I don’t know if I’ve mentioned them here before, but I have several mannequins – Clarissa, Genevieve, Peg, and The Kid. Plus a few mannequin heads, some with names and some without.
Now, I’m a blue jeans and t-shirt kind of girl…nothing fancy for me. I can’t walk in heels without hurting myself (I don’t even try anymore), and if I wear something I love I will probably spill coffee on it. I rarely wear dresses because I can’t get the whole ensemble together – even if I find the perfect dress, I won’t have pantyhose or shoes or a coat or a purse (I keep all my “stuff” in my pockets). I just can’t get my shit together enough to wear a dress, you know what I mean?
But I do love some of those feminine things that mystify and elude me, those girly-girl accessories that girly-girls wear so effortlessly, those grown-up lady shoes and dresses and lingerie. I just feel faintly ridiculous in them. Hence, the mannequins….they wear all this stuff I wouldn’t be caught dead in.
So the biggest day of the year for my girls is the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show, held at the most opulent of hotels, the Chateau Laurier. Every year I get there early and line up with the crowds, and then the doors open and there’s a feverish crush of women unleashed into the pure decadence of this incredible, delicious, delectable smorgasborg of historical textiles and fashions and jewelry and accessories.
Meanwhile, the mannequins wait at home with baited breath, eager to see what I’ll bring them. A fur stole? A beaded flapper dress? Stiletto heels? A cocky litle hat? Something demure and Victorian, or a see-through go-go girl outfit? Another mannequin? Ya just never know. So here are the treasures I unearthed this year:
This is a fabulous find, a dress, or a mantle, or a combination dress/mantle thing, which comes from Belgrade! It’s made of black wool, with fine hand-done petit-point adornment. The photo of Clarissa modeling it simply does not do it justice, so I’ve included a couple of photos with better lighting.
Everybody got something except Genevieve and the Kid. This is Genevieve, wearing the stunning dress I bought her last year at the same event. It’s black fringe with a silk lining, and it clings to her form as if it were custom-made just for her. She looks exquisite, no? This dress is why she didn’t get anything this year…she is divine just the way she is. The picture just doesn’t do that dress justice…if anybody knows how to photograph black, please tell me!
Here’s Clarissa again, modeling a lovely little dress, which I have to admit is far too ordinary to be in their wardrobe, but somehow it made more of an impression yesterday than today. Oh well. No adult human being is small enough to wear it, so it must have been made for mannequins.
That’s The Kid in the background. I wanted to get him a Davy Crocket hat, but I didn’t find one. Poor kid, he’s been wearing the same clothes so long the back is fading. Peg loves her white rabbit-fur jacket. It fits me too, but she has already told me I can’t borrow it because I’m likely to slop coffee down the front of it. I only bought it because it’s sooooo incredibly soft. Poor little bunny though.