Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Grey Daze; Ferre Pencil Flashback

Oh, getting out of bed today was HARD. I really wanted to sleep in, but no, I had to get up and go to work. Sigh. 

On the plus side, I will get to wear more work clothes and create more work outfits. That's a good thing. 
Today is a little grey outside, and I'm a little grey in my head too. It's just that time of year, when I'm fumbling around in a daze.

  • Sweater - Iris Setlakwe, thrifted; purchased here for $39.95
  • Skirt - Gianfranco Ferre for Giorgio Beverly Hills Boutique, vintage 80s, vintage store, Vancouver; last worn here in January 2020
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog, consignment; last seen here in April with neutral linens
  • Leather coat (below) - Danier Leather; last worn here in June

I built my outfit around this new-to-me wool and silk sweater (it has sheer-ish silk sleeves). 
I love the neckline detail - it covers my wrinkly throat, but is still a little sexy (I have a lace cami on under it). 

I unpacked my vintage Gianfranco Ferre skirt last week, with the intention of wearing it and doing a Flashback on it. 
I crossed my fingers and hoped it would still fit. 

Yay! It does! That actually feels wonderful. 
I've had this skirt since 2009, and it's one of my designer treasures. Don't you love the double front-and-back slit action? How is that not back in fashion? It makes it so easy to walk in! 

Ready for the office. 
Fewer people around today, although my boss was in. 

Outerwear - I wasn't sure if it would rain, but I'm okay with it either way.
I adore this red leather coat - I've easily worn it a couple hundred times (I have only been tracking my outerwear for 4-5 years). 

I like adding spooky elements this time of year, like my skull scarf. 

  • Scarf - 2006, MetroWear, San Francisco
  • Leather/wool gloves - vintage, thrifted
  • Mask - by Mom

I loved that my mask and shoes matched. 

The stuff: 
The black and white snakeskin/speckled pattern of these shoes is much more versatile than I thought they might be. My colleague Ngoc loved that my shoes matched my mask. 

Black bling: 
That bracelet and earrings set are silver and Mexican obsidian (it has an almost iridescent yellow interior glow), and were given to me by my Grandma J on another after-class visit while I was at university in 1985-6. The bracelet and each of the earrings are stamped "JPR" - the set is likely from the 1960s or very early 1970s.

Each of the heads on the bracelet has one earring (the others have been long missing); the ball earrings on either side of the heads are intact on the screw-on earrings. I've seen bracelets like this at vintage fairs (L actually owns one of his own), but the work is not as detailed or finely done (some are downright shabby) - and I've never seen the matching earrings before.

  • Silver/obsidian cuff/earrings - vintage Mexican, c. 1960s, Grandma J's
  • Silver/onyx ring - gift from Mom & Dad, c. 1986
  • Silver/onyx spider ring - gift from Mom & Dad, c. 1986
  • Leather cuff - Guess, thrifted

Flashback: Gianfranco Ferre Pencil Skirt

I bought this skirt at a long-gone vintage store in downtown Vancouver, on L and my anniversary in March 2009. I didn't do big trip posts or show pictures of new things I'd bought back then, so my first wearing of it (here) is when I revealed the details. 

It's by Gianfranco Ferre, and if you don't know who he is/was, you can read about him here in his obituary from June 2007 (all links 'cause I love), and about his tenure as designer for Christian Dior here, following Marc Bohan's departure from Dior.
The Giorgio Beverly Hills label was added to the Ferre one, likely because this skirt was sold at the famous Giorgio Boutique on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, which I'd never heard of at the time (I'd only known about their "Red" perfume). 

When I first posted about this skirt, one of my commenters mentioned that the boutique carried clothing and had a pool table! An obit for Fred Hayman (here) who basically founded the shopping area Rodeo Drive with this store, confirms this: 
a pool table, a cocktail bar and a newspaper rack for the main showroom, to keep men busy while their wives or girlfriends shopped. The drinks were on the house.

Nice! Anyway, it is likely that my skirt was purchased in that famous boutique originally, and then sat in someone's closet for decades until it made its way to Vancouver, where I found it on a clearance rack for....$15.00.

Vintage resellers (eg. Farfetch) list Ferre's skirts starting at $400. I actually have another piece by him (my safety-pin jacket here), which I bought on consignment for $185.00 (but retailed for $5,500!).
My skirt has a very high waist, which helps me date it to the late 80s/very early 90s. Note the nice cross-over detail at the back, shown in the pic above. 

This is the first time I wore it, back in March 2009.
I actually still have that scarf, the leopard shoes (Flashback here) and the bracelet from this outfit, but that's just one in a long line of red sweaters I've owned. 

Holy moly, my waist was tiny back then! This is May 2009, and I dressed to match my Myka bracelet that L had just bought me (this one). 
I'd forgotten all about those red shoes. 

I had to wear the skirt to celebrate my birthday month in October 2009. 
I'd just treated myself to a bunch of Shi Studios pieces (like this belt). 

I nearly always wore this skirt with shades of red (this is the same top as in the previous outfit), I'm not sure why! Also, what's up with all the shrugs?
This is from December 2009, and I'm wearing the same bracelet with a matchy brooch at the high front waist. Those are a long-gone pair of Fluevogs from around this period. 

May 2010, and I've just returned from our trip to London and Paris, and am showing off one of my purchases, this jacket that I picked up cheap in Camden Market. It didn't last long in my closet. 
Aw, that's my big chonky boy Inigo, coming in for some loving. 

Another Inigo shot, and I've switched to a rockabilly look here in August 2010.
A very early pair of turquoise heels, I bought those at Le Chateau in the early 00s. I had that pink blouse for a decade, easily. 

I just let go of this blouse, seen here in April 2011 - it's too snug in the chestal region now and has zero stretch. 
I'm showing off my deliberately exposed vintage half-slip - it's Christian Dior! Gianfranco Ferre is reunited with Dior once again. 

During my year-long 30 For 30 For 12 Wardrobe Challenge (a bunch of links for that here, scroll down), I wore this skirt three times in April's capsule. 
Only the skirt remains from this outfit, and I have just a wisp of turquoise left in my hair! 

April 2012 again. I love this mossy green with the red. And there's Vizzini - only a year old, and looking for trouble. 
We lost our dear Inigo around this time, sadly. 

Third and final outfit from April 2012. 
I let go of those shoes last year (they are in a bag for a Fluevog in-store "Swap & Shop" event that hopefully will go ahead one of these years). They were looking pretty shabby, especially after I glopped oil on them. 

One of my first deployments of "bookends" here in July 2013.
I still have that aluminum metal belt and those funky shoes (Flashback here). 

I was getting inspiration from the September issue of Vogue here in...September 2013, with dark florals.
My five dollar blouse does not go with the red shoes, which are also long gone. 

You might recognize the strappy Fluevog sandals and matchy silk Ralph Lauren scarf from this September 2013 outfit - I often wear them together, even 8+ years later!
I loved that red cropped denim jacket, but I never could get the blood-stains out of it - I fell off a bus while wearing it! 

This is the same dark floral blouse as above, layered here with magenta and pops of red. 
I was big into belting sweaters for a while. This was in January 2014.

I quite like this neutral outfit from January 2015 (a whole year between wearings!).
The eagle-eyed among you will spot some of my copper jewelry there. I still have and wear that blazer (Flashback here). 

Yet another red sweater, seen here with pops of orange in September 2015.
I loved those tights and was sad when they finally blew a hole. 

However, I'm not a fan of this outfit from January 2016. 
The proportions are all off, and my legs look stumpy. I still have that Shi Studio belt (and the shoes). 

A return to red in January 2017 (another full year between outfits), and I am regretting anew that I gave away that sweet red pussy-bow vintage blouse! 
We just saw those shoes in Flashback (here). Yvonne has that belt now. 

Finally, moving away from all that red! I paired the skirt with this complicated Helmut Lang top in November 2017. 
Y'all recognize the shoes, I'm sure. The top was ruined when I hooked it on a door in the office - it ripped huge holes in it. Sad face. 

Here's a classy look from December 2018. 
I let go of that velvet top this year (it was a cause of much Velvet Rage), but I still have that swanky Emporio Armani blazer (Flashback here). 

Deja vu on the tights! I wore this outfit in February 2019 to commemorate the death of Karl Lagerfeld - the jacket is by him. 
It's a tricky jacket to style due to all that asymmetry, so I went with a classic bottom. 

And here's the last wearing of this skirt, in January 2020. 
You can't even see the slits there! I'm showing off those new-to-me Fluevog shoes, a gift card purchase.

Mathy stuff: Wow, I really didn't think I had worn this skirt as much as I had! I am at 23 wears on it, which puts our average at a miniscule 65 cents per wear! 

I was very happy that this skirt still fits me after all these years, and I don't ever intend on getting rid of it - I'll put it into my personal archives eventually. I'm thankful that the moths have never gotten to it (I pack it away very carefully!). 

Per my "always be upgrading" motto, I lucked out and hit the pinnacle of black pencil skirts with this. I see literally hundreds of black pencil skirts in thrift and consignment stores, and I've never found one that is better. 

Do you have a favourite? How many black skirts do you own? (I have a lot!).


  1. This is a beautiful skirt on you and you have got so much wear from it! I don't have a lot of black skirts surprisingly - when I did my big wardrobe detox a few years back I tried to get rid of a lot of "duplicate" pieces I had in my wardrobe. In saying that though I still have 2 black pencil skirts I just couldn't part with, ha! Both look pretty different in person but being black the details like the piping on one and the different fabrics don't show up well on camera so I couldn't do a flashback with either as it's hard to tell exactly which one I wore although I do try to label them well!

    1. Thanks so much, Mica - it's definitely one of my treasures. I'm surprised you don't have a whack of black skirts! It's very easy to amass a lot of plain black pencil skirts, though (my friend Yvonne has that same issue). I know, the details are all different! I do dislike that black doesn't photograph well - very annoying.

  2. That sweater is gorgeous, I'm loving the unusual neckline. I did have a good chuckle when you mentioned your wrinkly throat. Surely not! Your Gianfranco Ferre clearly was a wise investment, it just oozes quality, and I'm loving the double, front and back split too. And yay on it still fitting. That's always a worry with me, when I get out next season's clothes. Once again, it was a delight to scroll through your flashback and see all the outfits and different hairstyles!
    I do hope your week is going well, and you'll soon get used to the extra day! Sending hugs xxx

    1. Thanks so much, Ann - I love that neckline too, and gosh yes, I'm starting to get the dreaded menopausal crepe-y neck! I didn't know the name when I bought it - it's only been over the last decade that I've really appreciated the score I got.

      I know, I'm trying not to get too out of shape as I want to stay fitting in all my wonderful clothes. It's good motivation! I love looking at the old hair too, as well as seeing my kitties.

      Thank you - I'm sure it will all come back. Hugs back!

  3. What a wonderful skirt. The front and back splits are genius! My favourite of the flashback was the one with the fabulous chevron tights and the one with the red vintage pussy bow blouse - lovely!

    It's dark here now by about 6.30pm and it's dark in the mornings; I don't want to get up either.

    1. It's amazing in person too, Vronni - the wool fabric and the satin lining are to die for. I like those ones too!

      It gets dark here around 7:30-8pm, as we're lower latitude. I hate the dark mornings!

  4. I like the proportions of your outfit and had to smile at the cutout on the top - it reminds me of Star Trek. The skirt is a true keeper for its front and back slits, how it hangs on you, the waistline, not to mention its Gianfranco Ferre. :-) My one and only best black skirt was a lined linen pencil skirt that, after years of wear, eventually split across the tush (of all places!) I never found a replacement though for sure a black skirt would come in handy.

    My favorite of the flashbacks include the bookends of blue and the classy outfit from December 2018.

    Thanks for your suggestion on wearing my Dad's jacket. My concern is that he was broader in the shoulders than I am, but maybe it would work as an outer jacket over a bulky sweater. I will have to experiment.

    1. YES! I got that Star Trek vibe too, Laurie! I like that you noticed the proportions, as I'm doing a longer/dropped waist here for that long, lean look. The skirt is incredible quality - a real treasure.

      Oh no! I've never had a skirt split across the bum, but I have had one rip right up the front! That sounds like a good goal on your next secondhand adventure: the Perfect Black Skirt.

      Thanks, I like those too.

      No, that big shoulder thing is TOTALLY in style. It's meant to be oversized - it makes you look tiny in it. It's absolutely the same trend from c. 1986. Wear slim layers underneath so that you aren't swamped by it, and give it a shot!

    2. Okay, I will give it a try on a nice cool autumn day. :-) Will let you know how it goes.

  5. What a beautiful skirt, you have styled it so many times to make great outfits. My favourite styling is with the Armani blazer; very chic.
    You had me thinking about my black skirts.
    Well… 2 pencil skirts, one with a snake print panel; the other with a broad black, cloth belt.
    Two flippy style, shorter length skirts and one ra ra, layered style in silk.. knee length.. (my favourite)
    2 faux leather. One straight style, one pleated, knee length.
    One maxi pleated in chiffon material.

    Love, love love, your leather coat. What a glorious colour. Really suits you. x

    1. Thanks so much, Phyl. I'm glad it's still getting use. I like that outfit too.

      Ooh, I like the sound of those black skirts! Chiffon?? Wow!

      Thanks so much - I've had it forever, and love the rich red.

  6. Wrinkly throat indeed!! I really like the shape of your new silk and wool jumper. It is beautiful. The Ferre skirt is a beautiful shape and really suits you. HOW many lovely iterations of it!!? Nice to see the old cat and new cat! Vizzini always makes me smile!!

    1. Well, *I* see it, Kezzie! Thank you - I love the unusual cut of it. The skirt is such a treasure - I'm amazed I've worn it so much too. Aw, my old kitty - we still miss him.

  7. That skirt suits you so well. I love how creative you were with wearing it. Fab heels as well!!! Your fashion flashbacks are always fun on their own, but is even more fun seeing Vizzini photobomb them.

    1. Thank you, Ivana! I'm so glad that it's remained in my closet all these years, and that it's gotten so much wear. I love the cat-bomb pics too!

  8. So lovely skirt, I do love the double slit for comfort and totally agree that a quality piece makes a difference!. Lovely flashback, I love particularly this skirt with red tops but any bright colour looks fab!.

    1. It's a gorgeous piece, thank you! Glad you enjoyed the Flashback.

  9. I probably have a half dozen black skirts in my closet but none of them are as awesome as this one. Definitely a quality, classic piece. Most of mine are full, summer-weight skirts but I have a couple of short ones I wear in the winter with tights.

    1. It's a beauty. I like full ones too (I have one I'll be wearing soon).

  10. Much like your coworker, I adore and admire that your shoes and mask match one another so superbly. It makes one wonder, due to the pandemic, has that become something of the 21st century equivalent of the classic mid-century tradition of matching one's shoes and purse or hat and gloves?

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Matchy pieces work for me! I hope masks aren't that permanent!

  11. I think I have three or four black skirts…none of which are as fabulous as yours! This post really was fun to see all of the different ways you’ve worn it. And how fun to see the different iterations of your hair!


    1. Always Be Upgrading, Marsha! I always look for the best possible quality items when I shop. Ha, I've had every hairstyle!

  12. That jumper looks so soft and comfortable - just the thing to snuggle into on a grey day.


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