Tag Archives 1940’s dress

Perfect weekend in Florence!

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Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, was an obvious choice for Mr de Merteuil’s birthday. To quote him ” Some people go out for drinks on their Birthday, on mine, I drink art.” And  what better place to get intoxicated with art than the Uffizi Gallery, home to La Primavera, The Birth of Venus and countless other paintings, that can never leave the walls of the grand museum!

All our city breaks are planned by Mr de Merteuil with a fastidious care and are therefore absolutely stress-free for me. I would like to share with you all some insights of where to stay, eat, drink not only art and what to see in the beautiful city of Florence.

Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli in the Uffizi Gallery

La Primavera by Botticelli

La Primavera by Botticelli in the Uffizi Gallery

When to go to Florence

I find, that the best time to fly to Florence or any other Italian city is Autumn, when it’s  warm enough to enjoy a delicious meal and cocktails al fresco and not have to cover the vintage ensemble with a coat. I’ve experienced Rome in June, Venice in April and the heat was unbearable both times!

Florence

Getting to Florence

I find it much cheaper to fly to Milan and take the very comfortable Italo express train to Florence (the journey takes 1h40minutes and gets you to Florence’s main Firenze Santa Maria Novella station), rather than be flying directly to the Amerigo Vespucci airport.

You can find all the details and prices on italotreno.it

Hotels in Florence

If you have the budget to splurge on a 5-star hotel head straight to The St. Regis Florence, a historic palace designed by Brunelleschi, located on Piazza Ognissanti 1. Or… At least stop for the best cocktails in town, I highly recommend the Banana Cream Pie, in the Winter Garden bar located inside the hotel!

The Winter Garden Bar in Florence

Enjoying my delicious Banana Cream Pie cocktail, made by the lovely Andrea, at the The Winter Garden Bar in The St. Regis Florence hotel.

St Regis Florence Winter Garden Bar

Andrea (in the picture behind me) making his famous Banana Cream Pie cocktail at the The Winter Garden Bar in The St. Regis Florence hotel.

St Regis Florence Winter Garden Florence

Thank you Andrea for the delicious Banana Cream Pie cocktail and the best Manhattan in the world!

In the picture I’m wearing;

1940s dress

late 1940s purse

Blossom tights from Wolford

Wittchen broques

Versace reading glasses

1940s dress Florence

On the way to The Winer Garden Bar at St. Regis Florence. In the picture I’m wearing a 1940s dress paired with a vintage bag, Wittchen brogues  and Blossom tights from Wolford. Big thank you to Sidonie G Communications!

Wolford Blossom tights

 

If your exquisite taste is not matched with a Swiss bank account but you still want the best of the best such as; top location, few steps from the Duomo di Firenze, and a great, clean accommodation,  I highly recommend staying at the Art Apartment Giotto Suite, which you can book via Airbnb.

Art Apartment Giotto Suite

Art Apartment Giotto Suite in Florence.

 

Caffe Gilli and beyond

The place with the best tiramisu I’ve ever tasted, mouth-watering selection of pastries and a darn good cappuccino is none other than the famous Caffe Gilli,  which has sat at the dge of the Piazza della Repubblica since 1733. If you prefer something a little less touristy and favoured by the locals, head to Piazza S. Spirito where you will find many lovely restaurants such as Truttoria La Casalinga with real homely food.

Caffe Gilli Florence

Enjoying the best Tiramisu at Caffe Gilli.

“The Carousel” in the Piazza della Repubblica

In the picture I’m wearing:

1940s jacket

Prada skirt

antique brooch

couture socks from Fiori Couture

Fiori Couture

In the picture I’m wearing a 1940s jacket, Prada skirt and the most beautiful couture socks from Fiori Couture!

Fiori Couture

Details of my beautiful couture socks from Fiori Couture.

 

What to see in Florence

The main purpose for our trip to Florence was for Mr de Merteuil and I to see very particular paintings at the Galleria degli Uffizi and Pitti Palace, everything else was an added bonus. I strongly recommend, that you decide beforehand what is it exactly that you want to see in beautiful Florence as, you will be spoiled for choice and a weekend will not be enough to see it all without having to rush from one place to another.

*Tips

  1. Don’t waste valuable time on standing in the queue for tickets  and book everything in advance!
  2. Book tickets for Uffizi for 8.15am (go 15 minutes earlier to collect your tickets) and you will avoid all the crowds! We were the first ones in the museum and had 10 minutes alone with La Primavera!!!
  3. Allow 2-3hours for Uffizi
  4. Go straight from the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace and if you aim for 11am you will once again avoid the crowds!
  5. Don’t try to see everything on the first day, or you will not have strength left to continue your Florence adventure the next morning.
  6. Stroll around town with no particular destination in mind and enjoy the city and its magnificent architecture. It’s a small town so there’s very little chance that you’ll get lost.

 

Pitti Palace

Pitti Palace

Pitti Palace Costume Gallery

Pitti Palace – Costume Gallery.

Florence architecture

The beautiful streets of Florence.

Beautiful streets of Florence.

 

In the picture I’m wearing a 1950s day dress, paired with pink brogues from Wittchen.1950s dress

1950s dress

I’m wearing a 1950s day dress paired with Wittchen brogues.

Other Florence attractions:

  1. Duomo designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (Piazza Duomo)
  2. Palazzo Vecchio (Piazza della Signoria)
  3. Ponte Vecchio ( For that postcard-perfect-photograph)
  4. Giardino di Boboli ( Breathtaking garden at the back of Pitti palace)
  5. Casa di Dante (Via Santa Margherita)
  6. Basilica di Santa Croce (Piazza di Santa Croce)
  7. Santa Maria Novella (Piazza di Santa Maria Novella)
  8. Palazzo Medici Riccardi (Via Camillo Cavour)
  9. Galleria dell’ Accademia – home of Michelangelo’s David (Via Ricasoli)
  10. Cappella Brancacci (Piazza del Carmine)
  11. Ponte S. Trinita (Another perfect spot for that postcard-perfect-photograph)
  12. Palazzo Corsini (Via del Parione)

 

Shopping in Florence

My favourite shop in Florence and arguably, the whole of Europe, is without doubt Aquaflor which was opened in 2011 by perfumer extraordinaire Sileno Cheloni and is located at Borgo Santa Croce 6. It’s a temple for the most beautiful perfumes and home fragrances in the world. I knew from the first whiff and few steps into this glorious boutique, that I will not leave empty handed and the only question that crossed my mind was, how on earth would I take back all that liquid in my hand luggage! Fortunately the super friendly and helpful staff, special thank you to the lovely Juliette,  offered to ship my purchase, which was actually delivered to my home in two days!

As someone utterly obsessed with the scent of Neroli I can say with all honesty, that the one by Aquaflor is the best I’ve ever found and will cherish my discovery forever!

Aquaflor Florence

At the Aquaflor boutique in Florence. On the right, picture of the beautiful bottle with Neroli home fragrance I bought during my last trip to Italy.

Aquaflor Florence

Delicious looking soaps at Aquaflor in Florence.

Aquaflor Florence

 

Aquaflor Florence

 

What are Your favourite places in Florence?

 

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Veracious Vintage Co.-Vintage Shop Of The Week

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Veracious Vintage Co.  is a heaven for all the divas “Curating a killer vintage wardrobe” as the shop’s owner herself describes, with glamorous dresses, suits and beyond from the 1930s-1960s. Her impeccable taste and love for vintage fashion is clearly visible in all of the carefully picked garments and it doesn’t come as a surprise, that the savvy vintage shopper, clicks the “add to basket” button before you get the chance to finish the sentence “Should I or should I not buy yet another 1950s Dior inspired New Look dress?”

And if you were wondering, was it me who missed on a great opportunity of purchasing a gorgeous 1950s dress from Veracious vintage Co. you would be right.  I put the dress in question, that even Morticia Addams would approve of, for few hours in my Wish List folder before someone else snapped it up.

The moral of the story, if you fall in love with a vintage piece you see and your budget or credit card limit permits, then don’t deliberate for long over the purchase as there are many vintage-holics out there and as I’ve now learnt the hard way, will not hesitate to hit the buy now button before you!

Dominique de Merteuil: How did you start your adventure in selling vintage clothes?

Veracious Vintage Co.: I am a 4th generation dealer in antique and vintage wares. I have been hunting for treasures from a very young age with my mother, my mentor. At age 7, with a $5 winning auction bid I acquired my first vintage wedding gown. Thus began the curation of an extensive vintage dress-up wardrobe that would become the envy of my childhood gal pals. I continued to buy second hand through my teens and young adult life and selling was simply second nature – genetic really. Entrepreneurship became an obvious path after years in retail and now I feel fortunate enough to call my passion my livelihood.

DDM: What can we find in your vintage shop? For example, do you specialise in a particular era or type of garment, accessory, etc?

Veracious Vintage Co.: With Veracious Vintage Co. I specialize in 1930’s to early 1960’s pieces with a particular affinity for design as well as utilitarian pieces from each decade. For example, you might find a 1930’s feedsack house dress or a sweeping floor length gown worthy of the silver screen. A 1940’s dress in mint condition and a war era dress with “Mend and Make Do” modifications. Or a 1950’s classic housewife cotton shirtwaist next to a truly inspired fit and flare frock from the height of Dior’s New Look design.

1950's Green Linen Party Dress

Beautiful 1950’s Green Linen Party Dress available at Veracious Vintage Co. Etsy store. (Click on the Image!)

1930's Floral Garden Dress

1940s dressing gown

One of the most beautiful 1940s dressing gowns I’ve ever seen! You can find that incredible garment at Veracious Vintage Co. Etsy shop but I don’t thing it will stay there for long so hurry up!

DDM: Is there a process you go through when selecting garments for your shop? Perhaps you have a list or a criteria, that you use when deciding which garments will be perfect for your shop and your clients?

Veracious Vintage Co.:I curate with my own aesthetic preference in mind but, as a business, I have sharpened my scope to shop with an eye for my clients which include burlesque dancers, modern pin up models, and vintage lifestyle fashionistas. My shop is setup to cater to all shapes, sizes, budgets, and a commitment to true vintage. I will never pass up a good silhouette or a good print, I cannot resist Lurex or anything that sparkles and you can simply never have too much cotton in your closet.

1950's Liberty House Cheongsam

Gorgeous 1950’s Liberty House Cheongsam still in the shop!

1940's Inspired Purple Velvet Evening Gown

1940’s Inspired Purple Velvet Evening Gown available at Veracious Vintage Etsy store. ( Click on the image)

1950's Citrus Floral Sundress

1950’s Citrus Floral Sundress,

DDM: Where do you find all those beautiful vintage clothes and accessories for your shop? (if it’s not a secret!)

Veracious Vintage Co.: Finding good vintage is no different than finding good real estate. As the Baby Boomer generation moves on to greener pastures (or Florida) you can count on finding good vintage squirreled away at estate sales, flea markets, and sleepy small towns.

DDM: What is your favourite period in time and why?

Veracious Vintage Co.: My preference comes from a longing for a time of quality and attention to detail. Pre-war, post-war, and Mid Century pieces precede overseas mass production. However as a student of history, I also enjoy the idea of fashion as a historical snapshot of our world during a period of major change. All of the dynamic shifts that occurred at this time can be found represented in the fashions. When you buy vintage you are not just curating a wardrobe, you are harboring history.

1960's Red Sequin Wiggle Dress with Feather Trim

Fabulous 1960’s Red Sequin Wiggle Dress with Feather Trim, which you can purchase from Veracious Vintage Co. Etsy shop. (Click on the image)

1950's Orange California Poppy Dress

1950’s Orange California Poppy Dress.

DDM: What message/advice do you have for women who have never bought vintage clothes before? For example: what are the key pieces to start building a vintage look? What to keep in mind when making a purchase?

Veracious Vintage Co.: There are no rules to a modern vintage wardrobe…follow the signs, buy what you like, do your research, find a good seamstress, and save up for those investment pieces – they will never lose value. If you are shopping on a budget, remember that design is a game of beg, borrow, and steal – if you are lover of the 1950’s and watching your pocketbook there are some great revival pieces from the 1980’s to be found at a bargain.

DDM: What are your 3 favourite items that you have ever sold and why have you chosen to name those particular ones? 

Veracious Vintage Co.: 1950’s Custom Made Pink Velvet Matador Costume – a pink velvet cape….need I say more – this beauty went on to burlesque!

1950s Matador cosrume

Veracious Vintage Co. 1950’s Custom Made Pink Velvet Matador Costume.

1950s Matador costume

1950’s Custom Made Pink Velvet Matador Costume.

NRA Label Suits – National Recovery Act garments are so truly unique, dated only from 1933-1935 they are the perfect example of a socio-political influence in fashion.

NRA Label Suits

Veracious Vintage Co.

1940’s Custom Made Women’s Western Wear Set – Hat, Tie, Blouse, and Trousers – now that I live in Texas I am sucker for true vintage western wear.

1940s Weasterna wear set

DDM: What are your favourite vintage brands and are they very difficult to find?

Veracious Vintage Co.: I may chant “Lilli Ann” under my breath while I comb the suit racks of a vintage shop but great vintage fashion does not have anything to do with labels. Today you can find “vintage” Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein mass produced in the 90’s, covered in monograms and labels that would make or break your highschool popularity status. Some of my best pieces were handmade with care and intention – altered and adjusted over years to last a lifetime. Dressing vintage is about being true to yourself and your aesthetic.

1960's Red Lurex Caftan

Stunning 1960’s Red Lurex Caftan.

DDM:  What’s in your wardrobe? Do you personally wear vintage clothes on a daily basis?

Veracious Vintage Co.: Since starting a small business I am white t-shirt, jeans, and red lippy kind of girl. You might meet me at a pop up or flea market in bumper bangs and yoga pants but on special occasions I love wearing a few choice pieces from my collection – many of which were passed down from my mother.

How Much Effort Is Too Little Effort?

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Every morning I wake up to an inbox full of invitations, which is undoubtedly a better prospect than a breakfast spent glossing over bills. Nevertheless, the amount of e-mails where I’m asked to RSVP to a party, exhibition, show, opening of a new venue etc. scares me more than just a little, as there’s a lot of effort in preparing for these events.

Don’t be fooled by the glamour, attending a party isn’t all about having a good time, in reality it’s almost always work related and that means dressing in my usual immaculate style, wearing something new or customised, from my previously worn ensembles. That’s hard work, making sure that there will be no repeat of costuming, as you can be damn sure that there will definitely be a repeat of people in attendance! So how much effort is too little effort?