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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘Lady Violette’

Hand Painted Red Clogs ~ circa 1970 From A Ballet Dancer’s Personal Collection of Red Vintage Shoes in The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Red shoes go with many things. If they don’t match they often provide a nice accent. They cheer you up for some reason. Christian Louboutin has put red soles on the bottom of many of his shoes for years. The red sole has become his trademark. That red sole, with all the other colors in his designs works, no matter what women are wearing with his shoes. And they love it. They love it because it is cheerful red and because it gives them a status jolt to be seen, coming and going, with that bit of red on the bottom of their shoes.

Alas I do not own a pair of Louboutins.  They haven’t come to me yet. They probably will some day, but the time has not been right yet. If anyone wants to send me a pair, my European shoe size is 38 medium width and I would love to have a some! It is possible that somebody out there has some and doesn’t like wearing them and would like to pass them on to someone who would!

Meanwhile, I will tell you about my Danish country shoes. My mother was 100% Danish. The Danes traditionally love red shoes, and clogs, or wooden shoes, as some people call them. They also love to paint things to make them pretty around the house. This is one of the traditional Scandinavian Feminine Arts.

Red Leather Clogs Hand Painted with Scandiavian Designs by My Mother

Red Leather Uppers on Traditional Wooden Clogs Handpainted with Scandinavian Motifs by My Mother

My mother painted everything with traditional Danish and Swedish motifs and it was very charming. We had small tables, dressers, bedroom furniture, stools, chairs, lamps, vases, baskets, and of course, shoes, painted in traditional Scandinavian patterns. Here is a pair of bright red leather clogs that my mother decorated. I have a navy blue pair of this type as well. She also painted this little lidded picnic basket which can be used to carry lunch for one person or is small enough to use as a casual purse.

Red Clogs & Small Handmade Wooden Picnic Basket Hand Painted With Traditional Danish Motifs ~ Can Be Used as a Lunch Basket or as a Small Casual Purse

We had clogs lined up in a row on the porch to put on when we went out in the yard and garden. We were supposed to jump out of them to come into the house in our socks so we would not get the wooden floors and rugs dirty. Since we had worn clogs in this way from the time we started to walk we had no trouble walking or running in them at all. I wear them at home this way to this day because they are so convenient and easy to use. I love the fact that you can just slip them off and jump into them when you are ready to go outside again ~ with no tying or buckling or time required! They are very good for your feet too. And they are so durable they never wear out. I have a black pair too. They have tiny blue forget~me~not flowers painted all over them. It is fun to have your shoes personalized in this way too. We would get a pair and choose what flower to have her paint on them for us and she would decorate our shoes however we liked. I will do a post about clogs sometime soon and show photos of all the ones we have. I am showing this pair, now, as part of my red shoes collection.

I have red dress shoes, casual dress flats, clogs, boots, and casual sports shoes in my red shoes collection. I also have several pairs of red shoes made specifically for ballroom dancing  so they have soft suede soles, and a pair of amazing thigh high red real patent leather boots that were made as part of a very glamorous theater costume for a production of The Merry Widow. I have a sweet pair of traditional Chinese flower embroidered silk slippers which were very inexpensive and are easily available in Chinatown stores everywhere. I like them because they are so colorful and folkloric. In contrast  I have a pair of specially made red suede Flamenco dance shoes which are beautiful and exceptionally sturdy as they must be to with stand the rigors of flamenco dancing. It is a good thing that I am getting them out and going through them now to blog about them!

I will finally figure out exactly what I have, how many pairs, etc. My faithful sheep mascots below are helping me! They will see to it that I finish this project! They are really determined! Plus, they like experimenting and playing with all this vintage stuff.

The Sewing Sheep Showing the Picnic Basket, or Purse, Being Used as a Sewing and Knitting Baslet

My little sewing sheep mascots, the measuring sheep, and his mother, the knitting sheep, are quick to point out that this little picnic basket also makes a nice small portable sewing basket! They are demonstrating that they have no aversion to being put inside it along with a little sewing project and coming along to the local sewing store to pick out buttons or ribbon or going to a friends house for a session of knitting visit! Air can get into the basket through the slats so they can breathe if they are inside. They came up with this idea. They said the basket looked very versatile to them and could probably also be used as a sewing basket! Sheep are very smart! The small sheep has a tape measure inside him. You pull on his tail to extend it, then push on his tummy, to roll it up inside. His mother is filled with sand so she stands up securely. Her tail is a long black grosgrain ribbon to which I have tied my embroidery scissors so they don’t get carried off to some far corner of the house! She is addicted to knitting. She uses toothpicks for needles and makes mufflers for other small animals. The toothpicks are the same size as # 1 or #2 sock needles. I did a small piece of sample knitting with a sock yarn I was trying out, then slipped it off my sock needles and onto her toothpick needles to help her get started. She has been knitting ever since! I have her make all my gauge swatches of sock yarn and she just loves helping out this way!

Shoes from the Lady Violette Shoe Collection.

Basket Purse from The Lady Violette Handbag Collection

A Pair of Famous Paradise Kittens Circa 1950 From A Ballet Dancer’s Personal Collection of Red Vintage Shoes in the Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Here is an additional pair of wonderful red vintage shoes from my personal ballerina’s collection.They are Paradise Kittens Spectator Pumps from the 1950s done in bright blue red leather with black accents.

Paradise Kittens Blue Red Leather Spectator Pumps with Black Accents ~ circa 1950.

Paradise Kittens were famous for their comfortable construction and fashionable styles. They emphasized comfort. They took out charming well done ads in major 1950s magazines. These made it into every upper middle class and upper class home and fueled the desire for their shoes. The women in the ads looked like they were living the life you wanted to be living and the implication was that you would be as soon as you owned several pairs of their fabulous shoes! They are beautifully cushioned inside and incredibly comfortable. And the styles are very appealing in that Town and Country super elegant tasteful lady like way. A feminine and charming look which I, for one, thoroughly approve of!

Paradise Kittens Emphasized Comfort and Beauty ~ The Heels were About 1 and 1/2 Inches High and Really Quite Elegant in Their Understated Way.

The heels on this typical style example are low – about one and a half inches high. The Kittens were made in America and emphasized patriotism in their add campaigns. The ad campaigns also showed the three to five styles you would need to get you through a typical day as a well dressed socialite, wife or mother.

They cleverly advocated buying three to five pairs every season to be prepared for every event you would need to attend as well as day to day activities. I heartily agree with this type of plan! Three to five new pairs of shoes every three months year after year sounds just fine to me! My grandmother loved them and actually played by their recommended numerical rules. She did buy that many shoes each season. Not all were Paradise Kittens, but many were. She loved the name too. So do I. It speaks of softness and luxury, don’t you think?

The shoes were made to last. They lasted way longer than a season. In fact she wore them, then passed them down to her daughters, who wore them. I finally received this pair. I think it lasted so long both because it was very well constructed and because it was an unusual color combination that was only worn with an outfit or two and was not used as often as their caramels brown and black ones. I also remember a pair of dark green, blue and purple ones with a cute loafer styling and a tassel. They were often designed to look good with tailored dresses, skirt suits, tweeds, capes, and wool coats ~ in general,  all elegant sportswear.

I have an adorable 1950s red plaid wool skirt suit from Bobbie Brooks which would have been one of the types of outfits originally intended to be worn with these Paradise Kitten Red and Black Spectator Pumps. The skirt is a narrow mid calf length pencil cut and the jacket is a boxy cut with padded shoulders. It is a strong red and black plaid from head to toe. I recently got it out to have it cleaned and tried it on, to decide what to do with it. Altogether it seems like way too much red plaid to me all at once right now! I have two ideas on how I want to use it now. I think I want to break it up and use the jacket with an original era appropriate solid black longish pencil skirt as one look;  and, as the second look, combine the red plaid pencil skirt with a modern black narrow tight fitting knit sweater top as another. I see wearing black opaque tights with both.

For me these shoes will be perfect with both looks. Today’s current fashions would dictate a high heeled black leather platform shoe with both of the looks I have described. Such shoes would definitely add height and elongate both looks, and look really great with both parts of the red plaid suit. It would require me to spend another $300 minimum ~ up to $800 for such a pair of on trend shoes. Personally, I have two reactions to this: I don’t want to spend that amount of money on that kind of shoes right now, and I actually prefer the look and the feel of this perfect little pair of 1950s Paradise Kittens for me. They are more comfortable and better for my body! Plus, I have them already! And I am a vintage purist. I like putting my outfits together using real components from the original eras! I think it is much cooler to be absolutely authentic in this way.

I am lucky in that I am the right size for these vintage looks proportionately as I am on the small fine boned side. They were designed for women about my size and height originally. When I get my two red plaid outfits completely worked out as I have described here, I will photograph them and post the results. It is the first of September today! It is time to start planning how to dress for fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the season and the fashion possibilities. I love getting my capes and tweeds out at this time of year! And the cooler weather will be coming along soon. What a treat that will be!

Photos by Fredric Lehrman.

Shoes from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

Palter De Liso Designs ~ Early 1950’s ~ Black Silk Taffeta & Purple Rose “Delight” Stiletto Pumps

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

The Fabulous Rose Delight Pump by Paler De Liso

In my constant quest for shoes as works of art I recently came across this gorgeous vintage 1950s shoe called the “Delight”  designed and made by Palter De Liso.  The style of this elegant silk pump is named the Delight and this version is made of black silk taffeta decorated with purple hand painted roses! Beautiful!

This pair is a large size, made for a tall woman. I estimate it to be a size 11, but there is no size label on the shoe. I’ve tried everything to make the shoe fit, but it is just plain too big for me! It is the just the opposite of the story of Cinderella’s slipper! This shoe is actually too large for me! Her glass slipper was actually too small for her stepsisters so they had to search the land for the smaller Cinderella whom it fit. This pair of shoes is too large for me so I must search the land for a smaller pair that actually fits me. I am hoping that the web will serve as a dragnet sweeping the earth to search for a pair of these in my size!

Thinking about this while writing I am reminded of the fact that both Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn were small women, and were both famous for having gigantic feet! They both wore size 11 shoes as I recall! I do not want bigger feet! I just want a considerably smaller pair of these amazingly wonderful shoes in my size. I just wish these were smaller and fit me! I believe in putting the word out that I want them will eventually guide them in my direction. Doing that has worked for me on other really hard to find things in the past! Aren’t they gorgeous? I try not to acquire shoes that don’t fit me, but this pair was such an amazing work of art I decided I had to have it!

I often display favorite shoes around my house so I can enjoy looking at them. I sometimes place one pair on each step of the staircase leading from the first to second floor of my house. That way I can contemplate them and study them every time I go up and down the stairs.

I can also justify owning fine art shoes as beautiful as these for the Lady Violette Shoe Collection which has become so interesting and extensive that I have decided to post it on my blog, shoe by shoe, so that I can share the rare and unusual shoes I have collected with anyone else who is interested in them. I know many other people also love shoes! I have been intrigued by shoe design and history for a long time. Thus, it is my hope that other shoe enthusiasts will enjoy sharing and experiencing my collection in this way. Questions and commentary on the shoes is also welcome. You might well know more about them than I do as I often find them with no accompanying historical information.

The Purple Rose Delight Features a Stiletto Heel

If anyone comes across a pair of these in my size – a 7.5 or 8 M – I would love to have a pair that I could actually wear! Being vintage they probably run small and I could probably wear them in an 8 or even an 8.5. I love the style and the purple roses! These would actually go with many of the clothes I wear. I love both black and purple. I know these would become both a personal style statement and a wardrobe staple for me if I could find them in my size. So, this is a serious call for a pair that will fit! Please please please notify me if you have or find such a pair! And, ah, I should add, I am interested in any Palter De Liso Delight shoes from that era. They were made in many additional colors, fabric, and decorations.

As Lady Violette I have two personal flowers, the purple rose (like these!) and the violet. The roses next to the shoes are from my garden. This particular variety of rose is actually named the Madame Violet! This rose figures prominently in the history of Lady Violette de Courcy! (More about that later!) So it is no wonder I want a pair of these shoes in my size is it? I know that they were made in other sizes because I’ve seen a photo of another pair!

Meanwhile enjoy the shoes! And the Madam Violet roses while they are in bloom!

The Delight - Outer Side & Vamp Views

Placement of Roses

Lady Violette de Courcy’s Etsy Store is Now Up and Running! Featuring Romantic Tea Dresses and Beautiful Vintage Lingerie

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

A 1930's Style Silk Chiffon Tea Dance Dress by Ralph Lauren Now Available at Lady Violette de Courcy's Shop on Etsy

Here is the link to my Etsy store which is under the name of Violette de Courcy .

A Vintage Black Flowered and Beaded Rayon Tea Dress with Flutter Sleeves and Multi-Layered Skirt

This is how you search for it: ladyviolettedecourcy (for those of you who are having trouble finding it.) Here is the live link: and I hope it works for you this time. Lady Violette de Courcy’s Etsy Store . Currently featuring some lovely summer dresses!

Olga's Elegant Long Fire Engine Red Vintage Nylon Robe - Definitely Fit for a Siren!

And scrumptious Lingerie!

Miss Elaine's Long Black Nylon and Lace Nightgown from Lady Violette de Courcy on Etsy

You can costume your own romantic summer get away or a 1930’s film noir at the Lady Violette de Courcy Etsy Store! A source for lovely wedding honey moon attire.

 

I Have Been Hard at Work Setting Up My New Etsy Vintage Clothing Shop!

Friday, May 20th, 2011

That’s right! I’ve been working on it day and night it seems for about a week! There is a lot of writing, photography , posting and set up prep to do. But I feel it is coming along well now and I am quite excited! My goal is to list 36 items – I’m 3/4 there – then design my banner and start figuring out how to promote the store. All with in the next week. If I write about it I’ll absolutely have to see it through so here goes! I’m making my intentions and my goal public!

Jeweled Satin Garolini Italian Evening Shoes Circa 1970s

I am putting really choice top of the line vintage clothes up – things out of my own personal treasures. Everything is in excellent shape and ready to wear or display. Essentially ready to put in a museum. It will be an extension of my blog in a way. I feel they can work well together. I can write about anything on the blog and I can sell items I want to put out in the world in the store.

Corsage Flower on Victor Costa for Saks Fifth Avenue Party Dress Circa 1980s

I think Etsy will be better for me than eBay because I can treat it like a shop. Once I put something in my shop on display it can stay there until it sells or for 4 month periods. If it has not sold by then I can remove it and rotate another lovely item into its place. This is a set up that functions like having a real store does. Rather than on eBay where the main emphasis as in all auctions is rapid continual rotation of merchandise. I am interested to see how the two differ after I have used them for awhile.

LBD Cocktail Dress with Silver Beading

Of course I want my items to move and sell on Etsy, but I want them to stay up and get a chance to be seen and appreciated until the right buyer finds me and discovers them. With vintage it can take awhile because the right person, of the right size has to find the right garment for his or her needs. And who knows when that will happen? You have to face that when dealing with this unique type of merchandise. Each piece requires a special buyer.

Cheerful Cherry 1940's Style Platform Satin Sandals

I research and write a story about each piece telling as much as I know or can find out about it. I love writing the descriptions. They are great reading too. Like my blog I hope but the difference is you can buy something in the store if you love it and want it! You can take it home, wear it yourself, bring the real thing into your own life. Not everything I write about in my blog will be for sale in my store.

Many different things will be featured in both places and there will be some overlap as well. I want to put a few pictures of things I have put up for sale here and give you the link so you can drop by my shop and take a look. Please understand that it is still under construction – I am open – but my banners and decor are not up quite yet. I’ll let you know again when I get further along on that!

Enchanted April 40's Style Floral Chiffon Layered Afternoon Tea Dress

La Dolce Vita Nude Illusion Nylon and Lace 1960's Nightgown size 36

Now, to view more photos of the items pictured in this post and read about their history you can visit my new Etsy shop. These are just  a few choice samples of vintage pieces in my shop so far.  Please visit there to see them and many others and  read about them in more detail. Visit Lady Violette de Courcy on Etsy. I intend to put up new items practically daily  for awhile so it will be quite exciting to check them out on a regular basis! I also realize I cannot possibly post everything I would like to. It takes a lot of time! It is quite labor intensive! I may have just the thing someone needs or wants on the back burner so I urge you to ask me if you are looking for something I might have available but haven’t managed to photograph and put out yet. I love finding special items for people. Don’t hesitate to ask!

One of Lady Violette’s Favorite Violet Quotes from William Shakespeare

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Wild Blue Violets Growing in the Grass ~ for the King & Me!

I think the king is but a man, as I am: the violet smells to him as it doth to me.

~ William Shakespeare ~ Henry V IV.I.98 ~

One of Lady Violette’s Favorite Violet Quotes From William Wordsworth

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Wild Blue Violet Growing in the woods

A violet by a mossy stone half hidden from the eye!

Fair as a star, when only one is shining in the sky!

~ William Wordsworth~

One of Lady Violette’s Favorite Violet Quotes from Alice Dunbar Moore Nelson

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Wild Violets Blooming in the Woods

And now unwittingly you’ve made me dream

Of violets, and my souls forgotten gleam.

~ Alice Dunbar Moore Nelson ~

One of Lady Violette’s Favorite Violet Quotes from H.D. (Hilda Dolittle)

Monday, April 25th, 2011

"Ah, could they know how violets throw strange fire, red, and purple and gold, how they glow gold and purple and red." H.D. (Hilda Dolittle)

Ah, could they know how violets throw strange fire,

red and purple and gold, how they glow gold and purple and red

~ H.D. (Hilda Dolittle) ~

One of Lady Violette’s Favorite Quotes About Violets From Marcel Proust

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

A Violet Colored Bouquet of Roses

I waited alone, in the company of orchids, roses, and violets, who, like people waiting beside you, but to whom you are unknown, maintained a silence. ~ Marcel Proust ~

Lady Violette’s Dji~Dji Hand Knitted Winter Scarf of Vintage Boucle Mohair & Fine Fingering Yarn ~ A Complimentary Lady Violette Knitting Pattern!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The Dji-Dji Scarf Designed by Lady Violette

The Dji-Dji Scarf Designed by Lady Violette

The Dji~Dji Scarf is 42" Long, but You Can Make it as Long as You Like!

I had about 2 & 1/2 balls of old vintage mohair boucle yarn called Dji~Dji in a heathery purple and grey melange. They were not complete balls and the yardage was unknown. I also had a bit of skinny grey wool yarn, fingering weight, but not enough to make a pair of socks. I wondered if I had enough to make a scarf? It was a gamble, but I decided to try it. I knit a small swatch holding the two yarns together. I used size 8 needles and they worked fine. I wanted texture, so I made up a simple pattern and knit until I ran out of yarn! I am posting this as a complimentary knitting pattern that anyone may use! Enjoy making & wearing it!

Here’s the pattern for the Dji~Dji Scarf! I used size 8US straight knitting needles.

To Make: Cast on 32 stitches.

1st & 3rd rows:(K2,P2) to end

2nd & 4th rows: (P2,K2) to end

These 4 rows form the pattern.

Repeat until you nearly run out of yarn or the scarf is the length you like. I was able to knit to 42 inches. Then cast off. C’est fini!

You can use any yarn or combination of yarns held together that will give you an approximate gauge of 4 stitches and 4 rows to an inch. You can make the scarf any length you like from about 40 inches to 96 inches! The Blackberry scarf I posted earlier is 96 inches long including the fringe if you wish to use the way it looks as a guideline. The good think about scarves is that you can easily take them off the needles and try them on to decide what length you actually like and want to make!

A Close Up Showing the Texture of the Yarn & the Pattern Stitch & the Pair of Hair Sticks Used as Shawl Pins!

I didn’t block this piece because I wanted to retain it’s lofty nature. It is a little short for tying so I simply crossed it over at the front of my neck and stuck two hairsticks in it, one above the other, to hold it closed. You can use children’s chopsticks as well. They are shorter than adult ones and make great shawl pins. I have a shawl pin that would also work just like a hair stick! I like the look of two hair sticks slightly juxtaposed one above the other. Chopsticks make great scarf pins or shawl pins which is really scarf/shawl jewelry. You can wear them in your hair too to keep it pinned up when knitting! And I encourage you to try hair accessories such as these, lobster clips, and barrettes to hold your scarves and shawls in place. Hair jewelry can often double as scarf  and shawl jewelry!

This scarf is great over a high necked sweater or tucked inside the collar of a woolen coat. The double layer of crossed over knitted wool or mohair keeps your chest cozy and warm. It’s easy to make, looks good with black or any co-ordinating color. It’s a good solution to keeping warm and looking stylish at the same time!

Depending on the color and type of yarn you use this can be used as a man’s or a woman’s scarf. It is extremely easy to knit. And the results look very professional. This would make a great first scarf pattern!

Please feel free to use and enjoy it with my compliments! If you do so please credit me and refer people to my blog. And, if you make it, please send photos and I’ll try to post them for others to view. I recently sent photos of a finished project and the link to my blog to a designer  whose sweater pattern I knit and she wrote back thanking me. It was very encouraging getting that feedback!

Lady Violette’s Hand Knitted Blue Violet Striped Cardigan Sweater

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Lady Violette's Blue Violet Striped Top Down Circular Needle Hand Knitted Cardigan

This is the first cardigan I have ever knitted using the top down circular knitting technique. I used scrap yarns in blues and purples left over from years of projects people in my family had knitted. Thus my name for it:Lady Violette’s Blue Violet Striped Cardigan!  The yarns were in many different weights so I had to adjust the needle size to maintain the gauge throughout the project. Sometimes I knitted with one strand, sometimes 2 or 3 combined or held together, and I used sizes 6,7,and 8 US needles. There was a lot of guess work and re-knitting involved. Fortunately I’m pleased with the finished results.

Blue Violet Striped Top Down Cardy Sweater ~ Back View

The shape looks a bit odd on my mannequin, but it looks good on my body as I fill it out in the right places and I actually have shoulders and arms! Those are required to make the sweater look good. The arms look long in the photos but they actually fit me. I have measured and carefully worked to get the sleeves to be the correct length. Of course real human arms fill them out and pull them up to make them look the proper length and  shape. And a lot better! Someday I hope to get a mannequin with arms! Meanwhile this will have to do.

The Blue Violet Striped Top Down Cardy Can Also Be Worn Unbuttoned

I’m taking these photos by myself and don’t have equipment to photograph myself in the sweaters so the mannequin will have to do as my model until someone is here to photograph me modeling my sweaters.

It is better to take these photos than none! It has taken me forever to get around to photographing my finished knitting projects. I think that is because I am very concerned that I do a good job! I do not like seeing photos of knitted garments that do not do them justice.

I also would rather be knitting than photographing and posting photos of my knitting! Knitting is the most relaxing thing in the world. Photographing knits and writing about them is not as pleasant in my opinion. It requires discipline! However, now that I am blogging I want to get them up and I want to post them on the knitting website Ravelry.

I created this pattern myself as I went along. I kept notes, but I think it would be very hard to recreate the pattern and rewrite the instructions for someone else as I did  many try-ons for fitting and adjustments as I knitted along. Also, having used many old yarns which no longer had their labels and are of mysterious identity even to me, I would find it hard to write the pattern and advise people on exactly what currently available yarns to use.

If you want to make something like this I suggest you find a plain sweater pattern that you like. Then dive in! Decide what you want to use for the ribbing and front bands, start there, and add yarns when and where it looks good to you to create the stripes as you work. That is how I did it!

Blue Violet Top Down Cardy Knit on Circular Needles From a Medley of Scrap Yarns

I have also used self striping yarns such as Noro and Tonalita for other striped sweater projects. I love them because there are no ends to weave in or splice! And no gauge changes to calculate. You can safely knit them mindlessly going along and end up with excellent striping results. The yarn makers have dyed the yarn to make the stripes for you. If you want to make a striped sweater similar to this, with less work, I advise you to choose a Noro yarn in the color way of your choice and knit a plain cardy. You could use a solid color yarn of the same weight to make the ribbing and button bands if you chose to. Using a self-striping yarn for a sweater like this would be an intermediate level project. Using the varied yarns as I did is more challenging and I would rate it as an advanced level project.

I will post a brown striped cape/shawl soon to illustrate how one of the Noro Iro self striping yarn works up.