True story about a famous dress ~ by Jean Coburn

Meeting Diane von Furstenberg

I’m on cloud nine! Tonight I met Diane von Furstenberg at the Bellevue Nordstrom store. She was on tour promoting her new fragrance. I was looking for a new scent, so I popped by to sniff (and purchase) DIANE (the parfum) and meet Diane (the legend).

You might not know that my interest in style has a lot to do with my Oma (grandma). She was always a polished, fashionable woman who had great wardrobe tips. I watched, I learned, and I was lucky enough to receive her original DVF two-piece wrap from the early 1970s. I believe this pattern debuted in the ’73-’74 season at the beginning of Diane’s career.

DVF

Two-piece wrap: Vintage DVF
Tights: Hue
Necklace: Macy’s
Bag: Thrifted
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik via thrifted

I wore the outfit to meet Diane von Furstenberg. She literally invented the wrap dress and I wanted to show my appreciation of a classic item by wearing it to the event. I thought she might recognize it and be pleased that something that she designed had been worn and loved for close to forty years.

I lined up behind the velvet ropes with a lot of other women and waited for my turn. Diane was sitting on a table near the escalators. We were escorted to her one at a time for an introduction and a hello. I wasn’t trying to make a statement about me by wearing the vintage dress, but I got Diane’s attention.

photo courtesy of http://www.teamphotogenic.com

When it was my turn, I walked over to her and her eyes lit up. She said, “That’s an old dress. I made that one in the 70s.” Then she asked the professional photographers to take extra photos of us together. I told her how Oma (and Diane, through Oma’s impeccable taste) influenced my style.

Here’s where it gets even more awesome: Diane offered to purchase my dress from me! She said, “Will you sell it? I’ll buy that and give you a new one.” Wow! But I couldn’t. I thanked her and told her this particular dress has a history and means too much to me.

Here’s what I found on Twitter when I got home: http://twitpic.com/72wkcj

She shrugged and signed my parfum bottle and her headshot and I was on my way. But not before she told me that somewhere there’s a photo of her wearing this same dress. I’m going to find it.

Diane was elegant, cordial, and genuine at the meeting. I was elated. I’m not the “fan” type (for anyone), but I was excited to meet her and nervous when I did.

That was supposed to be the end of the story, but it got weird on the way back to the car. Like a klutz, I was walking to the parking lot when I decided to change direction. In the process, I tripped over my foot and landed on the ground. Full asphalt contact: first knee, then hip, and finally shoulder. All the while I was holding up my shopping bag so I wouldn’t break my autographed bottle.

I also thought that if I ripped the dress it would be worthless and Diane wouldn’t want to buy it from me (not that I’m selling it). The funny thing is, Oma was always concerned when, as a child, I fell. She’d run over and say, “how’s your dress? Wounds heal, but you can’t replace that outfit.” I loved it! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? But Oma said it in a way that made me feel better (even though I know she wasn’t joking).

So there I was, lying on the cement in Oma’s dress. I quickly got up, embarrassed, but uninjured. Then I inspected myself. The outfit was fine. Somehow I’d managed not to ruin it. Maybe Oma was looking out for me. It might have been her way of saying, “Thanks for not selling my dress. In exchange, here’s a soft landing.”

DIANE parfum and gift bag

I spritzed a bit of DIANE in my car and laughed at the crazy evening I’d had. Fashion is certainly a wild ride sometimes.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Originally from Jeanofalltrades written October 19, 2011 – reblogged in memory of my mom Lora. August 9, 1926 – November 11, 2001

Other posts about this famous dress now worn by three generations!

Posted in Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Photography | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

DRESS UP, DRESS DOWN: two-piece dress from Ricki’s

My mother had several two-piece dresses, one of which my daughter Jean and I inherited. It’s a DVF, Jean had the pleasure of Meeting Diane von Furstenberg in person! 

I recently bought two skirts with matching blouses at RICKI’S, I showed the blue one HERE. This floral set is exactly the same style: the blouse has short flouncy sleeves, the skirt is a high low style (sides being high, front and back low) with buttons down the front and a flouncy hem.

I wore it as a dress to a wedding and to a dance, with my tattoo stockings.

somewhere in Southwestern Ontario

I wore a black top with the skirt to another dance and the Kincardine car show.

Two piece dresses are easy to dress up or down. For a casual summer look, I wore the top with black capris. 

Now I have a collection, 5 sets of two-piece dresses. I love the endless mix and match possibilities.

My mom’s DVF

Diane Von Furstenberg – mom’s two-piece dress

DRIZZLE and SHINE – my daughter’s eco boutique

SYNERGY – made in Nepal

DRIZZLE and SHINE – my daughter’s eco boutique

SYNERGY organic, fair trade

RICKI’S blue and white polka dots

RICKI’S floral

What do you think of two-piece dresses?

Linking up with NANCY

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Wrap Pants: my go to summer pants

Breezy, cool wrap pants: casual for a walk on the beach and elegant for shopping. I’ve also worn them to go dancing. I bought these at CLEO, I love the bandana patchwork print. Black and white means there’s so many tops I can wear with them.

Cleo – “Impacting change. Creating a greener future, one garment at a time.”

We believe that every action big or small, should have a positive impact.
Continuing to connect with women across Canada to support and inspire is the core
vision of our culture — every day. Just as important, we are committed to evolving
the way we make our clothes to decrease our impact on the environment.
~CLEO

This white 100% cotton top is from ZACKS (Canadian store)

Since I started blogging, I have a collection of wrap pants because they are cooler in the summer and protect me from the sun since I can’t wear sunscreen.

Let me know what you think of wrap pants.

Posted in Fashion, Photography, Summer | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Guest post by my daughter Jean: A FAMILY VISIT

A Family Visit

Our family: Jonathan, Jean, mom, dad, Daniel

I recently flew into YYZ – Toronto International Airport for a long overdue visit to see my family.

However, it didn’t feel like I was going home.

You see, since I’d last visited, both my brothers and my parents moved to new houses. When I landed in Toronto, I rented a car and followed my map app to an unfamiliar place: the beautiful town of Kincardine.

My parents’ gorgeous new house could be in the pages of a design magazine. It was decorated in cool, calm colors without sacrificing warmth and personality. As soon as I was beyond the foyer, I felt at home.

I had fun exploring their place and settling in. Of course, in true Coburn family fashion, we had a slight hiccup: a kitten rescue. No, not felines. Did you know that baby squirrels are called kittens too?

My parents and I drove a few blocks over to see my brother Jonathan and the mysterious case of the three orphaned baby squirrels who ended up on his lawn. Later, after we determined there was no mother nearby, Jonathan and I drove the young-uns to a wildlife rehabber.

Jonathan is renovating his home. It’s already a contemporary oasis and, with finishing touches, will be a perfect reflection of his personality and lifestyle. And it has a pristine garage for his most-prized possession: his motorcycle.

While in Kincardine, we took a detour to the beach. Kincardine is a beach town and the destination for many visitors across Ontario. The views of Lake Huron at sunset are world-renowned. Across the great expanse of water lies the state of Michigan.

Of course my mom and I did some shopping too. I love supporting local businesses wherever I am. We found a vegan eco boutique with a surf twist (Did I mention it’s a beach town?). I bought a comfy pair of Lyocell joggers by Thread & Supply that I can dress up or down.

Across the way, we perused gift and homeware shops and I found the most unique hanging planter. I knew it would fit in my carry-on so I bought it.

I also bought a white linen beach cover-up (O’Neill) and a striped dolman top that’s made in Italy.


I relish my dad’s cooking–and the steady flow of coffee–but we did manager to give my dad a break and eat out. My parents and I had a delicious vegan meal at the Bruce, a local brew pub and the place to be on a Saturday night! The Cauliflower tacos were the highlight, but we enjoyed everything we tried.

view from The Bruce outside patio

Wandering around the quaint town made me realize why my parents ditched the rat race for their new, peaceful oasis. I was on holiday, and it felt like it. Kincardine lets them experience that chill vacation feeling every day. My dad and I explored hiking trails that connect their backyard to the beach. On a nice day, the mile-long walk to the water is effortless. And the wind blowing through the trees is both eerie and calming.

Daniel and his family also live nearby. We visited him and toured his new place too while I was in Ontario. He has a lovely place with soaring ceilings and a peaceful backyard.

I was so happy to see everyone again–including a nephew I had not even met until this visit. I got caught up with what everyone has been up to but I’m already planning my next trip — back home.

❤️ Thank you for stopping by! ❤️

Posted in eco fashion, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Plant-based diet, Restaurants, Scenery, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

TWO-PIECE DRESS: blue and white polka dots

I inherited a DVF two piece dress from my mom. Now I finally found a two-piece dress that I can wear for dancing! I’m wearing it to my first dance at the Kincardine Pavillion tomorrow.

The top has short flouncy sleeves. The skirt is a high low style (sides being high, front and back low) and a flouncy hem, makes it so pretty for twirling on the dance floor.

What I love about two-piece dresses is wearing them different ways.

The skirt worn with a white lace top and white denim jacket.

The top worn with white gaucho pants. I can wear it with white jeans or capris or a white skirt. As well as with blue jeans.

Two-pieces dresses are so versatile and I plan to take this one on our weekend getaway to Niagara Falls. It also came in a beautiful floral print so I’ll save that for a garden party.

Posted in Fashion, Scenery, Summer | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

My Sweetheart T-shirt from CLEO

Just my style! Hearts are my trademark and I love June, with longer days and warmer nights, summer will soon be here!

June, a popular month for weddings, it’s no wonder this beautiful Spirea gets the name Bridal Veil aka Bridal Wreath. These delicate white blossoms are so pretty!

Why I love CLEO

“We believe that every action big or small, should have a positive impact.
Continuing to connect with women across Canada to support and inspire is the core
vision of our culture — every day. Just as important, we are committed to evolving the way we make our clothes to decrease our impact on the environment.”

Shimmery hearts of pink, silver and gold
neck scarf from the BAY and pants from Madison Clothing Boutique in Collingwood

Nine hearts; nine reasons to love summer

♥ weaing pretty T-shirts
♥ walking barefoot in the sand
♥ flowers in the garden
♥ garden parties
♥ dancing in the Gazebo
♥ day trips
♥ longer days
♥ warmer nights
♥ carefree days dolce far niente the sweetness of doing nothing 

What do you enjoy doing nothing?

Thanks to kind neighbours who allowed me to take photos in their gardens!

Posted in Fashion, Scenery, Spring, Summer | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Thrifted Michael Kors Top

The fragrance of the lilacs

I love this time of year when flowers and blossoms appear, they make such lovely backdrops.

Top: Michael Kors via thrifted $5.
Clutch: gift
Skinny jeans: Le Chateau
Sandals: Romika

I was happy to find this Michael Kors top on one of my recent thirifting adventures. It has a cowl neck and ruching at one side. I paired it with my white skinny jeans for springtime that I bought many moons ago at Le Chateu – another SLOW FASHION outfit.

I’ll wear it with black pants and booties when the summer ends, but I don’t even want to think about that now! Summer is my favourite season!

This lovely clutch is more than a wallet: it holds a cell phone, cash and cards and has a strap so I can wear it crossbody or over-the-shoulder. And what makes it extra special is that it is a gift from a beautiful and fashionable friend who was also my dance student before we moved. Thank you Marthe! ❤️

Do you have any cowl neck tops?

What is the most recent pre-loved item you bought?

Please let me know in the comments below!

Posted in Fashion, Nature, Spring, Thirfting | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

The Merry Month of May!

There are several reasons why May is so merry this year.

♥ My daughter Jean came to visit for Mother’s Day.

♥ My brother’s birthday is in May.

♥ I got to go to my first dance of this year.

♥ The magnolias and lilacs have blossomed.

♥ Spring finally arrived.

What a blessing it was to have my three children together for Mother’s Day! Since Jean moved to Seattle, this is her first time visiting us for Mother’s Day.

I wore my pre-loved wrap pants which I bought for $5 while shopping with my dear friend Maggie, she’s the one who spotted them (pun intended) I love the random polka dots and they just happen to go with a polka dot top that I bought at Ricki’s many years ago.

I added a belt that belonged to my mom. It always makes me happy to wear something of hers, especially on Mother’s Day.

Happy days in Kincardine, Jean’s first time visiting us in our new homes.

Wonderful memories to treasure!

And fabulous sunsets!

Posted in Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Photography, Thirfting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

A Special Mother’s Day

First time having my three children together for Mother’s Day in 22 years! I was so happy that Jean, my firstborn, came to visit us from Seattle!

Our first adventure when she arrived was rescuing three baby red squirrels. No mother in sight so my son had to be the father and feed the little darlings!

Shopping adventures are always fun and double the fun with Jean! Browsing through the shops of the charming town of Kincardine, Jean found some lovely things, including this top with wavey colourful stripes (Cathrine Lillywhite, made in Italy) at ACCENTS. This cool necklace is included.

The beach adventure was fabulous with the most glorious sunsets in Ontario right here on Lake Huron!

Photo by Jean

Do you ever have days you wish would never end? Do you ever have moments you want to relive again? Well, these are those kind of days that I cherish and hope to have my children all together again! Perhaps next year for Father’s Day!

Thank you for stopping by, please come again …

To be continued…

LINKUPS SHELBEE and AMY

Posted in Active Lifestyle, Animals, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, jewellery, Nature, Photography, Scenery, Shopping, Spring | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

TWICE as NICE: Turquoise and Fuchsia

What a lovely surprise when my daughter Jean sent me both these tops. They are super soft with 3/4 length sleeves and a cowl neck. We both have a tradition of buying two-of-a-kind when we like something (in different colours) as my mom did too!

I paired the turquoise top with velvet Navajo inspired print leggings that I’ve had for years. The boots are also over ten years old.

I’m wearing the fuchsia top with mini houndstooth print pants (which have very fine vertical and horizontal fuchsia lines going through) and gray thrifted sneakers.

The daffodils are out and Spring has finally arrived just in time for Jean’s visit. What a fabulous Mother’s Day this will be!

Makes me feel like smiling!

Posted in eco fashion, Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Spring, Thirfting | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments