Thursday, November 17, 2022

Mom-Day Adventure in Sidney: Swirls and Grape Ape, and a Holy Grail

For today's Mom-Day Adventure, we headed back out to Sidney, a wee town north of Victoria - we checked out her art group's current exhibition, then had a wee shop, followed by lunch. We last visited Sidney together here in June, on a beautiful sunny and warm day.

It was another sunny day, but extra chilly and breezy on the water.
Smile! We both bundled up and cut our walking around time down to stay warm. 

Yes, it definitely looks windy! 
Better wear warm layers! 

  • Sweater - J. Crew, thrifted; last seen here in February for a monochrome brunch
  • Suede skirt - Nine West, thrifted; last worn here in May with red bookends
  • Boots - Warhol F-Trip Fluevog x Anna Sui; first seen here with my Buffy dress earlier this month
  • Coat (below) - Forever 21, thrifted; last worn here in January

This is how I looked most of the time I was out and about. I had oodles of compliments - people really do love seeing fun clothes! 
My favourite was, "You look like Austin Powers!" 

"Yeah, baby!" I replied. She laughed, "Groovy, baby!"

The Grape Ape coat has returned - I know many of you look forward to seeing it year after year.
It's very warm, but only covers half of me, so it all balances out.

I only took my coat off while we had lunch. I layered a vintage 100% silk thermal top under this cable knit cotton sweater.
I had a "eureka!" moment when I held the boots up to this printed suede skirt. Swirly and swirly!

Masked up, and opened up for when I overheated and needed a little freezing air.
I know the scarf doesn't go, but it was hiding under the neck of the coat most of the time and you couldn't see it. I wanted to wear it for Mom. 

Had to give you a rear shot of my first wearing of Backpack of a Thousand Nipples! Isn't it fun? It is a pain to get stuff in and out of it, but it holds a lot and is comfortable to wear.
I bused to town after Mom dropped me off at the exchange, and walked home from town. 

  • Backpack - Craig Morrison Bug Bag, 1993, consignment; purchased here for $50.00

I usually wear it as a scarf, but my orange furry bit's true purpose is as a headband. It helped keep my hair from going all over the place and kept my ears warm. 

  • Fur scarf - thrifted
  • Silk scarf- Pierre Balmain, vintage 60s, Mom's
  • Gloves - Parkhurst
  • Mask - by Mom

I had a secret cat theme going on - the mask has dark grey kitties on it. 

The stuff: 
Sweet boots! Most of my compliments were boots-directed.

Secret theme bling: 
Three is a theme. 

  • Silver/onyx ring - Toccara, vintage fair
  • Anneke & Lars ring - vintage mall
  • Cat earrings - Winnie Tam
  • Wood cat pin - Charmaine's

We had a view of Mt. Baker in Washington State. 
Very choppy out on the water.

Arriving at the gallery.
Today was the last day of the show. 

Mom showed me all of her paintings as we walked around and looked all the different types of pictures. 
Note the owl behind Mom's head. Her paintings are the two in the dark matt and frame beside her. I quite liked the tulip painting on the far right. 

All original art cards for sale. Mom's are the four on the lower right.
More owls - I see two there, so that's definitely a theme. My area went viral over this owl story here (AV Club, link 'cause I love, as always) recently - Oak Bay is close to where I live. I'd better keep my windows closed or Winky the Owl might come in and make a mess! 

This painting does not feature owls, but it was by far the most technically perfect one in the show and was displayed near the entry.
Thermostat left in for scale. 

It's by Kathryn Compton (link here).
She's only been painting in oils for a short time - wow, she's really good! 

Mom's art cards for sale (these are prints).
"I'm Helen and these are my cards."

Mom's wee chickadee is on the upper right. 
"Another owl?" that lady seems to be thinking.

Mom's autumn walk is on the lower left. 
Is...that a porg in the upper left? It kind of looks like one! (reference here).

No owls here.
Mom's pic is on the bottom. 

Great show, Mom! 
I'm so excited for you! 

We had a browse in the House of Lily Koi, where I had severe pangs of longing for this vintage 1970s Halston Ultrasuede fleece coat. 
I took this picture to remember it by. Did I make the right decision when I put it back...? Oh no...

Mom and I went for lunch at our Sidney usual, the Rumrunner Pub. 
That is such a lovely blue colour on you, Mom, and that's a great neckline. 

It was such a joy to spend a few hours in each other's company. 
I love you, Mom! 

I did buy a couple of things at House of Lily Koi (link here 'cause I love, hello, lovely ladies!). This amazing cotton/linen skirt caught my eye. 
I love black and white graphic patterns - picture it with this blazer in summer. 

It has a threaded "paper-bag" waistband with a bit of elastic, so you can adjust it. 
Lovely pleating. 

It's got two massive pockets! 
Allow me to demonstrate. 

It's by Perry Ellis America, which was a line he created in 1984 with Levi Strauss, per Wikipedia (link here). I can totally see this with big shoulder pads. 
It was $38.00 which felt like a really good deal. There are a few other Perry Ellis American items around online, all very much mid-80s, so that's very likely what this is too. High school me would have loved this! 

If you were feeling sad for me for not buying the vintage Ultrasuede Halston coat...DON'T! I bought it! 
I had put it back and then started immediately feeling like I would regret it. I tried talking myself out it: I have a trenchcoat this colour in leather. It's expensive. I might get Fleece Rage from it (it's faux shearling all the way to the hem!). 

But then the little enabling devil in my brain said, "You're going to regret it. It's a piece of fashion history. It's really warm and a timeless style. It's an upgrade from that old coat, which functions more as a raincoat."
The colour! A lovely tie belt. All that faux shearling! Article here about Halston and Ultrasuede. 

Instead of an inner button to keep it done up, it has a RIBBON, which goes through a little loop. 
Look at that gorgeous fleece. I'm dyin' over here! 

Aw, it's been monogrammed! J.B.C. or is that an R? J. R. C.? 
Also note the reinforcing button, a mark of high quality. 

The sleeves are not lined in the shearling (thank goodness), but the same slippery satin as the ribbon. 
Beautiful finishing. 

Size 10 (that's a modern 6). 
I love finding these old labels down a seam. 

This version of the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union of Canada was in use between 1968 and 1984 (source here).
I was pleased to see a CA number hiding at the top of a tag - it is for Vetements Sportcraft Inc., a wholesale Montreal, Quebec company that started in 1945. They were probably the wholesalers who sold this in Canada to the large department store (possibly Eaton's, The Hudson's Bay Company or Holt Renfrew) that this retailed at in the early 1970s.
I see the "Made in Canada" label and I think it probably was made here. There's another printing on top of that in faded blue with the content (100% polyester and 100% polyurethane). It also says, "Made in Japan," which is where Ultrasuede was invented. So that's probably where the material came from. 

It is real, vintage early 1970s Halston (this is a classic 70s label - note the snaky "S" - source here). That's like the Holy Grail of Fashion! 
It was not $298.00 as it was 30% off - that worked out to $208.60. I spotted a non-shearling version of this coat for $3,000+ on 1st Dibs; I couldn't find ANY pictures of a coat like this! 

As I was chatting with one of the owners about it - it's always so nice to talk fashion with someone who knows her stuff! - she told me its provenance. It was purchased as a gift for a young woman in the early 70s by her father, who had it monogrammed for her. She never wore it (a slight exaggeration, I think it's been worn at least a couple of times). She is now in her 70s and consigned it - time to let it go to a good home where it will be loved and admired and used.

On my way home I just happened to pass by the WIN boutique on Cook Street, so I popped in for a quick browse. 
It's a pink floral and zigzag mullet skirt! 

I'd recognize that copper zipper anywhere. 
I've tucked this away for spring - it's a wee bit snug (you can't try stuff on at WIN), so I have a goal for March! 

It's by Ted Baker and was $38.95.
It's called the Soella Palace Gardens skirt, and originally retailed for $295.00.

I also really liked this sparkly striped sweater. 
It's a good fit (this vintage-y style suits me) and I love that all the stripes are lined up. It's rust, navy, lavender (matches my hair!) and lemon yellow.

It's by Zara! I was surprised.
I couldn't find it online at all, but $12.95 seemed good. 

Vizzini was happy to see me - well, he was happy to attack my shopping bag! 
"This bag vexes me."

He's very fierce in his attack! 
"I must chew it! Die, bag, die!"

I had to move it out of his reach, naughty boy. 
"I'm not naughty - that bag is!"

And now, my friends, I'm going to sign off for the weekend - I'll be back on Sunday with tales of adventure. Thank you so much - as always - for reading and visiting my little corner of the interwebz. 


  1. I say it’s J.B.C. . . . Just Buy (the) Coat! 😍.

    1. I wore the coat today and have been telling people that's what the letters stand for! Just Buy the Coat! Thanks, Michelle!

  2. I had to smile as I had a feeling I'd be reading the coat came home with you. Congratulations to your mom. Lovely show.

  3. LOL, I think I blacked out when I thought you *weren't* buying that coat! Thank goodness you did! I really need a warm trench style of coat myself :)

  4. Drooling over your funky boots and that vintage coat - what a find!
    Love seeing the scenery in your beautiful country and as for the art group, it never ceases to amaze me how many talented people there are in the world.
    Our cat, Lotte, uses the same method of attack as Vizzini on the corner of our rug! x

  5. Loving the coat, I knew you'd get it - you'd have been bonkers not to!
    Loved seeing Helen's art on display, she's so talented. You both looked fabulous on your day out, I love your hat and the new boots rock.
    Vizzini has me in stitches with his antics! xxx

  6. What a fun outfit, Sheila, and that person was right, it's got definite Austin Powers vibes. Still can't get over those groovilicious boots!
    What a talented Mom you've got, and I agree on that perfect painting near the end. I do love owls, so I just had to follow your link to Winky's exploits. Oh my, what a hooligan indeed!
    Loving your finds and I'm so glad you bought the coat, which is a stunner! I think Michelle is right about those initials :-) xxx

  7. According to that, I was a modern size zero in my 20s. How times change, for me and for sizing. Nothing vintage would fit me, except shoes.

  8. I love, love this outfit. I would be drooling over the artwork. ESPECIALLY THE BIRDS.

  9. It looks like such a fun day out - your mum is so talented, I can see where you get your amazing art skills from! And I am very pleased you bought that coat - I thought you had put it back and was so sure you'd regret it - hopefully it's perfect and snuggly warm for your cold weather when you get to wear it!

  10. Your Mom's art is lovely. Thank you for letting us see it.
    Glad you got the coat. I collect Halston. and would fight you in the street for that one!

  11. Love the boots and vibe. Of course you got admiring remarks!

  12. I'm glad you bought the Halston! I knew that skirt was Ted Baker! It is so distinctive! Your mums art is really impressive! I love the chickadee!!x

  13. Congratulations to your mother! To have cards from your paintings, that is so wonderful. At the first photo of the coat I said to you, buy it! It's amazing. Also love the Zara top, it doesn't look like Zara at all.

  14. There it is - the famous Halston coat. What a beauty!!! As are all your treasures. And great to see your mother, too. You need to give style and thrift shopping master classes!


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.