Saturday, 7 September 2013

Oh Yeah, Like I Pleats You

Did you know that my favourite evocative adjective "grotty" has its origin in the film A Hard Day's Night, where it is applied by George Harrison to shirts?  Fortunately, I did not feel grotty whatsoever in this vintage handmade dress of gossamer-light silk with its tremendous puffed sleeves and fancy bodice-pleat action, rather, I felt quite marvellously "gear".

sheer yellow scarf: Netty Vintage
vintage silk dress: handmade / no label, Netty Vintage
my favourite shoes: Fluevog Truth Britta, worn here

I've been doing some casual research on the Beatlemania era related to a writing project. Regardless of whether it yields much of anything, it's been great fun! 

sunglasses: Tom Ford Nikita, ebay
antique amber ring: a gift from my mother, worn here
blue glass bead bracelet with wood clasp: Gabii's (Progreso, TX), worn here
buttonflower: Megan Mae Designs, worn here

These are a few of the text sources I consulted:

  • "We're Going to See the Beatles!" An Oral History of Beatlemania as Told by the Fans Who Were There by Garry Berman
  • Beatles '64: A Hard Day's Night In America, text by A.J.S. Rayl and photographs by Curt Gunther
  • The Beatles Landed Laughing In New York, poems by John B. Lee
  • BOOM! by Tom Brokaw
  • Miss O'Dell by Chris O'Dell with Katherine Ketcham

However, the most absolutely fascinating writing about The Beatles I have ever come across is a series of blog posts - Yoko Ono: A Feminist Analysis by Cara Kulwicki, which Yoko herself liked so much as to re-post on her IMAGINE PEACE site. Cara's whole Gratuitous Beatles Blogging category at The Curvature is a treat.

Let's see if I can still link up to Gracey's Literary Stylings at Fashion for Giants, and of course I'm always ready for Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. AND Bella's Shoe Shine. Yeah, yeah, yeah!


  1. Gorgeous! I love that dress! Of course it has to be vintage - they don't make them like that anymore. Love all the yellow accents - the shoes are fabulous.

  2. Amber, very pretty! The color combo looks great on you. You have beautiful eyes. I love the Beatles, by the way. My Air Force dad took me out of kindergarten early one day to go see Yellow Submarine. Boy did I feel important!!


  3. Spectacular color!!! I'm head over heels with that fabric and Megan's button flower, along with the other accessories, puts it over the top. However, I have to say that the shoes are really incredible. The color, texture, and shape are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Wow. I'm going back up to the link to see how else you've worn them, and also to read the link about Yoko Ono from a feminist perspective. Thank you for all the good stuff here. XXXXOOOO

  4. Your blues and yellow-greens are very 60's-evocative too. I'm old enough to remember seeing Hard Day's Night in the movie theater. The line went twice around the block, and the tween and teen girls screamed through the whole thing. It was awesome. But I didn't not know about "grotty," what a great bit of cultural history!

  5. Those shoes literally had me saying "Oooooh" out loud. Gorgeousness. That dress is beautiful too, and looks amazing on you! That particular waistline is so ladylike, I love it.

  6. My resident Brit thinks "grotty" was around before George Harrison (ah, George), but maybe it wasn't known outside the UK. It's a good word. I also like "manky", which is almost the same thing but it sounds more sassy.

    I love those colors on you. That is such a pretty dress, and I love your Picmonkey collage of all the different textures and shapes and shades!

  7. I'm swooning over these colors and shapes, Amber. What a marvelous dress, love the silhouette. And you look like a proper goddess - thanks for having Vis Monday in mind!

  8. Love the dress. Beautiful colors.

    I remember The Beatles arriving in 1964. The hoopla over the next five years was stunning. I've never seen anything like it since then. Everyone was expected to have a "favorite Beatle" which was used as a test of character. When asked, I jokingly answered, "Yoko."

    Independent of your writing project, I hope you share some of your findings here. I'd be interested. And if you're curious about anything I might know, ask away.

  9. Oh, stunning! Amber, I love both the dress and how you've edged it up just enough to take it out of 'sweet pretty' and into 'no words for this, gorgeous'. The colours, are indeed beautiful.

  10. All the Beatles sources you cited here sound like they would be interesting reading material. I was too young in the 60's to be aware of what was going on, but I am fascinated by that decade.

    That is a very pretty, lady-like dress made funky with your marvelous accessory additions. Fluevogs and button flowers are a great way to add a modern vibe to a vintage dress.

  11. If this comment appears twice, my apologies...
    All of the Beatles sources you've cited sound like interesting reads. I was too young in the 60's to be aware of what was going on in the world, but I find that decade fascinating.

    That is such a pretty, lady-like dress, and you've added a distinctly modern vibe with the fluevogs and button flower. Great sunglasses too!

  12. O, yeah, this frock is pleating me! LOVE it, the colours and shape are beautiful!!!
    Netty Vintage cracks me up, as Nettie is my nickname......
    I have never been a huge fan of the Beatles, but am fascinated by the times. The Yoko Ono one sounds like it would be an especially good read.
    Adoring that ring, incidentally! XXX

  13. Looking beautiful, Amber! I love the shoes. My mom went to see the Beatles at Empire Stadium in Vancouver on their first North American tour - she says the screaming was so loud, she could barely hear them.

  14. What beautiful colours in that glorious dress! Adding the funky Fluevogs just Ambers it up a little. And that ring is divine (and also amber) - your mum has the best taste in jewellery. (To amber - a verb that means to add a certain colourful semi-precious pzazz. Just in case you were wondering.) Loving the chiffon scarf too.
    Like Mr Sparkle, I think grotty was around before The Beatles, but I dare say its usage became more commonplace after being featured in the film. There is plenty of dialect words which don't make the dictionaries till they become more widely known. For example, mardy is a very Sheffield word, one which lots of southerners (in the UK, I mean) wouldn't have known, till the Arctic Monkeys wrote a song called Mardy Bum!
    My favourite Beatles-related writing story is that when Shout by Phillip Norman was published, including a not especially flattering portrayal of Paul McCartney, Macca dubbed the book "Shite". Another fine English swear word, which always makes me laugh! xxxx

  15. This dress is a fierce fit on you, Amber! I loved the Beatles my whole life...if I saw Paul before I leave this earth then I would be one happy camper. They are such a part of who I am!
    I hope you will stop by and register to win the necklace I am giving would look awesome on you! Have a wonderful week!

  16. Hi--good dress. Vintage beauty.....Why oh why don't designers make current dresses like this? I love the colors and fabric plus your cool shoes just add a right mix of fun and comfort. I do really like the ring too. The necklace I sent to you would look fab with this dress.

    blue hue wonderland

  17. Beautiful Amber, it is always so fun to come here! I know I will get my funky shoe fix and remember how much I loved it when I had a flattop. xoxoxo

  18. I'm very curious about your Beatles research. Will we get to read it?

  19. Great era ... it was wonderful to be there. Just talking with Dan last night about how their music changed our lives, and how it's held up over time.
    Pretty dress, pretty you, as always. Hope to see what you're writing, when all is completed, of course.

  20. Yeah, yeah, yeah for your outfit! The vintage silk dress is a perfect fit and the yellow accents! To live for! I adore the 'feel' of the sheer yellow scarf.

    I remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. A long time ago on black and white TV.

  21. Ahhhh I so love to see you looking beautiful in bright colour! This soft blue is so flattering and gorgeous on you dear Amber! I've always been a big fan of the Beatles, in all their different incarnations. The word 'grotty' though, was used by us Brits for years before George first said it - I remember my late grandparents using it sometimes!

  22. Amber--what an absolutely STUNNING dress!! i love how you pulled out the yellow-green!1
    Those shoes WIN ShoeShine this month!!

  23. For some reason it took ages for your blog to load on my screen- not sure why...but it's worth the wait-you look splendid in your blues and greens and those yellow crocodile smiles winkerpicker shoes. Always the artist with your palette of style

  24. Amber, you are a balm for the eyes (I mistyped and wrote blam first, but you're that too). If only I could hear that soft silk wonderfulness. I love these colours and with that wispiness and that ripping bodice-pleating action. I must go check the references you mention.
    Your shoes crank this into a new dimension where I would like to live.

  25. That is the coolest outfit I have ever seen. Every element is perfect. I am swooning for those shoes.

  26. thanks amber for your feed back on my blog re to comment of not to comment.
    i love this dress i t reminds me of the sea. there is a beatles festival on in dublin in a few weeks time. ialso like the dress in your last post. lucyx

  27. Even though I do think that you look great in grey, it's nice to see you in color :-) and those shoes ... Wow!

  28. Megan Mae must have made your buttonflower from the very end of the tie that makes up half of the obi belt I am wearing today. I recognized the fabric immediately, and verified the match by glancing down at my waist :-)

  29. Wonderful dress and perfect shoes, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I want it all, dear Amber.
    Have a fabulous and inspiring weekend.

  30. I love the colors in that dress, and those shoes are so cool.

  31. You certainly don't look grotty either! What lovely colours so pretty xxx

  32. Amber, I am missing you. . . Perhaps your absence here is just a reflection of making different choices in busy times. My melancholic mind tends to go to worse scenarios than better. So I send hugs and desert sunshine your way, in case they are needed.

  33. Thinking of you Amber, and hoping that all is well. You are missed!

  34. Thank you for all of these wonderful comments, dear people! Wanted to add a note of reassurance here that in juggling the life stuff as we all do, the blogging ball bounced and rolled way farther away than usual. I'll be back as soon as I'm able - missing y'all! - with appreciation for your patience and well-wishings!

  35. Thank dress is fabulous!
    Hope you are well, sending you hugs!


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber