fashion

Rural Holiday

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit

I do love a good Instagram community challenge! Last year I took part in Me Made May, but this year I decided not to take part. I just don’t have enough homemade pieces in my wardrobe right now to make it significantly different from last year, and though I am sure no one else would have noticed, I would have gotten fairly bored with it. Thus, I was excited to see that there was another challenge being hosted this month, called “The Vintage Fashion Challenge”. (It’s nice to see a vintage focused event on Instagram). This one is being hosted by Carla of tinyangrycrafts, jennylee.knits and iliveinmylab and these three ladies came up with different prompts for each day of May. I have not been posting every day, but have been taking part when I have something for the prompt of the day. At the beginning of the month, as I was looking through the monthly overview, I saw a couple of prompts that I would need to sew something for. One was “Me Made Style”, (which I will be sharing next week) and the other was “Movie Style: A Film Inspired Outfit”. I decided that I would combine some of the prompts with blog posts, and to finish in time, I have been doing a fair bit of sewing this month- maybe at this rate I will be able to take part in Me Made May next year after all! 😉

I was quite excited about the “Movie Style” prompt, and started brainstorming for that one, before the challenge had even started. I love old movies, (actually I love new movies too!) and one of my favourite things about movies is the costumes. Costumes can make or break a film, don’t you think? It can be a great story, but if the costumes are off, it just ruins it. Conversely, sometimes I watch movies just for the costumes- even if the storyline isn’t that good. 🙂 I always enjoy good costumes, and then dream about “someday” sewing similar pieces for myself, but rarely do I ever actually end up creating those pieces. Having a challenge to create a specific film look was great, as I knew that it would force me to actually come up with something. (If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you might sense a trend here- I need deadlines in order to finish things- otherwise I procrastinate!!!)

Before anything else, first came the hard part of deciding which film look to recreate. So many old films, feature elaborate garments which I don’t have the skill or resources to create, and I also wanted to find a look that would be a valuable addition to my wardrobe. I mean, I do love the costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but where am I going to wear a sapphire blue evening gown or a leopard cape and muff.  Ok, never mind- if those were in my wardrobe, I would find a reason to wear them! But, while so many costumes from movies are extremely glamorous and elegant, they aren’t very wearable for my lifestyle. Thus, I started combing through old movies, to find a film inspired look that would be both useful and versatile to wear, and reasonable to recreate. When I came across Roman Holiday, I knew I had found what I was looking for!

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, skirt detail

I haven’t seen the movie for ages, (if you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it) but I knew that Audrey’s Roman Holiday outfit would be perfect to recreate as all I needed was a circle skirt. The colourized photo versions of the costume show a blue skirt, but I found this image which shows a tan skirt. I believe that the original costume was tan, which for some reason was colourized to blue in the photos. Tan is a great colour for my wardrobe, so I decided to make a tan circle skirt, though I thought that if I couldn’t find any suitable tan fabric at my local shop, I would make it out of blue chambray. I did find fabric, but since I really like how this skirt turned out I might end up getting some chambray anyways. I have been wanting a circle skirt for a while and this tan circle skirt has proven to be a great addition to my wardrobe already. It goes with everything. I made it out of a tan slubbed cotton/poly fabric. I wish that it was 100% cotton, but they didn’t have any nice cotton fabric, and so I decided to just go for it anyways.

The skirt took me a few days to sew up. I sewed it in one evening, left it to hang for 24 hours, and then went to finish it two days later. Of course, despite all my meticulous measuring, I ended up having to take 1.5 inches out of the waistband. I hate having to pick things out, and it took me a while to redo it all, but I still ended up finishing this project relatively quickly. The most time absorbing part was the hand stitched hem- this is how I prefer to finish my garments, but it sure is time consuming! I hand stitched it with lace hem tape, but did it while watching movies (over two evenings), so it went relatively quickly, and at least I got to enjoy a movie at the same time 🙂 I also made a separate slip to wear underneath as the loose weave of the fabric is slightly sheer. I decided to make a separate slip, rather than just lining the skirt, so I can wear the slip with other dresses and skirts.

All in all, this turned out to be a very quick sewing project and the only part left was to style it as a Roman Holiday look. I didn’t want to take this outfit literally, and copy the shoes, the belt, the scarf etc. exactly as it was in the movie, but rather took the basic formula to create my own look.

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, roman holiday outfit, portrait

I chose this tie front blouse, which is actually quite similar to the one Audrey wore, with the rolled sleeves and collar, because the colour of tan in the leopard print pairs perfectly with the colour of the skirt. I think that this shirt goes so well with the skirt, and as I haven’t had much to pair it with so far, I am excited about being able to wear it more often.

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, shoe-detail

Next was the shoes. I have these brown shoes which used to have a zigzagged elastic which made them into a slip on shoe. However, by the end of last summer, the elastic in one of the shoes had stretched out, so I had been thinking of replacing the elastic with proper tie laces. This look is quite trendy right now, but is quite a vintage look too, as illustrated by Audrey’s look in Roman Holiday. For these photos, I used black shoe laces (that’s what I had), and tied them around my ankle for the same look. I am planning on getting some shorter brown laces, and not wearing them looped around my ankle. (I don’t think it is the best look for me, though it was fun for this outfit)

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, detail

The final touch to this movie inspired Roman Holiday outfit, was adding a vintage off-white sheer scarf. In some of the pictures you can see I’m wearing it tied around my neck, while in others it is under my collar. I decided after a few photos, that it looked like a neck brace in some of the photos, and having it tucked under my collar looked better 🙂

The only thing left to do to finish my Roman Holiday outfit, was to bring out my bicycle. As I don’t have a vespa, like in the film, a bicycle will have to do for my own “Rural Holiday”. 😉

Have you seen the movie Roman Holiday? Have you ever watched a movie and then wanted all of the outfits? If you were going to recreate a movie look, which would outfit would you choose? Share in the comments, so we can all look up your favourite movie costumes. . .  and then add them to our own lists too 😉

 

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, sunny-standing-beside-bicycle

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, scarf detail 2

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, riding bicycle 2

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, tie-shirt

Rural Holiday, the artyologist, a roman holiday outfit, riding-away

My First Blogger Meetup With Jessica of Chronically Vintage

nicole_by-tony-cangiano-1, the artyologist, blogger meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

Sometimes life changes in the blink of an eye. When I first wrote this post, it was shortly after I had met Jessica. I wanted to write while the meeting was still “fresh in my mind” and before I forgot anything. Then, Jessica and I discussed back and forth as to when to publish the photos. We decided on publishing them on the same day in early November. This was in mid-September. And then, in October, as many of you already know and I mentioned before, Jessica lost almost everything that she owns, in an arson fire, on October 13th, 2016. In one day it went from excitement over wanting to post these pictures, to the shock of realizing that everything she owned was. . . gone. It is always hard to hear of someone suffering from a tragedy of any kind, but even more so when you know the person whom it happens to. It’s been eight months now, since Jessica and I had this lovely blogger meetup last September, and seven months since the tragic fire, and we have decided that it is now time to share the photos here on my blog. Since Jessica has made the difficult decision to now retire her blog, I hope that you enjoy this post, which I consider to be from both of us. 

Last July, when I posted pictures from a photoshoot my friend and I did, all dressed up in 1950’s outfits, I received a lovely comment on the post from Jessica, of the blog Chronically Vintage. She said that the post made her wish that “we lived nearby and could team up for a shared outfit shoot of our own” and that if she was ever out my way, or I was out hers, “it would be a blast to try and make that happen.” The thought had occurred to me as well, but even though it sounded like a fun thing to do, and despite the fact that we both live in Canada- we still don’t live that close to each other! I didn’t pin my hopes on such a thing happening. Fast forward a few months, though, and sometimes wishes do come true, in the form of my first ever blogger meetup!

A few weeks after that post, I received an email in my inbox from Jessica detailing her plans to visit Edmonton in September for a holiday. She so kindly asked if I wanted to meet up with her during her trip, since I live fairly close to the city, and it could make our plans of meeting in-person one day, a reality. Of course my answer was a resounding “Yes!”, and so a plan was made. It just so happened that I was going to be travelling through Edmonton at the same time she would be in the city, so we decided to have our blogger meet up that day. Originally, I had suggested meeting at the Old Strathcona Antique Mall, but as she had already planned to visit there with another friend, an alternate plan was made for us to meet at Rowena on Whyte Ave, the storefront of the Retro Glam online shop, and after we were finished there to continue up Whyte Ave and pop into any other stores we came across. We also stopped in at The Junque Cellar, which is, basically like it sounds, a vintage/junk store in a cellar. Well, I guess it’s a basement, but same difference. 😉

vintage-blogger-meetup-2016_edmonton the artyologist, Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

I love to go shopping at the best of times, but to go shopping for an afternoon, with a fellow vintage lover is really the best thing ever. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything to buy (seriously, what is with the sizing of some things!? Everything went from too big, to too small!) but it was still so much fun to browse. We did discover that we have a lot in common, and it was really nice to put a face with a name, or well, maybe a person with the blog. You know what I mean. 😉 When we were finished shopping, we found a picnic table by some trees, to sit outside in the lovely fall sunshine and exchange some gifts. Jessica, remembering that in the past I have mentioned that I don’t own very many true vintage pieces, gave me the beautiful beaded necklace pictured here (it was so pretty I couldn’t wait to put it on, and the colour was perfect for my outfit!) and also a gold brooch of an artist’s palette (since my blog is called “The Artyologist”.) How completely special that, not only did she give me a gift, she gave me something so personally tailored! Jessica is such a sweet lady, and I am so honoured to have been able to meet her in person.

After we were done, we were able to make that wish of a few months ago a reality, with a photoshoot by her husband Tony. We took the photos in this walkway behind the Historic Train Station on Whyte Ave and Gateway, which is now a restaurant. As we were waiting for Tony to arrive, we saw only one person walk by, and thought that it would be a nice background for photos. Of course, as soon as he arrived, it suddenly turned into Grand Central Station, and everyone and their dog decided to walk through. It made for some lag time, but in the end we got these lovely pictures!

We didn’t plan our outfits to coordinate either, but I guess that vintage minds think alike! The colours of our outfits compliment one another splendidly, and are a perfect summer-to-fall transition. This day we were out and about, was a perfect early fall day, with the sun shining, but a crisp breeze on the air to remind us of the changing seasons.

It was a wonderful afternoon spent together, and it was also my first ever blogger meetup. Since then, Jessica and I have exchanged many emails back and forth, and I am truly thankful to have been able to meet her in person as well. This was my first time meeting up with Jessica- but hopefully it will not be the last!

Outfit details, on me:

Dress: Retrolicious, Nostalgia Dress, from Rowena/Retro Glam

Shoes: Hotter Shoes

Shrug: Second hand

Hat: Oh Dina! from several years ago

Necklace: Gift from Jessica

Purse: Bought in England

vintage-blogger-meetup-september-2016_edmonton the artyologist, Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist, Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist, blogger meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

Vintage Vogue Covers: Vogue March 15, 1911, Elegant Spring Attire

Vintage Vogue Covers: Vogue March 15, 1911, Elegant Spring Attire, the artyologist

Vogue March 15, 1911: The Newest Spring Materials and Trimmings . . . which herald the arrival of the season.

With fresh, bright colours and light, airy fabrics, the arrival of Spring is welcomed with this lovely mint chiffon and lace ensemble. Softly draped fabrics are an elegant choice for these warm Spring days, but for the still-cool evenings a floral patterned shawl is the perfect addition. A single gold bracelet lends a touch of exoticism to this simple, yet graceful, silhouette.

Inspiration for this fashion recreation comes from this cover of Vogue from 1911. I’ve been wanting to do a more “historical” Vogue cover recreation for a while now, and this dress I bought a few years ago on a whim (and have only worn once as a costume!) was perfect to recreate this lovely Edwardian era magazine cover.

Vintage Vogue Covers: Vogue March 15, 1911, Elegant Spring Attire, the artyologist vogue-cover-original

How to Start Dressing Ethically

How to Start Dressing Ethically, the artyologist

I have only been consciously dressing ethically for five years now (since 2012) but in that time I have picked up a few tips. Making the decision to start dressing ethically can be both exciting- as well as completely overwhelming when you start to look around you and see only fast fashion, or sustainable fashion brands that you cannot afford to buy from! The first step to dressing ethically (yay!) is not in completely overhauling your entire wardrobe, but in taking small steps starting from this point on. So, continuing in the spirit of Fashion Revolution Week, today I am sharing both a completely ethical outfit, as well as my tips on how to start dressing ethically yourself.

How to Start Dressing Ethically, the artyologist, shoes and purse

My purse was from a vintage store, and the scarf and shoes were thrifted. 

Shop Secondhand 

Secondhand clothes make up a large portion of my wardrobe, because they are a really great and affordable way to dress ethically. Because used clothes are already in existence, whatever history and supply chain they may have had previously is given a second chance at life when you add it to your wardrobe. There are so many textiles already in existence, and unfortunately many of them are sent to the landfills. (11 million tonnes each year in the USA alone!!!) This is obviously unsustainable, and one of the best ways to combat this is to wear secondhand clothing. For my fellow vintage lovers, we’ve already seen the value in wearing “old” things 🙂

While shopping second hand may be time consuming- and might not be the best option when you need something very specific, if you treat it like a treasure hunt, you might be surprised at what you can find. Some of my favourite pieces in my closet are thrifting finds: one man’s trash is certainly another’s treasure.

How to Start Dressing Ethically, the artyologist, outfit

My shirt was “thirdhand” as it originally belonged to my aunt, who then passed it on to my sister, who finally passed it on to me! 

Some easy ways to start wearing secondhand clothing would be by thrifting and shopping at vintage and consignment stores. If you don’t have a thrift store in your area, consider having a clothing swap with friends, accepting hand me downs from others, or buying online through places like Etsy or ThredUp. (ThredUp is an online thrift store. I’ve never purchased from them before- but I know plenty of other people who have had great success shopping there.)

How to Start Dressing Ethically, the artyologist, outfit

I upcycled my skirt from a thrifted extra large wrap skirt.

Handmade

Another great way to way to dress ethically is by making your own clothing or accessories. Learning to sew, if you don’t know how to already, is a great life skill and can really help you to appreciate the value of clothing (and the hard work that goes into making it!) By making your own clothing, you are escaping the “fast fashion” trend and instead creating thoughtful, slow-fashion pieces.

Although, one of the downsides of sewing your own clothing can be in not knowing where your fabric is sourced from, one of the best ways I have found to sew sustainably is in refashioning and upcyling. This is second hand and handmade combined in one: the best of both worlds 🙂 Some of the projects I have upcycled (including this dutch wax print skirt) are featured in these posts here, here and here. Even if you don’t want to get involved in time consuming refashions, second hand textiles such as linens or extra large maxi skirts give you a lot of fabric to work with to cut new things out of, and some thrift stores even sell yard goods!  That being said, I do still purchase new fabric from time to time, if I have a specific project in mind. I would love to one day be able to source all of my fabric from sustainable textile mills, but in the meantime I am glad to be able to hand make slow-fashion pieces for my wardrobe.

And, even if you don’t want to sew for yourself, have you considered the handmade pieces other people are making (both clothing as well as accessories)? Check out your local craft fairs and farmer’s markets, or search on Etsy. There are so many talented people out there who are selling lots of beautiful handmade items. Some of them even take custom orders- so you can get exactly what you want!

How to Start Dressing Ethically, the artyologist, belt detail

My belt is from the Canadian company Brave Leather, and as well as being fair trade, it is also made of vegetable-tanned leather byproducts sourced from the food industry.

Ethically Made

Another way to dress ethically is in buying from (and supporting) companies that are producing sustainable and ethically made goods. When it comes to finding ethical fashion brands, keep in mind that it’s like getting a grade in school- if you get a good grade you tell everyone, and if you get a bad grade, you tend to keep it to yourself. Ethical fashion companies usually have easy-to-find information about their practices and supply chains. If a company doesn’t have that information for you, they probably aren’t an ethical company (although that’s not always the case.)

The best way to find ethical fashion companies I’ve found, is simply by searching the internet with keywords like “ethical fashion brands”, “fair trade fashion companies”, “ethical leather purse”, “fair trade jewellery” “sustainable fashion” etc. This will bring up tons of companies for you to choose from, as well as sites dedicated to sharing ethical brands, such as this one. I shared a post a few weeks ago listing some ethical jewellery brands, here.

How to Start Dressing Ethically, the artyologist, bracelets

My fair trade bracelets are engraved brass, copper and mother of pearl from India, which I purchased from Ten Thousand Villages. The Pearly Bracelets and Etched Bangles are currently still available.

I find buying ethically made clothing to be out of my reach at the moment. I don’t feel confident in purchasing clothing online, because I am never sure if it is going to fit how I like it (and since I don’t live in the USA, where many of the companies are from, I don’t qualify for things like free shipping and returns). And unfortunately I don’t have any local ethical clothing shops to buy from. However, once thing that I do like to purchase from ethical companies is accessories. Things like jewellery, belts, and purses are a great first step to buying ethically. You don’t have to “try on” a necklace, so it is easy to purchase things like that online. I also do have a Ten Thousand Villages store a couple of hours away from where I live, so I’ve bought plenty from them over the years. Investing in ethical companies is a good option, because it sends the message to the fashion industry that this is something that is important to you- and by helping fair trade companies to succeed, you are helping to shape the future of the fashion industry too.

How to Start Dressing Ethically, the artyologist, jewellery details

My necklace was from Ten Thousand Villages. The Engraved Choker is currently still available for sale. My earrings are vintage and second-hand from my mom.

Well, those are my tips for some ways to start dressing ethically. It can seem overwhelming at first, but small changes make big differences over time! I hope that wherever you are on the ethical fashion scale, that these few tips can help you, and, if you have any other tips, please do share!

What are your favourite ways of shopping and dressing ethically?