I love handbags, who doesn’t? Sadly, they are often expensive purchases to make, so I end up having to save up for months in order to even dream of attaining a designer one (except when I score at the vintage shops!) But guess what I’ve figured out? You don’t have to have a big, fat, designer label stitched on the inside pocket to feel like you look good. Here are some really cute bags I found on Etsy.com (one of my most frequented online stores.) The great thing about Etsy is that all of the items are second-hand or handmade by the individual sellers so you are not only supporting independent designers, you are also contributing to the health of our environment by buying recycled products…You can’t go wrong there.
English law describes a gypsy as such: “persons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin, but does not include members of an organised group of traveling showmen, or persons engaged in traveling circuses, traveling together.”
Gypsies (also known as Romani people or “tinkers”) often live in squalour, begging and panhandling their way through towns and cities. Some perform songs and dances for money. They are known to be thieves and vagrants and on the lower rungs of society’s ladder. When traveling through Europe, our booking agents politely advise us to be weary of them.
Never trust a gypsy.
When I think of what makes a truly feminine look, I think about dainty, Edwardian and Victorian style women, draped in Chantilly lace, fine Asian silks, and structured, yet-billowing dress skirts. I see young women taking chaperoned walks through the garden with a gentleman caller.
On a sunny day, I see them holding these. I don’t care that it’s the 21st century, I would do it. Follow the links below the pictures to see item pages.
Black Lace Parasol
English Rose Parasol
Lolita Bride Parasol
I wish I could get away with wearing hats. If they are not perfectly placed on my head, I end up looking like an eggheaded clown/fool. Vintage, as always, has a warm spot in my heart but I especially have a soft spot for war-era uniforms and military issue anything. It’s the ex-soldier in me I suppose! Here are some military-issue chapeaus I found on eBay that I wish would suit my head:
I have been fascinated by the holocaust from about the age of eight years old. I went to a predominantly Jewish school and on holidays such as Rosh Hashanah there would only be about seven children in class. I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to get out of school as well, so I sought out to learn more about being a ‘Jew.’
I would read Holocaust fiction and study children’s books on Hanukkah and other holidays. It certainly helped that all my best friends throughout my life were Jewish because I got to experience the Sayders and Shabbats along with them. I would even get Dreidels from our accountant on the first night of Hanukkah (if I was good, of course)!
These experiences with a different religious culture helped foster a broader understanding of people that lived their life a different way than I. Having such strong bonds with these people that I considered no different from myself in any other way yet had gone through such grave devastation and discrimination, allowed me to appreciate good that could come out of a bad situation, whatever the good may be.
Comme des Garçons did a collection a few seasons ago that was critically panned as being insensitive and offensive, due to its resemblance to concentration camp attire. According to the designers, this was not their intention but due to the flack they received, they back-peddled on their “fashion statement” for the sake of appeasing the masses.
This got me thinking, “why does concentration camp garb need to be a bad thing?” (stay with me here!)
I went to the photo archives of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and as I was going through the photographs I found beauty in catastrophe. Everything was taken away from these people, not a penny to spare on designer goods or high fashion. They didn’t have $1500 to spend on a dress, far from it in fact, buying anything at all would have been the furthest thing from their mind! The victims of the holocaust had a style all their own without even knowing it and me being the way that I am, sought to find the art in the devastation.
I encourage you to do the same. To see beyond circumstance when you look at these photographs. Try to appreciate the beauty in their sense of style through extreme adversity. The photographs make graphic statements, not about the clothes per se, but about the people wearing them. The hope and resilience they evoke should be admired instead of tip toeing around the apparent gravity of the situation. The fact that they could smile while their hands were facing G-d is what makes these style statements an inspiration to me.