swan song

I'm sorry it's been so quiet around these parts; it's exam time at my university right now, so photographing my outfits has not been a priority. Also, I've been very lazy about commenting on other blogs lately, but I'm still reading them, don't fret! I hope to get back in the swing of things over the upcoming Christmas holiday.
Meanwhile, all the commercials for the Black Swan and my December issue of National Geographic's photo essay on Whooper Swans made me rewatch one of my all time favorite films, "The Red Shoes". If you haven't seen this film yet, you really ought to-- it's an interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen's story of the same name, and the most visually stunning and haunting thing I've ever seen. So here's a hastily slapped together inspiration board.
What could be more perfect for winter inspiration than beautiful white swans and 1940s technicolor ballerinas?

The Red Shoes (1948)
The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes
Swan On Ice


in the pines

stone wall
(Outfit: J. Crew flannel shirt, 1950s jeans, very old snow boots)

So, I have this aversion to wearing jeans; I have a couple pairs of skinny jeans I use for rough outdoorsy stuff, but I just never wear them in public these days. I usually treat them like t-shirts or pajamas-- just casual weekend wear. Don't get me wrong, I love lots of denim look on other girls, but I feel so out of place in them! Well, this summer I snapped up these flannel-lined 1950s jeans on eBay as the price was amazingly low, and I'm smitten. I'm still not sure how often I'll be wearing this pair, but they're the first pair of jeans I've ever genuinely liked. They're so warm, too, with that adorable red checked flannel lining. They're also kind of the antithesis of chic, but we got about 6" of snow this weekend and there's more on the way... sadly my little 50s dresses are totally inadequate right now.

big woods

How could I not share this glorious picture with you all? This is my Vermonter Deluxe portrait. And that is our barn, not our house; I feel like I should clarify that.


louisiana woman

What do you get when you combine Karen Elson, Dixieland jazz, an elegantly decaying New Orleans mansion, and some dazzling clothes?


These are a few years old, but I just recently stumbled upon them and wanted to share. I often find music, places, and atmospheres to be my greatest style influences, as opposed to an actual fashion editorial or celebrity. These films by Bruce Weber for W Magazine blur the line between atmospheric vignettes and fashion shoots in the best way possible. Plus who doesn't love a little Karen Elson? God I want her hair...


she walks these hills in a long black veil

(Outfit: Victorian hand embroidered shawl; 1950s juniors' dress; Stetson boots)

...not really. I don't have a black veil, though if I did I'd have worn it with this outfit. Oh well.
I took these pictures last week on an odd day that was chilly but strangely humid and breezy, so needless to say my rag curl ringlets that were perfect at breakfast were all straight and straggly by lunch time. If you love doing complicated hairstyles, don't come to Vermont... I'm only half kidding! It's absolutely stunning here (as you can see from these pictures... this dairy cow pasture across the street from my dad's house, and the view is what we see from the sitting room window) but gosh, the weather's been nasty lately. Rain, sleet, fierce winds... you name it, we've had it the last few weeks. Here's hoping some fluffy snow comes along soon to brighten the drab hills up a little!

Now that my hopes of a final Indian summer heat wave have faded away almost completely (hey, you never know!), I'm finding myself drawn to darker and heavier clothes. As much as I love a cheery sky blue cotton frock with white tights, my instincts have been steering me towards crepes and wools and blacks and navies. Fun fact: the black 1930s dress I shared in that last post is my first solid black dress ever! For some reason I've never gone in for black; I don't even think I own a solid black shirt or skirt. How strange; this winter, I'm finding simple black dresses with 30s and 40s femme fatale silhouettes extremely inspiring, especially with antique accessories like my shawl.

Have a nice weekend!! I have to write a 5 page term paper about... abandoned farms in Vermont! Around the turn of the century literally thousands of farms were left vacant when the soil turned out to be useless for agriculture and the opening of the West offered better incentives. Unfortunately I'm not doing any first hand research inside an abandoned farm ; )
front pasture
brook, briars


Thrill Of the Thirties

02.06.09 {30s summer dresses}
(**Click on images for flickr sources!**)
I have always loved the 1930s; when I was in sixth grade, I read and became slightly obsessed with "To Kill A Mockingbird". Around that time my mother gave me her Walker Evans and Eudora Welty photo books to look at, and I became fascinated by the hauntingly antiquated images. The dresses, the shop signs, the cars, the movie marquees, the dusty landscapes and the hobo camps seemed incredibly sad but romantic and beautiful at the same time. Later on in high school I also fell in love with the more glamorous side of the era as presented by Hollywood: Busby Berkeley musicals, starlets in bias-cut gowns, Mae West in her sequins and furs. Well, when I was back home over the Thanksgiving holidays, I found these two dresses from that era at my favorite antique store and they've sparked my interest in the 30s all over again! Here's a little glimpse.

For a grand total of $34.00 I added to my closet this magical lace dress...
...and this early 30s black crepe dress with tortoise shell buttons and a detachable lace insert.

Ruby Keeler
Roadside stand near Birmingham, Alabama (LOC)