Vintage frock goes out to dinner

Hi there and thanks for dropping by. As promised, here's some pics of our staff outing where I was joined by Emily (centre) and Mel for our dinner at the Ruin Beach Cafe last week. 

Emily has worked in the gallery for the past two years as my admin girl. It's probably no surprise to you to learn that in a previous life she was a catwalk model after being approached as a teenager, continuing for three years before moving on. 

Mel and her boyfriend Pete have lived on Tresco for a couple of years making it their base while they've been touring Europe. They come from New Zealand, land of the travellers, and have just left Tresco for another jaunt abroad. Next year Canada beckons them.

This was the view from our table for our lovely dinner . 

The photos are a tale of two halves. This and the following were taken by my daughter before I met up with the girls and as you can see, I had the prettiest pair of shoes on (old from Primark) to match my vintage dress. I had teetered up to the top of the hill where she and I met, and afterwards decided that I ought to carry my shoes to the venue and wear something more practical, hence the first photo shows me in red cowboy boots. In the flurry of changing footwear and reapplying lipstick I somehow managed to leave my shoes behind!

I added my very old green Benetton jeans jacket to the floaty frock along with my orange stretch belt. I've had this dress for some time now, but it was only recently that I decided to customise it by adding some silk flowers to the skirt. If I ever stop working then this customising of old clothes would be my ideal past time. Upcycling unwanted items and turning them into unique pieces would be a great environmental and creative project.

The dress was much admired and I must admit it felt gloriously feminine to waft about in this gauzy frock for an evening out. I'm not much of a party girl, but it was so good to cross the island and enjoy great food in an idyllic setting.  We really had a super time.

My fab leather handbag was a vintage find many years ago when I was on holiday in Ireland. Red and green aren't the easiest of colours to weave into an outfit so this was the perfect opportunity to give it an airing. My rings are all old, not charity shopped for a change, but various gold rings plus my engagement ring bought by my husband over the years.

The gold floral necklace is also very old, a purchase from Gallery Tresco when we used to stock Magpie Vintage jewellery. The jury's out as to whether it was too much for this summer look, but hey, that's what I wore! Sunglasses are by Radley London.

I go away on holiday later this week so will be off-grid for a wee while. I'm going to spend time with family and will be back with all the news soon. Until then, look after yourself!

                                                                       Anna x


Chiffon and tweed on a breezy day

Hello lovelies, how are you?

Today's outfit is one that I've been waiting for the right opportunity to wear. However, as no special occasion came along I decided to showcase it for you anyway. When spring arrives and the gallery re-opens for another season I know I'll get the chance to wear this. In the meantime it's had an airing or should I say a blow-through!

The dress is a gorgeous vintage piece that I've had for years; the label states Borghese by Toplet. I chose it for the vibrant chiffon in this giant floral print. It has a fitted bodice with a drop waist, unlined chiffon sleeves with bows at the wrist and bright red lining. The lining was the obvious reason for me to add my beloved sock boots (old, from H&M). 

I love to dress up as you'll know, but I'm also aware that sometimes I might look a bit overdone (aka wearing fancy dress) for everyday life. To this end, I decided to add tweed to the uber feminine frock which gave it a more grounded appearance. Still head turning, but not so alarming I hope.

I love the odd buttons on this second-hand jacket by Joules, in fact that's what drew me to it in the first place. The gorgeous floral lining was a bonus find when I went to try it on. If you know the brand, then you'll understand how beautifully made their pieces are, finished to such a high standard with quirky details like these buttons as well as velvet and ribbon trim. Jewellery-wise I'm wearing preloved rings and my gold chain necklace from Primark. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

A sunny day, a billowing dress, castle ramparts and pure white sand with azure water beyond - what a joy this shoot was. Steve did the honours, taking time out on a Sunday afternoon to heckle and tease, getting the best out of me for your delectation. 

The previous day it had been blowing and absolute gale, so much so that I couldn't have stood in the same place safely. My walk with Fiona past this castle was a hoods-up-against-the-storm-and-rain kind of day with no chance at all of any blog photography.

Apologies for the erratic nature of my posting of late. I've decided that I can't afford to be a slave to the schedule at the moment and am simply posting what I can, when I can. I think it's better to be sharing something that I feel is worthy rather than forcing myself to post on specific days regardless of the content. I do hope you agree.

Until next time, have a super week!

                                                                                  Anna x


Anna does Kirstie at Christmas

Happy Christmas my lovelies!

Hello and thanks for dropping by today. I bet I'm not alone in wondering how Christmas has suddenly been and gone already. All that hype, all those preparations, all that food and packing of presents and suddenly - it's over! 

This is my Christmas day frock a la Kirstie Allsopp. I'm a huge fan of her pre-Christmas bonanza of programmes in which she wears the shirtwaister dress in all sorts of colours and patterns. I found mine in a charity shop in September and stashed it away ready for the big day. It's a vintage piece by the brand Kerena. The red, green and gold theme screamed out festive dressing the minute I saw it and the voile fabric was too pretty to resist. 

I changed the self fabric belt for this gold trimmed woven one (pre-loved) to add a bit more Christmas pizazz. The ring is also pre-loved and my necklace was a gift from Sasha a couple of years ago - it's been one of my most featured pieces of jewellery thanks to the simplicity and therefore versatility of it.

(Just a little aside here. I spent most of Christmas day thinking I'd forgotten something and it was only when I reviewed these photos that I remembered - the deforestation of my eyebrows! A tad more lipstick wouldn't have gone amiss either.)

I wanted to lift the dress out the conservative dressing bracket and gave it a touch of tartan to create something more "Anna's Island Style". The boots were from M&S ages ago. The red glitter tights add a touch of glamour - maybe too much for some, but a dash of fun for me.

Anyway folks, I wasn't sure if anyone would be checking the blog over the festive period so thank you for calling. I'll be back on Monday for the last of our Style Not Age challenge for 2019. The theme is Winter Opulence and I'm sure it's gonna be a corker! Do pop by for that if you get a moment.

I'll leave you with this fabulous sunset shot taken from my garden this evening.

                                                                                   Anna x


A vintage dress for our May exhibition

We opened our May show last night with a reception party at the gallery, attended by guests and locals as well as one of the artists, Amanda Hoskin. See the full exhibition online here

I bought this vintage dress when I was in Harrogate last month; one of my favourite dresses from that shopping spree I think and that's down to all of the detailing - the huge shoulder pads, accentuated by frilled edging as well as tiny pleats below. (A note to any of my readers in Yorkshire - do take a trip to Harrogate for this one particular charity shop-St Michael's Hospice-as it's more like a boutique than a charity shop. All of the goods are designer or top end pieces from the high street and the shop itself is teaming with every kind of accessory too, all of the best quality.)

The minute I put it on I knew it was for me. The shoulder pads made me feel very Sue Ellen from those Dallas days. The shape is very flattering with an elasticated waist; the perfect counterpoint to the huge shoulders. The 80's were all about emphasising the female form. No zips or buttons to complicate matters either, just pull if on and you're ready to go. 

I'd not come across this 80's designer, Diane Freis before, but you can read a bit more about her here

Oh don't I look so fabulous darlings! Oh dear, maybe not - I'm being photo-bombed!

I've had these kitten heels for yonks and only rediscovered them when I did my seasonal changeover recently. They were the perfect height to wear for the whole evening without any of the usual shuffling and tweaking I have to do in higher heels.

I decided on my jumbo pearls to help balance out the over sized shoulders, and the patterned metal of the stretch belt seemed like a good choice to tie in with the print of the dress (looks like I didn't clip it fully together though). Preloved rings and rose gold bangles finished the look.

And last, but by no means least, here's my happy team of helpers by way of Max, Polly and Ruth. Thank you ladies for doing a stalwart job as usual! Ruth had spent the day on the beach with her family and boy, isn't she glowing from all of that wonderful Tresco sunshine!
Anna x


Vintage vibe

So here's a lovely perk of having my daughter return to the fold; the hand-me-down of this vintage dress. A pop of pink is a perfect midweek pep up! (No extra charge for the tongue twister!)

The midweek rush did mean however that I forgot to bring out my new pink metallic shoes for this. Since my wardrobe changeover I've discovered a lot more winter shoes and boots than I knew I had, causing me a bit of a headache as I try to fit them all into accessible spaces. Hence the pink shoes aren't in with the main shoe collection. Hey ho, I'll just have to showcase them in my next post.

Much as I love these glitter brogues I really think the outfit would've looked better with heels. Chaos still reigns in my life even though it's October and I had assured myself that all would be calm by this time of year. My husband's 60th birthday has sidetracked me as I try to arrange a party for him this weekend. Last weekend we went to St Mary's for the night to join two of his childhood friends who are also turning 60. We had a great evening of gourmet food with immaculate service in unique surroundings followed by drinks in a local hotel. We spent the night in a B&B so that we didn't have to come back in our boat in the dark - very easily done when you know the way, but not how I wanted to end the evening. Can you believe I forgot to take my camera for that little jaunt? I'd love to do a repeat performance (perhaps for my 60th) and get some shots for the blog. Both the restaurant and the guest house deserve a shout out for the high standards they offer.

Sunday's post will feature a blogger's meet up here on the island. Do join me to see how we achieved the perfect selfie with lots of hilarity along the way.

Anna x


Fogbound in paradise

The tourists were seeing another side of our paradise island today as we were surrounded by fog. Or maybe not seeing, was more to the point. When a warm weather front collides with a cold one over the top of these tiny islands, then inevitably we'll be shrouded by fog until the pressure changes or some high winds blow it away. However, Polly loves a bit of fog, as the dreamy, wispy backdrop helps to make colours pop, which was perfect for this floral dress.

I have worn this dress once before but not styled quite like this. So let's draw back, start at the beginning and see the full effect shall we?

Yes, it's time to air this red petticoat again. I think we may suffer from a bit of over-exposure to it this month, but I can't help that I'm in love with this red floufy (Sheila's word) delight (a customer declared it delightful today). We have an exhibition coming up next week and I think I may be pairing this petticoat up with a lacy offering in a very feminine, overdone way for that dressing up extravaganza.

My new yellow Candy bag is so right with this dress. Not only is it a great colour match, but the size is spot-on too. It's cute and just rounds off the whole look perfectly.

Heck, that was a whole lot of photos wasn't it? Polly did such a great job, and those colours surely did pop, that I had difficulty leaving some of these out of the mix. This variation is another hit with me, but maybe not with everyone I came across today. I suppose I might have blended in better if I'd been sashaying down Carnaby Street, but here on my little island home I certainly drew more than a few glances. As I've said before, I really dress to please myself. It's a bonus if others like it, and a real bonus if they actually say something nice. That's the wonderful thing about running a fashion blog. I don't feel like an oddity or out there any more. When I check out some my favourite fashion bloggers strutting their stuff, why I look positively tame by comparison. Check out Sheila, Suzanne or Melanie to see what I mean. 

Friday's post is going to be another first for me, but you'll have to drop by again to find out what that means. Thanks to those of you who have emailed me with your ideas for my feature "As suggested by..." as it will be your turn soon. I now have the next three months lined up and would love it if you keep your thoughts coming. I'm so pleased to have your feedback and will enjoy getting these things out and re-styling them with something appropriate for that month. This month also heralds my first anniversary of blogging and strangely I'm struggling as to what to wear! Yes, laugh, please do, at the irony of this! I have a couple of things in mind, but am not sure which way I'll go with this. I've still got a little while left to give it some more consideration. Perhaps I need to take the pressure off and just treat it like any other day. Phew, that feels better already. Thanks for dropping by and I hope to catch up with you all again on Friday x

Jacket: Lulu and Red Boutique (charity shop). Dress: Vintage: Charity shop. Petticoat: eBay. Tights: Enjoy Clothing. Boots: River Island: Handbag: Furla. Watch: Michael Kors. Rose gold bangle: Kate Spade New York. Blue rings: charity shop.

Linking with 
Jess of Elegantly Dressed And Stylish 
Cherie of Style Nudge 
Sheela of Sheela Writes 

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