maandag 8 juni 2015

The day summer started & the sunloving outfits I wore

There is always that first really hot day that feels like the actual beginning of summer. Freshening up your memory of how summer really feels. Usually it is in late spring or early summer. This year it was last Friday with temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius in the Netherlands.
As I did not have any obligations that day and did not want to simmer in the city I payed a visit to my parents who live in the countryside in the east of the Netherlands. Hot weather calls for special outfits. A bit like the ladies in the picture below.
At noon when the morning freshness was fading I went for a swim in the local open air pool. This is called 'strandbad', which literally means beachbath. It was build in the 1930's and remains in a somewhat original state. The perfect location for a vintage style dip in the water.
On the picture you can see a sign that means that swimming is only allowed in bathing costume.
I wore one of my favorite vintage bathing suits. Bought it at a flea market years ago. It is also the most practical one as it is made of elastic fabric (all my other ones are made of cotton that is more challenging to wear when you actually want to swim).
It probably dates from the 50's but because it is quite neutral in style it works for a 30's of 40's look as well.


And yes, I go swimming with red lips, earrings in and my sunglasses on. Why not?

After my swim I returned home and changed into my oufit for the rest of the day which was spent around a log cabin with veranda in the back of the garden.
The cardigan is from Primark and only a few years old but looks from a different era.
Now let me introduce me to my favorite part of the outfit: THE straw hat for me this summer. I bought it from a friend a few months ago. I was so glad to find it: so very simple and elegant it goes with almost every summer outfit.

The straw is very fine and light. Hardly any decoration except for the broad blue grosgrain ribbon.

The label is of Metz & Co. an expensive Dutch department store that does not exist anymore.  
In 1939-40 the store was refurbished into a clear alsmost minimalistic style by Willem Penaat, a famous Dutch interior disigner. These photo's  of the couture department were taken just after the redecoration had taken place.

The second picture shows a woman trying on hats. When you look closer you can see some are quite similar to mine:

Maybe this picture can help date the hat more precisely, but straw summer hats did not change as much as the more dressy examples.
From a Metz catalogue of 1940.
And another one from 1937. The woman on the left wears a similar hat. You can also see a range of summer wardrobe items which brings me to the rest of my outfit.
I was wearing a playsuit that is not vintage at all but looks the part. For hot days full of sunscreen it might be for the best to wear something low maintenance.
Below just a few examples from vintage magazines:

And then there was the glorious nature baking in the sun. As spring has been cold lots of flowers were still in bloom.
The view from the veranda.
The pond
As there were no icecubes at first I started using frozen raspberries to cool my lemonade. This was so lovely I used it with icecubes later on as a bowl meets lemonade kind of drink.

Oh and there are my shoes between the grass and flowers against the clear blue sky. I love espadrilles for summer. Easy to find in any collor and I've seen them quite a bit on old photographs.
The heat was to stay only for a day. And heat ends in a thunderstorm, that came in the middle of the night. But at the end of the evening the wind allready foretold what was coming. However the birds kept singing. And so my first summer day ended.

zaterdag 6 juni 2015

Catching up 2: A weekend in France!

Today a week ago I was in France! I was invited by friends to spend a long weekend at their house about 70 kilomets from Paris. So nice to get away for a few days, really needed that. I decided for a no internet policy so I would not end up checking my phone all the time, how very very relaxing. Should do that more often.

We left on Friday. Above is my travel look. I figured brushing out my pincurls before an 8 hour drive by car would be no use, so I left them in. Covered them up with a scarf. And looked a little like an easter egg ;).

On Saturday we went to Paris to see the Lanvin exhibition at Musee Galliera, the reason I was actually there in the first place. My friend Martine had a special guided tour there and when she heard how badly I wanted to see the exhibition she invited me to come along! So great!

The exhibition was as stunning as expected, lovely pieces, sketches and swatches of embroidery. The tour was interesting with a very well informed guide. Also listeneing to 1,5 hour in French is very good for me ;).  The only thing that did not agree with me were the too tall and too thin mannequins that were used, this spoiled the historical accuracy of some of the silhouettes. Photography was not allowed unfortunately, so no pictures of the exhib :(

We did take some pictures outside the building:

After the tour we had a hot lunch (rabbit) and went for a bit of shopping. I didn't buy anything though. Later on we went to Claire a friend of my friend and had tea in the beautiful garden, of course some pictures were taken:

Claire was wearing a skirt made form a 30's pattern.

Martine was wearing an early to mid 1930's navy blue dress with a large bow collar of dotted starched muslin. I actually spotted this dress for her at a vintage market during the Rotterdam Tweedride last September. She borrowed a navy blue straw hat from her friend.

I was wearing a suit consisting of a bolero jacket and a finely pleated skirt, dating from the late 30's to mid 40's. I wore my favorite blue beret hat that is very handy: it fits into your normal luggage so you do not need a hatbox. My flat canvas shoes are actually from H&M. Very comfortably worn with white socks. Heels would have been more elegant but a no go for an entire day of walking in Paris.

In the evening we went back and had dinner in the garden. So lovely, real holiday feeling.

The next day we planned to go on a bikeride. The drizzly weather made that less attractive so we drove around by car to see some sights in the Fontainebleau forest.

First stop was at the artist village Bourron-Marlotte. There were many adorable little streets and lots of flowers.

It was a casual Sunday so I wore a comfy cotton dress (1940's). Because of the weather we decided to wear tweed caps.

My hosts: Loic & Martine

During another stop we had a little walk. The broom was in bloom and very yellow indeed.

On Monday the weather was better so before I left we did have that bikeride. We cycled through the fields on roads that consisted mainly of grass. Quite an adventure ;)

Here I am with the bike I borrowed in a field with the village in the background. I wore another floral cotton I recently bought. More on that in a next post.

And then it was off to Amsterdam with me. I took the train home.

The train to Amsterdam on the departures at Gare du Nord...I was sad to leave.

So that was all for now and all for catching up. There are some untold stories but they might still pop up somewhere during the coming months.

This easter egg says goodbye &
A very big thank you to Martine & Loic for inviting me and being such wonderful hosts!!