maandag 19 december 2016

It's the season: Sinterklaas, (pre-)Christmas decorations & outfits

With only a few more days until Christmas I'm quite busy with preparations. Like every year I'll do the Christmas dinner cooking for my family and I'm throwing my own little midwinter-party for friends on Wednesday. So now it is down to grocery shopping and wrapping gifts.
But other preparations have been going on for a while longer.

In the Netherlands we traditionally give and receive gifts on the 5th of December instead of Christmas. Saint Nicolas (Sinterklaas) has been celebrated in our country for centuries, long before his younger brother Santaclaus was invented.
I celebrated it with my friends from Club Interbellum.

What I wore:
The week before I had found this amazing dress at the Waterlooplein flea-market at my favorite stall.
I think it is great for the festive season with the ruby red velvet trimmings.

Though the dress looks stunning it has been well loved, moth holes have been carefully darned and patched under the armpits have been preplaced. It has a strange construstion that suggests I might have been made out of something else. The fabric feels a bit like that of a thin coat too.
The woman who wore it can't have been very tall, if I were an inch taller it would have been too short.

It pairs well with burgundy accessoiries, especially the hat that has a velvet decoration at the back.

We celebrated Sinterklaas with Paul and Marjolein in their new home in Deventer. Steve dressed up as Sinterklaas like last year. Thanks to all three of them for making the day!

Here are the gifts I got from Sinterklaas & Marjolein: 30's/40's straw summerhat, old newspaper, mirror, plaid shawl, girls books, a very good cook book from 1938 with lots of 'how to' pictures and some candles for the tree.

I love decorating for Christmas so I have a real tree for which the couch has to move out fo the living room.
I have very colorful bulbs that I've collected since I was about four. My grandfather painted a bulb for me every year with my name, the year and some scene. These might be a bit crude but they are so very dear to me. Most decorations have a story or are souvenirs.
This is the tree with the Nativity and two fully fashioned stockings on the wall ;)

Just some of the 'girls' in my tree:
The girl from the 'Nutcracker', one of the first ornaments I bought after moving out at 18

This cutie was bought in Prague this year.

A victorian lady I bought when visiting a Dickens fair when I was 16

In my Nativity Mary has twins ;). I got the statues from my maternal grandmother who did not have a place for them after moving to a home for elderly people. They are probably 40's or 50's. The second baby Jesus belonged my paternal grandmother and was given to me after she bought a prettier one in Rome.

So on to some outfits from the last week, lots of reds:
A very simple 30's/40's dress with a white collar.

Such a cute 40's dress. I feel a bit to grown up for it but I want to keep wearing it. The embroidery was done by hand and has it's faults which is somehow endearing.

A practical plaid skirt that goes well with the scarf I got at Sinterklaas. The cardigan belongs to a set. I'll wear it with the skirt on Christmas proper.

Same cardigan paired with one of my favorite 1940's rayon print dresses. Love the defined shoulders.

Like every year I also helped decorate the tree at my parent's.
Their livingroom is quite high so the tree is about 3 metres. How can I resist an opportunity to decorate a real tree that big?

They only have silver bulbs, collected since the 70's when they got married.

After putting the tree up these are the three stages of decorating ;)

My father took some pictures of me and the tree in a pretty dress.
He got the crazy idea to make me stand on a kind of pedestal.... well at least you get a good view of the dress that way.

I bought it togheter with the one I wore at Sinterklaas. It is from the late 30's made out of thin silk crêpe with a bakelite clasp and a delicate lace frontpiece.

I wore a little bow in my hair (it looks short because I did not brush out my spongeroller curls)
There's also a Nativity at my parent's on a rather larger scale.

Now I'm really looking forward to hosting my party in two days.
More on that in a next post :)

Merry Christmas

woensdag 7 december 2016

Vintage Shopping in Brussels

Last Saturday I made a trip to Brussels with my friend Elisabeth. Our goal was to visit an Art deco event and do some shopping. Because of several delays on the way we did not have that much time for Art Deco but we did have a splendid time shopping. The picture above shows us in a café in Roosendaal, where we got stranded and had to wait for an hour. Without having agreed on it our outfits matched wonderfully well: we both had fur(trimmed) black coats with matching muffs. Elisabeth in curly astrakan and me in sleek furs of different animals.
I took these pics just before leaving (very early + I hadn't had coffee + it was still dark = terrible pics). This 1940's coat was the only winter coat I had not worn yet this season. It is trimmed with black fox on the collar and the hem. My muff is made out of mole but goes well with the fox as it is sleek and shiny. Even my shoes had a fur trim (though only rabbit). Muffs may seem cumbersome but when you go shopping and have to take your gloves on and off all the time (which results in me forgetting to wear them alltogether, and very cold hands) they have their use.

When we stranded in Roosendaal we decided we could enjoy an Irish coffee despite the early hour ;)

I wore a  dark-blue 1940's dress with gold-lamé appliques at the shoulders and a beret hat. I put half my hair up in a kind of poodle and the rest in a hairnet as this style had lasted so well a little while ago.

Our first stop in Brussels was Modes. I got the tip from a friend and wanted to go there this summer but it didn't happen.
The shop is situated opposite the famous flea-market at Vossenplein/ Place du jeu de Balle 70.
While most vintage shops tend to be rather small, this was on a whole different scale. You only needed the one shop. We were there for more than an hour and a half and still did not see everything. They stock many era's, mainly from the mid/late 19th century through to the 60's

Some impressions:

Prices are higher than what I'm used to in Amsterdam but by far not as high as on Etsy. Daydresses and seperates are affordable. They even had a rack of skirtsuits but the blue one I had my eye on was too big :(.
I did think there was a wide range of sizes though: not only the 25 inch waists but plenty of 'average' sizes (which I consider my own to be) and what is considered volup.
There's even a large selection of menswear and children's clothes but I did not have time to see the prices and quality of those.

Here's what I found:

1930's/40's white pique shorts. Such a good find in unstained condition and in my size too (as they are usually teeny tiny)

I'd been looking for shorts like this for a while so I was very glad to find them! Though they are white they are very flattering with deep pleats at the front and back making it look like a little skirt. I saw Café Society a few weeks ago and though I did not think it was a very good movie the costumes were spot on. The 'shorts and blouse' outfits really made me wish for summer and shorts like that! 

A 1940's wool plaid dress:
I wrote in my last post these are a rare find and they are and this one has some great details. Such soft colors too. Perfect for the beginning of next year when dark colors become boring but spring is nowhere near.

I somewhat regret not buying on of the exquisite silk plissé lace trimmed underpants I saw but I was so overwhelmed and time was too short! A good reason to come back soon maybe ;)

Afterwards we went to the Art Deco event in Ukkel (just outside the city)
We did not have time to see much but had to take a picture with the car!

Before going back we had a beer (it was Belgium after all) at Le Verschueren an Art Deco bar in Sint Gillis.
It was a nice place with lots of locals and a feeling of authenticity.
You can see the rest of my dress. The velvet belt does not belong to the dress but as it is a few sizes to big for me it needs some chincing at the waist.
On the train back hatpin in hand: ladies never travel unarmed ;)

Now I'm all about Christmas preparations, gifts but also outfits, more on that in a next post!


zaterdag 26 november 2016

Weekend outings & flea market finds

Here are my outfits from the last few weekends when I had outings with Club Interbellum and did some flea market shopping.

Above is a look I wore two weeks ago. Centerpiece is a late 30's silk dress with dots. The dots may look white on the photo's but they are actually red with a white centre so the color scheme was blue and red. The main colors of the hat too, with the hat pin having some white in it to make it even a better match). I wore my red 30's/40's wintercoat that I got years ago with the handwritten pricetag still attached. More on the shoes later.
Just a page from a women's magazine that inspired me.

With Club Interbellum I visited 'Het Mastboomhuis' in Oud Gastel in the south of the Netherlands. ( 
The outing was organized by Steve who lives nearby and kindly invited us for coffee at his house first. Here we are in the backgarden of 'Het Mastboomhuis' in front of the mulberry-tree that was planted when the last owner of the house was born. We got a very warm welcome from the volunteers who keep the place up and running and give guided tours. After our tour we even got cake with marmelade from the berries of that same tree!
In front of the house ringing the doorbell.
In 'Het Mastboomhuis' time has stood still since 1999 when Henri Mastboom died and declared the house should stay the same in his will.
Rather than 1999 the house breathes the atmosphere of the times of his youth, parents and grandparent's days, with an eclectic mix of 19th and 20th century neo-styles. Henri's father and grandfather had been mayors of Oud Gastel and Henri was destined to follow in their footsteps, but social changes and WWII turned circumstances around so much this never hapened. As Henri was a loner and never married he stayed in his family's house until his death with only minor changes being made as concessions to modern times.
The house has been conserved instead of restored meaning that the aim is to maintain the state it was in in 1999. The wallpaper comming loose for example has to be left that way.

The spiral staircase was installed because there was no room for a bigger one (as you might expect in a mayor's house)
Most furniture looks 19th century.

Even the clothes in the closets were left untouched. These were dresses belonging to Henri's mother dating from the 1900's through 1930's.
Afterwards we visited 'De Meeshoeve' a farm inhabited by 8 unmarried siblings. Again the interior stayed roughly the same throughout the years. A story similar to that of 'Het Mastboomhuis' but in a different social class. 
We ended our day with an old fashioned Dutch meal at Steve's house: potato and carrot mash with meatballs.

The next day I went to the 'Verzamelaarsjaarbeurs' (collectors fair) in Utrecht, so another trainselfie in my red coat ;)
I wore one of my favorite blue dresses which features such amazing details.

Combined with a 30's hat from 'Maison de Bonneterie' (former high-end department store) that seems to have been made for the dress as it has same contrast between matte fabric and shiny embellishment. The shoes are new to me. I had been looking for a dark-blue pair with a sensible heel for a while. These are pretty but practical.
They have the CC41 utility stamp on the inside, so a real piece of history.

Here are some of my finds at the vintage fair:
Lovely art-deco necklace, dragonfly brooch, darning yarn and dark blue silk knit gloves

The cutest table linen set. I think it is probably from the 20's/maybe early 30's when pinks and blues became fashionable for linens and underwear. It was probably a breakfast set but I'll use it for teas and dinnerparties too.

1940's dress of tule. It is so sheer you can see everything underneath. It is a thin layer that makes it acceptable to go out in a pretty slipdress, how great is that!

And another 1930's eveningdress, like I need any more, like I have weekly parties to wear them too or dress for every dinner ;) but couldn't resist. Heavy silk satin with gold embroidery, so glamorous & perfect with my gold lamé evening jacket!
I contemplating on wearing this on New Year's Eve.

Last Saturday I went to the 'IJ-hallen' flea market. This big market is held every three weeks in Amsterdam North in old buildings once used for building ships. Very trendy industrial heritage but also very cold!
I wore a comfy plaid dress that is made of soft flannel. Plaid dresses were popular in the 40's and you see them so often in photo's but they are a rare find. Maybe because they were made of warm wool and worn to death during cold winters and are a hearty meal for moth and carpet beetle larvae?
The checkered pattern has been used very decoratively! To compliment the colors of the dress I wore a grey hat, brown coat and rust scarf.

The dress in the middle looks quite a bit like mine.

Some more examples of plaid.

I wanted to wear a hat but it was wet and windy so this floppy grey number not only matched with the dress but was one of the only hats that was safe to wear as there is no shape left to lose ;)

I went with some friendes from Club Interbellum. You might be able so see Marinka and I have matching scarfs made from the same pattern (that I got from her and my mother knitted me the scarf)

Frank bought a Stetson.

It was a fun excursion but as expected it was cold, even more icy than I could remember, I couln't feel my toes at some point. I had wanted to put some socks over my rayon stockings but forgot, I won't next time, I'll wear woolen stockings!
We warmed up over lunch at our favorite spot: 'Grand Café 1e Klas' at Centraal Station. 

We enjoyed another Dutch classic veal croquettes on toast.

Ready for travel at Amsterdam Centraal station! Markina found an old suitcase :)

I did not buy that much. The art deco mirror was my main find. Also some gifts for 'Sinterklaas' (when the Dutch get presentson the 5th of December) in a few weeks.

And this was not a flea-market but an internet find but I wanted to share it anyway: a 1930's (or possibly 40's) carpet. These are so rare to find in good condition and for a reasonable price. It is perfect for my living room.
My parents bought it for me as an early birthday present, so I won't be using it for some time. Just put it in place to see how it looks and took a picture :)

Hope to be back in a week or so with a report of my trip to Brussels next Saturday!