Sunday, 10 February 2013

Mountain Song

Coming to you live in a special dispatch from Paperwork Mountain!  May I just say that - despite needing my trapper hat, wool cape, and Sorels at the office today due to weekend energy conservation - to work for hours in uninterrupted silence was glorious? Though perhaps that is the altitude sickness further affecting my introvert brain. 

turquoise rose-motif scarf: Gabii (Texas), last worn here
vintage floral dress: A DressTown Original (style 3545), Netty Vintage
twist-front pullover sweater: European Culture Knitwear, Yoox
suede cowboy boots:
BCBGeneration, Dillard's (75% off sale, a.k.a. Shoepocalypse), worn here (there too is a better detail photo and info on these-here wrist doo-dads)

In way more exciting news, my pics were included over at one of the best Tumblrs ever, Giant Pants of the '30s - thanks!!! Y'all know how much I love giant pants

I'm so happy with this union-made-in-Canada dress, which passed the "Can I wear it to work?" test question with flying florals, plus it's the comfortable silky-and-cool  kind of polyester - as opposed to the suffocating-plastic-jogging-suit-plus-vintage-funk-you-know-the-stuff - which you sometimes can't tell until you wear a garment for a day. It was a special dress to at least one other someone before it was mine, and I love it too - I already have two more outfit ideas, and hopefully next time I'll grab a photo of its very dear labels.

Under my last post, the brilliant Curtise of The Secondhand Years (currently kicking her own Alterations Alps's behind, well done!) asked why my hematite necklace from the mid-'90s is called a "mermaid necklace." It was so-christened by a classmate related to its effect together with my waist-length hair of the time, and this became its name to me, an internal reference I missed clarifying. It's been a while since my last historical outfit photo, so I've stuck another (with the mermaid hair) below the jump here. 

What's your favourite personal name for a garment, pair of footwear, or piece of jewelry you own or have owned? 

I'm continuing this head-start on my week by joining up with Visible Monday over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style. Wishing everyone massive productivity in the coming days! 

summer 1996 (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
rose(!) batik dress:
Alchemy or similar shop (the sole pink or pink-ish garment in my entire wardrobe between the pink sweater I had in 7th grade and the double-travel-emergency pink sweater my mom passed along to me two years ago)
green breakfast pear: grocery store on way to school
large black messenger bag of the kind I still carry
cropped black leggings
Fluevog Angel Derby Swirl
seated on men's suit jacket: thrifted


  1. What a pretty dress, and I know what you mean about the different kinds of polyester. I generally avoid synthetics, but I have one polyester dress that is comfortable and cool.

    I can't think of any names for my wearables, although something is nagging in the back of my mind. I'm sure it'll come to me around 2AM!

  2. Such a perfect "visible monday-outfit"!

  3. I like your style even when you're all dressed in grey (grey is beautiful and dramatic) but when people who mostley use dark colors use bright colors (or flowers) it's extra effective!

  4. I can so see why you reminded people of a mermaid in your youth with your long locks!
    I love that floral dress!! The print is fantastic!

    As for the answer to your question naming a garment in the way the Mermaid was christened - yes! It is also the same beach sarong! It's nicknamed The Gauguin - I'll be posting about it soon!

  5. What a gorgeous floral frock, Amber - and perfect with suede booties (I didn't miss this year's sale, did I? gasp) Thanks for sharing it all with Visible Monday.

  6. You're so gorgeous in that lovely vintage floral dress, and I love those colours, the greens pinks and blues like an impressionist painting. Wonderful to see a blast from the past, you at college with such amazing long hair! I'm biased of course as I've always had long hair, Amber, but don't you ever get cold without it? I use my mane as a personal central heating system!

    I have a dress I call the 'beetle wing dress' - which is an ancient heirloom indian ballgown passed down the generations and made, wait for it, from hundreds of beetle wings on lace and voile. An amazing dress but very painful to sit down in, standing only!

  7. Great clothes. And love the picture of the younger you!

  8. I love how you have grounded your florals... in true Amber style! Well done my dear!

  9. The colors in your vintage dress are marvelous. I love it.

  10. My ooh and ahh was audible this Monday as I mooned over your lovely visage, posing in that incredible and timeless frock- the cut is great- simple and figure flattering with flourishes fresh from the 60's: a water color print, and sassy superfluous bows. Lovely and lovelier on you.

  11. Gorgeous dress- i love the print!! and the pix of you with the long hair-adorable!!

  12. Wonderful to see you in colours, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Wonderful print, wonderful dress, and always wonderful YOU!!!

  13. That dress is right up my alley, loving the colourful floral print, the pussy bow, and the gorgeous shape. Good to know it passed the wear-it-all-day test. I'd love to know who it was a special dress for before you, or is that a secret?
    Thank you for clearing up the mermaid mystery! Of course, your 90s mermaid hair, it all makes sense now, and the necklace does have the look of something a sea siren might wear. You look so pretty and graceful and carefree in that 90s pic, Amber.
    I have all sorts of names for many of my clothes - I have a maxi skirt (lurex, fish scale pattern) the kids dubbed my mermaid skirt (she would get on well with your necklace), Bonnie Tyler (a leather batwing top, a gift from Sarah Misfit) and of course Doreen Shuttleworth, the faux fur coat names after it's former owner. And Dorothy Devore, my original 1930s dress. I could go on, but I'd bore you...
    PS. Well done on your fearless ascent of Paperwork Mountain - is your flag proudly flying on the summit now? xxxxx

  14. What a superb dress! I love the crispness of the print - nearly photographic. Fun seeing you in the 90s. :)

  15. Oh Amber, I adore that dress! The colors and pattern is so beautiful. It looks very modern. The wrap is the perfect colorful touch.

    The photo of you from 1996 is so cool. You look so carefree and what beautiful hair.

  16. Amber, you are so stunning in all of your incarnations. I really enjoy your photos from your youth. I was a terribly homely teen and almost never agreed to be photographed, an issue I am still working on via the blog. I'm still super uncomfortable in front of the camera.

    A previous commenter already mentioned this, but as soon as I saw your dress, I was all, "Amber looks like the Impressionist wing at the Met, where I want to live" Is it too nosy to ask how the wondrous dress was acquired (or did I miss that in my advanced mental decomposition :( - Netty Vintage doesn't seem to have online options.

    My kids named my blue cashmere sweater "Smuffette's Sweater" so I am returning it to The Great Circle of Clothes. I've started collecting dog and cat brooches, so I'm sure they will all require names, right?

  17. What a fabulous dress, especially in the winter - and especially especially in February - the dreariest month of the year. Lovely!

  18. You are a breath of fresh air today! I mean tonight! That fabric is so unique.

  19. You sly minx... you have Spring on your mind, I can tell. Yes, I can imagine that you'll get lots of inspiration from this pretty dress. And, after all, it isn't the fault of the dress that it's made of polyester. Poor "polys' need love, too.

  20. As a child, I had what I called the "Angel Dress." It was purple and cream, and while very 1970s cute was not in the least angelic looking. The print, if you looked closely, had, among the flowers and ribbons, little putti. Angels, of course, to a seven-year-old Texas kid.

  21. Oh it would be paradise to work in peace alone wearing a glorious frock like yours! I'm glad it doesn't fall into the stinky ole' "vintage funk" category, that would be such a shame as it is truly a work of art:). I ADORE Giant Pants of the 30s - so inspirational and the old pics always make me smile. I have a number of clothes that have been lucky enough to earn themselves a name and I can never sell them or give them away. Aaaah the mermaid hair! It makes perfect sense ... so beautiful:) xoxo

  22. I caught my breath when I saw the gorgeous turquoise accents!! The dress is wonderful and I love the way you've put it all together (as usual!!). GIANT PANTS ARE THE BEST!!! I have a few pairs and I must pull them out soon. It's been a minute or two. I especially love them in the summer. Your picture in the tumblr collection is wonderful. I'm running to work so I can't go on and on the way I want to but I just needed to respond!! Love you!

  23. It looks like Spring over there! And with your bright blue scarf too, ready to fly away. I don't know how you could just be sitting alone doing paperwork in it, but if that's what it takes to get the job done...
    And kudos on the display of your giant pants, Amber.

  24. The print on that dress is utterly amazing.

  25. I love this dress. the fabric is great. I got your reply re hats. thanks lucy

  26. I got where you were coming from. Most of my clothes have a moniker - my dragon boots, my knight boots, my sailor skirt, alice dress, etc. I name my clothes frequently, and I only really love stuff that's going to transcend me to that fun place.

    Your floral dress is so much fun - reminds me of the flowers scene in Alice and Wonderland.

    I love seeing your older photos - and OMG VOGS! Love them.

  27. The print on that dress is sooo pretty! I bet you can layer it up all kinds of ways and it will look gorgeous. Yay to the photo of the giant pants on Tumblr! You were such a cutie (and still are..). I don't know of any piece of clothing of mine that has a name, but my big Swear Platform boots are known as either the "ass-kickers" or the stompy boots.

  28. Great dress, and perfect with the beautiful scarf! Like Lynne said, there's an Impressionist echo in the print and the colours - just lovely!

    I once had a fur coat that was named Odie after Garfield's dog - of course it wasn't a dog fur! But Garfield was very popular back then!

  29. The gorgeous colors in this dress remind me that spring may be possible. Picking up the turquoise in the dress with your scarf takes your ensemble to another level.

    Congratulations on the Tumblr 'giant pants' honor! And I love your mermaid hair in the historical photo. You remain as beautiful today as you were in 1996. I believe more so.

    Shortly after I left my first husband in 1975, my friend gave me a 40's black dress with peplum trimmed with sequins. I named it my divorce dress, and it remains in my collection to this day.

  30. Amber, I've nominated you for a Liebster Award! You can read about it on my latest post -


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber