Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Outfits and Buildings Telling Stories

It takes time to build a unique collection, and that goes for creating a unique wardrobe as well. Some of you might remember the story of this tapestry coat (OCTOBER 2017), how doubtful I was, keeping the coat in my shopping cart while browsing Goodwill, then leaving it behind, driving back home only to return to the store to rescue this jacket the very next day. I don't know whether it is vintage or not (the label doesn't suggest vintage), but it is well made and I have no regrets purchasing it, even though I did not really need another jacket. But that's the beauty of being a collector - you certainly don't need to add to your collection, but if a new find brings you joy, then that's the right thing to do! And so this jacket joined my general collection of jackets and coats, and is now also a part of my particular collection of tapestry jackets and coats (see my other tapestry coats in APRIL 2017 and MARCH 2019). Unlike many modern pieces which only imitate tapestry (while being prints), all of these pieces are actually made of woven fabric.

In her comment on my old post, BEATE suggested to create a character of a story as an inspiration for my future outfits with the jacket...

"I´m a wild girl in the middle of nowhere - Mexican border or Sierra Nevada - and buy colorful dresses from a catalog because I like them (outside it's just beige dust)... But I have to wear a jacket in Winter - so I just throw on one of Dad´s, made from a blanket, because that's the only one I own..."

Needless to say, I was enchanted with the fruit of Beate's imagination...

So I tried wearing this jacket with some of my colorful dresses, but especially loved this combination - so much that I wore it twice in the last three days, to work, errands and play. While this dress doesn't boast bold colors, it charmed my heart with the textured fabric, combined with subtle shades of various stripes in French gray, and of course the gorgeous design and details, such as puffed sleeves and pom-poms! The dress is very comfortable to wear, fully lined, made of pure cotton by eShakti. Justin gave me a gift card for Valentine's Day earlier this year, and I chose three dresses, all made of cotton to my measurements, and this was one of them. It quickly became my favorite dress of the moment, I must say. I hope the pom-poms will stay after washing. I've never actually had a dress quite like this before. 

We chose one of our local parks with pioneer's wooden cabins built back in the 1800s, thinking that old log houses would provide a perfect background for my outfit. I love the rustic feel of log houses, and love when people save historical buildings, however unfancy they are.

The Denny Cabin is now standing in West Hylebos Wetlands Park in the city of Federal Way, but its history started in Seattle (west from the area which is Seattle Center now, with all the tourists attractions). David L. Denny was from the family of first settlers in the area (if you're familiar with Seattle, you have certainly at least heard of Denny Way or Denny Park), and was an ambitious businessman who did a lot for his beloved city, like helping to install the water system, electric lights and electric railway, and had even bigger plans. This cabin was built in 1889 as a real estate office (therefore the unusual roof which was probably designed to attract attention). The cabin miraculously survived fire that destroyed other buildings in the area, just a few weeks after it was built.

In many years of its life, The Denny Cabin served as a school, church and even a tavern, till the day when it was destined to be disassembled and moved from its spot for a new IHOP restaurant. The enthusiasts from a few historical societies from different towns around Seattle (West Seattle, Issaquah and Federal Way) tried to save it in different periods of time. Long story short, it was finally rescued by the Federal Way Historical Society and after a couple of moves put permanently by the entrance to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park, where you can now see it. Its owner's life was no less dramatic, but much less lucky at the end. The successful businessman lost everything in the panic of 1893 which shook the whole country, and died a poor man. 

"When he left his city home for the last time he said as he paused at the door, and looked sadly about, “I’ll never look upon Seattle again.” Then, like a sorrowing father turning his back upon an ungrateful child, he went out of the city to his humble home in the woods." 

Quote from Roberta Frye Watt, Four Wagons West: the Story of Seattle (Portland:
Metropolitan Press, 1931), HERE. Old photos of The Denny Cabin - source HERE.

There is another old log house in the park, and I even took photos in front of the Barker Cabin before (JULY 2017), but that's a whole other story. (For local history buffs, HERE is a detailed article!)

Tapestry jacket - secondhand
Dress - eShakti
Necklace - Chico's
Boots - Josef Seibel (from 2012)
Bag - Frye

* * *


  1. not so much a mirakle - new build log houses have still "green" wood which is not easy to light.... :-D
    how sweet of you to dig out that old fantasie of mine! and you look totally like the charakter i had in mind! the dress is so gorgeous! it does not need many colors with its unique fabric and cut - and POM-POMS!!! the necklace is beautiful <3 <3 <3
    log houses do melt my heart too - it must be something very old in me - from a time when i lived in the kaukasus or a skandinavian fjell..... ;-D
    much love! xxxxxx

  2. What a lovely idea of Beate's to build a story behind your outfit. I love the Denny cabin, it looks so American (which sounds a bit obvious but I'm sure you know that I mean!)
    I remember that wonderful jacket and the dress is perfect with it - hooray for pompoms! xxx

  3. The history of Denny cabin is a fascinating one. Thanks for sharing. I love buildings that tell stories, just as much as I like clothing items that tell stories. Actually, I think that is what draws me to fashion, its ability to tell stories. Every item can tell a story, vintage or not, it was definitely influenced by history. Like language itself, fashion is deeply psychological. Saussure spoke about language dichotomies, and I think many of them can be applied to fashion as well. After all, isn't fashion a way to communicate? I really like the story Beate came up with, it's lovely.

    Your outfit is a dream! The dress looks so perfect paired with those boots. The necklace is very pretty as well. Wonderful colourful jacket as well. I can see why you don't regret buying it, even if you didn't 'need' it. Why should we only buy clothing items we need? Where's the fun in that? I like what you said about being a collector. I think there is nothing wrong in having a closet full of clothes as long as we wear or love those clothes. It is when we pile things that we grow unhappy, but if clothes give us true joy, then we will find the right way to store and collect them.

  4. Wow how exciting the history of Denny Cabin. Thank you Natalia. And thank your for the pics.
    You look sooo amazing, I love this dress Natalia. I search some dresses in this shape. Wonderful match with this jacket. It looks realy mexican :)
    A very huge hug, tina

  5. That log cabin, like your jacket has such a history. And even older when you think about the story of the trees!
    I just adore the story from Beate and your interpretation. So lovely.
    xo Jazzy Jack

  6. What a lovely idea from Beate and you certainly interpreted it beautifully. I do love the tapestry jacket and it pairs so well with your dress and boots.
    The history of the Denny Cabin is fascinating , thank goodness it was preserved. All my love, Jill.

  7. I do love your dress, its texture and subtle color and the cotton fabric which looks comfortable and delightful to wear!, and it fits you like a dream!.
    Love the color combo and love how the rusty orange, tan and golden accessories match nicely the colors of your jacket!, such a beautiful thing!, and You look so gorgeous!
    Also love to read about local history and those cabins, they look pretty picturesque!

  8. I love the Denny Cabin and its fascinating history. Obviously, I also love your outfit. Your cotton dress is a dream, and fits you to a T. That pom pom trim is the cutest ever! Great pairing with the delightful tapestry jacket, tasseled pendant, boots and bag. I'm treating my wardrobe as a collection as well, each piece with its own story to tell! Hugest of hugs xxx

  9. Dearest Natalia,
    tha<t pioneer house is literally a perfect background for your outfit - the dress and jacket fit in beautifully with the days of the pioneers, a life with nature, and you look great in those clothes!
    Hugs and happy weekend,