Sunday, 3 July 2011

Past and Present






Life is full of unlikely combinations. Relationships, friends, family – oh, and colours. Pink and yellow for example. My only memory of these two clashing shades (taking place in the ‘Jarring Colours Hall of Fame’, alongside green and purple, or fuschia and red), was absolute devotion to a pink and yellow striped umbrella I owned when I was little. Its curved handle was perfect for small fat fists; the canopy large enough to shelter beneath.

Pink and yellow is reminiscent of striped candles on cakes at childhood birthday parties – of wild flowers sprawling in a protest of colour – of dressing up in the brightest clothes. Maybe that’s why I was so drawn to this dress in the first place. My smaller self would definitely have approved of the swishy skirt, smattered floral print and princess style neckline. ‘Little Roz’ would have begged her mum to buy this yellow dress when she saw it in the charity shop – and for once, I agreed with my past self.
Sometimes items catch me out like that. I itch to touch diamante and lycra monstrosities (the ones that would have been deeply desirable ten years ago) hanging between the boxy shoulder padded suits and nylon nighties. When I was younger, I was fixated with anything that had even a hint of glitter or, even better, whorls of sparkle across the neckline – resembling a synthetic night sky. My tastes have moved on, but as I have said previously, I am sure that my current wardrobe is just an extension of that beloved dressing up box.
As a six year old, my eyes would definitely have lit up at the sight of the salmon pink cardigan too (also second hand). On reflection, I don’t think my love of pink was anything to do with upbringing or peer conformity – my mum was adamantly against gender stereotypical items such as Barbies (she eventually gave in, and I spent many happy hours making clothes out of scraps of fabric for them) – but simply out of a desire to wear a ‘pretty colour’.

The link between present and past in this outfit was wholly appropriate, as this is what I wore to accompany my mum on a visit to my grand-dad. In his room, I was suddenly aware of charting the process of me and my brother’s growing-up, following the chronological sets of pictures ranged around the walls. We give my grand-dad a pin-board or canvas of family images every year (most of them now taken by me). Among the home made cards and paintings, I can scrutinise my face and see how it has gradually altered. There we all are – smiling, laughing, preserved in colour or black and white.
Maybe some elements of family life resemble the strange mixing of pink and yellow: peering in from the outside, it might look like a discordant combination of strident differences. But together? It just works.

The thing I enjoyed most about that visit was delving into my grand-dad’s encyclopaedic knowledge of British and world history. Listening to his stories of day-to-day life during WW11 reminded me once again of the detailed embroidery that is our ancestors’ history. Spinning threads loop off through different directions and times. These recent mentions of family on my blog have been stitching an idea for my next post; this set of musings being something of a muslin toile to check whether the pattern fits.

Mum took the photos on the return trip. We hadn’t planned to do an outfit post, but the views on the way back were too magnificent to pass up. The gold belt and vintage sunglasses were gifts, and the ballet pumps are old ones from Topshop. The leather saddle bag was from a charity shop.

On a completely different strand – I enjoyed watching the first episode of Mildred Pierce last night, kindly sent to me by the Sky Atlantic PR team (along with a gorgeous pair of sunglasses!) The outfits and period settings, along with beautiful cinematography (plenty of stills-worthy shots, with framing through rainy windows and the like), makes it definitely worth scheduling into your evening. Kate Winslet’s skilled acting only reinforces the idea that this is a visual feast to savour.

The giveaway winner for the Style Yourself book will be announced in the next post - the entries have been superb. I have really enjoyed reading them all. The contest is open until the 5th July.

38 comments:

sacramento said...

The lengthe of this dress is so perfect on you, dear Roz.
I love your words, such a description present:
wild flowers sprawling in a protest of colour .
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

artsenmode said...

In what aera of the world are you, here on this photo?

Hazelnut said...

I LOVE the last two photos! Your poses are really natural and effortless. I should probably appreciate the outfit more, but I can't help praising your modelling instead. :P

Take care. :)

alexandratherese said...

There's so much I want to say about this post Roz, but I have managed (rather stupidly) to sprain my wrist which is now in a metal splint and so typing is proving difficult and somewhat painful! Firstly, we should treasure these stories and memories that our elders share with us - as time goes on and events such as WWII become more distant these anecdotes and snippets of History will become more and more scarce and important parts of world history will be forgotten. Maybe you could write down some of your Grandad's stories - you never know, you and he could write a book about it!

Secondly, your references to how a younger you would approve of your current wardrobe is really lovely - I always used to wear those jelly sandals when I was little, and now they're making they're making them in adult sizes I'm v. tempted to buy a pair! I really wanted to watch Mildred Pierce but we are with Virgin and Sky Atlantic is the one Sky channel we don't get! It was the same when Boardwalk Empire was on. Glad to hear how good it is, will have to buy the dvd when it comes out.

Thanks for the book recommendations too Roz - went to my local bookshop yesterday and bought Small Island. Already stuck into the first chapter and looking forward to getting properly stuck into lots of great books this Summer!

Alexandra xx

Rick Forrestal said...

Rules on color combinations? Not in my book -- NEVER.

I love your pink and yellow outfit -- great fashion choice, especially for the season. You look fantastic.

Nice pics.

Soccer Mom Style said...

What a beautiful post. The outfit, the view, the flowers (are these fox-gloves?) and of course the writing. Love your shoes too.
Your outfit reminded me of different kind of yellow and pink combo as in Christopher Kane's neon pieces (I think those are pretty as well). Funny you mentioned your childhood, your Mom's views... My lil girl will be 6 next week and I was just going through her baby pics and was amused to find one of her second bday party. She was wearing her bday gifts: pink sunglasses, pink sequin purse, holding pink toy car keys, pink bow in her hair... Seems like she was born with her own style though.... I am not trying to force girlishness on her, but she is just all girl as they say. I'll have to email you a photo I'm talking about...
xx
maya

San said...

Once again an excellent post. I absolutely enjoy your writing, your way of spinning tales and colouring in the pictures you drew with words. I really love your way with language. * happy sigh*
The shots are exquisite too, I really like the last one.

Have a great new week. I will, because it is finally back to work. (Yeah, I know this sounds weird, but I've been sick to the bone of the job search and the boredom & frustrations that comes with it.)

Life Like This.. said...

Very nice and refreshing pics..

Wishes,
Bhags
India.

Libby said...

Your way with words is simply beautiful, and your style is incredible. I agree with a comment above--no rules on colour combinations here! When I was younger, I wore the most outlandish rainbow-striped hat which I still have somewhere, paired with a blue fleece, green trousers, pink wellies, and a blue gingham bag with an applique girl in a yellow pinafore. There's a photo of me dressed as such, and it reminds me to where whatever I love.

Lilaanaa said...

so nice look, great dress

Caitlin Rose said...

This dress is amazing! I'm so glad you decided to take pictures of it. When I was young I was obsessed with florals, lace and polka dots, so I suppose I haven't changed much.

So glad you started watching Mildred Pierce, there are some outfits that Vivian wears that I'm obsessed with! And thanks for reminding me that yellow and pink are amazing together, I'm so inspired now!

The Fancy Teacup said...

Pink and yellow is such an extraordinary combination on you. A truly, lovely summer look.

♥, Jamie
www.TheFancyTeacup.com

Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

Absolutely stunning photos! The dress is so pretty and I like the combination with pink. I loved anything shiny as a child as well. I've gone off it lately though. I have a lot of very sparkly jewelry that I haven't worn in forever...

Ms LadyCakes said...

Your last photo looks so calm, cool, collected and beautiful! An inspiring pose!

I like how you added an extra flair to your outfit with your peach coat. Lovely :)

Instylation

Jessica said...

Great dress and shades :)

http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

Please take a minute to look at my vintage boutique;

http://bitsforboffins.bigcartel.com/

http://iouproject.com/tsh/jessica-karen/

the nyanzi report said...

I just love the second and last pictures. excellent.

Sizzling Suzai said...

oh, ROZ THANKS A LOT for dropping by on my blog it is so sweet of u dear~ neway, im not just enjoying myself looking at ur amazing photos here but im improving my english through ur words dear...always love the writing..keep up ROZ! ^^

Ruta, Look Ugly in a Photograph said...

My grandparents all live on the other side of the world, so I hardly get to visit, but the chances that I have gotten to see them, I love exploring their homes, especially since there are so many beautiful keepsakes. One of my grandfather's has the best collection of books ever. I love it.

Beautiful outfit!!!! So gorgeous!!!

adrielleroyale said...

Swishy skirts were always my favorite as a child too :) My mom always knew that if the skirt didn't twirl, I wouldn't want it!

Shervin Nassi said...

absolutely gorgeous
vintage class

www.shervinsworld.com

Jo said...

The colour of your dress is divine <3 You look amazing!

x
www.lostinthehaze.com

Naima Amarilli said...

I love so much read your words and see your personal view of style, always unique! I follow you!



http://giocodidonne.blogspot.com/

Lottie said...

you are gorgeous! i love this outfit on you!

SabinePsynopsis said...

Pink and yellow is definitely a challenging combination, but since Christopher Kane gave us the neon versions it doesn't seem weird anymore.
I totally love your more 'muted' combination. The shades and the fabrics give it a soft, romantic touch.
My mum also eventually gave in with the barbies :)

xo

Penny Dreadful said...

I can't wait to watch Mildred Pierce, hope you are enjoying it. Those views really are stunning, I wish I lived somewhere I had that kind of scenery to drink in x

Celynne said...

Oooh that yellow dress is a dream.

Fashionistable said...

The st thing that struck me was how perfect it all was. The location and the outfit were made for each other. I have a pink and yellow top my sister-in-law bought me that I love. So I get the colour combo. Glad you had a great time with your grandad. I have been away. Dd you get my email OK? Lv Dvora Xxxx

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

these images are simply glowing...something about that heavily clouded sky and diffused sunlight make everything luminous; it's almost eery. beautiful post, lovely outfit. xo
- style odyssey

Bang and Buck said...

Lovely look! Gorgeous pictures.

xo

http://bangandbuck.blogspot.com

Franca said...

beautiful outfit, that colour combo is after my own heart! I don't think it's discordant at all!

Vicky said...

I've been so looking forward to Mildred Pierce; not just for the undoubted sartorial wonders, but also because I absolutely love Kate Winslet! Beautiful dress, and stunning pictures, as ever.

Laura Mashir said...

Love combination of colour and texture in your outfit!

www.fashionsketchbook.blogspot.com

Mary M. said...

Wow, the dress, the cardigan and the flats are just dreamy toghther, I would have never guessed or thought of such an amazing combination! All the posts, whether outfit posts or just writing are simply amazing and the name of the blog is really original! I was wonderring if you would have time to check mine, possibly follow? Hope we keep in touch!

Mary from http://teenfashiondiary.blogspot.com/

TheMadTwins said...

Wonderful pictures! I totally adore the first shot! The dress is so gorgeous! actually is the whole outfit great!

Lydia said...

I love the last pic. It's like your levitating in a beautiful field!

Fabrizia said...

Hi! I like this post so much, you look really great!
If you want come and visit my blog, and if you like, follow me!

http://cosamimetto.blogspot.com/

Claire said...

love the dress, love the look!
xx

M & Em said...

Who says pink and yellow can't go well together? It's a beautiful combination, especially how you did it! They look like the colors of a sunset. That dress has some gorgeous details on it, and your cardigan is adorable! You are seriously one of the prettiest girls I've ever seen. Your face is flawless!

xoxo
Em