Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pretty as a Picture

Dear Gentlemen... The Big Band Sneak

In the Trenches Coat

Here is a sneak peek at what vintage and retro clothing will be on offer for Gentlemen when the store launches.  This collection is based on The Big Band, a post WWI era music which was all about a big sound, lots of charm, and military influences.  While there is plenty of military looks in the collection, there is also a focus on dressing up with smart waistcoats, dinner jackets and tweeds, or the all out hands down favourite category... tuxedo dressing.

Military Muchacho Shirt

Big Band Show Waistcoat 

Penguin Tails Tuxedo Jacket

Military Monsieur Dinner Jacket

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's Mission

At Hawke Headquarters, this week is going to be all about good food, good music and work work work work work.  I look forward to making further progress to share with you and showcasing some of the shops collections to see what you think!  

The website has been designed, it now needs to be turned into a functional whizz click web machine so you can peruse the wares on offer with ease, exciting times.  I hope you have a lovely week that is prosperous and productive, and if you are in New Zealand are enjoying the cherry blossoms and magnolias, or further afield loving Autumn / Fall and all the beautiful colours it brings.  

Wednesday will be the day to check back for more previews of the shops collection, particularly Gentlemen's wear as Hawke's in house mannequin named Monsieur Muchacho can now show you how it would fit, shawee!  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dear Ladies...Drycleaning Vintage

If you love vintage clothing,  you will know that often it is necessary when buying a special vintage piece that is particularly old, for it to be cleaned before wearing.  About 6 weeks ago I bought the most beautiful chiffon silk and lace dress, I think it was from the late 1940's and had been delivered all the way from Norway.  The top part of the dress has fabric covered buttons to do up the back & was made from the most detailed delicate tulle and coil lace.

Sometimes it seems like drycleaning must be worse in some cases for your clothes than handwashing with water because of the chemicals used right?   But I once washed a 50's debutante dress and spoiled the special backing the fabric had by mistake to make the skirt stay stiff, which is a process no longer done to fabrics and can not be redone once the chemical structure has been spoiled by water.  This dress had been worn and loved in its previous life, and not wanting to risk damage, I reluctantly took it to the drycleaners.

The silk chiffon skirt part came back brilliantly brand new from the waist down.  I then noticed that the delicate lace returned in tatters, with large holes through it and deterioration.  It had also shrunk, which was ok but could have been disastrous if it had fit properly to start with.  It was heartbreaking to say the least, more for the fact that it was a piece of rare history.  As someone else picked it up on my behalf, the drycleaner offered no apology or compromise, despite being a loyal customer for many years & trusting him with special, handmade & delicate pieces, he claimed he had warned me, which he had not.

As you can see from these photos this is a drycleaning nightmare & I wanted to let fellow lovers of lacey vintage know, if the lace is looking even remotely fragile or you have an item made from silk or chiffon silk, please handwash it!  It is not worth the risk of potentially damaging a piece of history, and it will definately not deteriorate the lace like harsh chemicals potentially can!  

The good news is that after 10 hours of carefully rebacking what remained of the lace with tulle and stitching parts by hand, it is now wearable again!

If you ever have a problem with any of your vintage pieces feel free to email and ask away and I will do my best to help you out with suggestions, there has been many lessons learned over the last few years from clothing from the past! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oh My Hat....

"Oh my hat!" with hand on heart and mouth open in shock is my nana's classic saying when something scandalous has just gone down.  This photo brings a whole new meaning to that tehehe

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Got to go to... Berlin

Dear Eriny lives in Berlin, I can't wait to go and see her.  She speaks of war time bullet holes still strewn across walls, never repaired.  How could you not love a city that refuses to forget its history?

Stars of the 40's - Betty Grable

20th Century Fox's top star of the 40's, Betty took a completely new direction post 1930's in her career and came out on top.  An actress, singer and dancer, Miss Grable knew all too well how fun it is to dress up!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Simple Magic


More Mark Shaw from the 60's - so simple and swan like!

Retro Johnny

Johnny Depp - The late 80's / 90's kid through and through

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pretty as a Picture

A 1950's Dior ad, taken by Mark Shaw in the 17th century house owned at the time by the directrice of Dior in Paris Suzanne Luling.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dear Gentlemen...Dandy Beau Gallants

I was having a chat with my lovely mother last week, and she used the word dandy to describe someone.  It made me laugh, so I had to find out what the true meaning of a dandy boy was, along with vintage variations of the modern version to share. 

It is a male who places particular importance on his appearance, leisurely hobbies and refined language in a bid to imitate the lives led by aristocrats.  They were gentlemen in every sense of the word, well rounded characters full of manners, charm and respect.  

I have kept these gentlemen in mind whilst finding outfits for the Big Band collection, and I will preview some of the treats I have found very soon!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coloured Cats for Kicks

Tim Walker - Pastel Cats (1998)

Who actually must have thought...pigment powder mixed with talc plus patting of cats of the persian variety equals pastel cats and a seriously good day of photo taking. Touche Tim!