A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
1. Pair a favoured vintage item with neutral separates or accessories. This adds vintage flavour and depth to an outfit, without going the whole shebang. It also works a treat for toning down way-out pieces.
2. Reference earlier eras in line with current fashion trends. For example, forgo current bold shoulder styles and Peter Pan-collared frocks in favour of real-deal forties items. In good condition, these look infinitely better than the chainstore rip-offs.
3. ‘Undo’ items from more prim, less-permissive eras with loose and easy tresses or accessories, and vice versa by dressing up more casual styles for modern glam.
4. Vintage shoes are the hardest accessories to make appear current. Only wear them if you have complete confidence rocking a vintage vibe.
5. It’s very modern to clash masculine and feminine, conservative and flamboyant – don’t wear a look head to toe, but rather mix up your references and highlight a mood with what you’re wearing.
Whatever you do, own it.
Attention swingers, from the experienced to the tentative: this event at the Balmain Town Hall next week will be brilliant, if the last one is anything to go by (for the Mid-Winter Warmer video, click here).
* Get swinging in the knockout dance contest hosted by Swingtime
* Prizes for best dressed ‘mid-century spring ensemble’ judged by yours truly
* Vintage frou from Coco Repose
* Decorate yourself at Vintage Allsorts‘ accessory parlour
* Culinary creativity provided by Love Grub Pop Up Bar and confectionary stall by Jepska
* Polish up your pomade with Atomic Life’s mens’ den
When: Saturday 8th October 2011
Where : Balmain Town Hall
Time : 7.00 – 11.30pm
Tickets : Pre sales $25 + booking fee, available online at Daisy Tickets or $30 at door (if available – sold out last time)
Coiffs and curls optional.
Fab news, Crafty Minx readers: Murdoch Books – in association with Coco Repose and Vinnies – are offering a host of wonderful prizes to celebrate the launch of Minxy Vintage. Please visit the Minxy Vintage Treasure Hunt site to enter. You have until 31 October before the competition closes. I’ll be judging entries and keeping an eye on your latest finds, so get snapping!
The idea is to share some of your best & most favourite charity store / flea market / second-hand finds. Mine are these 1980s black suede Chanel pumps (shown above). I found them in a charity store in London’s Battersea for all of 8 pounds sterling. An old dear was popping them in the window while I walked past on my way to drinks with friends. Needless to say, I did a double-take and snapped them up at the speed of light. In immaculate condition when I found them, I doubt they’d been worn more than a couple of times – the damage you can see is all thanks to me, as they’ve been my best pair of shoes for nigh on a decade now. How can you not be bitten by the thrifting bug after such a rare find?
That said, the treasure hunt’s not about bagging designer bargains, but more of an entree into the idea of Minxy Vintage, which is all about how to customise good quality antique, vintage and retro finds. See my no-name 50s frocks below, which are also amongst my most prized possessions. Both have had some nifty repair work, and nips & tucks to make the fit of each sheer perfection.
And below is one of the frocks in the book; a cabbage roses Wiggle dress from the early 60s, which I wore to The Victoria Room one night (also where we shot many of the pictures in the book). Proof it’s possible to do vintage in a modern way, without looking too costume-y.
Here are just a few of my favourite inspirations, all part of the whimsy and fantasy I was trying to achieve with Minxy Vintage. I think the word I’m looking for is drama, ladies.
Who are some of your favourite vintage gals? Please share.
So by now you may have seen some of the early publicity for Minxy Vintage (thank you, Marie Claire Magazine) and picked up on the not-so-subtle hints I’ve been dropping about its contents. Get ready to see some truly fabulous vintage pieces – not just the ones I’ve given a minor customisation, repair job or total overhaul to, but classic frock shapes from each era with advice on how to modernise or wear them.
The ‘classic’ items were supplied by my dear friend, Jessica Guthrie, designer & owner of Coco Repose. Jess also wrote the Foreword, and has curated an exhibition opening next week at the Sydney Antique Centre, featuring clothing from the 1900s through to the 1980s; much of which appears in Minxy Vintage. Pop along to the Antique Centre from Monday onwards – the exhibition runs for three weeks, and you can buy many of the pieces displayed and peruse the rest of the Coco Repose stall.
Thanks to Jess, the book has some truly rare, museum-worthy pieces in it I was thrilled to have access to. My wardrobe has also never been better since I’ve been raiding her racks.
Simply love these new/old pieces from the Coco Repose store here – seriously glam items to zhoosh up your evening attire. Don’t you think the yellow & gold number would make a magic wedding outfit?
As much as I adored the design those clever people at White Pixels came up with for The Crafty Minx, I am loving this new-look version. Time for a change… this one is based on my new book, designed by the lovely Tania Gomes at Murdoch Books. Hope you like it! x
I’ve gone brooch-mad for these new pieces by Lyndsay White of Made by White. Each would be the perfect adornment for a full-skirted fifties day dress – very appropriate for the weather we’re having.
Rachel Castle is one clever lady. I don’t usually do ‘serious’ art, which is why I adore her whimsical, bright, playful pieces. Check out the website for new designs, beautiful bedlinen I guarantee you’ll love, and pretty paper garlands. Even a sunshine-coloured velvet pompom cushion or two. Delicious.
We had a little shindig for Olive’s 3rd birthday yesterday. Here’s my top 10 tips for hosting a successful, vintage-inspired birthday party for kids:
1. Take it outside – pray to all your gods for good weather, throw open the doors and festoon the backyard with decorations and a cheerful 50s tablecloth or two. Or find a prime spot in a local park with access to shade, picnic tables and a playground. Stake out your colony with blankets and a radio tuned to hits.
2. Set a theme for the children – how about simply dress-ups? Easy on the grown-ups, and lenient enough to allow for princess, fairy and pirate fixations.
3. Bunting – festive, easy, cute… need I say more?
4. Be at one with the sugar content – there are times when fairy bread, cupcakes, lollies and chocolate are okay. This is one of them (adults won’t be complaining, either).
5. Keep it short, sweet and small – set a time limit of say, two hours, and only invite friends your children recognize. All-day affairs with squillions of guests are a modern, somewhat tiring phenomenon.
6. Old school games – pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, What’s the time, Mr Wolf?, egg & spoon and 3-legged races are all oldies, but goodies. Pack a few extra prizes for cheering up teary kids who came last.
7. Alcohol – for the grown-ups, obviously; reward for spending their precious weekend watching a bunch of kids go nuts. Failsafe drinks? Champagne and Bloody Marys. And keep the number of guests without children to a minimum (your twenty-something co-worker might say they’d love to come but trust me, she’s just being polite).
8. Save your efforts until children are old enough to realise what’s going on. If you start with the first birthday, you’ll be over it by the time they hit 3, and that’s when the fun really starts.
9. Keep a list of who gave what – parents will appreciate a thoughtful note, saying thank you for the welcome doll/Lego/book/princess shoes they spent good time making or shopping for.
10. Goodie bags for all the kids – compensation for watching their host tear apart gifts with wild abandon, screaming ‘mine, mine, mine!’
Want want this haunting owl lamp from beautiful bone china manufacturer, Have you Met Miss Jones, and just about everything else on the website. Whoo, whoo would not?