Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Goodwood Revival - a very vintage fashion guide

While entering mid-August does make me feel more than a little sad that summer is soon on its way out, there is one positive to the inexorable creep of the year. It's coming round to one of my favourites events of the autumn, the most excellent Goodwood Revival. If you don't know about the Revival (or missed my posts from previous years), it's a celebration of the golden era of motor sport – the cars and the fashion – as well as plenty of shopping to get stuck into. But since half the fun of the Goodwood Revival, aside from the smell of Castrol R and the people watching, is getting dressed up, putting together a killer vintage outfit is a definite must! So, I thought I'd put together a little guide to sourcing an authentic outfit that fits the Revival time period of 1949-1966, whether you want to go full vintage or modern reproduction with an authentic feel.

Firstly, if you want to find genuine vintage, try eBay and Etsy for the biggest range of options and price-ranges from across the world (you have just about enough time to order a bargain piece from abroad). Buying vintage online is an article in itself, but my top quick tip is to look for metal zips or popper fastenings and avoid anything that's listed as containing polyester or nylon and you won't be caught out with 1980s masquerading as 40s. If budget is less of a concern, there are some fabulous vintage shops in London that would serve as a one-stop shop for a fabulous outfit. The very top of the list (and the budget) is the extremely high end William Vintage, whose couture garments very often fall into the key period for Goodwood. Scarlet Rage is a shop in North London with some absolutely killer vintage at reasonable (for London) prices. Both of these shops have online selections too. For great menswear go to Hunky Dory on Brick Lane. And finally, if you're more into the later end of the time period, check out Atypical Girl, which has an amazing array of 50s and 60s (and even some amazing hippie duds if you fancy sneaking in some later 60s outfits...why not?)

Which brings me onto my next subject: modern reproduction vintage. If practicality is more of a concern, or you prefer modern fabrics and cuts, there are some excellent repro lines around these days. Top of the Revival favourites is Vivien Of Holloway, whose 1950s circle-skirted frocks can be seen everywhere at the event which is either a pro or a con depending on how you look at it! They do plenty of other day and eveningwear styles, too. Atypical Girl also carrys some excellent 50s-60s inspired pieces. The Seamstress of Bloomsbury is another choice for super authentic 40s and early 50s pieces that wash and wear well (from experience!). I also can't fail to recommend Heyday, who make the Fleur wrap dress I've modelled so many times on these pages... I might be biased but it is an excellent mid-century style daywear piece in the loveliest novelty prints! Don't forget to hit What Katie Did for the right underpinnings and seamed nylons for your vintage or repro outfit (they also have a long-established shop at the Revival for any stockings emergencies)!

On the accessories front, footwear brands Rocket Originals and Miss L Fire are an absolute goldmine of vintage style shoes, and they also have a range of very authentic 1950s style Lucite handbags. Betsy Hatter is an excellent place to look for a hat to top off your outfit, or, if the budget is a little broader, Bea & Evie hats and sister brand Ally Fashion make some very high end reproductions. Think pure silk and couture finishing – perfect for driving that vintage car through the Sussex countryside!

Lastly, there are some final things to recommend for your trip to Goodwood Revival. Spare, sensible shoes (anything but high heels) for walking from the car-park to the course, if you aren't driving your classic motor directly inside, of course. An umbrella and sunscreen to cover both weather eventualities – I have experienced all kinds of weather that September weekend! Hairspray to keep your beehive, 1940s poodle or 50s waves in check. A beautiful powder compact to touch up your lipstick and attract approximately 25 wide-angle camera lenses and phone cameras pointed in your direction as you make an unflattering 'lipstick face'... maybe not that last one.

Thanks go to BrewinDolphin for sponsoring this post – I'm even more excited about this year's Revival now. Who will I be bumping into there, then?

Fleur xx

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Less speed, more Hastings

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to the seaside to the Jack in the Green festival that's held there every year on May Day. It's a great olde English tradition which dates back to the 16th century, which was revived in Hastings back in the 80s and the annual celebrations feature lots of pagan symbolism, green foliage and Morris dancing. Oh, and a huge biker meet.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't play ball, but I wore traditional green regardless! Sorry that it's paired with my uniform leather jacket, which is on here rather a lot lately. But that just reflects my life!

Outfit: A cherished Swirl dress
Vintage leather 
and my gorgeous Agneta High Swedish Hasbeens

A few snaps le boyfriend took of the biker part with my camera!

RIP this flower headband, which fell apart last week! 

Posting this as a good photo but would like to point out that as it's not something I can remember seeing before, I looked up this rather ill-advised (IMO) black makeup that the Morris dancer on the left is wearing. Though the general consensus seems to be it started as a disguise and has largely died out for obvious reasons, I do feel the racial connotations should lead to it dying out completely as a tradition for Morris Men, sharpish.

The desolate seafront!

The old Pier, which burned down, is being rebuilt

Well nothing else to add really, since we got there late and didn't stay massively long, so no more interesting stories... except some advice. Don't pose for blog photos when there are hundreds of powerful motorbikes being driven down the bit of road you're standing on... 

Fleur xx

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Sales & Socials

A couple of years ago, I used to run the Sale & Social with my Vintage Mafia gals, but alas, those are consigned to history. I did have a marvellous time selling at the East London Vintage Fair last month, though and it's happening again tomorrow so I encourage all you vintage-loving Londoners to go along. It was really, really good. Both as a seller and a vintage lover - so many amazing stands selling top-quality things. I'd really recommend signing up as a seller if you have quality things to shift.

See the full list of sellers tomorrow on the ol' FB event page.

Here's Katie & I at the last one, what you can't tell from this photo is the fact I was about to die of a hangover.

I'm not selling this time as I am helping Katie do her Clapton Jumble Trail stall, which is only a few minutes' toddle up the road from the Round Chapel, so come see us too after you have hit the fair (and buy our vintage at low, low prices) - we're on Hilsea Street!

In other news, it was my birthday the other day! Not a big celebration as who cares about 34? I went out for a quiet burger dinner with my other half.

Found this cute maxi dress on Etsy - not often things are long enough for lanky old me!

Always matching whenever possible! 

And the dress in full... though it was far too cold and windy to wear like this! Brrrrr.

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

7 Years Young, my Tweed (Run) Anniversary

This morning I realised that my blog has turned 7 years old (well, on the 8th May). HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY TO ME! I have also had just under 5 million page impressions during that time (or at least since Blogger started recording them), so quite the milestone, I'm sure you all agree.

The traditional gift for 7 years of marriage is, apparently, wool. Or copper. But I am going with a wool theme for this post because I would like to share pictures from the most recent Tweed Run! See how I managed to seamlessly link the two like I had already planned this? Oh, yeah.

None of these photos were taken by me, but luckily my Vintage Mafia ladies attracted a lot of photographers!  I wasn't able to bring my lovely Pashley up from its holiday at my parents' house, and my pink single speed bike doesn't have a basket. So it's hard to carry cameras, or even packed lunches and extra layers. I also didn't actually wear tweed to the Tweed Run - I never have! But I did wear wool. Specifically, my favourite Mexican souvenir jacket, paired with a sheer vintage 1970s dress with crochet trim and a glorious flower crown from Rosadior!

Here are some photos of the day, in which I definitely came last in the hair stakes. Must practice updos.

Photo by Scott Wishart, who always snaps a good one of us! 

Photo by Hanson Leatherby
Photo by Hanson Leatherby
Favourite photo! Unknown but © the Irish Independent 

With the lovely Harry of Harry & Edna on the Wireless

And my other favourite, by Hanson. Hummus Chips, if you read this, call us! 

As always, it was the most wonderful day! There were some changes to the organisation so that the ride was a little more spread out but weather was pretty good, the company was stellar and we can't wait for next year.

Outfit details - Vintage 1970s sheer dress with crochet trim: Etsy
Mexican Souvenir Jacket: Etsy
Flower crown: Rosadior
'Roy Bans' Sunglasses: Market stall in Turkey 
Bangles: Vintage/Bow & Crossbones (bamboo)/Pink Bungaloo (fakelite)

Fleur xx

Monday, 27 April 2015

Shop my wardrobe - East London Vintage Fair

Good morning (or other time of day where you are)!

In many, many years of collecting and wearing vintage and repro clothing, I have never really got rid of any of it. The things I bought that didn't fit, weren't really my style or that I simply tired of, have still stayed in my wardrobe as I haven't been able to face eBaying them (I have a phobia of post office queues). But I'm going to hopefully see off a large amount of these cast-offs, very soon.

In just under two weeks on the 10th May, I'm going to be selling off a huge amount said vintage and repro clothing (at silly low prices) at the East London Vintage Fair!

I'm really excited about this new event. I met with the lovely ladies who are organising it, and they are super passionate about making it a success. Putting on sales (as I have done in the distant past) is tough as a sale is only as good as the amount of people attending. They're pulling out all the stops on promoting it and of course I am doing my bit to tell the world about my own stall there.

I'm not a vintage dealer. I'm not trying to make profits on any of the things I am selling - some of which are things I got for free through this blog! I mainly want to clear some much-needed space in my tiny home and use whatever money I make to buy a few nicer pieces of vintage. Investment pieces, if you will.

Here are a few things I'll be selling, from the modelling archives! This is all repro with the exception of the red, white & blue Swirl dress - reason being I have no photos of the vintage I'm selling, as it has mostly not been worn (by me) due to not fitting or looking rubbish, etc. The Swirl has been poorly shortened - not by me, I might add!

I'll have stuff from brands like Stop Staring, Bettie Page, Vivien of Holloway, Heyday, Rocket Originals, Revamp Clothing, Trashy Diva, What Katie Did and more. Check back in a week or so as I delve into my enormous storage bags to find out what vintage lurks inside, as I have actually forgotten most of what's in there!

Someone asked on Facebook whether I was selling my vintage because I don't want to wear it any more. The answer is HELL NO, I'm not really selling any of my beloved cotton summer 40s/50s dresses or Swirls. I have bought a fair few 70s dresses lately and do tend to wear band tshirts and jeans more these days than I did for a good chunk of time, but the truth is I just have SO many pieces I don't wear. Trying to simplify my life and the wardrobe is a good place to start.

So if you're within striking distance of East London and can come on the 10th, come and see all the amazing stalls that the ELVF ladies have in store. Oh, and I am not planning on pricing anything above about £40 with most dresses probably around £20, so come and grab a bargain.

Fleur xx

Monday, 30 March 2015

A Quiet Patch

A punny title as ever, for a simple outfit post. Haven't done one of these for a while! Basically, this outfit represents the kind of thing I will probably be wearing most days during the spring (at least when it warms up).

The outfit consists of the following. A signature Heyday Fleur dress, which was done in a custom fan print fabric for me a quite surprising number of years ago (maybe 4 years?), a pair of Miss L Fire Bolero wedges and a denim jacket scored from Beyond Retro which I've started to customise with patches.

Welcome to my new obsession - patches!

I have always been into heavy metal but have never owned a 'battle jacket' before. But I recently discovered all these awesome, small businesses making printed and embroidered patches and have now started to collect a variety of them, from both bands and brands.

On my jacket you can (just about) see a patch from British promo Progress Wrestling, an anti-fascist themed patch that actually says ACAB - All Cats Are Beautiful with cats instead of flags, two fab patches from Hallow Society and a black variant patch from Bad Cats Club, which is run by a cat-loving lady who sells things to make money for a brain tumour charity. So a cool *and* philanthropic purchase. I also have the Predator-themed patch above from Futurezine in the US, which I am yet to sew on (it makes your fingers really sore, FYI). I have a couple more on the way as well as a Pantera back patch to sew on. \m/

Oh yes, and my Born a Bad Seed badge (I have two of their tshirts)! Check out my fresh nail job and all. 

So that's my new clothing theme for the season - vintage (/repro) dress and my ongoing jacket project (or my leather jacket, as pictured here many times before). I really enjoy the contrast between girly vintage and my previous life as a boys' jeans-wearing metaller! I leave you with an outtake and a promise to post more again soon... 

Fleur xx

PS. In these pics I am wearing a really small hair extension piece that I bought recently - a strip of hair the same length as my own that just adds a fraction more fullness to my thin mane. Will write more about it soon as I really love it and would recommend it to anyone with limp locks like mine!

Take a look!

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