For those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while now will know that I was a massive fan of Channel 4’s 1930s period drama, Indian Summers and I particularly adored Alice Whelan’s beautiful wardrobe. The ivory blouse and turquoise ensemble in the clip above from series one is one of her many outfits that immediately caught my eye. I mean seriously, look at those stunning bishop sleeves.
So, imagine my excitement when The House of Foxy released the most stunning ivory bishop sleeve blouse a few weeks ago, especially as I’d made an Alice inspired turquoise skirt a while ago which hadn’t yet featured on the blog. Time for a channelling Alice outfit!
This blouse really is the most exquisite reproduction piece with such a strong 1930s/40s vibe. The detailing of it has been really well thought out and the fabric is absolutely spot on. Made in a 100% rayon, it has a lovely textured weave to it, which gives it subtle interest. The fabric is incredibly soft, lightweight and floaty but isn’t too sheer. I did wear a nude camisole underneath it in these shots because it had barely reached 6 degrees that morning!
The big bishop sleeves are just stunning, they not only gather around the cuff, but also have a lovely big puff on the sleeve head. They’re beautifully voluminous and really give that sense of late 1930s/early 1940s glamour. In fact, Rita Hayworth wore a very similar blouse in You Were Never Lovelier from 1942, teamed with a super cute pinafore. You can see it in this clip on YouTube.
Both the front and back shoulders feature a full-width yoke and pleating detailing underneath. This gives it a lovely blouson effect around the bust, then it shapes nicely at the waist with delicate darting, so you don’t have a massive amount of fabric to tuck in.
You can also see in the detail photos above the pretty texture of the fabric. But as lovely as the fabric is, it does crease the second you take it off the hanger, as you can see in the photos. I’d literally got dressed, jumped in the car and driven to where we taking the photos and you can see how crumpled it’s got. It certainly doesn’t put me off wearing it though, it’s just too gorgeous for that!
The House of Foxy suggests sticking to your normal high street size when ordering, so I chose a size 10. As you can see it fits me absolutely perfectly, however, the only thing I changed was moving the cuff buttons slightly. I have really tiny wrists and as a result the cuffs were falling down onto my hands, meaning that the puffiness of the bottom of the sleeve was lost. By moving the button in a little bit then the cuffs sats in the right place.
The location we used was an old church that had been converted into a beautiful house that belonged to a friend of my mum’s, however, on the way home we spotted this fabulous old petrol pump so stopped for a few snaps!
My skirt is based on the 1930s white linen kick pleat skirt I designed a couple of years ago, however, this time I added a shaped yoke to the top section of the pattern. The shaping is the same at the front and back, but I forgot to get any photos of the back of the skirt!
It’s made in a lovely soft turquoise wool suiting that I had left over from my graduate collection from fashion college way back in the late 90s. I knew it would come in useful eventually! It was originally from a London based wool cloth supplier who also supplied the Queen’s tailor at the time. It was tucked away in a back street and just had a discreet door to go in, but then it opened up into one amazing factory. I bought several beautiful coloured wools from them, including purple and bright pink!
I teamed the two pieces with a white leather belt I’d bought from eBay many years ago, my beautiful 1940s Cordé handbag and my Aris Allen 1930s reproduction shoes. The turquoise earrings were refashioned from a pair I already owned but didn’t like and match the skirt perfectly. I think they all tie together really well to create a beautiful Alice inspired outfit. It’s just a shame I couldn’t be in India during the summer in the 1930s to take the photos :).
1930s Ivory Rayon Blouse – The House of Foxy
1930s Turquoise Wool Skirt – Made by Me
Black 1940s Cordé Handbag – The Vintage Bazaar
Black & White 1930s Reproduction Shoes – Aris Allen
White Narrow Belt – eBay
Turquoise Drop Earrings – Made by Me
I was gifted this 40s Shirt Blouse from The House of Foxy in exchange for this review. However, all views expressed are my own and reflect my honest opinions.