Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Its a Wonderful Christmas

As everyone else will tell you, Christmas really is a lovely time of year.

Everyone is planning on seeing friends and family. Eating good food and dancing like crazy people.
Theres something magic about wrapping up warm and all of the fairy lights everywhere.

I am a big kid but I am normally smiling from start to finish at christmas.

I am feeling extra lucky this year as I wasn't meant to be in the uk this winter. My plans to move abroad to Korea in August fell through (and by gove i'm glad they did). Im now leaving in feburary but i'm so glad I have been allowed to spend the time with my family.

Last week I was lucky enought to find some tickets to a local cinema showing of 'Its A Wonderful Life'. Although I am a lover of all things christmas and old hollywood I am ashamed to say I have never seen this film. This is even more of a shocking fact when you know that my surrogate grandmother is Jimmy Stewarts first cousin!!!Her grandson looks exactly like him and entertains me for hours with his ridiculously good impression of him.

So sitting down in a old cinema to watch this film was a big moment.

The red curtains opened and I think I may have cried the whole way through. From pure happiness and sadness. It truely is the most magical film.

George Bailey is my new hero and my new favourite moment in a film is definitely:
"Is this your bad ear George? I'll love you forever George Bailey."

I'm home with my family with the tree up and the mince pies open and it feels like a truely wonderful time. My family are particulaly special to me and spending time with them is always side splittingly fun. All we need now is my brother to arrive from Scotland and we will have the whole team.

(in the meantime my sister, mum and I will have to make do with another viewing of 'The Muppets Christmas Carol' and 'Elf'...oh poor us :D)

Merry Christmas everyone! (old family photo)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Liebster Award

I was extremely excited recently to get a message from the lovely Retro Mum  who has a lovely blog 'La Vie En Rose'
She nominated me for a Liebster award which made my day. This is just a little hobby that I wish I could devote more time to so getting messages make me so happy as I didn't realise any one but me was listening to my ramblings.
Her blog 'La Vie En Rose'' (which is one of my favourite songs) is an inspiring read with beatiful insights and pictures to match.

Here are the rules of the award:

1) Link and follow the blogger who awarded you
2) Blog about the award
3) Give the award to five others (preferably with less than 200 followers)
4) Answer the 11 questions I've asked at the bottom of this post, and then give 11 of your own to the bloggers you've awarded!
So those are the rules. There are few things more insightful than answering questions. It makes you always consider such strange things you've maybe not thought about for a long time. 
 1.) When did you start collecting vintage pieces and why?

I like most, fell into a love of vintage. I stood back from my wardrobe one day to realise all the items I was buying were high street copies of other eras. While my friends got inspiration from modern television and magazines, I was drawn to smokey bar singers and 50's movie starlets. Once I moved to London I realised there were actually places that made these clothes intentionally and since then my wallets been lighter. Places such as Collectif and Vivian of Holloway make me feel like a lady but I am already craving real vintage items. I'm only a beginner but I am loving every second of finding my feet.

2.) What reactions do you get from others when you are out dressed to the nines?

I'm from a tiny town in Wales where you get looked at funny if you don't buy something from the three shops on the high street. This isn't something I noticed until I went home last christmas in low key 50's clothes and people looked at me like I was in fancy dress. This , suprisingly, doesn't bother me too much and I do mean suprisingly since I use to be the most nervous and insecure person around. Vintage clothes and hair make me feel like a lady and make me feel i've finally found my place in the world. I walk with more confidence and feel on top of the world. In London I get nothing but lovely comments. If you have confidence I think people react off it. 

  3.) Who is your favorite designer of the 40's - 60's?
 Jaques Fath is king. The mission is to own one of his dresses.
4.) How do you describe your style?
 Lazy days I normally go for Kookie Preppy Geek but if I want a little boost I will go for Vintage Glamour. 40's, 50's and recently a love of early 60's is my favourite. 

5.) What type of other hobby's do you have?
I am a Animator and Writer by trade so lots of drawing and scribbling goes with the job but I am also addicted to film and television (HBO especially). Recently I have gotten into Roller Derby. Its something I'd love to be part of but I may be the most accident prone person without wheels on my feet. 

6.) Do you have a favorite place to shop online or local?
Local is normally where I shop. As mentioned before , I love Vivian of Holloway and Collectif but Camden and London have so many lovely little boutiques to shop in. Now I just need to money to go with it.

7.) What are your go-to vintage pieces in your wardrobe?
My black boned halter neck dress is a recent favourite but I also love my WKD garter and stockings. They make every day feel fancy
8.) What is your signature lip color?
This is my lip colour. Rockalily Rockette Red. Unfortunatly Ree Ree , the lady who makes it has opened a fantastic hair salon so isn't selling lots of it anymore but you can still pick some up if you go to the website or go to the shop.

9.) What pinup or starlet are you most like or you look up to as inspiration?
Its always upset me that I look nothing like any celebrity. As a young girl I added this up to mean I didn't look pretty. I think when I started wearing lipstick and wearing my hair in curls I was slightly hiding behind it all but in the end it became me. 
The ladies I look up to are:
Grace Kelly

  Dita Von Tease
Betty Page

Zooey Dechanel
and although we all love her, its for a good reason.
Miss Monroe

 10.) What is your favorite perfume or fragrance?
I love Perfume!!! I love going on smelling spree's. Right now its a mix between jean paul gaultier, Jimmy Choo and Flower by Kenzo. I will experiment until I have a baby and then pick one. I want my baby to recognise my smell.

  11.) What beauty look from the era do you love the most? Hairstyles, moon mani, seamed stockings, etc.
Toss up between the hair (rolled up do is my everyday wear but my hair refuses to let me curl it) and seamed stockings. I love them. In fact I love it all: pencil skirts, lipstick, heels. Its all to pretty to leave out. 

Phew that was an epic answering session . What lovely questions.

The bloggers I would like to give this award to are:

And my questions are:
1) What was it that made you love vintage glamour?
2) Who is your fashion crush and why?
3)  What is your favourite piece of clothing or item in your wardrobe?
4)  What is your favourite film?
5) What makes your feel like a lady? 
6) What is your Signature Cocktail?
7) If you could have any job, what would it be?
8) For all those vintage new comers , what tips and tricks have you learnt about make up/clothing/style?
9) Favourite place in the world?
10) Who would your dream dinner guest be (dead or alive)?
11) What is your favourite Era?
Thank you again to the lovely Retro Mum and also to The War Bride as I was a little stuck for questions and borrowed some from them. 


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Happy Feet

One important lesson i'm learning more and more as I get older is the importance of wonderment.
I am lucky enough to know that wonderment makes every day better.
My mum use to randomly put music on as loud as possible in the living room, Michael Jackson or any musical song was our favourite, and we would dance like no one was watching.

We would jive, jump and happily jig about for hours. If we weren't dancing we were singing on the top of our lungs (our poor neighbours)
This sadly faded in my teenage years when I become so painfully aware of other peoples opinions.
In fact I'm ashamed to say that a few times as a grumpy teenager I would walk away embarresed from my mum's dancing at family partys.

One day in university I think something snapped inside of me and the childlike love of dance suddenly hit me like a brick wall. Unfortunatly only I had it so I had to lead the way with my friends and invent the 'I can embarres you more' dance game. Which is hilerious drunk or sober.
It occured to me recently that all of my friendship groups are great dancers. Let me clarify that by saying that to me a great dance is someone that goes crazy and pulls the more ridiculous moves possible.
But no matter how silly they will always be the best memories with my friends.
Its been a while since i've had one of these nights and while walking through a london train station recently I was stuck by the urge to break into song. Just to see what would happen.
Obviously I didn't but I just wish the world had more sparkle in it sometimes.

 Nearer christmas the importance of enjoying every small moment is crucial. The small wonders in life are what keep us going. Which is why things such as Instagram and Pinterest make me so happy. It makes everyone aware of the small things.
Other things you should embrase and try to be a part of or watch as much as possible include:
. Flash mobs
.Singing at any occasion (older and cheesier the song the better)
.Dancing like no ones watching
.Getting dressed up for no good reason.
.Drinking from champagne flutes as much as possible (even if its just appletizer in it)
. Make a meal look pretty
.Wear those heels
.The muppets!

This weekend is my first christmas gathering. A 4 course meal and a dance with my mum and sister. We all couldn't be more excited.
So moral of this random post.
Always dance as you will always remember the times you danced and if its silly then it will always be more fun.
So here is a little man that is the leader of the pack when it comes to having a good time.
Take it away Kermit

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A night with Woody

I'm extremly excited. I have a night with the house to myself which if you know me is an profoundly rare thing.
A large portion of time has been devoted today to decideing what I will do with the time.
But after a lot of thought ....Its a Woody night.

 I love Woody Allen. I don't really know what it is about his films. I'd blame my personality on them but I am an extreme late comer to Allen's way of being.
So Manhattan and then the lovely Annie Hall

 Of course this will be combined with copious amounts of salted popcorn (my addiction) and a bottle of truly wonderful pink lemonade.

 Unforuntaly I am in a money rut so to speak so I will be avoiding the take away menus for the time being. "Sigh, Chinese I miss you already!"

Anyway this is a pointless little post but I will review the films for you crazy people that may not have watched them....if you happen to exsist somewhere out there.
Happy Wednesday everyone. Woohoo!
(images not my own)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

A background

Recently while browsing in a charity shop for a fancy dress party, I picked up a book entitiled 'Elegance'
The book, by Kathleen Tessaro, follows a characters search for grace.

The story reference an actual book publised years ago by Madame Antoine Dariaux and I haven't put it down.
Elegance is something that has slowly seeped into my life over the years. Or at least my quest for it.

I wasn't a child that played with make up as my mum didn't wear any. She has always been a naturally beauitful lady.
Although my mum's style was more perms and shoulder pads when she was younger. When she got older she became the appitamy of under stated chicness.
I remember loving seeing her get ready for a rare night out. She would wear beautiful  sleek black dresses and ALWAYS a spray of perfume.
She has worn the same perfume all my life. Yardleys Chique. It will always be the smell of her to me.
Always smell beautiful was my first ever tip towards elegance.

The next time I discovered a love of all things beautiful was Frank Sinatra and his music. His voice was like silk to me , a 9 year old in the 90's meant that Frank Sinatra's music was completly ground breaking. It also enabled me to discover the 50's.

As I got older I became the only teenager I know abssessed with Audrey Hepburn, Nat King Cole and Gene Kelly.
Apart from my best friend Jess. Luckily for me shared my obsession. The day I heard her mention Maraliyn Monroe I knew we'd be friends for life.
We had ideas of one day becoming glamourous woman who had coffee in cafes, had our hair done, wore gloves and danced in beautiful shoes.

Now that we are older my love has escallated into obsession and we do have coffee in cafes, have our hair done and dance in beautiful shoes but we still chat about all things old hollywood while we do it. Nothing changes. (I still haven't found a good leather pair of driving gloves)

So why do I love those old hollywood stars. Why do the woman say nothing but beautiful to me. I love the way their hair frames their faces, the sexy curve of their hips and how every item of clothing makes them a lady.

I come from a very male orintated job as an animator and over the years I forget the joys of being a lady. Since moving to London I have had the chance to flurish. I can wear what I like, heels, high waisted skirts, red lipstick.
I finally feel i've found my nieche. I never fitted with girls in magazines and the trends never suited me but with 40's and 50's clothes I feel I finally have a style. When I use to be upset when I was younger because I felt ugly and like I didn't look right in clothes my mum was forever telling me that i'd find what suited me and finally it all fell into place.

Clothes and my challenge to be seen as graceful doesn't mean I'm high matinence (i'll still run around in a muddy firls and spend days in my pj's.) Discovering my love of the 40's and 50's means I can just feel confident in myself.

I'm no wear near as eleant or chic as I hope to be but with my book already being read for the 2nd time in two weeks i'm on the right track.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Quote of the Week

" A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view" Sophia Loren

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Read This Book

Read This! That is all.

Grease is the word

This Saturday was one of a kind and one I have been looking forward to for far to long.

My girls and I got our retro glad rags on and headed to an unlikely location. A field in west London.
We were on our way to Future Cinema’s Grease night.
Previously I have been lucky enough to attend a future cinema event (In fact I went to the Bugsy Malone night twice!) and this one was nothing less than expected.
My friends and I were in ‘Grease’ for GCSE drama so since then it hasn’t been on my radar but since I got to wear a prom dress, put on red lip stick and dance to ‘Chuck Berry’ I was in.
When we turned up we were overwhelmed by the amount of people. We arrived slightly late and were scared we’d miss some of the fun but it was still in full swing when we arrived. We were greeted by friendly ladies who asked us if this was our first year at Rydell. Unfortunately my American accent is as about as convincing as Dick Van Dykes English accent so I couldn’t play along but it didn’t stop us from giggling the entire night.

I was a little bit upset to see that we had to pay for so many things when we got into the event. We had debated the price hike up from the Bugsy event but since it was Grease we couldn’t say no but it was disappointing to see how much extras were called for. Rides were £3 each. Candy floss £3 , hot dogs £6 and a cocktail in a small cup was £8 (in fairness they did put candy floss in my cocktail so I was quite happy) but I was upset we couldn’t buy more.

This didn’t dampen our night too much. We were jiving the night away before the movie even started with too many photo ops to keep up with. For a girl who’s personality is mainly instagram it was almost mind bending to see so many pretty things at once.
We were so busy entertaining ourselves that we missed most of the acting and dance sequences but believe me we still enjoyed ourselves. When the film finally did start we ran to our seats. Despite being as far back as the crowd went (which note for future shows- more dancing room!) We heard every word and had a great view.

The atmosphere was electric. It really was. Every line was echoed by the audience, ever song sung at the top of everyone’s lungs and when ‘Grease lightning’ started people got on their feet and danced like no one was watching.

I think my favourite thing about Future Cinema is the atmosphere. You are all there in costume and you always know what you are going to see. You are playing a character before you even arrive. I know that Future Cinemas is run by the same company that does Secret Cinema. I have a ticket (an extremely over priced ticket that I’m regretting even with the success of Grease…but that’s another story for another time) but I wonder if the atmosphere with rival Future Cinemas ones as no ones knows what they are in for. I imagine you get a mixed response. I’m also hoping that they still have a dance after the films finish as the dancing after Grease and Bugsy have been some of my favourite nights out. They know good music.

We danced into the wee hours and didn’t want to go home. Before we left we stopped into Frenchie’s house which had been build especially for the occasion. My friend had a make over which was stunningly done by the lovely ladies at I would recommend them for any future event. We had our photos taken in Frenchie’s room and were amazingly not charged for them but just given a Facebook page to visit which was a great touch for the night that cost me a small fortune.

I made memories I will cherish for a life time and I would recommend any one who enjoys dancing around like a extra in footloose to get their sweet patooties to the next event.
Like I mentioned it is a shame that the prices are being put up and up each time but I’m hoping that the price of the next event means we wont be paying for so much on the night, but we will wait and see.

Conclusion: Grease really is the word.