I’ve been lusting after vintage suitcases again. About two years ago I picked up an especially sexy oversized doctors bag in vegetarian leather. While it was lovely to look at, it’s one flaw was a complete lack of wheels. I’ve since then bought a luggage trolley, which does the trick for short distances. But nothing beats a suitcase with a pair of wheels attached. But all those wheeled suitcases are ugly! Or so I thought….
Here are four lovely vintage inspired suitcases and the imaginary women who use them;
Kara is travelling to Japan for the first time. She wants to eat lots of sushi & buy all the Kawaii trinkets she can get her hands on. During the flight over she gives herself a manicure with delicious pink nail polish & listens to Blondie on her ipod. She’ll make little videos of her travels in Japan & put them up on youtube for her family & friends. Kara packed her lime green Doc Martens, copies of Fruits magazine, a rhinestone tiara & bottles of her favourite bubble bath.
On her way to Vienna to see her grandmother, Olivia daydreams about taking possible shopping trips to London & Paris afterwards. While in Vienna Olivia & her Oma will shop for sweet pastries, go to the Volkstheater Wein, gossip about relatives & catch the tram just about everywhere. She will return home with her suitcase full of German magazines, old photos & a pair of Louboutin’s she managed to pick up from Paris, of course.
Morgan is traveling from New York to Edinburgh for a business trip. She’ll stop by Holyrood while there just to see what all the fuss is about. She carefully packed all the business documents in her suitcase, alongside her tailored suits & black patent pumps. Underneath everything she hid a leather riding crop & her teddy bear Mustafa. During the stopover in LAX she taps away nervously on her Vaio & updates her facebook status compulsively. “STILL waiting at the airport”
Isabella decided to take the train to Krakow because she thought it would be more romantic. She’s travelling there to begin studying at art school & hopes that the two years of Polish language classes will have been useful. On the weekends she’ll sketch pictures of the Jewish Quarter in charcoals & sell them to tourists. Besides all the vintage hats & gloves in her suitcase, she has packed her folio, conte crayons, a broken medium format camera & peppermint sticks. Unfortunately, Isabella forgot to pack anything warm to wear.
Loomis Luggage looks very promising!
Scour Etsy for the real deal – sans wheels of course.
|Grab a Book|
Pocket books and purses disguised as books are becoming quite popular. I can’t guarentee that toting one around will boost your literary cred, but they are a cute idea, with loads of vintage appeal. Provided that no actual books were harmed, of course! Here are some of my current favourites.
The Femme Sud Ex Libris pocket book is the original book-shaped purse. The collection was originally released in 2008 and featured cheeky embroidery, a handy mirror and even a cute little coin purse. When you could still manage to find one, they sold for roughly $500 each.
These sleek purses debuted in 2010 and feature such titles as Pride and Prejudice (above), Emma, The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, and The Importance of Being Ernest. I love the gold-tone hardware and the adorable black and white striped lining. $325 from Kate Spade.
Chanel included two book clutches in the 2011 Spring Ready to Wear collection. Apart from Diane Kruger bringing one along to the Berlin Film Festival that same year, they were never seen or heard of again. A pitty really.
Olympia Le Tan
These amazing clutches have popped up in the hot little hands of everyone from Natalie Portman to Tilda Swinton. Michelle Williams has a few herself, which is quite an investment considering the $1,300 price tag. Classic titles include The Great Gatsby (above), Dracula, Lolita, Doctor Zhivago, In Cold Blood, Madam Bovary, and The Portrait of a Lady.
Laguna Moon‘s embroidered book-shaped bags are adorable. Spiral-bound and featuring a handy chain, they’re also made from synthetic leather and come in at about $120 with current exchanges rates. Making them one of the more affordable bags on this list!
Lest I speak too quickly, this clutch is the cheapest of them all! Wherever there is a trend to be had, ASOS is usually all over it. This lovely little blue and gold clutch fetches for $40. And really, who can resist that tassel?!
Too many to choose from really! If you’re game enough, this is the kind of thing that you could very easily whip up yourself one rainy afternoon. Arianna, Kate, Marlena and Jenna have all shared their DIY secrets, though these involve slicing up real books. Over on good ol’ Etsy, there are several people selling old books converted in to handbags and Kindle covers. But my favourite so far has to be Bromeliad, who made hers out of an old DVD case, as opposed to cutting up a perfectly good book. You could even choose a different cover for each outfit, which is very clever really!
|The Gossip Girl Grilled Cheese Sandwich|
I first saw this delicious sandwich on the pilot episode of Gossip Girl. It’s a delicious twist on the traditional grilled cheese sandwich, the twist being truffle oil! The famous New York restaurant Gilt serves up their own version using fresh sliced white truffles, which sounds decadent enough, but is difficult for us everyday gourmands to put into practice. Truffles are notoriously expensive & definitely won’t keep as long in your pantry as a small bottle of truffle oil will. Besides, the Gilt grilled cheese sandwich will set you back $50! So not only is this sandwich fairly cheap by comparison, it is also easy to put together & is delicious! I think that at 3am it would make a perfect ending to a big night out!
In this recipe, I have used sliced grain bread, which is chewy & dense, is low in carbohydrates & has a low GI. I also used Nimbin Natural cheese, an Elbo style cheese that is free of animal rennet & one of the best tasting cheeses I have come across. You can find small bottles of truffle oil at most delicatessens’ but expect to pay as much as thirty dollars for 100ml.
Gossip Girl Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- half a cup of good quality freshly grated cheese
- two slices fresh grain bread
- truffle oil
- salt & pepper
Heat a small spoonful of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat & preheat your griller (broiler) or oven. Brush both sides of the bread with truffle oil using a pastry brush & then top both slices with the grated cheese. Season with salt & freshly cracked pepper & place each slice into the frying pan face up. Let the bread fry for one to two minutes & then transfer the frying pan to the grill or oven to melt the cheese. This shouldn’t take too long! Carefully remove the frying pan when done. Sandwich the two cooked slices together (cheese facing inward of course!) & cut in half. Enjoy while still warm & gooey!
|The Country Sportswoman|
We have had some amazing weather lately. Luckily, where I am there has been no damage. For several days together it’s just been deliciously overcast; a cool break form the hot sticky spring days of a week ago. I went for a walk in the park & the weather reminded me of Britain & the outdoor sports used to pass the time there. So I whipped up three fantasy outfits on Polyvore that are inspired the sporting British gentry. They’re full of goodies & are complete with the necessities; boots, gloves & hats.
Rambling & Birdwatching
Pack a luncheon basket with your favourite sandwiches & slip into some tights to keep warm. Add some matching boots & gloves in lilac, both with cute button detailing & finish with a wide brimmed hat (equally handy for rain & sun). Don’t forget to bring a pair of binoculars; handy for spying the local fauna.
Don your favourite pair of Christian Louboutin boots over velvet trousers & pair with a beautiful silk & cashmere blouse. Owls have been used as hunting birds too, so wear this topaz owl brooch for good luck. Finish the look with a wide leather belt & a pair of feathered earrings.
For a ride through the fields slip into some tailored, yet loosely comfortable trousers & pair with a tartan vest & blouse. A thick knit riding hat & some gloves will keep the cold out. Strap on a pair of cherry red Doc Martens & don’t forget the lucky ribbon & riding crop!
- Join the Ramblers’ Association!
- Or the Royal Society for Protection of Birds.
- Check out photos from Dita von Teese & Marilyn Manson’s wedding for stylish falconry outfits.
- Visit this neat online gallery of vintage equestrian fashion.
- & lastly, How to Pack a Picnic Basket!
|Headphones: Not boring anymore|
Tired of the ubiquitous (& tediously discreet) little black headphones that came with your walkman/discman/ipod/portable music device? I know I am, & I don’t even have a walkman/discman/ipod/portable music device. Those white wires may have been cool in 2001, but not any more. They’re everywhere, they’re boring & they never match your outfit. Well my friends, I have the solution. Bling. Bling for your headphones. Bling for your head, really. Inspired by Nubby Twiglet‘s brief post featuring lime green headphones, I began to scour the internet for aesthetic advances in the magical world of headphones. I was a woman possessed, a woman on a mission. Oh boy & did I find some good ones, some bad ones & surprisingly, some really ugly ones!
1. First up are some pretty neat retrofitted headphones made by Molly Friedrich. Molly whipped up a brass & leather case cover so that her ipod would match her headphones. Sweet!
2. They have more charm than a pocket watch & are about as useful as a paperweight, because this next set of headphones don’t actually work. Still, with all those pretty brass cogs, at least they look nice, right?
3. The lime green headphones! So lime! So musical!
4. These next headphones were made with sculpting clay & a coat-hanger. Inspired by Ruby Gloom, these headphones feature cute little sculls & a frame made of ‘bones’.
6. They glow! They pulse to your music! Perfect for twelve year old girls on scooters or pastel obsessed individuals.
7. These headphones are so extravagent, they’re somewhat ridiculous. Expect to pay as much as $80,000 USD for these diamond encrusted earphones.
8. More bling than the last set, but not nearly as expensive. These swarovski decorated headphones will only set you back $2500. Also available in pink…what about blue?
9. This last pair was handmade by the same Molly Friedrich from the first image. Here she shows you how to make your own retrofitted headphones.
I’m particularly liking skullcandy‘s G.I. headphones in grey. As far as I know they’re not available in Australia. Pitty. Though my search was for a set of headphones so beautiful they would make me cry, I think I would settle for a pair that pumped me music straight from a tree. How about you?
|Threads of the Day|
What I wore today, or at least what I wore about two weeks ago!! I planned to post this, but till now have been having some dastardly technical troubles. Fortunately for now, that is all in the past!
- Black velvet pencil skirt
- Black & white stripe T-shirt
- Black school socks
- Black lace shawl
- Black Mary Janes
- Black wayfarer sunglasses
- Lightning bolt earrings, Silver bangles, Silver & amber ring
Notes: I am totally in love with this skirt. I waer it far too often, & I think I might have to break out the sewing machine & try my hand making some just like it. This outfit is what I wore to my first ever day at the racetrack! As in horse races! My friend landed me a very cruisy job working with her for a bookmaker. This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to wear what I want to work (well, almost what I want…) so I took to the challenge with verve! The racetrack is an exciting place to be & I think I’ve managed to rekindle my girly love of horses.