Gorgeous sketches from the Bergdorf Goodman archives, showcasing vintage designs from several influential designers of the 1950s and 1960s – Balenciaga, Balmain, Dior, Heim, Lanvin, Schiaparelli, Simonetta, and more.
When I was about five or six, I received a miniature blue and white china tea set for Christmas. It came in a large cardboard box with a windowpane lid and each precious piece cradled in a flocked plastic tray.
As I opened the box that day, I felt like such a grown-up. I carefully took out each cup and saucer, and gingerly placed a tiny silver (plastic) spoon on the edge of each set. I poured tea (imaginary, of course) for the invited company – my older cousins, whom I adored – and made small talk while passing around miniature platters of arrowroot cookies.
I was a lady, pouring that imaginary tea. I felt interesting, witty, sophisticated – at least six-teen years old. I was the owner of fine china. I was a grown-up.
After the tea party, I carefully packed each piece back in the plastic tray and closed the windowpane lid. Each time I played with the dishes, I would always place them back ever-so-gently in that box, like a treasure chest. Over the years, it became so worn that I should have just thrown it away, but to me, it was as much a part of the set as the dishes themselves. The ritual of placing each precious piece back in the box completed the entire experience of mature responsibility.
I’m not sure what ever happened to that tea set. It makes me a little sad to think I’ll probably never see it again. But I’ll always have the memories.
Why not get in touch with your inner child by hosting your own tea party?
A “tea,” even though it be formal, is nevertheless friendly and inviting. One does not go in “church” clothes nor with ceremonious manner; but in an informal and every-day spirit, to see one’s friends and be seen by them.”
-Emily Post, “Etiquette”, 1922
1. Send the invitations:
Start your party off on an elegant note. Something simple is best, like correspondence cards with embossed designs or dainty floral graphics.
2. Make refreshments:
Tea sandwiches, bite-sized pastries, and small cakes are traditional tea party fare. Choose lighter versions for an informal affair, or go with more decadent ingredients, with a larger selection of savory items, for an afternoon high tea.
For all you vintage loving gals and guys in the Toronto area, don’t miss this amazing show, held twice yearly at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Dozens of independent vendors sell everything from costume jewelry to designer originals, including clothing from the Victorian era through the 1990’s. Coming up on Saturday, September 28th!
Look at all those beautiful dresses!
Check out their website for all the details. And be sure to let me know what you find at the show!
One of my favourite things about summer is the chance to wear bold, colorful prints after a long winter’s jean & sweater binge. I forget during the winter months that prints are such a pick-me-up. Like getting a dose of much-needed vitamin D, putting on a pretty print dress releases Serotonin. It’s a fact.
Here are a few pieces that I’m in love with right now from the shop, which could gracefully transition from summer to fall, and even into the bleak, colour-starved winter.
Metallics never go out of style. Gold – worn to accessorize an outfit, or as the main event itself – always resonates with style and distinction. The Egyptians knew it, the Greeks knew it, and we all know those 60s swingers knew it. Certainly gold is eye-catching, but something about its shimmering, light-diffusing nature adds an air of luxe subtlety to an outfit (if worn in the right proportions and styles, of course). Gold can be used to make a statement, or works equally well as a supporting player in an otherwise toned-down look. The possibilities are endless, so go for the gold! (Too much? I just like cheesy puns, OK?)
1960s Gold Lame Cocktail Dress with Gold Braid Trim
1960s Cocktail Dress Bow Collar Black Satin Gold Net
Gold Silk 1960s Day Dress Button Detail Pleated Skirt