Thursday, 29 July 2010

A floral melodrama (with drapery)

I've been in London for the past few days, enjoying the general ambience and visiting favourite haunts. One advantage of coming to London is staying near a small park which is very useful for photography purposes!

This is a dress I customised during my first week of 'work experience' (mini internship) - I was allowed free reign with the sewing machine on the last day! I'd bought this mid calf length vintage monsoon piece in a charity shop a few months previously, and subsequently left it languishing in my 'alterations box.' So this was a perfect excuse to do something with it!
I started by taking in the dress, as it was slightly too large and then took up the hem to just below knee length, before proceeding to work on the drapery (I pinned up four sections of the hem to fall in folds). It took me about an hour to perfect it before I was happy with the symmetry. I particularly enjoyed the experience of working on a dressmaker's dummy, as it gave a more realistic portrayal of how the fabric would hang. (I now really want my own dressmakers mannequin to work with, so I've started saving!) Finally, after sewing the drapes in place, I secured some vintage buttons on top to hide the stitching!

Here I layered it over a little Next fine-knit top and added that old favourite belt of my grandma's (from when she was in 'girl guides'). The grey lace up boots are much-loved, much-featured, from Topshop, while the socks peeping out of the top are vintage. The shawl in some of the shots was given to me by my grandma - I seem to be wearing it all the time at the moment! It's a very useful item to throw on over other things.
The hat is vintage child's Laura Ashley, from a charity shop, with a cream vintage scarf tied around the brim. I also pinned a cameo onto the scarf, which I bought at a bric-a-brac stall. Ever since seeing a collection of Cameos at the British Museum I've begun to start coveting and collecting them! The bag is my paternal grandma's (on loan) which she used in the seventies. Like the buckle bag featured a few posts ago, it is the most wonderful vintage brown leather!

When putting this outfit together, I was slightly inspired by a Burberry style aesthetic and palette. Elements of classic British-ness (floral print, ankle socks, hat etc) with edgier elements, such as the boots. I have to say, if I had the money, Burberry would be one brand I might just splash out on! I especially loved Christopher Bailey's collection for which he cited a group of Bloomsbury intellectuals as inspiration!

This time Mum took the photos, and once again I had to play the game of try-to-pose-without-letting-your-heels-sink-into-the-ground. However, I've had quite a bit of practise so I'm getting quite good at it now!


johanna said...

I loove the boots. Wanna take a look on my blog? maybe we could follow each other?

Anonymous said...

I love your style!! I neeeeed those boots your wearing! I'm glad you love London Town! Lived here there most of my life! :)


Jen said...

I LOVE what you did with the dress. It's very layer-ish and I'm such a fan of that look. These photos are great!

I am so jealous of what you're experiencing. Thanks for sharing them with us :)

Crystal said...

Very nice shoes you have there, you always have amazingly well put together outfits!

The Lady Nerd said...

Beautiful photos, as always. (Though I'm beginning to think that your legs are, in fact, growing longer in every shoot...!) You do very well with the vintage dress paired with tights and heeled boots look. I also appreciate the fact that you actually give more thought to your outfits than just a simple, "well, this looks good." So thanks for the enlightenment.

I love your Topshop boots! I have a deep love for any sort of laced-up heeled boots. I bought one just the other week. Though they have quite an interesting heel - They're wonderful cold-weather boots - comfortable as anything and warm as a bug-in-a-rug! :) )

Oh the heel problem is quite a fun one. I used to tell people that I was just "irrigating the lawn" with my stilettos. :P

Jazzabelle said...

Yes, I have! I've been to the Grace Kelly exhibition five times since it opened, plus I went to the member's preview the day before it opened to the public. I do love the V&A, I'm so happy I live so nearby, I visit at least once a week, the most being four times in a week, hehe! Have you been to the Grace Kelly exhib yet?

I adore your grandma's bag, it's absolutely beautiful!

Thank-you for your lovely comment on my blog.
Love, jazzabelle. xxx

Closet Fashionista said...

LOVE this! Your legs look sooo long! :D

mirror said...

aw cute!
I love how you describe your clothes & how you alter them with such detail. it's really interesting to read! I don't sew, but sometimes I wish I could so I could alter clothes and such too. ;)

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I totally catch the Burberry vibe in this look. LOVE those shoes, and the floral dress. And the tree.

Actually the tree kinda stole the show from you Roz. Grand beaute that it is. I can only hope you can stand to share the limelight.

Suzannah said...

It looks sooo pretty! I Love how you put it together.

Check my blog out.

November Grey said...

5 down. Divine.


Six Six Sick said...

Love the colors. Your photos are always the best!


Ellie jane said...

I love those boots and the bag! Stunning pictures as always.

Pearl Westwood said...

The dress looks great, I really like the folded elements you added. What I wouldn't give for a dressmakers dummy, but they are incredibly expensive, I always have my eye out for cheap ones so I will let you know if I find any x

daisymay aka Chantele said...

Loving those boots! And a great DIY on the dress Daisy Dayz Home

annierama said...

your boots are amazing and I love especially the last picture!
Would love to be in London!

PrettyDamnCute said...

Brand new follower! Love your style.

Nancy said...


One day, all of your loyal readers will murmur to each other that we knew you before you were a famous shoot model. You look just stunning in these shots, my dear. Great work on the dress. i bet your mum is so proud of you!!


Billie Kinson said...

That dress is beautiful. And I love your boots!

Julie said...

I love the way that dress sits. It's gorgeous.

Carmen said...

so nice girl :)


Carly said...

Another lovely look for you Roz. I love the drapery on the dress, great work. Everyone's right about your legs, they're incredible.

My mum bought me a dressmakers mannequin about 3 years ago for christmas. Unfortunately when I moved to London last year I had to leave her at my parents due to space issues but I'm moving next weekend and she gets to come back after a much needed rest. I can't wait to get my sewing machine out. Its so good to alter your own clothes and re-design pieces.

Thanks for your suggestion of a vintage vanity case for my stylist kit, I've just won one on ebay. So thank you thank you thank you!

Lots of love. Carly.
p.s. hope you're enjoying your time here in London.

Jem said...

I love what you did with the dress, it looks so modern and beautiful.

calivintage said...

haha, oh, i know the heels-sinking-into-the-ground scenario all too well! but those are certainly the perfect boots if you have to do it! the styling is beautiful and classic, and the photos are just stunning!

Davina said...

Hi Roz,

Just wanted to say that I love your style. Looking at your blog brings happiness to my day.
You inspired me to buy something off ebay.. am currently bidding for some lovely vintage brogues. Fingers crossed!

I don't do a lot of sewing, but at the moment am making a tartan shift dress..

Anyway you are gorgeous, and very intelligent!
Great future, you have :)

The F Word Online said...

love your outfit girl ! you've got some great style

xx lue

Miss Molly said...

have just come across your blog and really love it :) absolutely adore the dress and think its really cool that you altered it to make it more 'you'


Miss Molly said...

PS: am following you now!

Fefa Românova said...

Girl, I'm from Brazil and I've reading your blog every week, and for this, my english just got better. you look so elegant.


Christine said...

I just discovered your blog today and I can't believe it's taken me this long to find something so visually stunning and inspiring. You're outfits are wonderfully put together. The clothes don't fit you, you fit the clothes if that makes any sense.

The photos of your mother are quite gorgeous. I can see where you get it from. Consider me a fan.

x, Christine

Christine said...

I just discovered your blog today and I can't believe it's taken me this long to find something so visually stunning and inspiring. You're outfits are wonderfully put together. The clothes don't fit you, you fit the clothes if that makes any sense.

The photos of your mother are quite gorgeous. I can see where you get it from. Consider me a fan.

x, Christine

ragamuffin said...

that bag is amazing, i love love love it!

Nita-Karoliina said...

Your blog is perfect. I just accidentaly came here and def. wont regret it.

cheers. xx

Indigo said...

cute boots :)X

Lady Symposium said...

Great style.

{Lady S}


the photos are awesome and the outfits, fab! come follow me xoxo

Kate said...

Where did you do your work experience in London?? These pictures are amazing and I love that bag.

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