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Dorothy and The Yellow Surrounded Road

Image of Gingham Pinafore- Dorothy and The Yellow Surrounded Road The Artyologist

I finally got my sunny pictures in the bright yellow canola field! And, I had the perfect outfit to wear with the field. (There I go again- matching my outfits to the farmer’s field!) Well, that is not the whole story. The real story is, I thought to myself, “What could I wear for pictures in the sunny yellow canola field?” A cursory examination of my current wardrobe revealed that I had nothing that would coordinate or contrast with a bright yellow and blue background, that I haven’t already worn a billion times, or catalogued on the blog here before. (And I really wanted to do the field justice!)

canola and navy gingham pinafore the artyologist

So, what to do? Why sew something new, of course! I had an old, 1980’s, baggy, rayon, navy gingham dress in my stash, that I had purchased from the thrift store with the sole purpose of refashioning into something new, and I decided that now was the time. It had been sitting there for a couple of years, waiting for the right project- and this was it! (I will detail that project’s process later.)

So, I had a pinafore, a white blouse to match, and then of course some white sunglasses as it was bright out there, (and I am nothing if not colour coordinated) and a straw sunhat to finish off the look. It was the perfect 1940’s Hollywood interpretation of a farm girl or a milk maid. (Which means that it is nothing like what a real farm girl or milk maid would actually wear, but there is nothing better than a fake Hollywood interpretation of reality, right?) So, that leads me to the title of this post- Dorothy, of The Wizard of Oz. I was almost done making this pinafore when I realized that my outfit looked very fairytale like, although I couldn’t place my finger quite on which character. At first I thought of Alice in Wonderland, but then I remembered that Alice has a solid blue dress with a white pinafore. So then I was trying to remember whose dress mine looked like- and then I realized that it is strikingly similar to Judy Garland’s outfit in that movie- and it was completely by accident! 🙂 I don’t have a yellow brick road, but I do have a road surrounded in yellow- so does that count?

Do you have any dresses similar to movie costumes, either on purpose, or by accident?

Blue gingham pinafore: refashioned by me

White blouse: thrifted

Hat: thrifted

Earrings: gift from my parents

Shoes: Hotter Shoes, “Shipley”

Sunglasses: bought online several years ago

hat white sunglasses and gingham pinafore the artyologist

image of the back of gingham pinafore the artyologist

sunglasses in navy gingham pinafore the artyologist

field of canola landscape the artyologist

pocket detail and canola field the artyologist

sunglasses and pinafore in the canola field the artyologist

shoes with navy gingham dress and canola field the artyologist

landscape in yellow field of canola the artyologist

gingham pinafore dress and country road the artyologist

walking away in gingham pinafore the artyologist

 

Ready for Poiret’s “One Thousand and Second Night”

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

If I have a “windblown” appearance in these photos, it is because I was. This was the fastest photoshoot in the history of the world, as we were literally racing to beat the thunderstorm rolling in! I live in rural Alberta, in a farming community, and in the summer that means that you are surrounded by either canola or grain- this summer the majority of fields are canola. As the blooms have just opened, and the landscape is a gorgeous sea of yellow, I wanted to take advantage of it, and get some photos in the field. Unfortunately this summer we have received an extraordinary amount of rain. For my readers in other parts of the globe, this is normal I am sure, but for us we are not used to this amount of rain. It has rained almost every day since the Victoria Day weekend, interspersed with periods of sunshine. This is great for the garden, but not so great for other things, like getting photos for the blog 🙁

Last week, I was thinking about which outfits would be good to coordinate with the canola field. (I am sure that is a sentence that has never been spoken before in the history of man. I don’t think farmers usually worry about how their outfits match their fields! “Bloggers- doing new things every day!”)

Anyways, I decided that I really wanted to get some pictures of these amazing harem pants I got earlier this summer, and I thought that they would stand out perfectly against the canola. I wanted to evoke a 1910’s/1920’s Paul Poiret’s One Thousand and Second Night Ball feel with my outfit, so I paired the pants with a slightly Edwardian styled pin tucked blouse, black Mary Jane shoes, and lots of sparkly jewelry and a headband. With a parasol as a prop this turned out to be a 1910’s styled outfit. (I say “prop” as obviously a paper parasol was not needed in the brink of the approaching rainstorm!)

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist, Portrait and Road with Canola

Thus, I had my clothes chosen, and the sun was shining, which was a rare occurrence, so I got my sister (who loves makeup and is an aspiring makeup artist) to do some a modern 20’s makeup. (As much as I love the look of 20’s makeup in vintage photographs of movie starlets, it does tend to make people look like racoons in this day and age.) She was more than happy to do so, and came up with this lovely gold shadowed eye.

By the time the makeup was done, and I had finished getting ready, we went outside only to find that in the half hour or so, the sun had vanished behind a bank of clouds and a storm was rolling in- and quickly too! But, it wasn’t raining quite yet, so we jumped in the car and raced down the road a 1/4 mile to get to a good spot for photos. We battled the wind, we could see the lightning in the distance, the farmer drove by in his tractor (probably shaking his head at the crazy person dressed up in a “costume” taking pictures) and there were a lot of outtakes owing to hair being tossed about- but at least I wasn’t wearing a circle skirt! Then the images would’ve had a distinctly Marilyn Monroe vibe to them. . . 😉

Sorry this is a rather photo heavy post, but I really couldn’t whittle the number down, as I love how they turned out! At first, when we raced out the door, I was sad that the sun was gone, as the canola is so vibrant in the sunshine, and yet, I love how the towering storm clouds and the perfect lighting you get before a storm, gave such a brooding depth to the pictures.  I think they really capture that Art Nouveau, exotic feel of Poiret’s fashion style, with an almost painterly appearance. This outfit deviated so much from what I normally wear, and yet I love it. This might just be my favourite outfit shoot so far!

What are the craziest circumstances you’ve ever taken photos in? Would you wear harem pants? What do you think of Paul Poiret’s 1910’s styles?

 (I will have more about on the history of harem pants later this week, by the way, so stay tuned for more!)

Blouse – thrifted

Pants – imported direct from Thailand (that’s all the tag says)

Shoes – Miz Mooz

Jewelry – Necklace from years ago, Bracelets from Ten Thousand Villages

Headband – Handmade, from an old necklace and vintage buttons

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret's Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Road with Canola

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist Art Nouveau inspired

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist Art Nouveau Style Harem Pants

Ready for Poiret's Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Canola Field

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Portrait and Art Nouveau Inspired

Ready for Poiret'sn "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" The Artyologist Canola and Portrait

Ready for Poiret's "One Thousand and Second Night" Harem Pants The Artyologist

A 1950’s Mode En France Inspired Shoot

A 1950's Mode en France Inspired Shoot The Artyologist

A few years ago I found this little video, Mode en France on Youtube, which goes through the history of European fashion from the end of the Victorian Era, up until the 1980’s. (Click over and watch it, as it is pretty great. I can’t understand a word of French, but fortunately fashion is universal!) After watching it, I wanted to do a photoshoot with my sister and best friend, of the fashions featured in the video- only since I do not have video talents, I was going to do photos instead. Well, the years have gone by, and we’ve still not managed to do a complete overview of all the eras, but we have done a few separate ones. We once dressed up in the styles of the 1940’s (and when I say “dressed up” I mean they dressed up, considering that all the clothes came from my closet!), another time was the Victorian era, and once we dressed up in assorted wedding dresses, which was rather fun.

So, when my friend Chantelle came for a visit last month, one of the things we made sure to do, was another photoshoot. This time, we chose the 1950’s, and donned full skirts, petticoats, hats and gloves. It was rather fun to put all the pieces of the outfit together, as I don’t usually do a whole hat and glove ensemble. I love putting together a period perfect ensemble, but I rarely wear it as such.

Here are the pictures we ended up with. It was a fun time spent together, posing as though we were supermodels, but mostly giggling and being generally silly. I am glad to have these pictures, some of which turned out great- others not so much, but the memories of the afternoon are what I will remember the most. 🙂

Do you ever “dress to the nines” just for fun? Have you ever done a photoshoot with your friends?

(The image above is our Prada sunglasses advertisement, don’t you think? I was testing out the height of the tripod, and it turned out it was a bit off, so the top of my head is cut out of the frame, but nevertheless- it is a hilariously serious looking picture and I love it!)

A 1950's Mode en France Inspired Shoot The Artyologist

A 1950's inpsired shoot the Artyologist

We nailed the model poses in this one 😉

A 1950's inpsired shoot the Artyologist

A 1950's inpsired shoot the Artyologist

A 1950's inpsired shoot the Artyologist

Fresh as a Daisy in Retrolicious Vintage Repro

retrolicious nostalgia dress fresh as a daisy the artyologist

At first, brown, mustard yellow and cream do not seem to be a summer colour palette, but then I looked out into my garden and saw a patch of daisies blooming. It turns out that it is a summer palette after all! 🙂

This is the new dress that I mentioned last week, and it is my first vintage reproduction dress! Living in Alberta, which isn’t exactly a major centre for vintage style boutiques, I had never come across a shop that sold vintage reproduction. I have never had much luck shopping online either, and for things like dresses, which need to fit well, it was always just too much of a gamble. Then, a few weeks ago, while shopping on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue, I discovered this little shop called Rowena. Rowena is a “clothing, accessory & household item store specializing in pinup, rockabilly, psychobilly, tattoo and alternative cultures.” As soon as I walked in the door, I was in heaven. Seriously, my mom and sister who were with me, can attest that I was like a kid in a candy store. Never have I ever seen such a large and fabulous selection of vintage reproduction in one place. All of the items they have in store, are available in their amazing online store Retro Glam, if you would like to check it out. Anyways. I did find a few lovely items, and actually it is amazing that I came home with my bank account intact! I’ll be back for sure, though.

retrolicious dress daisy the artyologist

I was so excited to wear this dress; I wore it the very next Sunday. It is the Nostalgia dress by Retrolicious. I had never heard of Retrolicious before: it is a sub brand of Folter clothing “made in the USA”.

I can’t really attest to the quality of the dress, as I have only had it for a couple of weeks, and I haven’t washed it yet or anything, but I love it so far. When we were in a different shop that same day, the salesperson told me that the dresses they were selling were “couture dressmaker’s fabrics, not just regular old cottons”. When I looked at the tag, they were 57% polyester/ 43% cotton blends. I’ll take the cotton please.  Thus, I love that this dress is 100% cotton, and cut on the bias, which gives it a comfortable amount of stretch without containing any spandex/polyester/nylon.  I don’t know about you, but I just hate synthetic fabrics. I mean, sometimes they are fine for certain garments, and I do own some myself, but I just hate the fact that there is such an abundance of synthetics in every piece of clothing you find, it seems. Maybe this is just an irrational fear I have of synthetics, tracing back to the time when I was a child and my mother told me that nylon melts. I was scared to wear my nylon pants for years. Anyways, that was a bit of an aside. . . where were we. . .

The dress! It is lovely, comfortable and breathable (it was a hot day, when I wore it) and it has pockets too; I never think to put pockets in my dresses, but really they are the best! Basically this dress is a winner, it is my new favourite, and now that I know where Rowena is, and I know what size I am in several other repro brands, I may never have any money ever again. . .

(PS: After I had finished dressing, I realized that the accessories in this outfit are exactly what I paired with my outfit for Easter Sunday- the straw purse, brown sandals, and cream coloured hat. Even the pearls are the same. What can I say? If you’ve got a good thing going. . . )

(PPS: Another quick note: I do know that cotton, unless it is organic, contains a whole host of other environmental problems, 🙁 but as it is difficult to find organic cotton material and clothing, when faced with a choice, I will choose cotton, as it is still a natural and biodegradable fibre, rather than a man made fibre.)

Outfit Details:

Dress- Retrolicious, Nostalgia Dress (not available any more it seems, but they have many others!)

Purse: Vintage from a thrift store

Hat: Vintage from an antique sale

Shoes: Franco Sarto from a few years ago

Earrings: Joe Fresh from a few years ago

Necklace: Pearls; a gift from my parents!

retrolicious dress the artyologist

daisies the artyologist

retrolicious by folter nostalgia dress the artyologist

retrolicious nostalgia dress by folter fresh as a daisy the artyologist

retrolicious dress folter clothing the artyologist