Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Great Gatsby

Anyone else super giddy at the thought of Baz Luhrman's The Great Gatsby? We've been goggly eyed over these stills from the eagerly anticipated movie which hits cinemas on the 17th May. The 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald follows the story of the dreamer and millionaire, Jay Gatsby and his love for the already married, Daisy Buchanan so naturally, drama ensues.

The Roaring Twenties make me think of Louise Brooks and her iconic black bob, dropped waist dresses dripping in embellishment and suited and booted boys with carefully groomed side partings. But it's also quite easy to think of Bugsy Malone and Claires' Accessories finest plastic bejeweled feather headbands so we are thrilled to see that Catherine Martin's costume designs remain glamorous without falling into cliche territory.

Carey Mulligan gives Mia Farrow a run for her money in this remake of the 1974 original, with her blonde bob and delicate features. We are certain that Mulligan is going to light up our screens as Daisy Buchanan, even if it's just these incredible dresses that sparkle - though we are pretty certain the Oscar nominee is going to nail it! But it's not just the girls, DiCaprio looks dapper as anything and I can't help but remember him as Jack in Titanic at dinner.

Release your inner flapper with the perfect 1920s accessories, headbands and scarves, cloche hats and long strings of pearls. Here are a few ideas...

See you at the Odeon on May 17th - excited!
Gina x

Monday, 25 March 2013

The Southampton Vintage Fair: Blogger Challenge

Well, well, well! We are absolutely shattered after a storming weekend down south in Southampton and Bournemouth with The Vintage Fair. But you hear enough about us championing our fairs (well, they are fab) so we thought we'd give one very lovely fashion blogger £50 to spend in Southampton so she could show you just what we have to offer. Meet Emily from Lab Geek Chic.

Hello vintage darlings!

What a Saturday I have had! A Saturday packed with gorgeous little things, vintage treats and all round bygone glamour at Southampton vintage fair. The lovely people that run the fair had a little challenge in
store for me: to find and style a vintage look for £50. Now, being that I got to keep the whole ensemble, this was quite naturally my favourite kind of challenge!

I was so taken in by all the beautiful things that it was only after thirty minutes of compulsive rummaging that I actually stepped away from the clothes long enough to become aware of what an amazing setting I was
in. The fair is held in Southampton Guildhall which is such a perfect venue for bringing a bit of grandeur to any drizzly Saturday afternoon. However, soon I was once again quite perfectly lost in my little treasure
hunt. One of the most exciting things about this challenge was the opportunity to try something I wouldn’t normally go for, I’m the sort of girl that generally can’t be torn away from twirling skirts and dresses but
today I found myself drawn to a particular pair of shorts. Styled a bit like tap shorts and recycled from a damaged fifties dress they lured me in; then when I found the silk lining I knew they had to be mine. Next up I had to find a shirt and the Laura Ashley cream silk blouse that materialised from a packed rail was simply too lovely to ignore. At only ten pounds it's not only lovely but also my bargain of the day and it had a
wonderfully early 1900s feel to it. To finish the look I chose an elegant black velvet purse complete with a delicately embroidered peacock. Whilst the selection of items I chose came from a range of eras I wanted
the overall feel of the outfit to reflect my love of late twenties sophistication and opulence but with a modern twist, but I’ll leave the success of that for you to decide. 

Challenge complete I couldn’t resist the temptation of a few little luxuries and it was a 1940s silk kimono embroidered with flowers and birds from Pretty in Vintage that caught my eye first. I’m wearing it as I
write this and let me tell you: it is just divine! It makes me think of those perfectly turned out 1940s film stars sat preening at their dressing tables surrounded by ornate perfume bottles. Speaking of film stars this
brings me to my second little luxury which is a peach coloured silk girdle from the 1930s that once belonged to a french actress. It is so soft and the tailoring is sublime – every bit as exquisite as pieces from favourite
modern lingerie designers like Agent Provocateur if not more so! That’s all for today but thanks for reading and I hope you had as much fun at the fair as I did!

Kimono from Pretty in Vintage
(£65) and peach silk girdle from
Mabel’s customised and vintage
clothing (£25).

Emily from Labgeekchic Xx

Do you want to take on the next blogger challenge at a fair near you? Please e-mail your blog URL, city and why you'd love to take on our challenge to blog@thevintagefair.com.  

Monday, 18 March 2013

Vintage Style Icon: January Jones

She's on the cover of April's Glamour Magazine in a monochrome two piece by Mr Louis Vuitton looking ever so retro and seriously sexy. The Mad Men star rocketed to fame as well as the best dressed lists when she took on the character of Betty Draper. Granted, Miss Jones took her time to find her fashion feet, but it wasn't long before she brought a hint of Betty Draper to the red carpet and became a modern day screen siren.

This 2011 Golden Globes red carpet moment made us all stop and stare, but those Veronica Lake style waves and red lipstick are what makes this 21st century dress really stand out a mile.

January's Style evolution definitely takes inspiration from her work on Mad Men, plus her role in X-Men: First Class was based in the 1960s. But it might never have happened as apparently Betty Draper wasn't meant to exist:

"There was no Betty in the pilot when I auditioned…I read for Peggy two times—it was between me and Elizabeth Moss who eventually got the part. At the end of the scene, there was a casual mention that Don was married. Matt went home that night and wrote two scenes that featured Betty. I auditioned a couple of days later, and he made me a verbal promise that the character would grow. I took the part on faith.”

Thank goodness for that eh?! We couldn't help but have a little look at a few of Betty's fashion moments while we were on the subject. Plus, you can see exactly where Jones is getting her red carpet ideas.

But it's back to reality with more red carpet glamour from our style icon actress in a cobalt blue wiggle dress. More in the style of her co star's character Joan, the shape is still very elegant and reminiscent of a late 1950s silhouette.  

Now this is as though Betty has been papped on her way to dinner with Don. It's 2009 and January is starting to prove to the fashion world that she's got what it takes to make some very very good wardrobe decisions! 

In city shorts on a cold Paris day, the 1960s are alive and well in the form of this bouffant and contrast shirt. She switches her 50s red lip for a nude pink and winged eyeliner to further channel the swinging 60s. And completely ahead of time might I add. A fashion forecast. 

So. Want some vintage glamour in your Spring wardrobe? Lucky for you this season is championing this exact style and it all begins with the dress. So here are 4 of our faves

Pretty in pink at Ted Baker
Maxi glamour at Topshop
Authentic 50s florals at Rokit
60s shift at Orla Kiely

Gina x

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My Make Do And Mend: Halfway Through!

If you've been reading this blog for a while now, you should probably known about Jen. Jen decided to buy nothing brand new for one whole year from September 2012 and in the thrifty spirit called it her Make Do And Mend Year. She has come on in leaps and bounds since she started and has had a fair amount of attention for this brave journey, recently her blog reached over 200 followers and she's been on BBC Radio multiple times updating the public on her mission. But we've missed her at The Vintage Fair, so it's time for an update, over to Jen!


Hello again Vintage lovers!

It’s been a little while since I last updated you, BUT the big news is I am HALFWAY through My Make Do and Mend Year-my year of buying nothing new! That’s right, 6 months have passed, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take stock and document what I have learned so far. So here is my Top 10 Things I Have Learned about Buying Nothing New (so far...!)

1.        It will change your life! In a good way. Just by stopping and thinking a little bit about other alternatives to new before you rush out and buy something, can make a HUGE difference, not just to your life, but also in the grander scheme of things (I'm talking saving the planet here people-it's BIG stuff!). A little bit of Make Do and Mend can help to #make it better. Just think if we all did it-even just a bit!
2.        More often than not, you don't really NEED the thing you want. I'm not suggesting we should all go around depriving ourselves of the nice, pretty things in life, but if you are going to have to make it, or mend it, or really hunt for it, it kind of helps you clarify what you really need!
3.        Mending things gives a great sense of achievement! You are all no doubt bored by now, of my tales of patching, but it is so satisfying mending something so it can live to fight another day, rather than just chucking it out, and buying a new one. I think our washing basket is testament to this!
4.        You can never have too many glues...Hubby has a stock pile of many different sorts. I have no idea what they are all for, but apparently they are all Very Important. Oh, and get yourself some Sugru.
5.        There are lots of websites now dedicated to giving away stuff-that's right-stuff for free!! Check it out. It is also a great way of 're-homing' stuff you don't want or need anymore-allowing you the self-satisfied glow that it has gone to someone who really needs/wants it AND you've saved it from landfill. Give and Take days, or Swap Shops also seem to be springing up more and more, and are a great, interactive version of the online sites.
6.        There are lots of alternative shopping experiences to be had. As well as the obvious ones like car boots and charity shops, there are flea markets, which are awesome. I used to be scared of antiques shops, and some of them are they very up-market ones, but most are a bit like organised junk shops, so don't be afraid to go in for a rummage! Also, give your local auction house a go. We have one near us, that has an auction every 2 weeks, and you can leave a bid on paper, so you don't actually have to be there in person. And I love, love, LOVE all the vintage markets that there are now as none of it is new!

The Shoreditch Vintage Fair

7.        Beware the bargain!! I bought some slippers for SmallSmall from the charity shop that fell apart, and also some wool that was in skeins and I ended up in a huge tangle with it. Sometimes there is a reason things are in the charity shop!
8. Buying things on E-bay is hard (also be careful, as there is so much new stuff on there now), as until you get it, you don't really know what you are getting.
9.       Plan ahead-things like family birthdays and Christmas are easy to plan for, as you know they are coming up and they are generally at the same time each year..! My top tip for Christmas is to start in June.... Also, if you know you are going to need something at some point, like we need some wellies in the next size up for BigSmall, then keep your eye out before you actually need them, and snap them up if you see some!
10. Think outside the box-sometimes you just have to be a little bit creative. For example-making an egg box Christmas tree..! Another example I was really chuffed with was my mother in law's birthday present-meals for the freezer might not be everyone's present of choice but she was delighted.

So there you have it. I was initially worried I wouldn't be able to come up with ten things, but actually I had many more.
If you haven’t been following, and the references to washing baskets and egg box Christmas trees have passed you by, then stop by and check it all out, at www.mymakedoandmendyear.wordpress.com! And you can follow me on Twitter: @makeandmendyear

Thanks for reading.
Jen x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The 90s: Do or Don't?

Vintage is a term generally given to pre 1970s fashion, anything afterwards is considered retro. So how do you feel about this new love for the 1990s? From a love affair with denim, bomber jackets aplenty and slogan t-shirts and rucksacks in their heyday, the 90s have resurfaced on the high street. But do you love it or hate it? We have a nosey at what the high street are saying...

Saved By The Bell: Crop tops, high waists and whole lotta denim.

ASOS have put together this pinboard of their take on the 90s revival, it's more about pastels apparently, keeping it pretty rather than grungy. Frankly, a jumper around the waist just isn't going to look pretty. However, I do quite like to idea of the dungaree coming back into fashion play. I've seen some lovely tailored ones from River Island and Topshop, but denim is still winning it seems.

Talking of jumpers around the waist, Rihanna's debut collection for River Island was launched today. And boy. That girl be loving the 90s. Denim, dungarees, crop tops, neon, slinky long dresses and yes, skirts and dresses with in built waist sleeve things. A couple of the pieces I can see myself wearing, but on the whole I was expecting something a lot more exciting and well, not a 90s revival. But hey, the fash pack will love it no doubt. What are your thoughts?

Anyone seen the new Wildfox lookbook? Clueless. The ideal American 90s reference with spaghetti straps, tartan skirts, slogan Ts and just look at that hat. Personally, I'm just not convinced.

The Wasteland lookbook for 2013 is full of zany Bip Ling inspired graphics and yes, more denim, more dungarees and even pigtails. Oh and blue lipstick. And platform trainers. And camo. Argh! Tell you one thing though, I'm more than happy that good old Doctor Martin will be back on the feet of our youth, a good sturdy shoe! You can often find colourful DMs at our fairs from sellers like The Vintage Scene.

Here is a peek at the sort of DMs you can expect to find at our fairs and at a very reasonable price!

One seriously grungy 90s style icon has to be Drew Barrymore and if you click on that link you'll be forwarded to a 90s Drew Barrymore tumblr (just to warn you there is some semi-nudity on this blog). I love this photo for Drew and her circular sunnies but also the classic flippy floral dress her mate is wearing combined with that big Julia Roberts style hair. 

So. We've established that the 90s comeback is officially here in one form or another, but what is your take on it? Are you happy for it to be mingled in with vintage? Are you going to go all out 90s this Summer or just pick and choose the best bits? 

I'd be very interested to hear from you.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Orla Kiely S/S13: Swoonfest

I am not often blown away by the high street (have you not guessed yet from this blog?) but I've just stumbled across the new Orla Kiely Spring/Summer collection and YOWZER I am simply in love and I must share. I first started looking at Orla Kiely's designs when I saw Carrie from Wish Wish Wish wearing a beautiful frock from last years range, have a nosey below.

But this is all about getting a spring in our step! Named as "the queen of prints" by The Guardian, it;'s no surprise this collection champions this seasons' graphic designs as well as the ever present florals. The designer has taken hold of this seasons' biggest trends, pastels, monochrome, neon and 60s creating a timeless collection with some really special pieces. You can expect to fork out upwards of £300 for a dress, but some of these may well be making you the envy of the bride at that Summer wedding! Take note of the pink lipstick too, a perfect companion to all of these outfits.

Ooh! I do love these frilly knickers, well, bikini bottoms. Not for everyone, but paired with some bold cat eye sunnies and a 50s hairdo, you'll be rocking rockabilly on the beach with ease. Oh and don't forget the pink lipstick, keep your lips matte to channel that 60s vibe into the 21st Century. Try NARS Semi Matte colour in Funny Face for a super bold lip.

Well. I need to do some serious thinking for when this collection finally drops! What to buy...