Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vintage Manners - The RSVP

I am in the midst of organising a rather large party, which includes a splendid new frock for myself and a formal dinner for my guests.

For catering, seating and a myriad of other reasons, my hand crafted invitations include RSVP instructions, which led me to think of the proper etiquette of the required response.

Essentially, RSVP is an abbreviation of the French Répondez s'il vous plaît or, in English, literally translated as "Please respond". There are usually detailed instructions accompanying a RSVP request, such as whom you are to contact, how you are to contact them and by what date your response is required.

So, in a world where such etiquette is often confused, forgotten or not taught at all, I have constructed some pointers - just in case you were wondering Kittens!There are a myriad of books and online resources regarding etiquette, but it boils down to only three main points:
General rules are as follows:

1. You should respond within 24 hours of receiving the invitation with either the names of those attending* or indicate an inability to attend.

*It should be noted that if only one name appears on your personalised invitation, then you are to assume that the invitation is not extended to others.

2. Respond in writing if possible, or via the same method the invitation was extended. To be most proper, a hand-written response is the best way to RSVP. However, if an invitation was sent via email, an email RSVP is appropriate.

3. Respond even if you are unable to make it. You don't need to go into details and there are many ways to politely decline an invitation that won't embarrass you or your host.

Dear Host,

Thank you for your kind invitation to attend (insert event name here) on (insert event date, venue and time here).
Unfortunately I am unable to attend, but know that your party/dinner/wedding/school fete will be a wonderful/successful/memorable event.
Warm regards,

Vintage Verve.
There! Nice and easy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Urban Hyms - Melbourne Laneways at Night

On Friday night, I joined some friends and headed into the city to enjoy a Vodka lime and soda (or three)at a style of establishment Melbourne is famous for: the Lane way Bar.

Although Melbourne is neatly set out in a very handy grid formation, this is embellished with a network of lane ways that interconnect, criss cross, lead off each other and sometimes just have a dead end.

We decided to head to The Croft Institute, located on Croft Alley. Finding it and getting there is half the fun, as you head away from the well lit main drag, down dark cobblestone paved lane ways, the walls festooned with spray paint and stencil art that cut through the gloom:

Just when you think you've made a wrong turn (as you pass rubbish laden skips and the back doors of restaurant kitchens), you see a dimly lit sign, high above a doorway, at the back of a dead end:

It's the sort of place you find when you are with someone has been before. Which makes it perfect for an uncrowded lounge around with drink in hand. While the decor is a little spooky (look out for the chemistry sets and strange beakers on display), the booths are comfortable and the staff quick to dispense your chosen poison.

Verdict? Great spot (once you can find it) to spend a quintessential Melbourne Friday night.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dragon Fly

I've always loved Dragonflies. There is something inherently pretty about their long slender wings as they dance across water, almost skimming the surface.

Popular in Art Deco era motifs, these elegant insects were often used as jewelry inspirations. While these are obviously a more modern interpretation, I always receive so many delightful comments when I wear these earrings:
Today, I've teamed them with a cross over top in my favorite colour (red of course!), that features beading at the neckline and 1940's style cap sleeves:

I've also gone the bright red lipstick route with a fabulous indelible Cover Girl product called Outlast. It comes with two applicants: one for the colour (which you apply once) and then a moisturising gloss that you reapply during the day as needed. It is so stay fast that I literally have to take it off with baby oil at the end of the day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Music & Fashion Collide - Online Fashion Film Festival

The music and fashion industries are undeniably intertwined. Music is an integral part of your own personal style.

It influences us in both subtle and overt ways; from grunge as pioneered by the Seattle Sound and bands such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana in the 1990's, John Paul Gualtier colonial corsets (that launched underwear as outerwear) and costumes for Madonna in the 80's and Kylie in the noughties:

Right through to the ultimate cross over of musician-slash-fashion icon-slash-designer Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B.

As part of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program, The Portable Film Festival, an international web-based film festival, based in Melbourne, Australia, are proud to present a week of fashion films at http://www.portablefilmfestival.com/.

Every day this week (from Monday 16th of March), they are premiering new fashion films; from documentaries featuring intimate portraits of the newest collections by leading Australian designers, to films which highlight other aspects of the industry and fashion filled music videos.

Today (Wednesday 18th March) is Look Like You Sound

Get lost in the fantasy of Portable’s Look Like You Sound Music Video Showcase where local and international musicians raid the wardrobe of rock stardom, not only playing the music, but more importantly, dressing the part. This features many local Australian acts and designers including Architecture in Helsinki, Gwendolynne Burkin, Romance was Born, Little Red and Empire of the Sun (pictured below).

Get the stories behind the stories direct from, directors, and designers who helped all of these amazing creations come to life and come to the screen.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Awww Shucks!

I would like to thank two Fabulous fellow bloggers for passing on the "Your Blog is Fabulous" Award to me - Emer from Circa 1952 and Rosina Lee (a life less ordinary).

Emer awarded me this little mention "because she puts a lovely vintage spin on even the most modern of days." Well bless your little cotton socks!
The Fabulous Award is meant to be passed on to other bloggers, with a few stipulations:
1. Save this picture to your computer for your blog (you've earned it!).
2. You must pass it on to 5 other Fabulous bloggers in a post.
3. You must include the person who gave the award to you and a link back to their blog.
4. You must list 5 of your Fabulous Addictions in the post.
5. You must copy and post these rules in the post.

So my five addictions are:

1. The interwebs. It's how I met you after all Kittens!
2. eBay. Still.
3. My puppycat. She is such a delight to come home to.
4. Coffee. Luckily, living in Melbourne means that I am never far away from an excellent barista
5. Shoes. I have over 40 pairs and I'm waiting on another two to arrive (you say "addiction" like it's a bad thing!)

And I verily pass the "Your Blog is Fabulous" Award to:
1. Trish from Trish Hunter Finds
2. Miss Red from Peeptoes & Pedicures
Please, if you haven't already, check these great blogs out. They are all creative and entertaining in their own way and they are examples of all that is good in the blogosphere.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oriental Wednesday

I've always wanted a nice red Cheongsam top, partly inspired by Catherine Martin's costume for Nicole Kidman in 'Australia' and particularly as I am in the midst of planning an Asian holiday.

Here is Liv Tyler wearing a Cheongsam inspired Oscar de la Renta:

I recently found just what I was looking for:

Today, I wore it work. Sometimes you've just got to mix it up a bit - I sometimes struggle to emerge from what I like to call "Festive Melbourne Black", favoured by many of my fellow Melbournians, particularly in the work place.

I love the Mandarin collar, bright red brocade with gold thread and the lovely fastening details that cascade from the neckline across the shoulder.

Not exactly traditional office wear, but I've actually had lots of positive comments today, which always emboldens me to snap out of my work-wear funk a little more often.

Tell me Kittens: What flourishes have you made to your office wardrobe to lift the ordinary to the extraordinary?