Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Anyone for tea?

Tomorrow is my lovely boyfriend's birthday, and I am taking him for Afternoon Tea at Claridge's to mark the occasion. I've had tea at Fortnum and Mason and at Browns Hotel, but never at Claridge's before ... I hope it's as delicious as it looks:


Expect much food photography and weight gain in my next post!

Now to decide what to wear...

Fleur xx

Thursday, 23 April 2009

V.I Buys - playsuits & swimwear

The sun is out, so this week I am mostly thinking about skimpy things and swimwear! Playsuits are really all the rage at the moment, they're absolutely everywhere. I, unfortuntaely, can't wear off-the-peg playsuits, because I'm extremely tall, and this has translated to a longer than average torso. Something shop-bought neither looks good nor feels remotely comfortable, if you catch my meaning! But luckily salvation has come in the form of Big Beautiful Barbara Brown, a rather wonderful reproduction clothing company based here in dear old Blighty. BBBB has appeared on my blog before, but a while ago now, so I thought I'd mention it again as a wonderful source of all things retro and feminine. And she makes to measure!

This is the one I have:



(Photo by Toby Key)

But I absolutely love and covet this one too:


It would be perfect for a summer pinup shoot, surrounded by hay bales and suchlike, don't you agree? My blouse with the duck pattern is also from her:


(Photo by Rebecca Parker)

She has an incredible choice of vintage inspired and repro dresses, as well as gorgeous separates, swimwear, evening-wear and accessories, so I advise that you all check out her site without delay!

Moving on to mainstream brands, if you, unlike me, are blessed with average proportions, a really cute playsuit can be found at Motel Rocks.



It's very vintage inspired and has that cute sweetheart neckline and shirred back, and the print is lovely. Sigh!

And last, but by no means least, for this week of V.I buys, is this cute retro bikini from ASOS. It's on sale, too!



Signing off, apologies for the lack of an entire outfit but nothing I found during my rather hasty researching came on a convenient white background, haha... normal service will return next week when I have more time! ;)

Fleur xx

I say!

What ho, everyone! Sorry for my slight break, I have been on an InDesign training course, and still have one more afternoon to go. I'm so glad that my workplace have decided to enter the present (unlike me!) and start using InDesign instead of horrid, outdated and unreliable QuarkXpress, which crashes 7 times a day and makes you lose all your work. Gah!

I'm hoping to have time to do a V.I. Buys tomorrow, but if not it'll be Sunday. In the meantime, here are some more photos from my Chap Magazine shoot. I got my comp copies yesterday, hurrah! Here is the whole photostory for your viewing pleasure.






Click each one to read the amusing text!

I was horribly ill at the time of the shoot, I hope it doesn't show. Anyway! Back tomorrow hopefully.

Pip pip!

Fleur xx

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Vrooooom!

Hello all!

I hope you've all had a good weekend? I have! I drove not one, but two ridiculously fast sports cars over the last two days. This may be entirely uninteresting to many of you, but if you like cars (like I do) then this is quite exciting. I have never driven anything bigger than my mum's elderly 1.9 Turbo Diesel Citroen ZX, and my own car is a tiddly 1.3 litre Ford Ka, but these two cars were in a different league entirely. One was a Mercedes SLK 55 AMG, which has a 5.5 litre V8 engine, and the other was an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster, which has a 4.7l V8. Vroooooom indeed! Except I didn't go very fast in the Aston Martin, because I was petrified. It's worth more than my entire life! What if I'd scraped it on something? I think I managed to get it up to about 10mph before I chickened out. The Mercedes was at least automatic and very easy to drive, I did about 90 in that (which is what I do on the motorway in my Ka... but it FELT much faster, OK? Haha!). In case anyone does like to look at images of really super (modern!) cars, here they are:


(None of these are the actual ones I drove, but they are the right colour! The Aston has lipstick red leather seats so I matched perfectly!)

Anyway, enough about cars. Let's talk vintage and fashion! Firstly, today I revisited my style fail from exactly a month ago, but changed it a bit to make it a much more successful (in my eyes) outfit. Here it is:


Top is from Dorothy Perkins
Skirt was custom made for me by TopRunway on eBay
Booties from Century 21
Stockings are nude backseams from What Katie Did


It's only vintage inspired, really, the skirt has a 30s-ish shape (but not length) and the top has those 30s-ish sleeves (but too low a neckline), but the booties and hair are more 40s. So it's an amalgamation, but one that I liked far more than the previous incarnation. What do you gals think?

Next up, after teasing you with the preview, here are my favourites from my most recent shoot. I hope you enjoy them!





And last, but not least, here are all the rest. Click to see it bigger or follow the links to visit each one on Flickr, if you so wish!

1. glamour profile, 2. horizontal, 3. happy, 4. looking glass, 5. gloves, 6. swimsuit, 7. shadow, 8. all in the detail, 9. pensive


Have a good Monday, all!

Fleur xx

Thursday, 16 April 2009

V.I Buys - sexy & whimsical

Welcome to the next instalment of my top vintage inspired (and reproduction vintage) buys!

First up is a relatively newcomer to the repro vintage scene - Tarantula Clothing. They do a wonderful array of 50s basics, great for the rockabellas out there! The website features a plethora of reversible tops, circle and pencil skirts and gorgeous dresses galore. I have a pair of their Sex Kitten Capris and very sexy they are too!


The sizing is a bit funny compared to some other repro brands though so beware. They seem more suited to the 'modern figure', ie less than 10" difference between waist and hips. But they do come with a belt! Personally, if I have been disregarding the 'moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips' warnings, they are a bit on the ultra-tight side. And they aren't very forgiving, these capris! But I still wear them, and love them. Tarantula have also recently introduced cigarette pants, which I am coveting. But their most fabulous new item (in my opinion) is the Smoothie dress.


It looks straight out of a mid 30s Sears catalogue and is fully lined. I have one on order via my marvellous friend Helen from Pinup Parade, but she only has a tiny selection of them in. And sadly the smallest size they do is around a US8/UK12 so if you are smaller than that you may be out of luck. Tarantula are very plus-size friendly (unlike many other repro brands), so this may be why. But the dress is very cute, non?

Next up, some more top vintage inspired fashion from the UK high street. This dress was found by another friend of mine, Miss Matilda and is reminiscent some mid to late 40s dresses I have seen. It's from Monsoon:


I would probably either wear the belt with the bow at the back or replace it with a thin white or black belt, but that is just me! Or how about accessorising it with red?

Shoes (which don't quite match, but you'll have to use your imaginations!) are Irregular Choice Whitney Platforms from Schuh, very 40s inspired and look really great in person. The vintage 40s crocodile box purse is one I had my eye on at Wear It Again Sam, an amazing vintage shop I visited in San Diego a few summers ago. It's very small, which is why I haven't bought it! The belt is from M&S and the lipstick is (of course!) MAC Russian Red.

Finally, a gorgeous blouse that would work with any number of skirts or trousers, this time from Whistles.

Not very recession friendly at £75 but it is silk, and just look at the print:


Adorable!

That's all for now... except! Here's a sneak preview of the shoot pictures I will post tomorrow. So do remember to check back! (Click for a bigger version!)



All the best,

Fleur xx

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Sweet and savoury

First up: the sweet! The very lovely Punk in Writing asked me for the recipe to the chocolate and peanut butter swirl I made for Easter, so here it is. It's my mum's favourite sweet of mine, and it's VERY tasty and VERY fattening, so make at your own risk!

Chocolate & peanut butter swirl

360g (13oz) white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup (140g) smooth peanut butter
400g (14oz) dark chocolate, chopped coarsely

♥ Line a 20cm (8") square cake tin with baking parchment.
♦ Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until smooth.
♣ Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.
♠ Melt dark chocolate in the same way, cool slightly.
♥ Starting with the dark chocolate, pour about a quarter of each mixture into the pan at a time, alternating between dark and white.
♦ Pull a skewer through the mixture, first horizontally, then vertically for a marbled effect. Your tin of mixture should now look like this!



Then, just leave it to cool. I tend to pop it in the fridge but if you have the time, you can leave it to set at room temperature - it'll take 2-3 hours. If you do put it in the fridge, make sure it has warmed up to room temp before you cut it or it tends to splinter. Unless you don't care about presentation and just want to scoff it as it is (and who would blame you?)! But it looks so effective in little squares and makes a great gift. Ta-daaa!



Now for the savoury. Well, actually it's just some photos of me and Miss Cherrylicious from Sunday's Burlesque Brunch to share with you! I'm modelling Valkyrie Corsets and hats by Tricia Cox which I didn't consider when I did my hair for the day, whoops. So I had to use the small top hat at a prop instead! These were taken by my lovely friend Nicole.



That's all for now, I shall be back later in the week for more V.I. Buys and, fingers crossed, some shoot pictures to show off.

Adieu!

Fleur xx

Monday, 13 April 2009

My weekend in pictures

It's been a busy old weekend for me, and with one more glorious day of nothing (except, unfortunately, for the pressing need to tackle the jungle in my back garden and fight it back into something resembling a lawn) stretching out ahead of me, I thought I would present my weekend's pictures to you all.


1. white choc o'plenty 2. flour power, 3. spring daffodils 4. the finished products 5. easter roast 6. easter outfit two 7. inigo montoya 8. the divine Miss Vicky Butterfly 9. you killed my father...


I spent most of Friday baking, before settling down to watch the new episode of Red Dwarf in the evening, which I enjoyed, but not as much as the older episodes shown after. Then Saturday I went off to my parents' house for a huge roast turkey dinner, followed by the Christmas pudding we couldn't quite manage at Christmas! The baked goods went down well, and I was sent home with a Lindt bunny, which was instantly devoured. I was regretting wearing my very fitted repro 40s overalls and ended up having to undo the waist button to drive back, heehee!

Here is the outfit I wore, as taken by my Dad.


my 1940s factory girl get up!

Overalls were custom-made for me by Trouble Mackenzie, shirt is from New Look and my co-respondant shoes were bought at Rhythm Riot 2008.


Sunday was the Burlesque Brunch, from which I expect lots of photos will be forthcoming, but you can check out the last two above for a taster. I was so nervous about the 'live' modelling as it's been so long, but after I was laced into the gorgeous corsets (made by the talented Geraldine of Valkyrie) and stepped out from behind the curtain with my glamorous fellow Brunch Belle Miss Cherrylicious, my confidence returned and I shimmied my way round the room. A slap-up brunch, tea, cakes and the very unfair 'Not Cricket' pub quiz followed, which we (meaning my partner in crime, Torquil Arbuthnot and I) actually won, first time I have ever won a pub quiz in my life! I say 'we', but really Torquil got all the answers, and I correctly guessed that the song being acted out on stage was S Club 7's 'Reach for the Stars'..... the shame! I did win a pair of red sequin pasties though, funnily enough, Torquil didn't want them! Then we played Orange Battle, and I made it all the way to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Torquil. Cheek! You can see him in action in the final against a mysterious Spaniard above. It was a wonderul, if tiring day.

But the best surprise of the weekend was picking up the green/brown floral Swirl dress from the post office on Saturday. Now, I'm sure my readers are getting heartily sick of me banging on about Swirls now, and I will shut up soon, I promise! But I was delighted to find that it was an absolutely brand new, perfect deadstock dress, complete with store and Swirl tags. The auction didn't say a word about it, just that it was in 'excellent condition'! Amazing. My holy grail!


1. "in just 25 seconds..." 2. original Swirl hang tags 3. original store tag 4. deadstock Swirl dress - pressing label


So that was my weekend. I'm so glad that my 'V.I. Buys' feature went down well, I will aim to do one every week from now on. Thank you everyone for being lovely! Do tell me all about your own long weekends.

Bye for now!

Fleur xx

Thursday, 9 April 2009

New feature: V.I. Buys

So, I wanted to make this blog a little less about the (oh-so exciting!) life of me and a little more informative and helpful to those girls out there who are wanting to add a bit more vintage style into their lives. Goodness knows my mind is a treasure trove of information on the best vintage inspired (V.I.) fashion and reproduction vintage brands, some of which are common knowledge, but some of which aren't, and should be! I'm calling it 'V.I. Buys', and though many of these will be actual reproduction vintage, 'V.I. Buys' has a better ring to it, I feel!

So, without further ado, here is the first instalment of my new feature!

First up, it's the new line of 1940s swing trousers from UK designer Vivien Of Holloway:

They're a slightly different cut to her original 1940s sailor style ones, with pleats and no buttons. I need to go in and try some on, and get myself one of the cute peasant tops, too!

Next, some very vintage inspired tops from my favourite high street shop, Dorothy Perkins.

I actually have some of these myself: the lilac pointelle cardigan and the black fluttersleeve top, which, although is a bit too low cut to pass for anything but a modern top, does have those lovely 30s-inspired butterfly sleeves. DP do marvellous knitwear, and lovely detailing like pintucks and bows, and best of all, it's really good quality ... unlike some other highstreet brands.

The ditsy print tie-front blouse would look wonderful with some cream high waisted trousers, or with some red sailor shorts from Tara Starlet for a summery pinup girl look:

This is a good alternative to a playsuit, too, if like me, you have a long torso! The red wedges are also from DP, and have a nice small peep-toe, which is more authentic than the wider ones you often see ... unless you're going for a 70s look! I thought they'd go brilliantly with a wicker handbag, either in white to match the buttons, or natural to match the raffia of the wedge. What do you think?

And if you're looking for a skirt to wear with your vintage inspired knitwear, look no further than the wonderful Sophistikitten. In her own words, "Sophistikitten started from a love of the fashion and style of the 1930s, 40s and 50s and a search for the perfect pair of French knickers.

Sophistikitten is based in England and all items are lovingly designed and made to order in house. Garments are not mass produced in sweatshops by exploited workers which means that you, the customer, can order a unique, quality item with a clear conscience.

In crafting the ranges I can indulge in my love of high quality materials. Searching for the perfect fabric means that I am able to offer you clothes in materials hard to find in mass produced garments. Beautiful gabardines, crepes, silks and satins form the basis of my collection. From time to time I am also able to offer unique vintage material."

If her vintage style french knickers, made from stunning, authentic materials, weren't enough, she introduced Sophistikitten's Skirt-O-Matic last year. Offering fully-lined pencil skirts with customisable trim and detailing like belt tabs and embroidered arrowheads, these skirts are a true work of art... and I have no idea why I don't own one yet!



Photos are © Sophistikitten and Vanessa Whyte, model is the glam Miss Honey Lulu.

That's all for now, let me know what you think of my new feature, and if it's a success, I'll be back next week with more!

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend, and make sure you scoff lots of chocolate, won't you?

Tinkety tonk!

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Fame and flapjacks

Some of you elegant coves who are friends with me on Twitter and Flickr will have seen this already, but...


I'm just so excited to say that I am on the cover of The Chap magazine! My first ever cover, and on such a spiffing publication! It's out today, so if you're a Blighty resident, do pop along to your local branch of Messrs. W. H. Smith and co. and see if they have a copy. There's a whole photostory inside, featuring me as an elegant diamond thief! I will have all the photos soon, so I will definitely be posting them here. On the same subject, Mr Gustav Temple recently announced details of the next Chap Olympiad, which is to return to Bedford Square Gardens on Saturday July the 11th. I may very well be officially involved in some way this year, but will be attending whatever happens, so make sure you keep the date free, and under no circumstances embark upon any training!

Another event to enter into your social diaries is the return of the infamous Burlesque Brunch, also known as the most glamorous and decadent way to spend a Sunday.


Since Miss Tenacity Flux and Ivor Fancie took some time off to produce an heir, the Brunch suffered a slight hiatus but it's now back and we're all raring to entertain you! Starting this Easter Sunday at The Last Days Of Decadence in Shoreditch, the Brunch is a bi-monthly event featuring a delicious slap-up brunch, Afternoon Tea and cakes, fashion shows by yours Truly and the divine Miss Cherrylicious, plus, of course, three outstanding burlesque acts. There's also the utterly indescribable Orange Battle - check the link for more information on that! All in all, it promises to be an utterly fantastic day and, we hope, the start of many more to come at our new home. Tickets are very, very limited by this stage, so if you want to come along, please don't waste a moment!

Talking of food, here's some I made earlier!

I absolutely adore cooking and baking, and luckily the man likes everything I bake, if not everything I can cook (he is super fussy)! His favourite is my flapjack recipe, but I also make a mean shortbread, super fattening chocolate brownies and white chocolate blondies, white chocolate and strawberry muffins, oatmeal, apple and raisin cookies ... the list goes on. I thought I might share my favourite recipes with you all, starting today. To make delicious flapjacks, this is what I do.


Click the picture if you would like a big one to save and use - don't forget to let me know how it turns out if you do!

Bye for now!

Fleur xx

Monday, 6 April 2009

The joys of spring


Self portrait
Originally uploaded by fleurdeguerre


... I am full of 'em! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend? I did, in fact, it was the best I've had in ages and not even Monday morning can dampen my spirits.

On Friday night, I finally went to see Watchmen. As a huge comics nerd I've read the graphic novel several times, and was looking forward to the film for a really long time. It only took me so long to go and see it as my boyfriend inconsiderately went to see it in New York, in IMAX, and didn't think it was that amazing, so I had to practically beg him to see it again with me. I could have gone on my own, but I never have time in the week and I'm with him at weekends, so tough luck for him, heehee! I have to say, that apart from the very cringey sex scene between Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, I really enjoyed it! I thought it was very faithful to the original material and liked what they did with the end more than the end of the book. Blasphemous perhaps, but never mind.

Saturday saw me at the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair as mentioned in my last blog, helping out at the Queens of Vintage stand. I went with the aim of just being on hand for vintage styling tips, but ended up doing some styling myself! I've only done hair on one other person before, so I was really nervous, but the girls seemed pleased, and that's what counts right?

I'd certainly never attempted short hair, but the adorable Norwegian girl Henrietta (in the last one) luckily loved the result!

One of the most gorgeous gals I know, Lisa was there, with absolutely no need to be made over! She was crowned a 'Queen of Vintage' by the girls, never has a title been more deserved! Do head on over to the Queens of Vintage site for more photos, all taken by the talented Katy Chan.

I also spent a while in a beautifully sunny park, being interviewed by the super sweet Kitty Killer for a piece she's doing, which was my first ever proper interview. I think I gabbled on rather too much, but hopefully that was help rather than hinderence - I'm sure it's best to have too much material than too little. Keep an eye on her blog for the interview to go up there.


Saturday night, I went for dinner with my lovely man to Sophie's Steakhouse and had a delicious chateaubriand, then off to see some friends at the Phoenix Artist Club. Sunday consisted of watching the Grand Prix, brunch at a café in Knightsbridge, and a leisurely drive back to ... er ... play Fallout 3 all afternoon! How civilised, haha. We also discovered the fabulous and very retro Cupcake Emporium, which has recently opened a stone's throw from my chap's place. We actually went in there for brunch, but didn't realise they literally only served cupcakes and a small selection of sandwiches - fantastic for afternoon tea, but not so much for brunch so we went elsewhere. I hope to go back and sample their delicious looking cakes.


So that was my weekend. My good mood was compounded when I woke up this morning to discover I had won yet another Swirl dress - the very last of this particular Swirl binge, I promise. This one is rather special as it's a very early one. It's a 'Ty-Wrap by Swirl', which, according to the previously linked and excellent article by Fuzzy Lizzie is a 1940s one, being the same in cut and style as the one at the top. It was listed as 50s on eBay, and shown with a crinoline in the main gallery picture. And, well, it's a little loud for some perhaps, which is why it was such a bargain! But I love it - can't wait to get it. I am hoping it doesn't go wandering like the gorgeous black velvet suit I got from Violetville Vintage (a few posts back), which has never arrived. Gutted is an understatement. Luckily the fact that this Swirl was a total bargain (unlike the suit which was a total investment *sniff*) means probably no customs, so fingers crossed for speedy delivery.

That's all from me for today, except to say that I'll be back soon to post my very first ever magazine cover picture, and to bring you information about a new weekly feature I'm going to be doing here at Diary Of A Vintage Girl, in an effort to make this blog even more helpful and informative for vintage fashion devotees. Hope you all enjoy your start to the week.

Pip pip!

Fleur xx



PS. Yay spring! Photo is by Kitty Killer.

My fair outfit:
Blouse, wicker handbag and jacket (on the ground) - vintage, Trousers - Heyday!, Shoes - Rocket Originals

Friday, 3 April 2009

Swirl-a-rama

Morning all!

So, despite not having bought a proper lens for my camera, I decided to try and take a shot of myself in my new Swirl after my efforts to make it wearable paid off. I wish I had remembered to take a 'before' shot of it, because the transformation was actually amazing. When it arrived, it was so grubby I thought it was actually a pale peach rather than pink - it was only the pink stitching that gave it away. It was particularly bad around the hem and the ties and I was slightly worried it was going to be hard to get out. It had also been taken up by around an inch, which I was over the moon to discover, as when I tried it on, it was only *just* long enough. I mean, I am not so fussy that I won't wear something that falls at the knee - one of my other Swirls does, but I prefer it to fall just below.

So I set to work, unpicking the hem, removing all the leftover thread. There was some very slight fading but nothing major or obvious. It took a while as it has quite a full skirt ... and I did feel guilty at the thought of how long it must have taken to do in the first place!

Then I mixed up a bucket of Vanish Oxi Action Multi, which has to be the best invention known to man. The Crystal White one is what I use on my white towels and bed linen, but though it would no doubt be even more effective I didn't want to fade the embroidery, so I stuck with the colour safe one. I left the dress sitting in the bucket for two hours, coming back to swish it a bit and poke the bits sticking out back in! And what a transformation! The water turned beige and the dress emerged a delicate rose pink. I then put it in the washing machine* for a delicate wash with another scoop of Vanish and voila! A day hanging to dry and an iron, and it came out looking like this!


I am so pleased with it! (And with my new black hair, though I look really pale before I've put on my lipstick. It's only semi-permanent though, after all the stripping and dying I endured last time, I'm not going there again!) And I'm not *entirely* unimpressed with my camera - it's not the sharpest picture ever, but not bad for a first try with a kit lens (from an ancient NON digital SLR). And I can't WAIT for it to be warm enough to wear.

* Some of you may be gasping with horror at the thought of me washing it in the machine - but I wash all my vintage cotton dresses that way. Swirls in particular were made to be machine washed, and I am very careful with my cycles. But, at the end of the day, I buy these dresses to *wear*, and this necessitates proper washing.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to come and say 'Hi' if you pop along to the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair this Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it. The gorgeous Sapphire Island is the 40s waitress at the Lady Luck Pop Up Tea Shoppe, and I can't wait to meet her again! I will be back Monday with updates galore.

So until then, pip pip!

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Affordable Vintage Fashion


Afternoon all!

I just wanted to let all you Londoners (who don't already!) know about the first ever London edition of the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair, which is taking place this Saturday from 11am at the Fym Fyg Bar, Bethnal Green.

I was asked by the great gals over at Queens of Vintage if I would come and spend some time at their vintage dressing room inspired stall, and of course I jumped at the chance! I will be on hand from about 12pm for tips on anything from vintage hair-styling, to bargain hunting. You can have your hair and makeup done by their stylist and even have your photo taken by a professional photographer. Who knows, you could even be appearing on the site as their next 'Vintage Queen', so please do stop by and say hello.

There are tons of other fantastic things to see and do at the fair, including eating delicious cakes at the Lady Luck Pop-up Tea Shoppe. Can't wait. See you there!

Fleur xx

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