'A ball gown is your dream, and it must make you a dream... I think it is just as necessary in a woman's wardrobe as a suit. And it is wonderful for morale...' Christian Dior

Monday, 30 May 2011

Wedding dancer

I left buying a dress for my brother's wedding to the very last minute. All thoughts of the perfect vintage ensemble are forced to the back of your mind when you're running around Oxford Street after work every night in the week before the big day. It wasn't like I hadn't been looking, I just didn't come across 'the' dress like I imagined I would. Before I knew it, I was panic-buying the same dress in two different sizes in Oasis and ringing around five branches of Topshop to track down a size seven pair of cream t-bars. Not my finest hour. The whole experience reminded me how predictable and exasperating our high street can be. Having traipsed between Hobbs and Whistles (too expensive), Warehouse (too informal) and Monsoon (too mumsy), I could now probably describe every design in stock this season. And it wouldn't take very long because they're all the bloody same. 

Anyway, rant over because the panic-buy pulled off and Oasis was a revelation. Love all the candy colours and unusual cuts in at the moment. And well, if a real vintage gown didn't find me in time, then this 1970's mint green mini-dress was a welcome substitute.

And perfect for dancing. Although I don't particularly need or want the photographic/video evidence. The flared sleeves certainly revealed some interesting moves.

Because the dress had quite a lot going on, all that was needed to accessorise it was some simple gold earrings and some killer heels. I went for these patent peach Mary Janes from Topshop (pictured on their second outing, last night at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club from which they're now scuffed at the front. That'll teach me for trying to climb a pole).

Monday, 2 May 2011

Made in Vietnam

I got back from my travels to discover that summer had come early and that my latest purchase - a tailored made-to-measure black jacket - would probably look a bit out of place. I went out in Liverpool on my first weekend back and wore it regardless. It's not hard to look out of place there, trust me. And I had had plenty of practice in Vietnam anyway. There's westerners and then there's milk-bottle skinned, white haired tall girls... so many locals wanted their photo taken with me, it felt like what I imagine being famous does. Throw in a hangover and it wasn't pretty. Charlie Sheen springs to mind.

Hoi An and its maze of tailor-lined streets was definitely a highlight of the holiday (and I only got lost once). You can basically have any design made from any fabric, in any colour. You describe it, or show them a picture from a magazine (or bring along an item to have replicated), go back for a fitting later in the day and the item is ready to collect 24 hours later. I was only in Hoi An for three days, any longer and it would have been dangerous. My sister is currently on the lookout for her wedding dress. I've told her it would probably be cheaper to jump on a plane to Vietnam with a tear from a magazine than agonise over expensive London boutiques, but I probably shouldn't give her any ideas, I'm planning on doing that myself...

I limited myself to the black jacket ($90) and a pair of black and white brogues (a replica of a pair I used to have and loved so much I wore out wearing them on impractical walks). The jacket I made up as I was going along. I wanted something slightly boyfriend-style to wear with jeans and slightly tux-like to wear on smart occasions. You pay for half of it on arrival and the other half on collection so it's a bit nerve-wracking, especially when, like me, you're a bit hungover when you 'commission' it so to speak and haven't properly thought it through. I love it now, but when I first saw the finished jacket I panicked and hated it (!). Serves me right I suppose. Plus I was flustered and boiling hot trying it on in the middle of the shop over denim cut offs and a sweat stained vest. Never a good look.