Designer Desire: Vera Neumann

Vintage Vera Neumann mosaic | H is for Home

Vera Neumann was an American graphic designer best known for her bold, bright, beautiful silk scarves stamped with her little ladybug symbol.

After her death in 1993, the rights for her work were sold and leased to various organisations who reproduced her designs on clothing and homewares. The most recent I could find was a line of scarves by Target in 1993.

Black & white portrait of Vera Neumann

There’s a lovely looking book all about her work that I wouldn’t mind getting hold of – it’s entitled Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon.

Although there’s a lot of her work still on the market, alas, it’s mostly located in the USA. However, the prices start at such a reasonable level and a scarf is so light that postage costs shouldn’t be exorbitant.

Image credits:

Etsy | 1st Dibs | Replacements | eBay

Price Points: Orange maxi summer dresses

Trio of orange maxi summer dresses | H is for Home

It’s August, the kids are off school, the Olympics are in full swing (Go Team GB!), the central heating hasn’t been on in months… I’ve realised in the past few weeks that there are gaps in my summer wardrobe. I have lots of summer shorts, T-shirts and walking gear but nothing slightly dressy.

I was thinking that I’m in need of a few maxi summer dresses – white, patterned, floral… but I’d really wanted to find one in orange – one of my favourite (and most summery) colours.

Surprisingly, when I went searching, I couldn’t find that many orange maxi summer dresses online and only a few midi ones. Of the ones I did uncover, one stood out head & shoulders above the others. There was a little hint there! đŸ™‚

Number 1, the strapless example with a frilled bottom, is my favourite. The colour is perfect, a bright tangerine orange that looks great against tanned skin. I love its simplicity and blousy layering. I’d team it with chunky jewellery and a pair of strappy silver sandals.

  1. Strapless belted maxi dress: £29.00, JD Williams
  2. Frill maxi came dress: £40, Topshop
  3. Halterneck maxi dress: £49.99, H&M

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Price Points: Walking sandals

Walking sandals | H is for Home

After many years of loyal service, my current walking sandals – a pair of Keen Neports – died a death last summer. Despite that, I love them so much that I’ve glued the soles back together, then the laces snapped so I’ve knotted those back together…

Now that the weather’s become warm enough to transition from walking boots back to sandals, I’ve dragged the old faithfuls back out once again. If I’m honest, I’m flogging a dead horse, they’re now really tatty and won’t last until the end of this summer.

The new pair will see daily use, up to 3 dog walks per day… every day, and I’ll need a new pair that can cope with the moorland terrain. I love the look of most Keen sandals, so the orange pair above are my favoured replacements.

  1. Keen Clearwater CNX walking sandals: £72.28, Amazon
  2. Teva Kimtah leather sandals: £80.00, Millets
  3. Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve sandals: £85.00, Cotswold Outdoor

Vintage hosiery ads

Three vintage hosiery ads | H is for Home

Boxes and drawers full of old paper ephemera come into the antiques centre quite often. It’s well worth spending 10 minutes to have a sift and sort through. Amongst the old newspapers, shopping lists and receipts lie some little hidden gems.

Vintage Sponsor Hosiery ad | H is for Home

We keep an eye out for vintage advertisements, menus, recipe booklets and so on. In particular, those originating from the mid twentieth century which have eye-catching designs or artwork.

Vintage Hudson hosiery ad | H is for Home

This week, we found three lovely vintage hosiery ads in a pile.

Vintage Burlington Support Stockings ad | H is for Home

They date from the 1950s and promote Hudson, Sponsor and Burlington brands.

Detail from a vintage Hudson hosiery ad | H is for Home

The lady’s legs forming the letter ‘H’ of Hudson is a particular favourite for graphic design – and we also love the sky blue colour and era-defining ‘New Look’ fashion of the Sponsor advertisement. They’ll look lovely framed and displayed near a wardrobe or in a dressing room.

Price Points: Clothes hangers

Selection of clothes hangers | H is for Home

Clothes hangers are another of those mundane, day-to-day objects to which most of us don’t give much thought. When I was young, I was happy to hang my clothes on odd, mis-matched plastic hangers – the ones that came with the item of clothing from the shop.

These days, I’ve become much more discerning; the clothes I wear – like the hangers in my cupboard – are much less throwaway. I’m a very organised person; I like to open my wardrobe doors and see my clothes displayed on identical hangers. Blouses & shirts together, dresses together, trousers together… and of course, all colour coordinated! I have dozens of the sturdy wooden IKEA variety. But they’re very bulky and, as I almost never throw or give my clothes away, there’s virtually no space left in my cupboard.

Much as I love the padded Wiltshire Liberty print hanger, having all my things hanging from these identical clothes hangers would be very expensive option. Some of the clothes in my possession didn’t cost as much as a single hanger!

The Nomess Copenhagen metal clothes hangers look very similar to the ones you get from dry cleaners. But, the fact that they’re copper and their utilitarian, minimalist look gives them a designer edge. All I need to do now is give my wardrobe a utilitarian, minimalist look to match!

  1. BUMERANG hanger, natural: £3.50 /8 pack, IKEA
  2. Nomess Copenhagen aluminium hanger, set of 5, copper: £21, John Lewis
  3. Wiltshire Liberty print hanger: £7.95, Liberty

The Return of Glad Rags

'The Return of Glad Rags' blog post banner

Colourful vintage ladies fashion

We don’t actually have a ‘Glad Rags’ section in our web shop any more. When we did last year’s re-design, we thought that the layout looked better with one less department so we sacrificed it in the name of web design harmony. For that reason we tend not to pick up much vintage fashion these days, but sometimes we see pieces that are hard to resist… like this colourful trio that we bought during the week.

Green vintage coat by André Peters for Louis Feraud

This gorgeous knee-length green coat dates from the sixties. The colour is fabulous and the zig-zag stitch detailing mirrors the angular collar shape. It’s by Andre Peters for Louis Feraud and has a label to the inside.

Red vintage Jaeger leather jacket

The red leather jacket is by Jaeger. The leather is lovely and soft – and the condition is excellent. We’re not sure when it dates from – 70s/80s maybe… but it has such a classic, timeless shape whichever decade it hails from.

Yellow vintage summer dress by André Peters

Last but certainly not least is the very sweet little yellow dress. As with the green coat it’s by AndrĂ© Peters. It’s the perfect thing for spring as the daffodils start to appear. Actually, Adelle was so taken by it that it mysteriously vanished after the photographs were taken!

Vintage Louis Feraud label Vintage Jaeger label Vintage André Peters label

She hasn’t got a yellow dress so perhaps we can turn a blind eye to the theft. But as she already owns about fifty coats, we’ll have to be stricter with the other two items.

Colourful vintage ladies fashion items

They’ll shortly be listed on eBay – click here for further details and bidding if you’re tempted.