Monday, 21 February 2011
How lucky am I? I honed my love of vintage in the beautiful setting of Edinburgh, Scotland for five years. Lucky lucky lucky me:) It's still a second home and I tear up at the thought of the place. But then I got home to South Carolina and THIS is where it's at as well. Not only do I have SO MANY amazing vintage sources here that I may have to sell my bed to have a place for my wardrobe and stock, but would you look at this picture? Would you lookie here please? It is February, and it is warm,and this is unheard of for someone who has lived in cold climates for many years. Here in this photo you will find not only my office (you heard me - my office - lucky me lucky me lucky me - and natural light is the best, yes?) but also my four favorite things about the South 1. Front Porch (with something to sit and swing on nonetheless) 2. Sunshine 3. Sweet Iced Tea 4. Warm Southern Breezes. Well you can't SEE the breeze but it's there, sugar, it's there - just as sure as there's a drawl when I say 'Carolina'. The doggie is Schnookums. She's Runaround Sue's mascot. She likes the breeze too xo
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Anyone who saw me anywhere between 2006 and December 2010 will remember The Fox Fur (see it?--->). Some of you said I am not myself without it. One friend begged me to never get rid of it, ever. I remember about a year ago when I realised its rapid decline in awesomeness as the fur fell apart and the wool looked like a set of cats got a hold of it, and I thought 'CRAP how will I live without this too-good-to-be-true vintage coat'? It was camel colored, a big heavy wool thing with a massive fox fur collar. So sixties. I found it in a thrift store for $20 just before I moved back to Scotland and I knew that this baby would see me through plenty of Scottish winters. It was like a BLANKET.
But as I arrived in NYC two months ago en route from the UK to the South, I looked down and declared that I looked Homeless. Not Homeless Sheik (is that a Thing?). Homeless. Somehow I managed to take this coat that someone had kept so well preserved for at least FIFTY years and I totally ruined it in the span of FOUR. But damn, did I look good doin' it!
Okay so right now, I believe somewhere in Queens, NYC there is a homeless man wearing my homeless man coat, and he is WARM. And he looks GOOD. But NOW lookie here what I got. Found this puppy on a road trip back from the beach a couple of weeks ago. The color? Camel. The price? $20. The fur? Rabbit, I believe. A fine replacement? Oh yes. Meant to be?? Of course.
So you better believe that while I entered this store on a mission for Runaround Sue, I walked out with some finds for MYSELF. Not going for sale, no way no how. Including The Fox's replacement. Friends, I give you...The Rabbit. And it's also great because it makes me sing that Jenny Lewis song Rabbit Fur Coat. So lots of hells yeahs all around.
The Fox Fur shall be missed, but it got me through FIVE Scottish winters. And that's a feat, because a Scottish winter lasts most of the year! RIP FF xo
Thursday, 10 February 2011
Get all wrapped up in it
Words: Lindsay Anne Bower
AS OF US EACH TREK OUT INTO THE UNPREDICTABLE WINTER CLIMATE, THE CREATIVE ASPECT OF DONNING LAYER AFTER LAYER CAN BEGIN TO LOSE ITS APPEAL. WHAT BETTER WAY TO RENEW YOUR VIGOR AND VITALITY THAN CELEBRATING THE MUCH-LOVED ACCESSORY THAT IS THE SCARF? HERE’S ONE FASHION THAT TRAVERSES THE VARIOUS SEASONS - FROM WOOLEN WINTER WARMERS TO CHIC CHIFFON SUMMER NUMBERS - A SCARF CAN MAKE ANY OUTFIT EXTRAORDINARY.
Like many fashion accessories, the scarf dates back at least as far as ancient Rome. A handkerchief, most probably made of linen, was often used by the Romans to wipe their necks and faces, and was known as a sudarium - Latin for “sweat cloth”. This naturally developed into a fashion accessory, as both men and women began to wear the pieces of cloth around their neck or knotted to a belt.
Around the 17th century, scarves traveled to western Europe via Croatian mercenaries, who wore cotton or silk scarves according to their corresponding military rank. The scarves were quickly adopted by the French, who were so bedazzled by the unusual accessory that it soon became a fashion staple, and was dubbed a cravat, which comes from the Croation word ‘kravata’. Often times it was possible to distinguish a man’s political stance by the colour of his scarf, as cravats became more common.
It stands to reason that from the cravat, which was often made from delicate materials, the scarf evolved into the beautiful and varied wool creations people use today to keep warm. Wool is the warmest of all fabrics, but for most current designers, it’s clear the goal is to not only fulfill a practical need, but a fashionable one as well. The two purposes combined launch what would normally be a rather blasé outward appearance - and an inevitable descent into the winter doldrums - into a veritable fashion stratosphere, even in the most inclement weather.
So, here’s to the scarf - next time you feel like shutting yourself inside from the rain with a cup of tea, wrap yourself up in a little slice of mandarin wool and head outside instead. You’ll not only keep warm, but you’ll turn a few heads as well, and the prospect of colder months to come won't seem so bad afterall.
Kelly Rae Smith is a freelance writer and editor based in charming ol' Charleston, SC. She owns Runaround Sue Vintage on Etsy and loves thrifting, the Beach Boys, sweet tea, and Don, the dog.
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Saturday, 5 February 2011
Words: Lindsay Anne Bower
The Evolution of the Apron: From functional to fashionable
Your mother wore one. Her mother wore one. And now you wear your mother’s? These days the apron is as much a staple of practical baking as it is a current fashion accessory.
If the thought of wearing an apron over a skirt seems too avant garde for you, a quick perusal of the vast array of aprons available at vintage shops the world over might change your mind. From golden-apple-printed 1960s kitsch to falling-apart-at-the-seams 1940s elegance, the beloved apron is a piece of history vintage lovers now covet. So never fear, a plastic ‘Kiss the Cook’ covering isn’t your only option.
Aprons have always been worn by women throughout the ages when doing housework, by workers performing everyday jobs, and by nurses. Most people didn't have the luxury of owning an enormous wardrobe, so washing and drying clothes wasn’t done on a particularly frequent basis. The apron could be washed every few days and the dress perhaps once every two weeks.
The style of aprons have traditionally conformed to the silhouette of the day, and have changed over the course of the years. In the 1920s and 30s, aprons tended to be long, with no waist line. However, by the 40s, aprons became cinched at the waist, and were often trimmed with buttons or pockets of contrasting colour. Feedsack cloth was an understandably popular material for aprons, as it was quite durable, and the adage of the day was “waste not, want not” - when farmer’s feedsacks were emptied, the fabric was then used for aprons or quilts. Emerging from difficult times, the 1950s brought about aprons donned for special occasions, and people began making them out of sheer aesthetically-pleasing materials. The apron was seen as indispensable until the 1960s, when cheaper clothes and washing machines made them less popular.
Though aprons have always been worn as a means of protection when performing a messy task, and still are, it’s evident that to wear an apron today is as de rigeur as it is practical. Together, biscuit bakers and unique fashionistas, will assure that the apron does not go extinct just yet...
Have a perusal of some vintage aprons here:
Friday, 4 February 2011
As February rains in (yes, it's been literally raining nonstop) I am excited to begin month two of Runaround Sue's official reign. It has been a long time coming.
I have always, always loved older clothes more than current trends, older music more than contemporary. I bought the occasional classic dress or necklace from an old favorite, Granny's Goodies in Charleston, SC many years ago. And I listened to a lot of Elvis. But it was moving to Scotland that really allowed this love to flourish unashamed. I met like-minded people - danced with them at retro club nights, shopped with them at the various local vintage shops. I got a record player and off went my record collection. Soared it did. I was enamoured by it all, the ability to be myself and really just pretend I actually existed in the eras I much preferred to this one. There's also so much pop culture from Britain that is fascinating - like the mods versus rockers conflicts of the 60s. I was so taken by this history, the subculture, the lifestyle, the obsessions, and the reality that they still exist (thank God) that I wrote my thesis on mods. They're just so damn dapper. And their taste in music is plain perfect.
Anyway this shop has been a daydream for about 5 years at least. I have more daydreams of a real live shop but this etsy online one shall do for now. What's a better job than doing what I already love, which is trawling through thrift stores and yard sales and the like plucking from them things that I think are awesome, things that I think other people should re-treasure?
The downside? This pic is an example of the dangers of marrying your passion with your means of making money. Cute shirt huh? Yeah don't I know it. I ain't selling that, shoot!