This artful textile is labelled along one side “Stroheim Romann Inc. Exclusive Hand Print Fantasy Garden” and shows the colour palette with a dozen colours. Thinking in terms of offset printing – this is one expensive printing job! It never ceases to amaze me how some textiles can stay so vibrantly alive, almost increasingly so – as they age. The aliveness is in direct proportion to the time and effort that went into creating it.
Yesterday, I wanted to learn the song “Sweet Old World” by Emmylou Harris. According to the guitar chords and lyrics in chordie.com, the song is marked as difficult to play. I transposed it to -4 semitones to find a somewhat familiar chord sequence. In that combination most of the song is in D Em and A, which is great.
There is one F#m to go with the lyrics “cradled in your arm” and “together with another one” – just a few words, twice in the whole song. But you simply cannot dance around them, or skip over them. I never play an F chord. You have to be a contortionist within limited fretting space (like a real guitar player). Now I might be motivated to figure it out, just so I can play the song. Never having taken a music lesson means you can avoid anything you want. The lyrics and the songs are the driving force. They stay alive forever. I know there is a cliche “it’s the singer not the song” but I think they got that one backwards.
I started thinking about musical notes and what they convey. How many other things are comparable (especially dresses). The notes trigger emotional responses and have a predictable harmony. As I think about what dress style goes with an F#m – I envision it would be light and wispy, very noticeable but at the same time, diaphanous and ethereal.
The personality of the F#m is mysterious. She is made of silk chiffon, fluid in movement, and neutral in tones. There is a subtle nuance to the way she flows, from a comfort zone, shifting seamlessly into an artistic resplendance. The melody is in her movement, for the undulations of rhythm, is flowing right through her.
Not everyone can wear her, because it is not easy to emulate her style. You must be limber and coordinated, to learn how deftly and quickly she changes. The embodiment of an F#m is for a special time and place – in life as it is in a song. With unwavering confidence, she slips through the crowds effortlessly. Her memory is sweet. She is like the scent of hyacinths wafting by, as fleeting and elusive as a leaf in the breeze.
It is the range of little things, the small and unexpected notes, that brings beauty to our days. Check back. As soon as I find an F#m dress – I will post it here!
Once defined – it didn’t take too long to find one. This gorgeous silk dress fits the description for an F#m. The fabric is a muted blend of gossamer-thin patchwork patterns. A jacquard coloured silk with ribbon-like accents and gold metallic threads running horizontally across the fabric (like guitar strings of the imagination)!
Meanwhile – I’m going back to playing and singing “Silver Threads & Golden Needles” in good old DAE. If a song can bridge the difference in style between Janis Joplin and Emmylou Harris – there must be a key to the room for the rest of us!
Without a belt it has a 1920’s drop waist silhouette
A melodious blend of colours…
Shown with a narrow gold tone & pave crystal snake belt. Exotic!
Gossamer silk with gold metallic thread shown in morning window light.
Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Living on the west coast can be a water logging experience, especially as we approach the month of November. Some people prefer snow instead of rain because it is usually much brighter out when it snows. I much prefer rain instead of snow and ice. With a few exceptions, that’s mostly what we get here during the winter.
If you want to spend time outside in heavy rain, a good raincoat is essential. The triple ply Gortex coats with taped seams are the best for keeping your core dry. A wool sweater layer or two will give extra warmth, breathes – and if the rain soaks through anywhere, the wool will help prevent you from getting wet and chilled.
But the typical Taiga or MEC Gortex jacket is short, giving coverage to the waist or hip level only. Your legs, especially your thighs, will get soaked in no time flat. It means buying a pair of Gortex pants to go with the jacket. But who wants to gear up and walk around the city looking like you belong in a boat and are heading out to do some wilderness fishing?
The Icebreaker brand (although their clothing is made in China) is ideal for wet winter weather conditions, like we get in Vancouver. The pullover sweaters come in a variety of weights for layering, depending on how cold it is outside. They are labeled 150 for the lighter ones, and go up to 300 or more. In addition, they make good front zip merino wool sweaters with hoods, which is ideal for when it is really blowing and raining. Icebreaker also designed a knee length coat that is water repellant on the outside, has a detachable hood, and is lined with merino wool. It has zip pockets on the outside and one on the inside. This is a much better coat than MEC’s knee length coat, which is light and flimsy. The zipper broke on the one I had, so I switched to Icebreaker.
As far as raincoats like Mycra Pac Now, and the wide variety of other lightweight jackets and coats – they are good to pack for travel to a warm location where it might rain, or to wear from the car to the building, but not much longer. A nylon coat will soak right through in a matter of minutes if you are out in a downpour.
The very best raincoat I have ever come across for torrential downpours, is one that provides full head to toe coverage. It is the Herluf Design and was made in Denmark. The exterior is a fluid, somewhat shiny black vinyl. It is lined in a very light wool blend fabric, and is a full-length maxi coat with a big cloak style hood. Of all the raincoats I have worn that have soaked through, including Helly Hansen, Taiga and MEC – this black vinyl coat has yet to soak through, no matter how much it is raining or how long I have been outside. It is loose enough when buttoned so it does not constrict your stride. The hood buttons right up to the chin so it does not blow off in the wind. The water off the hood is deflected, which prevents it from running down your neck, like it does with some coats.
I think the trade off between the vinyl Herluf Design and Gortex – is that the vinyl will not breathe that well if you are really active. For urban walking and standing around watching a football game – the long vinyl coat wins hands down. I looked up the Herluf website and can see this company makes a variety of good quality, stylish and functional outerwear. But if you are a hiker, an outdoor enthusiast – or heading out to the west coast to slay a thirty pound salmon – stick with the Gortex!
This open front sheer silk jacket is a delicacy of refinement. It is enhanced with richly coloured raised velvet pussy willows. The label as shown at the bottom of this post, is mostly unknown and enigmatic. The colours and textured shapes used on the black silk create an optical illusion with an alluring – yet subtle interplay. It is one of the finest examples of something that “flows”. This jacket scores high in artistic merit. It is among the top ten per cent of the most beautiful items in the Quiet West collection.
Since all the photography is done in window light – I hope the sun shines this weekend! There is no other kaftan ensemble like this one on the Internet. Although I have looked at them and studied the photos of a variety of kaftans often, I spent several hours researching vintage kaftans again last night. I enjoy looking at the range of gorgeous, exotic, and loose flowing examples of such decorated finery. Many of them are listed on the 1stdibs website, a site that brings together a collection of the most beautiful vintage items in the world. So I am very enthusiastic about sharing some photos of this amazing outfit. It is a stunning and rare example of a haute couture kaftan ensemble.
It is even more striking with the added dimensions of the hooded cape. When it comes to ethnicity – the arts is where we can see that every culture has created things with jaw dropping beauty. I believe this outfit is Moroccan, possibly with a special kind of Turkish gold thread that was used on elaborately decorated high end textiles in the Middle East. I have to do more research on the type of needlework techniques used. It may help narrow down and confirm where this outfit was made. Is it any wonder most of the famous designers created their own versions of this type of outstanding elegance?
Reverse Side Of Embroidery