With my friend & amazing photographer Irene Zawadowicz (all photos hers unless otherwise noted)
Lovely sunflowers from Carmen & Ginger
Better late than never...on Friday, 28 June, we had our "Grand Opening Soirée" at The Red Velvet Shoe...a sort of private opening for family, friends, neighbors & local clientele to take a peek at our newly renovated Boutique. We had yummy foods, lots of wine & champagne, and a fabulous turnout...the hour got late, the girls got silly, and a grand time was had by all.
If you happen to follow the Facebook page of my blog/site, you may recall I mentioned quite awhile back that I had been invited to attend "The Newport Vintage Dance Week" after one of the sponsors came across my post about Vintage Tailgating. It was one of those moments when, upon learning of this event, I again thought to myself: "How is it I have never heard of this?"
Newport is less than an hour away, and although my days of hanging out at The Black Pearl, The Pelham & The Red Parrot have been long laid to rest, I do at times feel the urge to head to Newport, but on a far more grown-up level. I now tend to head there "off season", when traffic has slowed, parking is available & the weather is much more conducive to enjoying the coast with a wicker basket picnic or dining outdoors sans staring tourists with cameras and drunk prepsters who are trashing yachts Onassis couldn't afford to own. I suppose you can consider yourself a grown up when you'd rather be "un-seen" than "be seen" in such a place as Newport purports to be.
Although still the lovely "City By The Sea", when you watch films shot on location in or about Newport such as "The Age of Innocence", "The Great Gatsby", "High Society" and "Mr. North", you have to wonder where all the charm, the grace, the manners and propriety that was once associated with and demanded by those who swam the circles of Newport's social seas has gone. The glamour once associated with the glamorous likes of Doris Duke and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy has all but disappeared and been replaced with a much less refined sense of entitlement and entertainment.
While I cannot tell you (in a simple blog post, anyway) where those days have gone, I can tell you there is a troupe of rather talented, aesthetically concerned persons who wish to reclaim, revive, and at the very least recall the grand days of yesteryear.
The week kicks off on Saturday, 30 July 2011 at 5:00 pm with a Polo Match (Newport vs New York), a Dinner Buffet & Welcome Dance to be held at The Newport International Polo Grounds at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, RI and includes private box seating in the Subscriber's Enclosure for excellent viewing of the match. Registration for the event will begin at 1:00 pm to allow plenty of time for settling in, mingling and enjoying the lovely grounds of this Rhode Island landmark.
"Travel Back in Time to the summer playground of the Gilded Age. Perfect your dancing skills with classes taught by leading experts on vintage dance. Experience the breathtaking opulence of America ’s finest ballrooms as you dance in Newport’s famous mansions. Let yourself be immersed in a bygone era as you sip tea by the shore..."(courtesy of TCVD website)
A family reunion on my DH's side late last summer found me plunked on a weathered picnic table bench digging through boxes and boxes of vintage family photographs. I'm certain I proved to be the obnoxious in~law in my attempt to find out who was who, when was it taken, who was behind the lens, and the most dreaded for those who have no appreciation for preserving the past: "Don't you WANT this????!!!!" I carried on, undeterred, a woman on a mission to preserve the past....upon finding this mini~album I dared to ask yet one more time. The answer:
"I think that was New Years Eve, maybe, then again, it could have been just another typical basement bar~room bash....we did that, back then, you know. We had bars in our basements...."
My grandparent's had a basement bar...I remember it well.
Well, despite the greatest effort to NOT miss this fabulous New York event, I once again lost track of the summer weekends and missed the annual "Governors Island Summer Jazz Lawn Party (2010)". So who knew that last Saturday, the day my Mom and I chose to have her annual yard sale, would be the hottest, muggiest, most humid day of the year so far? As I sought cover under the colorful beach umbrella we embedded into her front lawn to give us shelter from the sun, little did I know that I had sold out on a chance to attend this fabulous venue for a mere $45.00 . . . well, I really did forget, but for all the unsightly sweating and interacting with strangers all day, I would much rather have endured it at the Jazz Party! So while I was making a half hearted attempt to pedal my wares, less than four hours away this is what was goin' on:
I think you can tell, from the all the smiles and the overall glow in the photographs that it was a wonderful success! Almost everyone (with the outstanding exception of "The Sart" himself, shocking!) dressed for the occasion and did not let the heat be an excuse to be a slob. A lesson many could learn in our modern, slovenly clad world.
Take heart, though, if after viewing these lovely photographs (you can find another fabulous set of photos here) you, too, are kicking yourself silly for not making it to this fabulous venue: there will be a second lawn party held the weekend of August 28 & 29!! I'm in, anyone else?????
I know I said (in my sidebar) I was going to take a blogging break, and I am. But I had to share this photograph of my daughter, her two cousins and their cousin, having a very proper tea party over the weekend compliments of their most adored Auntie ... so sweet.
I slept in today and after brewing a fresh pot of coffee I plopped myself on the sofa with a few days worth of newspapers I had not had a chance to read. . .(as you know this happens quite often to me. . .anyone else? Or am I alone in this "need to read" everything that comes into our home even if it is a few days old???)
Anyway. . .
As I turn the pages in casual disinterest I suddenly feel a little smile growing on my sleepy face. . .and I remind myself why one should make it a point to read the paper daily. It is so very important to stay abreast of world events and to be informed. . .and, most important, to know what to wear . . .
Of course I say that in jest~~maybe my obsession with Vintage Clothing is an attempt to avoid the modern realities of 2007 and is just a cover~up for a longing for simpler, kinder, more innocent times? Hmmm. . .I'll have to think about that some more. . . one thing for sure is that the fashions of the 1940's thru the 1960's were some of the absolute best in my opinion. . .ladies took the time to dress and they looked fabulous!! It seems that the fashion world has once again embraced those classic looks that defined the 21st century!
Via Associated Press (Monica Corcoran/Los Angeles Times/Hollywood) I found this:
Now you see why I smiled! Hair worn up and away from the face in a chignon or french twist, pencil skirts, cinched waists, gloves, vintage coats, frilly peignoirs, running in high heels, a slender clutch, a swath of red lipstick to complete the look. . .
Can it get any better than this?! I am so excited I don't even care if I make those waffles I woke up thinking about! Who can think about food at a time like this~~especially with that cinched waist thing!
I better get to work on my boutique~~it is chock full of everything but the red lipstick~~you'll have to manage that part on your own. . .but then again all Vintage Clothing Gals must already have red lipstick in their purse!
On another note, last weekend my handsome husband and I were invited to a 20th Wedding Anniversary party for some old friends. It was held at a very posh country club on the ocean and we had a grand time! I had been a bridesmaid for her so it was like a reunion with some great friends we don't get a chance to see that often. Plus, it gave me a chance to wear one of my favorite Vintage dresses that I haven't worn yet~~of course "Coco" (my dress form) looks amazing in it!
And here's an "edited" photo of me at the party~~I am the official photograph~taker in the family so this was one of the few that I was in:
It's all about the dress!!
Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to wear something fantastic today!