The House Of Rodier ~ With More Than A Century Of Excellence In French Knitwear

The French designer Rodier has maintained a certain obscurity or subtlety over the past century. But once acquainted with some of their product, this brand is worthy of accolades for its long tradition of excellence in knitwear.

The House of Rodier was formally established in France during the mid eighteen hundreds. With a primary focus on knitwear, they began redesigning shawls of the Kashmir, which brought them acclaim for their creative divergency. The elaborately decorated shawls from the late eighteen hundreds through to the twenties, created stunning examples of the arts and culture of the time.

During the 1920’s and 1930’s Rodier assisted Jean Patou as he embarked on his career in fashion design. They also redesigned a fine knit jersey commonly used in undergarments, which was later made famous by Chanel. The looms of Rodier attracted much inspiration from other cultures. Like a laboratory of looms, they experimented with a variety of fabrics to include spun rayon called senellic. Some articles claim Rodier made sweaters for Chanel, Patou, Lanvin and other luxury brands during the post war years. Since inception – they were central to the “sweater and knitwear source” coming out of France.

Rodier created its first ready to wear line in 1956, and like all luxury brand companies has gone through many changes over the years. In the 1980’s they did an expansion with a focus on the US market. Over the following decade they spiced up their line and sold to multiple luxury boutiques.

As the century came to a close Rodier opted to do a number of licensing agreements. Alas, the tradition of excellence may now be compromised, which makes the earlier Rodier knitwear as distinctive and coveted as it was during Napoleon’s reign.

Below are some pre-millennial examples of Rodier sweaters:

Featuring A 1970’s Opulent Green Maxi Coat With Extensive Beadwork & Laid Work ~ Made In Africa

This one needs some retakes to show the detailed needle work better. When I bought it I was told that it was brought back to Canada by the wife of a Canadian diplomat in Africa. It is a heavy garment with yards of fabric in the skirt to create a wide sweep. The lower portion of the skirt also has the detailed couching and beadwork patterns.

A Poet’s Parallax ~ Raja Hand Woven Silk Damask Textile ~ Translated Into A Lustrous Splendor

This hand woven silk damask textile by Raja is absolutely stunning. It is very large, with an ivory backdrop, rich in depth and texture, yet vibrantly reflective. The pictures below show each side of the design, as well as some close ups. Although there are many hand woven rugs from India and Pakistan, hand woven silks, and beautiful hand embellished saris – so far, I cannot find anything comparable to this on Ebay, 1stdibs, or any of the other sites on vintage textiles. From the Antique Textile History, the following information sheds some light on the origin of such a textile, not including the selection and preparation of the silk, or colours, but enough to enhance our appreciation:

“BROCADES – THE TRADITION OF BRINGING SILK TO LIFE
Brocade weaving, especially with gold and silver, has been an age-old tradition in India. There are two broad classes of brocades. Brocades of pure silk or silk and cotton blends and zari brocades with gold and silver threads. The most important material in brocade weaving is silk. It facilitates lovely weaves, is durable, strong, fine and smooth. There are several varieties of raw silk of which the chief ones used for brocades are Tanduri, Banaka and Mukta. Tanduri is imported from Malda and other places in Bengal. Banaka is thinner and finer variety and is mostly used to weave soft fabrics such as turbans and handkerchiefs. Mukta is a coarse and durable silk used for kimkhabs, as fine silk would not withstand heavy gold patterns.”
“MAKING NAKSHAS (DESIGNS) ON BROCADES
Making of nakshas (designs) forms an important part of brocade weaving. Banaras is the main center where the nakshabandha (designer) tradition prevails. The skill and imagination of nakshabandha plays a prominent part in making of designs. Designs are associated with legends and symbolism. The most popular motifs are drawn from nature. In Banaras, it is said that nakshabandha families were brought to this country during the reign of Muhammed Tughlak (1325-1350 A.D.). They were supreme masters of the art of tying designs into the loom. Local artisans and weavers learned this art from these great craftsmen. Some of these craftsmen were also great poets-perhaps they wove their poetry into their designs. One such renowned poet was Ghias-I-Naqsband, mentioned in Abul Fazl’s ‘Ain-I-Akbari’. The nakshas are first worked on paper. This part of the work is called likhai (writing). The nakshabandha then makes a little pattern of it in a framework of cotton threads like a graph. This pattern gives guidance to the working of that design into weaving.”

The example in this post, is a much heavier silk than most. The design on one side does not show through or impact on the other side. I am guessing it was part of a special ordered bridal trousseau, and estimate it to be from the sixties or seventies. It is truly extraordinary – with many components in the design and fabric, from dimensional rose floral outlines, to small raised slubs on the fabric, and a periwinkle contrast. The centre on one side features a large round design, a bouquet, outlined in coloured lines. In the very centre, there is a small red symbol or signature. The condition is pristine. It is one of the most beautiful textiles I have ever handled and photographed. It is visually tactile, a fascinating sight to behold, with a luminescent glow and vibrant colour and synchronization. It creates an exhibit with features unique to the richly exotic and historical textile artistry from faraway lands.

It demonstrates how the non-material world – beginning with the vision of a poet or artist, can be woven into the material world – and will always retain the beauty and vision of the soul that went into it. Initially as a concept it may seem overwhelming and elusive. Eventually it turns out to be, a fine representation – of soulful materialism and poetic realism.

DSC_0602DSC_0608DSC_0599DSC_0609DSC_0613DSC_0610DSC_0635DSC_0596DSC_0588

1940’s Plum Dress Silhouette – With A Sample Of Laid Work On A Detailed Bodice

Couching or laid work is an embroidery technique dating back to 1070. It was one of two main techniques used in the Bayeux tapestry, a European historical work of art, consisting of fifty different scenes, and measuring 230 feet long. Laid work was also used traditionally on textiles in medieval England and Japan, with extensive use of metallic thread. Another location with a strong tradition for this intricate embellishment, was in Palestine, with production centred in Bethlehem. The Wikipedia definition is:

In embroidery, couching and laid work are techniques in which yarn or other materials are laid across the surface of the ground fabric and fastened in place with small stitches of the same or a different yarn.[1]

Once you take a closer look at this type of embellishment, as shown in the last picture of the post, it is mind boggling to absorb; how much time and attention to detail, goes into this type of needle work.

DSC_0601

DSC_0599DSC_0603

A Fall Scene ~ 1970’s Lemay Embroidered Denim ~ Get Fresh With Flowers & High On Mushrooms

Check out this fabulous Lemay seventies embroidered denim shirt. It is heavy enough to be worn as a jacket. The scene on the front depicts sprigs of flowers only; but on the back, the mushrooms are taking over! The logo on the label, is of a dog (at least I think it’s a dog) smoking a pipe. Overall – this shirt is happy and well done. I bet she was donned, and danced like a diva – at a few hippie music festivals over the years!

DSC_0600

 

DSC_0598DSC_0603DSC_0590DSC_0594

Gottex In Bright Hues ~ A Sybaritic Summer ~ From A Walk On The Beach ~ To A Picnic On The Dunes

Leah Gottlieb (1918-2012) and her family, were the founders of Gottex. The company was started in 1956, in Tel Aviv. Her vision was to design luxury brand swimwear and beachwear; with the relaxed versatility, enabling seamless meandering – from the beach or poolside, to luncheons, cocktails, and romantic summer evenings.

Gottex swimsuits have graced such figures as Diana Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor and Brooke Shields. In 1975, the company was approached by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin, with a request to design swimwear lines for them. Instead, she chose to remain independent and grow her own brand. Vintage Gottex resort wear, made in Israel, is deluxe in artistry, colour, and uniqueness. True to her word – it is an all around uplifting brand!

DSC_0604DSC_0626DSC_0627DSC_0596DSC_0589DSC_0605

1920’s Silk Chiffon ~ An Ethereal Embroidered & Beaded Dress Ensemble

This 1920’s silk chiffon dress ensemble, is remarkable in how it is made, and even more so, in that the condition is near mint. The base dress was originally without a zipper, and would slip over your head to put it on. Wisely, this dress had a back zipper put in, to avoid stretching and pulling the delicate fabric, when putting it over your head, especially so, given the dress has sleeves. The zipper was put in professionally and stitched by hand. The entire dress is made by hand, to include all of the embroidery and beadwork, as well as the edging and seams. It is rolled and hand stitched, similar to a luxury scarf. The base dress is sheer, and is also covered in the same complex pattern of embroidery and beadwork.

The second layer, like the base layer, is extensively embroidered and beaded. It slips over your head, and attaches at one shoulder, draping diagonally over the dress. This makes one side semi sheer, and risqué, while the other side is draped in folds of silk, like a Roman goddess. The other minor change that was made, was on the left shoulder, where the second layer of the dress is attached. It was changed to a narrow strip of velcro. This too, saved the dress, since the weight of the fabric pulling on hook and eye fasteners, would have eventually torn the fabric. Thankfully, the dress has maintained all of its original glory and design, without damage, which is a rarity in 1920’s clothing.

It is of the calibre of the Callot Soeurs dress designs, when life was seen to imitate art and drama. A few breathtaking poses, show the remaining posies, of the most intricate dresses – ever put on the stage.

DSC_0536DSC_0540DSC_0537DSC_0526DSC_0520DSC_0483

Avante-Garde Hand Painted Silk Dress ~ With Carved Faces On Red Headed Buttons

Another beautiful vintage/antique dress to share, with a handkerchief  hemline, and the 1920’s stylish silhouette. The pattern on the front is both magical and mesmerizing. Many of the 1920’s dresses are lavishly beaded and embroidered. This dress features a hand painted design so avant-garde – it vacillates between sophistication and the desires of her heart. A damsel so charmed, she fans the coquettish. One would suppose – she is a wee bit standoffish, and so very hard to get – as to command a chic nonchalance. For she knows when she arrives she will steal all the glances. The buttons are so done up. With little carved faces, heart shaped lips, and wild red hair, standing straight up on end. What an eloquent way to dress for a smile. She scores a ten on being a classy and fanciful exclusive. She is an original and we get to admire – another fine example of how Art marries Style.

DSC_0482DSC_0474DSC_0472DSC_0475DSC_0485DSC_0470Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). 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.

Beautiful & Opulent ~ 1950’s Fuji Kogyo Gold Damask Robe Featuring Embroidered Velvet Accents

This beautiful vintage robe boasts breathtaking distinction. It is embellished and embodied in the warmth of the Mt. Fuji silk patterned textile. The luminescent textile is further enhanced by an extensive amount of pin tucking around the lapel, collar, sleeves, and pockets. The embroidery is done on a backdrop of black velvet, contrasting with the gold, to enhance the vibrant colours of the embroidered floral accents. It is completed with a black trimmed, gold tasseled belt. It has a western design, with the artistry and beauty of the Japanese aesthetic. This robe, like the Cantonese piano shawl in the previous post – captures the culture and talent of an era, to give us another shining snap shot of the rich history and artistry in textiles.

DSC_0428DSC_0432DSC_0440DSC_0446DSC_0419DSC_0433Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). 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.

Get A Fix On This ~ 1920’s Fringed Cantonese Embroidered Piano Shawl Featuring Birds & Flowers

I realize vintage clothing hunting is an addiction, but ironically it can’t get the best of you, because you are looking for the best in it. Every score is a fix. Unlike gambling and certain other addictions – you don’t lose it before you get (it) homeYou can wake up in the morning and look at it without regret. Certain things can be marvelled at every time you look at them. There is the initial amazement when you first spot it. Following that, the enthusiasm and desire to get it home and spread it out, or put it on a mannequin to photograph and examine it more carefully from different angles.

The Cantonese piano shawl featured in this post, is in my top ten highest of vintage fixes. The biggest rush is in the colourful array of embroidered birds. The embroidery technique used to make the feathers looks so real, vibrant and alive. It features several different kinds of birds, some perched, others in flight. The macrame around the edges and long silk fringe, is almost like extravagant hair. It is a large and most impressive work of Cantonese textile art, which was so avant-garde in the fashion circles of the twenties. There was another flurry of dramatic piano shawl poses in the sixties.

It is a show don’t tell true treasure from the archives of the past. The first picture in the post represents the 1960’s iconic comeback of the piano shawl. It is a stunning photo of Raquel Welch taken by Franco Rubartelli for Italian Vogue magazine in 1969. She is wearing a Valentino 1920’s inspired piano shawl, complemented with an amazing sterling silver and turquoise squash blossom necklace.

r-piano-shawl-1

Photo by Franco Rubartelli for Italian Vogue Magazine 1969 Raquel Welch Wearing A Valentino Piano Shawl & A Squash Blossom Necklace

DSC_0342DSC_0328DSC_0330DSC_0341DSC_0332DSC_0325DSC_0328Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). 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.

Versus Versace Leather Trousers – A “Juxta ~ Pose” – In Rock Chic & Hip Flowers

DSC_0309

DSC_0304DSC_0333DSC_0313

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). 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.

Celebrating Textile Art To Wear

DSC_0290

Embroidered Applique Of A Dancing Woman On The Back Of A Robe – Estimated 1970’s. Made in India.

DSC_0321

Japanese Yuzen Dyed Silk Kimono

DSC_0505

Richilene 1980’s Formal Gown – Bodice Of Gold Metallic Embroidery & Sequins. Made In USA.

Henri Bendel Silver & Blue Metallic Thread Weaved Into Floral Pattern. Made in New York 1980’s.

Galassia cropped trousers with faux fur and beaded flowers, made in Italy

Galassia Cropped Trousers With Plush Wide Cuffs, Studs & Beadwork. Made In Italy.

DSC_0293

1950’s Strapless Gown With Blue On Black Embroidery

Featuring Gene Shelly’s Boutique International California ~ A 1960’s Thousand Hour Gown

DSC_0413DSC_0422DSC_0441DSC_0447DSC_0396DSC_0456DSC_0285Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). 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.

Roger Freres Elegant & Exclusive ~ Open Weave 1970’s Formal Gown Made in France

Featuring French couturier Roger Freres – a stunning late sixties or early seventies formal gown, made of a most unique and decorative textile. The fabric resembles blue and white string, wound and looped into a lace-like theme pattern. It may be described as macrame or guipure – but is not like any other fabric I have seen. The material and design is enhanced with a concentric floral motif to accentuate the hemline, bodice and sleeves. The patterned, open weave fabric is draped and fitted over a thick ivory satin – which makes the dress fairly heavy.

When I bought this dress, I was fascinated by the fabric and design, but was not familiar with the designer. I soon learned that vintage Roger Freres dresses are a vintage rarity. The few I have seen in doing research on this designer – are listed on 1stdibs. Each dress is exquisitely unique – made with the highest standards and most incredible fabrics. Check this one out and see for yourself – if you have ever seen anything like it!

DSC_0299

DSC_0313DSC_0305DSC_0317DSC_0315DSC_0286Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). 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.

If You’re Hot ~ Lace Trimmed Vintage Summer Dress Embellished With Plastic Flowers

DSC_0287DSC_0285DSC_0295DSC_0291Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). 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.

Oh How Wilt Thou Pose ~ As A Full Bodied Rose?

This funky 1960’s red linen mini dress features a gold hand painted rose, that goes from the shoulder to the thigh. If you love roses – why not wear one? It’s guaranteed not to wilt!

1960's hand painted red linen mini dress

1960’s Hand Painted Gold Rose on Red Linen Mini Dress

Hand Painted Rose on 1960's Red Linen Mini Dress

DSC_0325

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). 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.

 

 

February Feature of the Month ~ 1950’s Art to Wear Beaded Sweater

For those who have done extensive needlework, embroidery and beading on fine garments – they can readily see the time and craftsmanship involved in these creations from the past. However – it is hard for most of us to imagine the time and patience required to bead such a sweater as the one featured in this post. The fifties era holds claim to some of the most beautifully artistic beaded sweaters of all time. These fine beaded sweaters have what it takes to hob nob with the most cherished mid-century vintage and luxury designer pieces. It is rare to find them in good condition (especially the lighter coloured ones) – that have survived the rigours of the past sixty five years to age as gracefully as this!

DSC_0458

If you happen to have a hand beaded sweater from the fifties that needs cleaning; the following description is a common-sense method of care and cleaning that I use for beaded woollens:

– Rule number one is to handle it very gently, for the sake of the beadwork as well as the wool. Create a bath of water that is blood warm or body temperature, not quite tepid. Add and mix Zero and then gently insert the sweater.

– If the sweater has a stain, you can put some Oxiclean directly on the stain and see if it will lift it out. Swirl gently. Don’t soak it for very long.

– Empty the bath and add water to rinse two or three times until the soap is rinsed out. Lay it flat on a rack with a big towel over it and gently shape it.

– If the lining has stains or colour bleed from the exterior, in my experience, they are less likely to come out than stains in the wool.

– However, if the lining is white cotton and lifts away from the sweater, you can insert a white linen hankie between the lining and the wool. This enables you to treat the stain on the lining without coming in contact with the wool on the sweater.

In the case of the sweater shown in this post, the lining is synthetic. It appears that the colour from the surface beading and thread, over time, has leeched onto the lining in certain spots. I have not attempted to treat that, because it is not visible, and is not likely to come out. It is not worth taking any risk that might damage the exterior of the sweater.

The other tip to share with those of you who have an interest in preserving this type of artwork on textiles, especially with wool – is to put the item in a snap lid plastic container and freeze it for 24 hours. You can do this even before washing it. Freezing kills moth larva and is a good practice for maintaining fine vintage woollens. But, don’t wash it immediately after freezing it. Let it return to room temperature first. The idea is not to shock it too much. Also, a drop or two of neem oil can be mixed with the Zero for washing certain woollens – as an extra prophylaxis.

 

DSC_0451

DSC_0459DSC_0461

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). 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.

January Feature of the Month ~ 1920’s Embroidered Piano Shawl

This gorgeous silk hand embroidered piano shawl is still luxurious and vibrant, almost a hundred years after it was made with painstaking patience. This one, fortunately, has been stored away from dust and direct sunlight over the years. Piano shawls have to be handled with great care to avoid knotting and tangling the fringe. Originally made to cover pianos, these shawls were used in elaborate fashion photo shoots in the twenties with a revival featured in Vogue magazine in the late sixties. The last two pictures in the post show the reverse side of some of the embroidery.

1920's hand embroidered silk fringed piano shawl

1920’s Hand Embroidered Silk Fringed Piano Shawl

DSC_0317

DSC_0351

DSC_0302

DSC_0362

DSC_0365

DSC_0299

Reverse Side

Reverse Side

Reverse Side

Reverse Side

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). 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.

Vintage Reflections ~ In Sunlight & Shadows

For those of us who love the intrigue and beauty of vintage fashion, it often extends beyond the way we dress to the way we decorate our homes. The linens, lace, artwork, and furniture are part of the quintessential blend of vintage expression and reflection. The use of textiles with the varied patterns, stained glass to catch the changing light, hand made Persian carpets, and fine hand-painted Asian porcelain are among my favourite things for home decor. Whatever attracts us to a bygone era, whether it is a form of escapism, or the realization that some things, especially things that are created as a labor of love – are worth our appreciation and care.

Creative efforts generally produce positive values. Every creative endeavour that has lasting value requires intensive effort. For some, it is an immeasurable effort that may never bring recognition to the individual in his or her lifetime. But, as we all know – creative effort and energy, freely shared, as a labor of love – provides returns that are rich in intrinsic enjoyment and fulfilment. Once an idea is captured and turned into something tangible – it takes on a life of its’ own, often outliving the person who created it.

The best summary of creative effort that I read many years ago, simply stated that “creativity is judged by the number of people who are moved by it.” It brings joy to the individual and has the potential to make a lasting impression. Of all the things I have collected and studied closely, marvelling at the time and attention to detail that went into creating it, I feel gratitude toward whoever made it. It makes me think of the philosophical aspects of materialism and how it paradoxically (in my mind) contrasts and competes with idealism. Because essentially, without idealism  – nothing matters.

vintage home decor

Vintage Reflections In Sunlight & Shadows

DSC_0427

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2014). 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.

Wrapping Our Heads Around Scarves

There are scarves everywhere. Hundreds of them steadily turn up in every thrift store. A high percentage of them are boring. By boring, I mean there is no sensation that is evoked from the fabric. That, combined with a lack of strong visual appeal, is what creates the first impression. As part of the hunt, I have developed some shortcuts, based on the first impression. Although it sounds crazy – I skim the masses and look for a scarf that is alive. Alive with the sensation of the fabric, vibrant colours and an intriguing design. Then I check the hem, labels, corners, and look for signatures.

And sure enough, sooner or later, out of hundreds – one stands out in vibrancy and touch. It feels luxurious and the colors interplay beautifully within the canvas of the design. The edges are hand rolled and hand stitched. Such a scarf, when folded and draped, still captures and blends the components of the design.

To share a few things I have learned about luxury scarves:

Consider the fabric – Natural fabric is the most luxurious. It absorbs and captures the colors more vibrantly than synthetics. Silk and cashmere are also the warmest and softest to wear around your neck.

Consider the design – When laid flat, a scarf is like a canvas. The more colors and complexity, that which embodies detailed and sophisticated artwork – the more luxurious the scarf. The identification of artists among the famous scarf makers like Hermes, is a specialty of its own. What makes a luxury scarf really stand out in my opinion, is the way the fabric drapes and folds, bringing out smaller components of the design, that seem to blend beautifully no matter how you fold, drape or tie it.

Consider the colours – The most expensive scarves have the most number of colours, usually in a dynamic and vibrant range. Similar to offset printing, the more colour, the more expensive it is to set up and run the press.

Consider the finishing – No matter how you fold or tie a scarf, the finishing or edging is apparent. Luxury scarves have hand rolled and hand stitched hems. This complements and frames the scarf with a rounded softness and impeccable corners that do not have loose threads and linear flatness. I have read that it takes a good seamstress at least an hour to hand sew the hem of a scarf. But the time it takes would vary quite a bit, depending on the size of the scarf.

Expanding fashion horizons – Some scarves are truly beautiful works of art. The little bit that I have learned does not delve into the artistry of individual designers too much. But the artistry captures the imagination and makes you realize that it is an entire arena of fine arts, with much to be learned and appreciated.

The first two images in the post feature a silk Hermes scarf by H d’Origny, an artist well known for designing silk ties. He is now in his eighties. The two scarves featured below the Hermes, are scarves that in my opinion, are among the finest examples of luxury scarves. Both are vintage signed Louis Feraud scarves. The others are some more examples of beautiful scarves with interesting designs.

DSC_0429

DSC_0430A0029main copy

The Image

The Impressionistic Image

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2014). 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.

The Old Spinning Wheel

The other night I was talking to a woman about how certain aptitudes seem to come down through the generations, like it is in your blood. She was telling me about her own history in Prince Edward Island coming from a background of artists and how she learned about, and developed an appreciation for beautiful things.

My earliest recollection of my Swedish grandmother, is of watching her spend hours upon hours, spinning and carding wool. I knew she found solace in the rhythmic constancy of the spinning. She also made beautiful quilts. She fashioned bits of satin into flowers of all different colours, to create a big bouquet in the center. Then she would embroider stems and apply the leaves. Sometimes she made the flowers out of a combination of fabrics – brocades, velvet or printed cottons. The quilt, with its layers of wool in the center, was her canvas.

The spinning looked simple enough. As an adult, I have not had a chance to study  many spinning wheels. When I did, I realized it is not that simple. I chatted with a woman who does spin, and is quite passionate about it. She said she had learned how to spin from watching You Tube videos, which makes a great deal of sense, since you can pause it and go over sections, you don’t yet grasp. She also explained, how at first it is a real struggle, like you want to tear your hair out. But then – when you get it, you can’t understand why you found it so difficult. I told her about my grandmother and how it almost seemed like spinning was an escape for her, and a way to relax – while shutting the world out.

From what I have read, spinning is an art form. Like other art forms, there is a variety of ways to approach it. In essence it is the art of twisting fiber, fleece, wool, silk, alpaca, angora, mohair, flax, etc. into a continuous thread. It can be spun thick or thin, plyed or unplyed, dyed, or left natural.

The You Tube website is called “The Joy of Spinning”. It turns out spinning does have an effect on the limbic system, and pathways in the brain, to create a sort of Zen-like state. You get into a flow, yet at the same time, you have to maintain concentration.

Although I don’t know how to spin yarn in the real sense, I am most convinced there is joy and relaxation to be found in doing so.

Because my Grandma proved something to me long ago…Our brains like to spin!

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2014). 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.

What Makes Vintage Clothing Collectible ~ It’s All in the Details

Black vintage dress with pink honeycomb sleeve detail

Vintage Dress With Honeycomb Sleeve Detail

BlueDesigner

1950’s Ray Hildebrand

DSC_0295

1950’s Hand Embroidered Strapless Gown

DSC_0352

1960’s With Applique, Covered Buttons & Rhinestones

DSC_0543

1960’s Dress Featuring Black Lace on a Pink Background

1950's Hand Embroidered Designer Cotton Designer Dress

Leo Danal 1950’s Hand Embroidered Cotton Dress

DSC_0593

1960’s JS Missy Creation

DSC_0622

1970’s Richilene Silk Gown

D0074upper

1950’s Black Cocktail Dress With Flowered Waist Band