Sunday, August 27, 2017

Retro Photo Session with Shipr

My aunt gave me a wonderful birthday present - a photo session with the retro studio "ШИПР" (Pronounced shipr). These guys are amazing. It's a studio in Moscow where they take pictures using equipment from the early 20th century.

There is no photoshopping involved. Instead, you have a very old camera and a makeshift dark room. They develop the photos right in front of you, in dishes full of chemicals. You can also see them at festivals doing street photography and you can hire them to do events.
My sister took the pictures of the process. I had two outfits, one that was more 1950s and the other a very 1940s look.

Outfit notes:
Dress - Olivia Rogue 
Gloves - thrifted 
Shoes - Miss L Fire
Stockings - H&M

Outfit notes:
Blouse - Collectif
Trousers - Indiska, from a few years ago
Shoes - Keds

The photo record of the process by Maria K.

The results were delightful! I feel just like an actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Visiting the French Gardens at Kuskovo

My sister and I have been making the rounds of all the manors around Moscow for the past couple of years. This year we decided to visit Kuskovo, a little green paradise in eastern Moscow. One of its main attractions is the only French formal garden left in Moscow.

The French garden at Kuskovo
A formal French garden is characterized by symmetry and order; it's nature brought under human control. This type of garden was particularly popular in the 17th century. In the 18th century the English landscape garden emerged which is all about the picturesque and creating the illusion of wild, untamed nature.              

French garden on the left, all order. English garden on the right, all wilderness. Source
Well, you get the picture.

Kuskovo was the summer estate of the very wealthy and powerful Sheremetev family. They owned large chunks of land around Moscow (their name may be familiar to you from the Sheremetyevo Airport, where they owned a village and its inhabitants), owned a large number of people and were patrons of the arts and theater. I very much recommend reading about them - TV shows like the White Queen will look pretty tame in comparison to their lives.

Kuskovo manor and church, view from the pond 
Apart from the palace, which is just a very large manor house beautifully decorated, the park has a grotto, a hermitage, the Dutch house, the Italian house, the Swiss house, the menageries for the waterfowl, the remnants of a summer theater, and two orangeries.  

The Grotto
The Italian house
The orangery 
The hermitage
After a tour of the park, it is essential to take a little rest in the shade with a good book.

Barely visible roof of the Swiss house

The Dutch house in the background
There was also an English landscape garden, wild and romantic.
And some semi-wild cats everywhere.

After getting enough fresh air and sunshine, we decided to take a turn around the manor house.

The dinning room

The tiled oven in the reception room, typical of Russian interior design of this period  
The reception room

The dancing room
While we were there, we got to see the French Elegance exhibition. Different rooms of the manor housed a collection of dresses and outfits, recreations of the the French 18th century fashions.

My favorite gown was in the dinning room.
 More outfits from the dinning room.

A beautiful formal gown from the reception room.

I found this replica of the famous Madame de Pompadour dress delightful.

Some less formal fashions and wigs from the dressing room.

And finally, in the last room of the manor house there was a small exhibition of shell art from the grotto. The grotto is undergoing some restoration work, so they moved some of the pieces from there into the main house. I did not know that you can make such beautiful art with shells. Now I do!

Well, that's all from the beautiful Kuskovo. Until next time!

Outfit notes:
Dress - originally Lindex, thrifted
Wrap - KappAhl
Belt - thrifted
Bag - borrowed from Mom
Hat - farmers market in Porvoo
Shoes - Keds from Shooz

All images by my sister Maria K. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thrift Haul from July

Today, I want to share with you some of the wonderful things I have bought during my thrift haul in preparation for the summer vacation. Now that the vacation is over, I feel confident that I can share not only the freshly bought clothes, but also my impressions of wearing them. 

I must admit that I use the term "thrift haul" rather loosely. All the things you will see here are thrifted, but there's only six items.    

First up, a leather jacket I bought from UFF (all the things in this thrift are from UFF). It may seem strange to buy a leather jacket in July. But I live in Finland. It's cold here. Also, I've never had a leather jacket so I thought it would be fun to try it out. And I love it! It's possibly the most early-2000s thing I have ever owned. The brand is called "DIGITAL l@bel", yes, spelled with an "@". The only way they could have made it more 2000s if they had added "Xtreme" in there somewhere.    

And when I wear the jacket I seem to have a passing  resemblance to the favorite movie character of my childhood - Gleb Zheglov from the Soviet mini-series The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979). I just need the hat.
Sharapov and Zheglov from The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (1979)
The other new acquisition - the white button down blouse with a lacy collar has a lovely 1940s vibe and served me very well in the Moscow heat. 

The peasant blouse with embroidery was something I have been looking for the whole summer. It seems that it's a bit of a trend this season and all the regular stores were full of them. Consequently, all the thrift stores were out completely. But I managed to find one and it fit. It's a lovely light cotton and goes perfectly with my summer skirts. 

The final item of clothing were these wide-leg shorts (would you call these culottes?). They seem to be from the 90s, but I thought they have a very vintage look. The color has a bit of a rust-red tint which made me hesitate, but I ended up finding a perfect blouse in my wardrobe to go with them. And after I took them in at the waist, they were so comfortable that I spent a large portion of my vacation wearing them.

They do remind me of these lovely vintage shorts. 

Source: Vintage Dancer 
On top of that, I bought some fabrics that I intend to use for various projects. 

On the left is a piece of thick cotton that I am planning to turn into a skirt. The pattern is super fun. When you see it you may think that those are blueberries, but when you look closer you realize that those are actually blue cherries. Yes, blue cherries! Who wouldn't love that! 

On the right is a blue polyester shawl with a paisley pattern. I'm not too in love with this piece of fabric but I bought it becasue I wanted to try out some of the make do & mend sewing patterns from the '40s that encourage you to turn your old scarves and shawls into blouses. I feel that I'm cheating a little here since I did buy the scarf to turn into a blouse, but, frankly, I like all my shawls and scarves too much to cut them up. I will document my process on this blog.             
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