Judy’s Vintage Tea Party

Finally, a post about Edinburgh

You may or may not know that I am in Edinburgh, Midlothian (yeah, Richmonders, I live in Midlothian), UK to do a year-long masters course in Creative Writing. I’ve been doing my best to slog through the pre-reading for my course, but I did manage to go out and do some shopping yesterday.

You had me at “vintage”

The path connecting two main squares of Edi Uni’s campus, George Square and Bristo Square (or Bistro Square as my dad kept calling it), is not long, but during Fresher’s week (orientation) walking down it is like running the gauntlet. Tons of club representatives shove pamphlets at you and at least half a dozen Dominoes workers with pizza-box-shaped signs attached to their shoulders halfheartedly swing bags of coupons in front of passersby, calling, “Free pizza!”

I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding eye contact and muttering terse no thank-yous whenever I’m apprehended at this intersection, but last week I got caught. One girl seemed particularly keen on blocking my way, and practically clothes-lined me with her outstretched arm and proffered handout. “No thank-” I began, but she was faster.

“Vintage clothing fair on Sunday!” she announced.

“Oh,” I stopped in my tracks, taking the bright yellow flyer, “alright.” I strode off, side-stepping a group of young guys waving posters and yelling, “Rock-n-roll and cheap booze!”

Judy’s Vintage Tea Party

Judy's Vintage Tea Party in Edinburgh, UK September 2013

It was about a 30-ish minute walk to the event, but most of it was through the Meadows, one of Edinburgh’s many large public parks, so I didn’t mind the trek. It was £2 to get in, and it was worth it. I walked in to an overwhelming amount of people, vintage clothes, jewelry, items, and Folsom Prison playing over a loud speaker. Everywhere I looked there was a girl with an interesting haircut, an ill-fitting faded dress and clip-on earrings, or a guy wearing a vest and a cap carrying a leather messenger bag that was falling apart. I had found my people.

Judy's Vintage Tea Party in Edinburgh, UK

Here’s What I bought

Though I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the people and vendors, I didn’t leave empty-handed.

Green Plaid Wool Poncho

Cute green plaid woolen poncho 1960s 1970s scotland Cute green plaid woolen poncho 1960s 1970s scotland Cute green plaid woolen poncho 1960s 1970s scotland

Green/Brown Plaid Wool Dress

Plaid Wool Dress 1970s Scotland Plaid Wool Dress 1970s Scotland Plaid Wool Dress 1970s Scotland

Stretchy Celtic Knot Belt

1980s Celtic Knot Stretchy Belt

I also got a pack of bridge cards from the 1960s, which is pretty cool since I collect playing cards. I haven’t photographed them, though, so you’ll just have to take my word on it.

Scotland’s biggest vintage event

Most of the vendors were very nice and willing to negotiate, though there was one absolutely adorable baby blue coat from the 60s (à la Holly Golightly) that was a little tight through the shoulders, but had they been willing to negotiate I so would have picked it up. I chatted for a minute with Fran from shop Goodbye, Norma Jean, where I got the poncho. She said that there are Judy’s Vintage events several times throughout the year in Edinburgh, and she’d come from out of town to participate. Apparently it’s Scotland’s biggest vintage event. Chances are you’ll see me at the next one on October 6th!

Heels and Heart FASHION WONDERLAND Show

I recently modeled in a fashion show in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, organized by Heels and Heart. This is their second annual show, and the theme was Wearable Art inspired by Alice in Wonderland. As you can imagine, there were a ton of incredible designs (and some super crazy ones as well!). The show included a design competition, and the top three designs were announced at the end of the show. There were as many as 35 paparazzi in attendance and A TON of blog posts written about this event. Of the 10 or so that I read, very few expressed serious opinions one way or another, or called into question the winning design (which I found to be extremely boring, thrown together, and lacking a connection to Alice in Wonderland). Having modeled a different outfit in the show, I admit a certain degree of bias, but even though the design I sported did not win, I would still be able to appreciate the innovation and workmanship of the three that did had I felt they truly deserved to be up there.

Cutler's Winning Design (right) Photo Credit: Boutique Onze

Before I continue on this rant, I do want to add that I recognize this competition was to benefit a charity and that truly there should be no hard feelings. That having been said, from a competitive standpoint, I seriously question the judges’ choices for the ‘top designs’ of the evening.

Of the three designs, I felt that Alexis Johnston Bénamou’s design was the only one that truly deserved a top-three placement. And I could have lived with Mahrzad Lari’s design((s)…how did that work?) in third place, but Samantha Cutler’s unfinished chicken wire trashbag of a piece in the top three? Let alone in first!? Come on. You don’t have to know fashion to know there had to have been some other factors going on here. First of all, the outfit at its base is a black skirt/tank top combo with some lacy black thigh highs and black jewelry. Original. The remainder of the costume was an unfinished piece of blue fabric tucked into the back of the skirt and chickenwire and trashbags covered in a boring white fabric rubber-banded at the back. The bulky turtle shell creation covered 3/4 of the outfit and lacked shape and purpose. Alice in NYC? More like Alice if she was a Ninja Turtle. That or the model is doing the walk of shame after a night out – wearing a party dress from H&M and trying to cover herself in a bolster pillow while dragging the sheet that accidentally got caught in her skirt.

There is also no clear correlation to the theme, Alice in Wonderland…oh, wait, the sheet is light blue like the color of Alice’s dress…but then, so are these socks.

My conclusion is that a stray studio light was accidentally pointed directly into the judges’ faces as this design came down the runway. This caused the model to be lit by a glowing halo of light, which led the judges to conclude that she was a deity and therefore could be the only winner. Because there really could be no other explanation for such blatant favoritism and disregard for any sort of fair judgment.

In case you’re curious, here are my personal picks:

Photo Credit: Elle M

Photo Credit: Vigilant Fashionista

Updates on my Etsy Site!

I recently spent an afternoon making new jewelry to post on my Etsy site, something I’ve been intending to do for a while now. Somehow, even without a steady job, I manage to keep myself uber busy. Mostly it’s from one of a few things 1) Buying/selling/trading things on Craigslist 2) Looking for an apartment/going to viewings 3) Setting up/ participating in Photoshoots or 4) Making Friends. But that’s all just the stuff I do on the side, of course. Normally, I have some job-related stuff during the week as well as a bit of volunteering at a local library (such a good person, I know ;). Have also been trying to fit in an exercise class here and there lately. But there you have it. My busy schedule. In any case, bottom line is that I haven’t had as much time for jewelry making/posting as I would like. BUT the good news is that I have finally updated my Etsy shop. Yes sir and madam, I have even changed my banner and added items to the sale section of the shop.

So, WHAT should you do now? Why, go check out my shop, of course! Maybe even buy something! What a novel idea, you say? Yes, Yes it is.

Finally went to the Museum…

After living in Montreal for four months, I finally made it to the Musée des Beaux Arts that is literally a 4 minute walk from my apartment (lazy much?) Below is a video of a modern art exhibit on fashion as well as a few of my favorite tableaux. I definitely favor the early 20th century artists up to about 1960 or so (though the following list does not reflect that). Enjoy! :)

Allegory of Earth and Water by Jan Brueghel the Younger

Moonrise at Auvers by Charles Francois Daubigny

Saint Cecilia by John William Waterhouse

Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window by Henri Matisse