An Ode to Laura Ashley

I remember in 3rd grade (or perhaps it was 4th grade) when all I wanted for my birthday were these ruffled lavender Laura Ashley sheets with matching ruffled pillow shams and purple floral accent pillows. I did not get this elusive set of bedding (which amongst my circle of girlie girl friends, having a Laura Ashley bedroom set basically made you impervious to anything “uncool”).

Instead what I got were these pink rose patterned sheets and pillows. And while they were still floral and were bedecked with enough lace and ruffles to make Marie Antoinette proud, they were NOT Laura Ashley. They were a SHAM (haha I just made a bedding pun!).

In case you’re blind (wait, how are you reading this?!) it is probably no secret that I adore anything floral and feminine and have a tendency to lean towards colors that appear sun faded. So without further ado, my ode to Laura Ashley and all things ruffled, romantic, and puff sleeved.

An Ode to Laura Ashley

When I think of Laura Ashley, I think of romantic English countrysides. I think of tiny floral wallpaper and fabrics that seem like The Bennet’s (from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice) might have had.

Laura Ashley isn’t the only brand that rekindled a love affair with pastoral inspired fashion. From the late 60s to the early 1980s brands such as Gunne Sax (Jessica McClintock) and Young Edwardian also followed suit. While the latter produced more Medieval and Renaissance inspired designs in the late 70s and 80s, Gunne Sax did start by creating clothing that was inspired by Victorian and Edwardian prairie styles.

An Ode to Laura Ashley

An Ode to Laura Ashley

At Adored Vintage, I’ve come across some vintage Laura Ashley clothing. Laura Ashley reached its fashion peak (in my vintage opinion) in the 1980s.

I wonder if Gunne Sax was America’s answer to Britain’s Laura Ashley? While there were similarities between these brands, it is my opinion that Laura Ashley is quite distinct from Gunne Sax and Young Edwardian.

What do you think? Are you more of a Gunne Sax girl or a Laura Ashley girl?

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32 Things for My 32nd Birthday

Tomorrow is my 32nd birthday and I am taking a few moments today to reflect on getting older. I have never felt my age, what does an age feel like anyway? What is 32 suppose to feel like? I recall when I was younger that I thought in my 30s I would be married, probably have kids, have my own house, and probably have a career related to fashion. Not too far off, eh?

So, if you care to get to know me a bit better… here are 32 Things About Rodellee (that’s me), the proprietress of Adored Vintage.

32thingsaboutrodellee_03

When I was a wee little island girl…

1. I am an immigrant to the US. I moved to New York with my mom when I was 8.
2. English is my second language, although I am no longer fluent in my native tongue (Cebuano)
3. As a child, I spent most of my summers on my grandfather’s farm helping to raise chickens and pigs
4. ZERO is the number of baby/child photos I own. What few photos I had were destroyed during the monsoons and the ones that were saved were thrown away by a very bitter ex.
5. I had to cut all my hair off when I was 5 or 6 because a girl got gum in my hair during school.
6. I loved loved loved school.
7. I briefly went to a private Catholic school that was built over a cemetery. Weird stuff happened all the time.
8. Favorite childhood memories in the Philippines include swimming in caves and riding on motorcycles.
9. Up until we moved to the US, I was raised by a single Mom who worked 2 to 3 jobs at a time to get us a better life. My work ethic comes from my Mother.
10. I played in the mud, built jungle forts, and ran around naked when it rained.

Coming to America…

11. Everything in America fascinated me. Halloween, The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus! And the amount of toys kids had!
12. I was only allowed to watch PBS to improve my English
13. The first time I saw snow I got so excited that my 2nd grade teacher stopped her lessons and let us all look out the windows
14. I won the 2nd grade spelling bee despite my faulty English (but my reading and writing were excellent!)
15. I still have a scar on my knee from learning how to ride my bike and running into the garbage dump (the concept of “braking” came later)
16. I spent most Saturdays at the library with my Dad
17. I was obsessed with The Little Mermaid
18. And American Girl Dolls
19. Summers were spent in Vermont with family and those are still some of my favorite childhood memories.
20. At the age of 12 my Dad took a job in Austin, Texas so we moved to the South. I didn’t like it for a long time.

Let me pause for a moment here… because memories are flooding into my brain and making me feel all sappy and nostalgic. I was such a lucky child to have experienced an absolutely joyous childhood filled with wonder. I know if my childhood had been different, I would probably be a different person now. Not to say bad or sad things didn’t happen, plenty of it did. My parents raised me to really appreciate the life we have now and not to waste energy and time on things I couldn’t change. My view of the world in rose colored glasses was often encouraged alongside a dose of reality. Suffice it to say, my parents raised a very balanced grown up woman. So, thanks Mom and Dad!

Those weird teen years and my 20s…

21. I built my first website when I was 12. It was a Geocities site with my poetry (haha), pictures of my favorite paintings, and other random stuff. It TOTALLY had a sparkly gif background.
22. I was obsessed with DELIA*s, The Limited Too, Gadzooks, and 5-7-9 (early teens)
23. I spent most of my summer’s as a nanny
24. My first real job was as a hostess at Johnny Carinos
25. I was dance captain of the dance team, yearbook editor, and a member of student council while maintaining a 4.0 GPA
26. High school burned me out leading me to lazily apply to one college which lead to me being accepted at Texas A&M University. I dropped out my 2nd semester Freshman year and moved to Europe.
27. While in Europe I freelanced as a web developer, graphics designer and dabbled in video editing
28. My favorite part about living in Budapest was visiting the catacombs and the Turkish bath houses.
29. Deep sea scuba diving in Mexico and hiking a volcano in Guatemala are probably the highlights of my early/mid 20s
30. In my early 20s I started selling vintage on eBay then thought why not make my own webstore so it could be as pretty as I wanted it to be
31. Up until my late 20s I went by a completely different name. Seriously, I have a government alias. (haha and you THINK you know me!)
32. Sometimes I tell people I’m named after the small city of Rodelle in the South of France. But the actual origin of my name is just as cool.

So, there’s me in a nutshell. This was more of a life timeline 32 things about me. It will be cool to go back and read this when I’m 42. Oh man, 42 sounds old!

photo credit: Jennifer Sosa

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A Favorite Summer Moment

When the sun infuses everything around you with golden light and only the symphony of birds and breeze can be heard echoing against a seamless blue sky. In those moments the chaos of the world melts away.

We rose bright and early to make the short pilgrimage to one of my favorite places in Oregon, Sauvie Island. I can still recall my first time visiting the island. I will never forget the warm happiness that spread over me as we drove through the narrow road flocked on both sides by fields and farms, the sky a pristine summer blue.

Here the world is still, far away.

Adored Vintage Portland Summer

We stop along a trail to take photos with wildflowers and picked several bundles to take home to adorn our kitchen tables. A small group of hens clucking around a mint roofed barn compelled us to pull over the side of the road and see if we could get them to flock towards us. (Ahh, no luck, but they were in a couple of photos)

Adored Vintage Portland Summer
Adored Vintage Portland Summer
Adored Vintage Portland Summer
Adored Vintage Portland Summer
Adored Vintage Portland Summer
Adored Vintage Portland Summer
Adored Vintage Portland Summer

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