Thursday, 12 April 2012

Titanic Tales






t's all Titanic talk this week with the centennial of the great ship's sinking on April 15. A 3D Leo and Kate, Titanic soirees and Celine going on and on and on. But did you know that the most fabulous Titanic survivor was a Guelph gal? Sure, unsinkable Molly Brown was feisty, but she was not nearly as big a celebrity as Lady Duff Gordon, the former Lucy Sutherland who hailed from the little old Royal City. Yes, this former Guelph gal was the most celebrated English couturiere of the gilded age. And her fabulousness was spawned right here on the banks of the mighty Speed. Can you imagine our chic community as a dour Puritanical backwater back in the 1860's? Yet our little Lucy honed her dressmaking skills fashioning extravagant clothes for her doll collection. She moved to Jolly Old in the 1870's  and eventually landed a solvent British aristocrat and started her own line of couture .
Apart from her gorgeous draped tea gowns and evening coats, Lucy was the originator of the modern fashion show, or, as it was known in 1910, the Mannequin Parade. No more creepy wax dummies, Lucy put live models on a catwalk, the better to show off her creations. She tossed aside the cruel rib crushing whalebone corsets of the previous era and reinvented undergarments that allowed women to breath freely. (Whales were thankful, too.) By 1910, she was one of the most renowned fashion designers in both Europe and New York. She and her collection were bound for New York on the Titanic when the ship went down. She somewhat insensitively mentioned the tragic loss of her couture that night to her fellow survivors on Lifeboat 1. To compensate, her husband gave everyone on board a fat cheque — and Lucy apologized. In a way, I can empathize. I, too, would go overboard badly if I lost my collection

Monday, 2 April 2012

April Fools



                                                           " April is the cruellest month"

                                                                            T.S. Eliot


          You can say that again,T.S.! Last week I was tiptoeing through the tulips with my new Marc Jacobs mustard wedge sandals with nail polish to match. Fooled into optimism, I even spent 50 smackaroos on the full-throttle pedicure, only to discover that Ma Nature was punishing us with a cruel and unusual joke. Now I am forced to hide my lalapedelias in unlovely rubber boots. I predicted that we would have to pay dearly for doing our daffodil dance a month before schedule. I wish I were wrong — but, of course, I'm always right. The poor flowers are now screaming to sink back into the ground. Which brings me to the all-important question: Is it possible to look glam when it's pelting sleet and rain? Great for the garden, but all this moisture plays havoc with my costly and carefully dishevelled coif. Should we just give up and crawl back into our caves? I mean serious raingear is so ultra hideous — and don't get me started on Crocs beyond the garden wall. What I really really want is a glossy 60's style slicker with vinyl boots and hat to match. And a fantastic House of Winsdsor style umberella. Is that so difficult to find in this fair burg? Let's away to the Wild Rose for a raincoat hunt.






Eureka! Here it is! Just the most perfectly funky raincoat ever. Thank you, Wild Rose! And now that I have it: wouldn't you know, the sun is coming out. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Hat Tricks



" I myself have 12 hats, and each one represents a different personality"

                                                                                      Margaret Atwood



          While rummaging through a box of archival family photos the other day (Remember when people actually got prints?) I was enchanted by the pictures of my dearly departed grandmama in her imperious glorious headgear. Way back in the last century, a lady never left the house without her hat, gloves — and full foundation garment. I love going into the Wild Rose and conjuring up those girdled pre-feminist decades. The walls are covered in ancient relics. Alas, none are for sale, but would you really want to go back to that prim and prissy era? Seriousy? Think about it. No trendy meaningful career, no reliable birth control and worst of all: no Rock and Roll. Very grim indeed. However, I do love a wide brimmed sunhat. An indispensible accessory for keeping those pesky wrinkles and freckles at bay and, of course, hiding that summer baked hair. Like Lady Atwood, I must have at least a dozen. And yes, I do change personalities. 


         A fresh shipment of sunhats has just arrived at the Wild Rose and they come in crushable, fabulously floppy, and the latest cowboy straws — and best of all: they are for sale! Do your face a favour and get one before they're sold out. Grandmother always wore a hat and at 94 she was virtually wrinkle-free: a combination of good genes, good hats and Gilby's gin. 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Rite of Spring

    
  If only our yucky Ontario spring allowed us to frolick in the woods in gossamer gowns like the Botticelli Babes. Well, this ain't Tuscany and it will be at least 6 weeks before we can rid ourselves of those horrible salt stained parkas and Uggs. But it's never too early to go hunting and gathering for wood nymph apparel. At The Wild Rose, you'd think it was the middle of May- tra la tra la! Spring frocks abound in delicious ice cream colours. Plus a new shipment of Hue tights in happy hopeful shades of purple, blue, pink pale green and marvelous mauve. Hooray! I picked up a pair of the new wide waistband leggings- no more muffin tops! Perfect to wear with a short dress or tunic top. 




     Rosie is pining to wear open-toed shoes again. Started drooling so much over the YSL starfish wedgies on Net-aPorter that I water damaged my keyboard.These darlings are a mere $1600. Almost make me want to forego paying the rent. Seriously, I'm not a spendthrift, I only look like one. It's an art to be fabulous and frugal. You just have to be a savvy shopper and follow these rules: Never ever pay retail. Buy consignment or eBay and wait for the sales. If you don't wear it-consign it. And always pay your rent. Happy shopping. We'll be dancing in the daffodils before you know it.    


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Mourning Becomes Her

"In the long run, we are all dead"
                                           John Maynard Keynes
     I was perusing the obits in the Globe the other day, and there he was! Yes, one of my old swains had shuffled off his mortal coil, gone to drink Martinis in the big cocktail lounge in the sky. Or more likely the one down below. Cause of death:TOO MUCH FUN. Which brings me to a social event more festive than 4 Weddings put together- the Fabulous Funeral. No one expected Joyboy to live past 40, so he was almost 2 decades past his due date. Not so terribly sad, but a good excuse to celebrate a life that was so full, it finally burst. This Queen Street Lothario had "known" many woman. (Yes, I admit to my 15 minutes.)  A huge population of chic femme fatales in full mourning are sure to attend the not so somber memorial. The competition will be steep. Afterall, women don't really dress for men. They dress to make other women jealous. So what gorgeous Goth getup does Rosie choose? Well, black, naturally — it's so slimming! Luckily there is no dirth of LBD's at Wild Rose right now. And most of them are on sale! Something scintillating and sensuous to pay tribute to the defunct Cassanova. Black silk J. Crew chemise( $45), Italian black lace seamed stockings ($17) with black patent Guess stillettos ($40) and my vintage jet earrings with matching necklace. Perfect merry widow's weeds.



                 I'm going to take my cue from the world's number one fashionista: Daphne Guiness. She stole everyone's thunder at the Alexander McQueen funeral two years ago. Famous for always dressing way over the top, her face was shrouded under a dark cloud of netting and feathers to conceal her tear stained cheeks, since it would be very uncool for the paparazzi to snap photos of the ultra skinny Stout heiresss with her mascara running. Alas, I have no inherited wealth except my grandmother's Schiaparelli cocktail hat with netting in front to hide, not my tears, but the unfortunate lack of plastic surgery. (Some of my old rivals will no doubt look younger than they did 20 years ago.) Topped with my vintage Yves Saint Laurent black cape and I'm ready to mourn in style. Life is short, live it up! 


Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Heart of the Matter



  As if Liz Taylor ever received a crummy box of chocolates for St. Val's. Ha!. And not even Belgian chocolates.This is false advertising! The legendary man-eater owned more big fat diamonds than any woman on the planet, including that other Elizabeth. ( the one with the large tiara) Which brings me to the scariest celebration on the calendar, and I'm not talking Halloween. To a large segment of humanity, February 14 is Doomsday. Oh the horror of awkward dinner dates and tacky gifts! Tawdry zirconium baubles and sleazy red lingerie, wilted discount roses from Zehr's. And those damn chocolates. Yuck. I have a right to be jaded. I foolishly married a silver- tongued lizard on St.Val's day many moons ago. A day of infamy. I won't go into all the sordid details- it was annuled shortly after. 

                           
       What does this heartless harpy really really want? An elegant dinner at La Cucina with my current Royal City Hunk would be swellegant. But if the big lug takes me to Swiss Chalet, I shall simply throw him into the Speed River to wallow in the muck with all the other slimey bottom feeders. For such a grand occasion I would like to be seen strutting down Macdonell in this serious red Valentino gown. But since Saint Valentino is a bit beyond the beyond,( $8675 on eBay) I will opt for this cheeky cheerful little number from the Wild Rose.($45) Paired with a red cashmere cardigan ($24) for warding off any chills seeping out of my cold cold heart. Brrrrrrr. Hopefully Prince Charming won't embarrass me with unimportant jewelry like cheesy heart pendants from the mall. God forbid. It's a very treacherous game for you poor men. Best to be safe and not to buy anything unless it's from Tiffany's. Or a gift certificate from Wild Rose.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Fun Fun Fun!

     
    
       Rosie is simply desperate for a big dose of vitamin D and a bucket of mojitos. So I'm taking off to Varadero to dig my toes into the sparkling white sand and hang with my favourite Cuban missiles- Eduardo and Raoul. But what heat- seeking device to wear?  My old flame Eduardo will take me marlin fishing  (Last year I caught a baracuda). And  later in the week, an evening at the Tropicana with Raoul. So I must pack a selection of beachwear and evening wear. All in frothy and fruity colours I shouldn't have to tell you that my number one shopping destination is The Wild Rose. The Southern Exposure section is out now and I always find something Beachy and Bootalicious, yet demure and ladylike. ( But not too prim!) 



     I have been cruising those racks for over 10 years now- since Eduardo was just a pup. Scored my first vintage bathing suit there way back in the last century. I recommend vintage swimsuits for all you beach Cougars. Like the pyramids, those ancient swimsuits have serious architectural features- boning and ruching which allow all the excess bits to be pushed to where it's needed -the cleavage and the buttocks. Oh baby! So much more flattering than a tawdry string bikini. We'll reserve those nasty little rags for the Eurotrash. Eeeeeew! and speaking of Eurotrash, why do all their men wear those obscene Speedos? Honestly, I like a bit of mystery, don't you? Like Eduardo. I mean, I don't even know his full name. But he's got excellent teeth, and that's all that really matters. Well, almost. 


     For a mere $29 I snagged a divine handerchief cotton halter dress for my jaunt to Havana. And since Raoul is such an enthusiastic Mambo King, I'll have to pack my most dance friendly sandals.That pair of Ferragamo wedgies should be perfect. Purchased for full price (GASP!) in a nano second after receiving a tax rebate. And I have no regrets.They are worth all 50,000 pennies. Sometimes a gal just has to pay retail.