Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Sheila Skirt
Tule fog or no, i've been spending productive time with my Bernina the last few weeks. I just finished a straight skirt in a linen/rayon blend on Sunday morning, and wore it for errands and walking in Berkeley that afternoon. Success! Between the shape of the skirt and the wonderful rusty-red tones of the brown, i started calling this one 'The Sheila Skirt' before i even knew what i was doing.
While wearing my skunk skirt (what can i say, the name just stuck) in total comfort, i realized that the 'base' on which i'd applied the ruffles is simply your basic straight skirt, cut off just above the knee. It occurred to me that with the addition of a modest slit, this silhouette should work well for a comfy, workaday item. The beauty of the straight skirt is it's un-fussiness, ability to play well with just about any jacket shape, and low fabric needs. There's some times when you don't feel like dealing with a lot of fabric, from the psychological as well as financial perspectives. I'm very tickled that this pattern has worked out so well, and look forward to whipping up a couple more skirts along these lines.
Saturday i had a 'blogger meetup' of sorts. Ilegirl invited me to check out the local American Cancer Society thrift shop's vintage extravaganza when she received their e-mail notice of this event. Of course i accepted and we had a great time. However, ilegirl and i have known each other for going on thirty years now, and have gotten together for shopping, dining, and basically hanging out literally hundreds of times before....does it still 'count' as a blogger meetup in those circumstances?
The most enjoyable part of the day for me was getting a look at the labels in some of the vintage items. So many were from old, venerable San Francisco institutions that i remember frequenting with my mom as a girl. I had a blast getting photos of all of them to share with you. I've never heard of FANYA before, but i loved the graphic on the label of this mint-green silk shantung suit.
I remember when we were little and our mom would take us to Union Square in San Francisco for a little window shopping. When it was time for a 'rest', mom would take us to I. Magnin. This was old-style class and glamour - green marble rooms for each 'throne', gold-plated faucets, a nice big lounge with couches, coffee tables and mirrors. How sad when I. Magnin went out of business!
And how strange when the most disparate areas of your life turn out to be intertwined. Years ago i listened to the 'grande dame' of conspiracy researchers, Mae Brussel, who broadcast her radio show 'World Watchers International' every Sunday afternoon from down the coast. Her programs were bristling with information you'd be hard pressed to find addressed anywhere else, but mostly i loved her larger-than-life, joyful, and raucous personality. She'd been dead for over a decade when i learned that she was a scion of none other than the venerable Isaac Magnin himself! If anyone could floor you long after they were dead, it'd be Ms. Brussel!
At least Gump's is still around. And with the opportunity to market and buy specialty items on the web, and the availability of all types of style inspiration from street style to couture coverage to do-it-yourself tutorials, access to great style continues forward. Isn't it funny how many memories can be triggered by a couple inches of ribbon...
Jacket: Issey Miyake for Vogue Patterns, made by me
Sweater: Royal Robbins
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Skirt: own design (in tribute to Sheila)
Scarf, Earrings: own design
Over The Knee Socks: Target
Shoes: Bass Lacey Oxfords