Thursday, 28 August 2008

Move over Rita!

I have a new idol. And, in fact, a huge girl crush. On the stunningly beautiful and downright awesome Virginia O'Brien, whose nicknames included "Miss Deadpan" and "Frozen Face" due to her unique and unusual singing style. Now I won't regale you with any more facts, because everything I know about her has been gleaned off that Wikipedia page - I literally discovered her this afternoon. But I plan on doing some more research! All I will say is that she is really not as famous as she should be. She was just so gorgeous and oh, her outfits!

Check out this terrible screen-grab I did earlier.

Oh, the hair!

Now, I fully intend to copy her exact hairdo tonight! It's very Vivien Leigh, and I have tried it before, but not hard enough!

I spent some time this evening watching videos on Youtube. This one is particularly awesome!

I found a nice screengrab showing her top and hair:

Oh, the sleeves!

The sleeves! The shoulder pads! Fabulous. (The same photostream also contains a treasure trove of other screenshots! Check out Lucille Ball here!)

Who said redheads can't wear red!

Anyway, here are a few more fab videos. T

This one is where the first shot is from:

This one is funny, plus more great hair!

Finally, embedding is disabled on this one, but it shows that she wasn't always Miss Deadpan!

A couple more before I retire!

So beautifulSo beautiful

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Two very different visual treats

Hands up, who reads comics? I know I do. I have written in this blog before about being a not-so-secret nerd. I've even been to San Diego Comic-Con, twice! I haven't been since 2006 though, boo. Last time, I met Jonathan Ross and Dita von Teese! (Prepare yourself for old and unflattering pictures!

(I'm not showing the Dita one any bigger...I look hideous!)

But, I digress. The reason for me going (although I was into comics anyway) was that my ex-OH and now good friend is comic artist Jamie McKelvie. Now I may be a bit biased, but he is truly a top-notch artist, who has produced some stunning work over the last couple of years. He's probably best known for being the co-creator of Phonogram, a series based on the idea of "music is magic". Or “Hellblazer meets High Fidelity”, if you prefer. The new series will be coming out in the near future. It will look like this:

You should check it out! Not least because I have demanded to be drawn into a crowd scene. ;)

Here's the mini-comic that debuted at SDCC.

Something else worth checking out is Suburban Glamour, which is an urban fairytale that anyone who has been an 'alternative' teenager in a small town will identify with. It's full of beautiful art like this:

So anyway, none of this has anything to do with vintage, so I thought I would share a couple of pictures of my oh-so-glamorous grandparents, from the 1940s.

Both were taken when my grandad was called to Buckingham Palace to receive medals for his services in WWII.

Wasn't she so gorgeous! I want those shoes too. This was taken in 1945, when my grandad was finally released from POW camp, where he spend two and a half long years.

This was in 1949. The cute kid is my mum! She told me she can still remember her velvet-collared coat because she thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! I would agree! :D

So, there are my two very different visual treats. :)

Monday, 25 August 2008

A most civilised afternoon. And weddings, part 2!

Last Sunday, for my best friend Gemma's birthday, she, I and her sister Sonia went off up to London to take Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason. I have only ever been past this iconic London department store, and have never been inside, let alone bought anything. I have to say that Gemma did want to have Tea at the Ritz, but it was fully booked. But having heard wonderful things about it, we decided F & M was a suitable replacement. And it was!

We begun with gorgeous little pots of Fortnum's famous tea, in my case, Earl Grey.

It was so delicious, I topped it up with water so many times it went all thin and tasteless towards the end. And I got a headache from all the Bergamot. I didn't care!

This was swiftly followed by a (very dishy!) waiter, bearing a tiered plate filled with delicious cakes, scones and nibbles. I forgot to take a picture before we began demolishing ours ... so here's a picture of the table next to ours'! :D

I picked a fresh raspberry tartlet and a profiterole. Both were divine!

All in all, it was a fantastic day out, and though one tea cost as much as my weekly food bill, I hope to go again some time! Some pictures of my beautiful friend, her sister, and of course, me!

Om, and indeed, nom.

Last weekend also saw the nuptials of another of my very good friends, Stacey. She looked beautiful and the reception place was wonderfully stylish. I needn't say more really, as the pictures speak for themselves. The theme was birds, sunflowers and gingham! Enjoy!

The bride and groom

Stacey's amazing hand-made cake toppers

Finally, I made a little friend. He matched my Whirling Turban dress beautifully! hehehe

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

And on a book!

While at my friend Stacey's wedding on Saturday, I discovered that I'm going to be appearing on a forthcoming book! It was sheer luck that a proof copy of said book happened to land on the desk of a girl that I happen to know, who works at a publishers!

Here's the cover:

The original photo is by Allan Jenkins:

My dress in this shot is by my favourite repro brand Big Beautiful Barbara Brown.

Here's the book at Amazon!

It's not out until January 2009, and I am unfortunately not credited as the photo was from a stock library. But it's cool to think that everyone who reads the book will be picturing the heroine as me! I'm chuffed to bits.

Miss August at Dungaree Dolly!

I'm absolutely delighted to have been picked to be Miss August over at Dungaree Dolly's fantastic site! I absolutely adore Dolly's creations, each purse, bag and accessory that she creates is cuter than the last.

She had this to say about me!

"Hi ladies! I am sure we all can agree on how darn cute this little baby is! Meet Miss August - Fleur ! This british beauty has been with me since the very start and she always seemed to make an effort to make me smile! She even lent me her beauty secrets to set the perfect 1940's hair! Miss Fleur - you are a period perfect dream come true and you are even more glamorous than Veronica Lake!!! "

Well I can hardly claim that last bit to be true, but it's a true honour anyway! Check me out on her Dolly Girls page, and make sure you check out her fabulous designs while you're there. I defy you to resist!

Thank you Dolly! :D

Monday, 18 August 2008

Weddings part 1

This summer has been a whirlwind of wedding and hen parties. I feel like I am now sufficiently experienced to be able to start up my own business as a freelance professional wedding guest. I promise to turn up impeccably dressed and coiffed, bearing a tasteful card and will abstain from excessive drinking. I will also dance a fair amount, ensuring others get up on the floor. Any takers? ;)

Three weeks ago, saw the wedding of my very good friend Jo. She asked me if I would do her hair for the occasion, and despite having never done hair on anyone else, I am always up for a challenge so I agreed. I went up the night before and set it all, hoping and praying it would turn out nicely. And it did! Or at least, I thought so.

I also recently bought my very first 'proper' camera, and used Jo's wedding as an excuse to practice taking photos, and generally learning how to use it.

Some shots of the lovely bride and groom:

Jo and Steve


Jo and I

For the occasion, I wore one of my favourite dresses, which I think is from the late 40s or so, and was deadstock when I bought it. It didn't have a proper label, only a paper size one which dissolved in the wash. It's actually a house-dress which wraps around, but let's face it, vintage house-dresses are nicer than most modern party dresses! I set my hair using my usual sponge rollers, but put a big faux bang in the front, using a rat. I think it turned out well, too!

Jo gave me a beautiful pair of vintage earrings as a thank-you - you can see them in the above photo!

They had a lovely cupcake-wedding cake, all beautifully decorated by Steve's mum and sisters. Deelicious!

Om nom.

A more perfect couple there never was! Except, perhaps, for Stacey and Simon! Here are Stacey and Simon at Jo's wedding:

Simon told me that was his "wedding photo face". They got married on Saturday, and you will be glad to hear he didn't pull it in his own wedding photos! I will write a whole separate blog about them shortly. :)

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Bathing Beauties!

So, a short while ago, while it was still summer in the UK, I went down to Folkestone to take part in a fantastic Bathing Beauties Parade. We were all supposed to be competing for the title of 'Miss Club Shepway 2008', but actually it was all pre-arranged, and we all took home a title. The other girls were mostly burlesque artistes and therefore had way more skills than a lowly poseur like me!

From left to right, the ladies are Dangerous Dolly, yours truly, Precious Isis, Alaska Blue, Miss Golden de Licious, Veronika Valentine, Miss Ivy Paige and Debra Decay. Our fantastic suits were made by Lady Lucie, she is such a doll, and so very talented.

Here's the moment just after I got crowned "Miss Leas if You Please" and received my tiara and sash!

Our Tiaras were made by Floozey hats, another talented lady. I also had this fantastic fake ice cream made by one Simon Kennedy, who makes super burlesque props (like gigantic tea-cups and cakes), and I got to keep that in addition to my custom swimsuit and my tiara! Woo hoo!

Here are a few more pics from the day.

More are on my Myspace page.

There's even a video!

I also have received a number of shots back from a shoot I did at a lovely old manor house hotel in darkest Hampshire. There were some lovely locations inside it as you will see!

Hair's a bit wonky in this one! By Sean Kelly

Voyeur! By John Evans

Also by John!

Oh and one final one! My favourite!

Some more wedding-y updates to follow!

Take a look!

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