Monday, 30 July 2012

A True Vintage Collector

There is a dress that has tormented me for months - I could see it was too small when I first spotted it in Lili Bizarre, but I measured it just in case and yes, heart-breakingly it was far too small. Every time I went in to Lili's I fawned over it and re-measured it, just in case I'd got the measurements wrong or in case it had magically expanded. Annoyingly, it has a European size label of 38 on it and I have at least one other dress in that size which fits fine. Pathetically, spurred on by my success with the ballgown that did fit after all (see this post) I did actually try it on once. It was feeling quite promising - I got it over my head and onto my waist - until I finally managed to pull all of the layers of lining over my head and realised I'd never be able to do up the side zip. In fact the dress is so small on me that it only covered one boob. Tragic.

Anyway, I left it in the shop - each time thinking that if it was still there by the next payday I'd buy it anyway, but each time not being able to justify that amount on an unwearable dress. Each time wondering why no-one had bought such a thing of beauty - half of me hoping someone would to put me out of my misery and give the dress the life it deserved, rather than leaving it neglected on the rail, and the other half hoping that no-one ever would because the thought of someone else owning it deeply upset me.

Finally, on Friday (payday) I cracked.

Yes, dear readers, I bought the dress.

I did something that makes me a True Collector of Vintage Clothing - I bought a dress that I will never, ever wear. It doesn't fit and quite frankly, without major surgery, never will. I'd have to lose at least 4 inches everywhere before it would come anywhere near me. However, I reasoned that if it the thought of losing it was bothering me that much it was worth buying it just to make me happy and stop worrying about it. The lovely staff at Lili's were laughing when they saw me bring it to the counter as they know it's been driving me mad.

Anyway, you're probably wondering what it looks like (I bet you'll think it's awful now).

It looks like this:
The Precious.
I was going to put it on my mannequin to show it off better but it was too small for it.

I love it so much! Which is kind of weird as it's not my normal taste at all - pretty much all of my dresses/clothes feature bold patterns and colours. I'm not really one for very pale colours and especially not pale pink.

The Bow Detail
But just look at the bow... and those divine flowers... and that delicate shade of pink... and those lovely purples and blues! Sigh.

I think it's the girliest dress ever. 

It is also fantastic quality -  the fabric is quite sheer and it has two layers of lining.  One layer is possibly an acetate fabric and the other is a soft muslin. It's made by Russell Stuart which is a label I can't find much information on unfortunately. Google searches just bring up completed eBay listings for "Mad Men" style dresses.

The Russell Stuart Label
The marks are marker pen that has bled through from the back of the label - there's a code written on it
The only way I can see this dress being worn is if we have a child/children and they want to wear it to their prom (and are about a UK size 6). But if they turn out like their parents they'll be all gothic ballgown or suit and Converse trainers instead (this was way before the Tenth Doctor too) and er... busty.

In the meantime I'm going to hang it on my wall and weep at its loveliness.

If you're interested I paid £35 for it - which I think is a bloody bargain for beauty of such magnitude (perhaps less of a bargain for something that is never going to be worn, but still).

Nikki x

P.S. I was hoping to get to a Car Boot sale today but it was bucketing down, so it wouldn't have been on. Gutted - I haven't made it to one in weeks. I hope you fared better if you were out Treasure-Hunting this weekend.


  1. This dress is fantastic. I can't believe you found it -- gorgeous!
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  2. That frock is DELIGHTFUL and a total work of art! Sarah xxx

  3. That dress is so sweet! Very girly, great find! :) It really could be just a decoration hanging on the wall :)

  4. It would probably fit me but I look terrible in girly 1950s frocks! It's so pretty as a wall hanging! x

  5. Wow....that sure is divine. I can see why it was worth buying even if it will never fit. Think of it as a work of art. Xx

  6. It IS a beautiful dress, I can quite understand why you fell in love! I agree with what others have said - hang her on the wall and admire her as a work of art. £35 for art? Not bad at all! xxx

  7. Thanks everyone! I'm glad no-one thinks I'm nuts. At one point I'd like to hang it on the wall, but there's no space for it anywhere at the moment. Plus I wouldn't trust the cats with it - they like to get inside dresses :s

    Vix I can't imagine you feeling comfortable in it at all.

    I don't think the pale colours would suit me even if it did fit.

    Nikki x