Friday, 30 March 2012

Fab Frock Friday! The Vintage Fashion Guild Frock Timeline

Today's Fab Frock Friday is all about the Vintage Fashion Guilds Frock Timeline showcasing the changes in Women's fashions and dresses from 1800 until the present day.
The guild is an international organisation dedicated to the promotion & preservation of vintage fashion. The website is a fantastic online resource for style information, dating of vintage pieces and the discovery of appropriate accessories! The timeline is of excellent value whether you love authentic vintage fashion or enjoy dabbling in the reproduction vintage world, whether it's the emerging trend for the W.E look of the 1930s through to the Rockabilly alternatives within 1950s fashion. The timelines have it all.

So, all you have to do now is decide which decade you fancy from the VFG Timeline. Enjoy!
1940s dress
1960s dress
1950s dress
If it's authentic vintage that you're after, why not pop on over to BeBopaLouLou Vintage for some fab frocks and gorgeous gowns. If Vintage Inspired is more your thing then nip over to Redressing's Vintage Chic Collection.

Don't forget to accessorise with gloves, belts, handbags and of course.... Hair!  (My Adventures in Vintage Hairstyling blog coming soon!)

*information and images courtesy of the Vintage Fashion Guild.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Is the Domestic Goddess Dead?!

I was called up by BBC Coventry & Warwickshire last  to take part in a phone chat about the role of the Domestic Goddess and whether or not that role is dead.
I was on the call with the gorgeous Lynsey LeKeux from LeKeux Events and we were both being asked if we considered ourselves as Domestic Goddesses and whether we thought the role was indeed dead. Clearly not! The question really is more about balance and choice than about skill or ability when it comes to Domestic Goddess activities and an accurate understanding of it. (Think confident and capable siren, not tired housewife chained to the kitchen sink!!)
A very dear friend of mine once said to me that although people may complain a bit about their lot, we are usually able to find enough time in the day to do the things we want to do. The choice to cook, clean, sew, bake and make jam (or candles in vintage tea cups!) has to come from a decision that suits the individual circumstances we find ourselves in. We can't compare our worlds to those of other women, even when they look the same. Our circumstances and situations are unique to us and so any decision we make has to be one that works. If it works for you to 'farm out' all your domestic duties and you can comfortable afford to, then go right ahead!

Having said that, I do know of people who have effectively run away from some of these responsibilities by burying themselves in work.
 If however you want to build certain principles and values into your world and your family through some Domestic Goddess-ness activities, then do it! Things have to come back to principles and values that under gird your decisions not the practical 1/10th of those decisions. You don't 'lose out' by not being Superwoman you know. As long as you know how to love and care for your immediate spheres of influence and are doing it then it shouldn't matter what shapes some things take. Bottom line, we cannot do it 'all' (whatever 'all' is supposed to look like!) so know the foundations your visible 1/10th is built upon and be confident in your choices; you should never have to justify your world if you know you've built it justly, ethically and sustainably.
 If the spinning plates are beginning to drop then maybe you need to revisit what balance should look like in your world! You are most probably your own harshest critic so lighten up on yourself, make changes as and when you need to to re-dress the balance, just don't live a lie. Only you know if your world works; what anxieties you carry and what masks you wear. I know it's a terrible cliche, but the richest man on the Earth is the man who is at peace with himself. Are you?


Monday, 26 March 2012

Get your Frocks on, Get your Frocks on Honey!

It's events season again at Redressing- those Friday Night Glam-Fests where frocks are tried and  admired; new looks discovered and body shape sussed and you can really refresh the way you dress.
These are just a few of my all time favs!

Don't forget- at a Redressing event or a Pop-In-And-Shop there is never any obligation to buy; rather a desire to refresh the way you dress, add some vintage glamour and style and know that you are gorgeous, inside and out!
If you fancy hosting an event or know someone who does, drop me a line!

(Oh and the hostess receives a free colour analysis or £10 dress voucher too!)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Getting Crafty!

I'm not really one to sit still so I've been channelling some of my energies into a few creative and crafty outlets and encouraging my girls into these things too. (There is so much more to life than what's on TV!)

Even though the results are not always perfection, I love the fact that using a little imagination, a sewing machine, glue or a staple gun, things can be totally transformed and relationships are built in the act of creating together.
A little bit of make-do-and-mend, re-use and re-cycle and there is once again new life.

This is the latest mini-project: Tea Light holders from Jam Jars.
Jam Jar tea light holders
 As my daughters absolutely love Cath Kidston they've been using paper fabric samples from the CK magazines to decoupage cover the jam jars, don't they look good?!
Cath Kidston decoupage
Add a bit of CK patterned tape, a wire hanger, some beads and old money and you have a gorgeous creation to sit around in the dying light of a Summers evening.
Beaded holders


Possible decoupage materials

They've also been decorating their jars as money boxes so they can allocate funds to save. I'm a firm believer in accurate stewardship of everything, especially money so I love it that they chose to use the jars to this end.

Kitsch homes for savings

Far more glam than a piggy bank!
I've found in these mini-projects that the final result is only a small part of the process; we've loved learning, trying and collaborating just as much.

What make-do-and-mend projects are you into?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Foundations: Retro Lingerie and more!

One of the keys to successful retro styling is the foundation garments that are worn underneath. There are quite a few retro lingerie companies out there now as both reproduction vintage and authentic vintage clothes, especially dresses, need the appropriate undergarments to create the original look and shape from the decades they fit.
1950s underwear fitting was taken very seriously!
 When I first started looking I found it a little bewildering to say the least but have now found my way around the terms and functions of retro lingerie and discovered that they do work rather beautifully! (especially under the 1950s raw silk dress I modelled for BeBopaLouLou Vintage!)

If you're still a bit bewildered by the vintage and retro lingerie options available I've found a few other blogs that discuss them in detail and you can read those here.

Foundations do exactly what they say on the tin- they are' the lowest and supporting layer of a structure'. (Don't you just love Wiki?!) Whether it's underwear, a building or a philosophy of life, foundations are required to keep the whole lot upright and standing, looking the best it can and having strength at it's core. We all know how bad a form fitting 50s wiggle dress can look without the proper support system; how fragile a building can be in an area prone to quakes if it has poor foundations and equally how a lack of morals, ethics and values can leave a person rather shaky in their life choices and decisions?!
Foundations have to under gird the choices and decisions made like a well fitting bra supports. The iceberg principle works well here- the visible one tenth is like the dress itself or the decisions we make in life and the hidden nine tenths are what that dress or philosophy is actually built upon.
We can all look gorgeous on the outside, but do you have the right foundations on the inside?!
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Monday, 19 March 2012

Outfit Post: 1950s chic!

With the sun out I just had to wear my gorgeous Queens of Holloway 50s style dress this week.
Dress: Queens of Holloway; Cardi: TU; shoes: Primarni
 I love everythig about this dress from the cute patch pockets on the front, the full swing skirt to the sparkly buttons. Being cotton and spandex, this dress is so easy to wash and wear (I don't actually iron anything I own; drip dry or bust!) I teamed it with a cashmere cardi I have had for ages and knotted the front and folded the collars down to give it more of a retro feel.
Love those pockets!

Contrasting purple stitch detailing

Sparkly buttons!
And the whole ensemble is my favourite colour, green so will definitely go with my new brooch and vintage handkerchief I won in the Heyday blog giveaway!
What do you think?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

I Won! I Won!

I can't believe it! I won a St. Patrick's Day blog giveaway on In the Heyday- yup, me! I am now the proud owner of this darling little vintage brooch and unopened vintage Irish Linen handkerchief!
Aren't they gorgeous?!

Gorgeous Vintage pin brooch- and I do love green!

Perfect and still in its original box.

Happy St Patricks Day!

 Pop on over to see Shona at Heyday for some gorgeous reproduction vintage clothes which as you all well know, I just love!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Vintage Model for a day!

Sometimes I get to chat through ideas with other lovely ladies who want to start their own businesses. One such gorgeous gal is Louise who is in the process of setting up BeBopaLouLou Vintage; an online shop offering you the best vintage clothing for ladies and gents yet to be seen in cyber space!
I met with her recently to look at some of the pros and cons of being self-employed and other such business matters around setting up the site. Well how lovely was it to get an email asking me to model some of the said vintage stock as she gets ready for the launch of BeBopaLouLou Vintage!
Stunning early 1960s wool crepe dress £65
I got to model two fabulous outfits, one was this gorgeous wool crepe 1960s dress with a slight A-Line skirt. It's a delicious nude colour with a boxy top and fabric covered belt. It's retailing at £65 and is a really wearble dress.
The other was an incredible 1950s 100% raw silk shift dress and long jacket labelled Leshgold of London. This outfit was utterly amazing to wear as it was so comfortable and elegant. Both outfits are are available to buy at BeBopaLouLou and are beautiful. I had vintage gloves and handbag as shoot accessories and even got to wear my vintage 1930s pearls which I got for my birthday last year.
Gorgeous 1950s silk shift dress & long jacket £155
(I've also got my What Katie Did retro seamed stockings on with this outfit- pity you can't see them properly!)

It was an amazing feeling wearing stuff that was beautifully tailored and in suxh beautiful fabrics and was not modern. I hate the throw away mentalities of today so was delighted to encourage beauty in what may otherwise have been disregarded. All of the outfits in BeBopaLouLous's collections are this exquisite; they will also be travelling around the Vintage Fair routes so keep your eyes peeled. The website will be going live soon so make sure you follow them on FaceBook and Twitter for some authentic vintage treats!

I loved being a model for the day- so glam! Now to keep a look out on the new website for something I might like to model forever!


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Retro Make-Up: No7 Lipstick Review

Being a wearer of red lippy I wondered if I could find a new lipstick to suit Spring as opposed to winter which still had depth and warmth without looking too orange. I had a mass produced £5 off voucher for Boots no7 range so thought I'd have a look at what was on offer.
 In my hunt for retro make-up I've previously bought lipsticks from Soap and Glory, the Kate Moss range at Rimmel, Rockalily London and even a cheap supermarket brand or two!  (I even tried Besame while with Lynsey LeKeux but that wasn't quite right either.)
S&G 'Red my lips': Not really very red at all!

Rockalily lipsticks: quite dear at £14 and my lips bled so no go!
So my search for the perfect red for me continued!

I was pleasantly surprised with the helpfulness of one of the make-up assistants who looked with me at the new vintage style range by Poppy King and at the No7 range. She genuinely seemed interested in what my needs were and what my skin tone and make up style was when choosing a lippy.
Poppy King for No7
Although the Poppy King range looked great, the reds on offer just weren't quite right for me so I opted for a No7 lipstick named (rather appropriately for me) Glam! It's fabulous; just the right shade of red for my blue-toned skin (I'm a Summer when it comes to colour analysis). Armed with my amazing Max Factor liner (still to find a better one!), I can apply a coat and be good for pretty much the whole day. I've discovered the trick for my lips is to line, apply lippy and then instantly blot so I'm left with a stain as opposed to lots of lipstick as my lips so bleed horribly.
Max Factor lip liner pencil (I don't get on with the twisty variety!)

No7 'Glam' Lipstick: My fave red!
So I've finally found my perfect red! It looked great too on my BeBopaLouLou Vintage Modelling shoot!!!

What's your favourite retro-red lippy?

Monday, 12 March 2012

Outfit Post: Miss L Fire & Hearts and Roses

Oh I love my shoes! I couldn't resist picking these beauties up in the miss L Fire sale and so what better to pair then with than my gorgeous Hearts & Roses swing dress. I love wearing this combination together as the two pieces were clearly made for each other; hooray for some sunshine so I can step into Spring in Miss L Fire!
Dress: Hearts & Roses; Shoes: Miss L Fire red cherry bomb; Cardi: Primarni; Hair flower: surgically attached to my head!
Don't you just love these shoes?!

My family laugh at the fact they can hear me coming as the Cherries 'click-clack' together as you walk; so cool!

The dress is so easy to wash and wear and already has a net petticoat for added volume. I adore florals and this dress will take me through the seasons as it's so easy to layer up with tights or wear alone with sandals when the sunshine really starts to kick.

What are you wearing today?!  (I do hope it's a dress.)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Treats for the journey!

As I journal a lot I needed a new lined notebook and a new diary (my existing one was just too small!) I found my stationary treats for tracking my journey in Paperchase, aren't they gorgeous?
Paperchase Diary and ring bound note book

Yes, I realise I like things matching!!! They had so many gorgeous designs to choose from this season but I do love a bit of floral.

I find having a notebook and tracking my world immensely helpful in a variety of ways. Firstly, it helps me to track my journey and look at things in the past with a new perspective.
Secondly it helps me to reflect and muse on what's important or significant in my world and to be more aware of connecting the dots and seeing my life and the lives I am intertwined with as holistic not separate. Seeming randomness takes on a different shape when seen from an elevated position outside of time. If you are tracking these things then you can stand outside of the time frame they happened in and see how things are linked together. You'll soon discover what seems random really isn't, but it's only by consistently tracking that you can effectively join up the dots!

And what better place to keep track of it all then a gorgeous notebook?! Here are some other gorgeous notebook styles both in Paperchase and beyond!
How do you track your world?