Friday 8 February 2013

Then and now part 1: My lucky number's 19sixtyTwo

When I was about 12 or 13 our grandmother opened up her wardrobe to us. She had a lifetime of clothes and she fancied a clear out. We got suits and dresses from the 1940s through to the 60s. It was amazing.

But at that age I was short and skinny, so the first thing I did was take things up and take things in. The second thing was wear the clothes to death, so a lot of them no longer survive.

But I do have a few choice pieces remaining and here is the first of them.

Oh look, there's George, plying his wares again. Look's like he's got the Port open this time!

My grandmother made this two-tone dress to wear to my father's 21st birthday party, so I can date it exactly to August 1962. She would have just turned 44, which is exactly two years younger than me now.

It was a very special occasion because it also happened to be my Mum and Dad's first date. Can you spot the lovebirds?

Well anyway, the date went well and a few years later I came along, ready, willing and able to take care of The Dress. It's made of a heavy dupion silk with loads of fabric in the skirt. Great for twirling in.

At around about the same time, her sister, Aunty Dolly gave us her old make-up. Lipsticks, rouge and perfume. That's Dolly with the blonde hair playing the piano. She wore her hair like that until the day she died.
Shortly thereafter, I was in a supermarket in Paris and the checkout girl had done her hair and make up just like this, with little perfect circles of rouge and drawn on freckles over her nose. She looked so amazingly cute and I wondered if she had the same Bourjois rouge as me.

She looked like a little Parisian Lene Lovich.


Miss Simmonds Says said...

I'm sorry but what magic tablets are you taking... there's no way you're over 44 or 40 for that matter. These photos are wonderful, George looks ready to pour a large Port and Lemon. I love the gathering, it look wonderful, especially with a piano playing. The old make up is wonderful! Really outstanding. I love your cute French doll look. The dress is really wonderful, I bet your Grandmother would love to know you're still wearing it!

Curtise said...

I agree with Clare - you look about 14 with your freckles and dolly-style rouge!
I love the old photos, that party looks like fun! All the fabulous frocks, the prints are great, and the coffee'n'cream dress of your grandmother's is a beauty - and it fits! Keep twirling, Tania! Aunty Dolly looks good fun, so does George. And how amazing to have a photo of your parents' first date?
Ah, Lene Lovich. I'll have to find Lucky Number on YouTube later.
Have a great weekend! xxxxxxx

Vix said...

You look so gorgeous and about 18! That dress looked fantastic on your Granny and absolutely stunning on you, what a treasure!
I love George, I'd have been up the corner with him on the sherry!
It's mind blowing that you've got a picture from your Mum & Dad's first date and really unusual to see an unposed photo from that era, too!
I love the Aunt Sally blusher! My Grandma loved Bourjois rouge, too! xxxx

Unknown said...

It's lovely that you can still wear clothes your nan had, I bet it makes you think of her whenever you wear it x

Ofelia said...

Your mami and papi are so adorable in love and all the ladies dresses were amazing!
You look so young, I thought that you were 20' something!!! Whatever you are doing keep it up my dear.
Besos, Ofelia

Unknown said...

Holy guacamole - the frock is fabulous! I absolutely love those pics - Dolly's hair is magnificent!!! And OMG I am totally going to copy that gorgeous freckleface makeup - you are SO gorgeous! Sarah xxx

Kylie said...

Oh Tania, I love your Grandmother's dress - on her, and you! Beautiful. Look at the ladies with their ciggies in hand...why did women who smoked in 'the olden days' look so much classier than women who smoke today? (or is it just me?)

mispapelicos said...

Such lovely story, and pics, dear friend.
Enjoy your Sunday.

ric-rac said...

I like the look of Uncle George - he looks like fun x

Helga said...

How frigging fabularse are a) these old pix?! and b) your gorgeousness?!
Jaysus, I wish I'd been at that party! Your folks look rather snuggly for a first date! Clearly they were meant to be! I adore all these bloody frocks, and am so jealous of your magnificent inheritance!
Ha, Gearge is my kinda guy!!! Look at him, waving his lovely bottle about!

me said...

I can relate to this, I inherited a lot of my parents clothing/accessories from that era as well, all treasures.

Btw, you look absolutely beautiful in your grandmothers dress! Not to mention, you are a gorgeous 40 something! :)

Frocktasia said...

Wow, how fabulous! I love how you still have a photo of the dress when your granny wore it. It fits you like a dream too.
I remember my mum telling me of how she just got rid of all her grandmothers clothing after she died, something that she later bitterly regretted. She was a very young mother of three at the time and probably didn’t see the point in keeping hold of a "bunch of old" tailor-made skirt suits and bead embroidered evening frocks…I feel like crying a little when I think about it.
My mum’s memory is like an elephants, so when we look at old photos she can tell me the most detailed stories about the garments in them, I really love that.
I still have the top that my mum wore to her first date with my dad but unfortunately there are no photos.
I really love this post & the wonderful photos, thank you so much for sharing them…xXx

Patsy said...

Greetings, what fun you seem to be having doing your blogs! Love those pics from the album, everyone's got a fag on the go, those were the days hey.