These strangely ghostly apparitions were the fruits of my rummaging through the village Vide Grenier in the South of France. A couple of unusual and very pretty vintage pieces to add to my collection of summer whites, both of which are fashioned in a heavy cotton linen mix jacquard. The stall owner I bought them from believed them to be from the nineteen fifties.
I'm not sure if any other vintage lovers ever wonder briefly on the lives of the people who wore their new preloved purchases before them, but I always do. I let my imagination conjure up a previous owner, in this case an elegant French village woman who took pride in her appearance, treasured her clothing and who took great care to keep her garments pristine and in perfect condition. Despite their age there is not a single stain on either of these pieces. There are no tears, nicks or pulled threads, nor is there any yellowing of the fabric as is so often the case with whites. Like a phantom still inhabiting her clothing, you could almost imagine that she is there in the room, with her dignified form proudly illuminating the cavities where her body once was, rather than the sunlight that now streams through them.
I tried the jacket on which is a very close, cropped fit on me and flares gently out at the hem. Left unbuttoned it looks fresh and modern. The stall owner declared I was "impeccable" and an image of the "impeccable" Frenchwoman, perfectly turned out and with exquisite taste in clothing, came to mind.
There has been a resurgence in fashion lately of the use of jacquard so it was quite exciting to find some vintage versions. I love textural effects in fabric and tend to gravitate towards clothes made from cloth with an interesting texture or finish. Below is a close up to show in more detail the variegated woven pattern of the fabric. The jacket has raised diamonds and leaves while the skirt is covered in a tessellation of raised diamonds grouped within diamonds.
The voluminous bell shaped skirt was actually once a petticoat and fastens with stays that tie at the back. I think it is far too lovely to stay as an undergarment and I have plans to wear it as outerwear. When I tried it on Mr V helpfully said I looked like a milkmaid in it! Men! I bought it anyway and am happy to say, when showing what I'd bought to our friends later, that it got the seal of approval from my similiarly-minded, vintage-hunting girlfriend who, as I did on first seeing it, immediately appreciated its romance!
Cotton linen mix jacket and petticoat: Vintage
Print skirt: Mango; Lace T shirt: Zara