Antique dresses and flowers, a match made in heaven.

Ah, antique dresses and flowers. A match made in heaven. There are some really lovely antique pieces in the shop right now, and we really feel that nothing brings an antique dress to life more than flowers. With spring and summer coming, that means that flower picking, wedding, and all things flower season are coming up. So, we paired together five dresses from our shop and some flower arrangements from florists we adore.

Our Hearken to Elegance Gown, in its rich, burgundy looks perfect with this moody, sculptural flower arrangement from Putnam & Putnam. We love how the color of this dress looks with these deep purples and hints of yellow.

The sweet Gentle Motion Dress  is made of the softest pink and softest silk. They’re actually separates, so the top can be worn separately from the bottom. We thought the sweetness of this pair looked perfect with this ruffly cream and pink RUE ANAFEL arrangement. It has a bit of whimsy, like it was plucked straight from an english garden.

Our Modern Enchantments Dress is an Edwardian lawn dress. Its soft cotton is perfect for wearing on a warm day either lounging around the house or taking walks through nature. We paired it with this Sarah Winward arrangement, a bit wild and unruly which looks like it was foraged from a meadow in the mountains.

Our romantic Bronte Parsonage Dress is made of beautiful antique lace. This would be a perfect wedding dress, so refined with its high neckline and fitted waist. We paired it with this arrangement by Amy Merrick. The pair both look straight out of a classic painting of a girl with flowers.

We imagine a girl who lives in the country and love going on walks along the stream owning our Gossamer Whisper Dress. Her perfect day would be clipping flora sand foliage from around her home all day to come home right as the sun sets and place them in an antique vase she found at a local antique shop. We paired this dress with an arrangement from Foxglove Botanicals, because its the exact arrangement we’d imagine her making.

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The Language of Flowers | Guest Post from RUE ANAFEL

Hello AV ladies! Saria from RUE ANAFEL here making a Valentine’s Day guest post. I have to be honest, in my adolescent years I disliked Valentine’s Day. The rebellious side of thought, “A consumer holiday created by Hallmark exploiting people to make a buck off the idea of romance.” But you know, Valentine’s Day has become one of my favorite holidays now. And really only because of flowers.

Valentine’s Day to me now isn’t about romance or consumerism, it’s about flowers. It’s the only day in the year (in the States, at least) when you step out, you see people carrying flowers, be it in their arms walking down the street, in their backpack riding their bicycle, or sitting on their car dash board. I mean, I wish every day or at least week were more filled with people bringing flowers home, but hey, at least there’s one day out of the year.

I feel like flowers have been somewhat forgotten in American culture. When I was in Europe, everyone had flowers in their home. Looking around the streets of Holland, so many people are riding their bicycles with flowers. In the 19th century, flowers played such a crucial role in culture, that they were even used as a type of language. People would use flower bouquets to send coded messages that were not allowed to be spoken aloud in Victorian society.

If you plan to buy some flowers this year for yourself or a partner and want to send a coded message, here’s a mini reference guide of 6 flowers and their meanings:

Lilac –

“First emotions of love. Oh, Lilac.” The sweet smell of early spring and sign of hope for warmer months to come, just the same as feelings of a newfound sprouting love.

Iris –

“I have a message for you.” An iris starts off closed and, what seems like overnight, falls open like a book. An air of mystery soon followed by exposing one’s intimate inside.

Bachelor Buttons, also known as Cornflower –

“Delicacy, Purity of Feelings, and Good Fortune.” Some of my favorite summer memories involve bachelor buttons.I see myself with my eyes squinting from the brightness of the summer sun then looking over at my partner in the driver seat. Riding down country roads and seeing blue speckles scattered about the side of the highway, along wood and wire fences containing horses and cows. It’s was a moment of presence for me, of pure happiness and joy.

Larkspur –

“Lightness and Desire for Laughter.” Larkspur is the ultimate garden meadow flower to me. I imagine them perfectly situation in the most perfect meadow style English garden. They bloom in the spring and summer, a time filled with laughter and feeling light hearted.

Pink Rose –

“Admiration.” Oh, a pink garden rose. Like the ethereal princess of all the flowers. So lovely and ethereal in every sense of the words.

White Camellia –

“Faithfulness and Longevity.” Also one of the first spring bloomers, when I see camellia blooming I know spring has come. Year after year, at the end of winter I always keep my eye out for camellia, for the coming of spring.

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A Moment To Gather One’s Thoughts

Has now turned into a week. At first the snow in Portland was a welcome respite from the hurried rush of the holidays. At last, some much needed time off! A week later… it’s getting old. Fast.

As always, I choose to focus on the positive side of things, however, I do need to jot down a few things… Despite today being marked the day that the snow/ice would begin to melt…we are now expecting an ICE STORM. Children have been out of school for a straight week. The office building across the street from our house has been unvisited for 6 days (granted 2 days were Saturday/Sunday)… and last night I witnessed a 3 car pile up at the bottom of our steep hill because cars just slid into one another. The picnic table in my backyard still has 8″ of snow on it. Portland’s call to action for dealing with this weather has been to “sit and wait for it to melt” and it ISN’T GOING AWAY.

Anyhow, let’s get to the positive side of things because this forced hibernation has lead to good things:

  1. I’ve been studying French every evening.
  2. I’ve started drawing/sketching again.
  3. I’ve improved on the ukulele and getting better at switching between chords.
  4. I’ve gotten to spend more time with my husband and having conversations that lead us to getting to know each other better.
  5. I’ve finished mending half a dozen vintage pieces for the shop.
  6. I’ve watched several movies in my Amazon queue.
  7. I finally folded all my sweaters, skirts, and pants and color coded them in my wardrobe cupboard.
  8. I started adding more Pins to a travel board and have fairly convinced my husband we need to go visit Belgium this year.
  9. I organized my bookshelves by color.
  10. I’ve baked herb and gruyere/parmesan biscuits, made several stews, and even brought some to a friend’s house.

It’s all rather been very domestic. So today, yet ANOTHER snow/ice day and yet another day of CANCELED appointments and plans… I will continue to do domestic things and enjoy the quiet and slowness of it all.

I’m not complaining, not really anyway. It’s just I REALLY DO ENJOY my work and I feel bad my customers are having to wait so long to get their packages.

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On The Set / Upstairs, Downstairs

By now you’re well aware that I adore period dramas and series. I wish American television had more period pieces, we ain’t got nothing on BBC!

This is the 2nd series of Upstairs, Downstairs. The original was filmed in the 1970s and I haven’t watched any of it (but it’s on my list!) I like the pace of this show and also 1930s fashions are some of my favorites to watch on film. The series reminds me a little bit of Downton Abbey. I believe Downton Abbey was inspired from the original series as the premise of this show is about the lives of a wealthy family (upstairs) and the people that serve them (downstairs).

Upstairs, Downstairs can be watched on Hulu or on Amazon Video! Here are some of my favorite scenes/settings/outfits from episode 1.

I adore a good makeover montage in any movie/tv show and in the first episode, the Holland family moves into a mansion (where the Bellamy family from the original series lived) and it’s all dusty and old and they’re going to have it all done up! Here Lady Agnes Holland wears another fabulous 1930s fur coat!

Visually, this is a very beautiful series to watch! Just look at this little scene below. I’m really quite obsessed with that dark green color of the drapes in the background.

Lady Agnes is wearing a fur stole with her coat in the above photo. Below she is wearing a full fur coat. All right, so we only see the “in-progress” photos of the mansion for the first 20 mins or so, then…TA-DAH…it becomes this.

Way too colorful for my taste, but I still appreciate the grandeur and beauty of it! In this scene Lady Agnes meets part of her staff. Not pictured is the chauffer. The concept of servants and live-in-help is so foreign to me and I think to most people in the modern world. I have one friend who is ridiculously wealthy. So wealthy he has a Picasso in his foyer. And even he doesn’t have a live-in maid. He does have a cleaning service that comes once a week and he did have a personal assistant.

Anyhow, I don’t want to share too many more images as I really do want you to watch this show. Also, Rose Buck (the one with the short bobbed hair) played by Jean Marsh was in the original series and played the same character. I really like her character in this series, so now I’ll have to watch the previous series to see what she was like when she was 40 years younger and served a different family in the same home.

Here are the last images I wanted to share from this beautiful series. I love little scenes like this! They inspire my own life so much.

Credits for Costumes/Art Direction/Set Decorators: 

Costume designers for the TV show were Amy Roberts (who costumed a movie I enjoyed called Cold Comfort Farm) and Ralph Wheeler-Holes who also costumed Call The Midwife.

Art directors were David Hindle and Dafydd Shurmer. Set decorators were Julia Castle and Hannah Nicholson.

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The Separation of Shop & Self

Well my darlings, the time has finally come for me to call it quits.

Haha, whoa, whoa, so dramatic! Anyhow, I was just doing that for dramatic effect. I’m not quitting AV!

However, I did finally decide to create a personal instagram account that separates my personal life from my work/vintage life because my shop’s account was starting to feel quite bipolar and also I was starting to lose my sense of identity. Where did I, Rodellee, begin? Where does Adored Vintage end?

It’s a very, very self absorbed thought process. I am KEENLY aware of this.

I am also aware that having my personal life tied so closely to my vintage shop started making me feel a little crazy. I felt like expectations were set for me. I had to be a certain way. Post certain photos. On certain days. At certain hours. And GOOD GOD why am I losing so many followers after I posted a photo of X or Y?

It is not a good way to live or think on a daily basis.

Anyhow, I have a new personal account where I attempt to find/live/share “le joie de vivre” and also I’ll probably write my captions partly in French because I am absolutely determined to improve my knowledge of this beautiful language this year. Ce annee. Or cette annee? Je ne sais pas! 

So, if my personal life is of any interest to you, you can follow me, @madamebas on Instagram. It will still be “curated” because, let’s just be honest here, aesthetics is very important to me.

You know, I thought about “mademoisellebas” as my handle because it looks so much prettier, but I’m in my 30s and I haven’t been a Mademoiselle in quite some time. So, choosing “Madame” although it makes me feel old-ish, is symbolic of me growing up and owning up to mistakes, decisions, and taking full responsibility of my life.

Jeez Louise, I am rereading this post and I sound so self important. LOL, I’m trying not to be, I promise.

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