Wednesday, 22 September 2010

News & a truly peculiar Halloween...

Hello good people of the inter-tubes! Another lengthy absence from me - how does time fly so fast? A few nice things have happened to me recently.

I went on a very fancy boat for the SS Atlantica party, followed by a day of vintage ships, fashion shows and swing music at the Thames Revival Classic Rally, which was sort of part of the Thames Festival. I'm waiting to see photos from the events so I can update about these... it was my first time being behind the scenes, organising a fashion show (for Vivien of Holloway: huge thanks to Vivien's new PA Emma, without whom it would not have gone so well) and it was a lot of fun. Talking of Vivien, I recently wrote an article for them, about buying wedding (and indeed any) dresses online, which appeared on Rock n Roll Bride last week. Do head on over and have a read, if you're interested!

I have been doing lots of bonding with my beautiful new kitten Pearl, who is a Turkish Van mix. She arrived very scared of me, and still is half of the time, but every day she comes round a little more. I've had to flea-bomb the house as she was covered in them, but the firework smell and resulting Febreze-ing was worth it for her non-itching!

Isn't she cute?

I went (rather unxpectedly, after all that VAGgate hoo-hah) to the glorious Goodwood Revival and spent the day working for the gorgeous Shona of Heyday. We had a blast, and I bought a rather splendid 40s repro hat, complete with huge feather. I can't wait to show it off to you all! I vow to go back one year and see the sights properly, as I've only ever worked there, but the smell of Castrol 'R' gives me such wonderful memories of going to racing things with my dear dad.

Here we are in the stall, with Shona wearing one of her new blouses! Stand by for a post on these, and my trip to a Trench museum very soon. At Goodwood, I was of course wearing my Fleur dress... and on the subject of the Fleur, let me take this opportunity to direct you to my friend Dolly's blog - she wore hers to THE most gorgeous Cornish tea shop!

I did some online retail therapy, and bought, for the bargain price of $14, a lovely white wicker handbag, just in time for the end of summer! I shall enjoy carrying this around with me next year (and probably still a fair amount of this year)!

In other news, my inbox has been bursting since I won the Cosmo Blog awards, mainly, it must be said, with London Fashion Week press releases that bear no relevence to my blog. If you've sent me a personal email and I haven't yet replied, I do apologise - please rest assured I'll get back to you soon! I've also just just joined the ranks of Handpicked Media, which is exciting - they organise wonderful events, the most relevent of which I shall be attending to bring you news of products and all-round fabulousness, in which my dear readers may be interested.

Talking of events, this brings me neatly onto another bit of shameless self-promotion - the launch of mine and Emerald Fontaine's Halloween extravaganza - The Fox Presents... Don't Dali With the Devil!

The website has been updated with all the information, but to save you clicking if you don't want to, let me sum it up. We'll have a wonderful band, Albert Ball's Flying Aces, playing music that spans WWI to the 1920s and beyond. We have DJ MC Fruity Hatfield-Peverel, a mysterious figure who's much in demand on the vintage scene. We'll have Emerald Fontaine and Tallulah Tempest reading out some suitably dirty poetry, and we actually have a special appearance from the delicious Vintage Poet Miss Mink, who will be reading out one of her very own WWII-inspired poems for us. Coupled with cocktails, outlandish costumes (as I say on the site, anything goes, as long as it's peculiar and old-fashioned! Victorian Steampunks, WWI soldiers and aviators, Cabaret Voltaire performers, Dadaists, surreal artists & their muses, elegant & otherworldly creatures. Vintage outfits from the 1920s to the 1960s are all welcome), strange and spooky decorations and even an upstairs smoking terrace, it promises to be a really great night. I do hope that if you fancy something stylish and surreal to do on the 30th of October, you'll consider coming along. I might even do a little ticket giveaway! If you'd like to publicly confirm your interest, then do head to the Facebook event page and tell us you're attending! Or even better - buy your tickets from our Box Office - just £10 in advance. We've sold quite a few tickets already, which is both exciting and relieving... ;)

Last but not least, I've just been sent some makeup by the kind people at Collection 2000, a makeup brand of my youth, that I've never considered using before. I am going to do a mini-review of their red lipstick, in the guise of a photo-tutorial on applying it in a 1940s style, next week. And I will have some makeup to give away, as well as a lovely piece of jewellery from my good friends at Glamour Kitten. So it's giveaways galore over here, and you won't want to miss them!

Phew, I think that's enough for now. I hope you're all enjoying your weeks :)

All the best,
Fleur xx

Monday, 13 September 2010

39 Steps & a call to arms

Last Thursday was the aforementioned Vintage Tea Party to mark the 4th birthday of that most splendid, spiffing and top-hole of West End plays, the 39 Steps. But something less than spiffing happened at the end of the evening, and it is with this that Naomi Vintage Secret and I need your help. Please stay with us, or scroll to the end...

The evening was, as a whole, lovely. I spent the entire performance backstage, setting the scene for the shindig with and our glamorous vintage friends. We were, it must be said, doing wholly unglamorous things, such as frantically making hundreds of cucumber sandwiches from some very cubist looking bread (it had got rather squashed in transit) and hurling streamers around. We all had a good laugh, when, after having filled up a tray in the kitchen with neatly lined up sandwich triangles, the prop manager came bowling in, looking around frantically. It turned out that the tray was in fact, a prop, needed for the second half! It was cunningly disguised as a normal wooden tray, and was always stored in the kitchen! Imagine that! He seemed genuinely shocked that we didn't realise!

Anyway, I'll be economical with my words about the party, which was as fabulous as you might imagine, and simply show you some photos for the moment...

In the above photo is Naomi in a gorgeous floor length red gown, Lauren from Vintage Patisserie (who provided delicious cakes) with the stunning pink/blonde hair and polka dot frock, the beautiful Stefanie Valentine and Penny Dreadful, and me in my newly repaired pink Swirl (thanks to the talented and handsome Whistling Tailor for that) with couture designer Yuan Li.

More beautiful people and delicious VP cakes, beig set out by ReeRee Rockette of Alternatively Lovely! All the above photos were taken by the lovely and also talented Claire Pursglove. The night also provided a new favourite photo of myself by 50s style queen Hannah Asprey, who took those great shots of us at our Cosmo shoot!

But sadly this night was not all glamorous vintage fun, because after packing up her accessories stall at the end, Naomi discovered to her sadness that two of her most precious vintage hats had gone missing. A lot of what she does is based on respect and trust - she had her hats around for people to try on, and indeed wear for the evening, but with the understanding they will be returned at the end. At such small and friendly parties there really should be no risk involved. But unfortunately, this theory was proved wrong. The two hats are both black felt, 1940s numbers. One is a beret with a large felt bow, and the other is a home-made creation consisting of the crown of a man's hat, adorned with a felt fan fashioned from the cut-off crown, in absolutely typical 1940s make-do-and-mend, wartime style. I'm trying to find some really clear photos so my lovely readers can look out for them at future events. But we do have a photo of one of the hats being worn by a guest, who was rather drunk and who, in all fairness, may have wandered off forgetfully. Or indeed it may not have been her at all. So let it be said that this is in no way accusatory, but we would really like to know who the below girl is, as she was the last person seen wearing it and so may be able to tell us what happened to it. You may comment anonymously if you know (I have turned it back on especially).

She is wearing the beret hat, and this is the last time it was seen. Naomi went to speak to her, to ensure she remembered to return it, and could not find her. So if anyone can help, we would be most grateful. Here is a very small photo of the fan-hat.

It's rather unclear, but you can see the fan. The hat is actually rather delicate and needs repairing. We'll try and find better shots, and will update. What makes this all even sadder, is that these hats were not vintage finds by Naomi herself, they were passed down to her by her grandmother, and have a sentimental value far exceeding their material worth. She's been asked many times to sell them, and has always declined. So if anyone can give us any information that will help her recover them, we would both be eternally grateful. No repercussions will await the taker of the hats, accidental or not. Consider this a vintage hat amnesty.

I'll be back soon with more magical tales of vintage parties, this time involving boats!

Fleur xx

Edit: I am delighted to say that we have had BOTH of the hats returned! Hurrah for the internet!

Friday, 10 September 2010


A quickie from me to thank any of my readers who nominated and voted for me in the inaugural Cosmopolitan Blog Awards! I am delighted to say that I won! I was voted the top blog in the Lifestyle category, with some stiff competition. I thought it would be Domestic Sluttery for sure - I love their blog and they have so many readers! So when my name was called, I was completely shocked!

The other winners were:
Best beauty blog: Lollipop26
Best sex and relationships blog: Fairytale Beginning
Best fashion and style blog: WishWishWish, who is as lovely as she is stylish!
Best e-tailer blog: ASOS
Best gadgets and technology blog: Girl Geek Chic
Best news and current-affairs blog: Uplift Magazine
Best celebrity and entertainment blog: Kickette
Best new fashion blogger: What Emma Did. Emma will cover London Fashion Week for

I had a lovely time at the awards (the venue had the most amazing, space age loos), and chatted to some fabulous people, including Lisa from AlrightTit. I'm trying to find a list of the other Lifestyle nominees so I can list them here... will edit when I find one!

Congrats must go to all, because making the shortlist out of 15,000 nominations is amazing.

Here's a photo of me at the awards:

The official video (I'm at about 2.50 and again at 4.35) can be found here, but here's a 17-second Youtube video of me being pleased and flustered!

My glass trophy is winging its way to me now, and it shall take pride of place in my home. But where? I hear Hollywood stars put their Oscars in the loo...

Thanks so much to Cosmo and to my supporters - I'm truly honoured.

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Autumn Vintage Fashion

So, it's starting to cool down, which is slightly bad new for me as you all know how much I love my cotton frocks; but great news for the majority (it seems) who adore cold weather and all the options it brings! As someone who owns tons of jumpers, coats and pairs of trousers, it isn't so bad, just a bit less... loud. ;)

And, in fact, if you, like me, own tons of flimsy dresses, you've still got a couple of months' mileage out of them, as long as you invent in plenty of seamed stockings and some slips. I find wearing a Swirl (for example) with stockings isn't that wise without a slip, because ten steps up the road, the static cling has resulted in a lovely ruched mini-skirt look as the hem rises up above my knees! I have an old half-slip of my mum's, which is great, but full length slips can be found in charity shops, eBay and old lady departments of shops and are definitely worth investment. Many girls also prefer tights, but I find stockings to be much more practical, not least because if you ladder one, you've still got one left! I live in What Katie Did Retro Seams in nude - they are surprisingly durable. Make sure you get a six-strap suspender belt with proper metal clips - 4-straps and flimsy little things with plastic ends will neither keep your stockings up for long, nor keep them straight (the key ones are at the back, keeping everything in a line).

The lovely Rita, from here.

Autumn is really all about separates for me - trousers, skirts and blouses with sweaters, cardigans and jackets. It's no secret that I have loads of Heyday trousers - I was a customer of Shona's for years until I became her model. I like the fit best, and the fact that she lengthens them and adjusts the waist size for me. If you prefer a more authentic fit, with a long crotch and a slightly tapered leg, have a look at Vivien of Holloway. Their trousers don't work for anyone too tall though, sadly. Check out VoH's range of tops too - peasant and button-up blouses work brilliantly with trousers. Heyday has some lovely new blouse fabrics coming in for the autumn. Here's a sneak peek from our shoot yesterday...

The blouse, with its beautiful art deco-esque print is the Olivia and if you'd like one, you'll have to hold your horses for a few more days until our official pictures are done! I'll let you all know, of course. But you needn't look any further than the high street for basics like blouses. Look for peter pan collars, puff sleeves and pintucks and other nice details - all can be quite authentic.

Skirts, if you're into a 1940s look, should be a-line or straightish - not too full and not too pencil-y. I have some lovely vintage wool skirts from eBay - I think they might be 50s rather than 40s, but still look great. One place to turn to for repros is Top Runway. I sent the helpful lady there some pattern pictures and she reproduced me some great 8-gore skirts and a 30s style one with straps. She also does some super dresses - the fabric she uses is too hot for summer, but perfect for autumn. You could always request some swatches, too.

I love my jumpers and cardis, and have a few from Rocket Originals. I adore their square-necked fairisle sweaters, and check out this new nautical style number! I just saw it when getting the link! A bit more 50s, but really cute. I also love Dressing4Impressing, another UK company making lovely sweaters and cardigans in 40s and 50s styles. They also do some really great 40s blouses.

Top two Rocket, bottom two D4I!

Once again, you can pick up vintage inspired knits from the mainstream shops, too. Brit girls, try Dorothy Perkins, Marks and Sparks and even H&M - I've found great things there before.

Jackets are an autumn staple. Look on eBay US and Etsy for orphaned suit jackets - they're usually much more affordable than whole suits. I have posted my La Riviera jackets on here before, usually resulting in people asking where they can buy one - the answer being that they don't have a website.

Picture of me at the Watercress Line by Sean Kelly

Well, I just discovered somewhere selling them! Hynotique Vintage has a selection of the 'ski' jackets and also the shorter ones, which are a lot like the above one on the divine Rita in Cover Girl!

Kate, from here.

As far as shoes go, I like to still wear my peep-toe sandals in autumn, along with stockings or pop-socks they are warm enough. I love cheap Keds-style plimsolls too, when it's dry. But now is the time to invest in some Kate Hepburn-esque flat oxfords or saddle shoes. You lucky Americans have lots of easy options for saddle shoes, but UK ladies can get them from Rocket Originals again. There are some great, girly flat oxfords and brogues in Office at the moment. But none so fabulous as these 30s-inspired court shoes! Ooh, someone lend me 80 quid! ;)

That's about it for autumn vintage fashion tips - I will be saving up my winter ones for a few months' time. Hope some of these links are of help to someone out there!

Fleur xx

Monday, 6 September 2010

The last sundress of summer?

Good afternoon everyone!

Just a quick and dirty outfit post to keep you all amused while I write my little guide to looking vintage as the weather cools down (which I hope will be of interest).

Last Friday, I decided to take a little walk with my mum around the Royal Horticultural Society gardens, and the day was so lovely, I put on one of my unseen (on this blog) Swirl dresses and went barelegged and cardigan-less, for what may be the last time before stockings and woolies become mandatory. I can't wait to go back in three or four weeks and see the spectacular autumn colours!

Vintage Swirl, from eBay,
Sandals from Schuh (I hope they redo these next summer!)
Sunnies from Dead Men's Spex
Photo by my lovely Mum.

My hair was on its third day since setting, and before I went I put three hotsticks in - two at the sides and one at the top, just to revive the curl. The back is fairly straight but wavy, as you can see here. You can also see the shape of my cut a little better!

Hope you all had very lovely weekends. I went to a heavy metal bar and missed my last train home because I was having too much fun!

Lots of love,

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Vintage Socialite's Diary Dates

The beginning of autumn already, eh? Luckily the sun is gracing us with its presence here, keeping my mood buoyant after the battering it's received recently. Over the last few days I have found myself further amazed by the rudeness and unprofessionality of some people, who shall remain nameless. I will say no more than that, but let me instead take this opportunity to tell you all about some forthcoming events that will be both fabulous and enjoyable. I must warn my fellow 'vintage snobs' that these events may or may not contain people in fancy dress, but I shall be there anyway, supporting sincere and passionate friends who are either organising or attending the event as part of birthday celebrations. And who won't send me insulting emails if I dare to have any criticisms.

First up, it's the return of The 39 Steps, who are hosting another amazing vintage tea party to celebrate their 4th Birthday at the Criterion Theatre on September 9th.

Organised by the very lovely people at Fiery Angel and my dear friend Naomi Vintage Secret,
vintage-clad guests will see this rib-tickling comedy, then be treated to a decadent tea party in the stunning art nouveau Greene Bar inside the Criterion Theatre. It will be decorated especially for the occasion with Vintage Secret wares, and fabulous vintage cakes will be supplied by The Vintage Patisserie (as seen on 'Dragons’ Den'), washed down with tea-based cocktails made with Marquis Vodka, served from vintage tea pots. I guarantee you'll enjoy the play, and if you're a fellow vintage fan who hasn't seen it yet, this is your chance to get a fabulous seat at an amazing price. Dress to the nines!

The next event I'll be trying out is the 'maiden voyage' of the SS Atlantica on the 11th September.

I say 'maiden voyage' in inverted commas because actually there was a launch night this time last year, but it wasn't on a real boat then... this time it is! Here's the blurb, which puts it better than I can.

A Return to the Golden Age of Travel

Revive the timeless elegance of the classic ocean liner at the SS: Atlantica, setting sail on Saturday 11th September 2010. Recreate the luxurious sea travel of yesteryear andl dance the night away immersed in decadent glamour and fine entertainment.

For one night only, the beautifully art deco Silver Sturgeon, a luxury clipper, will be transformed into a luxury cruise liner circa 1931. Curving balustrades and portholes encircle ...a dance floor, lined by roulette tables and two bars serving classic cocktails and Champagne and a stage holding live floor shows and bands.

From the people who brought you Blitz Party and Prohibition, entertainment will be provided by London’s finest live bands, singers, dancers and cabaret acts, all performing in the style of the era.

The dress code is ‘At-Sea Formalwear’. Gentlemen should emulate the starched collar and immaculate dinner suit of an Agatha Christie villain and ladies can take their inspiration from the silk and fur ensembles worn by stars of the silver screen.

Guests embark at 8pm, with the boat leaving for an hour long cruise up the Thames at 9pm.
Sounds rather splendid, doesn't it? This is the birthday bash I mentioned. Better steady those sea legs!

Next on the menu for me is a charity dance on Sunday the 17th October, for a very worthy cause. Click the picture to see all details full size.

This event will be chock-full of good music, wonderful dancers and classic cars, and there will be some really good repro for sale as well. Can't wait!

Finally, if you're into dressing up, good music and likeminded people, then save the date for a very special Halloween Party hosted by yours truly and Emerald Fontaine!

Following the huge success of our last Halloween party at the Fox, we're returning for a one-off date and a very surreal party. We're still firming up the details of the band and the vintage DJ(s) and making a new website, but the date is Saturday the 30th October, the venue is the Fox in Shoreditch, and the night will be called, 'Don't Dali with the Devil'. Named after a 1939 song, the theme will be anything and everything strange and old-fashioned. Come dressed in WWI uniforms, Dada-insired costumes, Cabaret Voltaire, steampunks and Victorian mad scientists, 1920s-1950s vintage of any kind... red roses, moustaches, not-pipes and lobster telephones expecially welcome.

More on this soon, but keep the date free!

For something much more short notice, it's the New Sheridan Club monthly meeting tonight:

Wednesday 1st September


Upstairs, The Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JB

Members: Free

Non-Members: £2 (first visit free)

Guest Mr Martyn Downer will spill the beans on The Sultan of Zanzibar, the story of Horace De Vere Cole, a long-term practical joker. His greatest coup was in the early 20th century when he and his friends dressed in African costume and claimed to be the Abyssinian royal family. In full costume they wangled a tour of Royal Navy battleship HMS Dreadnought. Mr Downer has recently published a book on De Vere and his exploits.

See you there if you can make it.

Cheerio for now!

Fleur xx

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