Sunday, March 8, 2020

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Friday Floral, Vintage Fair Finds; Yeti, Leopard and Snakeskin Shop, and Cat Pics

Hello, my friends! I hope you've all had a good weekend! I had a very busy start, which has slowed down to quite a chilled-out end (plus the "spring ahead" time change). 
This is Friday's work outfit. I had plans to go directly to the Spring Vintage Fair right after work, so my outfit was planned around their springy theme.

  • Cardigan - Jacob, thrifted; last seen here in November 2019 in a monochrome wine outfit
  • Sleeveless top - Ellen Tracy, swap from Caro; last worn here in February with other neutrals
  • Trousers - H&M, consignment, Vancouver; last seen here in January with difficult velvet
  • Shoes - Half Truth Veda, Fluevog; last worn here (2nd outfit) in February for brunch
  • Coat (below) - Paparazzi, thrifted, Vancouver; last seen here (2nd outfit) to see a concert in December 2019

The big floof of flowers is a necklace - I wore the cardigan's top button done up all day, and many of my coworkers thought the flowers were part of it.
My Big Lady Boss Pants are always popular.
They've definitely been one of my better purchases of the past year.
I'm definitely ready for the weekend! Book Club wrapped up around 11pm, so I was rather tired on Friday.

Outerwear - knowing I'd be walking around the Vintage Fair in my coat, I had to pick this spectacular beauty. It's black denim covered in embroidery.
L had the day off - thanks for taking out the recycling! 

I only wore wool gloves in addition to the coat - I was very chilly by the time we headed home on Friday night.
But how classy I look! I had many compliments on my outfit overall, both on the street and at the Fair.

  • Gloves - Parkhurst

The stuff:
Vintage Fair outfits also require shoes that I can stand/walk in for 2+ hours. I'm a very thorough shopping and like to look at everything. These shoes are getting really worn out, but I love them.

Floral bling:
There's the floral neck-piece. I bought it over 10 years ago in at the now-gone She She Shoes (in their first location!).

  • Necklace - local
  • Belt buckle - Shi Studios, thrifted
  • Belt - Leatherworld
  • Silver/amethyst ring - vintage mall, first wearing - purchased for $25.00
  • Earrings - Aldo Accessories

So...I did really well at the Vintage Fair! I always set myself a budget (usually $100 cash), but I spent an additional $60-ish this year due to one amazing piece that I found right at the end. 

Here we go - this is the order I found things. I started downstairs in the Women In Need (WIN) room - they save "Special" items for these fairs, so there are many things that haven't seen the light of day in their stores. 

I could tell that this purse was quality from the leather strap, but when I got home I had serious doubts about it being authentic...until I took a really good look, and also did some searching around online to learn more about it. 

Such a classic bag! I like the neutral black/brown/tan pattern.

The pattern is actually embossed Ts and Ls in little blocks (which are rotated, not consistently one direction).
The metal plate says "Ted Lapidus" - have you heard of him? I recognized the name from my fashion readings - here's his Wikipedia link (all links here because I love, of course). He apprenticed to Dior, and was very into suiting, creating the first "safari suit" in the 70s.

The reason I thought this might be fake is that the strap and the supporting side piece are the only bits that are leather on the whole bag.
Another "TL" monogram.

A nice pocket in the back.
I do like an extra pocket!

Excellent (and correct, according to authentic bags on designer resell sites) hardware, with another "name".
The extra tab for holding down the strap end is a nice detail.

The brown/black portions are PVC/vinyl, which is a big reason I doubted the authenticity of this purse.
The tan interior with more "shadow" names in a criss-cross pattern - it's also faux leather.

The bag is nice and roomy - I won't be able to fit a pair of shoes in there, but it'll hold a lot. It doesn't look like it's been used at all.
I paid $31.00 for it. After some very in-depth research, I think this is an authentic bag, probably from the 90s or 00s. Ted Lapidus doesn't seem to be big enough of a name to copy/imitate, and the use of vinyl with leather accents on his bags seems to go back to the 90s. I see bags online similar to this from $59.99 up to $350.00, so I'm happy with what I paid.

I'm always on the lookout for a good quality belt in a handy colour.
I didn't have a teal one! This is leather, bonded with PVC lining.

I love the gold accents. The inside of the buckle is stamped "Century Canada" which I know from my black leather bag purchase of last April (here) - they made hardware for belts and bags back in the 80s.
So a good Canadian-made belt for $8.00? Sold!

I spotted this wonderful vest and knew right away it was quality. It has breast pocket flaps, and waist flaps (neither are actual pockets).
The fabric is a waffle weave, printed with a cream on rust woven pattern.
Although there's another button-hole on the lapel, there isn't a button on the other side, and the lapels are stitched down so that they lay flat - an interesting detail.

Side slits - this is really well-made.
Look at this wonderful button!
It's like a little bowl!

I gasped when I saw the label inside! I know Geoffrey Beene!
I often refer to the Vintage Fashion Guild (link here) for their info on vintage labels. For Geoffrey Beene (here), this label is squarely from the 1960s (which I'd already guessed, but I love having it confirmed).

Geoffrey Beene died in 2004 - this obituary from the NY Times is awesome, worth reading - here. I have a bottle of his Grey Flannel men's cologne that belonged to my dad, that I bought in the 80s (picture here - it's on the right side, grey bottle).
I'm showing off the unusually-cut armholes here - they are really wide to allow full range-of-motion (something that he was known for: clothing that moved with the body). As you can see, this was $18.00!

And then...I further down the racks, and OMG IT'S A SUIT!!
YES. I tried this on over my pants and it fit, so heart thumping, I happily headed to the check-out to pay for my vintage designer suit!

The skirt has pockets! My head explodes.
This pocket is completely hidden on the front - on the other side, it's part of the zip seam.

I am doing a bit of a "deep dive" into this suiting, as it really demonstrates what we no longer see in fashion manufacture today.
I turned my skirt inside out - the entire backside of the fabric is lined with a chiffon - there are a few tears in this where the former owner may have shifted while sitting and pulled the lining apart. That is the only condition issue I could find.

Look at the finishing!
Wrapped edges so that the hem won't catch.

I found the "Union made" International Ladies Garment Workers Union label.
This would have been made in the USA (as Beene was a US designer). The IGLWU ended in 1995.

The skirt was $22.00, so the full suit was only $40.00.
I spotted a Geoffrey Beene 2-piece suit on a couture re-sell site for $430+, so this is a real score! I'm super-excited to wear this.

I did well at one of my favourite booths - I always find a few things. Cat and Ross joined me in ogling all the cool stuff at this table, before they headed off to the pub.
In addition to the fun earrings, I found 3 miniature oil paintings. There were more paintings, all dated 1916 on them - these ones are not dated, but I'm guessing they are the same era. There was a larger lady (not as good as this one), and two bucolic hunting scenes.

The earrings are stamped "West Germany" which means they are pre-1990.
They have some age on them, and due to the clip-on style, I think they are from the 60s. They were $10.00.

This painting is of a nude lady in front of a red curtain.
It's signed "Germaine".

Nothing on the back - I could remove that cardboard to see if there is anything under there.
Or I could just leave it.

The sailing ship is signed "G.M." in red. I am guessing that "Germaine" is the first name.
I like the rustic frames on all of these.
It looks like it's painted on a piece of chalkboard, doesn't it? The sticker says "Art Store Montreal" - and it looks like the miniature frame might have had something else in it prior to these, as the backside of the frame has a lot of old glue/paper marks.
L has been wanting a big sailing ship painting for ages, so this is my first find for him! This is also signed "G.M."

Same backside. that writing on the back?
A closer look and playing with the light/angles/camera settings, reveals a 1612 in the upper left (probably the date of the painting that the artist copied, I'd guess). I can also read "polychrome" at the bottom.

The sailing ship also has a number: 1622, this time.
It also says "polychrome". I couldn't find anything about a Montreal artist or art store from around 1916, so this was probably someone who dabbled in painting as a hobby. I'm putting the lady in the bathroom, and the other two in our hallway. The lady was $9.50 and the other two were $6.50 each.

These yellow earrings caught my eye.
They were $9.00 and are likely from the 80s.

This lovely sweater appealed to me. I love a good black and white print, and the rust and teal are very appealing.
I like the zigzag knit.

We had a chuckle at the label - fiber by Monsanto (the world's "Most Evil Corporation" reads one headline I found online!). Yes, that Monsanto, manufacturer of DDT, Agent Orange and bioengineerer of food.
This sweater is by Bernice Creations by A.M. Knitwear and is likely from the 1970s. I paid $10 for it.

I snatched this amazing purse up the second I saw it!
WOW, that is a stunner!

From my research, the hardware on this is some sort of plastic (varying resellers refer to this as Bakelite (not likely) or celluloid).
What I note is that there are no mold lines on the hardware. Each piece seems to have been molded as is under heat, and then trimmed when soft.

The hinge areas had some wear - this piece has been much loved by its previous owner.
You can see that the ends of the "plastic" have been sliced off. The cream colour is enamel over aluminum.

The rings on the chain handle are spirals that have been cut and glued, again, likely with heat applied.
I love this kind of detail.

The open purse has lovely thick black grosgrain fabric lining and a generous pocket - it holds a lot.
And is that a label I see??

It is! It's a Whiting & Davis Co. "Alumesh" bag. Made in the USA. I know this name from my snake bracelet (here) purchased at a previous vintage fair.
Note also that the frame is stitched to the rest of the bag.

This was $16.00 (it felt like a STEAL), but again, you can see the "as is"  damage from long use.

I have no issues with that - it's not visible when carrying the bag. I found this excellent article here about Whiting & Davis' bag history, including this:

White enameled bags made of larger bubbled mesh known as Alumesh were also manufactured during the late 1930s. These durable bags featured both metal mesh and handles made of plastic along with high-quality grosgrain fabric lining.

There you go - it's from the late 1930s, although they made these throughout the 40s and 50s too. I think mine is pretty old - it's got some age on it. It takes a long time for enamel to wear off.

This was the item that was my crowning glory from the fair, though. Look at this dress!
So. Shiny! AHHH!

This marvelous brocade dress still has its faux leather belt - you don't see those often/ever, as they've been lost along the way.
Please take a gander at the LIONS on it.

Those are very Etruscan-looking (compare here), aren't they?
As you can tell, this is all woven, not printed.
Incredible brocade!

I like how these lions are lined up along the seam.
It's such a sign of a high-quality garment, but why do I really care?

Because it's a POCKET!
This dress has pockets!

A wonderful old zipper, and a very tight hook-and-eye at the top.
Although this dress has some wear (you can see it below at the top of the zipper), it's in really good condition. It has probably only been worn a couple of times at most.
I'd never heard of The Arkin Collections, but "made in the crown colony of Hong Kong"? That's at least before 1997, and with that vintage size 14, that backs the date up to pre-Great Size Shift of 1986.

The Arkin Collections seems to have been one of the labels from the Arkin family, headed by Leonard Arkin (link here).
You can see some underarm wear when I turn the dress inside out. I also see a little straggly bit of thread in one seam.

The backside of all this lame (lah-MAY, darling!) brocade is fully lined with a sheer chiffon-like fabric to keep it from being scratchy against the wearer's skin.
I also see bound seams here, and a thread keeping the lining down with the exterior fabric (near my finger on the left).

Such amazing finishing on the inside.
You would never see this nowadays, which is a cryin' shame. Such quality!
When I dug up inside the dress, I discovered that stray bunch of thread was...
The size 14 label bunched up inside - that's a modern size 10, by the way. I did not try this dress on - I risked it, considering that vintage sizing often fits a very hourglass shape, which I'm lucky to have, and also has no stretch, and holding it up to myself. I tried it on when I got home and it was a perfect fit!

I'd estimate that this dress is from the 1960s based on the label research, and the style, and as noted, was probably only worn a couple of times for parties (I bet she danced the night away!). Would you believe this was only $40?? What a steal. I can't wait to wear it - when's the next party?

Lastly, I put this silk scarf back, then panicked. I want it!
It's brown with a cream background.

And a lot of galloping horses. Such an equestrian vibe! You know I love me some equestrian looks.
100% pure silk, made in France (classy!). However, I see that the edges are machine-sewn, not hand-rolled, so this is not super-old. That is an old-ish-looking label; maybe the 70s? It was $16.00.

Happy with all my purchases, I strolled down to Brown's Crafthouse and met up with a big bunch of our friends for dinner and drinks. It was fun showing them all the cool stuff I'd found (their drunken enthusiasm was hilarious).

On Saturday morning, L and I were up early to meet Ali and Chris at the Ruby for breakfast.
"It's about time you got up, Woman!"

Vizzini demanded tummy rubs and cuddles. I'm still in my robe and slippers.
"I've suffered a house full of people, followed by an empty house. The only cure is tummy rubs."

After some delays due to cat demands, I got dressed. Yvonne had returned the Yeti coat to me on Friday night (she wore it at the VFF Gala here) and I haven't yet worn it this season, so no time like the present.
All the animals! Yeti, leopard and snakeskin!

  • Jacket - Kimchi Blue; last worn here in November 2018 with giraffe and cashmere
  • Top - Bossini, thrifted; last seen here (layered) in January
  • Skirt - Banana Republic Heritage, thrifted; last worn here in November 2019
  • Shoes - Gabor; last seen here (4th outfit) in February 

A simple outfit for me - I left the yeti jacket on for most of the time I was out.
I don't like this top - the neck is too tight, so once I've washed it, it's to the giveaway pile for it. I paid $7.95 for it and wore it four times, though - I'm happy with $2.00 per wear.

This is probably the last wearing for this leopard skirt before it's packed away - I won't make the mistake of culling it again! I tend to keep my shortest minis out for tight season, so that I don't feel so exposed with bare legs.
I do my hair in pincurls while I put my make-up on. It's mostly gone within an hour - look at the stair picture, which is taken 10 minutes after my indoor shots, to see how much the curl drops out!

I had fun wearing this outfit. This coat gets a lot of looks and comments.
The faux fur part wafts gently, bobbing and waving as I walk.
I love wearing such statement pieces.

My outerwear was the coat done up and a pair of fingerless gloves.
I was happy to get home and warm up!

  • Gloves - Parkhurst

The stuff:
These have been a good purchase for me too - they are great walking shoes, and I feel like they go with everything.

  • Lapis lazuli ring/Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Earrings - Glee

I may have gone for a little wander after breakfast...I really needed new underwear, plus I wanted to venture into the Bay to see if they had any tights on clearance - I've blown through a lot of my tights in the last few months. I don't like shopping retail, but sometimes it's necessary.

I did go to Flavour Upstairs, where I found a couple of things for L, and this suede dress for me.
Oh, HELL yes!

It's just gorgeous - thick, soft leather, fully lined, well-placed straps.
I'll be layering tops under this, although I could wear it with a strapless bra and be scandalous. Heh.

It's by Margaret Godfrey Bagatelle - my fellow Canadians will know that name from the high-end boutiques back in the 80s. This is an awesome photo series of clothes by here, here, and a bit of history about her and Bagatelle here.
This is mostly likely from the 80s, before the Great Size Shift. It was $34.99.
Made in Canada - that vintage size 12 is a modern size 8.

I still had some of my gift card to the Patch, and they had a 50% off all winter clothing deal, so I popped in there for a good look around.
"You should have been home with me."

Compared to my exquisitely-made vintage finds, this dress is so cheaply made (no lining, no zippers, exposed serged edges, but I love the bright blue colour and the simple style. The gold zipper down the back is fun, as are the bell sleeves.
It's by Calvin Klein and was $14.99 (that's half price) off my gift card, so, free! I'll probably wear it a couple of times and then pass it along to a friend. I also stocked up on half-price micro-holed cashmere sweaters to replace the disintegrating ones L and I wear around the house. 

And now, it's time to give my cantankerous little guy some attention. 
"You're dead to me."

I'm sure we can come to a cuddle accord!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. I love when you find these great vintage pieces and then give us links to more information about the designers -- fascinating!!!

    1. Aw, thanks, Cynthia! I love learning about the designers too!

  2. First of all, I really like both outfits you shared. The pink trousers are gorgeous and the floral coat you paired them with is just wow. The mini skirt outfit is very attractive. I like the black turtleneck paired with a printed mini and boots.

    You found some amazing things in this vintage fair. The matching skirt suit is so beautiful and it's great it had pockets...the dress with pockets is lovely too. Nice miniature oil paintings as well.

    1. Thanks, Ivana! I have so much fun making outfits, including on the weekends.

      I am stunned by the quality of the Beene suit - I can't wait to wear it. It's so fun hunting for vintage things!

  3. You got so many great things! I can't wait to see how you wear that suit, what fun! And I really like that blue dress, what a brilliant shade! :)

    1. I'm wearing the blue dress today - it's a perfect Monday jammy dress. I'll be wearing the suit later on this week, so stay tuned! Thanks, Mica!

  4. Love the Big Lady Boss Pants. And that might be a missing Vermeer!

    1. Lol, yes, Germaine Vermeer, I'm sure of it! ;-P Thanks, Ally!

  5. We only have the time change end of March, which is soon enough for me. I'm very tired and not ready to give up an hour of sleep :-) I'm absolutely loving Friday's pink and burgundy outfit, and the flower necklace is a delight. You found the most amazing things at the vintage fair. The mini paintings are sweet! But I actually gasped when I saw that 1960s suit! I'm in love with the "Monsanto" jumper too. As for that "Alumesh" purse: be still my beating heart! xxx

    1. I was thinking of you when I found all of the 60s pieces, Ann! Isn't the suit astounding? I can't wait to wear it all! Thank you so much!

  6. What totally fabulous buys from the vintage fair! I just adore the handbag and the suit and that amazing dress...didn't you do well! Loved your outfits and that embroidered denim coat is so gorgeous.

    Our time change is still a couple of weeks away...can't wait for the longer evenings.

    Have a great week, Sheila.

    1. I did so well, I'm amazed at myself, lol! Thanks, Vronni! I hate the time change - we were supposed to have gotten rid of it, but our provincial gov is waiting for the west coast of the US to go first.

  7. Oh wow wow wow! That suit!! I adore it. And the house scarf! Oh my God! I would be thrilled if I found pieces like that! You make me want to shop in pre loved clothing shops!

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I love it too - isn't it amazing what you can find?? Please do shop in pre-loved shops! That's where all the good stuff is. :)

  8. I'm late for the party! I read your post yesterday but wanted to come back and enjoy your amazing finds at leisure.
    That Geoffrey Beene suit is gorgeous, thank you so much for showing us the details - I get so much joy from the construction of vintage clothing.
    That Hong Kong dress is a beauty, the print! I love the galloping horse print, the groovy bag and the fabulous knit, too. You did brilliantly.
    I love those paintings, I'd have bought those too. I think you're right, my artist friends often buy old oil paintings at auction just to reuse the frames.
    Loving the rock chic glam of your shaggy coat and animal print mini and snake boots and the joyful pink trousers.
    If Vizzini ever gets too demanding and naughty for you to cope with send him my way! xxxx

    1. I appreciate that you came back to take your time, Vix, thank you.

      I have really learned to love and understand how much work goes into a piece of fine clothing from shopping vintage. I am really happy with all of my purchases (well, maybe not those yellow earrings, but we'll see).

      Thanks so much for your thorough comments. Ha, I shall threaten Vizzini with shipping him off to England next time he gets naughty!

  9. What fabulous finds! That early to mid-century handbag is a total gem! The plastic on it is very likely celluloid or another fairly early plastic, and when in that shade (during that era) was often intended to mimic the look of ivory.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Yes, I saw various references to celluloid and/or Bakelite (not likely). It's such an incredible bag - I had to have it! Thanks, Autumn!

  10. love your Big Lady Boss Pants, so pink and so fabulous! and love your embroidered jacket and the cute floral necklace (massively floral!).
    And I'm admiring your purchases so much, particularly the brown suit and the 30's purse, which are both of them such quality pieces. Also loving the Etruscan Lions dress, its texture and motives are amazing!
    Lovely to see the Yeti coat back!, you look fabulous, love your mini skirt and cute boots!

    1. Thanks so much, Monica - I know, didn't I score well on my vintage finds? Happy to have the yeti coat back, hee hee - I love it.

  11. Your satin trousers are always a joy to see and I love your flower necklace.

    I haven’t heard of Ted Lapidus but your new bag looks very fancy!

    I love your story of how you found both pieces of the suit. That would have been exciting.

    The plastic handle on your vintage Whiting & Davis bag is so gorgeous. I always thought that was Bakelite. I wonder what it is… X

    1. Thank you! I was thrilled to find that bag. Yes, it was so exciting to discover the skirt, my heart was just thumping!

      Some sources call it Bakelite, some call it celluloid...either way, it's very early plastic.

  12. Sheila scores big yet again! It is sad to see how poorly made most modern clothing is, especially when compare with pieces like the marvelous horse-print dress and the Geoffrey Beene suit. I've come across a couple of bags very similar to the cream Whiting and Davis one in vintage stores. I like them, but I need a hands-free bag that holds lots of stuff, so I always leave them for other people. I absolutely LURV the yeti coat with the leopard mini. NEVER get rid of that mini skirt - at least not without giving me first dibs :)

    1. Yes, modern clothing looks incredibly cheap when you compare it to something like these pieces. I only use purses like this for special events - I have a giant leather hands-free cross-body bag that I use on a regular basis. I know, right? Leopard and yeti forever! Ha, noted!

  13. oh this was such a treat to read.
    who knows when i will be able to go thrifting again.
    you found some amazing things my friend. I cannot pick a favourite.
    The Ted Lapidus bag is very likely an original, they had a good name but quality was not their thing when it came to bags. Regardless i think its a beautiful bag. I tried to see the marking in the zipper, is there any?
    The Georffrey Beene suit killed me -- WOWOWOWOOWO and the construction... I want to see you wear this masterpiece.
    The alumesh bag is also another fab find. I am jealous ;)

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, my dear! I know, I don't know either - thank goodness I have a ginormous closet!

      Yes, I was disappointed in the quality of the Lapidus bag. No markings other than what I've shown.

      I know, right??? The Beene!! Outfit comin' up, you'll ese it.

      I love the bag - I need to plan an outfit around it!

  14. Good to see that you got some good treasures at the Vintage Fair this year. I love that purse, those earrings, the lion dress, the blue dress etc etc.


    1. ELAINE! We missed you so much at the Vintage Fair - I really missed seeing the cool stuff you always spot. Thank you, hon!


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