Monday, 23 August 2010

Some waffle followed by pretty pictures

Well I've now become fed up of editing my last blog post to say in several different ways that I was only reviewing my personal experience of Vintage at Goodwood, that I was working and not there as a visitor, and my disappointment was in the organisation, not the hard working volunteers. I apologise to all for not having given a well-rounded review of the event from the other side of the fence, but the fact is that I wasn't there as a paying visitor or a guest. I am not a festival-goer. I like weekenders where you get to stay in a kitsch chalet and everything is included for a fraction of the cost of a big commercial music festival. I like day trips and nights out at events full of like-minded people. This is why I don't go to football matches or trendy nightclubs.

I'd just like to say that this blog is still, as it has only ever been, a sort of documentary of my life, or rather, the more interesting things in my life. And my personal opinion on them.

Sponsored posts aside, I only blog about the things I want to blog about, and this of course also applies to sponsor posts since I only accept sponsorship from companies that look or are fabulous, and vintage. A lot of my posts are effusive and full of gushing praise. This is because the things I am praising are pleasing to me. If I have a crummy experience, you can be darned sure I will be honest. The old adage says that if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. I wholeheartedly concur, which is why my review of Vintage mentions the bits I did enjoy as well as those I didn't. I give praise where it is due, and I am not a sycophant. I am not afraid to say it like it is - if I was, then I'd have just reviewed the fun bits for fear that I will not be invited back next year. I have plenty of other things going on in my life to think about, both good and bad, without worrying whether I'll be welcomed back to something that wasn't particularly my cup of tea the first time round. I am sorry if the other hard working people there were hurt by my criticism of the event as a whole, but I can't make stuff up about things I didn't see or do; and I was unprepared to make myself tired and miserable by staying until the bitter end every night and really taking it all in, to give a 'fair review' for my blog. I am not an events reviewer so I didn't have to.

This leads me to point out that I write this blog as a hobby. It's a hobby that's taken off in more ways than I could have ever imagined, and become something akin to a job in itself, but ultimately, it is still something I do essentially for fun. It's why the time between posts has been stretching out longer recently - because the things I do to make myself enough money to live have been taking up more and more of my time lately. I try to be witty, I try to be entertaining and I try to be honest. I talk to you all as if you're my friends and I'm telling you a story, and keep you interested; but the one thing I will not do is sell out, or bite my tongue about certain things. I am constantly turning down offers of money and partnerships from companies who either don't fit with the tone of the blog, or who don't gel with me as a person who is passionate about who I am and what I do. So I will not stand for being accused of being unfair or biased - yes I support lots of people, but only because they have integrity and a similar ethos to myself. I also don't harbour grudges and would always love to have my opinion changed, so it's disappointing to me when this doesn't happen. I am sorry if people have been put off going by my blog. I would hope that they would form their own opinions based on the entertainment on offer, the prices and suchlike; and wouldn't be so easily swayed by a critical review of an event from the point of view of a volunteer, not a visitor.

On the subject of me being a vintage snob, yes I suppose I am. But not in the way I was accused. As mentioned earlier, I like to spend my precious spare time with likeminded people. I don't like going to events full of people in afro wigs. I am not a dog in a manger though - I love it when 'normal' people tell me they have had a wonderful time at a big 40s themed event and want to get more into dressing vintage. I love it when new people get into it - this is partly what my blog is for - to share information to help people get the look. As one of my anonymous commenters said, it's getting new people into the scene that keeps it going. But you won't find me going to these sorts of events for fun, because it turns into work. I'll be asked 100 times about my hair and outfit, the chaps will be stared at and asked if their facial hair is real. When you dress like this every day, you take your chances on the street, to be ridiculed or admired, you don't want to go out and be harrassed even more! I am always, always happy to share tips on hair, makeup and clothes, but as my vintage friends will vouch, 'normal' people don't want to hear about pincurls, about how it took several years of practice to get my victory rolls so perfect, about how good vintage takes dedication to track down and can be an expensive minefield. The eyes just glaze over. Though please don't think for a second that I get huffy and annoyed and cry, 'God, all these compliments, it's driving me mad!' or ignore people because I always try to be helpful and friendly to those who are genuinely interested. I've seen firsthand enthusiastic people become crestfallen by daring to speak to unfriendly but perfect-looking vintage girls who don't want to share their 'secrets'. But that is not to say that I don't end up wanting run away after a while. And this is why I don't go to these events, aimed at normal people who can get dressed up and have a laugh. I applaud them and the people who go, but I don't want to go myself.

That said, I have never and will never use the term 'more vintage than you' in a negative way, because that, quite frankly, is a steaming heap of horse doings. I'm not saying anyone did, but it's come up before. There's no competition in vintageness, my best friend of 12 years is perfectly 'normal' and gets dressed up only for dancing events, which we go to together. I love that she is interested in it enough to ask my advice and let me help her buy things so she looks fabulous. I've been through enough image transformations of my own and have enough alternative friends to be tolerant of anyone who goes out of their way to be 'brave' or 'different'. But please, for goodness' sake, have a bit of imagination! Don't just buy your costume from the Party Shop!

And after all, being snobby with tongue firmly in cheek is what The Chap is all about, and that's all I was doing by remarking upon the 'awful costumes' at Vintage. This is what happens when the promoters are struggling and end up putting advertising billboards on Elephant and Castle and leaving piles of flyers in random pubs all over the kingdom. The festival had wide appeal because of the music, and you always get people in silly costumes at music festivals. There were a number of amazing outfits there too as I saw in the photos afterwards, but not nearly as many as you see at the Revival. Once again, I could only relay what I saw while there, and the afro wigs stood out more than the real vintage, sad to say. There will be more criticism in my Chap column, because that is what it is all about. Sorry.

I just wish everyone would put more effort into their appearance, but then not everyone is quite as sad and anal as me. I am just going to have to live with that ;)

So instead of more negative things, how about something nice and positive to look at instead?

I haven't yet posted these beautiful photographs taken at Tart by the very talented Celine Chaplin, but aren't they just wonderful? I quite wish I was getting married or something as I would love to have a photographer as amazing as this record that momentous occasion! She has really managed to capture the glamour of both Tart and 40 Winks... and all the attendees of course! If anyone would like to come to Tart, then do send Mr Carter an email through the 40 Winks website. I shall be there again on September the 18th, preparing the day before and recovering the day after, so if you're reading this Lord March, and you'd like to forcibly eject me from the Revival, you'll just have to wait until next year instead. ;)







































Until next time!

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

49 comments:

  1. Well said Fleur. Your blog is your opinion, as a human you should be able to express your own opinion in your own space. Grrr it does annoy me that people feel they can 'have a go' at you because in their mind you are public property. Stick with it hon, I love your blog, you're even nicer in person, you have lots of lovely friends and a fab fella, what more could you want?

    Keep at it chick!

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  2. Oh so sorry to hear people have been giving you stick for the Goodwood post, I think it was very well written and just honest, which is what we love you for.

    If it hadn't been raining I would've stopped for longer to chat, another time I hope (when I'm not wearing something from Next and pretending it looks vaguely era-correct - I was fooling no one!!)

    Again, don't listen to the naysayers, you do a sterling job! I hope to come to tart soon, the photos make it so tempting, all those Victory Rolls!!

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  3. Good for you, Fleur! I am sure many many people appreciate your candour as much as your wit and your amazing vintage style. Just ANOTHER reason why I think you are beyond fabulous!

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  4. Hear Hear! Keep it up Fleur, we love your blog just as it is, and your opinions, wit and vintage wisdom are what make it so readable. xxx

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  5. I read your Goowood post today (while at work - bad historian! ;)) and I didn't interpert it in that way at all. Maybe it's becuae I have been doing medieval re-enactment for 17 years now and recognize so much of it.
    I am not a snob because you prefer to see people in authentic wool clothing instead of panne velvet princess dresses, I don't look down on people who wear them, but I prefer to go to events where there are less of them and more of teh real stuff. And you are not a snob because you prefer real vintage (or modern repro) to fancy dress. And a syou say, when you dres sup fully in a place like that it soon becomes work and while it's fun to educate and help peopel it is also fun to have some time for oneself and do things just for yourself.

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  6. Lovely pictures!

    Keep on saying what comes from your heart, I for one certainly love to read what you have been up to and what you think!

    Hehehe! I have never been to a festival in my life, shared lavvies and fields full of mud are REALLY not my thing. Neither are wellies in ANY shape or form!

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  7. Don't you worry, Fleur! Its your blog, you can say what you darned well like!

    Keep up the good work, you're wonderful :)

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  8. Corr I would so like to come to a Tart event - Those pics are amazing!
    Keep up the fabulous blog, I love that you are you! By being you, it gives us all permission to be us!

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  9. Fleur, this is a brilliant post, just like all of your posts. I really enjoy your blog and don't want you to change a thing!

    I completely agree that more people should pay more attention to their appearance. There is far too much flesh being shown, as well as inappropriate dressing for one's age, in my humble opinion. I am frankly tired of seeing young girls flashing bits that shouldn't be shown or people walking about the street looking like they fell out of bed or worse, out of a skip.

    Keep telling it like it is, Fleur. I'll always keep coming back.

    The photos are amazing! Love them! Oh, how I would love to attend one of those! :)

    Sarah :)

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  10. Oh dear. There is so much thoughtless gushing on the Internet. It's definitely due to the anonymity of it all: how many people would be quite as rude if they weren't protected by a computer screen?
    I've had pretty much the same experience as you, in the response recieved when I wrote a negative review of the organisation of a craft fair i took part in. This was a few years ago. The organiser, as well as many of her supporters, got extremely offended and all that jazz, and the worst part was that it seemed as though posting a negative opinion of something was totally not allowed. I can understand wounded pride, but come on...grow up.
    All I can say is not to bother getting upset about them. Although admittedly this is hard when someone is writing rude and unconstructive things on your blog (particularly when they are jumping the gun and not really reading what you wrote properly!). Definitely continue as you do now. You can only benefit from losing such bitter and thoughtless "readers" as those.

    By the way, I'm the girl that stopped you on the tube a few months ago at Bethnal Green when you were on the way to 40 winks. (Black cats eye glasses...half Chinese...shopgirl for Playful Promises this summer but I am a costumer and milliner-in-training.)

    Best wishes xx
    (and how much better it makes me feel to know that your sublime victory rolls took so long to perfect! There's hope yet.)

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  11. I am fairly new to the vintage scene and love your blog, us newbies need people like you who are willing to share there experiences(and shopping advice) to get us going. Thanks and keep up the good work.

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  12. You're all very nice. Thank you.

    I of course know that not everyone will always agree with me, and I've never had a problem before with anonymous commenters, so I don't think I'll turn it off as yet. But I just find the whole thing really odd. I am genuinely happy for those that had a great time at VAG, but to blast me for writing about my own experiences, of whichthe negative parts made up a smaller proportion than the good bits and the entertaining photos (which are my main attraction really) is just bizarre. To accuse me of being personally horrible to people I didn't even mention? To tell me I've lost their respect by daring to not enjoy something and then call my defensive response 'yelling'?

    The bit that got me is being told to do my 'job' as a blogger properly and do more things at the event. This is what prompted this post about my blog being a fun hobby and not a 'job'. If I'm being paid to attend a party that's not perhaps my usual cuppa, then damn right I'll make sure I'm doing it fairly. (This doesn't really happen BTW, just hypothetically though). But I was not there with the sole aim to review Vintage, I was there to represent The Chap. And that's that.

    It's just all a bit odd and that's why people have assumed they were working for the festival, because why else would you so vehemently defend something you had no vested interest in? Like my vehement defending of my own blog ;)

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  13. Oh and Anushka - hello again! Yep, it definitely took a long time of practice to get to the point where they look good almost every time - I still cock it up on occasion!

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  14. I may not be a vintage blogger or a regular commenter on blogs I read, but I thought I should stop by and tell you how much I love and appreciate the time you put into your blog. I read your previous post, and if I had been treated that way as a volunteer in that situation I would have loudly voiced a similar opinion. As others have said, keep up the good work, and I for one will continue to be an avid follower of your blog!

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  15. Love the post Fleur - It is YOUR blog afterall and I thought your post on the event was very fair.


    The photos are just gorgeous too and all the dresses - amazing! Makes me long for the warm weather.

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  16. I'm sorry to hear that you had so many negative comments just because you were honest in your particular experiance! I love your blog, and i am only a dappler in all things vintage, and feel that the authenticity of so many of these blogs is romantic, and not at all "snobby" in a negative way! Keep it up, and have fun! that's what it's there for.

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  17. I appreciate what you do. And until they tell us differently, your blog, your prerogative.

    I would write more, and have in the past, but I know you're busy and needn't another voice agreeing necessarily.

    I just think you should keep on keepin' on...

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  18. P.S. I'm not the brightest bulb in a box, but how ever does one get "sponsors" on their blog? (Sorry, I asked this once before, apologies for the duplicate).

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  19. I've had a similar experience to this - I usually attend a certain anime convention that is run by volunteers, but had a miserable experience last year and when I dared to complain about it, I was mocked and called a "troll" by the organiser himself! Not to mention half the people on the forum where I raised my complaint turned around to yell at me because I didn't like something that they all did. It's amazing how defensive people can get even when they have nothing to do with running the event - I guess they feel like if you 'insult' it by not liking it, you are insulting them and their tastes. That's the only rational explanation I can come up with (apart from the fact that everyone feels entitled to be rude on the internet). I admire you for not bowing to peer pressure to just dust all the negatives about your weekend under a rug for their sake.

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  20. Hi! I read your post yesterday and honestly, I just felt you were honestly expressing your opinion and sharing your experiences. I came away from it feeling sad that the organisers had made so many unwise choices, not that you were insulting the people who attended or volunteered.

    I absolutely love reading your blog and seeing all of the things you do and the gorgeous things you wear. Hopefully you will keep enjoying the experience long enough to continue to entertain us all. :)

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  21. That food looks gorgeous! And I love the shot of all the jewelry. So beautiful.

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  22. Well said, Fleur! One of the reasons your blog is a delight is because it's from the heart.
    If one appreciates authenticity and recoils at 'fancy dress vintage', then they must be a vintage snob, sign me up. x

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  23. Fleur, you were very much "Grace under pressure," in your last account. Integrity is a dying art these days, unfortunately. There are many bloggers writing some very poor reviews about this festival,in a far more wounding manner than anything you said, so all the horrors who have been attacking you are going to have a busy time of it! They aren't going to read your blog anymore? Dear me, how dreadful for you! Amissum quod nescitur non amittitur, is the best remark to that.

    Sarah, I completely agree with you, everywhere one looks, small children dressed as harlots, grown women looking like mutton dressed as lamb in the worst way, etc etc, quite revolting. No dignity, style or classiness. Orange skin, dead racoon on top of head hair and everything on show, vile.

    I detest those who confuse "vintage" with what is merely second hand clothing, and those who ruin it by chopping it up and making something hideous from it. Then, when bored, will throw the lot in the recycling bin and jump to the next trend. An article about it in one of the Sunday papers, a few weeks ago, said something to the effect of not wanting to look as though one had a mangle in the kitchen, damned cheek. You ought to have seen the truly awful mess they had made of the so called outfits they had put together, "Hallow'een come early," would have been an excellent title.

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  24. I love your blog, Fleur. I'm now getting more into vintage - always loved old films and music, but am now looking more at clothes too and attended my first (tiny) event last week - and yours is one of the blogs I read regularly. It's great seeing all the lovely things you've been doing.

    It's baffling that people can't grasp that your review was your personal opinion of the experiences you had at V@G as an individual, one person's response to the event. Or perhaps some of them think your influence is far-reaching and, in an attack of the 40-foot pinup you will singlehandedly destroy any chance of another V@G next year!

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  25. My dear Fluer. Blogging should only EVER be an honest musing. That's why I follow you and I'm sure the rest of your admirers would agree.

    Leave the phoney stuff to those who simply wish to "cash in" on our beloved vintage lifestyle. The trend will pass as all trends do and we will be left to get on with our passion properly. With the lovely thought that we would have made some new friends on the way.

    Big Love, Sadie

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  26. Wonderful pictures!
    Keep on saying what comes from your heart, I for one certainly love to read what you have been up to and what you think!
    Hugs*

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  27. Too right. I thought what you said was completely fair and honest, and it was very clear that your criticism was of the organisation not volunteers and acts. You shouldn't need to defend yourself for what was a valid and fair opinion.

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  28. Hi Fleur,

    I've been reading your fabulous blog for a while now, but have never gotten round to commenting before. Silly me!
    I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate you giving your honest opinion, as so many people nowadays don't. I went to VaG as a visitor as I was invited along by some friends. I must admit I did enjoy myself overall, but that was from the point of view of a visitor. It is very interesting to hear about the other side of VaG. It is a shame that something which started out as such a great idea turned sour because of bad management and organisation. I agree with you about the fancy dress thing. My biggest disappointment was the small amount of people wearing real or repro vintage.
    Thanks so much for your views, Fleur! I always enjoy reading your blog.

    Sophie

    Oh and by the way, I'm the girl in the yellow dress with purple cardi and umbrella in the background of the first Chap moustache tugging photo from your VaG post.:) I would have loved to chat with you there, but I was too shy and you were busy taking photographs.

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  29. Tis a pity people don't remember their manners. Love your blog

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  30. I couldn't agree more with you! The afro wigs really did ruin it for me (amongst other things...). Can't wait to read your review for the Chap!

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  31. i've been reading for a while but not commenting (bad manners on me, i've been terrible!) and i have to echo what everyone else has said. it's your blog, it's your life and it's your opinion. i thought your review of VAG was well rounded and presented both your apprehensions and hope that things had changed as well as the actual events. sadly anyone who didn't read it that way was probably cranky that day and you made a useful target. boo hiss on the haters.

    thank you for writing this blog as it helped refine my love for all things vintage and has broadened my perspective on several occasions (i might have strayed from my beloved bombay sapphire to try hendrick's because of one of your posts!).

    keep up the lovely (and deceptively hard!) work!!

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  32. Don't apologize because of a couple of stupid anonymous internet assholes. It's your blog, write what you want.

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  33. Fleur,
    keep writing what comes naturally to you. That's why I and others read your blog. I enjoy reading what you have been up to immensely. Keep up the good work and keep on keeping strong! :-)

    TracyTriumph

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  34. Dear Miss Fleur, I suppose you should be flattered that your opinion was important enough to get so many up in arms! Kudos for telling it as you saw it. I will be over on this side of the pond, faithfully reading of your continuing adventures...

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  35. Those pictures are so lovely, and you and all the girls look so gorgeous and happy! I thought your review of Vintage at Goodwood was very balanced actually, and you clearly stated that it was just your opinion. It was also consistent with what I had read on several other blogs-everyone seems to have picked up on the expense, the mud, and the disorganisation. I don't understand why people seem to think that everyone should have the same opinion on everything-vcariety is the spice of life! I enjoy reading your blog and will continue to do so.

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  36. Aren't these people aware that the internet is full of opinions, some of which you won't necessarily agree with?

    And how are you insulting other people who worked there by saying you had a sucky time working there? These people are such a-holes!!!

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  37. As a long time blog reader of yours, I feel compelled to make a comment about this.

    Your blog is your castle and you're entitled to publish whatever opinions, or interests that you have. You are definitely entitled to write whatever you want on whatever you like and frankly if people have a problem with it, then it's their own problem! They have certainly exercised their right to express dismay over what they've read, so why couldn't you over what you've experienced? You shouldn't take their criticisms or hollow remarks to heart!

    Your blog is fabulous and your fresh, original take on all things vintage is why I (and many other readers!) keep coming back. As a fellow neat freak, I'll just like to say there's nothing wrong with wanting to look good and making sure your victory rolls are perfectly coiled. If we take pleasure from the care we put into our appearance- then, so be it. There's nothing 'snobby' or superficial about that!

    That said, I'm not a vintage dresser but I wish I had your courage and dedication. Your style is wonderful and your posts are enjoyable. While I don't go full-blown vintage daily, your blog is a perfect little hub of inspiration for a girl like me.

    :)

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  38. I never fail to be entirely bemused by the ability of people on the internet to become enraged by someone with a differing opinion to theirs, or who does not know what they know.

    I stayed in Croydon once as I needed to get into London and it was cheaper, the next morning I wandered into a shop there called "Stuff" it was an indoor market with really great decor and I reviewed it on the blog. Unfortunately it has apparently been there for years, only previously it was the huge Beanos record store and I ended up being flamed by people calling me shallow as I didn't know about it before. Right.

    Ignore them, you write a review as you find it. That's the entire purpose of a personal review. Wouldn't life be boring if we all experienced things in exactly the same way?

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  39. I'm shocked that you've been blasted for talking candidly about your personal experience of an event. I think the factual info about VaG i.e. they had a Primark store - does enough to make me feel that this wasn't the event we all expected/hoped it would be. I was booked for a trip away that weekend or I would have gone - quite glad that I didn't as it sounded like the kind of crowded, disorganised affair I would tend to avoid.
    On a separate note, I can vouch for your lack of snobbery. I have met you twice now and you've been nothing but polite and encouraging. I don't have much of a wardrobe - although I aspire to owning vintage and am currently learning to make clothes so I can one day make my own repro - I find the stuff rather difficult to afford. I'm also not to hot at doing hair or make up! Despite feeling rather self-conscious that I looked a bit crap when I met you the second time - you were nothing short of lovely! Thanks for your brilliant blog!

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  40. I opened a trash mag today and saw the dreaded words "the 50's vintage look is in" - don't forget to separate yourself from those who like vintage as a fad (as opposed to yourself, who is truly dedicated to the old eras). You're entitled to an opinion, and quite frankly when it comes to something like that, your opinion matters most to me. Keep up your beautiful HOBBY of writing your blog - I love following it!

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  41. Here, Here Darling.Your sweeter than chocolate and would never say to harm. If people dont 'get it' they should get on their bike.
    On a lighter note, I adore these photos! please carry on, as you were, it was wonderful to meet you at Goodwood.
    Heidi xo
    http://www.cupofkittentea.blogspot.com/

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  42. PS The photos of Tart are so fabulous - would love to go again!! I am too jealous of that lady's fantastic checkered heart dress! x

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  43. Just to let you know I love your blog so I'm passing on this Happy 101 award.

    The rules of the tag are:
    1. Post who gave you this award
    2. State 10 things you like
    3. Give this award to 10 other bloggers and notify them with a comment

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  44. I'm glad you're a bit of a vintage snob :) I hope someday you'll find something in my little shop, that's when I know I've made it! *hehe*

    Those photos are oh-so-lovely! The dresses, oh my goodness, so many pretty pretty things!

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  45. I fully support what you've said!!! I'm a bit late in reading it though! Laura Lou x

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I welcome all comments, praise and constructive criticism alike! Please note, though, that I don't respond to anonymous comments. If you want to offer a criticism then have the conviction to do so publicly. I thank you!

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