Monday, April 21, 2014

Tracht & Mehr

One thing I love is a good second hand store. I have my favorites and this last weekend I made a trip to my favorite second hand store in Munich Germany. I love the Dirndl look and the lederhosen, but I would never wear it. I mean, really, you need to be an authentic Bavarian with the right Octoberfest party to go to to wear this stuff.
Ok, sigh, truth be told, yes I own a Dirndl. Of course I bought it a second hand store years ago in Stuttgart. it cost me then about 50 US dollars (75 D-marks) and it was mute enough that it did not scream dirndl.  I could wear it as evening wear. It is 100% silk in muted green striped skirt with a simple off white silk top and a green silk jacket. I changed out the buttons on the jacket so it was a much less obvious dirndl and it looked great on me. I have not worn it lately, I need to dig it out and find a good event to go to.

This last weekend I was in Munich. I have not been there in years. Every time I am there I head for a shop near the Rathaus that sells vintage Bavarian/Austrian wear. I love the boiled wool jackets and I have my favorite makers. Geiger is my favorite only because it was the maker of my first jacket. I bought it new in Stuttgart 25 years ago. The poor thing is now thread bare. The cuffs are frayed and it is stretched in areas I did not know boiled wool could stretch. I paid a lot for that jacket and when I bought it, I had really shopped around. I wanted something in a solid color with classic lines. I wanted it to last me for years.

My original jacket was very conservative. It was navy blue with straight patch pockets and the same color navy trim  So now looking for a replacement I wanted the solid lines again, but this time I was open to color. At this store I found two used jackets that fit what I was looking for. Good fortune, but only having room in the suitcase for one of them I tried them both on and made a decision. One was green with red trim, the other was blue with green trim. Both looked good on me but not a surprise, I decided on the Geiger jacket. I just like the way it fit a little better. The price was right, just under 40 euros. More room in the suitcase and both would have made the trip back with me.

Now for the old jacket. I am going to have to do something with it. Maybe a purse. Maybe I will toss it in the wash and see what comes out. Maybe a nice hat! I can't just throw it away, not yet anyway. It might be like Blue Willis and become a stuffed animal. We will see.

So here is my new jacket.

I love the buttons on top

and the asymmetrical pockets as well.
It is heavy enough to wear in early winter/ late fall or early Spring. I expect this one too will see lots of wear.

If you are ever in Munich, in the market for, or looking for either a boiled wool coat, a Dirndl or Lederhosen, at least from the high quality used wool coat standpoint, for men and women go to  Wies'n Tracht & Mehr the branch, Rosental 5 am Viktualienmarkt has the vintage/used area in the back of the store. They normally have a good selection of jackets to choose from.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Au Louvre Paris

I  was in Paris for a weekend getaway a couple weeks ago and while walking along the Seine in that area, you know the area where all of the books sellers are set up? One of the sellers was selling vintage woman's magazines. I stopped when I saw a copy of "Le Petit Echo de la Broderie", dated Sunday 18 May, 1913. It quickly became mine. You see, on the cover was this purse:
I love filet and this project is just beautiful. Had I picked this magazine up in 1913, by mail order, I could have  bought the filet for 3fr 75, everything for the embroidery for 16fr 05 the pretty closure (Irish crochet) for 0fr 85 and the the fringe with the little balls for 2fr 85 a meter.
The fact that one could buy hand knotted filet is a good thing since in many old books the actual making of the filet looks a lot like something rather daunting to make. Much better to know it could be purchased and that it was not uncommon to do so. How uncommon I wondered? I hate it when I don't understand something so research was in order.
I have to back up to a purchase I made several years ago in France. On the packet of lace it says it came from the Grands Magasins du Louvre.
Still later I found a second item, a packet of filet from Au Louvre Paris.  Here is the back of the packet which contained 5 squares of filet. Unlike most things, this one is dated 12 August 1909.
On the other side tied to the red cardboard square were the filet. One of them is on the cardboard. Size is about 6 inches square. Too small for this project.

The two stores, The Grands Magasins du Louvre and Au Louvre Paris, are they somehow connected? At first I thought that these stores were ones that sell interesting replicated things from the museum of the same name, but why then would they be selling lace? Something did not make sense. Doing a little research, I found out that they are one in the same and that they have nothing to do with the museum. You can read about it here. Much explains now why I have never heard of the store. It went out of business in the 1970s.
Recently I came across old catalogs from Au Louvre dated 1930/31. How nice it is now to put a name to many of the things I have found here in France. So back to the Filet. Here it is two ways one could buy in the early 1930s.
From experience I know I can cut what I need. The little squares are nice though. In my stash I have large cuts of this hand knotted filet. Not too much of the machine made stuff. As soon as I find a matching thread to work it I will be making something similar to the pattern I found in the 1913 magazine so stay tuned.
But while I am here, and while I paged through the catalog, I found some other interesting things. First off, I always thought people bought the religious metals in churches. Here however they are clearly for sale in either a silver color or gold. It is not clear that they are really gold or just gold in color. Price seem to indicate it is the same as what was for sale at the cathedrals.
Also interesting to me were the lace medallions I pick up so often at flea markets they are simply called ovals or squares of what ever lace type they take after. Shown are Venise and Cluny.
I have many of these in my stash I use from time to time on different projects. There is so much more in this catalog. I would love to find one from an earlier era, the search is on. Such fun to page through and so disappointing that I can't order anything from the catalog.