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Sunday 21 September 2014

A cool colour snap

Stains, tiny holes, and a frightening little rrrip as I reached behind to pull the zipper through the home stretch. Truly, pulling rear zippers and reaching for things are the biggest dangers when wearing fragile vintage pieces; I should have known better... But all these little flaws are the tangible tracks a life lived in this gorgeous maxi, which features an empire waist, a silky pink lining, and a flowing sheer shell with appliqued flowers. Probably once wore to a wedding or Sweet 16 party, I punked it up for day wear with my platform runners and diamond-encrusted meteorite pendant. For such a demure dress, she sure makes a racket with that silk-on-silk swishing.

Below is evidence that I actually wear the clothes I photograph in the garbage atelier, concrete stairwell, and parking garage. My friend Sharron, whom I've featured on my street style blog a couple of times, emailed me this photo she snapped on her phone on the sly as I was leaving the coffee shop. Thanks, Sharron. And maybe you also recognize my partner in style parkour adventures in the background. 

You can see from this photo how the dress billows so sweetly. Some clothes are made to move, others to photograph; this is definitely the former. I had so many compliments, probably a record - the positive energy swirling around these fluttering flowers is undeniable. I'm glad I finally took her for an outing.
thrifted vintage homemade maxi party dress
platform runners
carrying thrifted denim jacket
vintage sunglasses on my head
gifted toolbox hand bag from O
meteorite diamond-encrusted pendant, vintage, gift
magic loupe made by O
spare kitty head from my journal

I realized on my way home that this is the last formal day of summer in this hemisphere (written Sat), which got me thinking about how when autumn hits people suddenly start wearing clothes the colour of detritus, decay, mould, and fungus. During dark months wouldn't it make sense to wear clothes that are bright and cheerful to counteract the negative suction power of dark coldness? Or maybe people can't stand colour in winter because it would be mean, like a taunt from sunnier days. In reality, long ago we probably dressed in colours to match the seasons as camouflage so we wouldn't get knocked off by enemies or hungry beasts. Where I live now, that's not too much of a concern, but the hiding behaviour persists. I like the colours of decay too, but nothing beats the buoyancy of a full-blast colour snap.

I'm linking this outfit up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, her blog. (Whew, I almost forgot to activate the link.) It's the perfect garden party dress. I have pearls, white pointy shoes, and white gloves for this dress, but I like the sweet punk-ass version waaay better. Maybe I'll see you there. Thanks for stopping by Bag and a Beret, my sweets! 


  1. It is, the perfect garden dress. Love the photo-in-motion. And the cat-head, that's just brilliant. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, you're always a schtar. xox.

  2. ooo, this head is smashing with your hot pink dream dress. Of course, you wear your ensembles out and about. I had no doubt. Still, it's nice to be presented with the bare facts. heehee.

  3. GAH! There's soooo much that I love about this post!

    #1 - the outfit sings, not just a song, but a full on opera! Gorgeous YOU!
    #2 - Caffe Artigiano has surely never been graced with such a lovely presence as yourself! BRAVO
    #3 - You are the very voice of reason...why, why, why do we have to say adieu to gorgeous tints and rainbow colours in autumn and winter? I'm trying to build a winter wardrobe full of sunshine, but even sewing skills can't make bright and cheery fabric materialize (HA) in the store.
    #4 - A close-up of the magic loupe made by O.
    #5 - And last...and my cat Sam would say I've left the best for last....a spare kitty head...seriously....the accessory of the moment! WE love it, don't we Sam Samson! Meow!

  4. I predict that swishy and billowy are Just the things for FALL. I intend to follow your lead you little kitty head, you!

  5. Oh, is it Visible Monday? Dang, I better get linked up tomorrow.

    I know what you mean about the colour thing! As I contemplate putting away all my wonderful happy colours, I feel sad, like I can't be happy without them. But then I look at some of my new fall items...and they make me feel happy too.

    That is a fabulous dress - sorry to hear of the rip, but yes, always a risk...and we must USE things, as that's their purpose!

  6. As soon as I saw the first picture, I heard Donovan singing Wear Your Love Like Heaven, which is the perfect theme song for that dress! How fun to actually see you out in the world with REAL PEOPLE. I hope Sharron contributes more photos in the future.

    It is funny about how we turn to darker colors in darker weather, but iconoclasts like you must keep challenging our outdated, ingrained, old-fashioned habits. We must banish fungus green and rotting leaf brown from our closets, and wear hot pink and daisies - like heaven.

  7. Beautiful dress! I find myself sewing a little seam back together here and there constantly! The price of wearing vintage :D I have to say I am feeling the seasons change for the first times this year in a long time (no seasons in tropical Florida!) and it is daring me to different choices and I love it! There are different moods for different seasons... But, in the end, wear what u want!!!!

  8. Stunner!!! What an amazing dress. I love that everyone is adoring you in the background of that photo. I agree! If summer insists on moving to another hemisphere for half a year, every year!, then all we can do is wear a little aura of it around ourselves to make the winter world ( a world I actually prefer!) more cheery. Yay you!

  9. Love that dress and had no doubt at all that you wear all your amazing clothes out and about. I now need to catch up on the rest of your recent blogs as I have been out of the loop for a little while. M x

  10. You said over on mine that you were thinking of applying for a job as an actor of ancient Britons, but I think you have the perfect face as a star of comedic comedy - and I mean that in the nicest possible way!

  11. I was thinking about the seasonal colour thing (again) the other day, and I think part of it these days is just clothing/fabric manufacturers who release darker clothes for A/W and brighter clothes for S/S. As they've always done this since the days RTW first came along, they just keep doing it without thinking about it because everyone's got into the habit of wearing seasonal colours. And it can be hard to wear bright colours in the winter if you really need warm clothes and they're only available in dark colours...

    Habits are hard to break when you don't realise exactly *how ingrained* they are (obv that doesn't just apply to clothes!)

  12. Awesome dress! And you, of course, look great in it with the punk accessories.
    I try to wear bright colors in the winter both to keep my mood up and to be seen in the snow. Besides, who wants to look like mold or fungus?

  13. color all year 'round! Which is why I made myself a purple winter coat.

  14. What a princess of a dress! And I love the coffee shop photo, you look like a bird of paradise who has inadvertently found itself among a flock of starlings.
    I've referenced your views on autumnal colours in my post, Mel, since I seem to be wearing mould and mushroom. It's so this season, daahhling! xxx

  15. And I am celebrating (!!???) the first day of fall wearing red and blue with some pink thrown in for good measure. It is as Mondagogo stated that it can be harder to find brightly coloured warm clothing, which is why I snapped up the hot pink winter coat last year when I saw it.

    That is a Party dress, with a capital "P". I think it's probably very happy to be given a punk rock edge for a coffee outing. The stains and little rips just make it even more punk - you should stick a few safety pins in there for good measure!

  16. I crave colour in the winter and autumn. Yep, I will try to avoid the mould colour scheme!
    Your dress is beautiful- it's like Jane Austen meets pretty hippy!x

  17. Billowing dresses allow such wonderful movement and structure, it's a beautiful dress and gorgeous on you - I have to have a rainbow available for all seasons, then sometimes I am in all black, I'm a moody sod x x x

  18. OMG I had a dress like that - def the appliqued flowers, but it was a shorter frock than that.

    I am intrigued by your photoshopped head drawings onto your torso. Must figure out how you do that.

    Popped by from VM.

  19. You look like you came for a visit from a fairy tale - I love that! :)

    I agree about colors. We have so many preconceived notions, and habits, and "traditions", silly people we are. I do and I am. :) There was such a gorgeous pumpkin colored old house in my neighborhood. Also, like your dress, very fairy-tale-ish. I heard from a few people how much they distaste it. The house was repainted in gray, like almost every other house on the street... and lost its charm!

    I love Fall colors (mostly reds, oranges, but a little bit of fungus will do just fine too). But then, why I wait for Fall to wear some of them - that's a good question.

  20. Amazing dress, amazing photos!

  21. you are unique!
    so creative and inspiring!
    you give us the force to carry on experimenting!!!

  22. Ah, my little white cat ... with me in dreams of pink! (Am still thinking of my newly acquired pink coat and wishing for cold weather!) You look beautiful. Sorry about the zip.

  23. I'd like to see a close-up of that pendant...

  24. Loving that photo of your floating ethereally into the coffee shop and the delighted reaction of the lady with the dark hair. Punk ass beats ladylike hands down! xxx

  25. I'm with Vix!! What a fabulous pic too!! (That's Sandra?) You look amazing!!!!!!!!!!! Your hair is glowing, and the color is magnificent. Your sums are always greater than your parts (and your parts are fab!) :-)

    Perhaps because I live in the South, I get so tired of cheery colors for myself. I start to crave licorice, chocolate, nutmeg, smoke, plus avocado and moss greens. Add a little cream for good measure. Yum. :-)

  26. My heart would stop with joy if i saw you pass by with this wonderful pink gown, ahhhhhhhhhhhh
    You are just MAGIC
    See you tomorrow at Share-in-Style.
    Tons of loveeeeeeeeeeeee

  27. Oooohh missed this post with this gorgeous dress. You are right, it is brilliant. And I am so glad you included the iPhone snapshot. It is so nice to see you actually wear it in public. Of course you got compliments. This is a dress to make everyone happy.
    I fully agree with your point of view on colours. I also like to include as many vibrant colours as I can, also in winter.
    And indeed, the sweet punk-ass version is much better.

  28. Love this dress! And I love the photo of you wearing it out. The daisies are FAB!!


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