Sunday, 11 June 2017

Pretty Retro Tea Dress & A Vintage Parure

Sometimes vintage finds can feel a little serendipitous.  A few years ago, I bought a lovely goldtone bracelet from a car boot sale in Cardiff.  It's mid-century, in a sort of palm design, and I bought it off the nephew of the lady who previously owned it, for a mere £4.  There were no other pieces of jewellery for sale.  Fast forward a few years, and I was at a vintage fair in Cardiff's City Hall.  One of the traders (not from Cardiff), had a necklace to match my bracelet!  I snapped it up, I think it was £12.  That would seem outrageous in a charity shop but in a vintage fair that's reasonable, and I couldn't leave it there knowing I had the bracelet.

The next part of the story happened a few weeks ago, when I was in Hampshire for a wedding.  The day after the celebrations we were a bit too delicate to hit the M4 and drive straight home (that's what happens when the Taittinger is flowing), so we went to the nearest large town, which happened to be Andover.  There we whiled away an hour or so looking in the charity shops.  And lo and behold, I found a pair of clip-on earrings, £2, to match my bracelet and necklace!  Ta da, I now have a "parure".  That's just a fancy way of saying a set of three or more matching pieces of jewellery intended to be worn together.

This is the only time you will probably ever see me wear earrings.  I had to take them off immediately after these photos, I just don't like the feel of them.  I don't have pierced ears.  I was thinking I could use the earrings as dress or shoe clips instead!

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld


Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld

Pretty Retro tea dress @porcelinasworld
Bracelet, necklace and earrings: Vintage, all thrifted/from vintage fairs
Vintage bag: Car boot sale
Shoes: George at Asda
Dress: Pretty Retro

On to the dress...  This is the dress that I had been hoping to take to Portland House, but it didn't arrive in time.  It was a birthday present to myself.  I'd been eyeing up the tea dresses at Pretty Retro for a while, but never quite took the plunge.  The moment they released this beautiful Emerald Tiki print though, I knew I had to buy it!  It's cut on the bias and has no zips or other fastenings, so just pulls on over the head.  I found my usual size 12 to be a perfect fit, and I was particularly pleased that it hits below the knee on me.  The fabric is very lightweight (watch out on windy days...) and so perfect for warmer days.  I felt most comfortable and carefree wearing it.  I haven't washed the dress yet, so I can't report yet on whether it does indeed shrink 5% as stated.  I'll update this post when it's been washed.

As a slight tangent, thinking of the "Tiki" that Pretty Retro chose to put in the name of this dress, I am not sure whether any of you have read Emileigh and Nora's excellent post about cultural appropriation in vintage reproduction clothing?  I'd never actually heard of "Tiki" until a few years ago, it's not something that was widely known about in the UK.  Maybe because we're so far away geographically from Polynesia compared to the USA.  It's worth finding out about though, particularly given the recent issues the mainstream fashion industry has faced for using terms like "Navajo".

The retro tea dress is available in a variety of other prints, but they've been selling like hot-cakes and there are limited sizes left.  I'm also sorely tempted by the "Sapphire Orient" and "Floral shimmer" versions.  At £54, and ethically made in Europe, I think the dresses are great value.

Linking up with: #iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayPassion for FashionFancy Friday


22 comments:

  1. I love a parure! I usually find my sets the same way by collecting one piece at a time. This dress is gorgeous! Or rather, you look gorgeous in this dress! I love the print, dark green and white look so crisp paired together.

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    Replies
    1. It makes it more fun collecting piece by piece! Like a treasure hunt ;)

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  2. It's a shame you don't like wearing earrings because they look lovely on you! Can't believe your luck in finding all the pieces from this set - now you could mark it up and flog it for a fortune on Etsy ;) always love green on you - this dress is a winner. And I now know I absolutely would look awful in it! xx

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  3. How lucky were you! I like to think they were all finally reunited 😉

    Your dress is lovely, the colour is great and it's good that it falls to the length it does, buying online is always such a gamble when it comes to length, and all too often puts me off xx

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  4. It's amazing that you managed to slowly collect this set. I feel the same way about earrings and your idea about using them as shoe or dress clips is an excellent one.

    I read your comment about Tiki on Emileigh's post and I have the same experience. Tiki is not a thing here either. I knew the old Disneyland Tiki room song but I had no idea what it meant!

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  5. Wow what a gorgeous set and what how great you found all three...I'm the opposite I feel naked without a pair of earrings on, even just simple studs for work! Love this dress on you as well, fits your figure perfectly! xo

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  6. That's amazing that you found all matching earrings, bracelet and necklace in completely different places!! Talk about meant to be :)
    I love the outfit - the dress is divine. I do love anything with a leaf pattern on it. Beautiful setting as well!
    Suzy x
    www.suzyturner.com

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  7. Very beautiful! I hope you van join the Fancy Friday linkup again. You were my favorite from last week and being featured!

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  8. How lucky for you to stumble across the matching pieces to your bracelet!

    I find the whole discussion about culture appropriation silly. If you go to Asia, Africa or the Middle East real racism is rampant and they don't even see it as racism. No one questions it.

    It is only in Western civilization that we beat ourselves up over such trivial ideas. Enjoying someone else's culture should be a good thing.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    Replies
    1. I think it's a bit more complicated than that. I don't feel as a white woman in Western society that I am in any place to say what people from other cultures can or cannot be offended by.

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  9. Serendipity indeed. You were quite lucky to find the matching set. I don't have pierced ears either, and although I sometimes pick up vintage clip on earrings, I hardly wear them, as they pinch after only a little while. The dress is lovely. I love the colour (green, you know) and the shape is great on you. xxx

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  10. Wow how amazing to find this set, it's so gorgeous too! That dress and print is absolutely stunning, looking amazing as always x

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  11. You were clearly meant to have the set - how fab that you've been able to put it together. The dress is lovely too.

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  12. What a great story about the jewellery - even if you will have to re-purpose the earrings! I love this dress - in itself and on you. Kx

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  13. Wonderful story behind the jewelry - and how lovely these pieces are! Thank you for sharing with Vis Monday, xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  14. That jewellery set is fabulous, what luck to find all three pieces in different places, it was clearly meant to be yours!
    I don't see you in green very often and it looks stunning on you. The dress is a great length on you. xxx

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  15. You look so good in that dress.
    Oh wow, now that's so unusual Porcelina! Yet, so amazing, I guess the shopping fairies were by your side. I wonder if these are marked ? made by the same manufacturer.
    You can probably sew the earrings to hair combs too and wear them them on your hair.

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  16. That outfit is lovely. The jewelry is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.
    Marilyn

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  17. I can't believe you found each element of that jewellery set totally separately, in completely different places! How amazing!! And it is indeed a very pretty set! And that dress is fabulous! I do so love a bit of tiki!

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  18. What an amazing story of getting all of those pieces back together!! I love it when things like that happen!

    I adore the motif of the jewelry, as well as the dress you have paired the pieces with!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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  19. That is so crazy that you found three matching pieces!! They are lovely- and I'm sure that the earrings will make lovely dress or shoe clips. I don't like clip on earrings either and never wear them. They are so pinchy feeling!

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