Fed up of paying customs fees when ordering clothes from America, and also finding the world of pinup on the whole rather US-centric, Helen decided that there was a gap in the market for a European pinup website and clothing shop. As a plus-sized pinup herself, Helen also wanted to provide a place where the curvy girls could feel at home, as well as shop to their hearts' content. And so, in 2007, Pinup-Parade.com was launched.
It's now a glorious one stop-shop for all things cheesecake. The galleries showcase pinups from the length and breadth of Europe. Including, you will notice, my own very earliest pin-up photos! Helen also publishes regular features, including interviews with inspirational types like Katie Halford of What Katie Did, and helpful articles, such as her guide on getting into pinup.
And the shop is a dream for devotees of vintage style.
Helen's fabulous Spring/Summer '10 dress range contains some truly gorgeous frocks, including the Bettie Page Afternoon Tea dress and Nicole Katherine's Tiki Babe sarong, complete with flattering waterfall skirt and supportive, crossover bust.
She has a wide range of office-friendly clobber, including the Mad Men-esque Charm dress and the 40s style Kookie. And the separates section contains tons of Mode Merr favourites as well as more from Bettie Page.
The sale page has some rather good bargains. I already own one of the Tarantula dresses, but I have to say, I'm sorely tempted by the green blouse myself!
One of the very best things about buying from Pinup Parade, is that Helen doesn't just rely on the standard sizing chart provided by manufacturers... she actually measures each size of each dress style she receives to ensure that you aren't caught out. What a blooming marvellous idea. Helen, I salute your dedication!
I need to return to my sick bed now, so I leave you with my personal favourite picks from her forthcoming frocks: Nicole Katherine's Maureen and the Sierra, from Bettie Page...
And the one purchase no vintage lover, aspiring pinup or glamour queen should be without...
Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells! I don't even know where else you can buy this in the UK... but even if I did, I'd tell you to give Helen your custom! ;)
Happy browsing ladies (and gents with elegant ladies) (and gents who like to dress like elegant ladies)!