Friday, April 20, 2007

Viva la tea party!

Yooo-hooo! Ladies! I'm having a tea party and you're all invited.

Nothing to wear? Fortunately, dresses like these are the reason tea parties were invented.

Darjeeling anyone?


From Posh Girl:

Doubles as a picnic blanket in a pinch.

Sundresses are definitely one of the best things to come out of the 70s. Besides David Cassidy, of course. Rowrrrr.

This dress would be for a hermetically sealed tea party only, since one would probably be terrified of it coming into contact with any surface whatsoever. But I'm including because it's sooo pretty.

From Vintage Vixen:

Orange you a fan of lovely hydrangeas?

A bouquet of orange blossoms just for you.

Purple 70s calico--tres cool.

This may just be the ideal tea dress. If you're really clever, you'll wear it over one shoulder and under the opposite arm for a one-shoulder effect.

From Kitty Girl:

Sweet blue Hawaii...tea's on, surf's up.

50s lace and flowers--so pretty.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Trinkets of the Age of Innocence

I recently discovered that I am a complete, utter, bought-and-sold, tie-me-up-tie-me-down diehard Edith Wharton fan. This is a complete surprise to me; but even more surprising is the fact that, despite advanced degrees in English literature, I had never read any Wharton, ever. Shameful!

But, man, am I catching up now. Just finished The Custom of the Country and am now ripping through Age of Innocence (I'll rent the movie--which I vaguely remember seeing in a flu-induced stupor when it first came out--after I finish the book) as well as The Decoration of Houses and her biography by Hermione Lee. All great reads, all highly recommended if you're of a historical New York, high-society, pretty- opera-gowns, manners-drama, summers-in-Paris, spring-on-Long-Island kind of bent.

In the dreamy spirit of Ms. Wharton, I have searched the interwebnet for late-19th to early 20th-century trinkets and vanity pieces that the characters in her novels would have lived with on a daily basis.

A nice diversion, hopefully, on what is a grotesque snowy day here in northeastern Canada.

A lady always travels with her enamelled compact. This German rose compact from Vintage In Style is undated--thus remaining literally timeless.

This deco compact and perfume set from Bath Antiques is a 1930s Coty original! Comes in a box adorned with "nude maidens." Giggle. Scandalous!

Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was the last king of France (wet his pants, right in the middle of a ballroom dance). He was then Emperor until his death in the 1870s. A lady preparing herself for an evening at the opera at around this time may have had a lovely opaline pocket-watch stand such as this in the front vestibule, with which her husband could determine that she was sufficiently "fashionably late" for her appearance at the opera house and would she mind terribly hurrying things along a little. From Ruby Lane.

Another great Ruby Lane find--an undated enamelled vanity set. Quite quite handsome, old chap.

Please, sir, you're sitting far too close to me. Can't you see that I find the ballroom fearfully warm? Snap! Flutter, flutter.

Again from Ruby Lane, ornate late 19th-C benamelled and bejewelled opera glasses. All the better for spying on the John Thorntons II in the box across the way.

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