I walked through the market yesterday, savouring a spring-like day (not spring, it is only early March, and Montréal); the pavement dry, the sky blue. A woman just ahead still wore a heavy black parka, but shoes. I knew her mind was on spring.

The shadows lengthened, but I was reluctant to leave the sunshine so turned home slowly and en route, passed my favourite indy boutique, FripeFabrique. Michelle Hutchinson had just dressed her window with a picnic spread and pastel vases holding sprigs: spring whimsy beckoned every passer-by. 

Details from the window: At right, a stack of vintage sweaters; below, a pair of pink patterned socks.

Inside (how could I not go in?) more pink! I can't wear all the hues or a solid-pink dress, for example, but a shot of pink always lifts my spirits. Pink with navy, grey, taupe, red, black; ta-da fuchsia, tart cyclamen, and that pink smudged with a hint of orange, not quite coral. 

Even someone who avoided its frillier expressions during her younger adult years, once she finds her pink, will be the better for it. Call it tourmaline, watermelon, or blush, she will smile when she wears it, even if it's a tiny dot in a scarf.

Scarves: Michelle always has a collection of pristine vintage beauties; excellent buys at $12 each:

Pink, vintage version: A kimono jacket in black and pink; a pearl-snap pink gingham Western shirt (small).

Michelle carries gorgeous lingerie by two wonderful Montréal designers. Left, Barbe Rose velvet-panel bra; right, Ellesmere panty. I am fascinated by young designers who make lingerie; if could roll the clock back, I would take the training. 

Alexis, one of FFs rightfully proud staff, mentioned a bra specialist who teaches workshops in Hamilton Ontario, and, wanting to know more, I found a list of courses (including hers) in many locales around the world, here

In a few days, the time will change, and the light encourages more colour everywhere. People smile more, and small children do that wonderful sideways skip. 

Spring, like pink, makes us feel good.


LauraH said…
Good thing I don't live there, I would be snapping up those scarves!

Love your celebration of pink. I too, avoided it in my younger years as too girly and now love the lift it gives, as long as it's the right pink of course. Bright pinky red or coral for me. I recently splurged on a lovely bright pink Chanel lip gloss, it does wonders in this drab weather. Coincidentally, I too took a long walk along Queen West yesterday, not as much sun as you had but nice to stretch my legs. So many changes in that neighbourhood, it was interesting. Come on spring.
I know a couple of women who make their own bras - my mind reels at the prospect of how much work it is, but the results are truly stunning. Thanks for sharing this taste of spring; we're going back to wintery weather today in Chicago!
It's a lovely sunny day here in Toronto - but cold and very windy - however, I've got a bit of "cabin fever" so I'm heading out for a walk shortly - but still in my parka unfortunately.

I too refused to wear pink when I was younger as I deemed it "too girly" - but now it's one of my favourite colours and always gives me such a lift. But I wear a true pink, not a pale pastel, dusty rose or edging towards coral - I love the bright clear pinks in all their variations. However, every Summer I find myself searching for that perfect pink lipstick - and it is ever elusive. I can't wear anything too pale but at the same time find most brighter versions a bit garish at my age. Just wondered if anyone has some tips in this regard....
Jane said…
I remember a "war", when I was a child, over a rose pink Easter coat. I wanted the gold one.
With my Nordic blonde coloring Mom was absolutely right. I love all shades of pink now :)
SewingLibrarian said…
Duchesse, I thought you and your readers might like to know that I just received two pendants from Quecraft, a company you mentioned in your "Relaxed Real" post. Both are well-made and lovely with intricately-cut horn centers surrounded by lacquered frames. My only quibble is that they are a little large for me, and that is my fault for not paying attention to the listing. I have had this trouble in the past (too large or too small), and I'm thinking of making paper templates of jewelry I am considering buying online to help me. Meanwhile, I will wear these pendants with very plain clothes to let them shine on their own. Thank you for the recommendation.
Duchesse said…
LauraH: I can pick one or both up for you and send if you wish. The "Liberty" style is a rectangle, not too long- a good "tucker" and the watercolour stripe is a square, fairly lightweight.

Janice: Maybe you will write about them? I know it is very detailed work, even to make a plain one, as I have been lurking on some sites.

Margie: I like Lancome "Vintage Rose" for a good versatile pink, not too bright or too brown. When I want a pungent pink (but sheer enough not to look scary), Revlon ColourBurst Lacquer Balm #115, which has a subtle amount of shimmer, and is sheer but lasts, is great and not expensive. I have mistakenly bought some too-pale or boring pinks, what I think of as "high-school pinks", so I understand this quest.

Jane: I hope you were not too mournful at the time. It is hard for a mother to spend on a coat she knows does not suit her child.

Sewing: Thank you for the report. Your idea of making a pattern is brilliant. I think that with simple clothes, the pendant size will look chic. Also, some vendors will send neck shots which help, but the model may be of such a different build that it's still hard to judge.

materfamilias said…
Your title is the best! I do love an erudite pun. I also like vet much that when you point to retailers, you very often draw attention to independent ones who just might delight us and who need and deserve the free publicity.
I utterly hated pink when I was a child, and insisted on lilac or violet. But I can certainly see how pink touches add a sweetness and gentleness in prints, even for those of us who have always been vehemently anti-pink. I'm sure I have some pink in scarves I've picked up at that shop and others, as well as Le Chaînon (charity shop) and the Ste-Madeleine church bazaar.

I find pink very flattering for Nordic blondes, but also for women with very dark skin tones. Search Lupita Nyong'o + pink! Not so much for the many in-between. Pale pink shirts are also lovely on men, who aren't carrying as much baggage with that colour, except potential homophobia in some backward circles. And while I wouldn't see myself (or my pussycat) in a pussyhat, they certainly changed the connotations of pinkitude.

I rode my bicycle a lot yesterday, but as it is much colder today I may simply walk (well-covered) to run my errands, as my hands get cold even with isothermal gloves.
LauraH said…
Thanks so much for the offer but I'll pass as I just splurged on new umbrellas and a Chanel lip gloss. It is very pink! I'll add your lip recommendations to my list.
Champycorn said…
Just want to say that i am so glad that you post frequently - i never miss a post and always looking forward to reading them. In my middle years, i still like pink and yes, it does make one feel pretty and lively! By the way, always enjoys your post on 'relaxed real' jewelries, or any jewelries for that matter!
Leslie M said…
Duchesse, you can also find quite a selection of handmade lingerie on Etsy. I first discovered it when I was looking for something new for my wedding 4 years ago. I didn't purchase anything, but there is quite the selection of nice and, ahem, naughty options. I can't attest to the quality, but Sandmaidensleepwear has some beautiful choices. Also beautiful dainties from the U.K. Many of the sites carry items that nary a sole would catch me wearing, but I am surprised at the number of good options now available.
Duchesse said…
Leslie Milligan: I sometimes look at Etsy's offerings. Some of the bras are very beautiful, but I have noticed they are generally not made for women who need supportive bras, say above a B.

Dulce Young: Thank you so much for your encouragement.

Susan B said…
I love pink as an accent, and find that I now gravitate toward bolder pinks rather than pastels, which wash me out. I do love that black and pink print on the jacket!
Eleanorjane said…
Love pink, me. From baby pink which I probably technically shouldn't wear, to hot pink which I certainly should.

Also love Spring. I spent several hours basking in the very rare sunshine today, some of it trying to work on a lap top that I really couldn't see 'cos it was too bright out!

We finally have two of our daffodils out and other bulbs are eagerly awaited.

The posts with the most