Tuesday, May 31, 2011

love is everywhere

Today feels like a Monday. Hope your week is off to a great start. The world can be a mean place but in the midst of it all there is beauty and kindness to be enjoyed and shared.

I found this lovely illustration here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

lace suspenders

Lace suspenders?! Yes. They exist and I found them here. I love that the creator of these darlings sources vintage materials for here creations. I'm head over heels for these.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

1960s Catalina swimwear, summer is here

I've never owned a swimsuit. That's not to say that I don't love hot weather or the beach but I tend to be more on the "conservative" side, meaning that I don't reveal too much of my skin in public. However, after seeing this 1960s Catalina beauty in nearly mint condition, I have to stray away from the safe side next time I go to the beach (I might wear shorts over....hahaha).

I think this Oscar de la Renta beauty is still a bit too revealing for me. I love the bold colors and print, looks like something you would see on the runway, but I think I would feel akward revealing too much of my back with this swimsuit's open back. I listed this swimsuit in my etsy shop, here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Judy Hornby couture dress, my weekend find

Despite playing catch up at home and at work I managed to sneak away for a few hours for some vintage treasure hunting and alas I found this beautiful 1970s Judy Hornby silk chiffon couture dress. The second I saw it I knew I was taking it home with me. As I ran towards it I realized it was not my size but it was too pretty to pass up. Being the good ole vintage loving gal that I am I decided to bring it home with me J

I tried laundering the dress at home but failed miserably, not because I damaged it, but because of two reasons. My laundering efforts did not give the dress the oomph look every chiffon dress ought to have and second the fabric doesn’t feel soft on the skin like it ought to. I need to carefully look for a reliable dry cleaner provider.

Judy Hornby was a high fashion designer based in London who moved to New York in the early 1970s. She is ranked alongside fashion designers Zandra Rhodes who designed for Diana, Princess of Wales and celebrities. I am really interested in learning more about Mrs. Hornby's influence and designs. I will look into the Fashion Museum who preserves a 'world class collection of contemporary and historical dresses' to see if I can find out more about her. At a quick glance it looks like Judy Hornby was included in the dress of the year collection BUT I'm very if-y about this because the online archives mention Judith Hornby and not Judy Hornby.....ugh.....I'll figure it out.

In the meanwhile here are a few pictures I managed to snap of the dress.

Monday, May 16, 2011

and this is why i love etsy

I listed a floral pastel color skirt on my etsy shop and eventually it was adopted. I recently learn that the skirt is in perfect care with its new owner. How do I know? Well, the skirt made its debut in this blog. I can't imagine a better home for it. Not only is it in a loving home but it sure is lucky to accompany a very talented and artistic gal.

Pictures of the skirt in its new life.
**Pictures taken directly from diversions**


Flat tire fixed: My bike is back :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

cinco de mayo & traditional mexican dresses

Today is Cinco de Mayo and as an American from Mexican descent I am proud to celebrate my cultural heritage. Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day and surprisingly enough it is not celebrated in Mexico but it is acknowledged in a limited number of Mexican states. If Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day then what is it? Cinco de Mayo has evolved to a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States. It is popularly celebrated amongst Americans from Mexican descent and of course people from other cultures and countries join in the festivities. However, there are historical roots in Cinco de Mayo. In 1861 when Mexico was nearly bankrupt, Mexican President Benito Juarez announced that foreign debt payments would be suspended for 2 years. While Britain and Spain agreed to these terms, France did not and invaded Mexico. Mexico’s fear of being conquered yet again by another foreign nation led it to resist the French army. At the time, France had one of the most powerful armed forces and had not been defeated for almost 50 years. However, on May 5, 1862 the Mexican army of 4,000 men who were much less trained and poorly armed defeated the French army of 8,000 men. More than anything this was a symbolic victory of freedom and democracy. People have coined this event as the Mexican David v. Goliath victory.

In celebration of Mexican culture and remembrance of its' traditions today I am wearing one of many traditional dress forms, this one is known as a ‘vestido bordado.’ I have six different dresses of this type which were made by my paternal grandmother in Mexico in the late 1980s and given to my mom as a gift. My mom is just like me. She stores everything she loves out of fear of damaging it. Today is the first time one of these dresses is being worn and though I am excited to wear it I am also being extremely careful not to mistreat it at tonight’s festivities. Disclaimer: yours truly is the taller one in the pictures :) and my friend joined me as well.

There are dozens of these dresses ranging in style, patterns, embroidery, and textiles. Each region, state, and even smaller towns have their own styles and unique textiles. For instance, the popular embroidered flower designs, revealing pre-Hispanic influence, are attributed to the southwestern regions of Mexico. Dresses stitched with curved designs are common to the southern part of Mexico. The stitching of certain animal figures or themes on a traditional Mexican dress goes beyond simply beautifying a dress. It specifically reveals the state and/or indigenous town (if applicable) the dress originates from. In those specific designs there are also stories (good and bad) told and traditions preserved. For example, the stitching of large plumed birds is said to originate from the Valley of Oaxaca. The Valley of Oaxaca is highly frequented by many birds many of which boast large and beautiful feathers. This sounds like a reasonable explanation of why plumed bird stitching is attributed to Oaxaca but it is rumored that plumed birds are used to allude to the “plumed serpent,” a symbol originating in early Mesoamerican religions and representative of knowledge. In early indigenous communities, feathers represented a divine nature or ability to fly to reach the skies. The Valley of Oaxaca has a significantly large indigenous community and in an effort to preserve Mexico’s history the use of large feather animals on dresses is expected. In addition to the symbolism of and preservation of stories via dresses there are other interesting things one can learn from these beautiful dresses. According to my mom, there are dresses designed to show others your marital status. For instance, at traditional parties if you wish to let others know that you are single and ready to mingle then you would wear a white color dress, sleeveless, and off the shoulders. Married woman can wear white too but the dress’ cut is more on the conservative side. Married women tend to wear darker color dresses. Listening to my mom explaining this made me giggle.  I never imagined a traditional dress could do the talking for you.

The practice of this craft is deeply rooted in Mexican culture and traditions. It is estimated to have been around since at least 1400 BCE. Of course, with the introduction of mechanized weaving in 1910, the authentic making of textiles and design of dresses have drastically changed but nonetheless the continued production and/or making of these splendid and meaningful dresses (some being more authentic than others) serve as a reminder of Mexico’s history and cultural richness.

Mexico’s authentic textiles and more importantly the people who still use traditional weaving and embroidery techniques in the creation of traditional Mexican dresses are recognized to be amongst the best in the world. I don’t say this simply because I am of Mexican descent but rather because the galleries and museums established to preserve this craft are proof of it (and respected anthropologists agree as well). Even high-end fashion designers purchase textiles and embroidery and/or stitched-ready patterns directly from the more traditional Mexican communities to incorporate them to their designs (I forgot specific ones but remind me to update this).
Interesting fact: Mesoamerican cultures (early indigenous in Mexico) had a god of weaving.  

omg....the blogs i followed disappeared

I haven't logged on for a while and now that I'm back I find out that the blogs I follow are gone!!!

I don't know what happened :/
This makes me frustrated.
This isn't good.