Monday, 6 December 2010

Vintage Snobbery vs Vintage Failing

Oh, it's been a crazy few days in my world. Or, more specifically, my blog world. It all began way back in the mists of time, aka Friday night, when I posted a long and heartfelt post about how 'rubbish' my life is at the moment, I got some incredibly lovely comments overnight, then on Saturday morning, it was deleted. Basically, it was posted without thought, at a time when it could have potentially further damaged the very situation I was referencing. And if you read it, you would know why I wouldn't want to make it worse! I don't really want to bring it up again at the moment, but I realised today that the post is still showing in some people's Google Readers, and so I have continued to get some amazing emails from people, all around the world. I can't thank you all enough.

But apparently, the act of deleting my post and the fact that people then continued to leave me comments on my last post (which was ostensibly about glamorous party frocks), has offended someone enough for them to leave me a rude anonymous comment. This person feels that since I have no backbone (and no stiff upper lip, or is it that I do have a stiff upper lip - am a tad confused), I couldn't possibly have survived the Blitz, nor could I have coped in the 1940s without my precious lip primer. I am, they say, 'no vintage person'. Contrast this to the last time I received anonymous abuse on here, in which I was roundly trounced for being a 'vintage snob', after I was mean about afro wigs and people in cagoules at a vintage festival. So am I in fact a vintage snob, or am I actually a terrible fashion follower who doesn't care about vintage at all?

Let's look at the good things about the past. It was a much more innocent time.


Borrowed from Silent Screen Queen on Flickr


I think you can take it as read that, to me, the 1930s and 40s represent the absolute zenith of style. From Art Deco furniture to the wonderful shapes and silhouettes of the clothes of the time, I worship vintage style. I also love it for its individuality, something I have been devoted to my whole fashion-conscious life. I hate wearing the same thing as someone else. This is why, although I am happy to wear repro on a daily basis, I will only ever wear vintage, one-off repro or something which I am 99% sure will not be seen on anyone else, to a large vintage event. But what about life back then? In the 30s and 40s (if you discount the War), the news wasn't so full of scare-stories, and there is little doubt that generally people were a bit more civil to each other than now. During the Blitz, people came together to help each other, and yes, in rural communities, people could leave their doors and cars unlocked. For many people, life was nice and simple, I'm sure. People didn't rape or murder each other... as much. Maybe it was just unreported. It does seem as though it was quite nice back then for some people. But I don't want to go back to the past. I prefer the present day.



Let's look at it objectively. How would I have coped during WWII. I haven't the faintest idea. How long is a piece of string?

Would I have breezed through it, with nothing more than a few nights in an air-raid shelter and minimal discomfort? Would I have had to leave my family and gone off to work in a factory? Would I have been a lady pilot? Would I have lost everything I own to a bomb? Would I have lost my boyfriend or husband or brother in the fighting? Would I have lived in a lovely rural village, eating way more than my ration book would have allowed? There is absolutely no way to know. I consider myself to be quite a strong person, but the fact that I'm seemingly not immune to depression has made me realise I am not a superhuman with no emotions, funnily enough. But I am still here, just as friends of mine are, who have had broken hearts, lost parents, had serious accidents, suffered abuse, and other such awful things happen to them, far worse than has happened to me. I'm sure that if the worst had happened, I would have got by. And even if it had been relatively painless, I'm sure I'd have had a good old moan and whinge to my friends about sleepless nights and weeing in buckets. And about not being able to get any new lipstick or a new frock. Because let's face it, we'd each have had a couple to our names, with maybe one more for best. And no stockings. And the same amount of cheese that I eat in one bite, to last a whole week. Rubbish.

If I had lived back then, would I have dressed like a Victorian, in order to express my individuality? No - if I had, I'd have been sectioned. People didn't do things like that unless they were vastly wealthy and a lovable eccentric. I certainly would not have fallen into the wealthy category then. I may even, as others of my friends pointed out, been a servant. I wouldn't have been to university, I probably wouldn't be living on my own, making a living as a freelance writer. Well, I *might* have been. Who knows? But one thing is for sure, I don't believe I was 'born in the wrong era'. Snoodlebug just posted an excellent rant on the subject, as have others on my blog roll in the past. Generally, with a few exceptions, most of the people of my acquaintance feel the same. The past would be a nice place to visit (and buy all the frocks, shoes, furniture, whatever, that we please), but most of us wouldn't want to stay there. Not unless we were in the Bertie Wooster set.

I have been brought up to have old fashioned manners, and I always hold doors open, say please and thank you, treat others with the courtesy and respect that I wish to be afforded. Of course I lose my temper sometimes and I can be critical. But being mean about false moustaches or cheap, tacky costumes is part of Chappist culture. I've said over and over that I enjoy spending my time with likeminded folks, just as most people do. When people make a mockery of your lifestyle, it does sting a bit. And as Red Legs points out in the moustache rant, people wouldn't go to a soul event blacked-up, so why come to a decadent, dandyesque event in a joke shop moustache? Before people get critical, I realise it's not in the same league as racism, but I am making a point. None of it is life or death, but forgive us for having a moan about it!

On a serious note, one of the main reasons, perhaps, that I don't have a rosy-tinted view of the past, is that my own relatives didn't have such a lovely, carefree time back then. My maternal grandparents married just before my RAF bomber-pilot grandad was shot down in 1943, and he spent the rest of the war in a POW camp. He came back rather scarred, mentally, from his experience, and when my grandmother gave birth to my mum in 1946, treated her absolutely atrociously. They never divorced, because it was not the 'done thing', but my goodness me, they should have done. My grandmother spent 30 years on strong barbiturates that the doctors told her she should never come off, because they knew of no other way to deal with her depression. My grandad died in debt, leaving a second life that no one knew about, to be discovered later. And his experiences in the war made him like that, I have no doubt.

My paternal grandparents were a little younger during the war. My grandad drove a fire engine in the Blitz. He had a nervous breakdown. He was 18 years old.

So judging by my own family's reactions to their wartime experiences, I might well have not had that purported stiff upper lip after all. I might, in fact, have been a total mess. Just as I am now over something that is in essence far more trivial than going through a World War, but which has nonetheless shaken me to my very core. So I am eternally grateful that there are other, nice things, and lovely people in my life keeping me sane. And that I am not being bombed every night, or lacking in nice frocks and lipsticks. Here's to modern materialism! ;)

I'm not sure whether I have answered my own question about whether I am a snob or a fake, but I'm going to stop wittering on now. To sum up, there are many aspects of the past that I enjoy, the clothes and style being one; the perceived politeness and courtesy towards others that may or may not have existed (depending on where and who you were)... the things we all believe to have disappeared in the modern world. The things I have no time for are primitive health knowledge, lack of civil rights, lack of deodorant, so on and so forth, etc, etc. I like my car, my laptop, my internet, sushi, nice shoes that fit (if I'd lived in the 40s with size 8/10US feet, I'd have been in men's shoes), not having bombs dropped on me. Basically, anyone who is a normal person, and not a troll, will, I am sure, get what I mean. I have no problem with those that hanker after the past, as long as they also realise that they're hankering over an idealised version of it. In the mean time, I shall continue dressing in vintage, reading books about it, and learning about social and fashion history without actually wishing I could go back. Actually, hang on... there were more men with real moustaches back then, weren't there?! I think I have changed my mind... ;)

That is all.

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

76 comments:

  1. Great post Fleur, first off I saw your deleted post in the blog roll but didn't send a message as I thought if you'd changed your mind about posting it I would respect that.

    On the other subject I agree wholeheartedly I like that I have choice, even if I do choose to wear, look & decorate my house vintage. I love my laptop, my Blackberry, I'm asking for a kindle for Christmas, I can be a woman running my own business, not so easy in my chosen era the 50s. In essence I am me, I chose what I want to wear and what I want to do, just because I like & wear 50s clothes does not mean I want to be a housewife with a gaggle of kids which would have been my ONLY option in reality then. And on an additional note my mum had size 8 feet in the 50s (I'm adopted just in case you this what?) and you're right you would have worn ugly shoes!

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  2. Oi there are some stupid people in this world...but YOU are not one of them. And "anonymous" people are certainly not worth a bother.
    Although the comment makes for an interesting topic for blog pieces! I shall go write my view on whether I would have survived the Blitz right now :)

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  3. Keep your chin up, sugar plum.

    Haters are gonna hate. It's what they do. Don't let them get to you.

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  4. THIS THE BEST POST IN AGES. LOVE!

    ROB XXXXXXXX

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  5. A perfect post summing up pretty well my own feelings on the whole living in the past thing! The best thing about living now is we can pick and mix and dress and behave however we please.

    My own grandmother was put on tranqulisers in the past and advised not to cone off them I believe. She ignored them though as we're quite bloody minded in my family ;)

    I know it's easy to say but you shouldn't let idiotic anonymous comments get you down, especially not when they're buried among so many positive, caring comments.

    I saw your post on my feed reader, but I didn't even realise you'd deleted it till I saw "anon" comment. Some people really need to remember that there's a real person behind that computer screen and get a grip!

    Xx

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  6. Well my dear, you already know what I think about all of this. But I will say again that you have no need to justify yourself because of one nincompoop, and that such nasty little comments almost always stem from jealousy - you are very popular and very beautiful and that is bound to rile some people up. It is, unfortunately, the way of the world.

    I think most of us really appreciate the fact that you are honest and intelligent, that you live your life with sincerity, but still have a sense of humour. Don't allow one bitter individual to change any of that. x

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  7. Awww!! you are so a vintage person! great post! Jealous people say that! The ones that dont have the guts to wear vintage say that!!

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  8. Fleur.. this is your blog. People don't have to read it. These are your opinions. Lots of people do read your blog and your opinions. Lots of people like your style and your flair, the way you write, and the things you write about, your pictures and your obvious talent for putting interesting and entertaining posts together.

    If nobody read your blog, or if hundreds read your blog .. it doesn't matter. This is about YOU. It's YOUR blog. If I think you are writing rubbish (I dont), then I wont read it ... that's my choice. If I met you in real life and didn't like you, then I wouldn't be your friend. Simple. I wouldn't stand there and tell you why - neither would you! What is the point of making negative comment for something which is a personal choice - to read or not to read. It's not even a matter of opinion. It doesn't make sense.

    I think you should stop justifying what you write. Really. If people don't like it, they should go and read another blog that they do like. It's no loss to you.

    One can only feel sorry for these 'annonymous' commenters who have nothing better to do than to criticise other people. Life is too short. If you don't like the programme, switch the channel.

    As for 'vintage', this is what I said in a recent interview: "Modern vintage, as we know it now, is not really about nostalgia, it is a very deep and rich resource that we can tap into for inspirational
    ideas, borrowing bits from each era to create an entirely modern style which can be individually tailored to make totally unique fashions for
    those who would seek it."

    Honestly. Next time you get a silly annonymous comment, just delete it and carry on. Lots of people like what you write. Focus on them, and not the sad people who want to make you sad.


    :)

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  9. The most stylish people according to the magazines are the ones who manage to mix vintage and modern stuffs. It's the same for your lifestyle; we take "the best of both worlds" don't you think?:)

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  10. I don't see how you are a snob at all. You like what you like and that's what makes us all individuals. Everyone has different tolerance levels - sometimes I get stressed beyond belief that I only have 1 hour to clean the house before visitors descend, and other times I have a write 60 slides for a doctor in a day and I manage that without a second thought.

    I didn't read the first post so not sure what you are referring to, but I do hope you don't let it bother you too much - you have a lovely blog, are stunningly gorgeous, and obviously have a very successful career! :-)

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  11. oh my sweet sweet fleur! I missed the post, I missed the comment but i didn't miss your sad sad heart my friend! And the classy lady you really are. YOu are by far my favorite and most adorable vintage gal eveh!

    And i am so sorry that someone hurt you! I am so sad that there are people who don't love themselves...and are so insecure that they feel the need to spread their evil!

    Girl you and i know that if every moment of every day we wore our "real" vintage things such as shoes...we would just die! Why because they would wear and break...and we can't just run out to the 40's a pick up a bone pair of 40's wedgies in our size for $ 1.79...like in the 40's...it costs so much to dress this way and is so rare to find our treasures! Darlin' this person just doesn't live the lifestyle...you do!

    Whatever or whomever you are ladies rock you!!!! Whatever way you come...love yourselves enough to rock the you...that you are!!!!

    Then you will be so happy you could care less what others do...I love you Feur...and love your real vintage...not stuff...Lifestyle!

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  12. Great post!
    Its okay to ignore the negative and harassing anonymous comments up to a point, but I certainly agree in writing a post in your own "defense" now.

    :)

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  13. It was really nice meeting you at the Rhythm Riot a few weeks ago. I was the girl who spoke to you at the Laura Bakker 40s style stand (remember the dress with the silk map ;)).
    I didn't read your deleted post, but I wanted to say that you are a really nice girl (from what I know), and I also like your friend, by the way :)
    And don't mind the awful anonymous comment. On teh internetz :-p there are always people who say rude things that they wouldn't dare say to you in real life. It's sad.

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  14. No wonder I visit your blog and read your tweets almost daily. Your honesty, candor, and whip smart writing are a cut above. Of course none of us knows how we would act if we were dropped back in time.

    You celebrate the best of an era, and I for one chuffed to bits that you do!

    P. Danger Corlis

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  15. I'd ignore that person. Said person probably has never had to deal with anything difficult in their life. I myself don't know how people made it through WWII particularly in Europe. (At least in the states we could feel mostly safe about going about our daily lives!) My husband is in the military and he was in Iraq for a year. I was miserable. And he even had a nice cushy desk job! So, people who lived through WWII were probably worse of than me, but they had to hide it and keep going.

    Besides, it's certainly not a crime to hate today's fashion and yearn for something else!

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  16. I am still laughing at yours and Helen's 'wartime' twitter posts. "made lipstick out of beetles. was rubbish" hahaha


    That should be like a whole website of its own. \

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  17. I could say so much about this post and how you have summed up exactly what I think but I'd just be repeating what the lovely people above me have said.

    Instead all I will say is that you are so AWESOME and I really look forward to your posts and you come across as being as genuine as a person can come across over the internet. Anyone who has a popular blog is bound to get negative and stupid comment, just keep doing what you do and the keep the 99.9% of rational readers happy :)

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  18. Your grandad sounds like my great-grandfather: fought in WW1 from the age of 14. Not surprising it messed him up! Amongst other things, he used to 'disappear' and then send my great-grandma photos of himself on holiday with other women. Nice guy....

    I'm sure I read some research somewhere saying that the "Blitz spirit" is mainly a myth. Certainly when I was researching the Greenock blitz, some rather mean-minded things came to light. The bombing in Greenock was intense (my boyfriend's great-grandmother was killed with about 20 other people in a shelter behind their tenement - she has a Commonwealth War Grave) and many people were bombed out and lost everything. Accusations started up that these people had been - shock horror! - stealing food! These people had nothing, had lost family and friends, had seen their hometown more or less flattened, and some arsehole started spreading it about that they were thieving bastards for whom no one should feel sorry. Happy days!

    About rape and murder - what about Anthony Clockwork Orange Burgess' wife? The thugs which people said predicted late 60s/early 70s skinheads were partially, so they say, inspired by his wife being attacked by GI deserters during the blackout, and she lost the child.

    And why were crime novels so popular in the 20s to 30s? All those Christies, Sayers, Marsh etc novels? Some people say it was a salve for the distress caused by WW1.

    Looking back, they were stylish times, certainly, and I'd like to visit it for a day just to see what it looked like (not the war part, please, should the Time Machine Gods be listening!), but... I wouldn't want to live there (dear lord, I sound bitter today! I'm not this bad usually, honest!).

    Alex: I was seriously toying with the idea of a satirical Blitz Twitter....! I think it might get a bit boring rather quickly though: "Still no bananas. FML."

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  19. you are awesome! Nevermind the nay-sayers. I am shocked at the comments some people can leave and posts and rants I see everywhere around the internet. I think sometimes we loose sight that all posts are made by real people... especially blogs put up by people such as yourself who have become sort of "icons" of the blogosphere.

    I really enjoyed your posts and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    I find it fascinating to see what people's motives are behind choosing a vintage lifestyle and their representation of that. Questions of "how would I have..." are far less interesting that "why do I..." to me. We just can't fathom living in a different life in an era where growing up would be such a far reach from how our society would have been (For example, growing up as a kid in the 1910s vs the 1980s is leaps and bounds different- we can even see the difference in how culture changed it's perspective in the last 10 years, which is nothing like the gap of 60 or 70 years). I have no idea how I would have lived, who I would have been, and how I would have reacted. These are such different times, and I'm thankful to be born now, just as I would have been thankful to be born then if that was what I was chosen to do. We do live now, so it's up to us to make what we can from *this* life, not worry about what might have been!
    *big hugs* I always enjoy seeing your posts.

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  20. Sod 'em Fleur..I've met you and you are a really sweet down to earth person.
    Excellent post too.
    xx

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  21. Don't let mean people get you down. You're beautiful and have the right to dress however you wish and be whoever you wish.
    Lots of love xox

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  22. I wrote a graduate paper on the social issue of women living in the late 40s and 50s and it was no picnic, that is for sure! I am with you- I'd love to visit and grab as many frocks as I could and then come back. I doubt with my non-traditionalist views and musician ways that I would have fit in very well back then!

    As others have said- some people just need any reason to spew negativity and the internet makes is SO easy to do that. Don't let a few bad eggs ruin your omelette because I for one think your blog is tops!

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  23. That's such an *odd* criticism, too. You wrote something, thought better of it, and withdrew it to not worsen the situation and that means you wouldn't have survived the Blitz? Oh Fleur, I fear most of the world would be depopulated if that were the standard! I had no idea it was so serious!

    (Marian the Librarian)

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  24. What that beastly anon poster seems to forget is that those who lived through any historical period were as varied and different as we are now and if they knew anything about the actual era they would see that behind the slightly hysterical gaiety and the very real and admirable Blitz spirit there was also a good deal of struggle and despair.
    My Granny who served in the ATS, may not have had lip primer( although I'm sure she would've if it had been around!)wore powder and lipstick everyday of the war - she used to say it was quite literally her warpaint, it was a coping mechanism in a terrible situation and good for her, I still have her shrapnel peppered compact and metal pincurlers she used and they are as an important symbol of bravery to me as my Grandad's medals are :)

    Everyone survives the times they were born in simply because you have to, not everyone necessarily likes the era they live in either.

    Having read your blog for a long while now, I think they have rather idiotically confused taking a pride and enjoyment in something as snobbery and this says far more about them than it ever could about you.

    I will confesss that I am one of "those" people who would happily trade all of my remaining modern conveniences and go live in the 1940's this is not as a result of looking through rose tinted glasses I have studied the era in depth and was raised by grandparents who never really left the 40's behind so it feels more like my natural habitat than modern times ever will, most people think I am totally nuts or affected but I am also very happy to live the way I chose to do so. I dont however think that everyone else who likes vintage or certain aspects of it either on a small or large scale has to do the same in anyway shape or form - nor do I think in not doing so this makes them "fake" (ghastly term)- I am not a member of the lifestyle police just because someone is wearing a ravishing 40's frock doesn't mean that they have to throw away their tv, make do and mend and have oil lamps like I do, nor do I think any less of them for having a Blackberry in their beaded evening purse. Its not a competition I do the things I do because it makes me happy, just as others do the things they do because it makes them happy, and huzzah for doing the things that make us happy.

    In fact one of the reasons (and there are many) why I adore your blog is because of your wonderful style and glorious clothes, I may emulate the 40's lifestyle but as I always seem to have a smut on my nose or a darn in my stockings or a hole in my sleeve I am totally unable to capture on any scale the same level of vintage glamour, but I really enjoy it when others do! As long as you take great pleasure in what you do Vive la difference!

    I have rather rambled on a bit, when all I actually wanted to say is that you are splendid and the person making the spiteful comment is an idiot

    E xx

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  25. I love this. I have always liked to combine the best bits of the past with the best bits of now, and I think it's great that we live in an age where we can do that. I would certainly not want to return to the 1950s (my era of choice for cars, clothes and diners) and encounter the terrible racism and repression of women which was going on at that time. My grandmother was a teenager in the 1950s and was thoroughly miserable, because she was expected to marry and have children very young (which she did, aged 20), and give up all her own ambitions, despite coming from a comparitively bohemian family. People seem to misunderstand those who enjoy a "vintage" lifestyle, and don't realise that such people are actually quite aware that we live in a fairly nice time to be alive.

    Also, on the subject of depression and feeling down-you are perfectly entitled to your emotions. Yes, worse things have happened, and still go on, but that doesn't make your own misery or fear any less real or valid. Take all the time you need to deal with it, ignore people who don't or can't understand, and keep your lovely sense of humour.

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  26. Stop it now VG! You have no need to justify your blog. That way madness lies. You have nearly 2000 followers FFS. We love what you say and the way you say it. And as for loving a vintage life without moving to the past. Wot rot! By which I mean live your life now in whatever way suits - as you do very well in my opinion. I realise that all fashion has referenced earlier eras but in modern times it really took off after the 1980s. And it is getting worse season on shorter season as designers/retailers are fighting desperately to maintain their market share. Today on-line I saw a designer dress that is an almost exact copy of a 1950s dress by Lachasse which I happen to own. As a stand-holder at vintage fairs I see buyers from the fashion chains, stylists and big name to high street designers flood in early to examine, to occasionally buy and very often (for the unscrupulous) just to photograph.

    But back to you. I love The Chap 'thing' and your reports. I love your style. It's a form of eccentricity that the English are renowned for. You are both stylish and beautiful and deserving of the admiration you engender. In future I insist that you ignore and delete negative anonymous comments (oo-er, bossy). They are seeking confirmation by your acknowledgement of their existence. Sadly whoever initiated this must be laughing their socks off. Let's laugh them off Blogger. Cx

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  27. Here, here! Well said. Great post fleur.

    Living in Australia, people often think that we do things a little different here; but let me just say, rude is rude, no matter where you live, and anonymous was downright RUDE! It's terrible how attacking and grammatically incorrect some people can be.

    Thank you for sharing a little about your grandparents. Mine were not very different from yours; my paternal grandfather was in the RAAF, and my maternal grandfather in the Royal Navy. My RAAF grandfather spent much of the war in Papua New Guinea, Borneo, Malaya, Singapore, and other topical places around the Pacific, conditions were awful; the heat and lack of food and water lead to all kinds of nasty infections and diseases; it was a terrible, terrible existence to have. My heart always goes out to him and those who fought beside him when I think of what it is that they went through.

    Life on the home front was just as difficult, as Australia helped to supply mother England with soldiers for Europe as well as the Pacific; effectively we fought two wars, that in Europe as Allies, and that on our door step in the Pacific. On top of this Australia produced aircraft, vehicles, ammunition and weapons for all war fronts. Due to the shortage of Male workers, the Australian Women’s Land Army swung into action, providing agricultural labour for farms in rural areas, who were also tasked with producing food for troops around the world, and civilians in Australia. Women here, as they did there, really carried the war efforts on their shoulders.

    I, like you, do not know what I would have done, should I have found myself in the same situation as my grandparents. I am grateful to live in the present day, and have many opportunities my grandmothers may never have had. But I always have, and always will look at them with such respect and pride. They were the epitome of style and grace, yet still managed to don a tin hat and fight for their country and what they believed in. And even though some of the most terrible crimes humanity has even committed happened during these eras, some of the most wonderful things humanity have ever created occurred during this time too, and thus, I feel that admiration for this period is well warranted.

    Thanks for providing such a wonderful place to read about all you wonderful vintage antics; it is always inspirational to me.

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  28. How ridiculous.
    I do hope you don't take such nasty and pointless comments to heart. Most of us here think you’re wonderful and love reading about everything you get up to. Chin up, and if that fails, have a G&T.
    Good post :)

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  29. Lovely post and great insight! I have discovered that people who remain 'anonymous' are usually cowards who do not have the chutzpah to be upfront and reveal themselves. They are trolls. Period. Like someone said, they do not have to read your blog and how hard is it to be nice and remain positive?

    Your blog is fantastic and keep up the great work! Cheers to you!

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  30. Adding my support to the many comments before - being vintage is being you (it is for me) and what others think, or indeed say anonymously, is of no consequence. And as a fellow depression sufferer I can safely say that being / wearing vintage has saved many a potentially tragic day.

    Lisaxxx

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  31. Well, Fleur whatever labels others throw at you, please know that I deem you just darling!

    You just keep on being vintage glam.

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  32. Firstly, I happened to catch that post you're referring to before you took it down. As someone who has struggled with both depression and tough times that bring me low, I can completely sympathize with you. It's hard sometimes to get out of that funk when you're in it--I don't know how many months I've lost during the really dark times, and applaud you for trying to continue on as you have, Fleur! :)

    "No vintage person"?! You're one of the people I count as most "vintage" out of the lot of us online! ;) But I really think that anon. is totally missing the point of the vintage style culture that has really sprung up... It's more about the aesthetics and "feel" of the era, rather than duplicating it. Please don't let this person's comment get you down. I really appreciate you laying things out like this, because you summed up the way I approach vintage precisely! Just keep doing what you do best, Fleur--don't let "haters" ever let you doubt yourself! :)

    ♥ Casey | blog

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  33. Hear hear my dear! Chin up and all that. We can't have an anti-Chappist get you down, it just will not do.
    Take a deep breath, fix your lipstick and march on... otherwise you're no better than those lily-livered Frenchies! ;)

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  34. I have nothing to say except I am SOOOOO vintage my poop is 65 years old AND I use NOS toilet paper ;) oh, and I love you, Fleur xoxoxoxo

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  35. When people see a nail that sticks out, they want to hammer it down. You stick out....because you are beautiful, talented, smart, friendly, and REAL. But don't let them hammer you down. You keep being who you are, and we will keep reading about it. If people dont like it, then they dont have to read it, and they for sure dont need to comment out it. I am so sorry that there are nasty people out there. Everyone just needs to cut you a break! Keep on bloggin'!

    XOXO
    Dollie D

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  36. You are a lovely girl Fleur, Don't let the bastards drag you down !

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  37. F those RUDE people!
    I am rather new to the world of vintage/blogs...I did read the post you deleted the other day.I wanted to leave you a comment but the word verification would not show up, so I couldn't. Wow, I'm so upset I don't know what to say or where to start, so I'll try to stick to the point... You and all the other vintage bloggers out there are the most inspiring people I've "met". I love you all. Reading all these vintage blogs makes me feel like I have true friends. Maybe sisters would be a better word. Most people I know and meet think I'm weird for liking vintage.I'm the only person I know that likes this stuff. So even though I never met any of you, it really pisses me off to see someone messing with my sisters.Those jerks are jealous because you are being recognized for being awesome and unique! AND, why the heck would they waste their time on a site about something they don't like? They are not forced to read. Keep your chin up / stay strong / & focused because the more successful you become the more jealous unsuccessful people become.
    BTW, I like your sponser posts; like I said I'm new to this, so they help me learn.

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  38. Thank you for this post, Fleur. I think most anyone who is into the vintage aesthetic feels similarly to you - that we have made a lot of social and technological progress on our way to the current times - things that we would be foolish to want to give up or ignore the importance of. But there is the appeal of the look and feel of times gone by, some of the attitudes and most of the apparel.

    And we have all gone through rough times, some of us worse than others. And almost all of us come through what has happened to us - with time and with the aid of others (both professionals and friends/family, they're both important). I wish that you have better times and I hope that you can work towards a more normal life with fewer depressive streaks. It's something I'm still working on, too. And it's nowhere near what your grandparents had to go through, no where near what my grandparents had to go through. No one is asking us to go through war again, no one wants us to go through such a terrible and world-altering event like that again. I believe that you will make it through your issues with the style and grace that I have always seen you display here on the blog.

    Now, for those sneaky anonymous commenters who just come to badmouth you without any true regard for you, it is always difficult to brush those comments off. I don't know that I would have dignified that comment with such an in-depth post because that person did not dignify you with even a pen name for their comment. And I applaud you for taking the time to explain to them what their comment meant to you and how silly of a question it is, it points out things in yourself and in history in general that people don't realize or acknowledge when they make such terrible and off-handed anonymous comments.

    So, to put it shortly:
    I hope things get better for you, I'm sure they will.
    Vintage is a great look to aspire to and thank you for reminding us all that we have to be grateful not to have suffered through.
    And pish-posh to all of those anonymous commenters who just want to badmouth you, they don't deserve a second thought.

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  39. I mostly lurk, but I wanted to comment. I really did enjoy your thoughts on this, but I hate the fact that you have to defend yourself just for blogging about something you love. It's your blog. You have every right to post about your feelings, about vintage, about merchants, you like, and you have every right to take your thoughts down too. It's your blog, and you shouldn't have to defend your actions. Like you, I'm someone who would feel they have to explain themselves, but I hope (and I think) you realize that most of your readers enjoy your blog for what it is and are supportive of your efforts.

    I don't think any of us who haven't lived through war can really imagine what it's like. It gets romanticized in movies and TV, but I'm sure it was horrible to live through. I'm sorry your family struggled so much through it. I'm sure everyone did for the most part, and I feel incredibly lucky that I haven't had to experience what they did. And I don't take it for granted. I'm sure lots of us feel the same way.

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  40. Oh, and I meant to add that just because we haven't lived through something horrible like a war doesn't mean that we aren't allowed to be upset when something bad happens to us. I'm sorry for what you've been through andd hope you're back on your feet soon, as far as that goes. :-(

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  41. Fleur,

    I'm really bothered by Anonymous commentator's insinuation that depression is somehow less of a valid form of suffering than what people went through in WWII. Anyone who makes that kind of fallacious argument is not worth having a debate with. As you said in the instigating post, depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and no less an emotional trial than an air raid.

    The few abusive anonymous comments you get are so thoughtless they're not worth the attention you give them, though I do command you for standing up for yourself.

    Wishing you all the best, Miss!

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  42. Fleur, I saw your post on Friday, and left you a heart felt comment.

    Living a vintage life is by no means an easy way to go, it’s not like you can pop out to the shops, and be back with a whole new wardrobe for a season. It take time, patients, and a bank roll of lolly to pull off a vintage look, no matter what decade you are interested in.

    I worked as a living history docent early on, and I can attest to the insurmountable hardships that exist, and the daily drudgery! However, I was able to go home at the weekends, and in no way missed the hardships, as I was able to sew with electricity... Thank you Thomas Edison(in the states)!

    Fleur your blog is smashing just the way it is!

    XX
    VM

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  43. First of all, my brain is broken right now but I wanted to comment because I haven't commented on your blog in ages. I love this post as I loved the one at Snoodlebug, too. I have nothing constructive to add, only to say that I agree with you. I get frustrated hearing the question 'don't you think you were born in the wrong era?' No, I certainly don't! For the reasons you have mentioned and more.
    I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's comments when my brain has recovered a bit.
    -Andi x
    P.S. Also wanted to add to the multitude of well wishes you have already received. I can understand wanting to take your original post down - obviously I don't know your exact situation but I do know what it is like to live with depression (though with different cause) and I won't go on because I don't think I'm making an awful lot of sense.

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  44. O Bless you, I am so shocked that somebody would leave such a nasty comment for you especialy when you were being true and honest and when you were feeling blue. People like that are really not worth bothering with and the word "Jealous" springs to my mind. You should not have to justify your life style to anybody we live in a free country. Vintage is a life style nobody i think would really like to go back to those times and live it for real it was very hard but we like to take elements of those times and incorporate it into our life style today thats what you call a hobby and a way of expressing yourself by being individual. You carry on just the way you are and forget the negative. You have a lovely blog and from what i read you are a lovely lady. Take care Dee x

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  45. Orright then - let's see if I can comment this time!

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  46. I can comment! Ok then, here goes........

    I would love to visit pre-atomic bomb times - the clothes, the lack of rush (perceived), not having the threat of wiping out the entire planet hanging over our heads. But I like my modern existence just fine too. I am pretty sure I prefer it to an existence such as my Nan and Nanna had.

    As for the gutless wonder/keyboard warrior who so lacked integrity that they didn't leave a name (Anon. is fine if it's a pleasant remark, but if you want to be critical, have the guts to stand behind what you say, openly), grow the **** up you tosser!

    While this is a blog about vintage, it is also YOUR blog Fleur, and you can say whatever you damn well please.

    I will be sticking around.

    xoxo

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  47. Well said Fleur, I just don't get some people, how terribly sad of them.

    Chin up chick, I know where you're coming from and I respect it and know wholeheartedly how it feels. Here's to 2011 and brighter times for all (especially you, you deserve it!)

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  48. I could not have said it better myself !!! Thumbs up!

    xx

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  49. All vintage things aside, I read your other post, and thought it was heart felt, and sweet, and wanted to comment on it after some thought. Then I was kind of peeved because you wrote it after some prompting from a jealous reader. Don't let others force you to do anything. Look at you, you are prime jealous driven meat. Enjoy it. Am I the only one who thinks this is super weird? Kind of stalker like. You write a blog. You are a real person, living a real life in 2010. Sorry that you busted someone's fantasy world for a moment, but if it bothers them so much, here's an idea: don't read a blog you can't stand and then comment on it anonymously. Put this behind you. Write whatever you like, whenever you like, and screen and delete nonconstructive comments like those. The only rules on writing are one you set for yourself.

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  50. If this person wants to read the blog of a 'real vintage' girl, they're going to be out of luck because they wouldn't be using a camera or computer! I'll stick with my modern conveniences, thanks.

    The other point they tried to make, that your depression is somehow not valid because you haven't lived through a war, is extremely frustrating to me. I struggled in silence with my depression for over 10 years because I felt ashamed about 'whinging' and unworthy of help, so I feel like people who perpetuate this culture that invalidates mental illness and discourages help seeking should be hit over the head with a rolled up DSM-IV. There shouldn't be any shame in needing or seeking help, and I hope you take the steps that you need to feel better again.

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  51. Hmm. Vintage snobbery is a tricky subject. I've been pretty small-fry on the vintage scene in London for the past few years, and while on the whole people have been very welcoming and friendly, there are those who look down their noses at you for not wearing top-to-toe authentic vintage. I think most people on the scene would like nothing more than to wear only original vintage, but not everyone can find or afford an entire wardrobe of the stuff. Still, it doesn't make me any less passionate or enthusiastic about the culture, music, and lifestyle that goes hand-in-hand with the vintage scene in a city like London. I know some people who have been totally put off by the snobbishness of a few people and have given up on the whole thing. And for those among us who are just beginning to discover the delights of the vintage scene it's unrealistic for them to enter it clothed head-to-toe in authentic period clothing. Wardrobes like that take a good while to build up - and in many cases it's a catch 22 because you often need to be present on the scene to be able to find the bargains!

    The whole fake moustaches deal, especially at an event like the Chap Ball, is another matter. While I would obviously rate the real over the faux, an event like the Chap Ball or Olympiad, for many people who are not living the complete vintage life, are rather tongue-in-cheek caricatures - hence the stick on 'tache.

    But the main thing I wanted to say is that comments like the one you received on your previous post seem to stem from jealousy in most cases. You are living the dream - gorgeous and dressed completely in authentic or fabulous repro vintage on a daily basis, with a lifestyle that fully supports and allows you to do so! While you never seem to me to have come across even the slightest bit snobby in your blog posts, some peoples own discomfort at not being completely "authentic" or as dedicated to the vintage way of life as yourself will easily find a reason to criticise or bring you down out of jealousy.
    Don't let them get to you! They are far outnumbered by the people who enjoy reading your posts - whether these readers are vintage virgins or old-timers!
    Jemima.x

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  52. The original post seems to be wrong on 2 counts.
    1) That many figures we all adore from the period were not considered "normal" for their time. Really just look at Dali or Frida Kahlo.
    2) Lots of people during the Blitz etc. did suffer from depression and just like people these days they knuckled down into a routine and didn't talk about it. It's just far easier to communicate these things nowadays, the people haven't changed all that much.

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  53. And if this lovely lot doesn't make you feel better and bring a big smile to your face, nothing will!

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  54. Sweet Fleur, I would love to have a blog but am way too thin-skinned to deal with the nasty anonymous trolls. Please don't let them hold you back, so many of us love your work and reading about your life. And I don't understand why strangers choose to be mean-spirited and horrid when a person writes a heartfelt post...I always feel privileged to have been included in the poster's life.

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  55. Hi Fleur,
    I was going to post a comment, but it would say the same as above.
    But I will send HUGS!!
    I just wanted to let you know that Clark's are having a sale and the shoes (Ashill Bombay) you included on a post previously are £15 off, also some other lovely pairs that will fit in with everyone's vintage style are 50% off.
    Anyway just thought I'd share :)
    Katrina

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  56. Loved the blog, and just want to say that I thought that wearing Vintage and remembering the golden era's whilst living in 21st Century was half the point? Besides which no one can say how they would have coped with any given situation, least of all WW2! Anyone who thinks they could possibly know without ACTUALLY experiencing it, needs a few more years on this planet!

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  57. I think you rock, I did read your deleted post and felt bad that you did-your blog posts always lift my day whether they're sponsor styley (which I love for the shopping thrill) or more personal- doubters be damned-ignore them and keep up the good stuff Missy Fleur xxxxxxx

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  58. Hi Fleur,

    I have been reading your blog for ages and I really enjoy what ever you write. I don't usually comment but in this instance I really wanted to add to the massive wave of support as I feel it is very important. Us bloggers are a new kind of community offering each other friendship, advice and support so surely thats in the 'Vintage spirit', whatever 'vintage' is. I hate the way we have to label everything- 'too vintage' 'vintage snob' etc etc blah blah blah - who cares! At the end of the day you are living your life the way you wish without hurting others. What can be better than that?!

    I did not read your original post but have some experience of mental illness in my family. Live your life the best way you can to keep you well and happy. Thats all we can ever do whatever the era, situation etc.

    There's always one numpty who spoils things.

    Just focus on the love and support shown and I hope you stay well and keep on with your lovely blog!!

    Jo xoxo

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  59. I got anonymous abuse before. It makes you feel absolutely horrible and the fact that they won't even tell you their name is ridiculous. how cowardly. i'd like to know how such a coward would have got on in the war.

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  60. I agree with you, Fleur... I would not be able to stand many of the things that were the way of life back in the 1940s. The only reason I would go back would be to spend a day to see exactly how it was, to live in my grandparents shoes, and to get a real appreciation of what life really and truly was like back then. Otherwise, I do not feel that I was born in the wrong era. I dress in vintage because I feel that is who I am... I like how I look in it and I love the style, but I don't necessarily dress this way to stand out from others (which incidentally I end up doing because so few people do dress in vintage on a regular basis.) I dress in vintage because it makes me happy and is comfortable for me. The anonymous writer was clearly confused in his/her words and in my opinion, is just jealous of your fabulousness, Fleur. You are (as we all are, us vintage lovers) a vintage gal, living in a modern world and loving it! And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that... I love your blog, Fleur, and I do hope that you will feel happy again soon. Many hugs go out to you, all the way from America. Thank you, Miss Fleur, for all that you do! xoxoxoxoxo

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  61. Hi Fleur, I perfectly agree with you and the things you wrote here!
    Don't let a stupid anonymous comment bother you...as you can see there are a lot of people out here who loves you and find your post interesting and useful!
    Hope to see you smiling about all this stuff soon!

    B.

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  62. Hi Fleur
    Please don't take such mean spirted comments to heart like you I love the 1940's in as much as the cloths, films, dancing and manners.
    As for the blitz, loss of life, displaced people, rationing and living in fear I don't think I would have chose to live then, like my perants and gransparants who did (East Enders London, Bomb out) I am sure I would have coped no choice,and worked in a factory as my mum did from the out brake of war at 14yrs old and looked forward to the weekly local dance on a Friday night washed her self and her smalls in the kitchen sink and hid under the kitchen table with her mum when the bombs fell on the rail line behind their house.

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  63. never ever let anyone make you feel inferior to how you live your life, what you are and for your beliefs....I am so sorry you had to endure the cruelness of that one person. Most of my life I had people make me feel like I shouldn't be myself. Now I don't care, I am what I am, and I am proud to do the things I do, and I hope you look at this as just a hiccup in your life, and keep shining!

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  64. I want to comment-most of how I feel has been eloquently expressed by your friends above. This is your life, your blog, your thoughts and feelings and if someone doesn't like it, they can not read about YOUR life. I missed the post, but frankly you can put up and take down ANYTHING you want at anytime, since again-this is your blog. I love reading your posts, and am sad to here that you are going through some tough times. We have all been in dark places, and it's important to sort out with what is within us. Please don't let anyone feel you "owe" us anything. And finally, an appreciation of past eras and the inspiration it gives us in our everyday lives to whatever degree we incorporate it is fun! Anyone who berates us and trivializes the struggles our past generations faced in an effort to tear you down is a psycho! Love your blog.

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  65. Delurking to say that I've been reading your blog for over a year now and I love it! Thought I'd chime in with my own grandparents' lovely wartime experiences. One grandmother, lived in a big house and would have been deemed more privileged than most. And yet she spent a lot of the postwar years in a state of depression. Because they lived in a big house, they ended up having to accomodate all manner of elderly relatives after the war, in addition to raising her own 6 children... There was no help, it was the rationing years and money was in short supply. One cantankerous great-grandmother in particular made her life an absolute misery, driving her into a depression that took her years to shake off.

    Other grandmother, still alive, was bombed and lost absolutely everything. As time has gone by, she has become increasingly bitter about the youth she feels was stolen from her, both by the war and the ghastly years that followed. For the life of her she can't understand my passion for all things vintage , saying that they were only too glad to move on and embrace modernity when it came along!

    Stiff upper lip indeed... People made do because they had to, but let's not pretend they weren't bitter about it. Anonymous poster is a rude twit who knows nowt! And is most likely jealous of you and the success of your lovely blog.

    Anne

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  66. Hi Fleur!
    I'm a first time commenter and a fan of your blog.I have read your blog for quite a while now, and have enjoyed every post! This sad business about the anonymous comment really disturbs me.
    One of the things I know people who are into vintage appreciate is that in the past, people(for the most part) had more tact, manners, friendliness and neighborliness than in our modern world. This anonymous commenter has none of those qualities, and is undermining the very things he/she says they believe in. I would say that Anonymous is truly "no vintage person".
    Besides, what's the definition of a vintage person anyway? Every vintage enthusiasts loves different things about vintage, whether it is music, cinema, dance, art, style, ect. So it's kind of hard to say there is one kind of "vintage person".
    Just my 2 cents: )
    Hope you feel better and forget all about rude comments soon!
    Abigail

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  67. Firstly-Here,here & well said as always:)
    Secondly-Darling Fluer we all know that you are neither a snob nor a fake.You are a beautiful ,talented,inspiring woman & unfortunately that will attract jealousy & nasty comments sometimes from petty ,pathetic ppl who have to put others down to make themselves feel better.
    As my hubby says the world is full of idiots but it also has lots of wonderful & interesting ppl too..Take all the positive ,loving stuff like the above comments & throw out the bad stuff.
    Keep doing what you do ,Fluer,we all love you for it:) xxx

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  68. Hear hear! but anyway who cares if you are "real" vintage or what ever you are gorgeous and that's all there is to it! Of course you would survive the WW2 bacause people did that and basicly people haven't changed!
    didn't get to read the deleated post but hope you'll be happy again soon!

    kindest regards
    Maja

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  69. Hi Fleur, I love reading your blog and much like the previous commenters want you to keep doing what you are doing. Your blog. Your choice.
    As for 'anonymous' (I'd personally love to see all anonymous posts banned), I really do hope that they have taken note of all of these replies and realised what a mean-spirited arsehat they are... but I doubt they have. Would the person who sounds out the big words for them really have waded through ALL of the replies? ;0)

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  70. People will always want to air their opinions, even if they hurt other people by doing it.
    I recently posted something on a forum and the replies I got took what I said out of context and made me upset. In the end I realised that people will always have a 'bee in their bonnet', and say something, even if it's out of context and unrelated!

    You have a lot of support from the internet!
    73 comments!

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  71. The trouble you have, Fleur, is that you are neither a vintage snob nor a vintage failure, a "retro fashionista" so to speak - you have your own approach and you do things your way, pulling from "authentic" and "inspired" and the modern day too. Which is fabulous, and admirable, and inspirational.

    Alas, it's also open to criticism from all sides. But clearly, the people in your corner are all too happy to vociferously and ferociously defend your right to go about things your own way. You're not only uniquely yourself, you are very, very thoroughly beloved for it!

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  72. This is a very tactful response. So many varied opinions about 'Vintage' Why does it create such hostility? Can't people live and let live?! Anonymous critics are cowards with their own hang-ups and self-doubt, otherwise they'd be prepared to stand by their own comments instead of hiding behind anonymity.

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I welcome all comments, praise and constructive criticism alike! Please note, though, that I don't respond to anonymous comments. If you want to offer a criticism then have the conviction to do so publicly. I thank you!

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