Skip to main content

Shop~MyVintageWardrobe: The 80s Colour-Nostalgic Courtesan....

There has been quite a bit of debate between the two terms 'Vintage' and 'Retro' for some time, and it is not really one argument I wish to join. (You can find a definition of both terms here: wikipedia.org_Retro) Personally, I think it is really a matter of individual preferences and labeling....I believe in a style of a period, as I often pick particular details to mix and match in creating a look that suits and feel like the sort of, sometimes I imagine that if I did live in that certain decade this is what I would like to choose to wear and enjoy kind of way. Though I do use the term Vintage more often than Retro, I seriously have nothing against the term Retro, and at times I even see Retro to be just the twin of Vintage with a different name. This may not make sense in the logical mind, which clearly understands the definition of the two terms, and I shall risk sounding a bit crazy here......if I had to distinguish between the two terms, then it will be according to the images in my head of Vintage being a style period between 1920s to 1950s, whilst Retro being a style period between 1960s to 1980s. Perhaps it is because the Vintage trend began in the 1970s when people started collecting clothing from bygone decades such as the 30s and wearing second hand clothing, or maybe I have been influenced by the modernity of the post-advertising era and Austin Power's groovy-ness, that I have reached my distorted definition of the two terms. I do apologize if you darlings have been appalled in any way by my terrible definition, but I do think style has to say something about who you are and should naturally be a thing of individual creativity or preference....hence the personal definition.

The 80s...big shoulder pads!

 *What I was wearing?
Jumper: Oversized Jumper by Bonnie Boerer & Company (dated 1987) [Vintage]
Earrings: Art deco inspired green and gold studs [Vintage]
Accessory: Pearl and beaded oversized hairclip [Vintage]
Shoes: Biscuit Tin Booties by Clarks
Make-up: Quickliner for Eyes (Intense Midnight), Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula (Dark Chocolate) and High Impact SPF15 (Red-y to wear) lipstick by Clinique

So in true personal definition I built this '1980s Colour-Nostalgic Courtesan' look through a colourfully textured 1987 Bonnie Boerer & Company (label) oversized jumper, a big eyeliner flick, red lipstick and beehive hairdo that somehow became more Eastern after the addition of a big pearl beaded hairclip! Equipped with wonderful 80s features such as chunky shoulder pads (which differs from the 30s petite shoulder pads), oversized loose cut jumper for matching with leggings (or tights), slightly puffed at the hem as well as cuffs and strikingly bold coloured cartoon-like picture, it is one of the lovelier finds from my vintage fair excursions. What I like most is that this 80s jumper actually paints a picture capturing the essence of the decade.....ladies dressed in big wide-brim hats that matched their shoes, big polka-dot prints and great display of gold chunky bling.

But perhaps you may be wondering how the 'Courtesan' fits into the 80s picture? Courtesans have existed in history for a very long time in many different cultures or under different names, and unfortunately the sexual stigma of prostitution has also stuck to them. Many choose to see them as lower female forms who are not welcomed into mainstream society, but many also forget to see how many courtesans were trained in classical dance, poetry and music, devoted entirely to their art and talent alone, and some did not actually sell their bodies for money. I am not a courtesan of course and neither am I immensely talented or an artist in any way, but when I completed this look there was just something that made me think of the Eastern courtesan.......or perhaps I have been reading far too many Geisha novels!

The 1980s Colour Clash!

Textures and colours........I love the navy polka-dot detail with matching hat and shoes on the lady!

The 80s detail.....colourful cartoon prints with different textured materials!

I can never resist laughter!
In a less controversial turn, it has been an interesting week with my end of term ballet performance last weekend and a concert from my favourite Asian band Mayday (Wu Yue Tian) in London Wembley a few days ago.....there shall be more on that in the coming posts as well as a few more vintage looks! Also as April draws near, it is time to start thinking of a vintage theme for my birthday do......last year being the 1940s Pin-up girl look! Have a fabulously sunny spring day wherever you may be my darlings!

Until the next time,
May xx

Follow on Bloglovin 
Follow on Google+
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Pinterest 


  1. i love the looks of this :) thanks for stepping by; i am happy to find your blog too :) now following you :):) plami

  2. Wow, very cool look you got going there May!!! I loveeeeeeeeee the jumper and vintage indeed,lol...i love the mix of vibrant colors and graphics on it;)

    And how did u do that beehive hair do!!?!?! That is pure maddness!!! i thought that was impossible to do unless you had your personal hair stylist?lol....and i love that hair accessory. For some reason, it kinda reminds of those olden days Chinese women we see in that Chinese series where, not sure if you know what i mean? They always have these gorgeous and shiney hair pins or some sort of jewelry in their hair.

    Hope your end of term ballet performance went well and that you enjoyed the concert. Im not exactly sure who they are, are they from Taiwan or something?

    By the way in celebration for my blog's 3 years anniversary, I would like to invite you to enter my very ever first gift giveaway. You will get a chance to win 3 amazing chic gifts so feel free to drop by for further details:D

    Happy weekend May dear:D


  3. very bold print, love it :)

    Georgi at 7wonders

    I'd love if you could visit me :)


Post a Comment

~Thank you so so much! I love hearing from you and appreciate every beautiful comment. Please feel free to follow and walk with me too.....have a fabulously lovely day my darlings!
Until the next time,
♥ May xx

Popular posts from this blog

Qipao Love: Part 5 ~ How-To choose and wear a Qipao (Cheongsam) that will love your frame!

A little warning is probably in order my this will be a rather comprehensive How-To Qipao post! I will try to incorporate my own knowledge as well as what I researched through time, to create a rough but helpful guide for ladies who might want to attempt wearing the Qipao! Why do I say attempt? In today's fast paced life the Qipao has become a rather occasional dress even for a faithful admirer like me and I can understand why it might not be the most popular attire in the world, but I also know that many ladies who admire the Qipao might resist the idea of wearing it because of different barriers. Being a lover of the Qipao me I know the fearful qualms and muffin top resistance to wearing a Qipao all too well.....whether it is a matter of figure, budget, impression, style, occasion, look or finding the excuse to wear a Qipao, I hope to be able to offer some help towards a solution and ask that you forgive me if I am too long winded. The Qipao really i…

Qipao Love: Part 1~ From Qi Pao to evolution of a dress about women!

Welcome my lovely darlings to the new address as the blogspot to custom domain transition is now officially completed! Worry not, if you are still using the address it should automatically divert to the blog and there is also a new e-mail address if you should like to drop me a line to say hello or ask any questions;! What better way to celebrate this transition than to start on one of my favourite topics.....with Part One of my "Qipao Love (All about Qipao)" series of posts!

Throughout my blog over the two years, I have mentioned the Chinese Qipao dress (also known as Cheongsam in Cantonese) quite a few times, especially during the run-up to Chinese New Year. Having a self confessed love of the Qipao, as some of you darlings who have been following may know, I can usually be spotted wearing the Qipao throughout the 15 days of Chinese New Year festivities and have been adding one or two new Qipao dresses t…

How-To: Build a 1920s inspired Great Gatsby look!

With my birthday coming up in a little more than two weeks, and having decided on a vintage themed party, it is time to put my vintage thinking headband on! Last year I had fun dressing up as a 1940s inspired Pin Up girl, and this year I have decided to go a little further back in time.....yes my darlings....we will be roaring in a 1920s glitzy Great Gatsby affair!

The 1920s has been a favourite decade of mine for quite some time.....admittedly the decadence of the glittering heavily beaded long gowns, the extravagantly flirty ostrich feathers and the shiny Art Deco gem-stoned pieces might have something to do with it! It was true that the roaring 20s was a rebirth period for many because of the survival of WW1, so living every new day as free, happy and extravagant as possible became the ideal dream. With more women embracing liberation by replacing restrictive corsets with loose flowing dresses that revealed more flesh than ever before, a period embracing individuality, creativity, …