Slow Burner

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(Photography by Kate Rodgers for Dazed Digital)

To say that Christopher Kane's S/S 10 collection is a slow burner is an understatement.  I had a mere inkling that I liked it when I saw it at the show in September.  Then the inkling got bigger and more apparent because I was subconsciously being drawn to anything soft, nude, pale blue, with unexpected slits and of course gingham.  The latter two though are hard to come by though in a vintage or high street context (I had of course long written off the idea of actually coming even an inch close to buying anything from the real McCoy).  Therefore, it's a make do with what you've got situation and thankfully, the one item of clothing I owned, a wrapover vintage skirt, did sort of remotely nudge towards the subverted ginghams by Mr Kane.  Ok, maybe not so much subverted, but it is gingham and are the right colours.  A pair of re-discovered limited edition Converse beige gingham trainers with frilly edges was another renegade piece to start my quest for a Kane-nudging outfit, that sadly doesn't come a fraction close to the real thing but is satisfying in another way.

Then I revisited this 50s' teal lace dress that I bought in Manchester as a Prada A/W 08-9 substitute but unfortunately have never since worn it due to the strange fit of the dress.  I opted to chop it into two and use the top to begin my slow burning beading project.  I'm not normally a fan of hacking into genuinely old clothes but this was literally gathering dust on the shelves and happens to pick out the exact shade of teal on the skirt.  So with a lot of different sized white beads, a fair number of finger pricks, a return Eurostar journeys and a flight to and from Florence, I beaded like a crazy woman.  I say crazy because I hadn't a clue what I was doing and also because the people next to me on the Eurostar looked at me like I was doing some kind of provincial, spinster-esque work in some defunct small-cottage industry.  I poked and threaded, following the shapes in the lace but not necessarily knowing whether I was doing it right.   To be honest, it may all unravel in a heartbeat leaving me looking like a fool in the streets surrounded by miniscule white beads but for now it semi-completes my Kane nudger of an outfit.  I may add more beads if I feel like whiling away an evening watching old episodes of Mock the Week.  I'm not gonna lie.  This isn't a quickie DIY but that could be down to my lack of beading experience.  It was strangely comforting though threading through beads and seeing them err… somewhat staying attached to the top. 

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The final piece de resistance fortunately doesn't carry the risk of small objects that could choke a baby.  I caved and bought myself the vintage 80s Valentino duvet-like gingham coat from Claire Incorruptible.  It is pleasingly oversized and despite its lack of waterproofing, I'm basically going to be living in this through April showers.  Possibly sleeping in it too.  That it completes the Kane puzzle that I've been piecing together with my slow-ass beading is a bonus.

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Belinda from Claire Inc also very kindly threw in this 90s Karl Lagerfeld brooch that very neatly pins up the skirt to reveal a Miss Sixty netting skirt that I found in a vintage store in Manchester… another indication that 90s throwaways are being bracketed as vintage.  It's really telling me "Bonne Chance" at keeping those beads on that top… thanks brooch, I'll need it…   

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(Valentino vintage gingham coat, DIY beaded vintage teal lace top, vintage wraparound gingham skirt, second hand Miss Sixty white netting skirt, Converse gingham trainers, vintage Karl Lagerfeld brooch)

94 Replies to “Slow Burner”

  1. Sooo happy you got that coat, I think we’ll be seeing a lot of it as it looks PERFECT on you! I’m also feeling the gingham lately, just saw some gingham spandex (yes, spandex) at one of my favorite fabric stores and have been thinking constantly about picking it up for spring. Was doing some sketching last night and think I may have come up with some good uses for it. I like a fabric that challenges a bit!
    Oh and wonderful work on the beading, it’s amazing how that little splash of white beads completely updates the look of the dress (turned shirt) fingers crossed they all stay in place!

  2. Yeh, I wasn’t a massive fan of this Christopher Kane collection at first but I just love the pastel colours and light fabrics. your beading work looks beautiful, i like a lot!
    On another note, kind of admin related, jottings of a fashionista has moved/been re-born in a different form, new blog called after the teacups, hope you like!

  3. Love all of this. The instant you don’t want that coat any more, I’m pouncing (though of course it will just look like a blanket on me)

  4. personally, i love the slow burning collections more than the ones that wow me right away. the ones that wow me right away, sometimes will grow tired of as quickly as i love them, often times it’s the slow burning ones that show true genius, as they tend to stay with me longer.
    gingham is so perfect for you! i always love your outfits that incorporate it…and claire inc…always has the most amazing vintage pieces. lovey.

  5. I love how the beading came out, though I’m similarly paranoid whenever I try any beading projects…I’m always convinced that I’ll start raining beads at some point.
    So glad you got the coat. This is a fantastic outfit…everything about it is just so ‘right’.

  6. I’ve been meaning to do a beading DIY, but I’ve been really hesitant because it seems so difficult/time-consuming. Well, thanks for the inspiration! Looks like I’m going to just get off my ass and do it. I love the kind of high fahion meets prairie thing you have going on in the pics.

  7. What an amazing look! I remember when you wrote about the coat. I bought a little gingham dress the other day at the thrift store. But I’m waiting for it to be warmer and not so windy. I also remember somewhere online someone posting about the New Look clothes that were coming out and there were some really cute gingham things in there too. Probably to copy Christopher Kane

  8. A good hack! Should definitely let that kind of lace to gather dust in the wardrobe. And sewing those beads on was definitely worth the time invested.
    I kind of wish that my wardrobe will be some day similar – in that way that it is always possible to pull out stuff that can be used to channel very different inspiration sources. I’d like to think myself relatively open minded towards clothing. But to be honest I have been too interested in “basics” – with cost of genuinely interesting “falling in love, tickling the imagination” -type of pieces. Basics have their place, but it looks like I can’t really be faithful just to them.
    And that is exactly why I like to follow your blog, it encourages me to become the dresser I actually want to be. Thanks, Susie 🙂

  9. love what you’ve done here ~ quirky, original, inspired ….i’m a beader as well, tho never have had the nerve to use a needle, but maybe i will some day!

  10. I know you think that postings of your outfits are rather self-indulgent, but I love them! I especially like when you take us through your thought processes.

  11. Susie works plaid? And converses? Is there anything Susie cannot work? Wow susie! Fastly inspiring me to get out my old plaid summer dresses from primary school and trying to do something crazy with them!
    I just hope I havent chucked them out!

  12. I LOVE the coat. It’s the exact shape I would like my future coat to be. I just haven’t found it yet.
    And I really like the beading you did on your shirt. It looks really nice.

  13. i think the coat makes this outfit – the mix of checks and the volume in the coat with the ruched up sleeves is just spiffing!
    jenn.x

  14. Refreshing and as usual, creative beyond belief. I love it all-and the new background! I’ve been trying to figure out what converse to get for a while now, I think I might go with those-fab!
    watermelonfeet.blogspot.com

  15. agreed! Today Daisy Lowe was in a red, I think, Kane skirt and a grey cropped jumper in Style (Sunday Times) magazine and my dad said “hhmmm… interesting deisgn” and I thought, yeah, but good though!

  16. You look really gorgeous in this outfit. love everything – especially the brooche detail on the skirt – so smart and cheeky to use it that way. C. kane’s SS collection… funny, I felt similar: had no clue when i first saw it how much i would like it now.

  17. How many times have I fallen into the trap of ‘Oh yeah, I can redo this, lets just cut it up a bit!’? (Recently with an Antonio Berardi skirt, shame, oh shame… My heap of torn apart, cut up clothes is getting bigger and bigger.) But you’ve done a great job. Very stylish! C. Kane and Mrs Prada will turn their heads in envy at the whole assembly! Sabine x

  18. Susie that entire outfit is perfect! I love the colors, the ease of the beautiful lace top being worn almost as a tee shirt, The wrap skirt ,the Valentino coat and the broach tops it all off. You have totally just inspired me to hunt for gingham and lace now:)
    XX

  19. i LOVE this outfit! major love! it totally hits my need for checks, great inspiration. you’ve done great work with the top, can you take needles on flights?! reminds me i bought some hideously expensive beading/ribbon bits from a shop in sweden meaning to put them on tights! must get on that! also the coat is so cool, kind of makes me think of what a french editor would wear on the sart belted with extreme heels and slim cut, ankle length trousers?

  20. Gingham always reminds me of camping for some reason, but the injection of a little lace in your outfit works wonders to counter that association. You look very pretty indeed!
    I think you did a nice job at the beading too. I like that you used different sizes of beads. Great eye for detail. Also, a big yay to you for even finding the time and energy to embark on projects such as this. I’m hardly as busy as you seem to be, yet hardly ever seem to get around doing all the customising I think of doing. 😉

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