Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Forties Floozy Giveaway Winner Reports In!

We love to spoil you! And we also love to find out about our vintage fans, bloggers, traders, lovers alike. So we are really happy to share this product review from The Forties Floozy who won our latest giveaway of a Besame Violet Powder. They say it brightens up your complexion, well, does it? We hand over to vintage blogger Miss B. (Oh and go and check out the rest of her posts, girls got style!)
Hi all,
Today I had a lovely present arrive from the lovely people at The Vintage Fair.  Through their Blog I won something that I have been hankering after for quite some time now.

The Besame Brightening Violet Powder
The Besame Brightening Violet Powder

One of my favourite things about vintage reproduction (particularly cosmetics) is the packaging.  It makes everything that little bit more magical.

Hopefully this will give you some perspective of size.

And the little powder puff that it comes with is equally stylish.

As the picture above shows the powder comes with one of those little lids with the holes in it to stop you getting covered in the stuff.  In fact I find these ‘aids’ the most irritating things in the world.  I sat for 5 mins attempting to shake, wiggle and tease some powder out of the pot before finally giving up and tugging the offending item off the powder tub.
As soon as I’d done this I began to enjoy the product (if a little more carefully than before).  I tried using the puff but it is quite small and I didn’t want to dirty it so I turned to my usual powder brush.  It glided over my skin and even after 3 hours of wearing it, my skin still feels fresh and smooth.  A success!
And now I’m going to burn out your retinas with some before and after pics.  It’s not often I’m seen without make up so I please don’t take offence.

Please excuse the headscarf, I've got my pin curls in underneath.
Please excuse the headscarf, I’ve got my pin curls in underneath.


This is what the website claims that it does: Brightening Violet Powder is a translucent loose powder that adds just a hint of brightness for an instant lift to any complexion. Sets make-up beautifully and leaves a soft matte finish. The powder does not contain shimmers, but brightens because of the unique violet hue in this special formula. Deliciously fragrant, it suits any skin tone. Wear alone, over foundation or to add a lightness to tired eyes and under eye circles.
If I’m honest, I think they’ve got it spot on.  My skin feels incredible and it smells damned good too.  It does give a much nicer finish than my normal powder and it gives  a really even coverage without it being obvious where you have and haven’t applied it.

The other make up I’m wearing is as follows:

I am eternally grateful to the lovely people at The Vintage Fair for doing such a competition.  At £22 I wouldn’t be able to afford it without it being a truly amazing product.  I think it is, I’m going to have to save up in future to afford it but I don’t think I’ll turn back.  It’s just too perfect.
That’s all for now folks!

Miss B xoxo

Monday, 25 February 2013

And The Oscar Goes To...

Well well well! Another bunch of award shows are done and dusted, all capped off by the ultimate ceremony, The Academy Awards. These days, we tend to look at who is best dressed rather than who won best actor, but we're all magpies! I just cannot help looking at all those sparkly dresses and glamourous jewellery - though Daniel Day Lewis' triple whammy had to at least get a nod from us - bravo!

So I thought I'd bring you  a selection of vintage and not so vintage Oscar outfits. Mainly so we can all swoon and sigh over those couture gowns, whether it's on 1950s Grace Kelly or this years Best Actress winner, Jennifer Lawrence. She may have taken a wee tumble, but in that Dior dress, who could blame her, how much fabric?!

We go back to the 1954 Academy Awards to Best Actress winner Audrey Hepburn for her role in Roman Holiday. This Givenchy gown completely defines the era with it's nipped in waist, full skirt and sheer lace overlay. Absolutely Stunning.

Sticking to Best Actresses, this 90s baby pink spaghetti strap Ralph Lauren gown worn by Gwyneth Paltrow became iconic overnight after she won her award for Shakespeare In Love in 1999. Oh spaghetti straps. Oh the 90s!

Strappy dresses weren't the new kid on the block by any means, Grace Kelly who won also won Best Actress in 1955 for her role in Country Girl donned them in this Edith Head dress. The mint green colour is slightly unusual for the era but it compliments her trademark blonde locks perfectly. The elbow length white satin gloves scream Hollywood Glamour.

Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway was championing this seasons' pastel trend in a simple satin column dress by Prada with Tiffany jewellery. Her newly cropped hair compliments this dress beautifully, making it more edgy than girly princess.

As far as memorable Oscar dresses go, we cannot write this blog post without putting the spotlight back on 2002's Best Actress Halle Berry. This Ellie Saab gown, with strategically placed embroidery, caught the attention of the fashion world instantly. All hail Halle.

OK. So we're still in the 21st Century here at The Vintage Fair, but Reese Witherspoon wasn't. In 2006 she won Best Actress for Walk The Line and all eyes were on her and this 1955 Christian Dior gown proving that classic shapes and fabrics will never, ever date. 

I found this photo of the 1948 Best Actress Loretta Young really interesting. I've never seen such a huge, flouncy dress on a 40s celebrity, or at all. I'd love to know what colour it is and I suspect the fabric may be taffeta? If anyone knows anymore about this dress I'd love to know. 

We can safely say that we are looking into the future of fashion with this fuschia Marchesa gown on Fan Bingbing. It is from Marchesa's A/W 13-14 collection and it is no surprise that this ever fashionably forward Chinese actress gets to be seen in it before anybody else. Personally I see a bit of Vivienne Westwood in this dress...anybody else?

From the future to one of the first. Mary Pickford won Best Actress in 1929 for her role in Coquette (though there is scandal surrounding this supposed fixed win - ooh err). The finger waves are typical of the era, in fact, this haircut made front page news! The dress is just beautiful, with a wealth of detail. 

The best dressed from this years awards has to go to Jessica Chastain. Tumbling Vivien Leigh style waves and red lipstick transformed her into a real life Jessica Rabbit. The embellished custom made Armani rose gown was accompanied by vintage Harry Winston diamonds. 

This years red carpet was awash with bling, embellishment, sequins, beads, metallics. But nobody will ever, ever get one up on Grace Kelly from the 1954 Awards accompanied by Clarke Gable. Complete with fur stole, elbow length satin gloves, pearl necklace and a flawless hairdo this is a picture of what the Oscars is all about. Showstopping elegance. Now, just because I can, I'm going finish this post with a few very special vintage Oscars' photos for you to nose at, I found many on the blog Vintage Everyday.


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Be My Vintage Valentine

Loved up or not, Happy Valentine's Day to all of you vintage fans! And over at The Vintage Fair, we are going to get a little bit saucy today (if not on Feb 14th, then when?!) and bring you the best vintage style undies out there. These are not just for the coupled up ladies out there, it has been known for decades that beautiful good fitting lingerie makes you feel your best so all the single girls can invest too!

Jayne Mansfield was one of the original blonde bombshells of the 50s and she knew exactly how to flaunt her assets seen here in a classic bullet bra.

Talking of bullet bras, who better to look to for faux vintage lingerie than our lovely friends What Katie Did. They've given you 20 pairs of stockings/tights since our blog launched in our fab giveaways, so give 'em a little love back and drool over their gorgeous undies. All of the WKD bras come in sizes A-G so you can be assured that you'll be glam and supported. Our favourite for Valentines is the Jubilee set, red hot yet still so classy and elegant, paired with a suspender belt and back seamed stockings you will be feeling seriously sexy. Add the faux bangs and you've nailed the Bettie Page look!

The High Street still has some lovely vintage inspired lingerie to offer us, and the go to for bras for me is still M&S. This Limited Collection set is a simple but stunning combination of soft silky black fabric and cream lace detail, though it's not fresh outta the forties, the style certainly echoes times gone by. Available in sizes A-DD, it's currently on offer at 20% off, which is even better.

If you're wanting to give a really big hint to the boy, or feeling like you deserve to treat yourself, who better to buy that new set of underwear from than Agent Provocateur. A seriously minxy brand whose products are known for their quality but sadly, also for their tiny people's sizes. However, if I were dreaming, I'd be getting my hands on this beautiful Kimono, and at a cool £495 I really am dreaming. Put down the credit card...

 Von Follies oh I am so glad I just discovered you! Remember Dita did a stunning 50s collection for Wonderbra a few years ago? Well I thought that would be the end of of her designs but no, no no! Von Follies is the new range by the woman herself available at Debenhams. I just couldn't choose a particular style for you, so I decided on three...though I think the leopard print is just tipping it for me. The whole range is damn sexy, there's no other word! And with Dita modelling herself, you can imagine how beautifully burlesque this lingerie looks. And just if that wasn't enough, the entire range is currently 20% off. 

It's not all red and black lace though and if you'd prefer to keep things floral and flirty rather than super sumptious, ASOS and Topshop and New Look have a fair amount of colourful sets at affordable prices to last all year round. The longline style of bra screams retro and can double as a top if you're feeling confident, maybe with a full 50s skirt to balance the look and to keep it from looking too spicy!

This Studded Bralet from Topshop keeps the nude colour and longline style but adds modern stud detail to bring it up to date. The floral ASOS Bralet is so very pretty but the extra strap detail adds a little something something, it also comes in matching high waisted knickers, cute as a button. New Look have cottoned on to the Kelly Brook style of designing lingerie fit for a curvy pinup kinda gal, this floral longline bra is really very pretty and seriously affordable.

So, will you be our Vintage Valentine? Please?
Gina x

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Make A Statement

We'll admit that perhaps we are a bit late on this one, but statement necklaces are still big news! They can make an outfit. Whether you go for a flash of neon, big chandelier droplets or a loud perspex design, there is a statement necklace for every one of us on every budget. Hell, Elizabeth Taylor knew how to bling it up, in role or not! I love her as Cleopatra.

Taylor in Cleopatra

So, let's bring things into the present day and look at the Queens of the statement necklace. We've decided to put these huge accessories into four different trends: Bejewelled, Flash Of Colour, Geometric and Novelty.

         Olivia Palermo            Sass and Bide SS/13              Nicole Richie                 Lauren Laverne


New Look £19.99
ASOS £40
Acessorize £22.00

Flash Of Colour

New Look £14.99
Tatty Devine £135


Topshop £15


Tatty Devine £114
 Sour Cherry £40
eBay £85


Monday, 11 February 2013

Vintage Icon: Edie Sedgwick

As fashion goes mad for mod, and with breton stripes as popular as ever, I can't quite get Edie Sedgwick off my mind. Edie lived a whirlwind of a life, and died tragically in 1971. However, she made a lot of noise on the music, art and fashion scene especially when she was hailed as Andy Warhol's muse. Edie was the IT girl of the moment, a classic socialite whose inheritance money was splashed on on booze and drugs creating the addiction that eventually took her life.  But I'm more interested in the "factory girl" and the ballsy and beautiful girl from Warhol's photography and films.

Sienna Miller played Edie in the film Factory Girl which gives a sort of insight into her lifestyle, though some would say it's rather inaccurate it's a beautiful film despite it's inevitable tragic end. I particularly love Miller's performance, she captures Edie's presence incredibly well, plus there is a striking resemblance, see below.

Sedgwick inspired a generation of girls to cut off their hair, experiment with heavy make up and free their legs! This pixie crop, doe eyes made up in true mod style, the huge dangling earrings and the ever present cigarette were Edie's trademarks as well as her endearing, kooky personality. Here are some of my favourite images of Sedgwick, Warhol's "superstar".

The girl's petite frame was made for the Quant style mini dresses of the era, which she wore in abundance, never afraid of showing too much leg, clad in opaque tights or not. Glamorous accessories were also key to her look including chandelier earrings and luxurious leopard print coats. The video below shows how confident, honest and charismatic Edie was, but perhaps also how innocent and vulnerable she was too. 

Taking inspiration from this style icon of the 60s, we look to capture some of that "superstar" in our own wardrobes, minus the pop art idol at our side. 

Breton jumper Mango
Opaque tights Tights Please
Factory girl replica earrings Steve Sasco
Magic Ink Eyeliner by Benefit at John Lewis
Leopard Print Coat Vera Moda
Wireless lace triangle bra Topshop

I shall leave you with an interview from the Merv Griffin show in 1965 with Warhol and Sedgwick. She's wearing the cutest little lace collared jacket and talks the entire time! "What is art anyway?" 


Thursday, 7 February 2013

English Rose Cosmetics

Our fairs are always top notch (if we do say so ourselves) but sometimes we get a trader who is offering something just a little different and that's exactly what we have at The Shoreditch Vintage Fair this weekend and English Rose Cosmetics are just that. We wanted to know more about Karin, the woman behind the pretty things and her homegrown business, and we figured you might too! Especially if you're off to the Shoreditch fair, you could be getting your mitts on a freebie...

I got the inspiration for English Rose Cosmetics when I saw a cosmetic advert featuring the actress Emma Watson” says Karin McKay, Owner of Reading based English Rose Cosmetics.  “I just felt the time was right for the world to appreciate the beauty of an English Rose, and wanted to put a face to the term”.

That was at the end of 2011.  Over the next few weeks the concept of giving ‘English Rose’ an identity and personality took shape and work started in earnest in February 2012.  Due to a road traffic injury, Karin had been unable to work in the cosmetic industry for the past 2 years.  She then took up blogging about her favorite products under ‘Beauty Knowledge’ and started sharing her 16 years of extensive knowledge on ingredients that really work in cosmetics.  “Blogging about my favorite cosmetics got me thinking about how I would make the perfect products, and the positive response I got worldwide to my blogs inspired me go to the next step – my own beauty range”.

“Developing the product range came easily to me” says Karin, “in fact, I have to hold back and only work on a couple at a time.  What I found more challenging was getting the packaging absolutely right and I’m now happy that I’m there and soon I want to be pitching to the likes of John Lewis, Liberty’s and maybe QVC”.

Unlike other beauty brands, Karin took the unusual step of selling direct to customers and regularly has a pop-up stall at various craft & vintage events around London and the Home Counties, details of which can be found in the Events section on the website.  “It was very important to meet customers face to face, discuss their skincare concerns and get a response to my product, as well as ideas for future products” says Karin, “it has been truly rewarding to get such a positive response and to build up a loyal customer base this way”.

To get your hands on a FREE Rose Kiss Spritz at our fair on Saturday, you've got to be quick! The first customer to purchase any item from English Rose Cosmetics will also get a Rose Spritz absolutely FREE. So, get in there super fast!

To find out more all you've got to do is head over to Karin's Facebook, follow her on twitter @karinmckay1  or drop her an e-mail Karin@english-rose-cosmetics.com. Or of course, come to our Shoreditch fair and have a natter!

Such cute packaging!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

101 Uses Of A Vintage Suitcase

Not long ago I posted 101 Uses Of A Teacup as we seem to be swimming in them at the moment! But you can pretty much guarantee that there will be a stack of suitcases at our next fair and the one after that and the one after that etc...so let's think about how we can bring these babies into the 21st century. I've gathered together some ideas to inspire you and please feel free to pass on yours too.


A wonderful  South African based designer Katie Thompson upcycles old unused furniture into covetable, unique feature items for your home. This suitcase chair looks so luxurious, I can hardly believe somebody came up with such a glamorous idea from an old suitcase. Genius. You can see the rest of her designs here.

Got an old chest of drawers lying around? Breathe new life into them just like the examples below. You could place the entire chest in each drawer, or create drawer fronts from the handle side of the case. It's a lovely way to store things you mightn't need on a regular basis I guess, like this bed side dresser too.

James Plumb for Rossana Orlandi

This has to be my absolute favourite idea! Suitcase shelves from blogger, Red Hen Home. Acting more as kooky artwork than shelving, it's a very impressive display! She has also created a tutorial for you to follow as well as her progress on this particular project. 

Now, this is adorable. Vintage suitcase cat bed. Who would have thought it? Very similar to the way in which you'd make one into a table, but so much cuter. You can find the tutorial to make this very bed at Mouse Breath which is a blog written by cats, for cats. 

The Boom Case have made a name for themselves over the pond for very stylish boomboxes. Yes my dears, that's right, suitcase speakers! They look incredible and sound just as a sweet. I've yet to find a UK seller, but if you know somebody PLEASE get them in touch with us! If you fancy having a go at your own Boom Case, Apartment Therapy have a DIY tutorial for you. 

The humble table will never be the same again. Whether you use a stack of suitcases to put your table top upon as in the first picture from Apartment Therapy, or you use a little more of that DIY spirit and add wooden table legs to a sturdy case just like this example from Salvage Love which also has a very simple tutorial alongside it. Remember, you can keep your cases in working order to store unsightly mess such as magazines or post, or just bits and bobs. 

If you would much prefer to keep your suitcase as a suitcase, but would like to, well, liven it up a bit, there are endless ideas out there. The classic collage effect is probably a little bit out of date (says she, vintage lover over here) so have a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

A Beautiful Mess floral fabric

Oh So Lovely polka dots

Lace chevron design from Ruche 

If you just can't see your suitcase being something pretty enough to add to your home then why not your garden or balcony? I'd love a suitcase herb pot myself! This link to My First Garden has a whole list of ideas for creative flower beds and planters, but look at his face! Perfect for kids. 

So there you have it. A fair few ideas to get you thinking about what you might be able to do with that old dusty suitcase. And I bet there are a tonne of other ideas just waiting to flow into the comment boxes below (go on!). 

Gina xxx