline May 19. See sidebar link for details.


  1. You have done a magnificent job, my dearest Melanie.
    I love the tool bag, yeahhhhhh
    Such an artist.

  2. Sorry, I sign with Cristina´s name, ahhhhhhh.
    Problems of one computer for 4 people, ahhhhhhh.
    Much love, dear Melanie.

  3. you really look fabulous and love all that 20's artsy vibe, you're gorgeous wearing that silky revamped piece and pretty beret and cravat!
    And I'm also finding some familiar shadows of my favorite bloggers all around me, and I thought I was acquiring a trained eye for Fabulousness!!
    besos & risas

  4. I lurve this re-do - it is so swooshy and commanding, but scaled to your form. I just re-watched "Shadow of the Vampire", great film, and you do bring to mind the directors of the silent film era, only you are far cuter.

  5. This is perfect timing Melanie I just thirfted a womens robe that I want to wear as a coat. I love this on you and you subtle alterations make all the difference.

    I love that you catch glimpses of fellow bloggers what a lovely way of putting it. I too, often find myself seeing a flash of something or someone and am reminded of a fellow blogger, I love that!

    Can't wait to see the next issue of your magazine. I hope to be able to submit something for the next one.

  6. Pure genius, again! I'm going straight to the men's dressing gowns next time I go thrifting, but I doubt if I'll find something quite so lovely. The sash on the hip is divine - I wish you had photographed the back, but I'll try to catch a glimpse when I see your halo on the street where I live.

    Love!!! the sunglasses!!!

  7. I love how you inhabit characters in your outfits, Melanie; both the characters and the outfits spark my imagination. You remind me slightly of the men's smoking jackets we'd thrift shop and don in the '80s with our leggings and rubber bracelets - except then the look was pure Madonna, wasn't it? Regardless, I'm loving your new and improved acquisition. Great idea. Xoxo

  8. You carry off this new vision of the gown so well -- I'm quite sure on me it would look as if, well, as if I'd borrowed my husband's dressing gown, should he have ever had such a fabulous garment. Brava!

  9. Crack that whip!! Oh how I WISH I would see fellow bloggers in the crowds...

  10. This coat is beautiful. I admire your dedication to refurbish it to new again. I also love the '2o's outfit and antique photo treatment in your previous post.

  11. Genius revamp of a men's dressing gown. I can picture you with a cigar between your teeth and a riding crop as you berate the star of your film for not giving everything to the scene.

    I find that now when I go thrift shopping, I find things that I think "oh, Melanie would wear this", or "Vix would totally rock this dress", etc. so you are all in my head, and my heart!

  12. Love thiws--i've often seen mens silky robes at the thrifts and passed them by. NOW I'm going to snag one and take inspiration from you and refashion it a bit!!

  13. Love thiws--i've often seen mens silky robes at the thrifts and passed them by. NOW I'm going to snag one and take inspiration from you and refashion it a bit!!

  14. other bloggers? Heh, no. I am a loooooone ranger here. I feel like Louis from Interview- I've looked for my kind, others like me... what does it all mean? What does it mean??!! Heh, vampire angst.

  15. I think you are the person I catch imagined glimpses of the most, must be wishful thinking. People look like you but imitators are never as good. You are definitely ready for your close up. Only you could refashion a men silk dressing gown and wear it out. I love the addition of the beret and the small case. What's inside? You definitely need a megaphone. xxxx

  16. You, gold, gowns ... Perfection!

  17. Megaphone, riding crop! I feel intimidated and I think I like it! Great job reconstructing that robe. I am hoping to get my submission in by the due date!
    Becky :)

  18. what a fabulous makeover for that silk robe... I wonder what the previous owner would make of it!

    I always think we should all set a date in the future, pick a place and organize a meet up! How fun would that be?
    Hope you are well xx

  19. So mysterious! I can only imagine what I'd think if I saw you on the street. Definitely someone very important, artistic, and unique.

    I occasionally dream about my blog friends. That we're shopping or meeting. I dream very vivid dreams, so it's very sad to wake to a reality where I live so far away.

  20. Oh YES, you are definitely embodying that cigar-chewing, megaphone and riding crop-toting dictator of a director, what a totally inspired refashion! I am imagining the tool box contains something dangerous, like the case in Kiss Me Deadly...
    I am like Shelley, I am always finding items in charity shops which make me think of bloggers, and I long to have enough money to buy everything I see and send it to them! I have yet to spot anyone on the street who is anything like as original and stylish as my fave blogging buddies, I'm afraid.
    Gave Vogoff a plug over at mine, have just done my photo shoot. Much gawping (from others) and much hilarity (me and my Styling Team - yes, I have one of those now!)
    Clementine will be forwarding her submission to Miz Bagg just as soon as she can threaten her hapless PA sufficiently to get the silly girl to do some bloody work. xxxxx

  21. i love your outfits. this one is very original

  22. Oh, Melanie, you make me laugh!! Go ahead and flick ashes with abandon! Ha ha. I love your recreation of this silky men's robe! My my! You're so cool.


  23. Stars to the back the director is here.....looking amazing in silk paisley. I have a few dressing gowns that I wear as coats.....they are fabulous.
    Oh I love what you wrote about seeing blogger friends in your reality. I often see them and have this wonderful feeling of connection without connection. Hmmm I hope that made sense.
    You are a true inspiration Melanie.
    love V

  24. I wish to meet someone who looks like you on the streets or a glimpse of fabric that could reminds me of this wonderful paisley over-gown, I'm sure my heart will begin to skip faster!
    Probabily that dressing robe belonged to Howard Hughes in the past!
    Love xxxxxx

  25. A brilliant investment! The silky men's dressing gown as outer wear is an idea that I may just have to consider. I have several, and putting them to use in this way would be magical fun, which your dropped down from the cosmos into my ever open right brain. Thank you Melanie!

  26. It struck me reading your post how the word sidewalk seems closer to 'catwalk' than the british equivalent: pavement. So, I'm imagining you strutting down a public catwalk every time you stride out in your reworked dressing gown. Brilliant!
    I've just given an almost identical vintage paisley dressing gown to a friend for his 18th birthday, along with 2 battered literary paperbacks and a wine glass for sartorial posing!

  27. God, I love this dressing gown so much - it makes me want to pull out my iridescent one that I bought in the 80s and wear it about.

  28. I missed so many posts!
    OMG so sorry, what happened to me??
    Great idea Mélanie to turn this masculine piece into a feminine piece!

    Ariane xxx

  29. We don't have much high fashion 'round these parts, but we do have chili cheese dogs.


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